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  1. #1
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    We the people ... Need help choosing between two 2013 El Mariachi options...

    I've settled on a closeout 2013 El Mariachi (size L) for my next bike and I have the following options:

    Closeout El Mar 2 frameset for $575 and then build it up
    Complete El Mar 2 for $1475 (2013 El Mariachi 2 | Bikes | Salsa Cycles)

    Any opinions on what's a better bang for my buck here? I've heard that the stock wheels on the EL Mar 2 (Salsa 2 by Formula Hubs, ZTR Rapid Rims) are heavy and slow. Also have heard the Elixir 5's aren't the best in the world. Can anyone comment on the RS Reba RL?

    My original plan was to run a 1x10 with a narrow wide chainring, X9 or XT group and a Fox F29 CTD if I were to build it up. I've been out the MTB game for awhile however and not sure how much this would cost me to build if I can get some decent deals on parts. Would also need a decent wheelset too...

    There's also a closeout 2013 El Mar Ti for $3400... tempting but don't think I can justify.

    Any opinions appreciated -- thanks!

  2. #2
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    Reputation: intheways's Avatar
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    I'd go with the frame and build it up. I am pretty anal about bike set up and like the satisfaction of knowing that I out together my own bike

    Whatever you decide, good luck and post pics!
    "Paved roads...just another example of needless government spending"—paraphrased from rhino_adv

  3. #3
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    Build it. That way you can get exactly what you want. You can find alot of good parts lightly used on the classifieds around here to keep it under the complete price tag
    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus
    P.S. The true SSer's motto: "Do it anyway."
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  4. #4
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    It depends on how zooty you want it to wind up. The bike is perfectly usable as put, with a decent mid-grade build. And at the close out price, that's a pretty good buy. But if you plan to upgrade stuff, or simply want to go some next level gear, then it shifts a bit. So.

    Let's assume a few deals here and there (as opposed to MSRP)
    $575.00 Frame
    $600.00 Fox fork
    $200.00 Crank (SLX or XT)
    $175.00 (ring, cassette-XT, shifters, chain)
    $500.00 Wheelset (ZTR Arch)
    $100.00 Tires
    $275.00 XT Brakes, SLX rotors, adaptors
    $150.00 Seat, post, stem, bars (very much depends. You could blow the budget with one carbon bar here!)
    $2575.00
    But that's a pretty nice setup.
    Current roster:
    2013 Trance X1 29er
    2013 Mukluk 3
    Banshee Paradox V1
    2011 Defy 1

  5. #5
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    Personally, I would get 2014 El Mar. I had the previous gen and while it was a nice ride, it felt a bit sluggish due to long wheelbase/chainstays. They shortened up the CS on the new ones. Plus the color scheme looks much better on the new.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by intheways View Post
    I'd go with the frame and build it up. I am pretty anal about bike set up and like the satisfaction of knowing that I out together my own bike

    Whatever you decide, good luck and post pics!
    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by tims5377 View Post
    Build it. That way you can get exactly what you want. You can find alot of good parts lightly used on the classifieds around here to keep it under the complete price tag
    I did a few quick calculations and I don't think I can get what I want (even used) for under the ~$1400 price tag. I'm leaning towards buying complete and slowly upgrading at this point.

    Quote Originally Posted by extremedave View Post
    It depends on how zooty you want it to wind up. The bike is perfectly usable as put, with a decent mid-grade build. And at the close out price, that's a pretty good buy. But if you plan to upgrade stuff, or simply want to go some next level gear, then it shifts a bit. So.

    Let's assume a few deals here and there (as opposed to MSRP)
    $575.00 Frame
    $600.00 Fox fork
    $200.00 Crank (SLX or XT)
    $175.00 (ring, cassette-XT, shifters, chain)
    $500.00 Wheelset (ZTR Arch)
    $100.00 Tires
    $275.00 XT Brakes, SLX rotors, adaptors
    $150.00 Seat, post, stem, bars (very much depends. You could blow the budget with one carbon bar here!)
    $2575.00
    But that's a pretty nice setup.
    I appreciate the price breakdown, give's me a good idea of what a high end build would run. I was hoping to stick to sub $2k, which makes me lean towards the complete which I could then nickel and dime upgrade as my budget allows. Having not owned a MTB in two years, and when I did, one with older technology, I doubt I'll notice the difference between mid level and high level components for awhile!

    Quote Originally Posted by phsycle View Post
    Personally, I would get 2014 El Mar. I had the previous gen and while it was a nice ride, it felt a bit sluggish due to long wheelbase/chainstays. They shortened up the CS on the new ones. Plus the color scheme looks much better on the new.
    I appreciate the opinion. The previous generation still is still held in high accord by hundreds of people. I don't think I can justify the ~$700 dollar difference in price if I buy complete just for the shorter chain stays though. I don't like the 2014 colors either.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffSkaza View Post
    Thanks!
    I appreciate the price breakdown, give's me a good idea of what a high end build would run. I was hoping to stick to sub $2k, which makes me lean towards the complete which I could then nickel and dime upgrade as my budget allows. Having not owned a MTB in two years, and when I did, one with older technology, I doubt I'll notice the difference between mid level and high level components for awhile!
    Reba, rims set up tubeless with just tape, drivetrain is fine...yeah it's pretty good to go.

    I was looking, if you went with a pricepoint.com Manitou Tower Pro at $250 and a lower end wheel set you'd make the 2k mark. But you could take the extra $500 over the $1475.00 and swap the brakes, get a single ring and a nice cassette and you'll still be ahead of the game. Approved!
    Current roster:
    2013 Trance X1 29er
    2013 Mukluk 3
    Banshee Paradox V1
    2011 Defy 1

  8. #8
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    The price on the closeout frame is only $125 less than the 2014 frame. It would cost a lot to build it up. I agree with your choice to buy the complete bike. I have a 2012 el mar and still love it. The shorter stays would be nice but mine rides so nice I am not sure I would want to change. I built mine up from a frame and was well over 2 grand with x-9 build, fox shock hope/arch wheelset.
    Set up the wheels tubeless, personalize the fit, and enjoy the heck out of it. The reba is a great shock, usually a little plusher than Fox but needs attention more often by my personal experience.

  9. #9
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    I'm going to throw another wrench in here -- what about a Canfield Nimble 9? I stumbled on the build thread and it gets great praises all around. Anyone ride both the El Mar and the Nimble and can compare the two rides?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffSkaza View Post
    I'm going to throw another wrench in here -- what about a Canfield Nimble 9? I stumbled on the build thread and it gets great praises all around. Anyone ride both the El Mar and the Nimble and can compare the two rides?
    I would get the Canfield, but I really dig my Paradox which is similar geometry. Depends on how you plan to ride it. Generalizing, Canfield will be better downhill, Salsa maybe a little quicker handling. That said, I rode my Banshee on a flatter, very XC trail system over the weekend and was perfectly happy. Saw a new N9 in orange too, sweet ride.

    Of course, that'll cost you even more! Either bike is great, just depends on the direction you want to go. But I've ridden neither, so take this with a grain...
    Current roster:
    2013 Trance X1 29er
    2013 Mukluk 3
    Banshee Paradox V1
    2011 Defy 1

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