We first spotted the new Salsa at the WTB booth during the Sea Otter Classic, and at the time speculated that the 27.5+ bike was based on their Horsethief trail bike. With the details Salsa released on the Pony Rustler, it looks like we were on to something.
The Pony Rustler features 120mm of rear wheel travel via the Split Pivot suspension design. Up front, you can choose to run it with either a 120mm or 130mm travel fork. In order to run the mid-fat tires, Salsa went with the Boost spacing “standard” (148mm rear / 110mm front).
Three builds will be offered on the Pony Rustler — two carbon models and one aluminum. The highest-end build is the Carbon XO1 ($5,500), which uses a SRAM XO1 1×11 drivetrain, and RockShox suspension. The Carbon GX1 ($4,500) uses SRAM’s new GX 1×11 group, but uses Fox for suspension duties. The lone aluminum model ($3,500) gets a SRAM GX group as well, although they chose to spec a 2×10 drivetrain. Full specs are below.
It’s interesting to note that Salsa updated the Horsethief for 2016 with Boost spacing and is touting the fact that you can run 27.5+ wheels with up to 3″ wide tires. But Salsa also says you can run 29″ wheels on the Pony Rustler.
When comparing the geometry specs of the Horsethief and the Pony Rustler, the numbers are identical. So perhaps the Pony Rustler isn’t an entirely new bike, it’s just a Horsethief wearing slightly different shoes.
Salsa updated a bunch of their bikes and added some more adventure models to their line. For more information on those, head over to their site.