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  1. #1
    Auburn Bike Works
    Reputation: mike thompson's Avatar
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    New Ventana Zeus

    Thought I'd throw my Zeus up just finished building it! 29.8 lbs. Semi Custom geometry 13" bb height, 67 degree head angle 21.8 top tube super short seatube about 14.5". All measurements in 140mm rear travel setting.New Ventana Zues-ventana.jpg
    Frame Ventana Zues
    Fork Fox 34 150 ctd
    Rear shock Fox float CTD
    Wheels White Industries hubs 12x14 rear 15mm front. Sapim butted spokes and Velocitiy P35 rims.
    Cranks Xo carbon DH's 38th ring
    Rear derailleur XO 10spd short cage
    shifter X9
    Cassette XT 11x36
    Brakes Elixer cr carbon 185 front 160 rear
    Gravity dropper classic 2' 4' drop
    king headset
    Stem Thomson 70mm
    Bars Chromag 730mm flat
    Tires Maxxis Ardent 27.5x 2.25 exo set up tubeless
    Saddle WTB Volt ti rails
    Grips Lizard skin 894's

    EDIT I forgot it is set up 1x10 with a MRP Lopes guide 38 x 11-36 and this is my XC gearing.
    Last edited by mike thompson; 02-04-2013 at 11:16 AM.

  2. #2
    Life Is Short
    Reputation: fatcat's Avatar
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    Showoff! Nice bike
    Ride More, Eat More

  3. #3
    Purveyor of Trail Tales!
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    Idea! Brilliant Idea for You to Consider!

    Quote Originally Posted by mike thompson View Post
    Thought I'd throw my Zues up just finished building it! 29.8 lbs. Semi Custom geometry 13" bb height, 67 degree head angle 21.8 top tube super short seatube about 14.5". All measurements in 140mm rear travel setting.Click image for larger version. 

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    Frame Ventana Zues
    Fork Fox 34 150 ctd
    Rear shock Fox float CTD
    Wheels White Industries hubs 12x14 rear 15mm front. Sapim butted spokes and Velocitiy P35 rims.
    Cranks Xo carbon DH's 38th ring
    Rear derailleur XO 10spd short cage
    shifter X9
    Cassette XT 11x36
    Brakes Elixer cr carbon 185 front 160 rear
    Gravity dropper classic 2' 4' drop
    king headset
    Stem Thomson 70mm
    Bars Chromag 730mm flat
    Tires Maxxis Ardent 27.5x 2.25 exo set up tubeless
    Saddle WTB Volt ti rails
    Grips Lizard skin 894's
    Hey Mike,

    Beautiful Bike! I call first dibs on buying it from you for Heather when you want to turn it over in a year!!

    Good on Ya,

    Michael
    If you can't keep the rubber side down......at least smile for the camera!

  4. #4
    "I need to ride more!"
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    Looks Great! Those Maxxis tires look more meaty than 2.25s.
    29.8lbs, it's amazing how technology has shredded weight!

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Scimitar's Avatar
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    Nice looking American made machine. What height is the rider? How did you decide on that geometry?
    OldGloryMTB.com | American Made Mountain Biking

  6. #6
    Auburn Bike Works
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scimitar View Post
    Nice looking American made machine. What height is the rider? How did you decide on that geometry?
    I am 5'2" I choose the the geometry off of how I like my bikes to handle it is steeper than I normally run, usually my all mountain bikes are in the 65-66 degree range but I knew the wheel would aid in reducing any twitchy tendencies. I was actually really happy with the stock numbers which match up to all the other companies 650 machines. I went with custom numbers after deciding that even with the short chain stays I didn't want to chance not fitting on the small or needing to run a ridiculously short stem.

  7. #7
    Auburn Bike Works
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    I got to get out on the bike a lot this weekend and I have to say I am fully stoked on it! It does everything better than my Yeti 575 and I really liked how that bike cornered, climbed and jumped. The key areas that I wanted improvements in were; first how the wheels rolled over bumps: second was maintaining wheel speed and momentum; third I wanted wider rims and stiffer wheels (which has nothing to do with the bike other than it was a major point in my choice of wheel components ). I put the bike through every scenario I could, climbing is A++ the wheels roll over bumps better helping me stay on top of my gears no matter how steep and technical. The traction improvement is unreal compared to the same rear tire in a 26" cornering and climbing. The most marked improvement is just shear speed, it is still snappy but maintains momentum so much better than a 26' wheel. I consistently find myself carrying more speed into jumps and through rocky sections and doing so with more stability and confidence even making me try new bigger jump lines and rockier sections.
    I have never been a suspension snob, I don't believe that one design is really better than the other and all my favorite bikes have been single pivots and modified single pivots. I have never had issues with bob or brake jack or maybe I just don't notice. That being said I have not used the CTD in any other setting than descend and highly doubt I will very often, and that is climbing stage coach multiple times, out of mammoth and mossy rock.
    Making runs on culvert I found myself settling into the berms better and and better, I even got in a run with the rear tire skimming the top of 2 berms just as broke out of the apex. If there is one quality I need from my bikes it is the ability to turn and this bike does that beyond expectation.
    I think the most inspiring quality of the bike is the stiffness, whether it be pedaling cornering or hitting a drop it has absolutely no flex wiggle or twang and I manage to hit hard enough to dent the front and rear rims bottom the suspension and not miss a beat through any episode ( on a side not e I destroy rims and forks I average 2-3 rims a year and warranty my forks every 12 to 14 rides as the stanchions come loose from the crowns). I love fox forks and will not run anything else, I really considered trying a White Brothers or rock shoxs but couldn't bring myself to.
    Like I said earlier I am running the drive train, brakes, seat post and bars and stem from my 575 and the fit from the Yeti to the Zeus is dead on if not better, I did change grips to something thinner than previous. So that leaves the wheels and tires which I couldn't be happier with. I choose White Industries MI6 hubs, Sapim spokes and Velocity P35 rims and I am loving the combo. I always build my own wheels and have for a decade now and as a wrench I feel like it's my duty, plus there are so many cool parts to put together and when you figure it out like I did you just feel it come together and I know I'm doing what I love. I really like building wheels and this set has been one of my favorite builds so far, all the pieces came together smoothly tensioned well and are stiff as hell. The Velocity P35's are sweet, the tire profile and stability of the Ardent's are beyond what I was hoping for and the tires seated tubeless great only loosing a few psi the first night.
    So over all I love the bike it is stiffer, climbs better, corners better, charges rock gardens better and looks badass and only weighs 3 tenths of a lb heavier. I can say Sherwood has got it going on with this bike, working with him and Teressa was awesome and the ride quality, attention to detail and performance is apparent with every pedal stroke.
    Oh side note! I forgot about the internal cable routing. Generally that is like are you shitting me how stupid is this going to be! Not the case Sherwood has figured out the raddest internal routing ever I love it designed for full length front and rear cable housing and brake, easy to feed through set up and comes with all the sweet bits to make it possible!

  8. #8
    Auburn Bike Works
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    Thanks Mike!! For sure I think it will be awhile though I'm digging it!
    Quote Originally Posted by michaelsnead View Post
    Hey Mike,

    Beautiful Bike! I call first dibs on buying it from you for Heather when you want to turn it over in a year!!

    Good on Ya,

    Michael

  9. #9
    Auburn Bike Works
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Some dirty pictures

    New Ventana Zues-ven1.jpgNew Ventana Zues-ven2.jpgNew Ventana Zues-ven3.jpgNew Ventana Zues-ven4.jpgNew Ventana Zues-ven5.jpgNew Ventana Zues-ven6.jpgNew Ventana Zues-ven7.jpgClick image for larger version. 

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  10. #10
    Auburn Bike Works
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    Woops did it twice!

  11. #11
    mtbr member
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    Mike, did you try converting the 575 before embarking on a new frame? I have one as well and I think the main downside is the higher BB.

  12. #12
    NedwannaB
    Reputation: JMac47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike thompson View Post
    Woops did it twice!
    What about that seat dropper?
    Wait,who did he tell you that?....

  13. #13
    Auburn Bike Works
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    No I had been riding the same bike since 08, and broke a lot of parts in that time. I finally cracked my frame and got it warrantied, so I decided it was time for a change. I did try to mount the back wheel and tire but a 2.25 Maxxis Ardent just hit the weld of the swing arm, I think it might work on an 06 through 2011 but not on the 2012. I could run 2.5 weir wolf lts on the all the swing arms from 575s but the yoke on the seat stay was the limiting factor not the chain stay. Hope that helps.

  14. #14
    Auburn Bike Works
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    Um? Well I've had it since 06 and just did a full overhaul for the first time. It has never not been on my bike nor has it never worked. It is a 27.2 4" drop with a shim to 30.9, I'm planning to get a 30.9 with a 5 inch drop. I had the seat tube shortened so I could get a 5" drop Gravity Dropper even though there are a few 5" drop adjustable posts from other companies I haven't like them as much so sticking with what I trust and like.

  15. #15
    Auburn Bike Works
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    Well quick update, the Zeus is awesome!! Put down a few 30+ mile rides and I am thoroughly impressed. Had to make a tire change, the Maxxis Ardents 275x2.25 were not cutting it. While they are one of my all time favorites because of the rolling efficiency and corning consistency they where just no durable enough. I was averaging a tear every ride, and was just fed up with fixing flats or needing to add air. So I switched to the Schwalbe Hans Dampf 275x 2.35 and after figuring out what air pressure they liked, 23 front and 27 rear versus 27 front and 30 rear on the Ardents I am very impressed. I think the Dampfs actually roll better, the extra volume has completely stop the flat issue and they grip!!
    Also got a new Gravity Dropper, went with a turbo this time and got the 30.9 so I could get the 5" drop. So far I am really impressed, it is nice just having the seat come up without having to touch anything but the lever. Something I do to all Gravity Dropper brand posts before I install them is grease the spring with a thick grease to stop the spring slap and grind, next I pull the mast assembly and grease it with slick honey. I also blue loctite the bottom cap nut. It only takes 5 minutes and I won't look at the post again for 8 to 10 months.
    Bike gain a little weight though went from 29.8 to 30.5. I am more than happy with it and the build kit, I am throwing the XO trail brakes on it this Friday, I'll let you know what their like.

  16. #16
    Team Hardcore Cornbread
    Reputation: Phishin Paul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike thompson View Post
    Well quick update, the Zeus is awesome!! Put down a few 30+ mile rides and I am thoroughly impressed. Had to make a tire change, the Maxxis Ardents 275x2.25 were not cutting it. While they are one of my all time favorites because of the rolling efficiency and corning consistency they where just no durable enough. I was averaging a tear every ride, and was just fed up with fixing flats or needing to add air. So I switched to the Schwalbe Hans Dampf 275x 2.35 and after figuring out what air pressure they liked, 23 front and 27 rear versus 27 front and 30 rear on the Ardents I am very impressed. I think the Dampfs actually roll better, the extra volume has completely stop the flat issue and they grip!!.
    I switched from Neo Moto 2.3 over to HD 2.35 a month ago on my Zeus. Love the HD for grip and width. I swear the tire has grown in plumpness. I am waiting to kill the NM on rear and then decide on a smaller HD or possibly a Nobby Nic in rear. I hope the HD has more life than the NM had, only 2.5 months.

    I will watch for updates on your Gravity Dropper turbo as it is on my very short list. Have fun on that Zeus!
    "Set the gearshift for the high gear of your soul".

  17. #17
    NedwannaB
    Reputation: JMac47's Avatar
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    Hey thanks for the info. Might be a GD coming my way if I have my way with the tax man.....
    Wait,who did he tell you that?....

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