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melon farmer
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello - can anyone on this forum help me choose between the '05 X5 and and El Salt? I have just come from a size L '03 Enduro and ride hard but take no drops bigger than about 4 foot. I'm 6'1" in height, long torso, shorter legs, long arms and weigh around 230lbs in gear with a full Camelbak...

I love the look of the El Salt but I'm thinking the X5 may be better for both stiffness and standover height. I will run a coil shock (DHX or Manitou Swinger) with the 5/6" rocker and will definitely go for the quad bearing upgrade. I get the feeling that the X5 is meant to be ridden harder than the Salty but I know both would stand a fair degree of hard riding. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
 

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T , V , & K Rider
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X5

marcus_dukakis said:
Hello - can anyone on this forum help me choose between the '05 X5 and and El Salt? I have just come from a size L '03 Enduro and ride hard but take no drops bigger than about 4 foot. I'm 6'1" in height, long torso, shorter legs, long arms and weigh around 230lbs in gear with a full Camelbak...

I love the look of the El Salt but I'm thinking the X5 may be better for both stiffness and standover height. I will run a coil shock (DHX or Manitou Swinger) with the 5/6" rocker and will definitely go for the quad bearing upgrade. I get the feeling that the X5 is meant to be ridden harder than the Salty but I know both would stand a fair degree of hard riding. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
I really like my 04 Salt but if I only had one ride it would be the X5! Yeah, I would feel I could push the limits more with an X5 over my Salty! Like I say I love my Salt but I have another frame coming for more aggressive riding! I am a recent Ventana owner and this is my own opinion, others have ridden there Salts hard for years and probably feel different! I have talked to other Salt owners for info on this forum that claim it will withstand alot of hard riding! I hope this is true because I plan to have lots of fun with mine! ;) They are both really nice frames and I like the more traditional style of the Salt but the X5 may have the edge in abit more versatility and strength! Yeah it all boils down to your own taste and riding style! Have fun! TIG.
 

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If you're interested in something of a cross between an X5 and an El Saltomontes, consider contacting Charles at Hammerhead Bikes about his HH125X frame (traditional double diamond design, straight gauge headtube and downtube, etc...also, built by Ventana). I hope to have mine relatively soon :D.
 

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T , V , & K Rider
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Hh125?

lushmd said:
If you're interested in something of a cross between an X5 and an El Saltomontes, consider contacting Charles at Hammerhead Bikes about his HH125X frame (traditional double diamond design, straight gauge headtube and downtube, etc...also, built by Ventana). I hope to have mine relatively soon :D.
Hey lushmd,

I heard rumors of this frame! I hope you plan on posting a picture of your new ride? Cannot wait to hear more about it! Thanks! TIG.
 

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TIGMAN, have no fear...pics/ride report will definitely be forthcoming. As per info from Sherwood and Charles, I hope to have the complete bike within the next 4-5 weeks (hopefully sooner, but I don't want to jinx it)...until then, I'm on the rigid SS. All the best.
 

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melon farmer
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
lushmd said:
If you're interested in something of a cross between an X5 and an El Saltomontes, consider contacting Charles at Hammerhead Bikes about his HH125X frame (traditional double diamond design, straight gauge headtube and downtube, etc...also, built by Ventana). I hope to have mine relatively soon :D.
Does the X5 use some straight gauge tubing while the El Salt use butted/manipulated tubes? Can anyone provide an indicative (frame only) weight difference between two similar-sized rigs? Less than a pound would not affect my choice.

Thanks again for everyone's suggestions
 

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marcus_dukakis said:
Does the X5 use some straight gauge tubing while the El Salt use butted/manipulated tubes? Can anyone provide an indicative (frame only) weight difference between two similar-sized rigs? Less than a pound would not affect my choice.

Thanks again for everyone's suggestions
Think the weight difference is in the order of 1 pound. The X5 now also has a slightly slacker head angle than the Salty. Given your size and hard riding, the X5 would probably be the better choice. I'm told on good authority that the X-frame adds a fair amount of front end stiffness to the frame.
 

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Trail Rider
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uktrailmonster said:
I'm told on good authority that the X-frame adds a fair amount of front end stiffness to the frame.
I wonder how much stiffer the X5 is compared to the straight gauge Hammerhead Salty frame? I like the idea of a 5/6 rocker on the Hammerhead with an air shock and quad bearings. I like the traditional look of the Salty vs the X5.
 

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marcus_dukakis said:
Does the X5 use some straight gauge tubing while the El Salt use butted/manipulated tubes? Can anyone provide an indicative (frame only) weight difference between two similar-sized rigs? Less than a pound would not affect my choice.

Thanks again for everyone's suggestions
IIRC, the X5 uses all straight gauge tubing while the El Saltomontes uses all butted tubes (AFAIK, this only applies to the front triangles...I think that the rear triangles are the same, although there is a heavy duty rear triangle upgrade available). I doubt that the difference in weight would be any more than a pound. As far as looks go, I agree with Quattro (one of the reasons I went with the HH125X...also, I think that I would prefer the 70 degree head angle of the HH).
 

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lushmd said:
IIRC, the X5 uses all straight gauge tubing while the El Saltomontes uses all butted tubes (AFAIK, this only applies to the front triangles...I think that the rear triangles are the same, although there is a heavy duty rear triangle upgrade available). I doubt that the difference in weight would be any more than a pound. As far as looks go, I agree with Quattro (one of the reasons I went with the HH125X...also, I think that I would prefer the 70 degree head angle of the HH).
Yeah, rear triangles are definitely the same. The heavy duty option is from the tandem and isn't really worth considering. The standard triangle is plenty stiff enough with Quad bearings.
 

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lushmd said:
If you're interested in something of a cross between an X5 and an El Saltomontes, consider contacting Charles at Hammerhead Bikes about his HH125X frame (traditional double diamond design, straight gauge headtube and downtube, etc...also, built by Ventana). I hope to have mine relatively soon :D.
Looking forward to a report. So does this have the 5-6" rocker on it? I can't find the interbike report where charles announced the 125x on his site anymore..... and if it does, could you then run a six inch fork (like the Flick, 36, Z1 FR, etc?) to slacken the HA for some more burly/fr type riding?

Hmmm (scratching chin). Maybe this is the anwser to my Moto-Lite rant over on the Titus board.
 

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KRob said:
Looking forward to a report. So does this have the 5-6" rocker on it? I can't find the interbike report where charles announced the 125x on his site anymore..... and if it does, could you then run a six inch fork (like the Flick, 36, Z1 FR, etc?) to slacken the HA for some more burly/fr type riding?

Hmmm (scratching chin). Maybe this is the anwser to my Moto-Lite rant over on the Titus board.
To be honest, as my setup will involve a TALAS fork w/5" rocker (or, if available, a 4-5" rocker), Charles would be more able to answer these questions. In his Interbike Report, he does mention the possibility of running a Nixon fork. I chose the HH125X over the Motolite due to sizing issues (I fall in between the medium and large sizes) as well as the rear clearance issues (which, at the time I ordered my bike, were still unresolved)...OTOH, the Motolite is already 4-5 adjustable and I can only hope that Sherwood will make a 4-5 rocker for 2005 bikes...ah well, choices.
 

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X5 v Saltie

I had an 01 Saltamontes and now have an 04 X5. I moved my components over from the Salt to the X5 and only gained about a little over a half pound. And, that includes going from bushings to bearings (but switching from a heavy adjustable rocker to a lighter rocker). My GUESS is that you should safely consider it under a 1 pound hit. I haven't riddent the X5 a lot yet, so it is a bit hard to be specific about the ride. My first impression is that the X5 rode "bigger." Likely explanation is the aforementioned head tube angle and/or the increase in weight. My first impression was that, if I had to choose, I would get a new Saltie in the future. However, in the last couple of rides I have changed my mind. These rides had fast downhill single track. The bike seemed to stick to the trail and actually feel more stable that the Saltie. Same feeling a speed - a little more stable. I also like the increased standover clearance of the X5 (but the 05 Saltie has improved standover as well). Otherwise, I think both bikes are great. BTW, I have weighed between 220 and 195 since I bought the Saltie and it held up well.

Probably not much help here. I just like both bikes so much (and they are similar on a number of dimensions). If you have other questions, pm me and I will try to answer them.

Tom
 

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I have tweaked my 04' Salty with new 05' suspension (RP3 and TALAS, soon to be pushed) and it transformed what was a great bike to a "superbike". The thing is just incredible-I have the 5" Salty, double bearings, and the RP3 is so much plusher than the Float R propedal, and pedals better too. The new TALAS is much improved and the best fork I have ridden (so far). It actually pedals as well as my brothers 4" Salty with the new suspension, but that inch of travel allows me to drop him on technical descents-I just let the bike flow, where he has to be more careful with picking a line. I also have 4" rockers, but probably don't need them with the new suspension. I let the TALAS out and the bike is so stable and smooth at any speed-I am riding technical sections much faster than I ever have before with my old suspension. I feel confident that I could now take on anything that would reasonably be thrown my way, while still retaining a nice, neutral handling bike that rocks on both tight singletrack or technical descents-a perfect balance of the two. I almost bought the X5, but Sherwood convinced me the Salty was the better choice for my style of riding. The X5 has a longer wheelbase and won't be as quick, but will be even more stable at speed-it really depends on the feel you are looking for. If you will be doing light FR stiff and severely technical descents, get the X5. If this is a burly trailbike and you want to retain that cripsness of handling of an XC chassis, yet be able to tackle anything, the Salty probably is the better bet.

FWIW, my Salty, with XT/Magura brakes, X819 wheels, TALAS fork, and Big Jim UST tires, comes in at 27lbs. The X5 will add at least 1/2 lb to the frame, and another pound if you go with the longer travel fork like the Marz. AM1. Good luck!
 

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Aha, wheelbase

I bet that is what I am feeling. A longer wheelbase would make the bike feel different. I hadn't thought of that but that may be it with respect to what I am feeling. It is not good or bad, just different.
 

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melon farmer
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
and the winner is..

the X5 - built about two weeks ago - pics in the set up thread.

Thanks to all of you for the advice - the Ventana X5 is a whole new world for me:
Stiffer than I could've imagined.
Better pedaling than I could ever have hoped for (thanks to that magnificent DHX 5).
Better looking than the photos on the Ventana website.
And a sensational handler in the tight stuff (this came as a surprise).

Far and away the best bike I have ever swung a leg over. Now I want an El Salt to build up as a lightish XC rig...

For any Australians reading this, Shannon (the Oz importer) is a top bloke and can be contacted through the Ventana website if you're interested.
 
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