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  1. #1
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    El Mariachi to Nimble 9

    Hey guys,

    I've newly returned to the mountain, and built up a 2012 El Mariachi frame. I like the bike--I don't feel the need to go for a full suspension model. I like the rollover that comes with the big wheels, but find the bike a bit of handful due to high standover on the L frame, I'd like to feel more "in" the bike than "on" it, and the front seems to dive over every drop no matter how far back I go. I still want to be able to manage the long climbs to get to the good stuff, but would like to have more fun going down the hill.

    Anyone go from the El Mar (or similar) to the Nimble 9? I'd consider the Yelli, but then I'd need a different rear hub, and I just like the steel. The reviews suggest that the Nimble 9 would be a good fit, but I'd love to hear from someone that made a switch similar to what I'm considering.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    I came from a Niner MCR9. I think the El Mar is even longer than that. The MCR was stable and the frame was springy, but the body position was not conducive to aggressive descents.
    The N9 has the same wheelbase as the MCR did, but the chainstays were 1" shorter. That rearward weight bias made hairy descents much less hairy, and slow manuals off drops are a cinch.
    The N9 is quite stiff. Unless you're a big boy you probably won't feel that steel. The El Mar and the MCR had much more give.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  3. #3
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    I had an El Mariachi, which I really liked. Had it built up SS and enjoyed it mostly as a winter bike, but also for quick local spins and night rides. It was comfortable (steel is real!), easy to ride and fairly light. That said, after spending the last couple seasons racing DH and enduro, I wanted more out of my hardtail/SS. I spent months evaluating various steel frames - everything from custom to big brands to smaller guys like Canfield, Transition, Kona and Niner, and finally arrived at the Nimble 9. It's responsive yet comfortable, super nimble (no surprise there), has one of the coolest hardtail designs on earth and most importantly, it's absurdly fun. Ever since the winter started, my fancy carbon enduro bike has sat idle and unloved since I'd honestly rather ride the N9.

    But back to your question about the El Mar vs. the N9. They're both great, but very different. The Salsa is a bit more traditional. It's designed to be used for XC, trail and even adventure use. As such, it's set up a bit steeper, isn't quiet as rugged and has longer chainstays. Amazing for what it was created to do, but if you're looking for something that works better at speed, will survive everything you toss at it and respond immediately to your every input, then the N9 is the way to go. And you can get it in disco 80s chrome...

    Plus the guys at Canfield are excellent to work with. Sean answered all my questions and was at least as excited about me getting the N9 as I was!

  4. #4
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    Thanks, kwolfkill. I had a chrome Kuwahara BMX in the 80's, so there is some appeal there! lol.

    That's a great reply, and suggests to me that the N9 would suit me well where I'm likely to spend most of my riding time. I'll probably keep the El Mar as an all-rounder and might even fit some drop bars.

    Thanks!

  5. #5
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    I have an El Mariachi Ti and I am now building up a Nimble 9, I will post up a comparison when once done.

  6. #6
    Captain Climber
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    I was thinking about the El Mar but decided to go with the Nimble 9. My frame arrived yesterday.. Can't wait to build and ride it!

  7. #7
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    Funny enough, I had a couple chrome BMX race bikes in the early 80s, the last being a JMC 24", so I just HAD to get the chrome Nimble 9! Get one, you'll love it.

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