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  1. #1
    11 is one louder than 10
    Reputation: Green Giant's Avatar
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    New El Rey - Finally Built...

    So I ordered this bad boy back in early February, after a nasty experience on an Ellsnoodle Evolve (which I sold after 2 rides, it didn't fit perfect and the rear end was ALL OVER the freaking place).

    Finally got the El Rey in August - 1 week after moving and 2 weeks after having our fourth child (and 4th girl but I digress). So, not a lot of time to build, and I was cash crunched (still am a bit) so I debated selling it. This week the urge couldn't be stopped so I built it up. Tonight was the first shakedown ride. Got in 2 hours on it, had dead legs to start the ride as I really rode a ton this week already. Bad day at work led me to saying screw it, I'm building it and going riding.

    Build Kit thus far

    2011 El Rey - cosmic orange, custom built PUSH RS rear shock
    2010 Reba Team with the full PUSH treatment, including new internals

    Daves Speedream Hoops (had these for a few years) Stans, Kings etc... Currently 20mm front, 10mm rear - will go 142x12 whenever I can source a shimano rear 142 QR Thru Axle

    Sram PF30 BB
    Cannondale Hollowgrams - 24/36 for the time being. Playing around with that

    Sram Twisties (9 speed)

    New XT Brakes

    RF post/stem

    Syntace 12deg Carbon Bars...


    I will say this. It's not the lightest thing on the planet. A good 2lb more than my Tallboy was last season. But it's STIFF. Handles unbelievably well. I had dead legs tonight and on my local loop tied my best time all year - which was done on a Giant Carbon XTC 29er hardtail with fresh legs. I was stunned.

    Will do a mini-review here shortly.
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    Last edited by Green Giant; 10-07-2011 at 06:42 PM.
    "The thing is, Bob, it's not that I'm lazy, it's that I just don't care."

  2. #2
    T , V , & K Rider
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    New El Rey

    Oh man , I sure would like to try one with the new pivot placement and shorter stays and all....nice ! TIG.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for posting. Built up El Rey pics are hard to come by for some reason. The bike looks great. I sold my 08 last spring to buy one of the new ones but I haven't seen any bike pron to get me excited about ordering one.

  4. #4
    11 is one louder than 10
    Reputation: Green Giant's Avatar
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    Mini-Review

    So, only 2 hours on the bike thus far, local loop Quick thoughts.


    Handling for me - spot on. REALLY dig the geometry. I did like my Tallboy, however one drawback was the low BB, I hit my pedals a lot. No issues thus far as the El Rey has a taller BB.

    Typical for Ventana, but there is NO hint of flex from front to rear. The bike goes exactly where I pointed it. My last Ventana was an El Saltamontes back around 2003-2004.

    Handling was great, I could really push it in corners from the get go. I had a lot of confidence about 10 minutes in to really lean it in corners.

    In my case I decided to buy the PUSH built Monarch RT3, with the big air can. Ran 25% sag. Was tuned for 195lbs and the TRAIL TUNE. I had no problem getting full travel. That said, if you went this route do NOT get the race tune. I ran mine today with the floodgate OFF and had very, very little pedal bob. I suspect the medium floodgate adjustment would all but eliminate it. I'm going to have to play around to get balance with the front fork as my fork is more active than the rear thus far. I can't speak to the stock FOX rear shocks. But there seems to be very, very little pedal bob with the redesign.

    It wasn't super plush on the small stuff. I suspect I could get it there with a bit less compression dampening if I sent it back to PUSH, but likely would add some pedal bob.

    Build quality - it's a Ventana 'nuff said. The internal cable routing works very well as they welded tubes inside to guide the cables. No fishing etc necessary.

    Once I figured out the zip-tie situation on the rear end, no real problems there either and it really saves you banging and slapping of cables on the rear end.

    I was completely stunned that on my local loop I tied my best loop time for the season. I had dead legs today and my other bike is a giant carbon hardtail, basically a race bike. Could have been new bike excitement, but I think it's more likely my confidence in really pushing it through corners.

    Only one ride in but I am digging it thus far. Biggest thing now will be dialing in the front and rear shocks. Front fork may need a bit more compression dampening, and on the rear I may want a bit less. It was great today, but I like to have my "medium" floodgate/PP setting ride like this one did on off.
    Last edited by Green Giant; 10-08-2011 at 11:07 AM. Reason: info
    "The thing is, Bob, it's not that I'm lazy, it's that I just don't care."

  5. #5
    Ultra Ventanaphile
    Reputation: Ciclistagonzo's Avatar
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    Awesome, glad it's working out for ya. And congrats on the little one too.
    -Aaron G.

    "Before D.W., "anti-squat" was referred to as pedal feedback."

  6. #6
    The Bubble Wrap Hysteria
    Reputation: mtnbiker4life's Avatar
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    Sweet looking rig. I'm glad you get to ride that beauty instead of selling. FYI, that King rear hub can be converted to 142 x 12mm with an axle change.

    ISO Disc Hubs | Chris King Precision Components


    .

  7. #7
    11 is one louder than 10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker4life View Post
    Sweet looking rig. I'm glad you get to ride that beauty instead of selling. FYI, that King rear hub can be converted to 142 x 12mm with an axle change.

    ISO Disc Hubs | Chris King Precision Components


    .
    Yup, I've had the axle for a few months now... the problem is sourcing a 142 x 12 thru bolt/axle from Shimano. The Rock Shox doesn't fit per Ventana.
    "The thing is, Bob, it's not that I'm lazy, it's that I just don't care."

  8. #8
    The Bubble Wrap Hysteria
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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Giant View Post
    Yup, I've had the axle for a few months now... the problem is sourcing a 142 x 12 thru bolt/axle from Shimano. The Rock Shox doesn't fit per Ventana.
    That's not good. The entire reason for going to 142 x 12mm is to use the RS Maxle because it far better then just a bolt. Knowing that their is no reason to migrate to 142 x 12mm rear swingarm configuration on the new a Ventana frame.

  9. #9
    Team Chilidog!
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker4life View Post
    That's not good. The entire reason for going to 142 x 12mm is to use the RS Maxle because it far better then just a bolt. Knowing that their is no reason to migrate to 142 x 12mm rear swingarm configuration on the new a Ventana frame.
    Basically negates the main reason for me to spend the money on the conversion.
    MTB4Her.com: mountain bike site for women, by women

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker4life View Post
    That's not good. The entire reason for going to 142 x 12mm is to use the RS Maxle because it far better then just a bolt. Knowing that their is no reason to migrate to 142 x 12mm rear swingarm configuration on the new a Ventana frame.
    Because the axle isn't clamped radially w/ the Shimano axle or just a regular bolt? One way around that would be for Ventana to use the Syntace setup with the conical interface (DT uses this too). I think it would just take machining the left side dropout a bit differently. Maybe it will be a running change at some point if enough folks ask for it.

  11. #11
    change is good
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    Soooo, how does it compare to the Tallboy other than increased weight (increased durability)?

  12. #12
    NOT Team Sanchez
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    Nice review write-up, I'm looking to get into the 29er scene so I can keep up with my dad. He's on an XL Sultan, the thing's a horse!
    I like bikes.

  13. #13
    11 is one louder than 10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker4life View Post
    That's not good. The entire reason for going to 142 x 12mm is to use the RS Maxle because it far better then just a bolt. Knowing that their is no reason to migrate to 142 x 12mm rear swingarm configuration on the new a Ventana frame.
    Well, I was told that the Maxle just barely misses clearing the bearings at the "seatstay/chainstay" interface on the El Rey (not sure on the others). It's too large of a diameter where it sits. Tough to explain.

    The Shimano AX-75 works I was told and I was sent a new adapter for it. The AX-75 reminds me of the 15mm QR's on Fox Forx. It's not ideal, in that I really liked the maxle, but I can't imagine it's that much different. It's still easier in my world than a DT Swiss 10mm QR.

    Sourcing an AX-75 however is difficult thus far, maybe it's because they have a hollow one that is forthcoming. The current one is solid.
    "The thing is, Bob, it's not that I'm lazy, it's that I just don't care."

  14. #14
    11 is one louder than 10
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    Tallboy vs El Rey

    Quote Originally Posted by DrDon View Post
    Soooo, how does it compare to the Tallboy other than increased weight (increased durability)?
    Keeping in mind I had a season on the Tallboy and 2 rides on the El Rey.

    I feel the rear end of the Ventana is even stiffer than the Tallboy from a stiffness standpoint. The front Triangle of both are plenty stiff.

    The Ventana is a taller bike bottom bracket height wise so I'm not striking pedals as much

    They actually both handle pretty similar, I'm having no problems in the twisties etc on the Ventana and the Tallboy also railed there. Both were set-up with 100mm forks and 20mm Maxles. The Ventana might be a shade more neutral handling.

    The suspension systems are very different. The VPP definitely suffered from pedal kickback in the small chainring, though I do feel that thus far (and keeping in mind I'm still playing around with my rear shock on the Ventana) that the VPP did a bit better job sucking up the small stuff, but that really could be set-up. The VPP does climb really well. But, no issues climbing on the Ventana either. There is a lot less pedal induced suspension movement on these Ventana's vs. the old design.

    I did really like the Tallboy, I still do. My brother still has his. That said, I could have easily gone with an Aluminum Tallboy and I didn't. The main reason was the fact I kept crushing pedals (I run Time Atac's and those bars bend too easy). I found years ago when I had a VPP bike (Intense EVP 5.5) that I kept doing the same thing. Likely a function of the BB height.

    The reason I went with the El Rey is this.

    Sherwoods bikes just work.

    On the Tallboy I cracked it twice, and I don't jump much. My brother put a huge dent in his downtube when a rock kicked up. (Santa Cruz was great on each instance) I tried an Ellsworth Evolve, and the rear end was a NOODLE. I don't love Tony E either, but I'll admit the front trangles on those Evolves are very nice, the suspension rides nice but the rear ends are WAY underbuilt.

    I wanted 4 inches of travel, and a bike that if I take on trips out west or easy (I am in Michigan) and bang around on the rocks I won't worry about cracking the thing.

    I also really dig the Pivot 429, but they didn't seem to bother making enough this year so anyone could order any.

    The new Intense Spider 29er was interesting, but I didn't want more than 4 inches of travel.

    I currently have a Giant XTC carbon 29er hardtail I will keep for racing (unless I keep being faster on this thing).

    This bike fits the bill thus far. Just a good 4 inch 29er MTB.
    "The thing is, Bob, it's not that I'm lazy, it's that I just don't care."

  15. #15
    30-ton War Machine
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    I am interested to hear if the faster circuit times are continuing? Thinking Highball rather than full squash.

  16. #16
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    Green Giant, I just have build an Evolve, have a few test rides and noticed some strage habits from it.
    I have Pivot 429 previously, it was perfect. Since I am 160lbs, I thought the Evolve would be stiff enough for me.
    What is your body weight?

  17. #17
    The Bubble Wrap Hysteria
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    Why have you decided to sell the El Rey? Do you have a case of the Fo's

  18. #18
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    Awesome bike- I have been droling over their frames.

  19. #19
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    Green Giant- Two questions: 1) What size is your frame, and 2) can you share your thoughts on the feel of the chain stays in terms of length on climbs, acceleration, ability to manual, especially compared to your TB? Thanks.

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