Ventana El Ciclon All Mountain Full Suspension

Available At:

Ventana El Ciclon: "The Cyclone" Designed for more aggressive trail riding, El Saltamontes? bigger brother, El Cicl?n, is a force to be reckoned with. With its 5? of rear travel, this burly XC/all-mountain bike makes the conditions just right for blowing through singletrack...

User Reviews (16)

Showing 1-10 of 16  
Stripes   [Jan 19, 2013]
Strength:

Frame strength, lower BB height, better tire clearance,significant improvement over older suspension design. Able to change the rear travel with a flip of a bit in the rocker. Uses more standard sizes (30.9 seatpost, tapered headtube). Can run either 135mm or 142mm rear. Semi-custom options (taller fork and slacker HA and ISCG tabs). Paint color options are better, and Ventana CS is still top notch.

Weakness:

PF30 BB. Most run BB30 or X-type. Very minor and fixable with adapters.

This review is for the 2012 El Ciclon, not the older design.

I had an X-5 for years. Thought it was great, until I was running into issues because the BB height was so high and it made the bike not feel right to me. So, I ended up on getting a semi-custom Ciclon that I couldn't be happier with. It's built more AM than XC (160mm Van 36 in the front, big tires, heavy duty parts, slacker HA) and it's weighty with my build, but I've seen people get them sub-30 lbs.

The Ciclon is very lively and snappy for a 150mm travel bike, and it climbs extremely well. There's very little need to run the rear shock with more low speed compression or Propedal on it like you would need with the older suspension design.

What amazes me still is how nimble this bike is, even with such long travel. I ride it in tight and twisty turns where I would think only an XC bike would shine, and it's helping me build my confidence on downhill sections that I would find scary in the past.

The lower BB helps the cornering, but it's taken some getting used to so I don't clip the pedals. At least ratcheting helps with clearing those pedal catcher areas.

Even with the 650B craze starting to hit some momentum now, I'm not in a rush to get rid of this bike. It's built in a way that makes the bike fun, and is completely enjoyable on everything from tight and twisty technical sections to flow trails or longer downhills. And climbs, my nemesis, aren't as painful as they used to be on this bike. Definitely a worthwhile consideration for anyone considering a 26er AM/trail bike these days.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
bicyclebillpdx   [Aug 05, 2012]
Strength:

Beautiful American made frame. Incredible workmanship, welds, etc. Incredibly stiff front and rear. Relatively light.

Weakness:

Very expensive. Old school design bobs tremendously when pedaling, worse than my 1999 Specialized FSR

2011 frame. Pretty sweet ride, does great on the downhills. Rear suspension design bobs terribly like a late 90's 4 bar link under pedaling unless you firm up the shock so much that it rides like a 3" travel cross country bike (and that's with a Fox RP23 set at firmest setting). Other than the pedaling, this suspension design is plush and stiff; it really rails in the rough stuff. I really wanted to love this bike, but the terribly inefficient pedaling was a deal breaker for me after a year. There are many other more efficient frames out there that are better all around performers. Ventana, like Ellsworth, have stuck with old designs without much refining to keep up with everyone else and it shows. Maybe the 2012 frame is better? I don't know

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
2
JB   Weekend Warrior [Oct 13, 2011]
Strength:

Super solid frame, absolutely no flex in the rear end. Beautiful paint, CNC'd details on swingarm & rocker. Great attention to detail on Ventana's part, almost too pretty to ride. The people at Ventana couldn't be easier to deal with when you have a question.

Weakness:

Zero

Like I said, extremely sturdy frame. Climbs pretty well with pro-pedal on and even better with the fork travel cranked down. Easy to feel confident going downhill on a bike that feels this plush. Looking forward to seeing what they do with the 2012 redesign!

Similar Products Used: Jamis, Giant, Raleigh, Trek (None similar by any stretch of the imagination)
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
midlifechrisis   Cross Country Rider [Apr 20, 2011]
Strength:

Beautifully stiff, light & strong. Looks right. Balanced handling.

Weakness:

Slight pedal bob.

I don't trust reviews from people who have only owned a product for a month or two. Human nature is to always be in love with something new & shiny especially if you've just spent a lot of dosh on it. I've had this as my one & only mountain bike in everyday use for a year and a half now, so the honeymoon is over (I'm still in love, though!)
Most of the parts fitted to it were swapped from my old Commencal Meta. I didn't get on with that one at all. In comparison, the Ventana is about a pound and a half lighter but much stiffer, especially noticeable at the back end. I weigh 225lb kitted up, so can expose weaknesses in flimsy components. It does everyday XC and can take a beating on rock garden descents without ever needing a service.
Bottom line is: even with so many superb frames on the market, I'd buy another Ventana because it works for me (plus I like people not knowing the Ventana brand!). Good value for a handbuilt frame compared to Turner etc.

Similar Products Used: Commencal Meta 5
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
SLAPPY   Downhiller [Aug 31, 2010]
Strength:

Deceivingly innovative, quality of craftsmanship, and overall ride

Weakness:

Little on the spendy side, but you get what you pay for

The more I ride this bike the more I like it! Which usually isn't the case. The bike does everything that it is asked to do. The harder it is pushed the better the bike handles. Truely a jack of all trades for a bike. XC to Enduro to All Mountain riding. Although it definitely isn't a park bike. Two negative aspect to the bike: The headtube could be taller/longer IMO, but is easily worked around. And the frame could be made a little more modern; ie.. tapered HT, maxle rear dropout ect...

Similar Products Used: Intense, Titus, Giant, ect..
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
tlevine@sbcglobal.net   Weekend Warrior [Jul 21, 2010]
Strength:

Frame is simple, strong, stiff and fairly light. Nice welds and paint job. RP23 with quad bearings is smooth and supple.

Weakness:

None so far

This bike is exactly as advertised. It is a Freeride/Trail bike and is more fun every time I ride it. Great fit and comfortable geometry. Not cramped like a steep XC bike and yet more responsive than a DH rig. I am trusting it more and more, and make noticeable improvement on every ride. Climbs really well for fairly slack geometry. I keep the propedal on. Lower the seat and turn off the propedal and it will absorb everything. I haven't jumped it, but I'm getting more and more air with every ride.

Very comfortable and easy to ride.

Similar Products Used: Kona The King, Specialized Stumpjumper FSR comp, Felt Virtue
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Earthpig   Cross Country Rider [Dec 22, 2009]
Strength:

Ventana quality and customer service. Nice paint job. Decent climber for a 5" travel frame.

Weakness:

Ill fitting. Subpar, downright scary and sketchy downhill handling.

I just can't love or even much like this frame, after repeated attempts to do so. I had an '04 Ventana X-5 for over 4 years and LOVED it. It was comfortable, fit well, had stable handling, and was a more than capable bike/frame in nearly all conditions. It was my trusty steed for many years - I went through SEVERAL other frames/bikes, but never parted with my X-5. Until the frame cracked. Bought the front triangle of the El Ciclon as a replacement.

A night and day difference from the X-5, with the identical components swapped over from one bike to the other, and identical frame sizes (19"). The El Ciclon geometry feels really, really steep - like riding an XC-race frame. But, at the same time, the top tube feels way too short. And with the recommended 140mm fork, the handling felt slow and ponderous. I tried narrower bars, wider bars, shorter stems, longer stems, different saddles, different seatposts, and nothing ever made this thing comfortable. Any ride over 1.5 hours would just kill my back, when I had never once had any back pain on the X-5. Any trail with technical or steep sections gave my that "I'm going over the bars" sensation. Even with 35mm of spacers under the stem and the fork dialed out all the way to its 140mm max, and my saddle at the same height it always was on the X-5, the bar height on the Ciclon would be lower than the saddle height, lending to that "racy" positioning. From what I can piece together, the head tube is too short for the head angle geometry, and the seat tube angle is too steep, both of which combine to make the top tube feel short and give that OTB feeling.

Basically, after 4 months and probably 25 rides of trying anything to make the frame work, I ended up leaving it just sitting, gathering dust in my garage. It's too bad, because it looks very nice, and I really like Teresa and Sherwood at Ventana. But, that's about all I can say as a positive about the El Ciclon.

Similar Products Used: Ventana X-5
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
3
giddyupandover   Weekend Warrior [Jul 31, 2009]
Strength:

Looks, welds, strenght, firmness at the rear triangle, pivots, bearings, cable routing...oh boy!!

Weakness:

NONE>>!!

beautiful all mountain bike, everything you want to do can be done. Up, down, steep, rolling and all around versatile bike. Nothing is wrong with this bike, the blue has a beautiful metalic and shines in the sun. The pivots are super ridgid for this frame, rear has NO flex, (and i ride it hard).I know it is a short review as in time, but i have owned or own 7 different bikes and rate this one at the top.IF U ARE IN CANADA AND LOOKING FOR A VENTANA DEALER>>>GO TO "FHR TRADING" IN ONTARIO AND FRED WILL HOOK U UP WITH AWESOME PRICES AND SERVICE...I LIVE IN BC AND LOOKED TO HIM FOR A FRAME AND BUILD UP..!! :)

Similar Products Used: Foes Fly,...Intense 6.6...Giant Reign 1
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Phishin Paul   Cross Country Rider [Sep 03, 2008]
Strength:

Superb climber, rails switchbacks, stout build, well balanced on descents

Weakness:

None so far.

This bike replaced an older model El Saltamontes that I ran for over 4 years. I had tried the Salty in 5 inch travel mode and did not care for the way it handled. The El Ciclon is made for 5 inch travel and you can tell in the way it handles. I have had the bike for just over 2 months and I am 100% satisfied with the purchase. Initially I was nervous at how it would handle steeper climbs and I have to say it climbs better than XC bikes I have owned, including hard tails. It sticks to the trail and feels so balanced where I find myself able to almost completely stop on a techy section, change a line if needed, and pedal right through while hanging on a rock. I have become obsessed with climbing because this bike gets me through rocky switchbacks and sections I have never cleaned before. Stiff, stiff, stiff. Enough about the climb...down rocks! So smooth, so fast. You will think you are riding a 6-7 inch travel bike when you hit the ruff stuff only to feel the beauty of the stiffness when you rail a corner leaving your friends with bigger travel bikes to wonder.

Sure, I have only had the bike for 2 months but I ride it almost everyday. Having come off the El Saltamontes I was already familiar with the Ventana "feel". The El Ciclon is a step up and will add confidence to any rider. If you want a bike that is stout, climbs well and descends like a dream, this is it. This is not the bike for weight conscious riders. This is a bike that you will have for many years to come because it is built to last. Oh, and the paint job is spectacular! Super Dust will get notice.

Similar Products Used: Ventana El Saltamontes
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
forestrider 007   Cross Country Rider [Aug 11, 2008]
Strength:

Bike handels great

Weakness:

Welds Suck, they break under normal use. Warrenty is 2yrs at best. Its a gimic get you in and keep replacing parts at a fraction of new bike replacement. O.K.If you like walking out of the ride carrying your bike. Welds Fail regularly.

Do not waste your money. Buy a Trek or something with a real warrenty. My buddy & I have broken the frame at the same location more than once. No Quality control to the welds. Welds should be the last place to break, if welded properly. This is not the case with Ventanas. Sherwood should stand behind his product, not his warrenty fine print.

Similar Products Used: All other FS Bikes
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Showing 1-10 of 16  

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