Ventana El Saltamontes Frameset

Ventana El Saltamontes Frameset 

DESCRIPTION

Ventana El Saltamontes

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 10  
[Oct 07, 2014]
Lindsay
Cross Country Rider

Strength:

Quality of build, paint, welds etc. Stiffness, durability. Simply outstanding.

Weakness:

Slightly short top tube and reach. Got a 16 as there were 16, 18 options at the time. A 17 would probably fit a little better and allow a shorter stem so be sure to consider fit before deciding on frame size. I'm 5'7', 170lbs (all muscle hahahaha)

Well, I thought I'd post this now as I find mtbr becoming too commercial and the smaller high-end bike builders being pushed out by the marketing muscle from the big guys ... also, I know I posted a review here after about 6 months of first getting the bike and mtbr seems to have lost it. Along with about 50 other reviews for this outstanding frame.

I live in Ottawa, Canada and ride 3-4 times a week in the spring/summer/fall. Rough XC and all mountain. There's great riding here in Kanata Lakes, Gatineau and Tremblant.

Compared to every other bike I've had and ridden in 20+ years, this is the stiffest, most accurate, precise ride I've ever ridden. This bike has done a few thousand miles, has been dropped and thrown and bounced... it is bomb proof! Always true. Says a lot for the bike, the excellent wheels and all the parts. Maintenance wise, I have replaced the cassette and middle chain-ring twice along with the chain, the derailleur hanger once (ordered two spares with bike), brake pads too. In 5 summers.
Durable in every way! More so than carbon I'm sure.

I'll never get rid of this bike, it'll last forever.

I MIGHT upgrade to 120 forks to slacken the head angle and get more travel up front and I MIGHT eventually get 1x11 gearing but I'm so used to this bike I'm not sure I want the change(s). I MIGHT consider getting their 27.5/650B bike too but can't bring myself to divorce the El Salty just yet :-) and I'm sure the newer El Salty frame is even better!

Quite simply, you pay for what you get and you get what you pay for. Ventana make superb bikes, they're hand-made, service is excellent and quality is second to none!

Similar Products Used:

Claude Butler, Giant NRS and a few others.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Mar 10, 2002]
Doug
Cross Country Rider

Strength:

Laterally stiff,beefy but not too heavy.Great all around bike.Frame is perfect.All the detail you hear about in Ventana is there.Custom built geometry to fit my 6'-7" frame.Sherwood and everyone else at Ventana are very helpful and easy to work with.Bike and pivots have held up very well through many hard miles.

Weakness:

None

This bike was well worth the money spent.An additional fee applied for the custom geometry but it made it all worth it.Sherwood was extremely helpful in helping me decide on the geometry and not pushy at all.Excellent customer service.
To be so beefy built and to be such a large frame(25.5" top tube,24" seat tube) this bike is not heavy at all.It excels in any type of riding I do and I think it is one of the best all purpose full-susp. bikes going.










Similar Products Used:

Hardtails and high-pivot URT's

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Dec 27, 2000]
Giles
Cross Country Rider

Strength:

Amazing Ride. Stiff. Good climber, great descender.

Weakness:

None.

It is a great bike to ride and own. I loved my last Ventana; this one is even better. I originally had a Z2 atom bomb fork on the bike. It is much smother and better balanced with the X-fly 100.

The El Saltemontes is pricy, but worth it. The bike is both a work of art and a well built machine. Ventana's trade-in program is good deal, making it easier to justify buying a new frame if you already own a ventana.

Similar Products Used:

El Habinero

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Dec 03, 2000]
DEP
Cross Country Rider

Strength:

Stiff, really stiff. Great riding bike, just outstanding. Craftsmanship is top notch. Ability to run air or coil over.

Weakness:

Price

Wow, what an incredibly fun bike. That's the best way to sum up this ride, fun. Light enough for XC use, beefy enough for tough use. Can be built up nice and light with a sid 100, and light parts, and an air rear shock. Can be built up beefy with a double-triple clamp and a coil-over. Really a versitile bike. A true mountain bike. For sport class racers with a light build up it could be run no problem. For others, build it up beefy and trail-ride this bad boy. I'm surprised I don't hear more about it. The handling works great just about everywhere. I found most other 4-bars, and for that matter trail bikes to handle slow, not the case with this ride. The superdust is a cool color. All in all, an outstanding bike. I liked it better than the tracer and ellsworth truth, handled better, and was stiffer (the tracer was close). Fun, fun, fun. Expensive as all heck. The 5 chili rating is for the ride quality, it's that good. The value rating... well it's real pricy though I've seen good deals out there in the mtbr marketplace and on ebay.

Similar Products Used:

Ellsworth Truth, Ventana Marble Peak, test rode a bunch others

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
[Aug 10, 2000]
Bruce
Cross Country Rider

Strength:

Suspension design, rear end stiffness, construction, handling, looks, ...

Weakness:

Not cheap

Bottom line – this bike is awesome. There are certainly other cool bikes out there (Truth, Tracer, XCE, Superlight), but this has a nice combination of downhill toughness and handling and cross-country climbing ability and weight. Plus it looks beautiful and is made like a piece of art. It looks like it belongs in a museum but is way too much fun for that.

The rear suspension makes climbing easier, both in rough technical stuff where the suspension helps keep the rear tire in contact with the ground, and in long bumpy slogs where you can stay seated and relaxed over the rough stuff. Downhilling on the El Saltamontes is a total blast. The stiff rear end corners like it’s on rails and the active suspension just eats rocks and roots even under heavy braking or pedalling. Out-of-the saddle hammering is not as quick as my Kestrel CSX hardtail, but I think that is mainly the plush fork – the rear end does not bob from pedal forces.

I have ridden this bike as a ski area downhiller (e.g. Flame-out at Northstar Tahoe) and a shuttle run bomber (e.g. Butcher’s Creek at Downieville), but mainly as a cross-country trail bike on all kinds of trails. It excels at everything I have asked it to do, from technical dropoffs to swoopy turns to crazy climbing. I weigh about 150 lbs and run my rear shock at 100 psi, which gives about 5/8 inch sag at the shock. I run the front forks at about 25 psi. I have been mountain biking since the early 80’s but am not a radical free-rider into dropping off roofs or North Shore type riding, and my cross country racing days are over. I mainly like to ride technical single-track and for that type of riding this bike excels.

The guys at Ventana and the Gibson Design group are great. I have had Sherwood Gibson, the bike designer and company owner, return calls and e-mails, and Charlie Galliger is very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. If you go with the big guys you could get a nice bike for less dough, but if you want something special from a small company with personality and passion it is tough to beat the El Saltamontes as a great, all-around trail bike.

Similar Products Used:

Y-33 (owned), Santa Cruz Superlight, Marble Peak, hardtails

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Jun 28, 2000]
Brett
Cross Country Rider

Strength:

Excellent build quality, perfect frame finish, extremely efficient shock setup... descents, climbs, cornering... all AWESOME! Best damn frame I've ever owned.

Weakness:

None... expect to pay when you get a frame of this caliber.

What can I say... Ventana has an awesome owner appreciation program... trade in a previous frame... I had a Marble Peak FS (5 years old) and get a credit for a new frame. I couldn't resist. This bike combined with the Zoke front shock is amazing (4" up front and 3.9" in the rear)... it descends, climbs, and corners the living hell out of my MP. I finally feel like I have a bike that was built for me.

Initiation ride was in Downieville in the Sierras, Pauley Creek & Butcher trail... baby's head, river beds, stream crossings, sick descents, long and short steep climbs, single track with turns so tight, you miss and you're over the edge and a helicopter is on the way to pull your carcass out of the river bottom. The combination of the Salt and Zzoke handled it all with aplomb and then some... another guy mentioned he felt it made him a better rider... I wholeheartedly agree. The guys that I rode with are normally a minute or two behind me on rides... took them 15 minutes to catch up on these rides. I had to kill squirrels and eat pine needles on the trail for sustenance while I waited...

For those of you with the cash and another Ventana frame... call them and talk to Charlie, you will not be disappointed. He was extremely helpful and offered excellent advice.

For those of you that aren't a Ventana owner... this is the bike to buy if you're into XC... I've tried their closest competitors... Ellsworth, Turner... there is no comparison.

I'm building a disc wheelset (king, 317 CD, 14-15 DB) and will buy the XTR disc brakes, when they come out... I was going into turns so fast that I need the extra stopping power and modulation... Arch Supremes just aren't cutting it any more.

Similar Products Used:

Marble Peak FS, GT LTS, Klein, Sepcialized, Turner, Ellsworth, Trek

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Nov 06, 1999]
Andres
Cross-Country Rider

Strength:

Well balanced, laterally stiff, handles rough terrain quite well, good climber, great decender, plush, etc.

Weakness:

None

I have been riding this bike for approximately one month and have been quite surpirsed with many of its excellent qualities. This bike is well balanced, laterally stiff, and will ride over anything you will put in front of it. I have been impressed with how well it ascends steep single track climbs. It may not be the fastest climber, but it is extremely reliable and will get you to the top of any steep section with confidence as the rear wheel sticks to the ground like a pit bull and you don't have to worry about bio pacing when going over obstacles. Also, this bike will get you to the top of any rough climb without letting you over exert yourself as the rear wheel will not spin out on you and you will also notice that won't have to fight your peddle strokes due to bio pacing. As a descender, this bike is hard to beat. Just point it down and it will smooth out the roughest of sections.Overall, this is the most fun bike I have ever owned and has already made me a much better rider.
The Saltamontes has got to be one of the best all purpose bikes in the industry, if not the best.P.S.I bought this bike from KALO and Bret has been helpful, resourceful, and suportive.

Similar Products Used:

Santa Cruz Heckler

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[Oct 20, 1999]
Carlos Relova
Weekend Warrior

Strength:

Stiff Frame
lower bottom bracket,
lower center of gravity,
more aggressive geometry,
field serviceable pivot system,

Weakness:

Factory Spring for Stratos Helix Expert is too stiff. I need a softer one.

Great Frame!!
Seems stiffer, yet lighter, than my previous Marble Peak FS. Tracks well. Awesome travel.
The new field serviceable pivot is a great addition.

Similar Products Used:

Marble Peak FS
El Habanero

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[Jun 08, 2001]
Tom
Cross Country Rider

Strength:

(latest model) unbelievable attention to detail, no canti bosses (looks smooth),adjustable travel, double rows of bearings everywhere.

Weakness:

not a single thing !!!

unbelievable quality, customer service, paint everything

Similar Products Used:

Ellsworth truth se (i thought that was nice but for the same money you can get a lot more and the Ventana is made and assembled in the same place.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[May 02, 2005]
Luciano Serra
Weekend Warrior

Strength:

Anodized paint, Laterally stifness, Very active rear suspension, downhill ride fell, lightweight and detailed construction.

Weakness:

Not an efficient pedaling frame (needs shock lockout for every climb and flat xc roads).
Minor weaknesses: (a) high center of gravity (with 6" rocker link) and (b) short wheelbase for downhill speed.

I loved my old El Saltamontes but I had to install new bushings kit often. The main reason I did the trade-in offered by Ventana (and this is a great feature of getting a Ventana frame) was that they improved to a double bearing pivots w/ a 6" link option, besides the annodized paint that I'm not sure they do for everybody (was an option too). The bike performs very well at any trail. The only complaint is to its poor pedal efficiency/bobbing. I'm looking to swich the rear shock for an anti-bob version, but I'm having problems also in getting the spected size. Anyway, if you don't race, I do reccomend this frame if you want to built A REAL ALL-MOUNTAIN BIKE.

Similar Products Used:

Ventana El Saltamontes 00' model (bushings pivots, BMX style dropouts, 4" rear travel)

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 10  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

mtbr.com and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.