Salsa Rangefinder

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Release Year
Wheel Size
Number of Gears
Gearing Type
32.1, 32.8, 33 lb
Brake Type
Frame Material

Summary of Reviews

We have read all expert and user reviews on the Salsa Rangefinder. In summary, this is what cyclists think.

9 reasons to buy

  • A tester appreciates the wealth of mounting points for accessories.
  • Users consider the Rangefinder a good entry-level bikepacking rig. One calls the Advent X 27.5+ a "nice entry-level trail bike."
  • The Rangefinder is sold at three entry-level price points in four builds, each with a choice of 27.5" or 29" wheels. The frame is compatible with both wheel sizes.
  • Salsa offers the Rangefinder with microSHIFT or Shimano components and a choice of 10, 11, or 12-speed drivetrain.
  • A reviewer says the microSHIFT Advent X drivetrain shifts well.
  • Citing the oversized aluminum frame, 120mm SR Suntour XCM32 Boost fork, and Maxxis Rekon 29" x 2.6" tires, an expert says the Rangefinder Advent X 29 feels "confident and capable" on trails.
  • A combination of low gearing and a steep seat angle allows riders to sit and spin up climbs, according to a tester.
  • An expert says the thru-axle fork and Maxxis tires make the Rangefinder a capable descender.
  • Internal cable routing keeps things tidy and reduces the risk of damage from snags.

7 reasons not to buy

  • Two users call the fork "dangerous." Many Suntour XCM users think they barely qualify as entry-level.
  • An expert says the Rangefinder is "heavy and slow-rolling." It weighs between 32lb and 33lb without pedals.
  • The quick-release rear axle limits upgrade options.
  • In one expert's view, the Rangefinder's 160mm brake rotors are insufficient for high speeds and steep descents.
  • Though the WTB ST rims are tubeless compatible, the Maxxis tires are not.
  • A user says the Rangefinder represents poor value due to its low-spec components.
  • Similarly priced alternatives are available with better forks, rear thru-axles, and lower weight.

Bottom line

The Salsa Rangefinder is an entry-level hardtail mountain bike available in four builds and a choice of 27.5" or 29" wheels. Experts appreciate the smooth shifting, steep seat angle, and wide gear range, which make climbs a breeze. However, the "heavy" Rangefinder is saddled with underwhelming components, including the fork, undersized brake rotors, and a quick-release rear axle. The Rangefinder is a reasonable cost-conscious choice for light trails and entry-level bikepacking and a clear step up from the no-name bikes sold by big-box stores. But ultimately, it offers limited scope for growth as a rider.

Expert Reviews

0/100 based on 0 rated expert reviews
James the Bike Guy

120mm Travel Hardtail | 2022 Salsa Rangefinder Advent X

This Advent X version of the Rangefinder with 29-inch wheels offers a pretty unique package, at least in my opinion.

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Best Hardtail Deal

The Salsa Rangefinder is the least expensive bike in this test… and it’s also the heaviest. But neither significantly takes away from its abilities on the trail. I was pleasantly surprised by the Rangefinder’s performance in most situations.

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User Ratings

86/100 based on 31 ratings
  • 5 star
  • 4 star
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Compared to other bikes
#46 Best Trail
Bottom 30%
#21 Best Cross Country
Bottom 30%
#8 Best Salsa Bike
Bottom 30%
#547 Best of All Bikes
Bottom 30%

Bike Comparison

Salsa Rangefinder in comparison to averages

Forum Discussions

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