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  1. #1
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    pedaling efficiency

    In terms of pedaling efficiency while climbing/ anti bob/squat nonsense, how do the '12 frames compare to the VPP and DW designs out there? Can they be ridden on a long climb with the rear shock open?

    Very interested in these new frames but that is a requirement for me and I guess there are no Ventana demos...any input is appreciated, thanks!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by daves4mtb View Post
    In terms of pedaling efficiency while climbing/ anti bob/squat nonsense, how do the '12 frames compare to the VPP and DW designs out there? Can they be ridden on a long climb with the rear shock open?

    Very interested in these new frames but that is a requirement for me and I guess there are no Ventana demos...any input is appreciated, thanks!
    its way too subjective, dependent on terrain, dependent on riding style, etc...having said that, i had a DW link and while i couldnt "measure" the difference, my El Rey with the PUSHed high volume can was by far the best all around FS bike i have ever owned, to include climbing. dunno...my subjective opinion anyway. this observation is contrary to some folks' theory but i dont care, its my opinion and one day when i am rich like 2turnernotenough and can afford multiple bikes i will seek out an old skewl el rey as i used to have

  3. #3
    orthonormal
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    Bikes with significant chain growth early in the travel (DW, VPP, and single pivots with a higher pivot location) sit higher in their travel when you're climbing. I liked that when I lived in Washington, where we climbed fireroads and rode tech descents and it's great here in Monterey where my main trail system has no technical climbing. When I lived in Tucson, a low pivot linkage driven single pivot like Ventana's or a very active low chain growth version of FSR (like the older Titus bikes) was the way to go. They settle (squat) into their travel a bit as you start accelerating, slackening the geometry a bit, but the traction on tech climbs can't be beat.

    Overall, geometry concerns trump suspension design differences. That being equal, construction quality is still ahead of suspension design differences. Even when you get to looking at the suspension, a well thought out rate curve (a combination of shock spring rate and linkage rate) matters more than DW vs. VPP vs. FSR vs. whatever. When you finally get down to choosing a suspension design style, it's a matter of tradeoffs. If you want maximum activity in all circumstances with minimal pedal feedback, you have to put up with a bit of acceleration squat. If you want to be able to stand and mash a big gear up hills without the bike bobbing around, you're going to have to sacrifice some climbing traction when the terrain gets rough.
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  4. #4
    Neg reppers r my biatches
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy f View Post
    Bikes with significant chain growth early in the travel (DW, VPP, and single pivots with a higher pivot location) sit higher in their travel when you're climbing. I liked that when I lived in Washington, where we climbed fireroads and rode tech descents and it's great here in Monterey where my main trail system has no technical climbing. When I lived in Tucson, a low pivot linkage driven single pivot like Ventana's or a very active low chain growth version of FSR (like the older Titus bikes) was the way to go. They settle (squat) into their travel a bit as you start accelerating, slackening the geometry a bit, but the traction on tech climbs can't be beat.

    Overall, geometry concerns trump suspension design differences. That being equal, construction quality is still ahead of suspension design differences. Even when you get to looking at the suspension, a well thought out rate curve (a combination of shock spring rate and linkage rate) matters more than DW vs. VPP vs. FSR vs. whatever. When you finally get down to choosing a suspension design style, it's a matter of tradeoffs. If you want maximum activity in all circumstances with minimal pedal feedback, you have to put up with a bit of acceleration squat. If you want to be able to stand and mash a big gear up hills without the bike bobbing around, you're going to have to sacrifice some climbing traction when the terrain gets rough.
    in summary, here is what andy is trying to say...blah, blah, blah, get the ventana

  5. #5
    orthonormal
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoShizzle View Post
    in summary, here is what andy is trying to say...blah, blah, blah, get the ventana
    That's what I meant to type but my fingers slipped.
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  6. #6
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    Both Andy f and FoShizzle's posts are spot on. Perfectly said.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by daves4mtb View Post
    I understand that execution and design are both important. Both a Ferrari 308 and a VW Rabbit had Macpherson strut suspensions, after all. However, I want to be able to ride a bike with the pro pedal off, up a decent hill. I have been able to do that thus far only on VPP and DW designs. Is the new Ventana of that capability? Thanks in advance.
    Andy made a good point and one worth considering. The DW link is going to be a good fireroad climber and a good bike if you like to stand and or sprint. it simply doesnt bob.

    But this isnt always a good thing. If you climb rocky technical sections, you want the suspension to compress as it hits obstacles. Atleast a bit. If you read up on the DW link, you'll find some people discussing the effect of climbing over rocks and the DW link sort of fighting them on this.

    For me, I like the DW link for my XC bike and a single pivot for my AM bike.

    What style of bike and what style of riding you do are important factors to consider.
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  8. #8
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    I'm not going to claim to be a suspension expert by any means, but it seems to me that if a more active suspension design is beneicial over technical trail for climbing and descending, propedal would be be a positive when traveling over smoother trail or fireroad climbs and not a band aid. I seem to read a lot of people bagging on propedal, why? I typically use the firmest setting on fire road climbs and the other two softer settings on extended climbs on smoother trail. In my pea brain an active suspension with a shock with propedal seems to be the best of both worlds.
    I only ride bikes to fill the time when I'm not skiing.

  9. #9
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    daves4mtb, My question/statements were not specifically directed toward you. It was meant more for general conversation and not trying to derail this into a food throwing contest.
    I only ride bikes to fill the time when I'm not skiing.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by daves4mtb View Post
    Okay, before this gets derailed into a food throwing contest-

    let me just state that I like Ventana bikes. I have had one for while as my main ride. I am thinking of buying another. However, I have stated I have a preference for a bike that does a certain thing and am trying to determine if the new Ventana fills that bill.

    ...And it is just that - a preference - there is no better/worse/ smar/stupid/peabrain right/wrong analysis. Right what you like. 26 or 650 or 29 are all ok.

    Now back to the issue...
    In answer to your original question: no.

    But you may or may not want a bike that doesn't bob. You have to consider where you'll be riding and on what type of bike.

    Are you looking for a 4" travel or 6" travel bike?

    What type of trails do you ride?
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  11. #11
    orthonormal
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldHouseMan View Post
    I'm not going to claim to be a suspension expert by any means, but it seems to me that if a more active suspension design is beneicial over technical trail for climbing and descending, propedal would be be a positive when traveling over smoother trail or fireroad climbs and not a band aid. I seem to read a lot of people bagging on propedal, why? I typically use the firmest setting on fire road climbs and the other two softer settings on extended climbs on smoother trail. In my pea brain an active suspension with a shock with propedal seems to be the best of both worlds.
    The thing I don't like about propedal, fork lockouts, etc. is that I usually forget to disengage them at the top of the climb. It used to happen to me all the time on my SS when I'd lock out the fork and ride the whole descent rigid and now I never use it anymore. I picked up a barely used Epic 29 last year really cheap and run the brain shock almost all the way soft for the same reason.


    For comparison's sake, I've owned two Ventana 6" travel bikes: A La Bruja and an El Chamuco with the higher/forward single pivot. Both were comparable on the descents although the Chamuco would kick at the pedals just a bit on big hits. Not much and my legs didn't resist the motion enough to affect suspension activity. The differences were much more noticable climbing. Doing my big gear, out of the saddle singlespeed-style thing on the Bruja got me nothing but tired while the Chamuco responded well to that style. OTOH, it gave up some traction to the Bruja when the terrain was loose and/or ledgy.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    In answer to your original question: no.

    But you may or may not want a bike that doesn't bob. You have to consider where you'll be riding and on what type of bike.

    Are you looking for a 4" travel or 6" travel bike?

    What type of trails do you ride?
    you are so naive and must be new the internet. clearly u dont understand that such a logical approach (i.e., what terrain one ACTUALLY rides) has no place on forums

    now please stop being such a buzzkill and let us talk in cliches cut and pasted from MBA. thx in advance

  13. #13
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    How does the Ventana climb? The reeking crew found themselves grinning from ear to ear whenever the trail turned skyward. But all was not perfect in Ventanaland: the Ventana slipped two spots in our shootout because we didn't care for the appearance of the tires, which marred an otherwise excellent build. (We've contacted Ventana to see if anything can be done about the tires, and will update our review if any solution presents itself.)

    Edit: Before you jerks keep neg rep'ing me for this post, bear in mind that it was intended to parody just about every MB Action bike review I've read--see Fo's post above mine. No criticism or offense intended to the OP. Actually, there wasn't much to add after Andy's first post, which, by the way, should be sticky-ed somewhere.
    Last edited by albeant; 05-02-2012 at 02:40 PM.

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    How my '12 ciclon feels...

    First couple of rides on my Ciclon, I couldn't tell the difference between pro pedal on or off. I now have about 170 trail miles on the bike, and I can tell the difference.

    Does it bob with pro pedal off while trying to stand up and pedal up a hill? Yes. A lot? Not really. Not compared to my 07 X-5. Maybe somewhere between the bob I had on my 07 X-5 and my OLD 2001 NRS.

    Do I notice the difference (pro pedal on or off) on rocky/rooty descents? Maybe a little.

    As far as your compairson to a DW or VPP bike, I haven't ridden a DW. Last ride on a VPP was a 2008 Heckler I demod in Downieville. Back then, compared to my 07 X5, the VPP did pedal better uphill. But there was no comparison when going down hill...I much preferred my X-5.

    Do I think the my 12 ciclon is as good with pro pedal off as that heckler was when climbing...I can't say...it was just too long ago. But, my gut says the new ciclon is probably a slight bit more active with pro pedal off when climbing. Enough to matter to me? Certainly not.

    I love the way my new ciclon rides.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by sam-eye-am View Post
    First couple of rides on my Ciclon, I couldn't tell the difference between pro pedal on or off. I now have about 170 trail miles on the bike, and I can tell the difference.

    Does it bob with pro pedal off while trying to stand up and pedal up a hill? Yes. A lot? Not really. Not compared to my 07 X-5. Maybe somewhere between the bob I had on my 07 X-5 and my OLD 2001 NRS.

    Do I notice the difference (pro pedal on or off) on rocky/rooty descents? Maybe a little.

    As far as your compairson to a DW or VPP bike, I haven't ridden a DW. Last ride on a VPP was a 2008 Heckler I demod in Downieville. Back then, compared to my 07 X5, the VPP did pedal better uphill. But there was no comparison when going down hill...I much preferred my X-5.

    Do I think the my 12 ciclon is as good with pro pedal off as that heckler was when climbing...I can't say...it was just too long ago. But, my gut says the new ciclon is probably a slight bit more active with pro pedal off when climbing. Enough to matter to me? Certainly not.

    I love the way my new ciclon rides.
    FWIW, the 2008 Heckler is a Single pivot bike, not VPP....

  16. #16
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    I own a new ciclon and also a carbon nomad vpp2. I'm running my ciclon at 140mm rear. I feel the vpp2 might have a slight edge in pedal efficiency on fire road non-tech climbs, but anything technical and the vpp2 pedal feedback kills me. The more I ride my ciclon the more I notice how bad the pedal feedback sucks on the vpp2. I don't think the new ciclon bobs all that much and is still very efficient, feels like if you push a harder gear or stand up and pedal hard it firms up with out feeling to stiff, I prefer this. Even thou I feel vpp2 has the edge in pedal efficiency, at the end of the day I can ride farther, faster and with less fatigue on my ciclon than on my nomad according to my strava times. I think the ciclon really shines as a trail/all mountain bike.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by sam-eye-am View Post
    First couple of rides on my Ciclon, I couldn't tell the difference between pro pedal on or off. I now have about 170 trail miles on the bike, and I can tell the difference.

    Does it bob with pro pedal off while trying to stand up and pedal up a hill? Yes. A lot? Not really. Not compared to my 07 X-5. Maybe somewhere between the bob I had on my 07 X-5 and my OLD 2001 NRS.

    Do I notice the difference (pro pedal on or off) on rocky/rooty descents? Maybe a little.

    As far as your compairson to a DW or VPP bike, I haven't ridden a DW. Last ride on a VPP was a 2008 Heckler I demod in Downieville. Back then, compared to my 07 X5, the VPP did pedal better uphill. But there was no comparison when going down hill...I much preferred my X-5.

    Do I think the my 12 ciclon is as good with pro pedal off as that heckler was when climbing...I can't say...it was just too long ago. But, my gut says the new ciclon is probably a slight bit more active with pro pedal off when climbing. Enough to matter to me? Certainly not.

    I love the way my new ciclon rides.
    +1. My 2012 El Ciclon (which is built pretty heavy and running long travel 160mm front, 150mm rear), climbs really well, especially compared the X-5. I'm not the fastest person up the hill, but it gets me where I need to go and I don't feel like I'm fighting the suspension uphill compared to the X-5.

    The X-5 required me to constantly use the propedal for everything except long downhills. With the Ciclon, propedal wasn't necessary, even on long fireroad climbs (helps a bit, but not required).

    Running the CCDB, I run it with a lot of low speed compression, but then again, I do that with my fork (I like a lot of low speed compression with soft springs), but each to their own.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stripes View Post
    +1. My 2012 El Ciclon (which is built pretty heavy and running long travel 160mm front, 150mm rear),
    Did you not like the monarch plus? I'm very interested in trying the 150mm rear 160mm front on mine. The rear at 150mm on the new ciclon to me really out performs a 32 stanchion 150mm fork. With the new ciclon being so stiff, you really notice the fork flex.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by daves4mtb View Post
    What do I ride? Well, for starters, I know what I ride, and I know what my preferences are, which lead to my asking the question I asked.

    But if you must know, I am in Orange County, and a lot of the trails have long ascents that are not overly technical where pedal bob is a drag. Whiting Ranch, Oneill Park, the Luge, etc.

    Hopefully that won't hurt anyone's preconceived notions of internet bike analysis superiority.
    Yo Dave, I am in your backyard right with O'Neil backing up to my house. Looks like you made your purchase. What did you get? I have an 08 EC I have been riding all over the SA mountains for years. I have never had issues with bob and I climb plenty of fire roads around here plus techy 1track up. I have done the VQ 4 times on that bike and have never once wished I was on something different. Once I get my cast off from a broken radius I am sure I will run into you on the dirt.

    I am sick for the Zeus coming out. That looks like my dream bike to be.
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    Well, I finally got a fancy link bike (DW) and I really like it. I felt bogged down on steep and/or tech climbs (I ride in UT) on my old Ciclon.

    Andy F's post above is full of pearls and I think some of my frustration is found in there. My Ciclon had awesome (for me) slack geo and pretty short cockpit. When the suspension sagged down during the steep ups, the riding position seemed unwieldy and sucked the life out of me. On fireroads or less steep climbs with propedal on, it felt just fine. Propedal and travel adjust fork helped the bike a lot but it gets a little tedious to go flipping dials all the time. Going down, it's pretty hard to fault my Ciclon - easy to manual, stiff as hell, just fun. Perhaps if I had a more XC set-up (longer stem, shorter fork, etc.) I would not have struggled with the steep ups as much.

    My DW bike keeps me up in the travel and my body position for pedaling seems better. I guess I haven't noticed troubles with pedal feedback yet. But I've only been on it 4 days in Moab where that sort of thing is more exaggerated. My new bike had a Talas fork (now replaced with a non-adjustable fork) and propedal - neither of which I ever feel the need to use. I haven't found any real set-backs for climbing or descending yet. The rear end of this bike feels a little less stiff, but the OEM rear wheel is junk, so time will tell when I get that sorted.

    It's all trade-offs. . .

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    Well, I finally got a fancy link bike (DW) and I really like it. I felt bogged down on steep and/or tech climbs (I ride in UT) on my old Ciclon.

    Andy F's post above is full of pearls and I think some of my frustration is found in there. My Ciclon had awesome (for me) slack geo and pretty short cockpit. When the suspension sagged down during the steep ups, the riding position seemed unwieldy and sucked the life out of me. On fireroads or less steep climbs with propedal on, it felt just fine. Propedal and travel adjust fork helped the bike a lot but it gets a little tedious to go flipping dials all the time. Going down, it's pretty hard to fault my Ciclon - easy to manual, stiff as hell, just fun. Perhaps if I had a more XC set-up (longer stem, shorter fork, etc.) I would not have struggled with the steep ups as much.

    My DW bike keeps me up in the travel and my body position for pedaling seems better. I guess I haven't noticed troubles with pedal feedback yet. But I've only been on it 4 days in Moab where that sort of thing is more exaggerated. My new bike had a Talas fork (now replaced with a non-adjustable fork) and propedal - neither of which I ever feel the need to use. I haven't found any real set-backs for climbing or descending yet. The rear end of this bike feels a little less stiff, but the OEM rear wheel is junk, so time will tell when I get that sorted.

    It's all trade-offs. . .

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuenstock View Post
    Did you not like the monarch plus? I'm very interested in trying the 150mm rear 160mm front on mine. The rear at 150mm on the new ciclon to me really out performs a 32 stanchion 150mm fork. With the new ciclon being so stiff, you really notice the fork flex.
    I like the Monarch Plus except one part: the lack of adjustability. The CCDB has me spoiled me as far as control.

    That's the thing about the new Ventanas especially: they're so stiff you feel the weakness in other parts. I already run a Fox 36 in the front, but it was the rims for me that seemed very flexy compared to the bike (Stans Flows). I run a 36 because of the 32 felt flexy on my X-5.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldHouseMan View Post
    I'm not going to claim to be a suspension expert by any means, but it seems to me that if a more active suspension design is beneicial over technical trail for climbing and descending, propedal would be be a positive when traveling over smoother trail or fireroad climbs and not a band aid. I seem to read a lot of people bagging on propedal, why? I typically use the firmest setting on fire road climbs and the other two softer settings on extended climbs on smoother trail. In my pea brain an active suspension with a shock with propedal seems to be the best of both worlds.
    This is exactly what I was just thinking, after coming home from testing bikes using VPP2, Maestro and Single Pivot. I'm actually starting to wonder why Propedal is needed at all for the VPP style bikes. I mean, I know having a rear shock is necessary, but with such firm suspension built into the frame, it seems it would be more economical to have a lower grade of rear shock with the VPP/DW style bikes, and a higher grade of rear shock with the Single Pivot bikes. As you stated though, I'm really starting to lean towards a Single Pivot bike with Propedal. It really does seem like the best of both worlds, but maybe I am missing something, as I am VERY new to mountain biking.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by P-townDave View Post
    Well, I finally got a fancy link bike (DW) and I really like it. I felt bogged down on steep and/or tech climbs (I ride in UT) on my old Ciclon.

    Andy F's post above is full of pearls and I think some of my frustration is found in there. My Ciclon had awesome (for me) slack geo and pretty short cockpit. When the suspension sagged down during the steep ups, the riding position seemed unwieldy and sucked the life out of me. On fireroads or less steep climbs with propedal on, it felt just fine. Propedal and travel adjust fork helped the bike a lot but it gets a little tedious to go flipping dials all the time. Going down, it's pretty hard to fault my Ciclon - easy to manual, stiff as hell, just fun. Perhaps if I had a more XC set-up (longer stem, shorter fork, etc.) I would not have struggled with the steep ups as much.

    My DW bike keeps me up in the travel and my body position for pedaling seems better. I guess I haven't noticed troubles with pedal feedback yet. But I've only been on it 4 days in Moab where that sort of thing is more exaggerated. My new bike had a Talas fork (now replaced with a non-adjustable fork) and propedal - neither of which I ever feel the need to use. I haven't found any real set-backs for climbing or descending yet. The rear end of this bike feels a little less stiff, but the OEM rear wheel is junk, so time will tell when I get that sorted.

    It's all trade-offs. . .

    I agree , I really like my bike with the DW link type rear suspension....it's been ridden on some nice off road trails in Oregon , NW Washington , Western So Dakota ( Black Hills ) , Northern MN , WI , and Michigan and it handles it all just fine . I also know that Ventana puts out extremely well made , solid , and good handling frames and I'm sure the newest version is even better.....next ! TIG.
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    I have a 2009 El Ciclon set up with a Talus 36 160 mm front fork. I also recently purchased a Pivot 5.7 Carbon frame and built it up with a 150mm fork and a 650b front wheel.Both are great bikes.Both get used a bunch. The Pivot is somewhat more efficient in climbing. The El Ciclon climbs fine. But it has 4 or 4.5 pounds on the Pivot. The El Ciclon descends incredibly well for me. Nobody in my group can touch it descending after it gets a little breathing room. The Pivot is better for a long day in the saddle. Pretty good descender also. Both bikes feel completely different. Can't go wrong either way. I must give a disclaimer on the El Ciclon. After I put the longer fork on it I put a shorter shock eye to eye on the back in order to drop my BB to original spec.s . (7.85" down to 7.5") So it has a really slack head angle. maybe 67 degrees.

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