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  1. #1
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    2012 Salsa El Mariachi 2 vs Santa Cruz Bicycles Highball AL 29er - R XC Build

    Hello everyone
    i am in the market for a new bike. I haven't rode in about 10 yrs, yrs ago i was pretty serious. Last bike was a Ted Wojcik soft trac 26" full xtr nice bike, unfortunately i sold it.

    Now its time to get back into the sport. I live in Northern Ma I plan to start out slowly but eventually get the bug again.
    So the bike i am looking at are theSanta Cruz Bicycles Highball AL 29er - R XC Build and the Salsa El Mariachi 2. I will be ordering one of these bikes online. I have tested the salsa it was nice fit and a nice ride for pavement was not allowed to trail ride. I like the specs of both and i know one is a steel and one is an aluminium. Please no fights over the metal difference. I am Just looking for opinions on the two bikes.

  2. #2
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    I would go with the El Mar. I have one, and for an all around hard tail trail bike, it is fantastic.

  3. #3
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    Reputation: Eric Z's Avatar
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    are you going to have a chance to ride the highball before ordering? both are nice bikes. i have last year's el mar and love it but haven't ridden the highball.
    - 1995 Giant ATX 890
    - 2011 Salsa El Mariachi XL

  4. #4
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    In the same boat here. This will be my upgrade from a 94 giant Yukon. Test road a SC Highball carbon and it was simply awesome; felt like superman on it. I want to test ride the El mariachi to compare. Interested in hearing a direct comparison too.

    Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk 2

  5. #5
    singletrack bound
    Reputation: Tone No Balone's Avatar
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    I have an El Mar and I like it very much for the ride quality. I have ridden an alum Hi ball and it is a good ride too but if I was going to go Hi-Ball I would go carbon but that changes everything as far as comparison goes and $$$ so I would say El Mar for the comparison of the two and the $$$ difference.

    both choices are nice bikes!

    you will be happy after the long layoff.....
    Sorrel Seeker !!

  6. #6
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    Wow, I almost started the same thread except I was going to do the El Mariachi 2 versus the new SC Superlite 29er DXC build. I know apples and oranges, but they are both within my budget. I too have done a test ride on the El Mar on pavement and liked it a lot. I have pretty much made up my mind on the El Mar, the biggest deciding factor is the fork and wheel set.

  7. #7
    singletrack bound
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattnmtns View Post
    Wow, I almost started the same thread except I was going to do the El Mariachi 2 versus the new SC Superlite 29er DXC build. I know apples and oranges, but they are both within my budget. I too have done a test ride on the El Mar on pavement and liked it a lot. I have pretty much made up my mind on the El Mar, the biggest deciding factor is the fork and wheel set.
    yeah, try to get a decent wheel set it will make a difference in the ride. I just went from an 80mm Reba to a 100mm Reba Rlt and a 10mm through axle and it's been a good change for me.
    For wheels I'm running DT Swiss 240's on Stan's Arches and they have been pretty *****in' so far!
    enjoy!
    Sorrel Seeker !!

  8. #8
    Uncle
    Reputation: Entrenador's Avatar
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    Do you want 5.5+ lbs of steel or ~4lbs of aluminum? Not much difference otherwise according to the website specs.
    Eat, ride, eat, rest, repeat.

  9. #9
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    I have not tested the highball and there are not any around here. its a hard choice i like the superlight 29 but in my price range cheaper groupset. I would like to buy and not upgrade. I know there is always something new to get lol. Is there going to be a real differences in the ride quality? I am still up in the air.
    There are a bunch of people that have and love the salsa, the highball is new so not allot of help on the ride quality experience.

  10. #10
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    So which one has the better wheel set/

  11. #11
    Warrior's Society
    Reputation: mtnbikej's Avatar
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    Have a 2010 El Mar that I have been riding the last year and a half.

    Will be selling as soon as the Highball Al frames become available.
    I crashed hard enough on my Tallboy to break my leg,
    The carbon is way more durable than most people.

  12. #12
    singletrack bound
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    Quote Originally Posted by Entrenador View Post
    Do you want 5.5+ lbs of steel or ~4lbs of aluminum? Not much difference otherwise according to the website specs.
    well I'm riding the small El Mar and it 5.19 # and currently @ 1 x 10 it comes in @ 24.5 # .....as a SS it weighed 23 and change and the bike rides nice. The Alum highball I rode was SS and it weighed 22.5# and since I'm not racing much these days, I still liked the overall ride of the El Mar. If weight isn't a factor why not just go for the Santa Cruz Superlight 29er and be done with it?
    I guess what I'm saying is between 23-25 lbs complete bike, I still pick the El Mar, but if I had unlimited funds, I would probably go with the carbon highball and get back into some racing!
    Last edited by Tone No Balone; 04-15-2012 at 09:34 PM.
    Sorrel Seeker !!

  13. #13
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    wow i just found this bike diamondback overdrive pro with a really good groupset, but no tapered headtube what do think

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