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  1. #1
    The Road Warrior
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    My New Ride: Ventana El Martillo CX

    I thought that I'd share some pictures of my new ride with you guys. This will also help people looking for technical details on this frame, since there aren't a lot of pictures out there of the Ventana El Martillo CX. Hopefully people looking for pics and build specs on google will see this one come up. This frame looks great, by the way. The seat and chain tubes are fat and sexy, and the paint job is just amazing in the sun. Gorgeous welds. I took some pics of the tire clearance so that people could see what it's got. The closeups of the tire clearance are with a 700x40 CX tire. In the pictures, I'm riding a Schwalbe Marathon Supreme 700x40. There's lots of clearance on both sides. It's geared 50-34 with an 11-34 cassette, Ultegra all the way around. Ride report follows pictures/parts list.





















    Total Parts List:

    Frame and Fork
    1. Ventana El Martillo CX frame (cosmic orange)
    135mm rear spacing, disk mounts, no cantilever mounts
    http://www.ventanausa.com/frame_elmartillocx.html

    2. Salsa La Cruz Fork (painted by Ventana to match the bike)
    http://salsacycles.com/components/la_cruz_fork/

    Handlebars, Tape, Seatpost, Stem, Saddle
    1. Salsa Bell Lap Handlebars
    http://salsacycles.com/components/bell_lap/

    2. Thomson Seat Post (silver)
    http://bikethomson.com/products/seatposts/

    3. Thomson X4 Stem (silver, 100mm at 10 degrees)
    http://bikethomson.com/products/stems/Elite%20X4/

    4. Specialized Bar Phat Bar Tape (white)
    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...jsp?spid=56846

    5. Specialized Phenom Titanium Gel Saddle (white)
    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...jsp?spid=57490

    Headset, Seat Post Clamp
    1. Chris King NoThreadSet (silver)
    http://chrisking.com/headsets/hds_nts

    2. Thomson (silver)
    http://bikethomson.com/products/collars/

    Drivetrain, Brakes, Controls
    1. Shimano Ultegra 50-34 compact crankset, front derailleur, shifters
    http://bike.shimano.com/publish/cont...egra_6700.html

    2. Shimano 11-34 Cassette
    http://bike.shimano.com/publish/cont..._mountain.html

    3. Shimano Ultegra Rear Derailleur (medium cage)
    http://bike.shimano.com/publish/cont...S.-type-..html

    4. Shimano XTR Trail Pedals
    http://bike.shimano.com/publish/cont...il.html#pedals

    5. Avid BB7 Road Disc Brakes (160mm rotors)
    http://www.sram.com/avid/products/bb...cal-disc-brake

    6. Shimano Ultegra Controls (STI Dual)
    http://bike.shimano.com/publish/cont...00.-type-.html

    Wheels, Hubs, Spokes, Tires

    1. Stans No Tubes Arch 29er (white powdercoat)
    http://www.notubes.com/rim_builder.php/cPath/680

    2. DT Swiss Spokes (silver)

    3. Chris King ISO Disc Hubs (silver)
    http://chrisking.com/hubs/hbs_ISO_disc

    4. Schwalbe Marathon Supreme (700x40c) Tires
    http://smtp.schwalbetires.com/bike_t...rathon_supreme

    Today, for the first ride, I took this bike through its paces. I didn't just want to pedal it around the block and call it a day. So, I did around 40 miles with 4000' of climbing. See ride here: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/306650 What can I say about this bike, now that I've tested it in dirt, hit 45 mph on some downhills, leaned into turns through hilly areas, climbed a 20% road grade, and raced another roadie? That this bike does it all. This bike handles very well, due in part -- I think -- to its relaxed geometry. It doesn't feel laggy, though. It's got a quick, stable feel to it, but corners well, too. It is a very stiff bike, and doesn't flex at the bottom bracket area at all. This gives it a quick, fast accelerating feel. It rides nice for aluminum, too. Much better than I expected. Where I think the bike shines is in carving at speed. I've ridden road bikes for quite some time, and mountain, too, and the turning/cockpit has an intuitive feel to it. Where you want to go, it goes. It doesn't fight with you at all. Has an almost eerie ride quality, in that it is so stable. You kind of have to ride it to see.

    Any downsides? That's a tough one. I tried doing everything to it that I could, yesterday, but I didn't find any style of riding that it didn't do well. I've got some pretty big tires on there (700x40c), so my top speed wasn't what it could be on a 120 PSI 22mm tire (I ran around 80psi). As far as some other details, I jumped curbs, slid the rear wheel out on sandy turns, and tried to stick the front tire in a crevass and get back out again, which it did well. I wanted to see if it wanted to dump me, or not. It never did. The front wheel didn't even shudder when I turned into a 1" gap in the pavement. It just slid along, then I popped over. You can tell that whoever designed this frame knew that you weren't going to be spinning around with the women's social, or posing at starbucks with an orange and silver bike. I'm sure these two things the bike would do well, but that's not what it prefers. This bike likes to be ridden. Not surprising, coming from a company known for their mountain bike prowess.

    At the end of my ride, I felt more tired than usual. It was an odd feeling. That feeling reminded me a lot of my days doing hard road rides with teams/amateurs. It felt like I over exerted myself out there, almost. It's hard to say why, except that I think this bike is capable of going fast, and therefore you want to keep going fast. I was taken back a little by that. But that's probably a good thing. When I came home, I was pretty drained. 12 chicken wings, 3 non-alcoholic beers, a burrito, some amino acid pills... then a nap. I woke up an hour later with tons of cramping in my legs. 3 hours later, after my ride, I'm still in that sweaty afterhaze that you get into when you really push it for 3+ hours.
    Last edited by LandSpeed; 03-14-2011 at 04:01 PM.

  2. #2
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    Bike looks really good .and the orange color is my favorite. Give us a ride report when you get all together. Are you going to use it as a do everything adventure type bike or do you intend to do some racing?

  3. #3
    The Road Warrior
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    Quote Originally Posted by discodave
    Bike looks really good .and the orange color is my favorite. Give us a ride report when you get all together. Are you going to use it as a do everything adventure type bike or do you intend to do some racing?
    Thanks The orange is my favorite, too. I am waiting on a new wheelset and pedals, so I won't be riding it for a little while, unfortunately. I will definitely be using it as a do everything adventure type bike. Where I live, down in Los Angeles, I've got lots of miles to ride on the road, and a ton of fire roads. I love riding my 29er out there, but when I want to do 65+ milers/4-5 hour trips, this bike will be my go-to-ride. I can't wait for the new wheelset and tires! I'm going to run some 2.0 big apples on it Super moto

  4. #4
    rr
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    Sweet frame, fyi I have a La Cruz and recently switched to some new wheels/tires, went with Bontrager XDX 1.75's and they are a little too tight on the fork, there's a tad bit of rub. That pic must be some small sized 45's, looks more like 1.5's.

    Curious about those Big Apples tho as I'm looking for something else now, something with a tad more clearance but still good volume, and I can run tubeless.

  5. #5
    The Road Warrior
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    Quote Originally Posted by rroeder
    Sweet frame, fyi I have a La Cruz and recently switched to some new wheels/tires, went with Bontrager XDX 1.75's and they are a little too tight on the fork, there's a tad bit of rub. That pic must be some small sized 45's, looks more like 1.5's.

    Curious about those Big Apples tho as I'm looking for something else now, something with a tad more clearance but still good volume, and I can run tubeless.
    Thanks. I like the la cruz bike a lot. I couldn't pass up $700 on the ventana frame, though... it's a super local product for me (I'm from Sacramento, where they're made).

    The big apple won't let you down, either. I'm running the 28" x 2.35" on my 29'er and it rides like a super moto bike. No joke. On the sizing, check this picture out, here:
    http://assets.rivbike.com/images/pro....45caliper.jpg

    That picture is of the 700x50. And yeah, good eyes... my 45c is around 1.55. Also, it turns out that my fork isn't a la cruz... It's a long story, but I'm in the middle of figuring out what it is, now. The fork that I do have, on the other hand, has a ton of clearance.

  6. #6
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    Orange disc CX bikes rock, and yours is especially nice. Will it see any racing? And how are the BB7's with the new Ultegra levers? Supposedly they altered the leverage with the latest generation, haven't heard if it affected performance with discs or not.
    A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.

  7. #7
    The Road Warrior
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    Quote Originally Posted by miles e
    Orange disc CX bikes rock, and yours is especially nice. Will it see any racing? And how are the BB7's with the new Ultegra levers? Supposedly they altered the leverage with the latest generation, haven't heard if it affected performance with discs or not.
    I don't race CX. My knee has problems running and doing obstacles This is my adventure do everything bike. The bomb proof pork chop. Believe it or not, this thing hasn't even been ridden, yet. The builder made an error and built up the wrong wheelset and forgot to send the pedals, so I'm waiting until he sends everything that he should. I'll post a full ride report and review once this thing sees some use.

  8. #8
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    Were you a kid when you stole that ruler from the Math Center?


  9. #9
    The Road Warrior
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoundRockTJ
    Were you a kid when you stole that ruler from the Math Center?

    Nice catch, but no, I was a little older. That ruler is courtesy of the Sierra College math center. A souvenir

  10. #10
    The Road Warrior
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    First Ride Report

    So today, for the first ride, I took this bike through its paces. I didn't just want to pedal it around the block and call it a day. So, I did around 40 miles with 4000' of climbing. See ride here: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/306650 The hill in Pacific Palisades really tested this things climbing. What I can say about this bike, now that I've tested it in dirt, hit 45 mph on some downhills, went through tons of hilly neighborhoods as fast as I could with lots of turns, climbed a ton, and raced another roadie, is that this was a good choice. This bike handles very well, and has great stiffness and acceleration. It feels really plush, and carves very well at high speeds. It's got the tang of a great handling roadie, with the ability to take some punishment. I jumped curbs, slid the rear wheel out on sandy turns, and tried to stick the front tire in a crevass and get back out again, which it did well. You can tell that whoever designed this frame knew that you weren't going to be spinning laps on your sidewalk, but actually riding it. Surprising, coming from a company known for their mountain bike prowess. Very stiff, fast, nimble, and smooth bike. Even with the long chainstays and relaxed angles, it felt quicker than the Tarmac I sold to buy this one. I over exerted myself out there, and collapsed when I came home in a plate of 12 chicken wings, 3 non-alcoholic beers, a burrito, and some amino acid pills... then woke up an hour later with tons of cramping in my legs. 3 hours later, after my ride, I'm still in that sweaty afterhaze that you get into when you really push it for 3+ hours. Its safe to say that I like the bike. Oh, and the frame feels as comfy as my steel HT 29'er.

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