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  1. #1
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    El Mariachi, possibly my next bike

    I rode one of these today at a LBS and it was EPIC! Medium frame with the Manitou Tower fork. While it had no lockout, I could just steamroll into a section of rough pavement and just ride everything. This might have been affected by the fact that this was not my bike, but it seemed like I was riding faster with the bike taking up more bumps than my Trek Cobia.
    If you have an El Mariachi, how do you like it and how does it ride on dirt?
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  2. #2
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    I bought the 2014 , 3 , it rolls very well. Soaks up a lot or trail chatter and I'll say it's the best handling / riding HT I have ever ridden. Fast in the rough , and corners on rails. Yea no HT rides like a FS but I gota say if you want a hard tail that rides like butter check out the EM.

  3. #3
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    I have a 2013 set up as a single speed. Great riding bike. The frame is a bit heavier than the Niner SIR9 it replaced but the ride is smoother on singletrack.
    There are three kinds of people: those of us that are good at math and those that are not.

  4. #4
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    I've got a Fargo, and it's a great bike, but sometimes I think I should have gone with an El Mar. Maybe the romance of my first drop bar bike has worn off... If you want a hardtail 29er, I think the El Mar is a great option. The Alternator dropouts would be nice to have.

  5. #5
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    Picked up a '13 complete El Mar in August. Nice ride. Was riding a Civilian Luddite (rigid ss)

  6. #6
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    I've got a 2013 EM 2. The black and green one. I absolutely love it, and I'm a long time hardtail holdout, but I'm kind of wishing I'd gone with a full suspension. That, however, is completely dependent on your local trails. Things around here (Vermont) can get pretty gnarly. But, for 90% of the riding I do, it's fantastic.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by willapajames View Post
    Things around here (Vermont) can get pretty gnarly. But, for 90% of the riding I do, it's fantastic.
    Where in Vermont?
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianW. View Post
    Picked up a '13 complete El Mar in August. Nice ride. Was riding a Civilian Luddite (rigid ss)
    Other than the suspension fork, how would you compare the El Mar to the Luddite?

  9. #9
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    I did a bit of researching the brands of bikes available at the LBS stores around here, and settled on the El Mariachi for the steel frame ride and the decent spec for the price. OEM tires were junk (as they usually are), but the rest of the bike has proven my research to be correct. Great ride, perfect fit (19") for my 6' 1" self, tubeless ready wheels, decent fork, even comes with a good seat. Changed the grips to a set of ESI Chunkys, but other than that, not really anything else that I feel the need to upgrade or change at the moment.
    El Mariachi is really a hard to beat bike at the price point.
    2013 Salsa El Mariachi 29er
    1995 Giant CFR Team Road Bike
    2001 Bianchi Volpe
    2009 KX250F ... 2004 KDX200

  10. #10
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    the 2014 ,3 has a good spec. XT rear , shimmano brakes and shifters, nice Volt saddle. Recon gold fork , (which is under 4lbs) Changed the wheels to Crest's , weighs a nimble 27.5lbs.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Tiki View Post
    Other than the suspension fork, how would you compare the El Mar to the Luddite?
    It feels "quicker" around the corners. The chain stay is about one cm shorter then the Luddite. Of course with the alternator drop outs it could be a little shorter or longer. I did tune in the front fork pretty stiff. Hard to compare other things ss vs gears mechanical vs hydraulic brakes etc. Some of these I am adjusting/getting used to. That being said, if choosing between the two for a ss build I would go with the El Mar. I feel it has more versatility. rigid, ht, geared, ss, x/c, bikepacking etc.

    I did take the Luddite out last week and still had a blast with it. Good solid bike.

  12. #12
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    Today at Kingdom Trails I was really wanting the El Mariachi, but no LBS demoed them.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by CannondaleF9 View Post
    Where in Vermont?
    Stowe.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by willapajames View Post
    Stowe.
    Okay. Have you ridden at Kingdom Trails or Pine Hill Park? If so, how does the bike ride?
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  15. #15
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    Wink

    I've got the 2011 Ti version (the last one with 1 1/8th headtube). I have a Fox 100mm fork and Stans Arch tubeless wheels and it's fabulous for 95% of my riding in Southern England. I'm in 2 MTB clubs and do lots of Forest, Isle of Wight, South Downs around Winchester and West Sussex. Love the El-Mar and take it on most rides.

    I suppose you want to know about the 5%? Well that's just the limitations of ANY HARDTAIL. If the ground is really chewed-up (like a muddy cowfield that baked hard) then you'll have a harder time than on a full suspension bike. The other situation where the El-Mar shows it's limitations is when you hit rough stuff at really high speed (around 30mph +). In those circumstances, even a 29-inch hardtail can feel a bit scary and like it's trying to buck you off. Last October (2012) I left My Turner Flux at home and took the El-Mar on my week's holiday to the Brecons (Wales). It was brilliant for almost everything but I did find it hard work descending the Brecon side of 'The Gap' trail (which is very rocky). This year (two weeks ago today) I took my Flux and it was much more comfortable down The Gap - but even then I was thinking to myself "maybe need a 5-Spot to do this better."

    So......the last Paragraph really is discussing the limitations of hardtails generally. I accept that and love the El-Mar's because of its ability to cover ground quickly, to climb like a rocket, and to give all-day comfort on all but the harshest of trails that I personally ride. If you were doing a Wiggle MTB then the El-Mar with Stans tubeless at about 27/24lbs or maybe even 25/22lbs would be perfect.

    Get an El-Mariachi and give it a thrashing - I don't think you'll be disappointed.

  16. #16
    ejj
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    I love the '14 EM2. Great spec, great ride. I do wish it was a tad lighter.

    I ended up going full-suspension. Just because I like going faster downhill. And I'm 42 and like the soft ride. I can ride longer easier.

  17. #17
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    Blimey, I'm 52 so imagine how I must feel LOL!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails El Mariachi, possibly my next bike-661sml.jpg  


  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tea@Dimbola View Post
    Blimey, I'm 52 so imagine how I must feel LOL!
    And I'm 56! But then, I've never rode a FS bike, so what I don't know any different..
    2013 Salsa El Mariachi 29er
    1995 Giant CFR Team Road Bike
    2001 Bianchi Volpe
    2009 KX250F ... 2004 KDX200

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillbillyTom View Post
    And I'm 56! But then, I've never rode a FS bike, so what I don't know any different..
    I am far younger than you and while I have ridden a FS bike I don't think it is necessary. Because I can ride fast downhill on anything, the only thing that a FS brings to help me is a slight bit of comfort and a slacker head angle.
    And hardtails are less expensive, cheaper to maintain, and not to mention manlier .
    I don't know which I will choose, but whatever it is, it will be for far less than the MSRP.
    Last edited by CannondaleF9; 10-25-2013 at 03:40 AM.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by CannondaleF9 View Post
    Okay. Have you ridden at Kingdom Trails or Pine Hill Park? If so, how does the bike ride?
    Never ridden at either of those places. It's a steel hardtail, it rides like a steel hardtail.

  21. #21
    ejj
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tea@Dimbola View Post
    Blimey, I'm 52 so imagine how I must feel LOL!
    Sweet bike. I used to ride a ti hard tail. Hard tail bikes are slick. Light and cheap. Full suspension bikes are not needed. Of course, many things are not needed in life. Have fun! Get what you like. Don't listen to me or these other nerds.

  22. #22
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    My el mar ti arrived today! Can't wait till get out on the trails this weekend?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeamMuddySprocket View Post
    My el mar ti arrived today! Can't wait till get out on the trails this weekend?

    Pics?

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