steel xc 29er

Discuss light weight issues concerning mountain bikes & parts.

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by Kevin3182

Hey everyone,
So I'm going to build up a new mtb soon and am quite torn as to wether ill regret a steel frame for a xc focused bike due to weight. I can only afford one bike so this will be my go to for racing, riding, fooling around, etc. on the trails.

Heres the build i was thinking about:
Frame: Salsa El mariachi
Fork: Rockshox SID XX
Group: X01
Brakes:XT trail
Wheels: stand ztr crest
Bars/post/stem: Thomson bits

What are your thoughts? will this be too heavy for an effective XC bike? The other option is go with a carbon frame, most like c-dale F-29 with x9 of some sort and stans wheels.

Thanks for any input!

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by AdyM

Why are you limiting yourself to steel or carbon? If you want a bike for racing and fooling around then why not aluminium? My next bike could well be an El Mariachi or Cotic Solaris (bit heavier), but not for racing, just purely for fun/winter riding to keep my carbon race bike in tip top condition.

Other than that, looks like a good top quality build, I would shop around a bit in regards to the finishing kit, yes the thomson stuff is top quality, but you can get strong light parts for some right bargains if you shop around.

Also, if you chose the carbon route i'd go with an XT 2x10, or 1x10 setup as I don't think X9 is as good as XT and you're still going to lose the 11speed set up, but then that's personal preference really :) And I love the ispec on the shifter and brakes :)

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by drider85

I would not pick the El mar as a race bike. I recently purchased one as a training rig and general do everything mule. It was far to heavy of a frame 2.5kg. Additionally I was underwhelmed with the ride quality. Think close to stiff aluminum and not lovely steel. The frame looked good and has nice features (pivoting dropouts and over sized head tube) but the few times I tried racing it I was left me wanting something that either road better (more like steel) or was lighter weight.

If you go with the F29 see if you can find a 2013 F29 1 with the carbon wheels. In the states Cannondale had that on super closeout and a dealer should be able to cut you a nice price.

I don't think steel is a bad idea. In fact that is what I am going to try this season. Durable and unique ride quality. Yes please. I went with a Ritchey P 650b. No race time yet. Frame weight of 2.0kg and a few short test rides point to a better ride. Over bike weight under 9.5kg should be race able, durable and fun.

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by Ramjm_2000

Been thinking of a Singular Swift to Keep my Ibis Mojo HD company...go for it.

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by Kevin3182

Thanks for the input. Ive been on aluminum for a while now and was just thinking of a change of pace! haha plus i like classic look of the steel tubing with modern components. Anyhow, good to know about the ride quality of the salsa. I still plan to give one a good test ride before i decide. That singular swift looks sweet too! i might have to take some other steel HTs into mind!

Thanks again

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by michel2

Okay, i know this is weight weenies but you asked for it:

Last month or so i swapped all the parts from my colnago extreme power onto my nerckx mx leader.
So i went from a 1.1 kilo frame to a 2.2 kilo frame its a big frame anyway, last saterday i went on the locale shop ride,( i counted three pair a lighweight wheels there heaps of high tec bikes) and booked the 3 fastest time on strava for this shopride...

I supose ur bike is only as competitive as you are (;

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by fastezzie

Greetings, I have owned a few carbon 29ers (Specialized, Scott, Giant) and have an El Mariachi.
I love the El Mar for its durability, cool dropouts, 44mm headtube, full length external cable housing and threaded BB. A great bike for training, bikepacking, beating around, etc. The El Mar is not the best riding bike in the world - to me it feels quite stiff. But again, very durable and has some fine attributes.
For racing (anything 24 hrs or less) I would choose a carbon bike 10x out of 10. Not only are they significantly lighter, they simply feel faster. I especially like the Scott frames with the SDS system.
A HongFu 057 frame, or similar, with a Syntace P6 HiFlex seatpost or similar would probably ride well at a low price.

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