Had posted this over in the 29er forum but realized it really belonged over here:
For nearly a decade I have been a dedicated single speeder and have had all types but a lot of Cannondale's and Niners. Last August I decided to a take a little hiatus and ride geared and full suspension for a bit. I have been riding a Rumblefish Pro as my play bike and Superfly 100 as my fast trail and race bike and come to find out really enjoying both and at times seeing what I was missing.
About 2 months ago I realized I was register for Singlespeedapalloza and had sold all of my single speeds. I knew I needed a SS but was kind of sick of off the peg stuff for how I was riding and for the rugged technical trails we frequent. I took some geometry from my bikes to make sure my body position was good and coupled that with some of the ideas floating around for a more AM/ rugged trail bike. With all of these ideas floating around in my head I needed to figure out a company. I was not interested in steel and was not sure about the investment in a Ti bike at this time, I have ridden a lot of aluminum over the years and always like it for power transfer but who was really still working with alu? Thank God for Dirtrag and their recent article on Ventana, with their beautiful bikes and custom options it seemed like a perfect fit. The company looked like a great fit for the bike I was looking to build and a great compliment to the other bike we sell at Bethel Cycle in south west CT.
Dropped a quick email one Sunday night and was blown away to get a call the next day from Teresa and Sherwood to talk about what I wanted and what they could do for me. We hashed out the details and came up with a bike that is just ideal for what I was looking for. In name it is a El Comandante Ultimate but it is very custom with lots of nice features. Went with a short tapered head-tube to hold on to a Fox Talas Terralogic 95-120 and 69.4 head angle @ 120mm, a set of sliders they are working on that are 142/12 and allow me to use all of my current wheels, short chain stays from 16.75 to around 17.75" and plenty of room for a 2.25 Racing Ralph ( as big as I would ever run), 25.25" effective TT and 19" seat tube to give it the look and fit I wanted. Oh yeah, had to go with Mango Tango to make it stand out a bit also. Thanks to Sherwood for helping with some geometry questions and letting me help design a bike to really meet my needs and wants, great guy to deal with.
Singlespeedapalooza was this past Sunday and thankfully the bike showed up the Thursday prior. Maybe should have ordered it a bit earlier considering they turned a 100% custom bike with one-off sliders in less than 5 weeks, 2 days to learn how to ride a SS again and test out a new ride. Perfect! Got it built up with some choice parts and was able to get a short ride in Friday night and Sat AM and the bike felt dialed and intuitive right from the start. First bike with sliders that I trust and these work great and are very rugged and easy to adjust and secure, was even able to drop a cog 45 minutes before the race with no stress.
Sunday comes and not sure how my legs or bike are going to do in race conditions. The 2 short rides leading into this race made me realize that their is no reason to run the fork at 95mm probably ever with the Terralogic. So I set out for a 28 mile race with 120mm of travel, 34-17 and a bad ass new bright orange bike with legs that forgot how to pedal one gear. All in all the day went well and was able to really test the bike under fire. This bike will be lethal! Super power transfer, agile but not twitchy, and the fork with 120mm is just silly at speed on the tech! Can not wait to get more rides on it and test it out more on the local technical trails. Certainly missed riding a SS and I think this bike hit the ball out of the park for what I wanted. Thanks to every one at Ventana for building it for me and I hope Bethel Cycle can do a bunch more bikes with them. Very happy to finally have committed to a hand made American product and a beautiful bike that is one of a kind
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Thread: Custom El Comandante Ultimate