Niner EMD or AIR vs. Salsa Mamasitia- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Niner EMD or AIR vs. Salsa Mamasitia

    What do you think would be a better bike for me. I live in pa where there is a lot of rocks, roots, and pretty big hills with loose stuff on it. I ride a 26" ht salsa moto rapido. I like it ok its nice and light but just beats the heck out of me and i feel like i stall out on every bump. I rode my bro's cannondale f29er on the same trails as my 26er and was amazed at how much smoother/more grip i got. I did some xc racing this year but plan on doing a lot next year. I was wondering what frame you think would be better for my situation. Which bike would be a smoother ride thats still light weight?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cannondalemtb65
    What do you think would be a better bike for me. I live in pa where there is a lot of rocks, roots, and pretty big hills with loose stuff on it. I ride a 26" ht salsa moto rapido. I like it ok its nice and light but just beats the heck out of me and i feel like i stall out on every bump. I rode my bro's cannondale f29er on the same trails as my 26er and was amazed at how much smoother/more grip i got. I did some xc racing this year but plan on doing a lot next year. I was wondering what frame you think would be better for my situation. Which bike would be a smoother ride thats still light weight?
    I have the EMD9 and think it is excellent in the rocks/roots/climbing. I grew up riding in MD and know that terrain well. I wanted to get the Air9 purely for the colors but decided there was not enough difference between the frames to justify the price delta. I figured I'd feel ~ $400 a lot more in wheels or drive train than .3 lb on the frame. I have not ridden the Salsa.

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    I love my mamasita.
    I'm a baby so I put a short-travel thudbuster, which was recently called the "anti-bling" by someone obviously better at biking than me in the parking lot - however, I think it's the ****.

    The frame is super light and fast, plus BEAUTIFUL. and it is quite comfortable honestly, but my other bike is a 5" FS, so I need a bit of cushion on the HT. I would recommend this frame highly however, as it is very well made, very light, and the Salsa warranty is better than Niner's 2yr, plus basically any shop ever can help you.

    But, I haven't ridden a niner - i really thought about the emd b/c of it's price, but got a deal on the salsa and haven't looked back.
    Quote Originally Posted by sickspeed16
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    Thanks good information about the niners. Yeah i kinda feel the same about the extra $ your not gettin much. (except nicer colors)

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    The extra $$$ for the Air 9 could be the ticket if you are looking for a bit more comfort. You will feel the EMD after 3hrs on the saddle. But if you are just riding then go for the EMD, it is a rocket...
    Sit and spin my ass...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zion Rasta
    The extra $$$ for the Air 9 could be the ticket if you are looking for a bit more comfort. You will feel the EMD after 3hrs on the saddle. But if you are just riding then go for the EMD, it is a rocket...

    Do you really think there is a noticeable diff in the vertical compliance of scandium/alum vs straight alum?

    I just raced for 9.5hrs on the EMD and my azz and back were perfectly fine. I think it's all about the seat and shorts after 3hrs.. I'm sure steel or ti would be a diff story.

  7. #7
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    Depends on the trail as well...

    Quote Originally Posted by MtnBikeNC
    Do you really think there is a noticeable diff in the vertical compliance of scandium/alum vs straight alum?

    I just raced for 9.5hrs on the EMD and my azz and back were perfectly fine. I think it's all about the seat and shorts after 3hrs.. I'm sure steel or ti would be a diff story.
    If the terrain is rocky and rooty like in Texas, you start feeling the aluminum after a while...

    My one 9 feels closer to steel than Aluminum. On a nice groomed trail, the EMD shines.

    Also depends on your weight, saddle, shorts, bike fit, etc. - to your point
    Sit and spin my ass...

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    Thanks for the good info. The moto rapido im riding now is scanduim with carbon stays but 26" ht, didnt notice a big difference between that and my old cdale aluminum frame. I plan on doing some 40-50 mile endurance races next year would the air 9 be more confortable than the mamasita?

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    They're both scandium, so I think that question gets a lot of subjective answers - I find the scandium to be more comfortable than aluminum in general, compared to my old cheap ironhorse HT - but it isn't quite on par with the mamasita - I think between air 9 and mamasita it comes down to if you like one company, one paint or one geometry since it's the same material - I haven't seen any people posting comparisons that involve ride quality.
    Quote Originally Posted by sickspeed16
    Your not all mountain unless your runnin' crushed dew cans..
    '12 Scalpel 29er Carbon 1
    '13 SuperSix EVO Red Racing

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    I have ridden all 3... All 3 rode good with tubeless systems. The niners seems to feel a bit better to me even though the geo is pretty close. I assume the extra 10mm of botttom bracket drop on the Niner give it a better feel. The salsa made me feel like I was more on top of the bike. All bike were stup the same... The Air9 and Mama both rode very nice while the EMD was not bad at all...For the coin I would get the EMD...

  11. #11
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    I've both the EMD and One 9. You can feel a difference between the aluminum and the scandium for sure. It really is more comfortable and I like to ride the One 9 over the EMD.
    The questions is, is it worth $400 to you.
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  12. #12
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    I haven't ridden the Niners, but I can tell you i LOVE my mamasita. Great geometry, very light and fast, great handling, and much more comfortable than the OX Platinum Fisher 29er it replaced.

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    Last edited by MtnBikeNC; 09-09-2009 at 12:04 PM.

  14. #14
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    I test rode the Air9, Sir9 and On One Scandal before buying my Mamasita.
    I found the Air9 and Scandal to feel "dull". They did nothing wrong but just did not excite me enough to want to own one.
    The Sir felt "springy" and I was not convinced it was a feeling I wanted from my bike.
    In the end I bought the Mamasita and have been very happy with it.

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    So most think that the scanduim is the way to go over the emd if the price isnt to much for me. The salsa has a bit more bling look to it. But the niner may have better quicker/faster geo? And both have a smooth feeling ride. Thanks for the input.

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    I test rode the Mamasita and liked it a lot... Just not as much as the Air 9 I ended up buying. The Niner is a little cushier in the rear, and a little stiffer in bottom bracket, for better acceleration. Overall, it just felt springier and more alive. The fact that it's also much lighter than the Mamasita sealed the deal.

    Both are terrific bikes, and with the exception of the weight difference, everything mentioned above is just my opinion. Another rider might have a completely contrary experience. I encourage you to test ride both and see for yourself which one you like... you can't really go wrong with either.

    As for the EMD, I feel there is a massive difference in feel between a quality scandium tubeset and an aluminum one... in fact, in my experience, the difference between a good scandium frame and a carbon one is significantly less than the difference between scandium and aluminum...

    People often point out the fact that "scandium" is just an aluminum alloy with scandium added to the mix- so how can the ride be that much different? I usually point out that the molecular differences between a scandium tubeset and a 7005 tubeset is about 10,000 percent greater than the differences in DNA between a human being, and, say, a garden slug...

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by starter
    I test rode the Mamasita and liked it a lot... Just not as much as the Air 9 I ended up buying. The Niner is a little cushier in the rear, and a little stiffer in bottom bracket, for better acceleration. Overall, it just felt springier and more alive. The fact that it's also much lighter than the Mamasita sealed the deal.

    Both are terrific bikes, and with the exception of the weight difference, everything mentioned above is just my opinion. Another rider might have a completely contrary experience. I encourage you to test ride both and see for yourself which one you like... you can't really go wrong with either.

    This is why you need a test ride.
    I feel exactly the opposite.

    And the weight difference is 150g.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by TR
    This is why you need a test ride.
    I feel exactly the opposite.

    And the weight difference is 150g.
    Well, we both love our bikes, so test rides, and opinions, are pretty great!

    As for the weight difference, 150g is a lot in WW terms... the difference between an SLX crankset and an XTR, say. Also, the last scandium Salsa I weighed (Campeone) came in like 200g over the claimed weight- not saying it's the same with the Mama, but Niner weight specs are dead on... so I'd say that the 150g weight difference is best-case-scenario for Salsa. The difference may be greater...

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by starter
    Well, we both love our bikes, so test rides, and opinions, are pretty great!

    As for the weight difference, 150g is a lot in WW terms... the difference between an SLX crankset and an XTR, say. Also, the last scandium Salsa I weighed (Campeone) came in like 200g over the claimed weight- not saying it's the same with the Mama, but Niner weight specs are dead on... so I'd say that the 150g weight difference is best-case-scenario for Salsa. The difference may be greater...
    Yes from a weight weenie point of view it is big but from an every day ride point of view it is nothing.
    And Niners weights are definitely NOT dead on.
    And I have a Niner too so I am not bashing them.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by TR
    Yes from a weight weenie point of view it is big but from an every day ride point of view it is nothing.
    And Niners weights are definitely NOT dead on.
    And I have a Niner too so I am not bashing them.
    I don't know if I'd say 150g+ is nothing from an everyday riding point of view... dismiss 3 of those "nothings" during a build, and you've got yourself a solid extra pound... and that's definitely something I can feel.

    As for Niner weight claims, I can't draw from anyone else's experience, just my own. When I weigh a frame, I use a digital scale, everything stripped but the hanger, with bb shell, head tube and seat tube degreased. How were you weighing yours? I don't mean to presume anything, so let me ask: how into the whole weight game are you... ie. what's your method for weighing a frame- the prep, scaling equipment, etc.?

    If you couldn't tell I'm also a WW roadie before, I've probably just outed myself hard...

  21. #21
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    'scuse me... gtfo with this. 3.1lbs vs 3.4lbs (yes, that's what mine actually weighed, exactly as you describe "prepping" it) is negligible in the real world. It's NOT rotational weight, it's FRAME weight and that's LESS than the **** you took this morning weighed.

    Sure, it makes a difference if you overlook 4 x .3lbs, that's 1.2lbs but we're not talking about slippery-slope ********.

    Seriously, not that I'm a race winner, but I work with people that are - their #1 complaint about fellow roadies? people that can't ride comparing weights. Get over it. If it were 150 or 200g in wheels or tires, cool, game on - that's weight that matters. But in the frame - irrelevant, you're going to be pedalling around your fat ass anyways.

    Carry on with the meaningful comparisons.
    Quote Originally Posted by sickspeed16
    Your not all mountain unless your runnin' crushed dew cans..
    '12 Scalpel 29er Carbon 1
    '13 SuperSix EVO Red Racing

  22. #22
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    I'm with RVMDMech above.

    Last month, I rode my Niner EMD9 up to the world's highest motorable pass at around 19,000ft - and at 180lb, I aint a flyweight Spanish climber. Saving .3lb in frame weight would have made zero difference (I would still have been in a separate world of suffering and would still have collapsed at the top).

    For my money, the EMD is probably one of the best bang-for-buck Al hardtails out there.

    V.
    EMD9, drop-bar Bandersnatch, Surly LHT, a couple of Ridleys
    ... and a lot more bruises than can be counted

  23. #23
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    All valid points. Debated ad-nauseum over on weightweenies. Enjoy your bike your way, and I'll enjoy mine my way.
    Last edited by starter; 09-12-2009 at 03:37 AM.

  24. #24
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    Frame weight isn't that important (I race a Surly KM, you can check my blog to see if it has held me back). If I were building a geared XC race bike I'd probably be leaning more towards the EMD. If you're doing more endurance type races you might appreciate the subtle more refined ride qualities of the Air9 or Mamasita, or even a MCR or El Mariachi.

  25. #25
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    Pa...

    Quote Originally Posted by cannondalemtb65
    What do you think would be a better bike for me. I live in pa where there is a lot of rocks, roots, and pretty big hills with loose stuff on it. I ride a 26" ht salsa moto rapido. I like it ok its nice and light but just beats the heck out of me and i feel like i stall out on every bump. I rode my bro's cannondale f29er on the same trails as my 26er and was amazed at how much smoother/more grip i got. I did some xc racing this year but plan on doing a lot next year. I was wondering what frame you think would be better for my situation. Which bike would be a smoother ride thats still light weight?
    Most of PA (Eastern half anyway) has a lot of big sharp rocks, ledges, downed trees. Popping up the front end quickly and easily is important. A bike with shorter CSs lets you do that - something like a KM.

    The flip side of a short CS bike is they happen to ride a bite more harshly.

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