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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, the X-5 is all built up and looks so cool. I'll post some pics tomorrow- ride impressions too. There is one frustrating issue. I can't access the air valve from the side due to the rocker arm. The valve cap can be removed if someone heavy sits on the bike but since the air pump has a fatter head, the shock cannot be aired up unless I remove the top bolt from the shock. It's a RP23 and reversing it doesn't work since the adjustment knobs hit the frame:madmax:

Man, I didn't expect this- I can tell you that. I don't know if I can work around or eliminate this problem but feel free to give me any ideas.

I'll do a 575 vs X-5 comparo tomorrow and post some pictures as well. The shock issue is bugging me but other than that, the bike built up well and feels great in the parking lot.:D
 

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Flyer said:
Well, the X-5 is all built up and looks so cool. I'll post some pics tomorrow- ride impressions too. There is one frustrating issue. I can't access the air valve from the side due to the rocker arm. The valve cap can be removed if someone heavy sits on the bike but since the air pump has a fatter head, the shock cannot be aired up unless I remove the top bolt from the shock. It's a RP23 and reversing it doesn't work since the adjustment knobs hit the frame:madmax:

Man, I didn't expect this- I can tell you that. I don't know if I can work around or eliminate this problem but feel free to give me any ideas.

I'll do a 575 vs X-5 comparo tomorrow and post some pictures as well. The shock issue is bugging me but other than that, the bike built up well and feels great in the parking lot.:D
what shock is this, if its the x5 there is no way around it, you will have to remove the bolt & remove the shock from the top to adjust the air
 

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Haven't seen an RP23 yet , but it looks like the propedal lever may be longer than the RP3's and that's why it's hitting the rockers when not in the middle setting(I assume this is what you mean).That may be why it's mounted with the air valve inside the rockers like we have to mount the DHX air. You maybe can try flipping the shock upside down.Which would be a far stretch to reach the PP lever. Or you keep the way it came and remove the upper shock mounting bolt to add air like i have to with the DHX air.

P.S. congrats and welcome to the Ventanafile club
 

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Flyer said:
Well, the X-5 is all built up and looks so cool. I'll post some pics tomorrow- ride impressions too. There is one frustrating issue. I can't access the air valve from the side due to the rocker arm. The valve cap can be removed if someone heavy sits on the bike but since the air pump has a fatter head, the shock cannot be aired up unless I remove the top bolt from the shock. It's a RP23 and reversing it doesn't work since the adjustment knobs hit the frame:madmax:

Man, I didn't expect this- I can tell you that. I don't know if I can work around or eliminate this problem but feel free to give me any ideas.

I'll do a 575 vs X-5 comparo tomorrow and post some pictures as well. The shock issue is bugging me but other than that, the bike built up well and feels great in the parking lot.:D
Yeah, little bit of a pain at first, but once you get the air pressure dialed then you won't have to mess with it. Ventana usually ships RP3's with the lever facing the seattube, but I tried that with your RP23 and obviously it won't work. Glad to hear you got the bike together.
Larry
Mountain High Cyclery
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Larry. Yeah, once I have it dialed in, I will not need to mess with it much. I'm just afraid of stripping the bolt or whatever it goes into. I'll be careful. As for my ride report and one endo later......

I endoed the first time ever since I didn't lower my seat on a very rocky and steep decent between a rock face and a tree. My shoudler hit the tree and I must have squeezed the front brake. Next thing I know, I'm in the middle of a huge gap between the rocks/boulders and my X-5 (thankfully) is lying quietly on the trail. I somehow managed to get of the pedals thanks to the Speedplay Frogs- not a scratch on the bike and I am not bleeding much at all:)

The X-5 surprised me with how stiff it is. On and off-camber turns were very solid and confidence-inspiring. Remember, this is a 2004 with a steeper head tube angle so coming from the slacker 575, it was a quicker turning bike- turning as fast as my ASR-SL. Uphill sharp turns were FAST with no front end wandering at all. Downhill required more focus than my 575 as the front tended to dig in a bit more but that was solved by moving my seat back a bit and staying lighter on the bars- still needs more focus but the reward is sweet. I just can't get too lazy in those areas that require focus.
Uphill climbs are "different" than the 575. It feels more nimble (prob due to the headtube angle again) and it easier to change lines that the 575- midway up. However, if you pick one line and plow through, the 575 feels more planted.

I feel faster on the X-5 (always coming back to this) due to the racier geometry so I think that the newer X-5 will feel more similar to the 575. They feel very similar on faster straights, with a slight edge going to the X-5 due to a stiffer-feeling frame. It is a lb heavier but also has a stiffer frame that allows a bit better power transfer. Where I really felt more confident were the off-camber turns where the back wheel hit a rut or got lined up wrong by a root. There, I felt that the back recovered superbly and very fast. On the 575, it feels like it takes a split second longer but it also recovers well.

Overall, I think that this X-5 is like a slightly stiffer 575 with a more solid feel to it. I think the 575 is slightly better on long climbs or decents when you are a bit fatigued. The X-5 definitely required a little more focus (granted, it's my first ride) but the 575 rides easier- it's more forgiving. The X-5 will not let me take any naps on it but is remarkably snappy feeling.

After riding the 575, I'm glad the X-5 didn't end up feeling the same. I like the slightly more racy feel to the front end and still need to figure out the rear shock settings. On its first ride, the X-5 was pretty damn impressive and I need to become a stronger rider to be able to use it better. I'm going to love this bike and keep it for a long time. I miss not being able to air up my shock easily but I'll be fine as long as I don't strip anything.:nono:

I feel very fortunate to have owned a 575 and now own a X-5. I have not ridden two bikes that play the game at such a high level. I did haves ome derailleur problems that affected while climbing so I have to work on that and take the bike out again. I normally climb seated but when standing, the rear suspension moves more but as long as you're smooth, it still climbs well. I think the dogbone design of the 575's rear suspension works a bit better on some really sharp and fast hits at speed but it does have .75" more travel and uses it well. The fact that I probably don't have my rear suspension dialed in on the X-5 could have everything to do with it.

I can never knock the 575 (except for the potential fragility of the carbon flexpivots). It is one sweet bike and does not feel flexy to me but the stiffer X-5 edges it out in the handling department. I prefer the slow technical sections on the X-5 while I prefer the sharp and steep downhill switchbacks on the 575. Overall, the X-5 just handles slightly better. The 575 has the edge in technical uphills but the difference is almost imperceptible and the timing feels the same. It just feels more planted but does not change directions as quickly or as well so the rider can adjust to each bike's geometry and be as fast on either one.

Any more and I'll repeat myslef more than I already have. I now feel like I've slept with two beautiful supermodels back to back and am as worn out. Well, I look at bikes as guys so not really but it was the best analogy my tired mind could come up with. I really need to figure out how to fine-tune the derailleur- the chain keeps skipping around- seems to be on the rear cogs.
 

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Put the bolt in the rockers whilst moveing the rockers slightly and make sure it goes in by one or two threads than you won't strip it.

We all have the same problem with the DHX air. And believe me I've had mine out of that frame on nearly every ride. Like I said use finger pressure to get the first couple of threads then the allen key after that, and you should be OK.

The bike BTW is very good and incredibly stiff as you have obviously found out

Enjoy.
 

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You could mount it upside down. Here is my RP3 in a similar rocker situation. I like being able to get to the air valve without interference, but do have to reach farther for the switch.

 

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Wow, that would be an unacceptable issue for me...

Flyer said:
Well, the X-5 is all built up and looks so cool. I'll post some pics tomorrow- ride impressions too. There is one frustrating issue. I can't access the air valve from the side due to the rocker arm. The valve cap can be removed if someone heavy sits on the bike but since the air pump has a fatter head, the shock cannot be aired up unless I remove the top bolt from the shock. It's a RP23 and reversing it doesn't work since the adjustment knobs hit the frame:madmax:

Man, I didn't expect this- I can tell you that. I don't know if I can work around or eliminate this problem but feel free to give me any ideas.

I'll do a 575 vs X-5 comparo tomorrow and post some pictures as well. The shock issue is bugging me but other than that, the bike built up well and feels great in the parking lot.:D
Fox air shocks lose pressure after a few rides. Is this a 5/6 rocker arm or the stock 5 in. rocker arm? It sounds like there is a need for a redesign of the rocker. I certainly wouldn't be satisfied with having to remove the shock to adjust the air pressure(not for how much you pay for a frame). I'd call Ventana.
 

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Quattro said:
Fox air shocks lose pressure after a few rides.
Strange, mine doesn't...

Quattro said:
Is this a 5/6 rocker arm or the stock 5 in. rocker arm?
If the air valve is behind the rocker, I'm pretty sure it doesn't matter which rocker is used.

Quattro said:
It sounds like there is a need for a redesign of the rocker. I certainly wouldn't be satisfied with having to remove the shock to adjust the air pressure(not for how much you pay for a frame). I'd call Ventana.
Not sure how the rocker could get redesigned to allow for this. Unfortunately, Fox doesn't really work to make sure their products fit everyone's frames. But then again neither does anyone else. My Swinger 3-Way required shaving down the rebound knob to mount it in a way I could get to the SPV valve. My Float 100 RLC's rebound knob hits the downtube of my 15" Salty frame (this can be fixed with the standoff king race).

Short story is: these types of issues are pretty common, and you live with them. If you can't stand the frame because of where the air valve ends up, you've tossed the baby with the bathwater..

Personally, knowing that I couldn't mount an RP23 upside down would drive me crazy :D

op
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I bet you a guy with Sherwood's capabilities could redesign the rocker arms to fix this problem. Just look at the Turner rockers and how they curve slightly to provide room to air the valve. For now, I'll think I'll keep the RP23 though I admit that the idea of selling it and buying a RP3 keeps going through my head. However, if I have to air it up very frequently, I have a feeling, I'll be going to the RP3.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well, I got back from another ride today after fiddling with air pressures a bit more- fork and shock. The suspension is now even better suited to my weight and riding style. I can't get over how this bike holds a line around corners. I can see myself getting really stupid with this and smacking into a tree so I'll take it easy but it sure is fun. I'm obviously still pretty stoked by the insane ability of the rear wheel to track the front. I'm pretty worn out already but if I didn't have to take the dog for a long walk this evening, I'd be out again. I can hardly wait to get this out to the Breckenridge Singletrack.

I've kept a few extra spacers under the headset but I'm liking the more upright posisiton for now. I may drop it once I'm more used to the bike. Wit the sharper head angle, I feel safer a bit more upright- I know..it's a chicken thing to do but an endo isn't good in yer thirties:D
 

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I think..............

Flyer said:
I bet you a guy with Sherwood's capabilities could redesign the rocker arms to fix this problem. Just look at the Turner rockers and how they curve slightly to provide room to air the valve. For now, I'll think I'll keep the RP23 though I admit that the idea of selling it and buying a RP3 keeps going through my head. However, if I have to air it up very frequently, I have a feeling, I'll be going to the RP3.
............... I'd give your new RP23 a chance to see if you like the way it performs with some more riding time on it ! I think it comes with a higher volume air canister on it compared to the RP3 so it could give abit plusher feeling ride ! I'm using a PUSHed RP3 and couldn't be happier but that's not to say a PUSHed RP23 or stock RP23 wouldn't be better for some riders tastes ! TIG.
 

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Flyer said:
I endoed the first time ever since I didn't lower my seat on a very rocky and steep decent between a rock face and a tree. My shoudler hit the tree and I must have squeezed the front brake. Next thing I know, I'm in the middle of a huge gap between the rocks/boulders and my X-5 (thankfully) is lying quietly on the trail. I somehow managed to get of the pedals thanks to the Speedplay Frogs- not a scratch on the bike and I am not bleeding much at all:)
I went over the bars a couple of times on my '04 X5. The solution for me was a gravity dropper seatpost and a bit more rear sag. Feels great now on steep descents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I'll run the RP23 for a while. By the way, since my X-5 is a 2004 and the Fox shock is a 2007, any compatibility issues are not Ventana's fault at all. I don't mean to take away anything from this amazing bike and I apologize if I appeared to do that. Regarding the rocker design, I imagine that keeping the traingle as symmetrical as possible lends to the overall stiffness of the bike and longevity of the shock. I would not ask that this feature be compromised so retroactively redesigning the rockers may not be as easy or quick as I had first thought (though I also know that if the demand is there, Sherwood is one guy who could do it without compromising the function of the rocker design).
I don't mean to knock Sherwood or Ventana and I'd buy the X-5 all over again- now that I've ridden it:D
 
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