Salsa Blackthorn SLX Review

Salsa Blackthorn SLX Review

Are you in the market for a new mountain bike? With so many options available, it can be difficult to find the perfect one for your needs.

In this article, we will be reviewing the Salsa Blackthorn SLX, a popular mountain bike that promises to deliver an exceptional riding experience.

Mountain biking is a thrilling and challenging sport that requires a reliable and high-performing bike.

The market is flooded with numerous mountain bike options, making it overwhelming for riders to choose the right one.

Salsa Blackthorn SLX Review

However, the Salsa Blackthorn SLX has gained a reputation for being a top choice among mountain biking enthusiasts.

In this review, we will delve into the features and performance of the Salsa Blackthorn SLX to help you determine if it’s the right mountain bike for you.

From its frame design to its components and overall riding experience, we will provide an in-depth analysis to ensure that you make an informed decision before investing in this bike.

So, let’s get started and find out if the Salsa Blackthorn SLX lives up to its promises.


– Lightweight and durable frame: The Blackthorn SLX features an alloy frame that provides both strength and agility. It is designed to withstand the rigors of off-road riding while keeping the weight to a minimum.

– Smooth and responsive suspension: Equipped with a RockShox Super Deluxe Select+ rear shock and a RockShox Yari RC fork, this bike offers 160mm of plush suspension travel. It absorbs impacts and bumps on the trail, ensuring a smooth and controlled ride.

– Precise shifting: The bike is equipped with a Shimano SLX drivetrain, which offers smooth and precise shifting through its 12-speed 10-51t cassette. This allows riders to conquer steep climbs and accelerate quickly on flat sections.

– Powerful braking: The Salsa Blackthorn SLX is equipped with Shimano Deore hydraulic disc brakes, providing reliable stopping power in all weather conditions. This ensures that riders can maintain control and confidence on descents.

– High-traction tires: The bike comes with a Maxxis Assegai 29×2.5in tire on the front and a Maxxis Dissector 29×2.4in tire on the rear, which offer excellent grip and traction on a variety of surfaces. Whether riding on loose dirt or wet rocks, these tires provide the necessary traction for confident handling.

– Adjustable geometry: The Blackthorn SLX features a rear flip chip that adjusts the head tube angle and bottom bracket height, allowing riders to fine-tune the bike’s geometry to suit their riding style and trail conditions. This ensures optimal performance and handling.

– Versatile trail bike: Whether tackling technical descents or climbing steep hills, the Blackthorn SLX is designed to excel in all trail conditions. It strikes the perfect balance between downhill performance and uphill efficiency, making it a versatile choice for any trail rider.

– Professional-grade components: From the drivetrain to the suspension, every component on the Blackthorn SLX is carefully chosen for its performance and reliability. This bike is built to withstand aggressive riding and deliver top-notch performance.


One of the standout features of the Blackthorn SLX is its frame.

Constructed from lightweight aluminum alloy, this bike offers exceptional durability and strength without sacrificing weight.

The frame’s modern geometry provides a balanced and stable ride, allowing you to navigate through tight corners and technical terrain with confidence.

The Rear Flip Chip lets you adjust the head tube angle and bottom bracket height to fit whatever terrain you’re riding on, whatever size wheels you have, and what you personally prefer.


The suspension system on the Blackthorn SLX is another aspect that sets it apart from other mountain bikes.

With a 160mm RockShox Yari RC fork and a RockShox Super Deluxe Select+ shock, this bike offers a smooth and controlled ride even on the most challenging trails.

The suspension can be easily adjusted to suit your riding style and the specific conditions of each ride.


When it comes to components, the Blackthorn SLX does not disappoint.

It is equipped with a Shimano SLX drivetrain, providing smooth and precise shifting across its 12-speed range.

The Shimano Deore 4-piston hydraulic disc brakes offer reliable stopping power, ensuring you can confidently handle any descent.

Dropper Post

The Blackthorn SLX also features a TranzX dropper seatpost, which allows you to quickly adjust your saddle height on the fly.

This feature is particularly useful when transitioning between climbs and descents, as it ensures optimal positioning for both.


One of the standout aspects of the Blackthorn SLX is its versatility.

Whether you’re tackling technical climbs or descending steep trails, this bike performs exceptionally well in various terrains.

Its WTB ST i30 29-inch wheels and Maxxis provide excellent traction and stability, allowing you to maintain control even on loose or rocky surfaces.


In terms of aesthetics, the Blackthorn SLX boasts a sleek and modern design.

The finish gives it a sophisticated and stealthy look, while the Salsa branding adds a touch of style.

This bike is sure to turn heads both on and off the trail.


Overall, the Salsa Blackthorn SLX is a high-performance mountain bike that offers exceptional performance and versatility.

Whether you’re a seasoned rider or a beginner looking to upgrade, this bike is worth considering.

Its lightweight frame, top-of-the-line components, and advanced suspension system make it a reliable and capable companion for any trail adventure.

So, gear up and hit the trails with the Salsa Blackthorn SLX – you won’t be disappointed.