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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been researching for some days now and I am confused as ever. After reading many many posts and reviews I have narrowed it down to the Intense 5.5, X5, blur, or the 5-spot. I have been saving for a bit so cash is not a problem. I am looking for a great climber that can handle agressive XC which includes 2-3foot drops.
Which would you choose and why??

Any input would be helpfull!!
 

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Any of those bikes are great, but . . .

I agree with steve. The vpp design, IMHO, is too complex to justify the rewards, with some design flaws evident (brake jack, dead spots in travel). Maybe for an xc racing type, but. . . Turner and Ventana have refined their designs for quite some time, and both make great bikes. That being said, the x5 is a little heavier, with bearings and a little beafier. It also uses a seatstay pivot vs. the chainstay pivot (horst link) on the 5 spot. The 5-spot (duh) is lighter and uses bushings. I don't think you could go wrong with either. -t
 

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write-up on dreamride

http://www.dreambike.com/5spottest.htm

I check the tests/reviews on there from time to time when I don't have anything better to do. The guy, Lee Bridgers, is very opinionated(don't get him started on Ellsworth), but he seems to know his stuff and is in the position to compare identical builds over identical terrain.

It's a largely glowing review, but he does fault the Spot for lateral flex. Don't flame me, I'm just the messenger, never rode one, but lust after the 5-spot nonetheless :).
 

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cocoloco said:
ashayk said:
http://www.dreambike.com/5spottest.htm

Thanks alot for that link!!!
I checked out the whole site and there was alot of information on the Saltamontes. I never knew you could do so much with that Ventana frame. He also mentions that climbing and frame design is better than the VPP and Truth frames.

----time for a quick ride---
No worries. Glad it could be of some use. Yeah, he has a lot of information on there. It's iteresting to glean ideas about builds/etc, especially from a guide's point of view. I doubt you could go wrong with either bike. It's probably going to come down to what you value the most.

The X5 really seems like fantastic all-round ride, burlier than the 5-spot, but you pay about a 2lb weight penalty. Ventana build quality and CNC work have to be seen to be believed, though, personally, I've always though the X5 is plain ugly. Wouldn't stop me from buying one and I'm sure I'm in the minority(or maybe the only one), but the Spot pleases me much more on an aesthetic level. Nice thing about the Spot, though, is that with the right components, it could be built up into a competent XC racerish machine. So could the Salt of course, but not the X5.

Either way, I don't think you'll find much sympathy for having to make the choice :). You'll likely love either one.

Enjoy.
 

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Dreamride - when is the...

... raging ego maniac build kit coming? Holy crap, dude builds some nice bikes, and lives in a killer location. But man, easy on the "no one can keep up with my brain" comments.
 

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Amen

Green Giant said:
... raging ego maniac build kit coming? Holy crap, dude builds some nice bikes, and lives in a killer location. But man, easy on the "no one can keep up with my brain" comments.
LOL :) Amen, brother. Did you see the prices too? Being a Franken-bike piece it together kind of guy, you can put together the same build for literally thousands less, not to mention buying from competitive retailers. Nice offshoot on the Turner thread about how Dreamride used to rave about Ellsworth until their relationship soured and he goes on and on about there inadequacies.

Still, it's an amuzing site with quite a bit information.
 

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Limited comparison

I rode a Blur for several months making constant adjustments to the suspension set up and never found the sweet spot people talk about, the bike had brake jack and peddle feedback on a par with my Cannondale jeckyl and didn't ride nearly as plush as that bike so I sold the blur frame at a loss to buy the 5 Spot and found it to be superior in every way. Those are the only two bikes on your list that I've ridden but I made my choice based on reviews in mtbr and magazines, personal experience, Turners reputation and basic engineering theory. Lately I've come accross some reviews in British mags. that back up some of the U.S. mags opinion that the 5.5 like the Blur has some peddle feedback and brake jack but that it is the price you pay for a faster peddling bike. The X5 was reduced to my second choice due to peddle bob reviewers talk about. I decided against the Switchblade and FXR due to there interupted seat tube designs and the fact that allmost every frame I've seen brake has been of that design, including a few of my own. I'm sure there all good frames but unfortunatly it's difficult to get an oppertunity to ride them all so like most people I went with the frame with the hrst link and un-interupted seat tube and it is the best bike I've ever ridden. Check out M.B.R. U.K magazine, I found it at barnes and Noble this month and they compare most of the bikes on your list
 

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Nice review slowrider, I have read many reviews about the 5 Spot, but after reading your reveiw I new I needed to try one, dont ask me why, guy's like tscheezy and bikezilla have great things to say about Turners, might be because you are the same height I am so the size connection did it or me. Anyway, I would never consider the Blur, main reason, only allows a 100mm fork, plus I have heard of different cases of linkage failure. Intense had a major problem with frame alinment at one time with the Uzzie's and M1's, they said that it wouldnt be noticeable unless you were a pro, but yet many poeple complained, plus they just cost to much! I have also read of weird handling traits. I love Ventana bikes, just works of art, but the reason I went with a 5 Spot over the X5 is I perfer the slacker HA of the Turner (69) over the 70deg of the X5. I also wanted to try a Horst Link out for my self. I dont think you can go wrong with either frame, the shop I go to sells both, I think the Turner is a few dollars cheaper though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Going to B&N tomorrow night

-to check out the reviews. I am still reading about the different types of suspention designs and degrees of the head angles and how they relate to XC and freeriding stylez.

After reading many posts I decided to go with a small company like ventana or turner.
I was shocked when I read Mr. Turner's post asking his customers about sticker designs! I was also very impresed with being able to speak to Sherwood Gibson, president of Ventana on my first try. BTW, I have been calling santa cruz bikes' warantee department for TWO days and I am still waiting to talk to a person--I keep on getting transfered to voicemail. -what a joke -
 

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I know what you mean, I have spoken to Sherwood several times along with the folks at Turner, Casey and I talked dirtbikes for a while one day as well as 5 Spots. I also called SC, as a bike dealer, a customer wanted me to try to get his wife a Bullit, called three times to the Socal rep, a week later and still no call back, remember the old Fat Albert catoon, called everyone NC for "no call" or "no class".

So here it is "NCSC", No Class Santa Cruz!
 

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ashayk said:
LOL :) Amen, brother. Did you see the prices too? Being a Franken-bike piece it together kind of guy, you can put together the same build for literally thousands less, not to mention buying from competitive retailers. Nice offshoot on the Turner thread about how Dreamride used to rave about Ellsworth until their relationship soured and he goes on and on about there inadequacies.

Still, it's an amuzing site with quite a bit information.
Yea, you'll like the information on this page about MTBR is just a bunch of Etards...

http://www.dreambike.com/secrets/magazines.htm
 

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ride red said:
I love Ventana bikes, just works of art, but the reason I went with a 5 Spot over the X5 is I perfer the slacker HA of the Turner (69) over the 70deg of the X5.
don't forget that if you run a Marzocchi 2003 or newer Z1FR on the X-5, the HA becomes 69. It's only 70 deg with Manitou or Fox 5" forks.
 

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scary

cocoloco said:
-to check out the reviews. I am still reading about the different types of suspention designs and degrees of the head angles and how they relate to XC and freeriding stylez.

After reading many posts I decided to go with a small company like ventana or turner.
I was shocked when I read Mr. Turner's post asking his customers about sticker designs! I was also very impresed with being able to speak to Sherwood Gibson, president of Ventana on my first try. BTW, I have been calling santa cruz bikes' warantee department for TWO days and I am still waiting to talk to a person--I keep on getting transfered to voicemail. -what a joke -
That Dreamride members link is f-ing scary.Too much hate,too much holier than thou...
 

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can't comments on the VPPs, but....

...I do own both a Turner XCE and an El Salty. Not exactly a 5-spot / X-5 comparison, but close.

I find that I like the Salty slightly better than my beloved XCE because it is stiffer, slightly more plush, and has slightly quicker handling. I have found no appreciable difference in the Salty ride due to the seat stay pivot vs. the Turner's horst link.

Another thing I like about the Salty is that it looks nicer. Cool things like the wraparound head tube gusset, the formed tubes, and the rear brake hose holders give the Salty more of a "custom bike" vibe than the Turner. Also, the paint on my 2-year old Salty frame looks brand new (when it is clean). The 2-year old Turner paint job is already showing signs of age.

Having said all of this, you can't go wrong with the Turner either. My XCE is a fantastic bike. The performance differences I mentioned above are very slight.

Both bikes are solid climbers, and I improved the climbing (and everything else) even more by having the PUSH platform mod performed on both rear shocks.
 

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Minimal

steve3 said:
What are the weight differences of the two?
I didn't bother to weigh the frame of the Salty before building it up, but it is probably very close to the XCE. Based on the complete bike weights, I would guess the only major difference in weight comes from the Salty having an air shock vs. the coil I run on the XCE.

The XCE has always weighed between 29 - 30 lbs, depending on tire selection. I could probably get it a little below 29 if I ran really lightweight tires.

If I remember correctly, the Salty weighed in around 29.5 when I finished the build. This was with 2.3" tires and an air shock.
 

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Ditto

ashayk said:
LOL :) Amen, brother. Did you see the prices too? Being a Franken-bike piece it together kind of guy, you can put together the same build for literally thousands less, not to mention buying from competitive retailers. Nice offshoot on the Turner thread about how Dreamride used to rave about Ellsworth until their relationship soured and he goes on and on about there inadequacies.

Still, it's an amuzing site with quite a bit information.
All I gotta say is that there isn't "THE trail bike" in existence like what's his face says. That was my first time on the site and he definitely knows bikes but get off the high horse. sheeeesh.
 

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ashayk said:
http://www.dreambike.com/5spottest.htm

I check the tests/reviews on there from time to time when I don't have anything better to do. The guy, Lee Bridgers, is very opinionated(don't get him started on Ellsworth), but he seems to know his stuff and is in the position to compare identical builds over identical terrain.

It's a largely glowing review, but he does fault the Spot for lateral flex. Don't flame me, I'm just the messenger, never rode one, but lust after the 5-spot nonetheless :).
LB is not only opinionated, he tends to praise the bikes that he carries and bashes the bikes he doesn't. In this case, he sings praises of the 5 Spot and the X5. He totally bashed EW bikes.

I remember reading one of his reviews on EW bikes when he sold them. His report was as, or more glowing than the current review for the Spot and X5. In addition, some of the things he says are plain wrong.

He talks about the bob in current EW bikes and he's wrong. In fact, much of what he says is wrong. I wouldn't buy an EW bike, but it's not because the bikes aren't good....it's that I don't want to deal with the company. EW bikes are right up there with Turner and Ventana when it comes to design.

I would put more faith in his review if he didn't bash other bikes to help his cause.
 
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