Ventana El Habanero Frame Frameset

4.8/5 (10 Reviews)


Product Description

Ventana El Habanero Frame


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Reviews 1 - 10 (10 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by sam from denver co

Date Reviewed: May 15, 2002

Strengths:    Beautiful weld quality, weight, stability and quickness, pure cache'.

Weaknesses:    Ventana no longer has replacements for the rear triangle, so if you break it your screwed. However, god knows what it would take to break it. The clear coat on mine has some permeation, so shes not quite as pretty as she could be.

Bottom Line:   
Still feeling it out, but so far I am impressed. I bought mine used after someone stole my beautiful steel hardtail (see my review of the marin pine mtn to learn more) I thought i would allways be a dedicated steel hardtail kinda guy, but I saw the Hab and said to myself "what the hell Ill give it a shot." I need to rebuild the bushings in the rear before I can say more, but I think when shes all together it will be my favorite bike ever. I will add more as I learn more. Im giving five chilis for value, considering I paid about $600 for mine, and it was well broken in. I mean come on, its a handbuilt American full suspension bike, with fantastic quality. Five for overall, because mine is totally in sad shape mechanically, and it still turns heads and helps me push myself all the time.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Similar Products Used:   gt lts, pro flex, cannondale f700.....actually, none of these are all that similar. Sure theyre all aluminum, but thats really where the likeness ends. The Habanero is its own creature entirely.

Bike Setup:   Frankenbike....for now. 16 inch polished aluminum frame. Mismatched wheelset, gummy xt shifters, xt and xtr v brakes, vanilla float rear, Judy SL front. Beat up Race Face cranks with time atac pedals. All of it looks pretty rough, but works well enough for now.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Kamron a Cross Country Rider from Santa Barbara, Ca

Date Reviewed: May 1, 2002

Strengths:    Iv'e been riding this bike since '97. That's almost six years. It's been indestructable through jumps, drops, descents and the greatest bike killer of all - transportation. It is an excellent climber and now all the Rocky Mountain XC bikes look like the Hab and Marble Peak. The frame is also light for a burly full-suspension

Weaknesses:    The bottom bracket is way too high. Ventana charges a grip for disc brake mountable linkage ($250). No replaceable dropout hangers.

Bottom Line:   
You probably won't find one of these bikes because they're old. But if you do, and you want a good buy for cheap (depreceation) get one. I keep trying to break this one but parts go before bike.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Ramero

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Bike Setup:   z1 2ooo cr, Stratos rear shock, extend rockers for more travel (I'm considering putting the shorter rockers back on to hopefully get the BB lower to the ground). Rise bars are also key.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Mark Jones a Racer from Richland, WA

Date Reviewed: August 9, 2000

Strengths:    -Raging on the downhills.
-All around climbing ability.
-Clearance over obstacles (esp. single track in the forest)


Weaknesses:    -Steep downhills require getting off the seat more.

Bottom Line:   
This bike is amazing, especially during XC races on the downhills. I continually find myself trying to pass other racers or having to apply the brakes to wait on them when blazing the downhills. In fact, you will find that the bike is so fast on descending that you WILL experience a handful of getting launched over-the-handlebars until you get dialed into taking sharp corners at the base of your descents. If you can afford the price with or without plastic, this bike or its brothers and sisters will give you a competitive advantage.

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Favorite Trail:   Winthrop, WA (The Boneshaker)

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Similar Products Used:   Specialized FS, Rock Hopper FS, FSR FS.

Bike Setup:   XT Components, Mavic rims, White Brothers SC-90 Front Forks, Rear Fox Air Shock, V-brakes, Tyme Pedals.

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Tim a Cross-Country Rider from Denver, Colorado

Date Reviewed: November 4, 1999

Strengths:    
Great Ride, siff/strong rear end, HUGE rear pivot. great on the tough stuff and especially the fast DH'ing


Weaknesses:    
bottom braket a bit too high


Bottom Line:   
This thing kicks butt!!!! A little heavy from the slimed tubes(but have never flated on a ride) and heavier 97 Z-1. When I got the Stratus for the rear it matched up perfectly with the Z-1 in front. I've ridden a friends 250 MX racer and know how plush it rode. This thing is just the same, soaks up every thing from washbord to the big hits. Won't trade it for any other bike except the new Ventana El Saltamontes.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   
Buffalo Creek/ Pine Creek

Duration Product Used:   
more than 3 years

Similar Products Used:   
GT-LTS, Y-bikes


Bike Setup:   
Full XTR, Cook cranks, King HS, Marz. Z-1 front, Stratus Helix pro rear shock, etc.....

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Joe a Cross-Country Rider from Bow, New Hampshire

Date Reviewed: June 24, 1999

Strengths:    
Wow, this thing is fast!! Suspention is wonderfull, not hard but not bottoming out, climbs like a hardtail, great for sprinting up hills.


Weaknesses:    
weaknessesm, what weaknesses?


Bottom Line:   
This bike blows all of the others away. I was looking for a hardtail for weight and climbing advantages but this bike caught my eye. It beat out all the hardtails in every category! This bike just wants to go fast, and bombing downhill is a blast. The suspention is great, no bobing or swaying, you forget you have it until you realize your butt doesn't hurt the next day. The bike feels like a whole, not a bunch of parts stuck together. I love this bike!!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   
Bear Brook

Duration Product Used:   
3 months

Bike Setup:   
Judy XC, XT drivetrain, shifters, brakes, Trek system III hubs, Fox Alps rear shock.

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Tom a cross-country rider from Canberra, Australia

Date Reviewed: March 4, 1998

Bottom Line:   


This is the best bike I've ever ridden. I've had my Habanero for over two years, ridden it nearly every day in the desert, plains and alps and have had no trouble (except with the alps 4r shock which topped out).The bike outclimbs all the hardtails I ride with, descends well enough at speed for a non-downhill frame and motors through everything else. The rear suspension has really balanced out and gotten better since I upped the travel of my judy xc fork to 3.25 inches. The air shock seems a little stiff on the rear at first, but once you're moving it gets going. I'd like to know what a nice coil over would be like on the frame - anybody out there tried fitting a super deluxe to a Ventana yet?

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Kurt a cross-country rider from Pacifica

Date Reviewed: February 28, 1998

Bottom Line:   


This bike rocks - Been riding on it for 9 months. Very sweet ride.
I had Ventana put the Alps 5R on the back. Nice cross country machine.
Will climb with the best of them. Mainly it is just an over all confortable
bike to ride. I train on it - I hammer the trails on it - I do 45 mile
road/trail rides. It just works and does not look like some freaky
welding accident.

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Doug a cross-country rider from Austin, TX

Date Reviewed: August 25, 1997

Bottom Line:   


I have been riding my El Habanero for a year now. Simply put, this bike does everything you should expect from a high performance, full suspection XC design. The fully active suspension allows you to stay seated and crank up nasty technical climbs and also provides superior braking traction when going down the same terrain. I have found that the suspension is easy to dial in and that the shock valving on about perfect. You can set it up to be plush on the little stuff without experiencing bottoming issues on big hits. The handling characteristics are very neutral and confidence inspiring - basically it goes where you point it regardless of terrain. It does have a slight forward weight bias that is a minus in deep gravel, but that is a small trade-off compared to the awesome cornering capabilities in all other situations. This bike has improved my speed and made long technical rides a lot more fun!

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Tim a cross-country rider from Denver, Colorado

Date Reviewed: May 3, 1997

Bottom Line:   


This is second bike I've owned. The first was a GT hardtail. It handled ok. The new Habanero is Great!! Have only been riding it a month or so, but I am already able to climb stuff I couldn't on my hard-tail. Very smooth ride. I bought the bike so I could bomb dh sections more, just have to get used to it's characteristics, and for the SNOW to stop and melt.

Overall Rating:4
Submitted by John Duval a cross-country rider from Venice, CA 90291

Date Reviewed: August 27, 1996

Bottom Line:   


I was looking for a good full suspension bike in a custom size and I found it at Ventana. They offer a 22 frame and can do custom top tubes. The longish chainstays and slack seat angle were exactly what I needed. A custom top tube added $450 to what was a reasonable price (for a suspension frame) of $1450.


I have been riding it for a couple of months now and am amaized at what suspension can do. I have long been a FS convert. My last bike was a first generation LiteSpeed FS. It was faster and more fun than anything I had ever ridden. Little did I know! The Ventana took 20 minutes off my best time on my favorite 4 hour loop (previously set on my Litespeed FS). For the first time I came back tired, but not beat up.


The suspension is so smooth that I could aim for the nastiest, rockiest sections of fire road and feel nothing. I found myself enjoying the scenery and ignoring the trail where previously I picked and poked for a smooth line. The bike gives the strange sensation that someone is pushing me, especialy in those chopy, vibrating, washbordy sections. When this sort of section comes up, I suddenly find myself well out in front of my riding buddies.


Traction is not an issue at all except in deep sand and gravel. In or out of the saddle it hammers. Flex? What flex? Weight? What Weight? This is my lightest MTB ever (heavier than most because I am 6'6 210 lb.). The bike is amazingly stable at any speed. No steering input is required in most situations. But strangely enough, in those rare situations when sharp steering is required to regain balance, it seems to do no good. It bothered me until I realized that I was riding what I never rode before anyway.


And yes, friends, you can sprint on a full suspension bike without any sort of lockout. Sprinting is now my method of choice to climb short steep nasties. This bike sprints as well as any dirt bike I have ever ridden, including BMX. Granted I had a lot of years on FS already, but it had torqe lockout! And remember, you cant sprint well if you are breaking traction.


I would not choose the Fox Vanilla coilover shock for downhill though. It is hyper speed sinsitive and feels like a rock after 20 miles an hour over washboard. But anything other than that it feels nearly perfect. Like any good active suspension it is in constant motion. I am already used to it, but others comment on it when they see me. It goes fast, realy fast according to my watch, so how could a little movement be waisting energy?


I would highly reccomend this bike to any average to tall rider, hammerhead or curuzer. The geometry is not ideally suted for smaller riders. Once you have experienced this bike you will agree: the hardtail is an endangered spicies.

Reviews 1 - 10 (10 Reviews Total)

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