Another El Mariachi dies

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  • Another El Mariachi dies
  • Premier Icon tomd
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    https://drive.google.com/file/d/13t6psAfb47e-1byHHETU8lsqff1-yQPL/view?usp=drivesdk

    How repairable is this? It’s quite a nice Salsa El Mariachi but I’m wondering if it’s time to let go. I remember a few months back someone snapping one in the same place.

    Premier Icon mick_r
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    Molgrips I think did the same.

    New stay not that hard to do, especially if not fussed about it being a perfect match with the lh stay.

    andrewh
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    Steel frames are repairable, one of the many qualities I like aout them, decent frame-builder should be able to sort that. Whereabouts are you?
    Whether it is financially viable OTH…

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    I haven’t taken mine in yet, but I was quoted £120 for a new stay and £30 for a paint strip from Argos cycles. It’s fixable.

    Premier Icon tomd
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    Thanks Molgrips. That’s not bad actually, but I’m based in the North East (England) so I guess with postage that’d be £200 odd.

    Premier Icon ratherbeintobago
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    Same age as mine, that…

    How did it happen?

    Premier Icon tomd
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    Just riding along. I’ve been riding it singlespeed for the last 9 months which may have contributed to its untimely demise. There was a minor bit of chainsuck damage near where the failure happened so that may have provided start point for the crack.

    It’s 5 years old, been used regularly but not an insane amount. I’m slightly disapointed, it seems like they’re prone to failing at that point.

    Premier Icon ratherbeintobago
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    @molgrips was yours singlespeed too?

    Mine is geared but is also a 2014 frame so I’ll be keeping a close eye. Again, used regularly but not an insane amount, but gets a bit of a pounding on some cobbled descents on my local loop…

    Premier Icon teesoo
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    Are they all prone to failing, or just ones of a certain age? Mine is 2012, I think (still has the straight seat tube). It’s had a little bit of damage around there from chainsuck. I will definitely keep an eye on it now.

    Premier Icon ratherbeintobago
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    Wasn’t there a change in 2013?

    From memory the chap that designed it went off his own way and set up Advocate/Esker and the Hayduke is broadly a modern El Mar; whether you can get them in the U.K. is another matter…

    Premier Icon nedrapier
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    There are frame builders in the northeast, too! Where are you?

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    @molgrips was yours singlespeed too?

    Nope. I had installed the BB with the spacer on the wrong side, the triple chainset was to close to the chainstay so when I had chainsuck it got really jammed, and that gouged the chainstay really badly. There’s a thread on here somewhere with pics.

    Best replacement frame I saw when looking was either Big Bro or Shand Bahookie depending on budget. But both are more expensive and less desirable to me than a repair. I bloody love that bike, the only bike I’ve ever felt that way about.

    Premier Icon ratherbeintobago
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    The only thing about mine I’d change is a TA back axle, but I’ve summarily failed to find the right Alternator plates (or at least at a sensible price). Not all that bothered about having a dropper.

    Not sure if Stanton Sherpa is a suitable alternative?

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    Depends what you like about the El Mar.

    It has a 71 degree HA which for me is one of the main draws. I bought mine as a hybrid to ride on and off road, because of the amount of road needed to explore the Valleys from here. And I think the steeper angles really help that. It feels as positive as a road bike when you’re putting the power down on climbs or flat. I don’t do much proper tech on it unless it’s to simply get down carefully, so it’s not a hindrance elsewhere for me. And it’s rigid which mitigates the OTB risk with a steep HA.

    That Stanton has a 67.5 HA which would be miles better for technical fun, but I suspect less good at covering distance on trails and roads.

    Premier Icon tomd
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    Molgrips I think you’re spot on with where the El Mar excels. Tbh, these days something like a Stanton Sherpa would suit be better as I’m straight onto steep trails from the house with little need to mile munch. That said, the Salsa is a fun and engaging ride.

    The problem with getting a Sherpa would be I’d need a new fork, new rear wheel and new seatpost as a minimum on top the £700 for the frame.

    There are frame builders in the northeast, too! Where are you?

    Teesside. I’ve had some recommendations for framebuilders in Richmond and Ferryhill. Cost is looking like ~£100 ex paint for a new stay. Somoene locally has very kindly offered to weld it up to get me going again in the mean time.

    Premier Icon tomd
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    Balls.

    I had a closer look this evening and the non drive side chain stay has a crack running about 1/4 of the way round.

    Obviously no chain suck on that side but it failed at the crimp in exactly the same place as the drive side.

    There’s a mtbr thread on it, apparently it’s a thing for these frames.

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    Hmm. I wonder if I should get both chainstays replaced then? You get a discount at Argos, and obvs only one respray.

    Premier Icon ratherbeintobago
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    There’s a mtbr thread on it, apparently it’s a thing for these frames.

    Hmmm. MTBR thread here

    Not sure what the warranty position would be – think it was Ison back then, and it’s not like there’s an equivalent current model.

    Premier Icon sillyoldman
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    Is the chainstay crimped on both sides at that point?

    Premier Icon tomd
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    Yes it’s symmetrical. The failure on my non drive side looks exactly like the pics on the mtbr thread.

    I’m going to estimate it’s done between 5000 and 7500km. I’m 87kg so heavy ish but that’s not insane milleage for a supposedly quality steel frame.

    Premier Icon ratherbeintobago
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    What does Argos’ proposed replacement chainstay look like? Would they have the crimp?

    a supposedly quality steel frame.

    Yep, was hoping mine would last a long time.

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    Good question, I’m curious – I don’t want to lose any tyre clearance. I mean frame builders can crimp for this kind of thing but I don’t know if Argos will.

    He asked me if it was a curved chainstay, because he couldn’t curve them – but I assumed that meant at the back, for heel clearance and so on, because every chainstay is curved at the front isn’t it?

    Hopefully I can get over there tomorrow so I’ll let you know what he says.

    trumpton
    Member

    I’d just replace it as it sounds like a flawed design and the other side will probably go soon.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
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    I’d just replace it as it sounds like a flawed design and the other side will probably go soon.

    Wouldn’t have thought so, the loads on the drive side are going to be higher and cycle significantly more times than the NDS stay.

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    In theory yes but did you read the thread? Loads of NDS failures too.

    Premier Icon tomd
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    Surely your NDS will cycle at exactly the same frequency side to side and up and down by the same magnitute as the DS? The aggrevativing factor for many on the DS is chainsuck marks.

    Premier Icon ratherbeintobago
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    Hopefully I can get over there tomorrow so I’ll let you know what he says.

    Thanks, and good luck!

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    I’m planning to trace the decal and ask someone to reproduce it along with the Salsa graphic so I can have some printed up. If anyone else plans a respray let me know as I should be able to supply 2015 era decals.

    Lost the head badge somewhere in the garage though!

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    Does crimping always weaken a chainstay? Surely it’s quite common? Or is it just crimped too much on this bike?

    Premier Icon ratherbeintobago
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    If anyone else plans a respray let me know as I should be able to supply 2015 era decals.

    Possibly. Depends on a) if it’s actually cracked and b) if whoever does the repair needs to repaint the whole bike and not just the rear triangle (as I quite like the orange)

    Does crimping always weaken a chainstay? Surely it’s quite common? Or is it just crimped too much on this bike?

    What’s the alternative? Plate?

    Premier Icon mick_r
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    It doesn’t exactly “weaken it” but:-
    It is yielded / taken beyond the elastic limit during crimping (but that also happens during the other bending / swaging / drawing when the stay was made).
    It creates stress raisers where fatigue cracking can start.
    Bike tubes are long slender members that are prone to buckling failures. The crimps give it a nice starting point to buckle from (more an issue for down tubes than stays).

    I only crimp tubes if I have to – and have never had to crimp a nds stay. The Salsa has deep crimping on both stays. Throw in a thin tube = crack.

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    Well, a bike with less than 2.4″ tyre clearance wouldn’t need such a crimp would it?

    I’m going to have mine stripped then repaint it myself with spray.bike to keep costs down. If that turns out shite I’ll give it a few months then pay to have it done properly.

    I don’t think anyone could colour match mine, it’s metallic deep red.

    The Salsa has deep crimping on both stays. Throw in a thin tube = crack.

    So – either I ask to have it crimped less, and lose clearance, or he chooses a thicker stay?

    Premier Icon mick_r
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    Lots of alternatives. Easiest is better design (choose a different pre-bent stay that doesn’t need so much crimping). On that length of stay I can’t believe the nds needs much crimping (I make 29ers with stays down to 400mm – that needs some creativity).

    Making a 1 off plate will add cost / might not be an option at places like Argos. Other more mtb focused builders might be more amenable. Make sure whichever builder you use knows the worst case tyre and chainset combo you want to fit (or you might get a nasty surprise when rebuilding your shiny repainted frame).

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    On that length of stay I can’t believe the nds needs much crimping

    Hmm the bike dates from the days of triples though – perhaps that makes it harder to fit in?

    Can you recommend a builder besides Argos?

    Premier Icon mick_r
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    A triple has no influence on the nds 🙂

    Talk to Argos first as they are relatively close and you can take all the parts to trial. There are many different bends of chainstay Reynolds Columbus Deda etc. Even with crimps it will probably outlast the frame.

    Konga cycles in Finland sells a laser cut plate yoke to other framebuilders. I’d imagine it will add a lot of £…. Google it as there are a few UK places that use it.

    Otherwise use Google images to find other UK framebuilders that have solutions for 29ers.

    Premier Icon ratherbeintobago
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    Hmm the bike dates from the days of triples though – perhaps that makes it harder to fit in?

    Aye, I was particularly impressed to be told the biggest single ring I could run was 32t, but the I’m sufficiently unfit that it doesn’t actually matter.

    I don’t think anyone could colour match mine, it’s metallic deep red.

    I had it in my head you had the white with multicoloured decals singlespeed…

    Premier Icon mick_r
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    I get a bit carried away with chainstays…..

    Premier Icon ratherbeintobago
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    Konga

    @mick_r – is this the yoke you mean?

    Link to STW story

    Premier Icon mick_r
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    Yup that is the one. I think they do a few different sizes for plus tyres etc (and have seen it built shorter than that). Talon Cycles has one on his Instagram.

    Easy and cheap to get your own design laser cut, but it needs to be a decent grade steel. I hand cut an almost identical proto before seeing the Konga one – mine was just mild steel and too soft / yieldy.

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