Some might say that the mountain bike industry landed on the 2.25” tire standard by chance. Perhaps this standard isn’t founded on reason, nor is it the best; it just ended up that way based on manufacturing techniques and historical firsts. For years this standard hasn’t really been challenged, until now. Maybe 2.25” isn’t what all trails should be measured by. I see plus tires not as an industry forced gimmick, but as an evolution of what the mountain bike can be.
Salsa has embraced the challenge of making this new platform viable, and the Pony Rustler is an shining example of what plus sized tires are all about. Through the fusion of the well engineered Split Pivot short-travel suspension system, a solid trail geometry, and the traction and control of plus tires, they’ve created a machine that does backcountry singletrack really well. It’s a rugged trail machine that’s fun to ride and built like a tank, yet still light enough to be playful. The Pony Rustler seems to beg for craggy trails, rough and wild terrain, and challenging conditions. With a great build kit and carbon frame, the GX1 model makes for an excellent choice as a go-to, go-anywhere trail bike.