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I'm on the bubble about two very different (I guess) 29ers, the Scott Scale Elite and the Salsa El Mariachi. I don't plan on doing any XC races on what will be known hereafter as "The Bike" but I do plan on doing endurance races and long rides. Is the steel frame seriously worth the weight in terms of comfort?

Thanks,
Grant B.
 

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I'm on the bubble about two very different (I guess) 29ers, the Scott Scale Elite and the Salsa El Mariachi. I don't plan on doing any XC races on what will be known hereafter as "The Bike" but I do plan on doing endurance races and long rides. Is the steel frame seriously worth the weight in terms of comfort?

Thanks,
Grant B.
Any reason the Spearfish is not in the running?
 

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I have not ridden a Scott Scale but in reviews the geometry is describe as Race Style, faster steering etc. The mariachi is a more relaxed geometry. Steel over aluminum is more of a moot point here than the differences in the geometry.
 

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I think that your choice of wheels, tires (and pressure), bars and seat will have more impact on the off-road ride than your choice of frame material.

All else equal, in your non-race application, I'd choose steel, but it would be about the fourth or fifth decision point, far behind geometry, as pointed out above.
 

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Geometry should be your #1 priority IMHO!

Also agree that rim width, tire selection, and tire pressures will make more of a noticeable difference than the frame material.

However, I'd go for the El Mar out of those 2.
 

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Dirty nerotic bike whore
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its so funny everyone is spouting El Mariachi... I sure as hell cant find one in 300 miles of 88005 if anyone can pm me any salsa for that matter, local shop talks about em like there a folk lore its kinda lame for someone with a few g in the wallet ready to buy...
 

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No need to even read the details. The answer is steel when it's a choice between it and aluminum for a HT. Ti versus steel is a bit more complicated.

But I am a bit biased. I have a steel HT and a Ti FS.
 

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ride what makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside...

I'm biased towards steel HT's. Alum. has always been to harsh for my liking. I'll pay the weight penalty.

As others have mentioned. Geometry and fit are important as well.
 

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I drank the "steel is real" cool aid a while back because I listened to the preachings of how much more comfortable steel is over aluminum. Don't believe it. It's more hype than reality. A steel frame may flex a bit more than aluminum, but I couldn't perceive a difference (I rode a Soma Juice for about a year and then a Niner MCR for a little over a year - both steel 29" hardtails). Choose your bike based on how well it fits you.
 

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Daniel the Dog
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The Scott carbon bikes are a great value. I thought I read a built up bike is around 2.5 k and would be very light. I can't tell any difference between materials on mountain bikes. I would get a short travel full suspension bike like the Niner Jet 9 but that is just my soft tail.
 

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I drank the "steel is real" cool aid a while back because I listened to the preachings of how much more comfortable steel is over aluminum. Don't believe it. It's more hype than reality. A steel frame may flex a bit more than aluminum, but I couldn't perceive a difference (I rode a Salsa Juice for about a year and then a Niner MCR for a little over a year - both steel 29" hardtails). Choose your bike based on how well it fits you.
That's because some numb skulls think they'll be going from a harsh HT to a plush FS-like ride. It's still a hard tail. Given everything else is the same, it will (in most cases) ride smoother by taking away some of the chatter.
 

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Thank you for calling me a numb skull. I don't even know why people bother posting on this forum... Folks ask for help/opinions and when others supply their experiences, they get bashed.
 

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Scott Scale 29 is a great frame. Be it Al (very light) or carbon. If you go with AL you can compensate for its harshness with carbon handlebars and seatpost. I love this bike even though it is not as shock absorbing as my carbon 26.

What about Salsa Spearfish?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyAJ7K5uaI8
 

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If geometry were equal, I'd buy steel because I like the look of steel frames more than aluminum, and they are more durable in a crash.

However, the geometry is not really equal between the Scott Scale 29 and the Salsa El Mariachi, especially considering the head tube angle of the Salsa is 72 degrees on a Medium, whereas the Scott is 69.5. So I'd compare one of them to something you've ridden in the past, and make a purchase based upon that.
 

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I would probably go with the Salsa over the Giant based on the geometry and the components on the bike. This and it has some really nice dropouts that let you change it to a SS, and comes with a 2x10 which I much prefer over 3x9/10, but that is personal preference.

I do think steel has a possibility to be more compliant than aluminum, but it is purely manufacturing. I find my SC Dillinger (aluminum) more compliant but stiffer than my friend's Spot Longboard steel. My friend even agreed with that assessment. I have no experience with a Scott..never rode one, probably never will unless someone is considering buying a Dillinger or Tallboy like mine and we are trading up for some miles.
 

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I have the 2011 El Mar 26lbs witha Reba stans 355 tubeless Sram x7 & x9 2x9 Salsa promoto flat bars aluminum and a 21lb Mamasita setup with a Niner carbon fork & xo 2x9 salsa promoto carbon flat bars.
all I can say is the Mamasita is faster where it needs to be "climbing"..

I also do endurance racing and that is where the Mamasita shines this bike is a race bike. Now the El Mar is also going to be used for racing on a few laps of a 24 hr race while the other is being cleaned.
The El Mar is my go to everyday mtb ride so if I could have only one It would be the Mamasita but if I quit racing it would be the El Mar.

So to the OP, how much endurance racing do you do? and how well do you do at it, are you say in the top 10, if you are and want to be in the top 5 then too hell with comfort your not going to get it unless you go with a FS 29er, don't get me wrong here, my bikes are comfortable but not after 12hrs in the saddle. If it was me and It's more about racing,, then the Scott is what I would get between the two.
one more thing gearjunky said it " A steel frame may flex a bit more than aluminum, but I couldn't perceive a difference" that is my experience. Also the El Mar is not a flexy steel bike like.
 
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