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Okay, just doing my research and it looks like I'm torn between the Ellsworth Epiphany and the Ventana El Saltamontes. Both of these frams look very sweet, but I'm really looking for a well balanced all aound performer.

I plan on using the bike for serious XC in varied terrain from smooth twisting single track to very rough rocky terrain in N. Cal. I'm using a Fox RLC 100 fork, and I'm a bit worried about it working with the Ellsworth as well. I see that most people recommend using a 130mm fork with this frame. I also want as little energy sapping motion as possible when pedaling out of the saddle.

I welcome any insight, especially from those who have actually ridden either of these two bikes.

Thanks!
 

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Elsworth

Of the 2 bikes you are looking at I would say there is no choice, the Elsworth is a far better bike. You mentioned wanting a bike that won't zapp excess energy and it has been proven time and time again that a horst link 4 bar is better in that department than a bike with a seat stay pivot. A VPP or DW type bike is definatly worth a look but I would not buy a faux bar frame.
 

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Johnny Hair Boy said:
Of the 2 bikes you are looking at I would say there is no choice, the Elsworth is a far better bike.
I'd respectfully disagree on your assertion that the Elsworth is a far better bike. Perhaps it is to you, and that's cool, but there are a lot of other knowledgeable riders who have no problem with the Ventana suspension. In fact, a lot of the folks doing comparisons to of the Turner TNT versus the HL seem to have stated they think the TNT/seat stay pivot has better acceleration than the HL. Of course that is subjective, so as always it will boil down to which bike feels better to each rider. Both are excellent frames.

On another note, one of the features I personally like about the Salty (btw, I don't own one), is the ability to change the travel in the future if you desire. Stock configuration is 4" of rear travel, which would work great with your existing fork. If you want to go bigger in the future, get another fork and a set of 5" rockers from Ventana. I think you can even go up to 6" now. It is a really flexible frame in that regard.
 

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I've ridden a Salty and there are not many bikes out there that can match it in the "well balanced all around performer" dept. I haven't ridden the Epiphany but the price on that frame is outrageous.
 

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One of my biggest gripes on full suspension bikes is the lack of front and rear lockout. From my experience ALL suspension bikes bob in out of the saddle efforts regardless of their configuration.

Why spend thousands on a high end bike without it, particularly if you are looking for pedaling efficiency???

Plenty of front shocks have lockout but many high end bikes do not come with rear end lockout. If you never get out of the saddle that is one thing, but otherwise I would look for this feature.

I have a cheap faux bar KHS with front and rear lockout and it makes a huge difference. Horst Link bikes despite all their hype are not that much better and do bob in out of the saddle riding. My single pivot Giant VT while very capable particularly downhill and good while seated pedalling really sucks in out of the saddle efforts even with my front fork locked out. SPV does not eliminate bob in out of the saddle efforts from my experience.

My personal opinion is that I would get the Ventana. The first Ventana I rode years ago fit me like a glove and handled like a dream.
 

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You won't need lockout on the Epi...the PP on an RP3 is sufficient.

As far as changing travel, if the bike is not built for it, going from 4" to 6" isn't the best thing. The geometry would be a little wacky. Different rockers will change angles that a dedicated bike in that travel range would have dialed. I think the X-5 would be a better bike if you were planning on changing things up in the future.

The price on the Epiphany is high, no doubt. You would also need a fork that matches it. Ellsworth is recommending 125-150mm.

Ventana bikes are notoriously stiff and come in a cool variety of colors. Unless you've got the cash on hand to pony up for a new fork, I'd get the Salty in 4" travel garb. OR, maybe look at a 2006 Truth, which would be a more comparable comparison to the 4" Salty.
 

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It has been proven time and time again on a computer screen or in theory, but real world testing says otherwise. Check out what is happening in Turner land right now. Many people who have ridden a Ventana like the faux feel better than a HL.

It comes down to preference. There is no superior design. It is that simple.
 

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LoneStar said:
In fact, a lot of the folks doing comparisons to of the Turner TNT versus the HL seem to have stated they think the TNT/seat stay pivot has better acceleration than the HL. Of course that is subjective, so as always it will boil down to which bike feels better to each rider. Both are excellent frames.
that's rich, so the seatstay pivot was an improvement or is it called a refinement these days, perhaps in 2010 Turner will reintroduce the single pivot bike and the reviews will be along the lines of "...all the active response of the first gen. HL, all the acceleration of the gen. two faux bar and all the simplicity of a classic single pivot."

2015 may see a elastormer manitou in place of each seatstay. :)
 

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not sure what the debate is; both are fine bikes I am sure. at the end of the day, with virtually all high end bikes, it is a subjective decision based on many parameters to include build quality, suspension type (eg, horst), implementation of design, customer service, etc....

anybody who lets a physics 101 textbook ALONE make their decision is sorely misguided. Bikes for sure are not a beast determined based on a single parameter, when SO MANY parameters contribute to the oversall ride. I could design a bike based on whatever suspension design the "zealots of the day" are preaching but guess what, cause everything else would be crap the bike would be crap.

cheers
 

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So Chad,

When you stand up to climb or sprint on the Ellsworth with a stable platform shock it absolutely does not bob and feels like it is locked out???
 

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trail fairy
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Ride and know!

If you'd ridden an Ellsworth compared to other FS bikes you wouldnt talk about bob unless you compared it to a hardtail and then its subjective as these are two different applications.

I regulary hammer my ID without pro pedal the only thing that resembles bob is the fork and then I use the AM function on my Marz AM1 and can climb as well as anything but then I'm also not into trying to convert others with predjudice to E who cares who makes em, people buy Japanese cars too people move on.

Tuners are also good in this department though I still think my ID suits me better, the Eiphany will should be even better if its anything like my Moment was.

Can't comment on the Ventana never riddin one FO Shizzle would have the noodles here! They do have the best and sexiest welds in the business, but no one will convince me the TNT Faux Bar single pivot works better than a truly well designed and evolutionary HL in the all round department. And does depend if you know what you want from a bike.

Those that don't want to pay for it fair enough, but don't try to justify it because you can't afford it!

Though there are some truly good OEM bikes out there now like Giants 06 Trance & Reign with with great component speccs.

MTBR is a great resource but take it with a grain of salt try before you buy if ya can and try to get the suspension setup for your weight or any good bike will give a bad ride impression. Then you will get a balanced assessment for your riding style and needs.

My 2cs good luck,
Ps either would serve you wel IMO.
 

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trailadvent said:
Ride and know!

If you'd ridden an Ellsworth compared to other FS bikes you wouldnt talk about bob unless you compared it to a hardtail and then its subjective as these are two different applications.

I regulary hammer my ID without pro pedal the only thing that resembles bob is the fork and then I use the AM function on my Marz AM1 and can climb as well as anything but then I'm also not into trying to convert others with predjudice to E who cares who makes em, people buy Japanese cars too people move on.

Tuners are also good in this department though I still think my ID suits me better, the Eiphany will should be even better if its anything like my Moment was.

Can't comment on the Ventana never riddin one FO Shizzle would have the noodles here! They do have the best and sexiest welds in the business, but no one will convince me the TNT Faux Bar single pivot works better than a truly well designed and evolutionary HL in the all round department. And does depend if you know what you want from a bike.

Those that don't want to pay for it fair enough, but don't try to justify it because you can't afford it!

Though there are some truly good OEM bikes out there now like Giants 06 Trance & Reign with with great component speccs.

MTBR is a great resource but take it with a grain of salt try before you buy if ya can and try to get the suspension setup for your weight or any good bike will give a bad ride impression. Then you will get a balanced assessment for your riding style and needs.

My 2cs good luck,
Ps either would serve you wel IMO.
I am talking about comparing it to a hardtail. Why not have lockout for those situations when it would benefit efficiency such as out of the saddle riding??

I like suspension when it is needed but there are times where it isn't needed.

For the most part the big difference on a bike's speed is the motor, then bike fit, then bike setup then the type of suspension.
 

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Traction.

richwolf said:
I am talking about comparing it to a hardtail. Why not have lockout for those situations when it would benefit efficiency such as out of the saddle riding??

I like suspension when it is needed but there are times where it isn't needed.

For the most part the big difference on a bike's speed is the motor, then bike fit, then bike setup then the type of suspension.
One of the biggest differences between a hardtail and a full suspension is that there is added traction on a fully. If you ride a lock out, you will lose some traction because there is no give to the suspension. When you are out of the saddle, I think it is important for the suspension to give a little, because this is when you are likely to spin out in technical riding situations. That little bit of suspension movement will help the rear tire dig in a bit.

With that said, a good rider can make it up technical climbs on a rigid or a hardtail. Picking lines and body english come into play with less suspension.

On a long smoothish fire road climb, suspension is probably not needed in the front or back and this where a lock out would benefit a rider the most. Locking rear suspensions were fairly common before the advent of stable platform damping and more sophisticated suspension designs.

I think if you want that really stiff lockout feel, then a vpp bike like the SC Blur, LT, or Intense Spider, and 5.5 would be for you. On these bikes, the harder you pedal, the stiffer the suspension becomes.
 

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You hit the nail on the head

The traction benifits of an active rear suspension far out way the negetives you get from a little bobing. I think the best bike for someone who wants the suspension to move as little as posible is an Epic but I would take even a poorly designed suspension over a hard tail my self. I personaly hate the way hardtails bonce around and punish the ridder but thats just me.
 

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I am not discounting the benefits of suspension. I have two full suspension bikes for my main rides and a softride bike. BUT why not offer a lockout for the situations that call for it?? It isn't that difficult. The best of both worlds plush when you need it, lock out when you need it.SPV is OK but it does not eliminate out of the saddle bob.
 
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