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  1. #1
    Team Chilidog!
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    New 2012 El Ciclón - 6 month review and CCDB settings

    Happy New Year!

    After riding the X-5 in several different El Tigré iterations (I, II, and III), I opted to get a new El Ciclón, which arrived in July.

    It's semi-custom (10mm shorter reach, 66.5 degree HA with a Fox 36 fork in the front, ISCG tabs, Gravity Dropper cable guides) with Titanium colour. Different name too: El Lobo.

    I had this bike designed with the intent of running different wheelsets instead of having multiple bikes (a bit cheaper to maintain). Currently have two wheelsets for it (a dry weather AM set and a DH set), but I won't be able to try the DH set until later this year.

    Note that my bike is still a pretty heavy build with coil (Van 36 up front, CCDB in the back), around 33 lbs. It was 31.5 lbs with air (Float 36 up front, Monarch Plus in the back).

    The Great:
    - Handling. Corners, downhills, and climbs better than the X-5 ever did. Climbs better on technical climbs than I would expect it to. The bike just wants to keep going. Very confidence inspiring too, because I don't feel like I'm going to go over the top like I did with the X-5.
    - The low BB. It took a little bit of getting used to riding a lower BB bike again, but once I did, it's really great. The biggest thing that took some time to get used to was the initial pedal strikes, but you get used to watching your pedal placement more and it's no longer a problem.
    - Suspension. I can pedal this bike without getting so exhausted. Even better than the old El Saltamontes.
    - Tire clearance. Much better in the back.
    - Stiffness. Still has that wonderful Ventana stiffness. You can feel when you have flexy parts on the bike, but that was common with the X-5 too.
    - The F2P (I think that's what it's called). This allows you to flip the rear suspension between 140mm and 150mm. Currently running it at 150mm. Didn't like the feel at 140mm with the longer fork.
    - The 30.9 seat tube. Can run a 5" drop on my Gravity Dropper now

    The Good:
    - Internal cable routing. Haven't had any problems with it.
    - The 22mm reducers. Much more common and easier to find.
    - Tapered head tube. No problems finding headsets or forks for it, also supposedly a bit stiffer, but don't think I can tell.
    - Replaceable dropouts. Which is good when you do decide to change out axles because replacing rear tire tubes on the trail from a crappy rim make you decide a 142mm will be easier than Fun Bolts to deal with for trail side repairs.
    - Water bottle mounts are no longer on the underside of the bike.

    The Doable (not really bad):
    - The bend in the top tube. It's not the look for me (as much as I prefer the straight tube look), but it's the clearance. The X-5 clearance was better.
    - The frame doesn't fit a water bottle well with a CCDB (I carry a small camelback).
    - The F2P bit is easy to lose. That can really screw you (haven't had it happen, but could see it happening).
    - PF30 BB. I still don't get it, but fortunately adapters are easily available from Ventana

    For anyone curious about my CCDB settings on the new Ciclón, they are listed below. Significantly less low speed compression and low speed rebound needed. May even take it down another click to 16. All settings from full open:
    LSC 17
    LSR 17
    HSR 2
    HSC 1

    On the X-5:
    LSC 21
    LSR 21
    HSR 1.5
    HSC 1.75

    Truthfully, there's nothing I'd change about the frame. Like the X-5, you can build it as light as you want, or as beefy as you want.
    MTB4Her.com: mountain bike site for women, by women

  2. #2
    Lightly salted
    Reputation: fuenstock's Avatar
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    The new ciclon is great, I like mine just as much as you like yours! Very fun bike. I agree i'm not a big fan of the pf30 bb, but it's not a big deal anyway, I do wish I would have had iscg 05 tabs added to mine.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
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    Another thing to add in the plus column is the short chainstays. I didn't anticipate they'd make much of a difference, but I think they're one of the reasons the new Ciclon climbs so well, especially out of the saddle. I've also warmed up to the PF30 setup, as the BB30 spindle is stiff and light.

    The top tube shape is still a bit of a mystery, both aesthetically and functionally. I suppose aesthetics are in the eye of the beholder, but standover could really be improved (my Turner Highline has better standover). That, and I've discovered that the triangular top tube isn't too knee friendly. A low-slung, round top tube would make the bike even sweeter than it is, particularly since it feels like it could easily handle a 36 or Lyrik, either of which would push the front end up.

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