I've waited to post this as I wanted to not keep any in too much suspense as to the anticipated ending but here goes...a short time ago, in a trail system not far away...
October 14th to be exact, well not to get to far ahead here, those of you who don't know me, know this: I kill bike parts. Its been since 2003, March 23rd 2003 to be exact, since I destroyed a frame like this. It was my fourth and subsequentlly, final Joker. Though, I am in no way throwing my Ventana into the same crap bin as a **** (hmm...I guess **** is a four letter word, weird that you can't say that in the Ventana forum )Worthless product, the situations were strikingly similar; in that both were JRA's. I ride tons, I'm a big guy: 6' 1" 250-260, last night I weighed 249lbs.
if the pic don't work follow the link: http://forum.bikemag.com/photopost/d...m/DSC_0106.JPG BIKE's been having some photo forum issues as of late.
At first I thought the front der cable busted, TWANG, but after a couple moments of trying to rig the fr der into the middle ring, I caught sight of the break. Its kinda like that one time in High School, when you found out that the girl you've had a deep crush on since 4th grade, well you find out she's got genital herpes. Yeah, its not the end of the world, but you do feel like something so nice has been ruined and will never be the same again. I limped out of the woods, though I was only some 50ft from the parking lot, in the past I had cried on these walks. But I'm somewhat trained to them and felt a bitter-sweet remorse. I really hadn't ridden the Ciclon much--not as much as a I should have. I built it with a 6.5", way-too-heavy fork that I had recently replaced with a 4lb, 5" travel fork. That fork really brought life to the Ciclon and I've been riding it 4-5 times a week since Sept 30th (it's inaugural ride with the Fox Talas 32 RLC ). It was about 3:45pm on Sunday. I really wanted to ride given that I'm tied up all week and wouldn't b e home until late Friday, and I had worked form 7am-2pm on Sunday, plus I had drug a riding buddy out to the trail on this ride who hadn't turned his cranks since May...yeah I was jonesing hard for a nice ride.
64oz of Margharitas later...I started to feel a little more light hearted. Then I cracked open a 24oz race car beer...3 hours and a half case of beer later, I could smile again.
I e-mailed Ventana the following Monday morning, and called them later around lunch. To my surprise, Teresa said that Sherwood wanted to speak with me and to call him on his cell. I don't need to tell you, Sherwood Gibson IS VENTANA. He is the owner, designer, fabricator, all around good guy and Teresa is his right and left hand(s). Imagine calling Fisher, Specialized or Foes and being given the owner's cell phone to call. Pretty cool. As best as I can relate; Sherwood said it appeared the frame failed because the shock bottomed out. The shock has an 800lb spring, at "bottom out" it would produce at least, at least 1,600 lbs of force on the frame. He said I was either a big guy or hitting/casing 20ft hucks/drops. Iím a big guy. 6í1Ē, 252lbs this morning though the shock was tuned/set up when I was weighing in at 268lbs this spring. Go figure. Long story short, the first thing Sherwood said when he picked up the phone was Iím glad you werenít hurt. What heís going to do is refab/design the front triangle with a new designed, reinforced seat tube that will be stronger and more durable than the stock design. Itíll be a one-off design, and thereíll be no charge, its covered under warranty, and I believe the first and only person to date to bust a Ciclon.
Fast forward to this week and know that I've been pestering Teresa with phone calls and e-mails all the while this has been going. And know she has been very, very available to return calls and emails promptly...Not something everyone is accustomed to in this day and age. I know the frame (or frame's carcass) didn't show up till around the 23rd/24th of October and then it had to go through heat treating and the caveat loop hole here was--this is a semi-custom 21/19" with a few bells and whistles and it had to be ball burnished. Which is as I understand is done in SoCal. Anyone remember what was going on in SoCal the last 10 days of October? Yeah fires! So last night, I got an e-mail from Teresa stating they got the frame late Friday and went ahead and shipped it UPS 3-Day; since it took longer than anticipated due to the ball burnishing. Anyway, longstory short...she said to expect the frame on Wednesday (tomorrow) and provided me with a tracking number.
About 10am this morning the frame showed up. And she's a beaut...glimmering...flowey...juggernaut...one-of-a-kind...begging for fall riding. Anywho, it'll be Friday before I've got time to dial 'er in and Saturday before her maiden voyage. Once she's built I'll post some pic's. I've truly now got a one-of-a-kind, one-of-a-kind.
Sorry for the story taking so long to spin, but when you figure in the time the frame's been in shipping, and the added time for ball burnishing, it hasn't yet been one calendar month and I've got my frame warrantied. I don't know if I should say this but I will; all I was responsible for was shipping out to them. That's it. Yeah, I bartered labor with the lbs in exchange for beer and some good eats, but damn...I remember four years ago calling Sherwood after years of frustration with GT and Worthless he said something like:
"I can't guarantee you'll never break one of my frames but if you do I won't simply replace/warranty it, I will redesign the failed part." It happened once with the Chamuco's pivot (warrantied with a redesigned stainless steel pivot) and now it happened again with a new Ciclon.
To Teresa and Sherwood, I owe you a BIG thank you! And to everyone else, Ventana is a rare find in today's business world. A very rare find.
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