Salsa El Mariachi and On One Inbred 29er
I can sort of help as I’ve just build up an Inbred (SS only version).
For the money I cannot fault it. If it were more money I would be conscerned by the weight but it isn’t so its not!
I cannot see that the comparison between an Inbred and El Mar is particularly fair.
The two are markedly different not necessarily in what they do but how they approach it.
I built this for a shade over the cost of a El Mar frame:
Hope Hoops, Salsa fork, Thomson bits BB7s etc. A mix of new/classifieds/eBay.Posted 3 years ago
I’ve actually ridden an inbred 29er recently. I liked it. If we remove the fact an inbred 29er frame is a third of the price of an El Mar. How do they compare?
I’d be interested in hearing from some El Mar owners on whether they are heavy, how they ride etc.
The two are markedly different not necessarily in what they do but how they approach it
How so? apart from the price obviously.Posted 3 years agotomdSubscriber
I have a 2014 El Mariachi. It’s a really nice bike, very nicely finished frame. It’s a good balance of stiffness and comfort and is just a blast to ride on Singletrack. My full sus hasn’t had a look in since I built it which is saying a lot for a fully rigid bike.
The only thing I would say against it is value for money. It has the adjustable rear wheel malarky and swapable drop outs. I have it ajusted to the shortest wheel base and i can’t see me changing this so the adjustability hasn’t turned out to be a big plus. The changeable drop outs are nice if I want to change to SS in the future, but they are very pricey. Also, the mech hanger is part of the drop out so if you break it it’s ££££ for a new one.
So all in it’s a lovely frame, rides very well and is future proofed drop out wise. If you’re looking for more of a hack bike or ultimate VFM maybe worth looking elsewhere.Posted 3 years agoscotroutesSubscriber
I recently sold an El Mariachi and I used to ride an Inbred 26er. I don’t know if there’s much difference between the latter and its clown-wheeled cousin.
The El Mariachi is definitely a nicer bike to ride, especially if you’re running a nice light rigid fork. It just wants to change line quicker and is more comfortable. Although I did take it on some fairly long rides, I just found the Inbred a bit “dead”. I’ve used the El Mariachi for some multi-day bikepacking stuff and it handles that really well.
Neither are light.
Finish (well, quality of paint) is better on the El Mariachi.Posted 3 years agocarlphillipsMember
I’ve just finished building an inbred 29er (rigid but geared) like matey above the full build cost around the same as an el mar frame.
is the el mar going to give me good value if you factor in the extra price? that’s up to you to decide. its certainly easier to set up ss with the adjustable dropouts.
All I will say is i like the way the inbred rides a lot, and I mainly ride my 150mm trail bike and a dh, rigid is actually ok!
will be riding it with rack/panniers on for this weekends devon coast to coast with the mrs.Posted 3 years agotomdSubscriber
@tomd – Is your El Mar geared? Would you say it’s a heavy frame?
It’s 2×10 geared. It feels light to ride, and climbs very well so I’m not planning on lightening it. If I wanted light i wouldn’t have been looking at steel hardtails!
According to Salsa a medium frame is 5.3lbs. For reference a Cotic Solaris 19″ is claimed at 4.9lbs and on here someone said their 29er inbred for 5.5lbs. So it is quite a heavy frame, but the drop outs will be a fair chunk of that.Posted 3 years ago
Why should the KM be on my list? What’s so good about it?
Worth considering if only because it’s quite similar to the 2 on your list and sits between them in terms of cost.
I have one, I like it. That being said that I haven’t ridden a inbred 29er (though i did ride a Scandal for a couple of rides) nor have I ridden a El mar but my mate has one and he likes his.
Fundamentally they are all steel 29ers with similar ish geo.
Pick the one with the colour you like the best.Posted 3 years agoSinglespeed_ShepMember
I’ve had both and really like both,
I’m still with my salsa and have had it about 18 months, I think the ride on the salsa is livelier and slightly smoother plus i like the finish of it.
On the scales they aren’t light but when riding it doesn’t feel like you are lugging something around with you, but i’m used XL 29er steel frames.
Still don’t think either are as good as the 1st gen swift I had years ago.Posted 3 years agoSimpsanMember
I’ve had both, an inbred set up as a single speed and an El Mariachi set up 1×9 and 2×10.Posted 3 years ago
VFM wise you can’t fault the Inbred but my preference would be the El Mar purely for the swinging dropouts and 44mm head tube . Weight wise there is very little in it and the spend on a good set of wheels would be a good investment.
BUT overall my bike preference is my singlespeed Vassago Jabberwocky, longer top tube than both the above just feels right.
Not helping am I 😀takisawa2Subscriber
Not ridden an El-Mar. Stroked one once, & that one lingering touch was enough to tell me it would be a nice ride.
Have owned an Inbred, & a had decent ride on a Karate Monkey.
They were very simillar, but the KM was better finished.
Inbred rode best as SS, with a Swift steel fork.
The FS bike had stood for best part of a year so got sold off to build a “nicer” steel 29er…
Shortlist was Swift, Pace RC129, El-Mar, Niner SIR.9
The Niner won. Its a lot lighter, (but a lot pricier).
For that you get a lovely riding bike though.
Was worth every penny.
If I was buying again now I’d look at the Stooge.Posted 3 years ago
That looks good.
I’ve got a Swift (old model) and an SS-specific Inbred 29er and have ridden an El Mariachi. They’re all great. The differences are pretty minor and all the chain tensioning systems work equally brilliantly IME. I think my favourite is the Swift, by a whisker.
However, the Inbred is incredible VFM and doesn’t look or ride like a cheap frame IMO.
If I was buying now, I’d buy a Stooge.Posted 3 years agobruceandlaurenMember
I was looking at an El-Mar discounted frame from Triton cycles back in Jan. The price of the alternator dropouts put me off.
Went for a 2nd hand Ritchey P29-er steel frame with carbon rigid fork, plus matching red stem, bars and seat post for £500. Bought Paragon Machine Works drop-out options for SS and geared with thru-axle.
It rides wonderfully as a SS and built up with Easton Haven wheels to 22lbs in 19″ size.Posted 3 years agoplacid_casualMember
I rode an Inbred 26er for years (it’s still in the shed) before a Scandal 29er (as an early-adopter), an On-One Race 29er (beautiful to look at until it broke) and now have an Salsa ElMar singlespeed:
Salsa El Mariachi Singlespeed by placid casual, on Flickr
Not only is it stunning to look at, but it rides so much better than the others. The triple (count ’em) butted tubing makes for a springier, livelier feel that when coupled with big wheels means that you’ll not miss any added bounce (read weight and complication/cost).Posted 3 years ago
It isn’t as light as it looks but the weight has never affected how it rides, especially with a singlespeed when climbing = standing up regardless.bacondoublecheeMember
I bought an El Mar SS (the nice white one) last winter and haven’t used my full sus since. The reason I chose the El Mar was adaptability – geared, singlespeed, QR or 142×12 rear, 15mm rigid steel fork, tapered head tube and big rear tyre clearance. This all meant I could swap bits between my bikes easily. At the time the only comparable frame was the Niner Sir 9, and my demo ride didn’t amaze me as much as the Salsa.
I have ridden it rigid SS all winter, rigid geared and geared with front suspension. At the moment I have settled on rigid geared (1×10) for the summer. I much prefer the handling with the rigid forks to my Rebas (not sure if they are stiffer or just a different offset but the front tracks way better) and it hasn’t got tiresome yet – even on longer rides like Dyfi.
I can’t compare it to the Inbred though!Posted 3 years agocarbonfiendMember
Yeah +1 for El Mariachi here as well. Got the 2014 SS absolutely love it. Very lively & responsive yeah it weighs a bit but that doesn’t bother me TBH. Holds the line impeccably & it’s pretty damn fast. In fact I would say it’s probably my favourite bike. My mate rides a SS inbred with me he seems more than content with it but it doesn’t rank as highly in his league as the El Mariachi does in mine.Posted 3 years ago
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