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Ultra Ventanaphile
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3,346 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let me start off, by first getting this out of the way…YES, this is THAT Zeus, the Dirt Rag Review Zeus and….NO there isn’t anything wrong with it. Design or mechanically.
As mentioned before it was purely human error. The wrong dropouts were left on after alignment check.
See this post for more info
Zeus frame design flaw? - Page 4

Now a bit about me, so you know where I’m coming from. I think most of you know I’ve been mtb’ing for 20+ yrs, here in Norcal and probably an intermediate to advanced rider.
I am not a 650B/27.5 Newb, I rebuilt my Marble Peak FS back in 2008 with 650B wheels, and then had Sherwood build me a 650b compatible Chiquillo hardtail in ’09 because of how much I liked the MPFS,
I only changed out to a hardtail because the 650BMPFS and Salty I had overlapped too much.

Now on to the fun part, Flogging this thing. I have to be really honest, I was expecting an incremental revision compared to my fleet of Ventana’.
I was WOEFULLY underestimating it. “Wow” that’s all I could keep saying to myself on the first ride. It was hard for me to explain to my riding buddy how much this bike was different, yet the same.

Same – Stiff, no unwanted flex design, stable geo on DH, climbing traction from the rear suspension.

Different - everything else,

Ridiculous roll over on anything, from roots, rocks uphill or down and drops. The combination of 27.5” wheels and 6.3” of travel just lets you motor over and thru anything.
And it doesn’t wallow, I knew the new main pivot placed the max chain growth right at the same point of sag (30% of travel) So it pedals well with the Fox CTD on Descend, and
REALLY well in any of the Trail settings (3 options). I only used Climb once while going up a paved trail just to see how the suspension would behave. I think the Climb setting would only be
used by mashers who stand up and pedal hard, I found no need for the Climb setting in any trail riding situation.

And then you point this thing downhill? WOW, yeah that word again. Smooth, not just a plush suspension but confidence inspiring, smoothness.
It’s the combination of the bigger wheels, the suspension and the geo. Slacked out in 160mm mode with a 67.0° Head angle the Zeus is nearly unflappable and just plain fun to ride.
But that was the best part, while riding around on less aggressive trails and just flowing smoother singletrack this bike never felt like I was lugging around a 160mm bike.
It pedals too well, and handles like a shorter travel bike and then you launch off a 30+” drop or hit a rock garden and it just sucks up the hit.

I remember that Sherwood told me, it’s a quiver killer. I HAVE a quiver, including a 4.3” Salty, 6.3” Bruja V1.5 and a 9” Cuervo, and
I could easily see replacing the Salty and Bruja with a Zeus. And if I had to even the Chiquillo Geared Hardtail. Please don't anybody tell my wife! Or Maybe????

I should mention the spec build of this bike is part of the Zeus’ success, TALAS 34, SRAM XX, XX Brakes, Easton Carbon Haven Bar and Stem,
Chris King hubs with WTB Frequency Rims, all came out to a whopping 28.8# (Without Pedals). Just slightly (.5# )heavier than my Chiquillo, about the same as my Salty and 6.4# lighter than my Bruja!
Quiver killer, Superbike, King of Gods that’s the Zeus alright.

Pics for your enjoyment;

Zeus in Carbon Black, 21" Size

Carbon Bar and Seatpost, Full SRAM XX, the stem is my own Titec 0/75mm the Frame is a size bigger than I normally run, so I used a shorter stem to bring the bars back and it felt suprisingly comfortable.

Here is the clearance at bottom out with WTB 2.2" Wolverines. I measured them at 58MM wide and 62mm tall (2.28" x 2.44") when mounted on the WTB i23 Frequency rims. This measured out to just over 1/8" of clearance.

I then mounted my own 2.35 Nevegals, These tires are WIDE squatty tires, they measured 60mm wide by 58mm tall on the WTB rims. These are my tires of choice and as you can see I GAINED clearance at bottom out.

Here's a shot of the Driveside Dropout, where you can more clearly see the machined out triangulated divot, ( I mistakenly said squared off in the other thread). This designates the 650B dropouts that gives the 17" Chainstay length needed. (26" uses a 16.75" Chainstay length)

And here is the Pivot mount, scratch and rub free after 10 days of me, again a clyde at #225+ beating on it in all kinds of terrain.

A few beauty shots...

Zeus can even handle ice! Ok, ok it's not a Fatbike but I did stay upright crossing the bridge!

I just liked the background...

And from the previous post, proof I did actually ride it and fly it..

I did think of one con... I can't afford one for my own yet!!!
 

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Ultra Ventanaphile
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3,346 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Apparently in Tapatalk my flickr pics show up as links. These are reposted via Tapatalk for mobile users.


21" Zeus in Carbon Black


Clearance with 2.35 Nevegal


Clearance with 2.2 Wolverine


No rubbing after two weeks of abuse.


Driveside dropout with with machined triangle to indicate 650B.



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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Pixie Dust Addict
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3,366 Posts
Nice review, Aaron. You need to take that to Mammoth this Summer.

And just never mention to Sherwood that you still have the Zeus, and maybe he'll forget about it after a while...
 

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Ultra Ventanaphile
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3,346 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Nice review, Aaron. You need to take that to Mammoth this Summer.

And just never mention to Sherwood that you still have the Zeus, and maybe he'll forget about it after a while...
Ah, if it was only that easy and it's not Sherwood I fear.... :)

Zeus-Mamamoth, IF things go right should be doable.
 

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Team Fearless Descender
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1,976 Posts
Great review Aaron! Your description of the ride characteristics were what I expected to, and hoped to hear, and are what I had pretty much heard from Sherwood himself. Makes me want one more than ever! Fantastic photography too, by the way. Ole!
 

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Ultra Ventanaphile
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3,346 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Todd, the pics are getting better thanks to my photo mentor me thinks...
 

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Pixie Dust Addict
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3,366 Posts
Ah, if it was only that easy and it's not Sherwood I fear.... :)

Zeus-Mamamoth, IF things go right should be doable.
Oh yeah, I'm guessing Teresa might have something to say about you keeping it.

Scott and I are trying to get some guys together from the Dirtbags for a trip up there this summer. I'll keep you and Todd in the loop about our plans.
 

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Ultra Ventanaphile
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3,346 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
And it's funny...There were 104 replies in the Zeus frame design flaw thread, but on 8 replies in this thread.
You noticed this did ya? Oh well, I guess the truth isn't as juicy or something.:cool:

As far justifying... Think I want to justify killing off my Quiver? :D
 

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Thanks for that review. I'm in the planning(&saving) phase for my next bike, and the Zeus is looking like a great option to me.
 
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