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Olympia Cycle & Ski, 1813 Portage Ave

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bike Feature: Salsa El Mariachi Ti

Years ago, when yours truly began looking at higher end bikes, almost everything was made of steel. Aluminum was super exotic at the time, and carbon fibre was pretty much unheard of. You would hear of titanium from time to time, but to mere mortals (even high schoolers with a good summer job, no living expenses, and a good bike shop just a few short blocks away) a titanium bike was almost a myth, or a reality that you didn't think you'd ever be a part of.

The truth is that titanium bike frames are still considered the holy grail of the two wheeled world, even in a time when there are excellent, readily available aluminum, carbon fibre, and even very high quality steel options. Generally speaking titanium is very lightweight, durable, compliant, and lively - these sound like somewhat incompatible terms, and that's exactly why titanium still has a mystic quality about it.

These days we're getting a few more titanium frame options from mainstream manufacturers, and we're really excited to have just received our first Salsa El Mariachi frame in stock. We haven't ridden it yet so we can't speak first hand to its feel, but we can say that the finish is impeccable. The pic here, though good, can't do the bike justice - you need to see the beauty of titanium (and an etched decal) in person.

In the mean time you can read a couple other reviews of the bike here and here, and start your own dreaming.