Tossing $$ at an '08 El Mar?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Tossing $$ at an '08 El Mar?

    I've got an '08 El Mar, and have been riding it for the last 5 years or so. Currently it's set up as SS, but i've been toying with the idea of building it up into a 1x.

    After test riding a bunch of bikes this year, I really wanted to upgrade to a FS whip. However, it looks like i'm not moving out west to CO anymore, and I won't be dropping 4k+ on a bike.

    I was thinking of upgrading the wheels and hubs, and also supporting a 1x10 setup. I currently have a Manitou Tower Pro 80mm fork on, but might swap out with a friends '14 Fox 32 100mm. I'm also throwing on a wider set of bars with a shorter stem.

    All in all I feel the upgrades are worth it to keep me happy, but I was curious to see if i'm just throwing away money. What do you all think? Worth upgrading some parts, or just keep saving for a new bike at some point?

  2. #2
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    I don't think that you can go wrong either way. If you love the El Mar and upgrading will make you ride it more, then do it. If you find something else worth saving up for, then do that and have the SS as a second bike. I just bought an El Mar in March and every time I ride it I ask myself what took me so long to get one. They are great bikes.
    I once had a Stumpjumper that I loved and upgraded everything on it and loved it more for many more years. You have a tough, yet awesome decision to make. Good luck!

  3. #3
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    The El Mar is little changed from '08 for good reason. If you still enjoy the bike and what it does for you, then I'd say the upgrades are well worth it. Keep enjoying it!
    "The only way we can truly control the outcome of a ride is not going on it, which is a choice I'm unwilling to make." -K.B.

  4. #4
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    Big change between now and then on a El Mar, is then they used OX Platinum steel vs now they use their own Kung Fu steel so keep that in mind. Also you have an EBB and they now use their tensioners.

    That bike is solid, its not like a old junker car you are throwing money at. It is a nice steel bike with a nice fork. Upgrading the wheel will be a nice and other parts. I bet you could spend half of what you were going to spend on a FS and be more than satisfied. I'd keep the old wheels for SS fun here and there.

    I would just somewhat future proof your new purchases for it, like getting some wheels that have easily convertible hubs (DT Swiss/Hope/I9).
    Mr. Krabs: Is it true, Squidward? Is it hilarious?

  5. #5
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    I picked up a new el mar ss for under $1000. With your budget you could buy a new el mar and have one set up SS and another set up geared.

  6. #6
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    My El-Mar is supposed to be OBSOLTE - with its old style straight-steerer, vertical quick-release dropout and rigid old style Cromoto fork. Unaccountably though, it works very well with its Stans tubeless, and 1 x 10, 11-36x32t setup. Out of curiosity I've just fitted an Oval chain ring but not tried it yet. A couple of years back I had a Fox F29 @ 100mm fitted and it was even faster with that, but I wanted to try rigid and I had the luxury of also owning a Spearfish. It's all good.

    I'm currently thinking of putting a 27.5 Plus wheel and tyre in the back end of the El-Mar to get more grip when climbing slippy stuff. I'm also planning to go semi-wide up front with WTB Asym 29er rim - the aim being to produce an ultra light, relatively slim, fatbike. And I haven't even swapped to 11 spd and big cassettes yet!

    My point is that your El-Mar frame is an excellent starting point for all sorts of projects. Check out the development history of the new Cotic Solaris on the Cotic Website for ideas and inspiration. Also look at the 27.5 plus El-Mar thread on here for more El-Mar specific info. About 3 years back, I spent months scanning ebay here in the U.K. for a classic skinny ox-plat steel El-Mar frame (with matching fork) like I'd seen on the MTBR picture threads here. Eventually I gave up and grabbed a nice used ti frame instead. I'd have been very happy with a classic skinny ox-platinum steel frame like yours - I bet it has a very nice ride/feel with a 27.2 seatpost.

  7. #7
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    Thanks all for the responses! I've decided to stick with it and deck it out. I'll definitely post pictures as I go. Hopefully I'll have it done within the month.

    Also on the posts regarding the 27+ idea. Would a 27+ tire fit on the rear of the El Mar? I had a 2.4" on there and that was pushing it with space. That would be awesome to see. Big fan of what Cotic is putting out as well. Wish we had more here in the states to check out.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpolism View Post
    Also on the posts regarding the 27+ idea. Would a 27+ tire fit on the rear of the El Mar? I had a 2.4" on there and that was pushing it with space. That would be awesome to see. Big fan of what Cotic is putting out as well. Wish we had more here in the states to check out.
    I'm planning to try it and (from the looks of the thread on El-Mar 27.5),
    I think it would work. The Solaris almost certainly has more space/width than the El-Mar so you need to be a bit careful before jumping in with both feet. On the 27.5 conversation, big_papa_nut makes the point a tyre dynamics (ie. it deforms as you ride it). It may be that you can get the trail blazer in on one of the wider rims but that it will deform and rub the frame with it's ridden hard on a real trail. It's worth reading up on what others have done before spending your money. That's what I'll be doing LOL.

    Cotic have settled on an Asym i29 rim for their off-the-peg 'chubby' setup, but when testing they also got good results with the WTB KOM i25 rims, so my plan is to try the i25 rims on the rear of my El-Mar. Cy has specced the Asym i35 for the front wheel to give greater sidewall support and that's fine because you can choose whatever your fork will allow.

    Personally I'm a fan of a narrower rear tyre and wider front. I've met Cotic's Cy and Paul at their demo days and at AQR coaching weekends with The Potters so I know that their regular trails, riding skills and nerve is way beyond anything I could ever do. Therefore I could get away with lighter, narrower versions of what they need.

    Truth be told, my current 29er rigid setup works pretty well for a lot of my trails so I require only a little beefing up for a little more confidence on faster downhills and more grip on steep ups. I can afford to be a little more wight conscious in choosing my components.

  9. #9
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    I just ordered all the parts for the bike, except the wheels. I was going to order some Chris King hubs and wheels through wheel builder, but now i'm really looking into the 27.5+ upgrade. I wish there was some way to really test it out and see if it fits on my model with current suspension.

  10. #10
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    Look at the new Easton Arc rims too. They have a 27mm and 30mm internal widths and they are lighter.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    Look at the new Easton Arc rims too. They have a 27mm and 30mm internal widths and they are lighter.
    Before I was curious about the B+ options, I nailed down the Chris King's with ARC 27. So if I don't go the B+ route, I'm definitely going to get the 27 or 30 with some 2.35" 29 and call it a day. I'm assuming the 27/30 with a 2.35 tire wouldn't be too wide for my fork or rear, but if you have any suggestions i'm all ears. Thanks!

  12. #12
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    I should say I'm NOT looking to turn my Mariachi Ti into a Fat Bike. It doesn't have that capabilitly, even If I wanted to. I'm just looking to give it a little more capability. I had thought that I was completely blocked by the narrow clearance of my frame. Now, with 27.5+, I can get around this limitation to some extent. However, our 'legacy' El-Mar frames were designed before the appearance of fatter tyres, so both of us are still limited in what we can do.

    On my 2010 EM Ti frame, even the Hans Dampf 2.35 29er on my Arch EX rims would be a really tight fit at the rear - if it fitted at all. For me, just being able to get a 2.4 tyre/ i25/i27 rim combination in the rear end is progress as it allows me to drop pressure and gain enough grip for my riding.

    As to what what would go in your front fork: that's very much dependent on your fork. My own fork is a rigid Salsa Cromoto 470mm so I could potentially fit a 3" Knard on a wide(ish) rim. Personally I don't want to go too big and heavy because I want to be able to pedal the steep hills and do multi-hour rides.
    Last edited by [email protected]; 12-24-2015 at 03:58 AM.

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