The Woodsmoke falls in line with Salsa's love of long-haul backpacking, giving us a rough cross-country feel despite geometry numbers that align with the trail oriented bikes in our test. An incredibly thrifty build is largely to blame for the less comfortable ride. The build specifications allow Salsa to sell a complete carbon bike for $1,999 but keeps confidence in the bike's abilities at bay. Although the Salsa Woodsmoke is more work on the descents than the other bikes in the test, it does pedal efficiently enough to grind out long fire road days. Though there is some rear end flex that steals our precious power. Our most cross-country oriented rider likes the Woodsmoke. Our other testers pass on this one. It would be a reasonable bike if it had a reasonable build.
The Woodsmoke 29 NX1 is a passable entry-level cross-country bike for those that want to bang out smooth dirt roads rolling out to the horizon. It's also an option for anyone dead set on the weight savings of carbon, though this low grade set up didn't give us the lively feel typical attributed to the fiber.