Ventana El Bastardo XC Full Suspension

5/5 (1 Reviews)


Product Description



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Reviews 1 - 1 (1 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by dieselcruiserhead a Cross Country Rider from Park City, Utah, USA

Date Reviewed: November 16, 2008

Strengths:    Light and strong, good and universal 5" design, the beauty of 650b which is 27.5 so not quite 29er and not quite 26er. I hardly ride 29er but will never go back to 26er after riding these two

Weaknesses:    None other than the expensive price tag. Might be a little too XC for a good hard hitting AM style rider where I would say go up to 6" or a 5" El Ciclon with its slightly-more swept out head angle might be a better option that still kills XC but leans a little more AM. This guy is killer AM but leans strong XC and kills/cleans all around XC like its going out of style. That said like any strong 5" bike it just takes it all and eats it up...

Bottom Line:   
Pardon the long review....

I thought I would give the bike months & months of solid testing before I wrote a review instead of the usual "I've had for 2 weeks and I love it!" I now have hundreds maybe over a thousand miles on it, and during the summer was riding 2-3 days & evenings a week on average with this being my #1 go-to bike. Also, When I was in the purchasing/researching stage, I was hunting hunting hunting for as much as 6 months so I really did my homework to get the "perfect bike." I am also not a person with a lot of extra cash for purchases like this so it also made the decision very important. It was also somewhat of a gamble as 650b is new, and I wanted 29er performance but wanted a 5" bike. I also didn't want a ginormous 29er full suspension bike as the switchbacks here are tight. I was unsure about 650b but have *no* regrets whatsoever...

I would say it *totally* paid off, I 100% absolutely love it. I also got it for a killer deal to the extent where I thought I would maybe sell it in a couple years and start over but I actually don't see that happening at all. For me, I found "the one" -it was everything I was expecting/looking for, and then some...

Not only does the bike fit me absolutely perfectly but I just love it and if flat out just rips. It perfectly fits my terrain in Utah which varies considerably from tight mountain, loose rock, and forest trails of Northern Utah (where I live) and lots and lots of climbing (but killer descents) but also rips down in Southern Utah where you need a little more of a burlier/balzier bike with a little more travel. It is 5" and AM but leans a little more XC making it a killer all day all around universal bike. It is also a little of a "hybrid" where it has a lot of those 29er style characteristics but in a slightly smaller package. It spins up quickly and feels like it has the cadence/style of a 26er but the tire performance of a 29er. The tires, though they measure closer the 26er than 29er, feel more like 29er to me. But without the gyroscopic effect. I use the Pacenti Neomotos exclusively (check out the reviews on these) as they also just rip and are the perfect tire size for this bike as well. They corner on rails and have killer traction but the weight of a lighter tire. Perfectly placed knobs and really high quality manufacturing, better than some of the stuff that Panaracer put out under their own name (Panaracer makes them for Pacenti). They have all the qualities of the best mountain bike tires I've found.

Overall the bike is close to about 29-30lbs. I can't say why but it feels like a much lighter and more maneuverable bike than some of even the 27lb bikes I ride including my go to last year which was a geared hardtail with 110mm travel. Again I couldn't say why, it just sort of fits like a glove, and just all around "feels right." The learning curve was maybe 1-2 rides and then it just felt perfect. Literally climbs like a goat, just like even a 29er full suspension Ventana or Turner, but has the added benefit of 5" of travel for a little more balls. The bike rides totally neutral and totally predictable, it really gives you no reason not to spank something (whether going up or down) other than yourself, basically it becomes (and is for me) the top quiver in my arsenal. I literally haven't touched a single one of my other bikes since I got it.

And then on top of it, it has your standard Ventana attributes: gorgeous and very well designed. Brilliantly simple. Strong taking president over ultra light weight yielding a bike you can have for years and years unlike other bikes of this category we are all familiar with that crack easily. With the head tube angle and style of it it leans a little more XC than you'd expect (69.5 degree head tube). With the feel of the rockers and stiffness and slightly longer chain stays, as mentioned it just climbs like a goat. 650b itself has some really good benefits and basically this bike takes real advantage of that. When I'm on the trail I basically forget that I'm on something "unique" it just does the job and gets it done. I ride with a big assortment of riders, some guys who ride 3 days a week and are non technical, and then some guys who are the best/strongest riders I know and just clean the technical stuff, up and down including gnarly technical climbs. This bike takes it all with ease. Again it lets me fend for myself and any errors are my own, basically I have no limitations other than myself. So if this is what you are looking for, you've found the right bike...

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Technical XC

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Purchased At:   Uinta Bicycles, Kama

Similar Products Used:   Santa Cruz Blur LT 21" 5.5 travel 26er (super AM oriented but rideable, 32lbs as ridden), Rocky Mountain Slayer 6" Travel (about 33lbs as ridden, super dooper AM oriented, climbed like ass), Trek 69er Geared 21" hardtail 26" rear 29er front (good all around XC machine, climbs great), and all of my hard tails both geared and single speed.

Bike Setup:   XL frame (22" seat post, 24.8" top tube), quad bearing upgrade, RP23 upgrade. Metallic Blue paint that is just gorgeous. White Brothers 650b specific 130mm travel fork with 20mm thru axle, King headset, all Shimano XT components (crank, shifter, casette, etc), Avid BB7 brakes, Thompson post/stem and good light aluminum bars. Sweet setup, super reliable and beefy but still light. Wheelsets (and this is important): I built two wheelsets: first was Stans 355 with DT Supercomp spokes (thin and light) and hope hubs -- too flexy for me (I am a 6'5 225lb clyde). But I put them through hell and they held up great. I think the rims/hubs are fine but the spokes were too thin. I then built a Hadley/DT Swiss/Run Ringle Equalizer wheelset that is about 1/2lbs more but this wheelset rules, these are my go to wheels and sold the first set. For more details search my user name under this bike in the 650b section of the forums.

Reviews 1 - 1 (1 Reviews Total)

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