2013 Salsa Mamasita Complete Bike
Since its inception, the Mamasita has held the coveted position as Salsa's speed-focused XC racer. Sporting a SRAM X7/9 drivetrain, NoTubes rims, and a Fox F29 Fork, the Mamasita Complete Bike soldiers on as Salsa's podium chaser.
Like any good competition vehicle, the Mamasita's been Salsa's proving ground -- in this case; 29er development, material selection, and geometry. When the spicy lady first appeared at trail heads and jittery staring lines, it possessed a curvy scandium alloy tube set with carbon rear stays. That was 2007, during the mad scramble for dominance in an emerging 29er market.
This was a time when frame concepts naturally trickled over from both 26in-mountain and 700c-touring/cross worlds. Before 29ers, XC racers ran 45/55 PSI with compact, stiff frames, and they desperately needed more trail-smoothing compliance to avoid severely fatiguing racers. The Moto Rapido, Salsa's then top-of-the-line race bike, had carbon seat stays for this reason -- and it served as the basis for the Mamasita.
This was also a time when q-factors trumped BB stiffness, and 29er's were thought of as fat-tire cross bikes -- evident by the first Mamasita's road friendly, 73 degree head tube, and its pinner, 68mm bottom bracket shell. Thankfully, Salsa takes race development seriously, and it was quickly realized that the standards for 26 inch wheels and drop-bar bikes weren't going to cut it.
The latest Mamasita ditched the complex and expensive carbon/scandium hybrid for a full hydroformed EV6 aluminum frame. Instead of relying on carbon to dampen the ride, terrain-smoothing, higher-volume 29er tires get the job done. Also contributing to a distinctive ride quality, is the rapid development in hydroforming technology.
This allowed Salsa's brain trust to tune the stays for adequate compliance, but more importantly, it placed a focus on efficient power transfer from the cranks to the rear wheel. Compounding that concept is a PressFit bottom bracket and custom-designed Write-style dropouts. These provide a stiff junction between tubes for on-demand acceleration. Tying everything together up front is a tapered head tube that ensures that steering inputs from the 100mm Fox F29 with 15QR aren't lost to flex.
The Mamasita's geometry has also changed drastically from its first foray. Instead of a nearly flat head tube, it's now slackened out to 71 degrees with a 100mm fork. The seat angle remains the same, but the chainstays are close to 5mm shorter. This offers a ride that's quick turning, yet stable, and highly capable on any XC race course.
Aside from being an early 29er pioneer, Salsa's history also involved manufacturing beautiful components. Keeping that spirit alive is a Pro Moto 2 handlebar, stem, and seatpost on this complete bike. Another defining product from Salsa is its artfully crafted quick-release. While the front axle needs to be a QR15, the rear gets a timeless Salsa QR.
Those QR's hold a hand-laced wheelset consisting of Stan's NoTubes ZTR Rapid tubeless rims, double-butted DT Comp spokes, and Salsa 2 hubs. A SRAM 11-36t, PG-1050 cassette, a S1000 26/39t crankset, and a KMC X10 chain transfer power from you to the rear wheel. Gear section is covered by X7 shifters with a X7 front and X9 rear derailleurs. Stopping the Mamasita's dance is a pair of powerful Avid Elixir 5 hydraulic disc brakes.
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