Salsa El Mariachi: Owner Reviews

Salsa El Mariachi

2014 Salsa El Mariachi 2, at the intersection of Twilight and the East Connector near Munson Hills.

We’re big fans of the Salsa El Mariachi 29er hardtail. Here’s what Salsa says about it:

The El Mariachi is the 29er hardtail for slaying singletrack or getting your bikepacking trips on. Simple, comfortable and efficient, the frame features Alternator Dropouts that make the El Mariachi an even more versatile bike. Thru-axle, geared, singlespeed, fender mount or Rohloff dropout plates are all options should the spirit move you. The Alternator Dropouts also help you create a bailout gear for those SOL situations deep in the backcountry.

Titanium and steel models are available. Both provide a fantastic ride quality that won’t beat you up as you pour on the miles. Super-short 430mm chainstays offer ridiculous control as you carve up the trail.

Run your El Mariachi with suspension, or set it up with our Firestarter Carbon fork to truly customize your ride. You can even throw our Alternator Standard Rack and panniers on for some off-road touring—or staying out later than originally planned.

El Mariachi. The perfect singletrack soundtrack.

OK, so mtb, versatile, customizable, good. But marketing, right?

Here are a few reviews used with permission from 4 El Mariachi owners in Tallahassee (who, via Facebook group chat, were kind enough to share their opinions with a friend/customer who is considering one):

Chris, El Mariachi 3: Love mine; I’ve had other hard tails and currently a full suspension 29er as well. You couldn’t give me an aluminum hardtail; steel is the only way to go, IMO. The steel soaks up a ton of chatter, the faster you ride it- the smoother it feels. I put Stan’s Crests tubeless wheels on mine and it really came alive as a result. The lighter wheels are a huge advantage over the stock set. I have put over 2k miles on my El Mar for the year I’ve owned it and actually ride it more than my full suspension rig.

Rick, titanium model: I dig the El Mariachi. I’ve done some long 50 mile plus hauls and it’s super comfortable, good flex for a hardtail and fits me just right. I’ve been eying the new singlespeed model and may take the leap. As the guys at the shop say, my family is the Salsa-eist family in town. Got to maintain. [editor’s note: within the family they have an El Mariachi, a Fargo, a Warbird, and a Colossal]

Randy, single-speed: I really enjoy my new SS El Mariachi. From a factory build perspective it had most of everything I would put into a custom build. I’ve only ridden it a few times [as of the date of the conversation], but have gotten a great feel for the bike. It’s very smooth, an awesome ride. [editor’s note: Randy rode his rigid single-speed El Mariachi on the 50+ mile Urban Gorilla tour of Tallahassee singletrack last weekend LIKE A BOSS, because #badass]

Josh, El Mariachi 2 [full disclosure: GBS employee and writer of this post]: I love mine. I’m still working on getting the fit just right for me, but I’m getting close. I got it because the frame will last basically forever, I love the fact I can swap to singlespeed and back at will with the adjustable drop-out, they’re an awesome company that stands behind their product, steel is real, such a classic design (it oozes mountainbikeness). Works fantastic on Munson/Twilight kinda stuff, and much better than I had expected on more technical trail (since I’m used to a full suspension Giant Anthem 29er). When I want a more challenging ride I like to take it to Caddy/Mag as well as RB/Silk/Cambodia, where the roots force me to think about the best line. That said, it eats them up. I plan to keep and ride mine for a long long time.

Note: I made only minor tweaks to comments to make them read better for this setting as opposed to an informal private fb chat. Shared with permission.

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About Josh Bolick

Josh Bolick works at Florida State University Libraries in the Office of Scholarly Communication.
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