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Help Me Choose - Airborne Seeker or Salsa El Mariachi 3

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Help Me Choose - Airborne Seeker or Salsa El Mariachi 3

Old 04-07-15, 10:45 PM
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killian21
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Help Me Choose - Airborne Seeker or Salsa El Mariachi 3

Hi all,

I'm looking for a new hardtail. I really like the Salsa (but can't really afford it right now). While doing research I stumbled upon the Airborne Seeker which appears to be a great buy at a little over $900. My question is: should i get the Airborne or keep on saving for the Salsa? Is the Salsa that much of a better bike that it's worth paying twice as much than the Airborne? Would love to get some opinions. Thanks. Also any other bikes you wanna throw out there in the same vein and price range (under 2k).

Airborne Seeker

Salsa El Mariachi 3
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Old 04-08-15, 07:50 AM
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The Seeker looks like a lot of bike for the money. I'm going to have to start suggesting it as a sub-$1000 option!
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Old 04-08-15, 01:40 PM
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If I could afford it, I'd get the Salsa but I was looking for a bikepacking worthy hardtail under $700 and ended up ordering the Seeker last week. It'll be here tomorrow. For the $$, no other bike could match with components for under $1100.
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Old 04-08-15, 07:11 PM
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I may end up going for the Seeker. I really like the Salsa but the Airborne will do what I need it to do just fine and will save me a lot of cash. Still not completely decided but I am leaning toward the Seeker.

I have an Ibex full suspension so I have had experience with these companies that you buy directly from and honestly it's just such a good bang for your buck it's hard to pass up.
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Old 04-09-15, 01:58 PM
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My Seeker just came in this morning. I was very impressed with the packaging and all I needed to do was put on the front wheel and handlebars. Derailers didnt need any adjusting. Even the forks were set up for my weight.
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Old 04-13-15, 09:22 PM
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get the cromo salsa. I purchased an alum. framed MTB and wish I purchased steel often.
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Old 04-14-15, 08:27 AM
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If you're anything like me you'll buy the Seeker, then it will eat away at you.....you'll end up selling it for a loss, then buying the El Mar.

I don't have either bike but I just bought a Salsa Warbird a few weeks back. It was way more than I wanted to spend but I have no regrets. The bike is awesome. I also have a Salsa Beargrease and I can't recommend the company and their products highly enough.
When you have a question it will be answered by real people who are enthusiastic about biking. You know the quality is top-notch. Sure, spec for spec you can buy cheaper, but it's worth the extra to have a great bike and to never be thinking 'if only I had....'

Just my 2 penny worth
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Old 04-14-15, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by killian21 View Post
I may end up going for the Seeker. I really like the Salsa but the Airborne will do what I need it to do just fine and will save me a lot of cash. Still not completely decided but I am leaning toward the Seeker.

I have an Ibex full suspension so I have had experience with these companies that you buy directly from and honestly it's just such a good bang for your buck it's hard to pass up.
Wait, you have a full suspension MTB already? So what specifically are you going to ride with this new bike?
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Old 04-14-15, 02:35 PM
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The Ibex FS is a 16" frame, I still ride it with a 120 mm stem but it's a bit too small for me.
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Old 04-15-15, 10:25 AM
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I'd sell the Ibex and buy a new or gently used FS bike.
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Old 04-15-15, 12:33 PM
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I ended up buying a used Niner Rip 9 FS MTN Bike at a fairly good price (1300). I decided going the used route for a FS made more sense for me. Now I'm going to sell my Ibex FS to help finance this.
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Old 04-15-15, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by killian21 View Post
I ended up buying a used Niner Rip 9 FS MTN Bike at a fairly good price (1300). I decided going the used route for a FS made more sense for me. Now I'm going to sell my Ibex FS to help finance this.
Cool, that sounds like a great bike. I hope you got the size right this time!
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Old 04-15-15, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by bruised View Post
If you're anything like me you'll buy the Seeker, then it will eat away at you.....you'll end up selling it for a loss, then buying the El Mar.

I don't have either bike but I just bought a Salsa Warbird a few weeks back. It was way more than I wanted to spend but I have no regrets. The bike is awesome. I also have a Salsa Beargrease and I can't recommend the company and their products highly enough.
When you have a question it will be answered by real people who are enthusiastic about biking. You know the quality is top-notch. Sure, spec for spec you can buy cheaper, but it's worth the extra to have a great bike and to never be thinking 'if only I had....'

Just my 2 penny worth
Too funny. I have done the same thing before.
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Old 04-16-15, 07:41 PM
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i have a niner sir9 (steel frame) which is an amazing ride. But, wait, and get the goblin evo, a LOT more bike for only a little more money
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Old 04-22-15, 10:56 AM
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Got the Niner last night. Here's a picture from a quick ride after work:

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Old 04-22-15, 11:38 AM
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hard to make suggestions on bike choices without some background
why are you getting a new bike, how long have you been riding and what type of trails?
do you plan on eventually racing, CAT3 or something or just having fun

I personally wouldn't choose either for the following:
1) Airborne has very low end wheels, will be heavy and you'll want to upgrade after you've already dumped in a grand
2) X5 and deore parts are somewhat recreational, a few hard days pounding roots and rocks will push them to the limits
3) Salsa has cromo sweetness, but does it really matter to you

bikes IMO are not really comparable
the best deal is the Airborne Guardian at under 6 with essentially the same parts as the Seeker with lower grade fork (depends on your experience with forks) and Tektro brakes not a huge down grade from the Elixir 1s.

out of the entire HT lines with pricepoint in mind, I like the Goblin EVO best at $1300, though approaching Salsa price, a better bargain if you can't tell the ride difference between steel and aluminum. All goes down the tube if the frames don't fit.
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Old 04-22-15, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by killian21 View Post
I ended up buying a used Niner Rip 9 FS MTN Bike at a fairly good price (1300). I decided going the used route for a FS made more sense for me. Now I'm going to sell my Ibex FS to help finance this.
I should spend more time reading than dishing out advice, haha
nice ride, second hand? you did well with the price

what's the setup, I can't tell from the pic
good luck and ride it like you stole it!
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Old 04-22-15, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by qclabrat View Post
I should spend more time reading than dishing out advice, haha
nice ride, second hand? you did well with the price

what's the setup, I can't tell from the pic
good luck and ride it like you stole it!
SRAM x7 2x10
Rock Shox Reba SL
Fox Float RP23
Avid Juicy Brakes
Mavic wheelset

I did take it in to the LBS because the RD and FD needed to be worked on a bit and just to get the bike looked through. It is second hand but it appears to be in nice shape especially for the price I paid.
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