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I have a 2012 Salsa El Mariachi 3, completely stock and I am going to start making some upgrades this year. I have about $1,000 to spend. Where should I start. Thinking new wheels but that'll probably take the whole budget. Here's the current stock spec:


Drivetrain:

Crankset FSA Comet
Chainring FSA 27/39T
Bottom Bracket FSA External Bearing
Chain KMC X10
Cassette SRAM PG-1030,
Front Derailleur SRAM X5, 2 x 10
Rear Derailleur SRAM X7

Components

Fork RockShox Recon Gold TK 29er
Headset Cane Creek 10-Series
Handlebar Salsa Pro Moto 3
Stem Salsa Pro Moto 3
Front Brake SRAM Elixir 1, 185mm, 6-Bolt
Rear Brake SRAM Elixir 1, 160mm, 6-Bolt
Brake Levers SRAM Elixir 1

Tires Schwalbe Rapid Rob 29 x 2.25"
Front Shifter SRAM X-5 Trigger, 2 x 10
Rear Shifter SRAM X-5 Trigger, 10-Speed
Saddle WTB Silverado

Wheels

Front Hub Formula, Sealed Bearing, 32H, Black
Rear Hub Formula, Sealed Bearing, 32H, Black
Quick Release Formula
Spokes DT Swiss, Champion SG, Black
Nipples DT Swiss, Brass, Silver
Rims Alex XD Comp 29er, 32H
 

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I would:

- Upgrade the wheels to something like Easton Havens or Easton EA70 XCTs ($400ish used in mint condition)
- SLX Brakes (~$150)
- Depending on where you ride, set it up with a 1x10 30t front, 11-36 or 11-40 rear. That'll be another $200'ish (XT Shadow+ rear der., 30t Race Face ring, rear shifter then possibly a new chain and cassette)

If it were me personally, I'd sell the entire bike and build something completely new/used with exactly what I want. $1000 is a lot to put into a two year old Salsa El Mariachi.
 

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I have that frame in Singlespeed and my GF has it with gears.

Stans Arch EX wheelset : $ 640 + tubeless with stans juice
Carbon Bar (720-740 wide) : $ 130
Carbon seatpost $100
XT cassette $90
ESI Extra Chunky grips $19

Total: $ 979 approx.
 

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Spend some on a personal trainer and/or a skills coach. We can always improve in these areas, and they will make the biggest improvement in you riding experience.

You'll have money left over to replace those awful elixer 1's.
 

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SLX brakes are 111.36/pr. shipped from Ribble with CASH10. Jenson will match.
XT 11-36 cassette 42.69.
SLX Shadow Plus rear derailleur 43.30
XT M780 shifters 66.81/pr.
Shimano HG95 chain 21.03
The rest for wheels. LB 35mm rims 350 Dt hubs Sapim Laser spokes and brass nipples you build.
 

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Although you could do better using ebay/used and the brakes are cheaper elsewhere, on JensonUsa I did:
Stan's Arch wheels
SLX brakes and rotors
X9 Type 2 RD
XT cassette
RaceFace 32t narrow/wide ring
total: $1016.41

FWIW, decent used Arch's sell around here for $300-325 a set. The X9 RD was expensive on Jenson, you could shop that and the brakes around. So some looking around could get you more cool stuff. Good luck!
 

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SLX brakes are 111.36/pr. shipped from Ribble with CASH10. Jenson will match.
XT 11-36 cassette 42.69.
SLX Shadow Plus rear derailleur 43.30
XT M780 shifters 66.81/pr.
Shimano HG95 chain 21.03
The rest for wheels. LB 35mm rims 350 Dt hubs Sapim Laser spokes and brass nipples you build.
Nice deals! Even better.
 

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Wheels. You will see the biggest difference if you buy lighter wheels. Everything should be upgraded if YOU feel it needs to be. The drivetrain is fine if it does the job. Same goes for the brakes.

I would also see what's worn out and needs replacing. Buy a chain if need be before you need a new cassette. Check the fork to see if it needs a service.
 

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1x10 with Raceface Narrow-Wide. 1x10 is one of the best upgrades you can do. It saves some weight, there is less maintenance, and it is more efficient.
Shimano Deore XT shadow plus rear derailleur.
Shimano SLX or XT brakes.
 

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Surly SS cog and spacer kit.
N/W chain ring
Salsa Cro-Moto Grande Fork with tapered steerer tube and 15mm thru axle.
more betterer brakes (XT's are nice)
Some Stan's wheels, upgrade to Hope Pro2 Evo hubs if possible on budget (hint: make sure you shop around. They are not that pricey if you look a bit.)

If anything is left over, get carbon bars.
 

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also, if you want to do the 1x10 thing but use a SRAM RD/shifter combo, X7 rear d's are available in type 2 form this year. Do it to it.
 

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I agree with smmoken. A grand seems like a lot to put into that bike - not because it's not a nice bike, just because it doesn't seem very cost effective.
 

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I agree with smmoken. A grand seems like a lot to put into that bike - not because it's not a nice bike, just because it doesn't seem very cost effective.
It's a nice frame, if you wanted to start with that as a foundation to have something rideable while you build up a custom set up to your liking, you could do a lot worse. I have a buddy that built one up with X01 and a rigid fork at right around 21 pounds with stan's crests and 2.2 continetal X-kings. I have an El Mariachi Ti and it's my dream bike. It's versatile, I have SS and Geared set-ups, rigid and suspended set-ups. It's great!
 

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What kind of Terrain do you ride? What are current strong week points? Everything comfortable 4+ hours in? What are the goals with the upgarde more durable, lighter weight, more comfortable? Do you need gear or have maintainence costs (fork rebuild, chain/cassette replacement, new bibs, new shoes, bearings in headset or bb, helmets go bad?)

everyone loves to upgrade but for me order is this.
- Upgrade for Comfort and Fit First - Saddle, Bars, Seatpost, Grip
- Upgrade for Drivetrain smoothness and reliability - Lot of suggestions for 1x10 on hers if that is for you good way to go, if not always deals on Shimano Xt or SRAM X9
- Upgrade for rotating weight wheels and crankset
- Fork upgrade is nice

Oh give your self options on tires never bad to have more than one set around.

That is a solid bike that you cna keep for a long time so don't be afraid to make it how you want just make sure you are addressing items that get you out riding more and are proven for the long haul if you are trying to make a big one time investment.
 
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