Ventana El Padrino 29er Frame: "The Godfather " With its quick and reactive handling and stable platform, El Padrino, the godfather of 29? hardtails, carries out its business on the trail as a professional.
Bike Setup: White Brothers Rock Solid Carbon Fiber Forks 29er
SunRingle Black Flag Pro 29" Disc Wheelset with Maxxis IKON 29x2.2
TruVativ Noir Carbon riser with Oury Mountain Bike Grips
Thomson X4 Stem
Chris King NoThreadSet
Shimano XT SL-M770 Shifters
Shimano Deore XT Front Derailleur
Shimano Deore XT Rear Derailleur
Shimano XT Cassette CS-M770 – 11-34
TruVativ AKA w/ GXP Bottom Bracket
SRAM PC971 9spd Chain
Avid BB-7 G2 160mm Mechanical Disc Brake
Avid Speed Dial SL Brake Levers
Thomson Elite Seatpost
Selle Italia Flite Gel Flow Saddle
Time Atac Pedals
a Cross Country Rider
from Mohnton, PA
Date Reviewed: June 23, 2010
Strengths: Great geometry, fit and finish, rear brake attaches on the inside of chainstay.
Weaknesses: None so far, I am concerned with the decals, wish they would have clear coated them like Yeti does on their bikes
I thought the ride would be rougher because the frame is aluminum, but those 29" wheels roll over the bumps quite smoothly. The frame is made in the USA and the welds are a thing of beauty. I went in wanting a Niner frame but fell in love with the Ventana. Never rode a Ventana before, but from the look and feel of this frame I sure it will last. Climbs great and very comfortable, very easy to maneuver twisty trails. For being a made in the USA frame, very reasonably priced, considering other frames makers who are in the USA don't make their frames here but still charge a lot for them.
Similar Products Used: Niner, Gary Fisher, Jamis Carbon 29er
Bike Setup: Full XT, Avid Elixer CR brakes, Fox Fit 29er fork, Custom Stans Crest with Velocity hubs, King headset, Thompson seatpost and stem, Kenda small block 8's, crankbrothers pedals, the bike only weighs 24lbs.
Date Reviewed: November 28, 2007
Strengths: Solid frame! Holds it's lines, very responsive, very stiff, nimble, high bottom bracket, perfect geo for me, beautiful welds and paint job! Ventana customer support is nothing less than outstanding!
Weaknesses: Absolutely none!
I've owned a lot of bikes over the years and this one is by far my favorite! I take this one out on every single ride.
Similar Products Used: I haven't owned a hard tail in over 8 years... so I can't comment on this. But out of all the hardtails I have owned... this one is the best!
Bike Setup: Ventana Complete SRAM drive train SRAM X9 Rear Derailleur SRAM X9 Shifters XTR front Derailleur Hope, DT Swiss comp 2.0/1.8 spokes and Mavic 719 29er rims Bontragar Jones tires Race Face Turbine cranks and chain rings Easton Carbon 70 seatpost Salsa Carbon 11 degree flat bar King headset WTB Laser V saddle Time ATAC old school peddles AVID BB7 disc brakes
from West Bend, WI
Date Reviewed: October 16, 2007
Strengths: Beautiful frame and paint job. Very sturdy, rigid frame with very predicatable ride handling characteristics. Excellent climbing machine
Weaknesses: Decals come off easily and had to send back manufacturer for frame adjustment.
Great bike - the geometry and setup of the bike is perfect. I have had some chain suck issues in the middle ring, may be as much due to rider as bike frame, although the bike has come out fine. Make sure to spec out carefully if you plan to use as XC racing rig as it can get beyond 26lbs in total bike weight.
Strengths: Stiff frame, excellent handling in single track, geometry superb. Get the frame size recommendation, then go down one size.
Weaknesses: Keep an eye on the wheel alignment on the rear, some have come through heat treating off-center.
As a lower end Expert rider, I rode this bike hard in 14 races this season. It's a great ride for any advanced cross-country rider. This is my first 29 and I'll never ride 26 again. The best thing about the bike is it's predictable handling at or beyond the limits of traction; just the right amount of oversteer. You can put the front within 1 cm of your line and feel like you're on rails in the single track.