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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    West MI
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    4,308

    Salsa's recommended size chart...?

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    While I'm intrigued by the upcoming Cannondale Tango 29er for shorty girls, I'm also keeping my eye on the Salsa El Mariachi, which looks like it could be very do-able for me in terms of standover. My inseam (crotch to floor) is 30" and I am just <5'4".

    Salsa's sizing chart suggests I should look at XS frames, but I'm currently borrowing a friend's older 26er Salsa in an XS and it feels REALLY cramped to me. A friend of ours who is a couple of inches shorter than I am and has ridden the bike feels the same way. She and I both tend to like a more aggressive positioning on our bikes, too.

    Last Winter I borrowed one of our LBS's demo Mukluks in a size small and felt very comfortable on that. So I wonder if the fit of the El Mariachi is likely to be similar.

    I'm nowhere near pulling the trigger on a 29er, yet, but am doing my research. I may or may not be able to test-ride both bikes prior to riding (because I'm a shorty and it's hard to find little bikes in stock, aside from WSD bikes), so I figure I should have some real-world input, if possible.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,132
    I can only offer my own experience as a 5'4 girl (I have a 29" inseam to your 30). My Santa Cruz--a 26er--is more comparable to the XS Salsa than the S. I think I'd feel too stretched out on the S Salsa. But hopefully the shop and Salsa can help you navigate this decision. How does the geometry on your current 26er compare? If I recall, that bike is too small for you.

    And in what way did you feel cramped on the XS Salsa that your friend owns? Without knowing how she has the bike set up, it's hard to know for certain whether the frame itself was too blame. For instance, if she's running a short stem and has her seat forward, I can see why you might feel cramped.

    Do you have any idea whether your femurs are long/short relative to your total leg length? This is the issue that I have that dictates a lot in terms of frame size and bike set up. My legs are short, but my femurs are relatively long. For most bikes to work for me, I have to use an offset seat post and put the saddle fairly far back on the rails. Once I do that, it effectively lengthens my reach to the bars. It make sense, generally, for me to get the smallest frame that I can otherwise make work for me; otherwise, the reach is too long once my saddle is in the right position. If you have this same issue, then I would probably get the XS.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2,738
    Those size charts never work for me, in part because I'm all arms and legs. I really have to go by what's in the geometry chart and compare those numbers to those of other bikes that I've comfortably ridden.

    FWIW, I'm 5'4" and on a small (16") Salsa with a ~57 cm virtual top tube. Sounds ridiculous, I know, but it works for me. http://salsacycles.com/bikes/el_mariachi1/

    Indy's post makes a lot of sense.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,308
    Well, no wonder my friend's Salsa 26er (Ala Carte) feels so small...I just determined that it's the 12.5" size (with an effective 20.5 top tube), so it's like an XXS! We had to yank the seat post as high as it would go and it could probably still stand to go a bit higher.

    I can't find the exact size chart for my '09 Cdale F5 Feminine, but I assume it's pretty similar to their current WSD Trail SL in a petite/XS. That has a 13.8" seat tube and 20.5" horiz. top tube (so the same as the 12.5" Ala Carte). The S in that bike has a 15" seat tube and 21.7 top tube.

    The S Cdale WSD Trail SL has a 15" seat tube and 21.7" horizontal TT.

    These are all 26ers, so I don't know how differently the set-up/fit would be on comparable 29ers.

    The size S Mukluk I rode has a 15" seat tube (same as the XS, actually) and a 22.8" effective top tube. The XS is 22.2", so not a whole lot of difference, there. Standover was good on the S.

    The S El Mariachi has a 15" seat tube and 22.83" top tube. The XS has a 14" seat tube and 22.24" effective top tube.

    So...not a lot of difference between XS and S in the Mukluk or El Mariachi. I guess my biggest concern is toe overlap (I wear a wide 8.5 women's...40 men's shoe and tend to position my cleats pretty far back on my shoe, putting my foot more forward on the pedals). I didn't have it with the S Mukluk.

    Wheelbase for the XS vs. S is 42.0-42.7 vs. 42.2-42.8 (I think the range is due to the ability to switch between a rear cluster or SS)...so, again, very little difference.

    I don't know if my femurs are relatively long, but I sorta suspect that they are.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southeast Nebraska
    Posts
    470
    Sounds like the small is the way to go. Medium is probably pushing it. Although your Cannondale looks pretty sweet as I checked out your blog.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,308
    Quote Originally Posted by Bethany1 View Post
    Sounds like the small is the way to go. Medium is probably pushing it. Although your Cannondale looks pretty sweet as I checked out your blog.
    Thanks! My 11 year old DS has fallen in love with that bike. It's the only one he wants to ride. He's pretty fearless on it and it's a pretty good fit for him, too. By next Summer it should be a perfect fit, unless he grows a ton (which could happen, though I'm totally not ready for him to be almost as tall as I am!).

    Yeah, I think a M would definitely be too big. My guess is standover would be an issue with that, too.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2,738
    Do the small Mukluk and small El Mar have the same seat tube angle??

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becky View Post
    Do the small Mukluk and small El Mar have the same seat tube angle??
    73 on the El Mariachi and 73.5 on the Mukluk...so pretty close.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2,738
    Quote Originally Posted by zoom-zoom View Post
    73 on the El Mariachi and 73.5 on the Mukluk...so pretty close.
    So the Mukluk is effectively ~23.3", if it had a 73 degree STA. (Someone feel free to correct my math here- I always have to think this through!)

    If the small Mukluk fit well enough, it sounds like you'd be fine with the small El Mar.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becky View Post
    So the Mukluk is effectively ~23.3", if it had a 73 degree STA. (Someone feel free to correct my math here- I always have to think this through!)

    If the small Mukluk fit well enough, it sounds like you'd be fine with the small El Mar.
    Ha, I can't do the math AT ALL (I pretty much only passed Geometry because my teacher didn't want to deal with me again, ha! ), so your skillz impress me.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    somewhere between the Red & Rio Grande
    Posts
    5,310
    Anyone know what the small 29er (specifically El Mariachi Ti) works out to? I want to add a hardtail to my stable and ti is my dream but it must be a 29er. It looks to me like it would be too big in comparison to a Specialized Small HT 29er which I know the Stumpjumper fits me well. Our team mostly rides Specialized but I don't want carbon. We are supposed to race what they sell meaning Salsa or Independent Fabrication is my only Ti option. This is mostly a "maybe next year" fantasy but curious.
    Amanda

    2011 Specialized Epic Comp 29er | Specialized Phenom | "Marie Laveau"
    2007 Cannondale Synapse Carbon Road | Selle Italia Lady Gel Flow | "Miranda"


    You don't have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great. -Lee J. Colan

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
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    I believe there is an XS Ti Mariachi, too, if the S would be too big.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Denver
    Posts
    1,972
    Quote Originally Posted by Aggie_Ama View Post
    Anyone know what the small 29er (specifically El Mariachi Ti) works out to? I want to add a hardtail to my stable and ti is my dream but it must be a 29er. It looks to me like it would be too big in comparison to a Specialized Small HT 29er which I know the Stumpjumper fits me well. Our team mostly rides Specialized but I don't want carbon. We are supposed to race what they sell meaning Salsa or Independent Fabrication is my only Ti option. This is mostly a "maybe next year" fantasy but curious.
    I've only been on the older Salsas, which ran pretty big. My Fargo is a small, my C'dale 26 inch is a medium and I was looking for a small mamasita or dos niner when I found my current (small) Niner EMD. But...haven't tried this year's models.

    "I never met a donut I didn't like" - Dave Wiens

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,308
    I recall reading somewhere that the Salsas of maybe pre-'11 were larger than the ones of the last couple model years.

    I just noticed that they don't offer an XS in the Ti, though--just the steel. Maybe that will change for '13, though...? Salsa's big release event for the '13 models is this weekend, so maybe we'll find that they've come out with a S for this coming model year.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    107
    I'm 5'3 and the XS El Mariachi feels bigger than my small epic, but it's doable. They only make the XS in steel If I recall. For Ti you have to go with a S.

 

 

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