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  1. #1
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    Pantera discontinued....

    The Pantera is being discontinued. All frames have been closed out to mail order shops (Cambria mostly). Sales on that frame have never met their expectations. It's a great frame and people love it, but the ironic thing is that a lot of people who initially start looking at the Pantera end up deciding to spend more money and get the Salty or X-5.
    Larry Mettler
    http://www.mtnhighcyclery.com

  2. #2
    Ventana Mountain Bikes
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    Like the band, Pantera is a thing of the past

    Yep,
    It is true, we inked a deal with Cambria for the last 60 or so Pantera frames we had on Friday of last week. Pantera is a great bike, so if you are interested, I suggest you get one through Cambria. Those for sale through Jenson are 2003 models being blown out by our now ex-distributor KHS and they come without Pro Pedal shocks.

    Those sold by Cambria are 2004 and will either come with Float RL, Pro Pedal or Swinger 3-way depending on when they take delivery of each batch. The first 20 will come with Pro Pedal. After that, we may switch to the Swinger.

    We will of course still stock replacement parts, but we have no plans of building Panteras again. I am amazed that this bike simply didn't sell. I guess hand build in our factory by people who care simply doesn't translate too well to the mid/high price point. 'Cause, this is the second time we have stopped production an a mid-priced (for high end) frame because they didn't sell well (Habanero, 1986). So get those Panteras while you can. Ventana quality at SC prices is hard to beat.

    Happy trails,
    Sherwood

  3. #3
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    Sherwood, I think it's because the mags are...

    ...pushing everyone toward 5" and 6" rear travel "XC" bikes. I wouldn't be surprised if the Chamuco sales increase. Singletrack mag (Chippendale's thing) has had a few comments recently about 6" being the new "standard" for FS XC. I bet Roland Green has a few things to say about that idea.

    I'm glad I got an X-5. I love that frame. Did my first post-snow trail ride on it Saturday, it performed phenomenally. Excellent tracking, excellent lateral stiffness with the Quad Bearing option.

    And you should thank Larry Mettler for being such a great ambassador for your frames. I was on the fence between the Turner 5-Spot and the X-5, and Larry's evenhanded and well-informed comments on each persuaded me that for my style/terrain, the X-5 was the better choice. And I think he was correct.

  4. #4
    Daniel the Dog
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    Wink Making room for the true 4-bar bike?

    Quote Originally Posted by sherwood
    Yep,
    It is true, we inked a deal with Cambria for the last 60 or so Pantera frames we had on Friday of last week. Pantera is a great bike, so if you are interested, I suggest you get one through Cambria. Those for sale through Jenson are 2003 models being blown out by our now ex-distributor KHS and they come without Pro Pedal shocks.

    Those sold by Cambria are 2004 and will either come with Float RL, Pro Pedal or Swinger 3-way depending on when they take delivery of each batch. The first 20 will come with Pro Pedal. After that, we may switch to the Swinger.

    We will of course still stock replacement parts, but we have no plans of building Panteras again. I am amazed that this bike simply didn't sell. I guess hand build in our factory by people who care simply doesn't translate too well to the mid/high price point. 'Cause, this is the second time we have stopped production an a mid-priced (for high end) frame because they didn't sell well (Habanero, 1986). So get those Panteras while you can. Ventana quality at SC prices is hard to beat.

    Happy trails,
    Sherwood
    Sherwood,

    Please make that Horst bike with adjustable travel between 4-5". I bet SC was thrilled to hear you diss their bikes. Laugh. Oh, a VPP Ventana would be cool also.

    Jaybo

  5. #5
    Daniel the Dog
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    ... and if we just ... I rode a X-5.

    Quote Originally Posted by gonzostrike
    ...pushing everyone toward 5" and 6" rear travel "XC" bikes. I wouldn't be surprised if the Chamuco sales increase. Singletrack mag (Chippendale's thing) has had a few comments recently about 6" being the new "standard" for FS XC. I bet Roland Green has a few things to say about that idea.

    I'm glad I got an X-5. I love that frame. Did my first post-snow trail ride on it Saturday, it performed phenomenally. Excellent tracking, excellent lateral stiffness with the Quad Bearing option.

    And you should thank Larry Mettler for being such a great ambassador for your frames. I was on the fence between the Turner 5-Spot and the X-5, and Larry's evenhanded and well-informed comments on each persuaded me that for my style/terrain, the X-5 was the better choice. And I think he was correct.
    The brake jack was so bad I felt like I was skidding down the mountain. I'm kidding you.

    Jaybo

  6. #6
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    Be serious once

    [QUOTE=Jaybo]The brake jack was so bad I felt like I was skidding down the mountain. I'm kidding you.

    Be honest with us Jaybo , how do you compare the X-5 to your 5Spot ?
    it's a big sh*t sandwich and were all gonna have to take a bite

  7. #7
    tl1
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    Maybe it was the Henry Ford thing

    You know, any color you want as long as it's black. I understand that the one color thing was probably a necessary cost containment measure but I think many people just don't like black bikes. I think black is beautiful myself and just took delivery of my black Panther last week.
    I look forward to thousands of miles of joyful riding on mine.

    Thanks,
    Tom
    Last edited by tl1; 03-15-2004 at 04:32 PM.

  8. #8
    Daniel the Dog
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    No clue....

    [QUOTE=toe-knee]
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybo
    The brake jack was so bad I felt like I was skidding down the mountain. I'm kidding you.

    Be honest with us Jaybo , how do you compare the X-5 to your 5Spot ?
    I have seen the X-5 up close; however, I have never ridden one. I own a Spot, so I can tell you it is awesome. However, the X-5 is a prettier bike with nicer manufacturing and paint. I just don't like the seatstay pivot. Sorry.

    Jaybo

  9. #9
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    Sherwood,

    The Pantera was the first bike I rode that made me realize what a stiff bike was. It was also the first bike I rode that made me "Ooo" and "Ahhh" over the compliant suspension after having been on the much vaunted XCE a few times. Everyone that rode it, loved it. For what you consider a budget bike (and it was a bargain), the quality was better built than everything I have seen... except for your own even better stuff.

    We know that you don't need biking to "survive" as your shop is pretty self sufficient in it's own right. What I do know though is that biking needs you. You're a credit to the industry.

    Here is a case in point. We had a customer on the fence, not sure what to buy. We had a Salty come in for another customer and this guy was drooling like Rosie O'Donnell at the snack bar of a girls only nude beach. Unsure of what to do in regards to travel (wanted 5"), and myself not real familiar with that frame, I said hey, let's call Sherwood. He called first, and Sherwood had to call him back since he was busy welding (I love it... think Tony puts the mask on very much?). He did of course call back and answered all of this customer's questions. I brought up a few other points after the conversation, so we called back via conference calling from this guy's office. Sherwood was very patient to answer most everything AGAIN (for my benefit), and MORE than helpful enough that the customer told him on the phone to "put me down for a green one". The bike is arriving in a few days.

    There are alot of nice bikes out there... but remember folks, you are also buying into a shop and a company when you make a purchase.

    Lastly, I agree with the sentiments that Sherwood needs to buy Larry dinner some night

    Thanks
    Don
    Pedalling the goods since 2002.
    http://www.boutiquebikes.com

  10. #10
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    I agree..

    Personally, I would prefer my do-it-all trailbike to have 5-6" of travel. After riding my 6" travel bullit for 8 months, I really like the travel. Only problem is that its a lazy climber compared to current 5" travel bikes.

    If someone were to build a solid 7lb, air sprung, 6" vpp bike with clearance for 2.4-2.5" tires and properly sized bearings (or bushings for that matter) for the load forces, I'd get one in a heartbeat. :-)

    -Sp


    Quote Originally Posted by gonzostrike
    ...pushing everyone toward 5" and 6" rear travel "XC" bikes. I wouldn't be surprised if the Chamuco sales increase. Singletrack mag (Chippendale's thing) has had a few comments recently about 6" being the new "standard" for FS XC. I bet Roland Green has a few things to say about that idea.

  11. #11
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    The Pantera has an unusual style

    No matter how clean and beautiful the bike is, I think most folks saw it as different looking. I've heard nothing but good things about Ventana. Keep up the good work. Rich

  12. #12
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    Damm

    I came to the conclusion that the Pantera was going to be my next bike. I was drawn to the Ventanas by a El Salty at a friends bike shop. Then before I could get the scratch together the X-5 came out and that has led to many sleepless nights. Then in my reading and looking in to what I need a bike to do the Pantera was the one that fit the bill. Cost, 4inch travel, and quality built for a big guy made it perfect for my needs. The only problem is that I have to sell my motorcycle first so the timing might leave me out in the breeze. Oh the humanity!!!!

    Have you ever seen a 225 lb ex-linebacker/paratrooper cry? It is pitifull let me tell you.
    Are you wearing protection?
    This message is hidden because gmaki is on your ignore list.

  13. #13
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    By the way, how do those Propedals hold up to 225pounders

    No problem. Rich

  14. #14
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    Swinger

    I was going to set it up with the swinger anyhow
    Are you wearing protection?
    This message is hidden because gmaki is on your ignore list.

  15. #15
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    shame i think...

    Sherwood,

    I originally was going to buy 2 Pantera's and was probably a 'target' market person you would have had in mind - appreciates hand made, attention to detail, looking for good value/bang for the buck, prefer smaller niche products/manufacturers etc.

    In the end, I ended up going with 2 X5's. Firstly, for my wife I valued that the X5 came in extra small so I could get something I figured would be that much closer to an 'optimal' size for her, second the geometry of X5 was also closer to the feedback I was getting on what is better head angle/seat angle for her and finally, the price difference (at the time) was only about 500 bucks. For myself, I wanted to have more travel than I figured I might need was about it. Basically X5 had the edge in terms of being 'more' bike than I figured my wife or I would need with the extra inch of travel and equally solid build quality. Color selection was of course nice bonus as well for X5's but not a decision breaker - my wife liked the Pantera black actually. So putting that together I was leaning toward X5's but was still questioning the need to pony up the extra bucks. The kicker to push me to X5's was a better bonus than I expected for the year and so then it was off to the races - and of course then I piled on all good quality parts as well; no point being cheap when you decide to round up!

    So net net I think the Pantera was (and still is) a good idea for a specific target market. I am surprised that market does not seem to exist so you are obviously the expert based on your sales there. I would have thought when people were looking to drop 2k or so on a bike that Pantera would compare very well. Moreso, I am surprised that other 2k bikes sell well while a Pantera does not - someone dropping 2k obviously is serious so you would think would be looking for specific things and good value for money which the Pantera I thought is/was and would quite possibly come across it in the search for bike candidates. I can't see people impulse buying 2k bikes at their LBS cause it is there and ready to ride out the door. Then again, maybe people don't enjoy the research process as much as say I or other Ventana type people do. I am a bit of a perfectionist which, based on your bikes, I would guess you are as well.

    Anyway, I am anxiously waiting for Larry to finish the two you just sent him recently (medium cosmic orange and extra small electric blue) so I can get out riding before the crummy weather hits here.

    I very much appreciated your help on the phone by the way when I had to call a couple times to confirm sizing.

    Regards

    yd

  16. #16
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    Trade in still effective?

    Sherwood,
    I bought an '04 Pantera from boutique bikes a month or two ago (I paid full price-aww), will I still be able to trade it in several years from now for a discount on a new ventana?
    Thanks, Anthony
    Don't fall for the hype and don't be a poser

  17. #17
    Ventana Mountain Bikes
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    Of course,
    As a Ventana owner, you are always elligible for our trade-in pricing regardless of price paid, length ownership, or condition of trade-in frame.

  18. #18
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    FYI - $789 @ Jensonusa.com

    Sorry if I'm just repeating what's been said...

  19. #19
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    '03 or '04

    Other than the Pro Pedal shock is there any other changes from the '03 to the '04 Pantera frame? I am interested in purchasing one for my son who is out growing his small Fuel 80 and have had a several good buying experiences from Jenson USA. Also what is the shock length on the frame?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larsey
    Other than the Pro Pedal shock is there any other changes from the '03 to the '04 Pantera frame? I am interested in purchasing one for my son who is out growing his small Fuel 80 and have had a several good buying experiences from Jenson USA. Also what is the shock length on the frame?
    No other significant changes other than the shock. The length is 6.5/1.5".
    Larry Mettler
    http://www.mtnhighcyclery.com

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Innocent Bystander
    Sherwood,

    The Pantera was the first bike I rode that made me realize what a stiff bike was. It was also the first bike I rode that made me "Ooo" and "Ahhh" over the compliant suspension after having been on the much vaunted XCE a few times. Everyone that rode it, loved it. For what you consider a budget bike (and it was a bargain), the quality was better built than everything I have seen... except for your own even better stuff.

    We know that you don't need biking to "survive" as your shop is pretty self sufficient in it's own right. What I do know though is that biking needs you. You're a credit to the industry.

    Here is a case in point. We had a customer on the fence, not sure what to buy. We had a Salty come in for another customer and this guy was drooling like Rosie O'Donnell at the snack bar of a girls only nude beach. Unsure of what to do in regards to travel (wanted 5"), and myself not real familiar with that frame, I said hey, let's call Sherwood. He called first, and Sherwood had to call him back since he was busy welding (I love it... think Tony puts the mask on very much?). He did of course call back and answered all of this customer's questions. I brought up a few other points after the conversation, so we called back via conference calling from this guy's office. Sherwood was very patient to answer most everything AGAIN (for my benefit), and MORE than helpful enough that the customer told him on the phone to "put me down for a green one". The bike is arriving in a few days.

    There are alot of nice bikes out there... but remember folks, you are also buying into a shop and a company when you make a purchase.

    Lastly, I agree with the sentiments that Sherwood needs to buy Larry dinner some night

    Thanks
    Don

    The frame showed up yesterday that Don is talking about and I must say the thing is SWEEEEET!! I almost kicked the wife out of bed so I could sleep with it last night! :-) Can't wait to build her up but unfortunately I'll have to wait for a few parts to show up. Can't really ride for a couple of weeks anyway and it'll be May before we're in the woods.

  22. #22
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    Take a few pix of that thing before it gets built up and post them here. I usually get a pic before they are picked up... so do me that favor will ya?
    Pedalling the goods since 2002.
    http://www.boutiquebikes.com

  23. #23
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    Pantera

    Quote Originally Posted by Ventanarama
    No other significant changes other than the shock. The length is 6.5/1.5".
    Larry Mettler
    http://www.mtnhighcyclery.com

    I'm interested to know how the FOX propedel or Swinger 3-way works on a 2003. I read that typically the stable platform shocks work best on 4-bar and/or a single pivot frame with a low pivot point. Right now I'm happy with the 03' Fox RL, but curious to know how much better the frame performs with a new technology shock.

    This was my first full suspension bike. The performance has greatly exceeded my expectations. Build quality and finish amazing. I built mine with the super link and the lateral stiffness has completely changed the way I ride (perhaps more than the rear suspension having gone from hard-tail).

    My next bike is going to be a higher-end multi-bar Ventana. I can see why people would want more expensive Ventanas and how this may have led to the relative unpopularity of the Pantera. Im sure as hell glad I got a 21 before they sold out.

  24. #24
    mtbr member yo
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    Sweet! I got the LAST size med from Jenson. It has the same shock as my Yeti, that's cool. I've been looking at this bike and the Heckler, and was kinda leaning toward the Heckler until I found out the '04's are built in Taiwan, what's up with that? Not that they aren't still quality, but it's kind of a sell-out, isn't it?

    By the way, someone mentioned that the Jenson Pantera's came from KHS distributor, is that the same KHS as in KHS bikes? Interesting how the bike business works...

  25. #25
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    Don't read to much into it...

    Quote Originally Posted by Yo_Yo
    Sweet! I got the LAST size med from Jenson. It has the same shock as my Yeti, that's cool. I've been looking at this bike and the Heckler, and was kinda leaning toward the Heckler until I found out the '04's are built in Taiwan, what's up with that? Not that they aren't still quality, but it's kind of a sell-out, isn't it?

    By the way, someone mentioned that the Jenson Pantera's came from KHS distributor, is that the same KHS as in KHS bikes? Interesting how the bike business works...

    All that arrangement was that KHS distributed Ventana's to LBS that carried KHS, no manufacturing ties at ALL.

    OLE!
    Aaron G
    -Aaron G.

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

  26. #26
    mtbr member yo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ciclistagonzo
    All that arrangement was that KHS distributed Ventana's to LBS that carried KHS, no manufacturing ties at ALL.

    OLE!
    Aaron G
    That's a relief, I've had a KHS bike up for sale for quite awhile, starting to think I won't be able to give the piece of junk away hehe. I'm glad that KHS and Ventana are not "attached" somehow.

    I'm looking forward to building up this Pantera, I for one like single pivot bikes, simplicity is a good thing. All I really want for day to day riding is for the frame to soften the ride and not have lateral flex...

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzostrike
    ...pushing everyone toward 5" and 6" rear travel "XC" bikes. I wouldn't be surprised if the Chamuco sales increase. Singletrack mag (Chippendale's thing) has had a few comments recently about 6" being the new "standard" for FS XC. I bet Roland Green has a few things to say about that idea.
    i agree with that- especially when the review in mountain bike said that the travel was overly stiff and rode like there were only 3 inches.

  28. #28
    mtbr member yo
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    I got my Pantera built up and so far it seems like a good ride. A 4 day weekend coming up for me so I'll have a better ride report after this weekend. To me it feels like a milder version of my old Bullit. Right now I have a Z1 on it (the only spare fork I had) but plan to put a Fox Vanilla on it as soon as I can gather a little more cash. It's kinda like riding a chopper the way it is, needs much less travel on the front. Anyone have a better fork recommendation than the Vanilla?

    How about this "trade up" deal that Ventana has? I like the quality of these bikes, and the fact that it is a small american made company. After a year or so I might be up for trading if the deal is good.

    By the way, I hate to hurt anyone's feelings, but the "Electric Sex" weld gimmick is just a little lame Come on guys, can't we come up with something better?
    Last edited by Yo_Yo; 03-26-2004 at 11:13 AM. Reason: wrong message at first

  29. #29
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    Ride report.

    I took the new Pantera build out for a good long test today. This thing is great for tight trail, probably the funnest ride I've had in awhile. The simplicity of the single pivot was my main reason for buying, that and the fact that they did not sellout to overseas builders like some of the other comparable single pivot brands. The closeout price was a factor as well, but I was looking at this one before they decided to discontinue. I'm not so sure I like the rough texture finish but the quality is top notch (especially those "sexy" welds heheh). I even pulled the pivot bolts to put anti-sieze on them and it had already been done at the factory. I was able to ride it back to back to my (maybe I better say my son's) Yeti ASR. The ASR was better in technical climbs but part of that was my fork choice. The weight was noticable too, but not too bad. The bike feels like a scaled down Bullit to me, I like the single pivot feel and 4" is perfect for trail riding. I have a Vanilla fork coming for it, that should make it the perfect all around trail bike. I will be racing XC on this one too.

    Oh yeah, and this is important to me. The frame is VERY rigid laterally. I hate a flexy bike and this one feels great. I'm a borderline clydesdale and it's tough to find a fs xc bike that isn't noodly feeling.

    I just wish my 14 year old hadn't been standing beside me when I pulled the new frame out of the box. He saw the "Electric Sex" sticker and asked what that meant. Oh boy, the joys of being a parent

    Still it's nice to have a company in the USA still building here, not trying to deceive us by slapping a sticker that says "Designed in the USA". I would rather see an "Electric Sex Weld" sticker than that

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