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  1. #1
    conjoinicorned
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    is a ciclon for me...?

    sorry all for the long post, and TIA to anyone who reads and/or responds (i've searched, believe me)...but i've been staring at ventana for years, and this frame blowout has really got me thinking...about an el-ciclon!

    my FS riding is 50% huge epics (>50 miles, >8000' climbing, very steep, rough up and down), and 50% "all mountain (4-5' drops, skinnies, jumps....with a climb to get in). i have a great DH bike for the big shuttle days, and a couple SS bikes that get most of my ride time anyways....but the trail bike is the heart of the quiver. my riding is aggressive 100% of the time, both up and down. full out.

    i currently ride a 29er (RIP9). i'm short (5'6") and while i like the RIP a lot, there are drawbacks...she's not plush, she's not light (either literally or in feel), she's not flickable, and she's occasionally scary in the steep nasty stuff. all of my riding bro's are on 5-6" 26ers (save the big guy at 6'5" )

    the RIP is 3 years old, and has been ridden very hard, so it's time to replace her. i've been thinking about getting into the "one bike for everything" mentality and as such, have been looking at AM 29ers...but there is a nagging feeling that maybe these long travel wagon wheelers are just too much bike for me....

    so, to conclude and hopefully actually ask a question, what can the ventana enlightened tell me about a ciclon? major questions:
    -how is the braking (honestly)
    -how is the extended climbing (hours worth)
    -can i hit the occasional 8' drop (smooth transition, no flat landings here)

    i don't care about pedaling efficiency at all (i'm fine with switching on PP). i do care about braking response (i've only ridden short dual links for years). i do care about lateral stiffness. i do care about looks and boutique name. i do want a sickeningly plush bike in all situations. i understand that i'm asking for an impossible bike (huge XC and big terrain) but considering people are building 27lbs Nomads (bleccch) it shouldn't be so hard....

    anyways, thanks. understand that it will be very $$$ to go back to 26" (i won't ride bargain wheels or forks LOL) and the only reason i'm considering this for real is because of the big sale...

    oh, sorry...one last query. sizing thoughts? i LOVE the 23" ETT on my 29er bikes, but i'm scared of the 17.4" seattube and 29.9" standover (inseam = 30") on the medium ciclon.
    Last edited by ferday; 11-27-2010 at 10:39 PM.
    what would rainbow unicorn do?

  2. #2
    Team Chilidog!
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    Since I don't do 8 foot drops to flat, I can't answer that.

    What I can tell you is if you have a specific sizing you like, Ventana has semi-custom options (longer TT, HA changes, tubing changes for strength or lightness, built around a fork with a specific AtoC, etc) for a price, but it's worth it.

    I have two semi-custom Ventanas (an X-5 and El Saltamontes), and it was worth every penny. Many others on this board have also taken advantage of the semi-custom options and got the bike they want. There's a few folks here who did the different TT and ST lengths. I'm sure they can give you much more insight.

    The bikes climb amazingly well. Ventana gets a lot of cr ap due to the active suspension, but I like that. You won't ride a stiffer bike. For descending, they hold a line very well. For me, I like slack head angles--thus, the semi-custom.

    Call Sherwood and ask him. I'm sure he'll be able to tell you what El Ciclon can do, and help make the bike fit the way you want.
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  3. #3
    ventanakaz
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    sounds like you need the ventana terremoto frame i had this bike it did everything cross county to jumping and i also took it to northstar it railed there, It's all on how you set it up. to much info to put here on my experience with ventana frames. if you want i could give you my phone #

  4. #4
    conjoinicorned
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    sorry guys i'd like to clarify, not trying to look like an AM superman here

    most of the jumps/drops are 4 feet or under, and i don't jump anything to flat, ever, ever. i'm too old...

    edit: to relate, my riding buddy who is heavier than i, and faster on the DH rides a chumba XCL (and just got a knolly endorphin) for the same terrain. i would have no issues at all with either of those two bikes...is the ciclon the equal?
    Last edited by ferday; 11-27-2010 at 11:12 PM.
    what would rainbow unicorn do?

  5. #5
    ventanakaz
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    i just looked at that blow out and if i were you i'd jump on it before there gone. that bike will do want you want trust me

  6. #6
    mtbr member
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    I love my El Ciclon I'm 5'9 and usually go for a 23-24" TT. But I went for the 15" El Ciclon w/ 70mm stem, wide bars, and a TON of seatpost. It fits and handles perfect. I'm more of an XC rider than a DH'er, so this bike is all the "All-Mountain" I need. My all day "Epic" bike is a 29'er hard-tail.

    On this bike you will easily keep up with the other 5-6" bike riders, but I wouldn't call it an endurance racer. Mine's 30+ Lbs with a DXH coil and Pike fork.

    The 5" travel ('09 model) feels like a lot more. Braking and climbing traction, and over-all plushness is far better than the Single Pivot's, VPP's and DW's, etc. that I have tried. But even with the ProPedal on, you don't get that "hard-tail" feeling that you get with some of the other designs. I've never ridden the Niner, so I can't compare the El C. to the RIP.

    Hope that helps! Good Luck!

  7. #7
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    The Ciclon sounds about right for what you're looking for. It's a tough, stiff, not-too-heavy trail bike, and can be set up plenty plush for aggressive descending. A Terremoto would require a bigger, heavier build, which can hurt a bit on sunrise-to-sunset big mountain rides.

    As for the braking, the rear suspension will stiffen up some under hard braking, but the frame squats a little under braking, so it feels predictable and allows you to stay aggressive.

    Extended climbing will be great with propedal. Ventanas climb rocky, ledgy terrain very well. The fault some folks find is that they can wallow in the travel on steep climbs--thus the need for propedal. (I've also dealt with this by avoiding setback seatposts and keeping the saddle clamped in the middle of the rails, or even further forward.) For the multi-hour climbs and steep hikes, weight is probably the most significant factor, and here's where a smart (read: expensive) build can be helpful.

    As for the drops, the Ciclon isn't a drop machine, but it sounds like that's not what you're looking for. The bike will take abuse, however. I remember hitting a 6' drop regularly on my El Salt before there was such a thing as a Ciclon, and the damn thing never whimpered. Pilot weight is likely crucial here.

    Stir together with some XTR, a ration of Formula, a pinch of DT240, and a dash of Syntace, and slather with 44 RC3ti icing, and you'll be, well, broke. But the bike will be stupid sweet for all day alpine play.

  8. #8
    Map Maker
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    +1 one more for the El Ciclon. I too wanted a Ventana for years. I also lusted after a Turner 5 spot. But one test ride on a Turner decided it for me. I really liked the frame but it just didn't feel quite right.

    The Ventana is the most laterally stiff frame I've ridden. If you have any doubt get the double bearing set for the rear.



    I love mine and it climbs like a dream. But descends even better. flip the pro pedal on 2 for a long climb up and flip it all the way wide open for the super plush downhill.
    This bike is better than my skill set.

    I run a thru axle dual air U turn Pike with a RP23 in the back. I run light XC wheels Mavic 717 laced to bling hubs to keep the weigh down. Absolutely best frame set I've ever ridden.
    As for breaking I don't find any brake jack or squat. just clean and smooth stopping. I had read on these forum a few folks getting strange vibration or noise resonance with the perfect storm of rotor warble being picked up in the seat stays.

    Get it ASAP
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  9. #9
    Rider down under
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    I don't own a Ventana but I'm looking into it.
    I'm currently on a RIP9 which I love but as you say steep nasty descents can be frightening at times.
    Why wouldn't you look at the El Capitan? - seems like a slacker more aggressive bike than the RIP.
    I'm interested in it and came to this forum hoping to hear some nice things about it.
    I don't think I want to get on a 26er again after my RIP.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stripes
    Since I don't do 8 foot drops to flat, I can't answer that.

    What I can tell you is if you have a specific sizing you like, Ventana has semi-custom options (longer TT, HA changes, tubing changes for strength or lightness, built around a fork with a specific AtoC, etc) for a price, but it's worth it.
    I agree that the ability to get a semi-custom frame is really worth considering. When I was considering different bikes, that was a big factor in choosing a Ventana. But it's not just tube lengths; as Stripes mentions, you can change tube weight. I've got a buddy who is big and rides hard and breaks every frame after a few years, so for his Ciclon Sherwood suggested a stouter seat tube (he usually breaks frames at the seat tube-bottom bracket junction). This could be a nice solution for handling a bit bigger jumps without beefing up the whole frame.

    Sounds like you could go with a lightish Terremoto build, but I think the Ciclon would do what you want - especially if you tweak it a bit to match exactly what you want.

  11. #11
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    I don't have a Ciclon (yet), but I ride some 50+ mile stuff on my X-5 and it is a great bike. I did the Dakota 50 race on my X-5 a couple of years ago and the only thing the bike was lacking was that it needed a better rider.

    The X-5 and the Ciclon use the same rear suspension design, so I don't see any reason to believe the Ciclon would perform significantly different than my X-5. That said, the following ride impressions should be relevant to you.

    I don't get into climbs as long or steep as you are describing, but honestly the X-5 climbs very well. I slide way forward on the saddle and weight the bars (staying seated), and it scrambles up steep technical climbs surprisingly well.

    If there is brake jack, I have never noticed it. I think someone else mentioned that the braking was very predictable, and I think that is a good way to describe it. The whole bike is very predictable in the way it handles. I occasionally trade bikes with a buddy for a part of the ride to check out different bikes. Obviously, if the bike isn't set up for the rider it won't feel optimum, but some of the bikes I ride directly after getting off my X-5 feel like something is broke in the rear pivot. I rode a friends Specialized a few months back and it felt that way to me. Another friend has a Yeti 575 and it feels very flexy in the corners to me. The Ventana is just solid feeling.

    Descending the X-5 just flows over stuff. I am a clyde, not the smoothest rider and don't always pick the best lines, but the bike bails me out every time. I don't ride very many drops, and 3 feet would be a big drop for me, but if I haven't hurt my bike doing some of the boneheaded lines I take, and riding them too fast, then I think it is safe to say the X-5 is double tough and can soak up abuse with the best of them.

    Not trying to throw a wrench in your thinking, but don't overlook an X-5 as a choice. It is a killer strong frame that is comfortable, very stable, as stiff as anything I have ever ridden and climbs very well. I don't know the weights off the top of my head, but the X-5 no doubt weighs a bit more than the Ciclon, so that would be a drawback. But on the plus side, the X-5s are on sale too.
    Last edited by 11 Bravo; 11-29-2010 at 10:14 PM.
    I'm not very smart, but I can lift heavy things

  12. #12
    conjoinicorned
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    Quote Originally Posted by 11 Bravo
    Not trying to throw a wrench in your thinking, but don't overlook an X-5 as a choice. It is a killer strong frame that is comfortable, very stable, as stiff as anything I have ever ridden and climbs very well. I don't know the weights off the top of my head, but the X-5 no doubt weighs a bit more than the Ciclon, so that would be a drawback. But on the plus side, the X-5s are on sale too.
    i looked at that...but according to CC the X-5 is actually a fair bit lighter than the ciclon...!?
    i've convinced myself that the ciclon is at least as tough as my RIP, which has done everything i mentioned...so far

    i find out about a big contract on friday, that will be the decider (assuming CC has frames left LOL)
    thanks everyone who responded!
    what would rainbow unicorn do?

  13. #13
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    I purchased an new El Ciclon frame a few months back and built it up as a 1x9 to handle Tahoe rides, Downieville, etc. Unfortunately, it's only seen a handful of mild XC rides. The fork is a 2007 Fox RL140.

    Climbing - Much better than I imagined. I haven't experienced any wandering front-end issues yet. The Fox RP23 in ProPedal eliminates pretty much any bob that matters. Even full-open, the bob isn't anything to scoff at. Ventana knows how to properly execute this suspension design, obviously. I'm sure the custom-tuned Fox plays a big part also.

    Twisty singletrack & cornering - I'm used to a 29er hardtail with 80mm up front, so the Ciclon can't really compete in this department. But for a 26" bike with 140mm up front, it's better than you'd think. My frame has the quad-bearing upgrade, so the stiff rear-end might be keeping things in check.

    Downhill is about what you'd expect from a 5" travel Ventana. Just lean back and let the bike do it's thing. This is where the Ciclon really shines. Confidence inspiring.

    I've decided that I'm done with 26" bikes, but the Ciclon is a great AM/trailbike for people that ride stuff on the more technical side. Onward to 29" FS for me. Not sure where you live (OP), but you're welcome to test-ride mine if you'd like. Or, if anyone is interested in a barely-used, medium 2009 Ciclon for a great price, PM me. (I'll purchase a classified if any interest).
    "I like skinny jeans. Sometimes I wear them to the mall to get an Orange Julius." -Chim Chim

  14. #14
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    Haven't been on the forum for a while but I am a pretty big Ciclon-a-phile (?)

    Agree with most of what has been said here. I think there are definitely better climbers out there for your epic days. I am considering a new AM frame myself for this reason. . . BUT, I am very reluctant to give up the DH performance and lateral stiffness this frame has provided. I busted it out this year at Whistler and had way more fun on Crank it up and Heart of Darkness on this bike than my DH rig. Even felt pretty good on Original Sin. Rips corners apart!

    The frame is super durable and I would not recommend a terremoto or burlier frame for what you are describing. I regularly hit 15+ft doubles and 5+ft drops on this bike and it does just fine. (plug your ears, Sherwood). I have had some issue with the seatstay yoke contacting the seat tube during stupid drops (i.e. to poor trannies) and Sherwood beveled the yoke for me last winter. I've had it for three solid seasons now without much issue otherwise.

    Remember that Sherwood can do custom! In retrospect, I may have considered this more seriously given the vast ways this bike can be set up and used for different applications.

  15. #15
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    BTW - love the unicorn

  16. #16
    Proud lame eBiker
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    Quote Originally Posted by amishscum
    I've decided that I'm done with 26" bikes, .

    Man, you GOT TO try an El Chucho!

    I too was done with kid dula 26"er bikes and thought that a full 29'er was the way to go, but couldn't get over how reluctant the back end was to skip out from side to side either in the dirt or in the air. A dual 29er just wasn't playful.

    But keeping a 26 in the back and the big stable front 29er is the bees knees! Two years on her and still oving it!
    www.velocitybicycles.comWhere customers become friends, not simply a dollar sign.

  17. #17
    30-ton War Machine
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    How bad will it mess up the handling running my X-Fusion Vengence at 560mm A-C?

  18. #18
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    Dunno. I run a Lyrik at 545mm. I feel like it might be even more fun going down, but it is probably pretty painful going up the steeps. As I recall, that fork doesn't have on the fly adjustment?

    On a related note. . . This bike would rule if it had 1.5 or tapered head tube. Not because the steer-tubes are any better, but because I think the angleset concept is maybe one of the best in a while and this bike really can wear a lot of hats depending on how it's set up. Just sayin. . .

  19. #19
    Single Speed Junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Internal14
    Man, you GOT TO try an El Chucho!

    That would be my suggestion fro what your describing as your looking for. I'm rolling an X-5 with friends on a Ciclon, Bruja and Chucho. Riding style for all three riders is different the one I like the best out of the bunch is the Chucho. That or my SS 29ers. The X-5 sees limited usage these days and depending upon if the bike took any damage in a recent crash it might see even less. Won't know how bad the bike is till I can lift it with out wanting to pass out due to pain.

    Regardless I'd give the Chucho a good look.

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