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  1. #1
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    specialized carve sl ss or salsa el mariarchi

    I never understood why anyone would ride a rigid SS. My friend had a Stout SE sitting around collecting dust, so I figured I would get it a try. Now that is all I want to ride. I built a Salsa Spearfish and I have over $4000 in it and I am riding a $300 SS. So I think I am going to go with one of these 2 bikes. I have also thought of diSSent, but after building one I think you come out alot better to buy a complete bike then maybe upgrade. You also get to see if the upgrade was really worth the $$$.

  2. #2
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    : d

    Edit: No idea what happened here. Tapatalk fail, I guess.

    I have an El Mar, and it's a very nice SS setup. Haven't tried a Carve, though.
    Last edited by fontarin; 10-28-2012 at 02:44 PM.

  3. #3
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    Carve sl. I just got one and love it

  4. #4
    nothing to see here
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    carve
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  5. #5
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    Both are good bikes. I ride El Mariachi. It is more an adventure bike not so racey as my giant XTC (26er) was. But it can take a beating (with easton haven wheels) and suits my riding style really whell - just what I wanted for rigid SS - go anywhere bike. I haven't tried Carve, but I think It's lighter (with alu frame and carbon fork) and accelerates better (stiffer alu frame). I think that Salsa should have more compliant ride but people say Carve is also good. I had an alu giant XTC 26er with carbon fork (that was a rocket) before I broke it, so I can say that I like the ovarall feelling of salsa (steel?) better.

    Another question is tensioning system. Carve has EBB, salsa has swinging dropouts. I like the swinging dropouts - it works well for me.

    If you are searching for the complete bike - Carve is a good deal, It can be raced out of the box, and if you get lighter wheels it'l be a rocket!

    When I was building my SS I was thinking between a light more race-oriented bike (carbon fork, carbon or alu frame, light XC wheels, light race tyres) and an trustworthy go anywhere XC bike (steel frame and fork, good XC/trail wheels, grippy allround tyres, no carbon). I've decided for the second option and I'm happy with my choice (also relatively light at 10,4 kg = 22,9 lb).

  6. #6
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    Ridged SS? Gotta go with the Salsa. Steel is real, you will feel the power! Added bonus- It will still be cool in 20 years.

  7. #7
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    Love the carve!

  8. #8
    singletrack bound
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    El Mar

    SS......
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails specialized carve sl ss or salsa el mariarchi-cell-phone-pics-024.jpg  

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  9. #9
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    I'm on the fence about this as well... I'm sorta considering a SS and got the chance to ride a Carve last night and an El Mariachi this morning. I was sure I'd love the Carve - I think my wife believed we would walk out of there with it as I left on the test ride. After riding through the parking lot and on/off curbs, then through a nearby field. Not even close to a real test, but the best I could do. I found the ride harsh and stiff (I'm used to an aluminum hardtail Stumpy).

    The El M this morning was a different experience. It too was only a parking lot & curb test, but the bike seemed far more responsive and more comfortable. It somehow felt more alive under me. I really enjoyed it a great deal more.

    Anyway, I don't mean to pretend that I gave either of them a real test ride, but it was fascinating to feel the difference. For whatever it's worth, I also rode a $700 Trek Marlin SS that couldn't even compare to either of the other two.
    2004 Specialized FSR Pro
    2011 Specialized Stumpjumper Comp 29er
    Civilian Luddite 29er SS

  10. #10
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    Steel, Steel, Steel...the ride quality is so much worth the (minor) weight penalty on hardtail and full rigid bikes.
    Origin 8 Scout 29
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  11. #11
    CB2
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    Both bikes complete are the same price, but the El Mariachi has better brakes and arguably better wheels, The Carve will be a couple pounds lighter out of the box. Geometry is significantly different on both bikes (wheelbase is about the same though) so that should really be the deciding factor (i.e. how you personally like how each handles).

  12. #12
    surly inbred
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    My sled is an El Mar, so I'm biased.

    While the Carve looks to be a nice ride, the Salsa is far more versatile. And it's steel. A lot of folks smarter than me out there, but my experience says steel has better ride qualities... in regards to both frame & fork.

    Ditch your inventory. Take said funds & buy swanky wheels & a 1x? setup. You've now got options. This also applies to a Nimble frame but if you find a medium before me I'll be so pissed that I might drink even moar beer which means you'd suck. Really bad.

  13. #13
    CB2
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    Quote Originally Posted by TroutBum View Post
    My sled is an El Mar, so I'm biased.

    While the Carve looks to be a nice ride, the Salsa is far more versatile. And it's steel. A lot of folks smarter than me out there, but my experience says steel has better ride qualities... in regards to both frame & fork.

    Ditch your inventory. Take said funds & buy swanky wheels & a 1x? setup. You've now got options. This also applies to a Nimble frame but if you find a medium before me I'll be so pissed that I might drink even moar beer which means you'd suck. Really bad.
    Carve has housing guides for a rear derailleur, and comes with a derailleur hanger (*****).

  14. #14
    surly inbred
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB2 View Post
    Carve has housing guides for a rear derailleur, and comes with a derailleur hanger (*****).
    Missed it.

    Still think tin cans ride like ****. Jis sayin'

  15. #15
    singletrack bound
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    Quote Originally Posted by TroutBum View Post
    Missed it.

    Still think tin cans ride like ****. Jis sayin'
    Hey Bum, you ride today???

    or just smoking cigars?
    Sorrel Seeker !!

  16. #16
    surly inbred
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tone No Balone View Post
    Hey Bum, you ride today???
    Pffft. I don't actually ride, I just preach greatness.


    Today was hurricane preparedness day, my friend (I drank a ****ton of beer.)

    Found a bit o'dirt yesterday, though. After folding up a chainring my quick fix was 33x22. Nice climber, but waaaaay too ****ing spinny on the flats. Strava says I kicked some dood's taint, though which makes me feel better about uMartha's 29'er denial.

  17. #17
    singletrack bound
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    yeah, just got back from Demo-ness in 75 degree weather and tacky trails...... not to bad.


    40M/4432F/4+ hrs.


    settling in for the "fall classic".

    "back to topic...."

    ToNE~
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  18. #18
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    I wished I had a Salsa Dealer close, but I don't. I have to drive almost 3 hours for the closest one. I think that is what I am going to go with though.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpringsRubicon View Post
    I'm on the fence about this as well... I'm sorta considering a SS and got the chance to ride a Carve last night and an El Mariachi this morning. I was sure I'd love the Carve - I think my wife believed we would walk out of there with it as I left on the test ride. After riding through the parking lot and on/off curbs, then through a nearby field. Not even close to a real test, but the best I could do. I found the ride harsh and stiff (I'm used to an aluminum hardtail Stumpy).

    The El M this morning was a different experience. It too was only a parking lot & curb test, but the bike seemed far more responsive and more comfortable. It somehow felt more alive under me. I really enjoyed it a great deal more.

    Anyway, I don't mean to pretend that I gave either of them a real test ride, but it was fascinating to feel the difference. For whatever it's worth, I also rode a $700 Trek Marlin SS that couldn't even compare to either of the other two.
    Did you run the same tires and pressures on both bikes? Ride quality on my steel Monocog goes from miserable on the 2.1 Ignitors with tubes to silky bliss on the 2.2 Slant6 setup tubeless. I test rode an Al hardtail Trek 29er at the LBS a while back. I thought the ride was terrible, but then realized it was on Spec Fastracks with 35psi in them. Hardly a fair comparison to my Slant6 setup that I run 20psi in, so I had to try to ignore the ride quality issue. I think when I next test ride a bike I'll bring my own wheel set with me so I can eliminate a feel difference due to tires.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by solo-x View Post
    Did you run the same tires and pressures on both bikes? Ride quality on my steel Monocog goes from miserable on the 2.1 Ignitors with tubes to silky bliss on the 2.2 Slant6 setup tubeless. I test rode an Al hardtail Trek 29er at the LBS a while back. I thought the ride was terrible, but then realized it was on Spec Fastracks with 35psi in them. Hardly a fair comparison to my Slant6 setup that I run 20psi in, so I had to try to ignore the ride quality issue. I think when I next test ride a bike I'll bring my own wheel set with me so I can eliminate a feel difference due to tires.
    Honestly, no, I didn't pay attention to tire pressure. I suspect the Specialized was harder (30psi?) than the Salsa, but I really don't know. If I were more serious I'd certainly have made a closer comparison. Good thought on your part.
    2004 Specialized FSR Pro
    2011 Specialized Stumpjumper Comp 29er
    Civilian Luddite 29er SS

  21. #21
    singletrack bound
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    I run 25#'s front and rear tubeless and it sure does make a big difference in the feel of the ride. 30#'s and I would be bouncing off everything.
    Sorrel Seeker !!

  22. #22
    Clydesdale, Geezer, Fred
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    As of this morning, my geared 29er is an El Mar and my SS 29er is a Carve SL. Life is good.

  23. #23
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    S a l s a !

  24. #24
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    My vote is with the carve. The mariachi is nice. I had one for a year but it feels dull in comparison. The specialized is just a quicker handling bike.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ardmoregeorge View Post
    My vote is with the carve. The mariachi is nice. I had one for a year but it feels dull in comparison. The specialized is just a quicker handling bike.
    Didn't Salsa just change the geometry for 2013? Why is the carve a better geo spec?

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