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  1. #1
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    El-Mar as a sportive/cross bike?

    Hey Salsa gang!

    I've taken the stuff off my El-Mar frame to build my Spearfish. Now I'm thinking it would be great to use the El-Mar frame in a sportive-capable/crosser-style backup bike. The ti frame is really light and with the Cromoto fork, it would match the weight of many cross bikes. Would this work, or is is the geometry all wrong?


    I was thinking of some 700c mavic open pro on disk hubs. I could then alternate between 25c road or 38c cross tyres.

    I'm not too sure about the gearing though - shimano 105 road cranks or the XT? What would be your solutions for the most versatile drivechain/brake handlebar setup?

    Am I mad or will this work?

  2. #2
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    Some things to think about:

    Flat bars or drops? Just trying to picture this.

    Also I dont think 105 road cranks will fit a 73mm bb shell.

    The other thing is the max chainring size. Salsa lists these restrictions on the '14 frame: "Compatible with 1x, 2x, and 3x mountain cranksets; Max chainring sizes 1x (32T), 2x (42/28T), 3x (44/32/22T)"
    2012 Salsa El Mariachi
    2013 Salsa Vaya

  3. #3
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    I've raced my El Mar Ti on some of the rougher cross courses with good luck and know that I'm faster when I choose to do so. In my case, I switch to an older carbon fork and run a 36T front single. Not sure if I could go much larger than the 36T due to frame clearance.

  4. #4
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    If the bike fit you with MTB bars it will likely be too long to achieve proper fit with drop bars. The hoods, which are ment to be your main position, are roughly 4 inches farther forward then the the grips on MTB bars. This is why cross bikes have such short top tubes.

    Although you could try to fudge it with a short stem and very compact bars, or could try a tall stem and a dirt drop bar, or just just use cross tires and race it as a hybrid. My "cross" bike actually has some Titec H-bars on it (with a 150mm stem) and I like them more then any drops I have ever used.

    You will also likely not be able to run road cranks but should be able to achieve sutiable gearing with larger rings on a MTB crankset.

  5. #5
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    Hmmmmm - very interesting thoughts. Thanks Guys.
    I thought it would be a neat idea to convert the frame back & forth between MTB and sportive bike simply by swapping over for & wheels but I guess it's not that easy after all. I guess it's the chainring limitations that are the major stumbling block.
    Thanks for the imput - I'll do a little re-thinking.

  6. #6
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    Re: El-Mar as a sportive/cross bike?

    I just set up my first year Ti El Mar. as a sort of cross bike. Cross tires with Jones bars as a compromise between flats or drops. A steel Salsa 29er fork currently, might switch to some carbon cross fork someday. As for gearing, I am running a 36 front ring with a 11-36 in the back. Just test rides so far, first real ride Thursday to and from work with sections of mild single track thrown in.

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