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  1. #1
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    Salsa El Mariachi 3 vs 2014 Motobecane Fantom 29 Ti

    Hey guys I'm debating between those two bikes:
    Salsa El Mariachi 3 & 2014 Motobecane Fantom 29 Ti,
    $1599 & $1799 respectively.

    2014 El Mariachi 3 | Bikes | Salsa Cycles

    SRAM X9, 3x10 Speed 29er Titanium Front Suspension Mountain Bikes - MTB - 2013 Motobecane Fantom Titanium 29er | SRAM X9 hardtail mountain bikes | Save up to 60% off list prices on new bicycles

    Any comments, suggestions are welcome.

  2. #2
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    I know nothing between the two, but the Salsa is sexy...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by themanro View Post
    Hey guys I'm debating between those two bikes:
    Salsa El Mariachi 3 & 2014 Motobecane Fantom 29 Ti,
    $1599 & $1799 respectively.

    2014 El Mariachi 3 | Bikes | Salsa Cycles

    SRAM X9, 3x10 Speed 29er Titanium Front Suspension Mountain Bikes - MTB - 2013 Motobecane Fantom Titanium 29er | SRAM X9 hardtail mountain bikes | Save up to 60% off list prices on new bicycles

    Any comments, suggestions are welcome.


    How do you intend to use it?

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    I was planning on riding it =)
    But its going to be mixed x-cross, forest & pavement trails. Bit of everything i guess.

  5. #5
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    No-brainer. Salsa all the way.

  6. #6
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    I've always wanted a El Mariachi, like bad. Dunno if I'll ever own one, but it's on the top five list. Can't say the same about the Fantom.
    That said, if you're looking for a lightweight racer, the Moto is a pretty good deal.
    Does that help?
    Not without incident.

  7. #7
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    What makes Salsa better though?
    It's heavier and has lower grade drive-train.
    There is also 2013 MB team edition on bikes direct that has XT components.
    I'm looking for some valid points why is one better than another.
    Thanks guys.

  8. #8
    AZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by themanro View Post
    I was planning on riding it =)
    But its going to be mixed x-cross, forest & pavement trails. Bit of everything i guess.



    Salsa for its versatility.

  9. #9
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    I have ridden the El Mar, and I would say, especially because it costs so much less, definitely buy it.

  10. #10
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    $200 isn't big difference though, but I'm trying to figure out if it makes a difference.

  11. #11
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    Can you elaborate in that? You mean just because you can switch it to single speed easily?

  12. #12
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    Can run SS, has more brazeons for racks and such, more support for bikepacking, local warranty support (if you have a dealer near by), etc.

    And, ok, I'll say it--they're just a cooler company.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by phsycle View Post
    Can run SS, has more brazeons for racks and such, more support for bikepacking, local warranty support (if you have a dealer near by), etc.

    And, ok, I'll say it--they're just a cooler company.



    Much cooler.

  14. #14
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    Are you comfortable assembling a bike on your own? Do you have the necessary tools? If not add about $100 to $200 to the price of the Motobecane because that's what your LBS is probably gonna charge to build it up for you.
    "...when I stand to climb I'm like the Hulk rowing the USS Badass up the Kickass River."
    -michaelscott

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iamrockandroll13 View Post
    Are you comfortable assembling a bike on your own? Do you have the necessary tools? If not add about $100 to $200 to the price of the Motobecane because that's what your LBS is probably gonna charge to build it up for you.
    Also, if there are any warranty issues, you are expected to pay for shipping. That's not cheap.

  16. #16
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    I had the earlier version of the Moto Ti frame, and it was a nice bike. Ti and a nice fork for $200 more than steel? Unless you love your LBS, why not? This coming from a steel fan, Salsa fan, and single speed fan... but I would go with the Moto.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigVaz View Post
    I know nothing between the two, but the Salsa is sexy...
    +1 on this, easily in the top 5 sexier bikes ever
    Last edited by Max24; 03-07-2015 at 08:35 PM.

  18. #18
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    Guys, you aren't making this any easier for me, ha.
    I'm trying to understand how Salsa is a "cooler" company than MB?
    I don't want to judge by their graphics and marketing, where, of corse, salsa wins a few points.
    But you also can just de-label the MB.

    So the style points go to salsa,
    Technical points, including weight to MB.

    I can understand supporting local LBS as well. But that can be subjective.
    I'm more looking for a great deal / great bike type of quality, which they both sort of represent.

    Which one is a Mac, and which one is a PC?

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    Salsa El Mariachi 3 vs 2014 Motobecane Fantom 29 Ti

    Aside from the better versatility, the Salsa also has great resale value in case you decide to change bikes and that's a common aliment here.

  20. #20
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    Interesting analogy: I would say Salsa is the Mac (cooler, less spec for the dollar), while the Moto is the PC (more generic, better value).

    Quote Originally Posted by themanro View Post
    Guys, you aren't making this any easier for me, ha.
    I'm trying to understand how Salsa is a "cooler" company than MB?
    I don't want to judge by their graphics and marketing, where, of corse, salsa wins a few points.
    But you also can just de-label the MB.

    So the style points go to salsa,
    Technical points, including weight to MB.

    I can understand supporting local LBS as well. But that can be subjective.
    I'm more looking for a great deal / great bike type of quality, which they both sort of represent.

    Which one is a Mac, and which one is a PC?

  21. #21
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    Are you dead set against something else, for 1800 you can get some nice build kits on aluminium bikes as well. If weight is your primary concern and u want LBS support that might be a better option.

    If weight not much of a conern (I wouldnt be overly concerned) than go Salsa
    If weight a concern and you might race but will take care of bike and issues solo: Motobecane

    For instance for same price as moto (the crave might be lighter), for 2k you could get into a stumpy HT. All the other manufacters have similarly equipped bikes.

    Specialized Bicycle Components

    Not pushing spec or anything just figured almost everyone has a spec dealer relatively close to them.
    XC, Road, XXC, Endurance, Mtn, All-Mtn, Cross, Gravel, just go have fun on 2 wheels!

  22. #22
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    El Mariachi.... Underwelming

    I own a El Mariachi and I like that it can be set up tapered ridged forks, geared or single speed, and bike packing or not bike packing. To boot most of the paint schemes look sweet. However it is a much heavier frame with mediocre ride quality for steel. Given the choices I would take the Moto.

  23. #23
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    You are right, there is a dealer close by.
    Spec-d are good bikes. Both Crave & Stumpy look nice.

    I've looked at Kona Kahuna DL KONA BIKES | 2014 BIKES | RACE LIGHT | KAHUNA DL
    and regular Kahuna KONA BIKES | 2014 BIKES | RACE LIGHT | KAHUNA

    I think if i'd go Al, it will be Spec-d or Kona.

    The only problem with Salsa & MB is that i cant test drive them, until i buy.
    I did ride Mariachi 2, but it was in the wrong size, so its hard to tell.
    So i just have to assemble my opinion about them by reading the spec and reviews.

    Quote Originally Posted by HEMIjer View Post
    Are you dead set against something else, for 1800 you can get some nice build kits on aluminium bikes as well. If weight is your primary concern and u want LBS support that might be a better option.

    If weight not much of a conern (I wouldnt be overly concerned) than go Salsa
    If weight a concern and you might race but will take care of bike and issues solo: Motobecane

    For instance for same price as moto (the crave might be lighter), for 2k you could get into a stumpy HT. All the other manufacters have similarly equipped bikes.

    Specialized Bicycle Components

    Not pushing spec or anything just figured almost everyone has a spec dealer relatively close to them.

  24. #24
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    Geez.. This guy can't get a clear answer bc everyone is always afraid to recommend direct online bike manufacturers like bikes direct or even airborne cycles..

    I've watched this forum try to buck this inevitable trend for ten years.. Like I said it's inevitable. Deal with it.

    As for the bike.. You'd be an idiot to purchase from a middleman like salsa, trek, or any of the big companies..

    The bikes direct ti frame, chinese carbon frame, or airborne cycles aluminum frame are the only options I'd even consider.

    To hell with donating an extra $500-$2000 to a bike "manufacturer" just for their stickers when most of the frames are bought from China by these very same manufacturers in the first place. Personally, I try to get the absolute most bike for my money.. And that has never happened at a lbs for me.

    Now.. If you have the money, or a relationship with your lbs.. Or maybe you want a made in the USA custom frame.. Okay.. Now we're talking and that is certainly worth a premium for a specific type of person.

    I'm all about buying American and I always try to support my lbs as much as I can in other purchases like services and accessories I need throughout the year.. And guess what? My lbs still prob makes close to $500 a year off of me.

    Sorry for the rant.. Just tired of the front.. Please can we stop taking into consideration whether a bike is direct order when it's being compared to mass produced Chinese bikes that are basically rebranded? It's silly, and counter productive for people looking for advice. Putting the bikes together is easy as hell.. So all this are you comfortable with doing your own wrenching is a non issue.. Maybe you pay $30 to get your derailleurs adjusted like I had too when I ordered my road bike from bikes direct.. Dead simple.

    I understand the pressures of foreign outsourcing on our economy all too well.. Trust me.. But for that burden to fall on the consumer when their is such a massive price discrepancy... The outcome is clear, regardless of how gradual. Bike shops will simply have to evolve their biz model.

    As for op's question.. The fantom is literally twice the bike for the same money.. If you buy the salsa.. You got suckered..

    I will say.. A good relationship with a really good mechanic and/or shop owner IS worth a premium.. How much is up to you..

    Yeah, I just said all that.

    Oh yeah.. And I've actually had better and more customer service from bikesdirect and airborne and yes even hongfu bikes that barely speak English than my two local bike shops when inquiring about a frame only purchase. Guess the lbs don't have a high enough mark up on frame only purchases to spend time talking to me. Now I know there are some super awesome and friendly shops around.. Just saying these generalizations are old, and antiquated.

  25. #25
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    Now, this is more like it.

    I did some more digging to expand your point. Both Salsa & MB frames are made in Taiwan.

    I couldn't find the direct link to Salsa's steel frame factory, but it looks like its this guys: Y79M01-MTB Frame - Maxway Cycles (frame used on Mariachi)
    Full catalog: MAXWAY Cycles Co., Ltd.
    But that took some googling, the only thing they say about frames on their site is:
    "Where are your frames made?
    After designing our frames here in Minnesota, our frames are built in Taiwan. We use different manufacturers for different models of our frames."
    Im not exactly sure what exactly they "designed", because frames that manufacture is offering are almost identical to what they are using.


    MB using this: ORA ENGINNERING CO,. LTD
    They are more transparent about it than Salsa.
    Here is whole 2014 catalog of frames they are offering: http://www.oraeng.com.tw/eng/2014_DM.pdf
    14-MB-302 is the frame used on 2014 Fantom and Fly Team looks like.
    It's actually very cool that they show internal processes how those frames are made too.

    Big thanks to @Oddigy for making this thread: I discovered who manufactures all Motobecane Titanium Frames

    From my perspective MB manufacture is a bit better then Salsa one.
    Showing the process and got photos from events they are participating in, their stands are nice and clean. Looks like they get it.
    They other guys... umm not so much. Most pages of the site are empty.

    Coming back to your point, ssdark1. This kind of transparency is a huge issue you are right. Just because you have nicer decals and expensive photo session, doesn't make me trust your brand out of the box. Even for MB guys, they can position themselves a bit different by better explaining their processes and justifying their low price. I pretty much did it by googling everything and reading good amount of reviews. Transparency plays a bit role in my eyes. Whether your frames made in US or Taiwan, you gotta be straight about it and show what exactly goes into making them and why they are choose X manufacture instead of Y, well beside the price point.

    And you are right i much rather pay LBS for repairs then have them up-charge me right when we first meet, thats like taking your first date to the dinner and making her pay before she even eats.




    Quote Originally Posted by ssdark1 View Post
    Geez.. This guy can't get a clear answer bc everyone is always afraid to recommend direct online bike manufacturers like bikes direct or even airborne cycles..

    I've watched this forum try to buck this inevitable trend for ten years.. Like I said it's inevitable. Deal with it.

    As for the bike.. You'd be an idiot to purchase from a middleman like salsa, trek, or any of the big companies..

    The bikes direct ti frame, chinese carbon frame, or airborne cycles aluminum frame are the only options I'd even consider.

    To hell with donating an extra $500-$2000 to a bike "manufacturer" just for their stickers when most of the frames are bought from China by these very same manufacturers in the first place. Personally, I try to get the absolute most bike for my money.. And that has never happened at a lbs for me.

    Now.. If you have the money, or a relationship with your lbs.. Or maybe you want a made in the USA custom frame.. Okay.. Now we're talking and that is certainly worth a premium for a specific type of person.

    I'm all about buying American and I always try to support my lbs as much as I can in other purchases like services and accessories I need throughout the year.. And guess what? My lbs still prob makes close to $500 a year off of me.

    Sorry for the rant.. Just tired of the front.. Please can we stop taking into consideration whether a bike is direct order when it's being compared to mass produced Chinese bikes that are basically rebranded? It's silly, and counter productive for people looking for advice. Putting the bikes together is easy as hell.. So all this are you comfortable with doing your own wrenching is a non issue.. Maybe you pay $30 to get your derailleurs adjusted like I had too when I ordered my road bike from bikes direct.. Dead simple.

    I understand the pressures of foreign outsourcing on our economy all too well.. Trust me.. But for that burden to fall on the consumer when their is such a massive price discrepancy... The outcome is clear, regardless of how gradual. Bike shops will simply have to evolve their biz model.

    As for op's question.. The fantom us literally twice the bike for the same money.. If you buy the salsa.. You got suckered..

    I will say.. A good relationship with a really good mechanic and/or shop owner IS worth a premium.. How ugh is up to you..

    Yeah, I just said all that.

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