Salsa Cycles Mamasita 29er Hardtail

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Since its inception, the Mamasita has held the coveted position as Salsa's speed-focused XC racer. Sporting a SRAM X7/9 drivetrain, NoTubes rims, and a Fox F29 Fork, the Mamasita Complete Bike soldiers on as Salsa's podium chaser.Like any good competition vehicle, the Mamasita's been Salsa's proving ground -- in this case; 29er development, material selection, and geometry. When the spicy lady first appeared at trail heads and jittery staring lines, it possessed a curvy scandium alloy tube set with carbon rear stays. That was 2007, during the mad scramble for dominance in an emerging 29er market.This was a time when frame concepts naturally trickled over from both 26in-mountain and 700c-touring/cross worlds. Before 29ers, XC racers ran 45/55 PSI with compact, stiff frames, and they desperately needed more trail-smoothing compliance to avoid severely fatiguing racers. The Moto Rapido, Salsa's then top-of-the-line race bike, had carbon seat stays for this reason -- and it served as the basis for the Mamasita.This was also a time when q-factors trumped BB stiffness, and 29er's were thought of as fat-tire cross bikes -- evident by the first Mamasita's road friendly, 73 degree head tube, and its pinner, 68mm bottom bracket shell. Thankfully, Salsa takes race development seriously, and it was quickly realized that the standards for 26 inch wheels and drop-bar bikes weren't going to cut it.The latest Mamasita ditched the complex and expensive carbon/scandium hybrid for a full hydroformed EV6 aluminum frame. Instead of relying on carbon to dampen the ride, terrain-smoothing, higher-volume 29er tires get the job done. Also contributing to a distinctive ride quality, is the rapid development in hydroforming technology.This allowed Salsa's brain trust to tune the stays for adequate compliance, but more importantly, it placed a focus on efficient power transfer from the cranks to the rear wheel. Compounding that concept is a PressFit bottom bracket and custom-designed Write-style dropouts. These provide a stiff junction between tubes for on-demand acceleration. Tying everything together up front is a tapered head tube that ensures that steering inputs from the 100mm Fox F29 with 15QR aren't lost to flex.The Mamasita's geometry has also changed drastically from its first foray. Instead of a nearly flat head tube, it's now slackened out to 71 degrees with a 100mm fork. The seat angle remains the same, but the chainstays are close to 5mm shorter. This offers a ride that's quick turning, yet stable, and highly capable on any XC race course.Aside from being an early 29er pioneer, Salsa's history also involved manufacturing beautiful components. Keeping that spirit alive is a Pro Moto 2 handlebar, stem, and seatpost on this complete bike. Another defining product from Salsa is its artfully crafted quick-release. While the front axle needs to be a QR15, the rear gets a timeless Salsa QR.Those QR's hold a hand-laced wheelset consisting of Stan's NoTubes ZT

User Reviews (26)

Showing 1-10 of 26  
Juan Gonzalez   Cross Country Rider [Mar 19, 2014]
Strength:

Light, stable, beauty.

Weakness:

none

I had trek top fuel 9.9, my times on strava uphill and downhill with this bike are better.

Simple, fast and fun bike, low maintenance.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
norcalgeek   Cross Country Rider [Jun 22, 2013]
Strength:

I have an xl build and it's light....light....light. 23lbs

Weakness:

Not quite as comfy on long flat bumpy single track as my blur lt

This bike is amazing! I've been on santacruz blur lt for last 6 years--which I love. The Mamasita does everything very well. Good at the twisty norcal single track, bumps, drops, roots, and especially climbing. I use a lower rolling resistance tire due to the improved traction on my rear tire which translates into more speed. I have noticed I use fewer pedal strokes than my blur on short kickers and this thing flat out hauls bazoonies! It is less harsh on some techy stuff than my full suspension 26er--which has totally surprised me. My only weakness is the long bumpy hardpan without the soft tail. This is only a learning piece for me. Overall love the bike and was prepared to get a Spearfish if I could not tolerate the hardtail due to back issues. So far very pleased and the Mamasita is a very comfortable, fast, and capable xc bike. I would not want to ride Toads in Tahoe with it--and if you have skill I think you could tolerate it(I don't so I'd still take my blur and miss my Mamasita on the climb up:) I love riding this to the trail instead of driving. This is why I bought the hardtail--I can ride to the trail and it's not punishment. No regrets!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Steve NMI   [Sep 30, 2012]
Strength:

Very fast, great spec on complete build

Weakness:

None I can find yet

I purchased this bike (2012 model) this summer as an upgrade from my rigid Specialized Rock Hopper 26". Though probably not a fair comparison to this bike but the experience thus far has been phenominal. It has proven to have extremely confident handling, and very easy to ride. The ride doesn't seem particularly harsh though not as smooth as a carbon bike but mush cheaper and more durable in my opinion. I did my homework before buying and the SRAM parts that Salsa put on the bike are of higher quality than similiar price bikes, most are about $500 more for the same parts. The rest are Salsa brand. At approx 25# it is also very light for a complete build. I have put a 400+ miles on it and just completed my first race. I am extremely pleased with my purchase, a great value for the price range.

Similar Products Used: Spec Hardrock FS, Spec Rockhopper
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
Nick Fabini   [Jul 24, 2012]
Strength:

Light! Responsive! Smooth for a hardtail!

Weakness:

Decals are a little weak looking.

In April I bought a $400 steal 29er just to see if the 29er thing was for me. You couldn't get the smile off my face! I love the ride of a ridged 29er, even at 32lbs. I soon starting upgrading parts. Rims, bars, stem, ext. I started looking into a nice frame and decided on the 2012 salsa mamasita.
I built it with the whiskey parts ridged carbon fort and the problem solvers BB so I could run it single speed. I love it. I was really surprise on how smooth the ride is. Even better than the steal frame I had. Very pleasant, yet it is a rocket ship on the trail. Mine weighs in complete with Easton xc one rims and slx cranks at only 22lbs. This bike rules!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
WesternSlopeExile   [May 08, 2012]
Strength:

Fast, Fast, Fast. Great part spec for the money on a complete build.

Weakness:

Not a lot to say here. For a race/marathon hardtail it does an extraordinary job.

I came to this bike from a 6" trail rig with 26" wheels so it took some time to figure it out. Honestly it scared the crap out of me at first. It felt twitchy, tall, and odd. I replaced the rigid White Brothers fork with a Reba and put a 70mm stem on it (for handling and fit) and put some miles in and now I'm pretty thrilled (No dig against the WB fork, it was amazingly light and took the edge off - would be great for touring and short, smooth races but I got beat up and tired of the skipping around in corners). Handling is precise, cornering is FUN, and riding uphill feels effortless. The back tire stays put most of the time even when climbing out of the saddle with Kenda Karmas. The scandium frame is plenty light and inspires much more confidence than a carbon frame. The ride is less harsh than other hardtails. An exceptional bike at any price. Very fun. I'm about 5'6" and the small has plenty of standover.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Available At:
bennym   Cross Country Rider [Mar 03, 2012]
Strength:

Looks, light, looks, looks, ride quality.

Weakness:

Chain slap.

After riding steel bikes for a while I knew I wanted to build a very light 29er. It was between the Mamasita and the Niner EMD. I am so happy with the Salsa desicion. It is an awesome frame. Riding this bike as a full rigid is amazing. I feel like im on a snowboard sometimes its so smooth. Power to the back wheel is incredible. It is everything I ever wanted in a bike! Negatives are non-existant for me as I like to ride with thin tires...except chain slap when bunny hopping. Could fix this by going ss though...think I might look out for a Selma. I wouldnt mind owning 4-5 of these frames in reserve for the rest of my life. Did I say how light it is with the carbon fork? I ride the medium and am 6'' with 35.5'' inseam...the seat is high (400mm)...I could have fitted a large but wanted a very lively bike. This is it.

Similar Products Used: Haro Mary SS
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
erdoctor98   Weekend Warrior [Apr 22, 2010]
Strength:

great set up right out of the box. full shimano xt group that works very well on this bike. great for a bigger rider (6'4", 100kg) and a pretty danged light weight ride in the XL frame (sub 30lb) perfect machine for endurance riding/24 hour racing

Weakness:

hardtail takes a bit to get used to after riding full suspension rig for past few years

shimano rear cogs "slip" a bit, but i am sure that is a set up issue that will just require a little bit of tweaking

great bike. climbs like a goat, quick on the downhills and rolls right over rocks and logs in the trail. a lot of fun and a great fit for the bigger rider. a bit of a challenge for the yakima roof rack and it scratched the rock shock fork post, but it had to get scratches on it sooner or later. seat is surprisingly comfy, and the geometry of the bike seems to be almost perfect. i love this bike and i love the frame build quality. highly recommended and i think that the price is spot on.

CHRIS at speedgoat cycles is a great guy and i would HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you guys do business with those folks if you are looking for a new bike. they do a quality job and sell great bikes.

Similar Products Used: none. brand new to the 29er realm
last bike was a specialized fsr xc comp and prior to that a rode a very nice gary fisher montare (still have the bike and love it)
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Crash2Ouch   Cross Country Rider [Feb 05, 2010]
Strength:

-Light! a Large 20" Frame weighed in at 3lbs 8oz.
-Carbon stays (look cool and are VERY functional)
-Very stiff
-Climbs great and is smooth on technical downhill sections
-Steers fast

Weakness:

-only 1 frame color

I switched to a hardtail from a Full Supspention bike because a guy my size (6' 250lbs) the pivots where wearing out twice a year. So just a cost issue (pivots and shock). I looked at all HT frames, Niner, Marin, Specialized, Gary Fisher. And they all looked the same other than the stickers you had a hard time telling each appart. I came across the Salsa and it looked awesome. I have heard horror stories of frames made of scandium. Scandium is a bonding agent added to alumn. This allows for stronger connections and welds to the tubes. Armed with the knowledge on the frame I purchased one. (the price for this very high end frame is much better than the other brands as well). to date I have logged about 600 miles on it and there hasn't be any issues. I made sure and put a chain stay protector on (handle bar tape with electric tape ends) and I used crankskins frame protector all over the bike as well. When you are my size weight really isn't a problem. I would recommend this frame to anyone that is looking for a great all around frame. even though it is marketed as a race frame. and since I do not have a HUGE budget this is my 1 and only bike. And it is truely a lot of fun to ride. Ride-n-Smile.

Similar Products Used: Intense Spider 29er
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
GTR-33   Weekend Warrior [Sep 30, 2009]
Strength:

-Light! My 20" Frame weighed in at 3lbs 8oz.
-Carbon stays do kill trail buzz but the bike is still very stiff.
-Climbs well and is smooth on the downhill sections.
-Steers fast. This 29er doesn't ride like a truck.

Weakness:

-Rear tire clearance. Most tires bigger than 2.1 will NOT clear the rear.
-Fat wide chainstays collect mud.
-Scandium will break.

This bike is designed as an XC race bike first and foremost IMO. The rear tire clearance may be an issue for someone intending to have a really light hardtail they can put fat tires on a just have a good time. I have a Hutchinson Python 2.1 on a Bontrager Rhythm Elite and there is maybe 8mm of clearance at the top of the carbon seat stay. So fat tires are out, not that there are many fat 29er tires anyway. I do have some scratches on the carbon but it's only surface so far.

I have an 08 frame and it seems pretty clear that it was designed for a Reba fork. The F29 80 is shorter than the Reba so I think that it may have been the reason the bike felt too twitchy at first. The 100mm feels good and stiff and is much less twitchy than the 80mm. The 09 and newer have tweaked geometry so you should be able to run any fork you want.

Rear chainstays do collect mud and downhills will have the chain slapping right against it. So put something on the drive side if you value the paint.

For what the frame costs there are equally good bikes out there IMO that are just as light. It's a great bike but you pay a premium for riding something no one else is. I have yet to see another one on the trail.

The frame is also very durable and strong. I ate it hard at Dupont and ended up launching the bike up into the air into a pile of rocks and it barely came out with a paint chip. This is definitely a fast, great handling 29er but it's probably not the bike for a beginner as it's not so forgiving.

Similar Products Used: Fisher Superfly, Fisher Ferrous 29er, Specialized Stumpjumper Expert 29, Felt Nine Race
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Detective365   Cross Country Rider [Jun 16, 2009]
Strength:

LIGHT LIGHT LIGHT!

-Carbon seat stays smooth out bumps, but rear triangle is still quite stiff
-Welds holding up well, no complaints about workmanship, etc. (was a little worried about the carbon seat stays, since I'm bigger; 6'3" 200)

Weakness:

-Chainstay NEEDS a guard; otherwise, expect to have paint chips after your first serious off-road ride

-Make sure you put enough spacers in your stem, or your shifters may dent the top tube if you spill

The Mamasita is LIGHT. I was amazed when the frame came in; the box was heavier than the bike!

Built up my own bike from just the frame; I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! The Frame works perfectly for an XC setup, and POWERS up hills! Only two complaints: 1)If you don't throw a chainstay guard on the bike IMMEDIATELY, the paint WILL come off on your first drop/bumpy ride. 2)the derailleur hanger in the rear was slightly bent when the bike got to me. No biggie, just grabbed a pair of pliers and straightened it.

Bottom line: The bike is a beauty, quite durable (I've dumped it and flipped it multiple times, no damage yet), and very light! Very impressive.

Similar Products Used: Motobecane niner, SS Aluminum niner
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 26  

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