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).
- 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
- 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:
On the X-5:
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.
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