You'd be hard pressed to find a more versatile and functional bike for off-road riding than a hardtail 29er. Make it from steel, and you have a bike that will last very near forever, tackle almost any terrain you can find, and won't dynamite your wallet on the way. The Salsa El Mariachi 3 is just such a bike. Salsa's Kung Fu Cro-Moly tubing is triple-butted to reduce weight without sacrificing strength at the joints, so you never have to worry about cracking the frame at a weak point. Salsa's innovative Alternator dropouts also allow quick-and-easy singlespeed conversions—whether they're planned, or just a way to get you home after a massive mid-ride mechanical. The Alternators utilize a swing-style design, and are kept in place with the aid of tension bolts, so you don't have to worry about getting both sides right with just bolt -- torque. This swinging style also means that you can tune the ride characteristics of your El Mariachi easily -- keep it in tight for short effective chainstays and quick handling, or move it out to lengthen the chainstays and add stability.
El Mariachi, like all Salsa bikes, lends itself to the lengthy and epic, and is an ideal candidate for multi-day backcountry bikepacking. This is not to say, of course, that you can't race it -- El Mariachi eats up short-track XC races just as well as it handles hundred-mile days through the woods.
SRAM 2x10 drivetrain maximizes usable gear ratios while reducing weight and complexity
Rock Shox Rekon TK Gold 29er fork features 100 millimeters of squish to take the edge off on long rides
Avid Elixir 1 brakes with a 180-millimeter front rotor and a 160-millimeter rear offer good modulation and stopping power
27x36 low gear will get you up and over anything that's worth riding over
Wide Salsa Pro Moto Flat handlebars give you better control in the twisties and plenty of leverage of tractor climbs
Schwalbe Rapid Rob tires have plenty of low-profile knobs for low rolling resistance, but larger shoulder knobs for good grip in turns
1.125 in x 1.5 in
RockShox Recon Gold TK 29
32 hole Alex XD Comp 29er
32 hole Formula
DT Swiss Champion SG
Front Derailleur Mount:
SRAM X7 (short cage)
39 x 27 T
Crank Arm Length:
[19-inch frame] 175 mm
Avid Elixir 1
Avid Elixir 1
Salsa Pro Moto Flat Bar (31.8mm clamp)
[19-inch frame] 100 mm
11 - 36 T SRAM
Schwalbe Rapid Rob
29 in x 2.25 in
30 Salsa non-QR
WTB Pure V
Cables / Housing:
Measured Effective Top-Tube Length:
[19-inch frame] 24.4 in
El Mariachi Frame Geometry
Seat Tube Length
Effective Top Tube
Head Tube Angle
Seat Tube Angle
17.5 - 18.2in (44.5-46.2cm)
17.5 - 18.2in (44.5-46.2cm)
17.5 - 18.2in (44.5-46.2cm)
17.5 - 18.2in (44.5-46.2cm)
Head Tube Length
Terms And Conditions
This Usage Agreement (the "Agreement") governs your conduct while using various services on the web site Competitive Cyclist and its affiliate web sites (collectively, the "Site"). All references to "we," "us," and "our" shall mean Competitive Cyclist and all references to "you" and "your" shall mean the user of the Site and Site Services. This Agreement applies to various services and activities on the Site as well as to gear review and product ratings (collectively, "Site Services"). Please read this Agreement carefully.
BY ACCESSING, BROWSING, AND USING THE SITE, ANY SITE SERVICES AND OTHER SERVICES THEREIN, YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THIS AGREEMENT AND ITS TERMS. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO THIS AGREEMENT OR ANY SUBSEQUENT MODIFICATION THEREOF, DO NOT ACCESS, BROWSE OR OTHERWISE USE THE SITE OR SITE SERVICES, INCLUDING THE SUBMISSION OF ANY REVIEWS OR COMMENTS.
Any comments, reviews (including gear reviews and product ratings), posts, feedback, questions, answers, notes, messages, images, video, audio, materials, documents, data, graphics, ideas, suggestions or other communications (collectively, "User Content") you submit on the Site are not private or proprietary. By submitting User Content on or through the Site, you grant, assign and transfer to Competitive Cyclist all of your rights, title and interest, including without limitation, all intellectual property rights and moral rights, in and to such User Content. To the extent the preceding assignment and transfer is ineffective, you hereby grant Competitive Cyclist an irrevocable, royalty-free, worldwide, perpetual right and license to use, copy, modify, adapt, display, publish, archive, store, distribute, reproduce and create derivative works based upon such User Content, in any form, media, software or technology of any kind now existing or developed in the future.
By submitting such User Content on or through the Site, you are confirming that (a) you are the sole author of the User Content and the User Content originated with you and not copied in whole or in part from any other work; (b) you have obtained all necessary permissions associated with the User Content, including without limitation permissions relating to copyrights, trademarks, rights of publicity and/or rights of privacy; (c) the User Content does not contain hate speech or profanity and is not unlawful, threatening, abusive, harassing, tortuous, defamatory, vulgar, libelous, obscene, racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable, an invasion of another's privacy, or otherwise in violation of this Agreement; (d) that you are not a minor and have the legal right and capacity to enter into and comply with this Agreement; (e) such User Content does not and will not, in any way, violate or breach any of the terms of this Agreement; and (f) Competitive Cyclist shall not in any circumstances be required to pay or incur any sums to any person or entity as a result of its use or exploitation of the User Content.
With respect to your conduct on the Site or while using the Site Services, you agree not to: (a) attempt to disguise the origin of any User Content transmitted to the Site Services whether through the Site or any third party site; (b) act in any manner that negatively affects other users' ability to use the Site and Site Services; (c) impersonate any person or entity, including without limitation, a manufacturer or owner of any product, or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with a person or entity; (d) interfere with the Site or Site Services, or servers or networks connected to the Site or Site Services, or disobey any requirements, procedures, policies, or regulations of networks connected to the Site or Site Services; (e) upload, post, or otherwise transmit any User Content that with respect to the Site Services: (i) is not relevant to the product, service, person or entity being reviewed; (ii) you do not have a right to transmit under any law or under contractual or fiduciary relationships (by way of example but not limitation, inside information, proprietary and confidential information learned or disclosed as part of employment relationships or under nondisclosure agreements); (iii) contains software viruses or any other computer code, files or programs designed to interrupt, destroy or limit the functionality of any computer software or hardware or telecommunications equipment; or (iv) is unsolicited or unauthorized advertising, promotional materials, "junk mail," "spam," "chain letters," "pyramid schemes," or any other form of solicitation.
User Content does not reflect the views of Competitive Cyclist, and Competitive Cyclist does not represent or guarantee the truthfulness, accuracy, completeness, timeliness, integrity, quality or reliability of any User Content, nor does Competitive Cyclist endorse or support any opinions expressed in any User Content. In no event shall Competitive Cyclist have or be construed to have any responsibility or liability for or in connection with any User Content, Any gear reviews and/or product ratings submitted on the Site, if displayed, are displayed for entertainment and informational purposes only. Under no circumstances will Competitive Cyclist be liable in any way for any User Content, including but not limited to, any errors or omissions in any User Content, or for any loss or damage of any kind incurred as a result of the use of any User Content posted, emailed or otherwise transmitted via the Site or Site Services.
If Competitive Cyclist determines, in our sole and absolute discretion, that you or any User Content you submit violates this Agreement, we reserve the right, at any time, without notice and without limiting any and all other rights Competitive Cyclist may have under this Agreement, to: (a) refuse to allow you to submit further User Content; (b) remove and delete your User Content; (c) revoke your registration and right to use the User Content Submission Features; and (d) use any technological, legal, operational or other means available to enforce the terms of this Agreement, including, without limitation, blocking specific IP addresses or deactivating your registration, access to the Site and Site Services using your e-mail address, and your user name and password. Without limiting the foregoing, once User Content is submitted to the Site, Competitive Cyclist may take any or no action with respect to such User Content, including without limitation, deleting, editing, modifying, rejecting, or refusing to post such User Content, but is under no obligation to offer you the opportunity to edit, delete or otherwise modify User Content once it has been submitted. Competitive Cyclist shall have no duty to attribute authorship of User Content to you and shall not be obligated to enforce any form of attribution by third parties.
If, despite the foregoing assignment and transfer of rights in the User Content, it is determined that you retain moral rights (including the rights of attribution or integrity) in the User Content, you hereby declare that: (a) you do not require that any personally identifying information be used in connection with the User Content or any derivative works of or upgrades or updates thereto; (b) you have no objection to the publication, use, modification, deletion and exploitation of the User Content by Competitive Cyclist or its licensees, successors or assigns; (c) you forever waive and agree not to claim or assert any entitlement to any and all moral rights of an author in any of the User Content; and (d) you forever release Competitive Cyclist, and its licensees, successors and assigns from any claims that you could otherwise assert against Competitive Cyclist by virtue of any such moral rights.
You are prohibited from violating the security of any system or network compromising the Site or the Site Services, including but not limited to the following: (a) unauthorized access to or use of data, systems, or networks, including any attempt to probe, scan or test the vulnerability of the Site or Site Services or to breach security or authentication measures; (b) unauthorized monitoring of data or traffic on the Site or of the Site Services; (c) interference with the Site or Site Services including without limitation, any type of flooding technique or deliberate attempt to overload the system such as denial or service attacks; (d) forging of a message header or any part of a message header; or (e) using manual or electronic means to avoid any use or access limitation placed on this Site or the Site Services. Such violations may result in criminal or civil liability.
Competitive Cyclist reserves the right to report any activity or persons that Competitive Cyclist suspects has violated any law or regulation to appropriate law enforcement officials, regulators, or other appropriate third parties (including the disclosure of appropriate subscriber information). Competitive Cyclist may also cooperate with appropriate law enforcement agencies to assist in the investigation and prosecution of any illegal conduct. Indirect or attempted violations of this Agreement and actual or attempted violations thereof by a third party on behalf of any user shall be considered violations of this Agreement by such user.
I picked up this bike in springtime to return to a sport I've neglected for about 10 years. I always rode hardtails and started out looking for something in a 26in. I'm glad I made the move to 29er. I prefer technical trails, but I'm tall and the 29er fits much better than any of my old rides. This thing handles techy trails with ease that makes me feel like I never left the sport.
As far as componentry everything works like a charm. My only complaint is that the brakes are a bit loud sometimes, and the shock shipped without any air in it so I had to buy a shock pump. I put it together myself without any issues (the wheels are trued before the bike leaves Salsa) and it went together very easily.
I bought this for my wife to use XC riding. She is more into downhill and freeriding but wanted something to ride on the trails and something she could climb efficiently with. Because she is normally on a bike with a much more slack head angle it was hard for her to get used to being so far over the front wheel. After she got used to it she really liked the bike. It came setup with X5 and X7 which shift really slow so we upgraded to X9. Other then the derailleurs and shifters we left the bike stock. It a fun bike and a great value for the money. Anyone looking to get a 29er but doesn't want to pay an arm and a leg look no further.
The ride is softer than you'd think for a hardtail thanks to the steel frame and 29" wheels. Still getting used to sitting up a little higher than a "normal" bike but it still feels quite nimble through winding sections. Love the frame and fork, may upgrade components here and there but it's a solid build and a great value.