Salsa Mamasita Complete Bike - $2,399.95

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. - $2,399.95