Ventana El Capitan 29er Full Suspension

5/5 (8 Reviews)

Product Description

Ventana El Capitan 29er Frame: "The Captain" El Capit?n rounds up the line of powerful leaders in the 29? wheel bike ranks and proves that big wheel traction presides over track and trail.

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Reviews 1 - 8 (8 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by POK a Weekend Warrior from San Juan Capiatrano, CA

Date Reviewed: June 22, 2010

Strengths:    Stiff, low stand over for 9er, craftsmanship, customer service, handling.

Weaknesses:    None.

Bottom Line:   
Rode an El Rey hard for years. Needed a replacement and Ventana was more than fair.I thought I had the ultimate 9er trail bike with the El Rey. This is the all mountain 9er. You can't imagine the point and shoot lateral stiffness of this bike. Well Done, thank you Sherwood and Teresa.

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Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   Paragon, El Rey

Bike Setup:   King,Stan,Thomson,Sram,GD,Easton,Nevgal,Manitou,CB 29lbs.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by dieseldog a Cross Country Rider from Collgeville, PA

Date Reviewed: October 29, 2009

Strengths:    Premium, made in the USA Craftsmanship. Awesome customer service. Savant-esque attention to detail. Laterally stiff, which offsets the 29er wheel flex nicely. The cross brace front triangle adds to the point and shoot nature of the bike - despite my 230lb clydesdale nature. It's purdy too.

Weaknesses:    None.

Bottom Line:   
This is the go to bike in my quiver. Will ride anything you put in front of it. I found my forever bike - others will come and go, but I'm not selling this one.

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Favorite Trail:   Merli Sarnowski

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Similar Products Used:   Kona Hei Hei, Van Dessel 29er f.s.

Bike Setup:   Reba, XO, Elixr CR's (can you tell I'm partial to SRAM)King HS,DT 340's laced to Stan's Flow rims, thomson post and stem, Easton Carbon monkey lite, Conti Mt. King 2.4's

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Brian a Cross Country Rider from Phoenix, Az, USA

Date Reviewed: September 28, 2009

Strengths:    built like a tank, no flex, plush, excellent quality construction - long travel for 29er, decent standover height

Weaknesses:    somewhat tall bottom bracket, but that is to be expected w/ 5.5 rear travel; rear suspension not as effeceint as Horst (but then again no flex that come swith Horst) - I still need to dial in the RP23 though; heavier is the tradeoff for the solid, flex fee build

Bottom Line:   
I have a few more rides before I get everything dialed in, but I would highly recommend this frame to anyone who is looking for a solid, laterally stiff frame - particularly anyone over 200 lbs
- also highly recommend Slippery Pig bike shop to anyone in the Phoenix area.

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Favorite Trail:   Desert Classic

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1800.00

Purchased At:   Slippery Pig

Similar Products Used:   demo'd Kona Hei Hei, El Rey, KHS Flagstaff, Stumpy 29er

Bike Setup:   Manitou Minute 120 w/ 20mm axle - compliments the rear suspension well

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by The Whale a Weekend Warrior from Grand Junction, Colorado

Date Reviewed: March 26, 2006

Strengths:    Perfect construction, beautiful detail, bomber ride, rolls over any thing, climbs great once you get some momentum from the wheels going, still getting use to the 70 degree head angle- still feels twitchy but I can now clear some highly technical sections of trail that I've never been able to do on a 26er. Customer service is excellent, they will bend over backwards to help you.

Weaknesses:    I'm 5ft7in and have a short inseam. I can now see why tall guys like the 29er size. I bought a 17in frame for it's standover and the biggest thing I notice is that I had to ride differently. The bike is taller and I have to do more steering and leaning like a road bike. The line you take is more straight on or deeper turns tossing the bike side to side. The ride hasn't given me the confidence to really push it yet. The inside of my right leg has a bunch of bruises from riding the top tube when having to 'dab' a little. I done several endo's already. It reminds me when I went from a 125cc dirt bike to a 400cc. It just feels bigger. You don't get on, you get into it and like HANG ON!!

Bottom Line:   
Still not sure. This bike is waaay better then the rider so I still gotta work that learning curve and see how it goes. I'll let you know in another 6 months.

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Favorite Trail:   The Ribbon

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $5000.00

Purchased At:   Ventana

Similar Products Used:   Tried the Lenzsport Leviatian. Only other 29er. Otherwise Cannondale SuperV, Jeckel, K2 Disco, Yeti 475

Bike Setup:   17in El Capitan in grinch green w/ stickers removed and a little subtle black n' blue hand signage instead.
Rebba Race w/ pop lock 29in from Speedgoat
Fox RP3
Dave's Speed Wheels w/Bontragger disc & DT Swiss 240's
Wtb Exiwolf 2.3
Avid 7 hydralic
Sram X0 everything
Race Face Atlas 22-36 w/ bash guard
Shimano 12-38 ti
Sram chain
Thompson Carbon bars
Thompson 120mm stem
Terry ti seat
Moots ti seat post
Crank Bro's Mallets
Pedro's rasta skewers

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Traves a Cross Country Rider from Boise, Id USA

Date Reviewed: January 31, 2006

Strengths:    -Large frames for taller riders.
-Stiffness, I’m 6’4” 260 pounds and the bike doesn’t flex.
-Incredibly well built, this is the first Ventana bike I’ve purchased and the craftsmanship is unsurpassed.
-Climbs better and more efficiently than any bike I’ve ever ridden. The increased surface area of the bigger tire provides a far more traction and once the big wheels are up to speed momentum keeps them rolling easier.
-Descends fast and the big wheels roll over obstacles better than smaller wheels. The responsiveness on the descent is just as good as a 26” wheel.
-The X bar design gives the bike great stand over clearance.
-Lots of clearance for 2.3” wheels.
-Center of gravity really is lower with bigger wheels, I find it much harder to fly over my handle bars with this bike, however, it is still possible.
-Four inches of travel is plush and Ventana’s suspension system is deluxe.

Weaknesses:    -The bike is expensive; the frame alone is $2000. With the price comes great craftsmanship, it’s not likely you will be replacing the frame anytime soon.

-A little on the heavy side.

Bottom Line:   
If you are over six feet you need to demo this bike before your next purchase. The rolling attributes of the big wheels are substantial. I don’t notice this bike being any less responsive than a 26er on switchbacks and technical terrain.

I wasn’t able to demo any 29er’s in my area and only did internet research before taking the plunge with this bike. I haven’t regretted it.

Don’t skimp on the wheel set. With my weight and the increased surface area of the 29” tire, I’ve already trashed one rear hub climbing some smooth rock. I’m planning on purchasing some free ride hubs.

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Favorite Trail:   Side Winder

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $4400.00

Purchased At:   Competitive Cyclist

Similar Products Used:   It’s nearly impossible to find a 29er to demo, especially in Idaho. This is the only 29er I’ve ever ridden. My other bike was a Specialized 26er. Demoed other 26er's.

Bike Setup:   All XT components. Rock Shox Reba 29er fork 100mm, so far no complaints. FoxRP3 rear shock. Bontrager rims and hubs.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Joel a Weekend Warrior from Highland Village, TX, USA

Date Reviewed: January 16, 2006

Strengths:    - Rugged
- Right-sized.
- Fast
- Beautiful paint (it's a looker w/o the decals)
- Ventana quality

Weaknesses:    Just for clarity's sake, there is nothing weak about the materials or fabrication of this frame! That being said:

- My choice of forks (WB 1.0 is extremely disappointing)
- Cheesy decals that look like cheesy decals (but they look good on my tool box and repair stand)
- Pricey

Bottom Line:   
I am 6'8" and finally know what it should feel like with a bike that fits. Nobody makes fun of my clown-on-a-circus-bike act any more. Again, I think my Yeti was every bit as solid as this bike, it just did not fit as well (nor cost as much!) and here I am. I love it so far and Sherman was great to work with. I think I got one of the first 25" frames (26.1 TT is perfectly huge). The frame build is top notch and the paint is beautiful (but what's with those miserable decals???).

One last thing that has absolutely nothing to do with Sherman and crew at Ventana: Me no likey da sticky White Bros fork! It shudders under heavy braking; when the front wheel comes off the ground, there is a 'bang!' as the fork fully extends to the stops, and it 'sticks' for lack of a better term. When is Fox gonna make a 29er fork???

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Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1900.00

Purchased At:   Mountain High Cyclery

Similar Products Used:   '04 Yeti 575, '04 Orbea hardtail, '99 Specialized FSR

Bike Setup:   SRAM X.0 drive train and twist shifters, WB 1.0 fork (I haven't tried the Judy, but I wouldn't recommend this one), RaceFace 180mm cranks, headset, hubs, handlebar, stem, cables, brakes, etc

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Enel a Cross Country Rider from Prescott

Date Reviewed: January 14, 2006

Strengths:    Stiff, well built, stand over. Fit, finish, quality is unsurpassed

Weaknesses:    Maybe a little heavy

Bottom Line:   
I had the bike for a week. My expectations were surpassed.

It out climbed my similar 26er, and out descended it. The only beef would be the noticable increased weight of the larger wheels.

The x-frame looks strange but gives awesome stand over clearance.

Full review to be found here:

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Tested or demo'ed only

Similar Products Used:   Lots of 26er FS including a Ventana

Bike Setup:   Demo with WB 1.0 fork

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Andy a Cross Country Rider from Park City, UT

Date Reviewed: January 12, 2006

Strengths:    Great build quality; nice and stiff, no lateral movement, fit me great(6'4").

Weaknesses:    Some may say on the expensive side, I feel it's worth it.

Bottom Line:   
I did a week long demo of the El Cap. GREAT ride. Rode it in Park City and Moab. It was my first experience on a 29'er and it fit me better than any other bike I've ridden. Yes, that's 29'er in general for a tall guy, but this frame was still a great fit.

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Duration Product Used:   Tested or demo'ed only

Similar Products Used:   Lenz Behemoth

Reviews 1 - 8 (8 Reviews Total)

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