2011 Salsa El Mariachi vs 2009 Jamis Dragon 29- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    2011 Salsa El Mariachi vs 2009 Jamis Dragon 29

    Hi,

    I'm looking to buy a hardtail 29er. After visiting several bike shops around town I've narrowed my search down to two. But I'm having trouble deciding between them since they're both great options. I'd love to hear your comments and preferences regarding both. See the specs below.

    Thanks, sbchisholm


    2009 Jamis Dragon 29 Specs (~$1700):
    http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebik...9_dragon29.pdf

    Frame Reynolds 853 air-hardened/heat-treated chromoly main tubes, gusseted down tube, double-butted cromo stays, Jamis lost wax dropouts
    Fork Rock Shox Reba Race, Dual Air, Mission Control damping with external compression & rebound adjustors, Poploc remote lockout, 100mm travel
    Headset Ritchey Comp Logic V2 threadless, 1 1/8
    Wheels WTB LaserDisc Trail rims, eyeletted, 32H, Shimano Deore M525 disc hubs,14g black stainless steel spokes
    Tires Kenda Karma, 29 x 2.2, folding bead
    Derailleurs Shimano Deore XT Shadow rear,
    Deore XT 28.6mm top pull front
    Shiftlevers Shimano Deore XT Rapidfire Plus-SL, 27-speed
    Chain Sram PowerChain 971 with Gold Power-Link
    Cassette SRAM Powerglide 970, 9-speed, 11-34
    Crankset Shimano Deore XT M770 Hollowtech II, 44/32/22,
    170mm (15), 175mm (17-21)
    BB Set Shimano Deore XT integrated
    Pedals Crank Brothers Candy C clipless
    Brakeset Avid Juicy 3 hydraulic disc brakes, 6 rotors, with Avid Juicy levers
    Handlebar Ritchey Mountain Rizer Pro, 31.8 OD x 20mm rise x 670mm
    Stem Ritchey Pro OS, 31.8 bar bore x 6˚ rise x 100mm (15-17) & 120mm (19-21) extensions, 31.8 (OS)
    Grips WTB MotoTec clamp-on, DNA compound
    Seat Post Ritchey Pro 2B, 27.2 x 350mm, with alloy clamp and cromo seatpin
    Saddle WTB Silverado, kevlar corners, DNA padding, titanium rails


    2011 El Mariachi Specs (~$1850):
    http://salsacycles.com/bikes/el_mariachi/

    Frame El Mariachi, Kung Fu CroMoly tubing with Alternator Dropout
    Color Charcoal Briquette
    Weight TBA

    Drivetrain:
    Crankset FSA Comet, 27/40T, Black
    Chainring FSA, 27/40T
    Bottom Bracket FSA
    Chain SRAM PC1030
    Cassette Sram PG-1050, 12-36T
    Front Derailleur SRAM X7, 2x10, Low Clamp, Bottom Pull
    Rear Derailleur SRAM X9, 10-speed, Mid Cage, Red

    Components:
    Fork RockShox Reba RL 29'er, Maxle, Black
    Headset Cane Creek S-3, Black
    Handlebar Salsa Pro Moto 11-Degree Flat, 31.8mm, Black
    Stem Salsa Pro Moto, 31.8mm, Black
    Grips Salsa Juegos de Fuegos, Black
    Front Brake SRAM Elixr 5, 185mm, 6-Bolt
    Rear Brake SRAM Elixr 5, 160mm, 6-Bolt
    Brake Levers SRAM Elixr 5
    Tires WTB Bronson Race, 29 x 2.1"
    Front Shifter SRAM X-7 Trigger, 2 x 10
    Rear Shifter SRAM X-7 Trigger, 10-Speed
    Seatpost Salsa Shaft 27.2mm x 410
    Seatclamp Salsa Shaft 27.2mm x 410
    Saddle WTB Silverado

    Wheels:
    Front Hub Formula, 32H, Red
    Rear Hub Formula, 32H, Red
    Quick Release Formula, Red
    Spokes DT Swiss, Competition, Butted 2.0/1.8, Black
    Rims Stan's, Arch 29'er, 32-Hole

  2. #2
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    The Jamis is a great bike, but the Salsa has a great dropout setup and Arch rims. I also prefer the Elixir 5 to the Juicy 3. Objectively, the drivetrain on the Jamis is higher end, but I prefer SRAM shifting, so in my mind that would be a wash except for the cranks. I would much prefer the XT crankset to the FSA, but not a deal killer at all.
    In the end, it would come down to the frame for me, and I love the El mariachi frame.
    Last edited by xjbaylor; 04-11-2011 at 10:24 AM.
    Voodoo Canzo 29er (sporting a Lefty) + Raleigh XXIX SS + Traitor Crusade SSCX + Lapierre Xelius XDJ

  3. #3
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    I say salsa...

    Quote Originally Posted by xjbaylor
    The Jamis is a great bike, but the Salsa has a great dropout setup and Arch rims. I also prefer the Elixir 5 to the Juicy 3. Objectively, the drivetrain on the Jamis is higher end, but I prefer SRAM shifting, so in my mind that would be a wash except for the cranks. I would much prefer the XT crankset to the FSA, but not a deal killer at all.
    In the end, it would come down to the frame for me, and I love the El mariachi frame.
    I just purchased a 2011 El Mar. Build quality on the frame is excellent. I like the 20mm front axle. The 2x10 shifts superbly. Salsa is a nice group of folks, too.

    Jamis makes a nice bike...I always found their geometry did not suit my needs very well...the standover seemed really high.

  4. #4
    offroader
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    El Mariachi +1

  5. #5
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    El Mariachi!

  6. #6
    Riding and lovin it.
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    Salsa.

  7. #7
    The Duuude, man...
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    The El Mar is a very nice frame. They nailed it with that new dropout system.
    FS: Everything

  8. #8
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    El mariachi +301234
    Hardrock 29er, Niner EMD9, Cannondale F29, Camber Expert, 650b Nickel all gone.
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 here.

  9. #9
    get down!
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    El Mar for presidente'!

    a local dude got one and it's the tits!

    sweet that it comes with the 20mm through also, they need to update the website to show that...wondering if the new batch of spearfishes will have a 20mm as well?
    Rudy Projects look ridiculous

    visit my blog, BEATS, BIKES & LIFE

  10. #10
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    I just bought the El Mar, and I took it out last night for my first real ride, and I'm loving it.

  11. #11
    t.i.t.s.ceo/FR amoeba rep
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    El Mar El Mar!
    <iframe title="YouTube video player" width="480" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Y7w0eT3Bl_k" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    notice how much fun it is!!
    I'm a cowboy on a steel horse i ride!

    the blog

  12. #12
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    I too just bought an El Mar frame last week,I had taken everything off my Big Mama frame to build the El Mar. I am also loving the El Mar, mine is Sram x7 & x9.
    As far as the Jamis goes I don't know anything about it other then what you have for the specs above and it has two deal breakers for me but it's not about me it's about you and if you like your bike then your going to ride your bike more. does the LBS have them both so that you can test them out, that way you will know more after a half hour on the bikes then spending 20 hours here.

  13. #13
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    Thanks for all the posts guys. While the Jamis spec'd out quite nicely and yes I would think that everyone will agree that the XT cranks are nicer than the FSA, but I feel the El Mar has a lot more to be excited about with its 2x10 setup and the option to easily run as a single speed in the future.

  14. #14
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    I have had my El Mariachi for a couple of weeks now and am pleased. Picture attached.

    Anyone weighed theirs?


  15. #15
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    Has anyone tried to run the WTB Bronson's tubeless yet?

  16. #16
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    Speedgoat EL Mar +$1749.00 ------> done
    26FS & 29Rigid... best of both worlds

  17. #17
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    Speedgoat EL Mar =$1749.00 ------> done
    26FS & 29Rigid... best of both worlds

  18. #18
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    Dragon owner and wanting to go SS.


    El Mar is on my very short list because of its dropouts.

  19. #19
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    Jackblack, mine is 26.23 lbs

  20. #20
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    Jamis is beautiful and Reynolds 853 - besides it is older so more room to play on price...

  21. #21
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    I have the medium complete bike and it weighed in at just a hair over 27#. I did swap out the rear Bronson for a SB8, but everything else was stock.

    I love it so far. The 2X10 works great for me as around here I can leave it in the big ring almost all of the time.

    Jeff

  22. #22
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    Never ridden or seen the Jamis, so I can't comment on it, but I did recently build up an new El Mar (front squish (fox) and 3x9 currently but plan to install a bash guard and drop it to 2x). A couple weekends ago I took it to the western NC mountains. Very, very pleased with this bike. Well behaved, forgiving, comfortable but highly capable. Simply put, it's a sweet ride. Drop-outs are slick and allow for ez adjustments and simple SS to geared swaps.
    Both well equipped bikes, so this is one (yet another one) where the demo ride will seal the deal.

  23. #23
    up n over
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    everybody here has an el mar,
    seems that salsa is all that is known here on this site full of small branded custom rigs.
    the jamis is a little shorter in the top tube at a medium and i think about 5 mil longer in the chainstays than the el mar at its shortest setting.

    my dragonS have carried me through THOUSANDS of off road miles with awesome comfort and playful geometry.
    i considered an el mariachi, but only the ti version.
    offer less for the dragon and you wont be dissappointed.
    not to mention the hemp and black looks sick.

    current setup
    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/thepurpledinosaur/5578343420/" title="2011-03-31 16.57.17 by thepurpledinosaur, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5064/5578343420_f09d656786.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="2011-03-31 16.57.17"></a>

    my first dragon
    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/thepurpledinosaur/5146900923/" title="0308091039 by thepurpledinosaur, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm5.static.flickr.com/4069/5146900923_e19a25f336.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="0308091039"></a>
    "my cat's breath smells like catfood."
    -ralph wiggum

  24. #24
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    My vote goes to El Mariachi

    I considered Sir 9 and Jabberwocky before deciding on El Mariachi. I chose Mariachi mainly because of Alternator dropouts as I intend to run it singlespeed and I didn't want elliptical BB. Also I liked the fact that new Kung Fu tubing is stronger and I didn't mind little added weight.

  25. #25
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackblack
    Anyone weighed theirs?
    My bathroom scale says somewhere around 23# (singlespeed/rigid fork).

  26. #26
    Salsa!
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    I just recently stumbled upon the El Mariachi and think I'm falling in love. I'm going to set a date to try a few bikes on a rental-scenario within the next couple weeks, but dang almighty the El Mar is a SEXY beast.
    2011 Salsa El Mariachi "Corzo"
    _______
    Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.

  27. #27
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    You guys got me excited about the El Mar. Mine is on order!

  28. #28
    Just ride!
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    I picked up a smurf blue El mariachi 3 weeks back.

    My only regret is not going Ti.

    The three full squishy 29ers in the garage are now gathering dust! The El Mar geometry is well balanced, steers quick but is not jerky or too easy too oversteer, and is stiff without being harsh!

    I was a bit leary of the blue paint color, but its growing on me!

    Build is 27.15 lbs with Kings/Stans Arch, SRAM xx Crank, x9 med cage rear with x9 9 spd shifters, xt 770 9 sp cassette, Marta rear and cheap Hayes cable pull in front, Thomson post, Specialize Rival saddle, Easton alloy bar, and heavy Specialized Stem. The El mar weighs more than my Epic 29er, but feels faster except when descending harsh, technical terrain.

    After riding a Salsa road bike for several years, I was excited to try a 29er MTB. The Salsa rules, and has me plotting the sale of three full squish 29ers to buy one in Ti!

    You are going to love your Icaro!

  29. #29
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    Great mini-review of the El Mar, tennessee17. Can't wait until my El Mar complete shows up in May!

    Sell the three squishies and get the Ti El Mar!

    Got any pics of your new bike?

  30. #30
    Just ride!
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    No good pics yet.

    Looking for a ss crank to try the ride as a ss. I will post up pics when I build her up as a ss, or when an XX replacement shows up.

  31. #31
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    Salsa!

    Thanks for all your help! I picked up a the El Mariachi last Tuesday and it's been a blast to ride.

    Cheers!

  32. #32
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    Got Both

    2011 Salsa El Mariachi vs 2009 Jamis Dragon 29-img_0211.jpgI purchased a Dragon Race a few months ago and love it, Great ride and a compitent build. Girlfriend was tired of me being gone on the weekends so I bought her an El Mar so she could join me and set it up as close to identical as I could to the Dragon. I can barely tell any difference in the geo, hers is the same size as mine with just a little lower standover(one of the reasons I got it). Over all I could not be happier with either one. The Jamis is lighter by about 3 lbs but is speced out a little better and the frame is not 853 on the El mar. The Dragon is way cool but the El mar is a head turner no doubt. I could match the weight if I would ditch the heavy wheels and cranks. of course the Dragon was another 1k msrp, Got both of them as left overs the shops were looking to move. Both Bikes ride awesome, The Dragon is a bit more flexy but not spongy, Both have thin paint. Love the drop outs on the El mar and look forward to running it single speed, but oh wait that's her bike.....She said "Who did you really buy this for?" I'll just shut up now

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