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Belltown Brazer
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Niner MCR vs Salsa Mamasita vs Salsa El Marachi vs IF Steel Deluxe

Or any others fitting in with this group.

I've found that the bike is like a hammer for me. Use it until it is broken and then replace. I tried going the sweet custom route...and it was sweet. But, just like every other bike in my 20 years of riding (except my 1993 Yo Eddy) it has broken.

I ride in New England, with all of the frame abuse that that implies.

I guess the IF would be great in that it would be a grandson to my much-loved Yo Eddy (now sidelined for serious riding, obviously, by it's little wheels...though it does make a great driveway bike for rolling around with the kids). However, it's $1k more than the others...and reference my hammer comment above. The hammer comment is tempered by the fact that the Yo never failed.

The Salsa products not too sure about. I think that the Mama is cool...but probably just begging to be destroyed too. The El M is neat, if I can get over the TT brace.

The Niner MCR is probably the ticket. 853 tubing. Not too cheap, nor too expensive. Comes in Tang. Do the Niner hardtails have lowish a BB?

Again, thanks in advance for the opinions.

B
 

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Bikeoholic
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537 Posts
I've owned both the Salsa El Mariachi and a niner SIR 9 (same frame + ebb as the MCR) I can say both had a nice smooth steel ride. I didn't break either of them and they both came off as excellently built. I can say that the niner had a more aggressive feel when I was riding it. I would say it felt like it road much faster, but this is at the expense of long ride comfort and stability I think. This is where the El Mariachi makes up ground. For endurance races and long XC rides I love the El. For short XC races I prefered the SIR.

Concerning the Mamasita thrown in the mix, I'm sure it would have a more aggressive ride than then El Mariachi and is lighter to boot. I wouldn't be too concerned about the carbon fiber seatstays, I really doubt they would fail in hard riding conditions.

Any bike ridden hard enough will fail, and all these bikes are great, however, if you know you know you are hard on bikes you should get the cheapest one that makes you happy, ride it until it breaks then buy another.
 

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I have a Mariachi

I live in New England as well. I love the bike. IF's are really cool, but you could buy 5 El Mariachis with the same money. If you are able to fit properly on a production bike, go for the El Mariachi. If you break it, buy another. You can pick up last years frame for like 400 bucks brand new.
My 2 cents,
M.
 

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MD- I owned the Salsa and the IF. I broke the Salsa but great CS led to a new frame. About this same time, I finally received an insurance settlement from getting creamed by a car on my road bike, so I went for the IF...
I told them on my custom fit form that I intended to use the bike "as a hammer." That it would see hours and hours of technical singletrack riding, that I'm willing to try, with fear, a 3-4' drop, that I race endurance events, and that I intended to use it for loaded bikepacking. My stated priority was having a bike that "wouldn't break."
Now, I'm not going to be suprised if the bike does break, because I am not gentle. But, I do feel MUCH more confident knowing that my criteria were taken into account from tube selection to welding to finish. EDIT: And it's the best riding bike I've ever had....
That's what I got.
 

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Which of your two hardtails broke? The black one?

The El Mariachi has no top tube brace in 2008.

But I've got two words for you if you want a nice Hardtail and can wait........ready?
.......
Ted
Wojcik

Seriously - give him a call or send him an email and/or check out his latest project over in the Frame Design thread at Ridemonkey.com

Best,

Mark
 

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Ding!, Ding!, Ding!

MMcG said:
Which of your two hardtails broke? The black one?

The El Mariachi has no top tube brace in 2008.

But I've got two words for you if you want a nice Hardtail and can wait........ready?
.......
Ted
Wojcik

Seriously - give him a call or send him an email and/or check out his latest project over in the Frame Design thread at Ridemonkey.com

Best,

Mark
THAT IS THE CORRECT ANSWER :thumbsup: . I have one, am 6ft 2in and 260 lbs (winter weight), and ride in New England and all over the northeast. Ted built me a frame that is lighter than my 26in custom (Curtlo) 4.5lbs to 4.8lbs, is stiffer in the bb (no flex :eekster: ) more compliant in the rear, and is nimble like my voodoo bizango and norco team issue 26ers. I looked into IF and everyone else before choosing Ted and he didnt let me down. He built me a bike that is far more capable than I am, that I can withstand the pounding my clydesdale self puts on it while being lighter than it has any right to be. July will be two years since I built it up and the paint still looks new. If he can do that for me, he can do what ever you need him to do.
Here is a pic of me, and one of my bike so you can see the load my bike is dealing with, lol.
 

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