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  1. #1
    zod
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    AM/FR Hardtail Ventana

    A buddy of mine was talking the other day about how he missed having a HT freeride bike. Back in the day he owned a Sinister Ridge which is a killer frame! Bomb-proof, nice slack AM geometry, fine craftsmanship, etc. Now that he has just a Turner RFX (and the fact that he's a bike whore) he is longing for that AM/FR hardtail once again. We were talking about it and that's when I realized there is a gap in the Ventana lineup. I think it would be cool if Sherwood made a hardtail with a AM/FR geometry. Something like the Sinister Ridge. I think it'd be an awesome addition to the Ventana family. Thoughts.....?

  2. #2
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    Sherwood could build it for him. All of the gusseting is already set up on the HT's...it would just have to have custom geometry.

  3. #3
    zod
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    Oh yeah I know he could do it custom but I am thinking it would be a nice addition to the Ventana AM line in general.
    Last edited by zod; 12-20-2007 at 06:57 AM.

  4. #4
    Bodhisattva
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    Quote Originally Posted by zod
    Oh yeah I know he could do it custom but I am thinking it would be a nice addition to the Ventana AM line in general.
    I think demand for a such a bike is low and sales would be sluggish, to say the least.

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    I had a chat with Alan in the UK about this, about 18 months ago . I picked up a MC Rumble as the cash was tight instead, its since been sold. IMO The rumble would be a nice geo to go off, but I couldn't agree more.

    Would open up Ventana to a different category of rider - more affordable than a Ventana FS and maybe the younger jumpy crowd could get on board. El įguila would be my suggestion regarding the name :-)

  6. #6
    zod
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Squeaky Wheel
    I think demand for a such a bike is low and sales would be sluggish, to say the least.
    Wow I disagree ........

  7. #7
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    Not sure if the younger crowd would pay $1K for a HT frame. I also think demand would be low based simply on the cost of Ventana HTs.

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    Not sure about the US Squeak, but a lot of UK riders use a hardtail in the winter and some FS owners are going back to a hardtail but wanting something more hard riding than the XC hardtails they came from. I get the impression from reading about the US (e.g. from things like the reader survey in MBA and the bikes most US mags seem to be testing) I can see where you are coming from - as it seems hardtail ownership is pretty low compared to UK/Europe. Just my guess.

  9. #9
    zod
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    I know plenty of HT AM riders and it doesn't equate to age or deepness of pockets.

  10. #10
    Bodhisattva
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beagle
    Not sure about the US Squeak, but a lot of UK riders use a hardtail in the winter and some FS owners are going back to a hardtail but wanting something more hard riding than the XC hardtails they came from. I get the impression from reading about the US (e.g. from things like the reader survey in MBA and the bikes most US mags seem to be testing) I can see where you are coming from - as it seems hardtail ownership is pretty low compared to UK/Europe. Just my guess.
    Same on this side of the pond....except they are 29ers. I dig my 29er HT.

    I have zero insight into the Euro market. I know a few folks in the States who ride rugged 26" AM HTs, but not many. And none use them as their everyday bike - just more of a novelty type item. And most I knew in the past have migrated to dualies.

    It's obviously a business decision. A manufacturer has to bet that he can sell enough frames to cover the cost of the manufacturing. There are already some good options out there so I have to question how many bikes would actually be sold yearly. Again, my guess is not many.

    Edit: I'm an old 38 year old fart and most of the guys I ride with are old farts too. Maybe the 20-sumthins see more of a need for this type of bike?

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    I live in Colorado now. I used to live in the Midwest (Kansas City). There were more HT riders there (XC) but I don't see that many HT riders here. I also see a hundred times the number of riders here but most are on FS rigs. In Kansas City, I usd to see more HTs a few years ago but there still are a larger % than that are here. It seems that 29er HTs are the only ones I see. Even that is infrequent compared to 4"-5" FS bikes.

    The guys that do have nice 26" HTs are the ones who use them as second bikes here. There is a market, I'm sure- but I just don't think Ventana would sell that many and I don't think people want to pay more than $400-$500 for a HT frame. I would but I'd get a 29er or 650B HT as a second bike. I'd never own a 26er HT again unless it's a steel custom job. All the riders I know think the same way (except for the steel custom rig) and only one owns a Alum 26er HT he still rides sometimes. A few are contemplating the purchase of 29er HT as a second bike though.

    I wish Sherwood would give us his opinion but he is one quiet dude.

  12. #12
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    I strongly agree with this idea while also taking sieds with Squeaky. Would be cool but would also probably be a niche market

    another sick idea in my rotten head
    Former Homer...Ventana convert: extreme poseur!

  13. #13
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    Ah, good point- I'm 39 and halfway into the grave so it may be an age thing though I have not wanted a HT since I was in my upper 20s. That Nicolia HT looks tough.

  14. #14
    zod
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    Well I'm 34 so I guess I'm still young compared to you old dudes in your upper 30's. I guess it's all about the crowd you're around.....I hang around a more FR/AM oriented crowd so I see my share of AM hardtails. I certainly think it could fall into a niche market but so do FS tandems and Vantana makes those. Niche doesn't mean it can't turn a profit. Hell I mountain unicycle and I have MANY mUni's to choose from......plenty of maunfacturers are making them and appearantly making money. If that ain't niche then I don't know what is???

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    I asked about this exact project over 18 months ago, and even had the design laid out for it, Down to the tubing and gussets to use etc. At the time it was cost prohibitive since it would have been an HT frame + full custom. And in discussing it with Sherwood, Squeaky is right, there isn't enough market for it. And after seeing how well the Pantera/Chamuco lower cost Experiment worked out for Ventana, I really don't blame him for shying away from it.

    I ended up going with a Jenson Special, Jamis Komodo, Total Cost for the project was $425.
    But then again, I already had the Fork, brakes, wheels and drivertrain!
    -Aaron G.

    "Before D.W., "anti-squat" was referred to as pedal feedback."

  16. #16
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    Cotic, Cove, Chromag, Sinister, dark cycles, Orange, Curtis, Santa cruz, sobre, dialed bikes,nicolai...there are plenty available.
    Former Homer...Ventana convert: extreme poseur!

  17. #17
    zod
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    Mr. Bling....I can only buy Ventana from here on out though

  18. #18
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    Why not get a ridge?

    I own an El Ciclon and am awaiting my 2nd Sinister(Simon Bar HT 29er).
    I have owned many different brands and Sinister's quality is right up ther with Ventana.
    Hand made in the US with high grade materials. I believe the Ridge is going for about $750, hard to beat for what you get. Give "Frank the Welder" a call! He was just inducted into the MTB Hall of Fame this year and has quite a resume.

  19. #19
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    Agreed and I still have that hardtail Terremoto project in my head!

    But some of the bikes in that list are fantastic, granted though, they're not Vs.

    My point was, there are already plenty of capable boutique bikes for that program, mostly English or Canadian though. But the same thing that prevents DT from producing a XC hardtail will prevent Sherwood to produce this.

    Now, I know what I must do, win the lottery and go full custom.
    Former Homer...Ventana convert: extreme poseur!

  20. #20
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    As much as I love Ventanas, there are other great bikes out there- FS and HTs, custom or not. Ya just have to open your eyes again

  21. #21
    Ventana Mountain Bikes
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyer
    I wish Sherwood would give us his opinion...
    Fundamentally I have no problem with building this type of frame. But with my plate plenty full with other frames...that I know will sell, I have a hard time allocating resources to a project like this without some hard numbers on demand. I think demand for an affordable ($400-500) FR hardtail are probably pretty respectable, but in case you haven't noticed, nothing we build at Ventana can be classified as "affordable" by it-comes-over-on-a-boat standards. A FR hardtail from Ventana would be in the $1000-1100 range. Any takers on that?
    SPG

    "One lick from the lollipop of mediocrity and you suck forever" anonymous

  22. #22
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    Umm..no thanks Sherwood. No $1,100 FR HTs or Unicycles please. Let's stick to the ones that work so well already.

    We will send Zod over to another forum with these crazy ideas

  23. #23
    zod
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    Actually I would pay a grand for a FR HT Ventana frame.....but I am slowly becoming a self-acknowledged bike whore.

    Wow Flyer a Ventana Mountain Unicycle.....now why didn't I think of that! That's another $1000 I have to come up with.

  24. #24
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    Guys,

    there are two hallowed names in USA aluminum Frame welding and building-one is sherwood-the other is Frank the Welder--Frank personally builds a high grade aluminum, all-USA built Alu All-Mountain Hard tail-and it retails for $750.00 in rapidly depreciating US dollars (Yep, I'm talking about the Sinister ridge).

    Short of Custom-what else do you want? I'm sure Ventana will understand...

  25. #25
    Shot Down in Flames...
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    Did some one say Ventana AM HT?



    Custom El Chiquillo. Approved by the man himself for a 130mm fork.

    Contrary to some of the previous posts, I ride this aluminum HT ~60% of the time. I also have a 5" El Salt & a 26" wheeled El Bucanero SS.

    The demise of the 26'er HT has been greatly exaggerated!


    YMMV,
    D.

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