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  1. #1
    Not dead yet, just playin
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    Question for Sherwood & Co..

    Sherwood, do you have a guess as to how many Ventana frames have been sold since you started? Also, do the serial numbers mean anything??


    Thanks!

    op (always on the lookout for useless Ventanatrivia)
    www.msmtb.org - Mississippi Mountain Biking

  2. #2
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    Another question Sherwood, if you could have one design from another frame manufacturer what would it be, turner, ellsworth, titus???





    p.s, any setup tips for a DHX 5.0 on a el salt?

  3. #3
    Having a nice day!
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    Ooh, another question!

    Sherwood,

    What is the secret to inner peace, and does it have 'Ventana' written on it?

    I'll let you all know how this new tact for upgrading my frame in the future goes over with my wife.

  4. #4
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    I bet he's going to say VENTANA!

    -Sp

    Quote Originally Posted by Argee
    Another question Sherwood, if you could have one design from another frame manufacturer what would it be, turner, ellsworth, titus???





    p.s, any setup tips for a DHX 5.0 on a el salt?

  5. #5
    Ventana Mountain Bikes
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    Quote Originally Posted by ohpossum
    Sherwood, do you have a guess as to how many Ventana frames have been sold since you started? Also, do the serial numbers mean anything??


    Thanks!

    op (always on the lookout for useless Ventanatrivia)
    Yes I do...and when I finally get all of my customers, past and present, to post pics in our Owners Gallery I will let you count them for me. But seriously, we have built in the neighborhood of 4000 Ventana frames since we started 16-17 years ago.

    Our serial number system has changed over the years. Right now it is a 5 digit number. The first digit being the year of manufacture and the rest production sequence starting from 0001. For example 50057 is the 57th frame produced in 2005.

    Previously, it was a 2 digit number, followed buy the letter G, followed by a three digit number, followed by the letter V. The 2 digit number represented the year of manufacture, the G (manufactured by Gibson Design Group), the 3 digit number represented production sequence, and the letter V (for Ventana). We used this serial numbering system for a number of years while we manufactured other frames for other companies. And since we do very little of that today there is no need for that complex serialization number.
    Last edited by sherwood; 01-25-2005 at 06:15 PM.

  6. #6
    Ventana Mountain Bikes
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    Quote Originally Posted by Argee
    Another question Sherwood, if you could have one design from another frame manufacturer what would it be, turner, ellsworth, titus???

    The short answer...no thanks.

    The long answer:
    I have always liked figuring out elegant ways to build stuff. When I go to an amusment park with my family I have much more fun inspecting and figuring out how they build those contraptions than I do actually riding on them. I go on the rides I think are built well, and I stay off the ones that look like the weld spec was from bazzooka or bubalicious. And much to my wife's chagrin, I carry this obcession right down to the light fixtures and hand rails guiding us up to the launch platform.

    I like simple elegant solutions to complex design problems. And with Ventana, I like to figure out how to accomplish this by myself without outside influence whenever possible. Years ago when I was designing the Ventana Marble Peak FS full suspension bike I spent months with my nose to the CRT and I devised a bike that I thought was distinctive and functional with an emotional draw due to my attention to the finer details of fabrication. I did this not because I wanted to sell a ton of them, but for the much more selfish reason that I wanted to impose my interpretation of a simple design to a complex problem.

    The same week I completed the design and started working on the prototypes, I received the newest issue of MBA in the mail. Inside was a first look at a "wild" new bike RC (then of Mantis) had built as a one-off for John Tomac. The design was so similar I was seriously taken aback (ask anyone who worked for me at the time, they will remember). I considered my options and ultimately decided to push forward with production. Why? Because I knew I had come up with the design and manufacturing solutions entirely by myself and I had not been influenced in any way by RC's bike or anybody else's. I felt solid in my ethics and I felt that I had actually come up with a cleaner version of the same basic concept.

    I have since used that same approach in designing all Ventana's frames. You could call that designing in a box, but I think of it as unclouded creativity where I can use my design tool box to make simple solutions to complex problems. Over the years, Ventana's reputation has grown to be something bigger than reality and each new design has increasingly bigger shoes to fill. But our reputation is fundamentally built on solid designs, honest communication, and top notch execution of production. And I like that challenge.

    In the years of Ventana's infancy, I worked as a Composites Design Engineer for an aerospace company. My boss was a Design Engineer who conceived and developed the Kestrel EMS carbon fiber road fork. When things were slow we would sit around in his office with a bike mag opened up to a mail order page that posted actual weights of every component they sold and we would devise and scheme how to make the lightest this or that, the stiffest this or that and what not.

    Now this is a guy who had made arguably one of the most significant contributions to the biking world at the time and one day I asked him what design he wished he had come up with, if any. You know what he said? The Jack-O-Knife. Why? Because it was simple, elegant, cheap, and everybody needed one. You can hardly carve a pumpkin today without one. Yep, I had to agree.

    And since I haven't seen any bike companies come up with the ultimate Bike-O-Whatever so far, regardless of what their marketing tells us, I will continue designing my bikes, my way, imposing my influence on the way I think bikes should be made. Ventana...you can like 'em or hate 'em, but they are all me.
    Last edited by sherwood; 01-25-2005 at 11:10 PM. Reason: clarification of misleading typo's

  7. #7
    FleshwoundGravityResearch
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    Quote Originally Posted by sherwood
    The short answer...no thanks.

    The long answer:
    I have always liked figuring out elegant ways to build stuff. When I go to a amusment park with my family I have much more fun inspecting and figuring out how they build those contraptions than I do actually riding on them. I go on the rides I think are built well, and I stay off the ones that look like the weld spec was from bazzooka or bubalicious. And much to my wife's chagrin, I carry this obcession right down to the light fixtures and hand rails guiding us up to the launch platform.

    I like simple elegant solutions to complex design problems. And with Ventana, I like to figure out how to accomplish this by myself without outside influence whenever possible. Years ago when I was designing the Ventana Marble Peak FS full suspension bike I spent months with my nose to the CRT and I devised a bike that was distinctive and functional with an emotional draw due to my attention to the finer details of fabrication. I did this not because I wanted to sell a ton of them, but for the much more selfish reason that I wanted to impose my interpretation of a simple design to a complex problem.

    The same week I completed the design and started working on the prototypes, I received the newest issue of MBA in the mail. Inside was a first look at a "wild" new bike RC (then of Mantis) had built as a one-off for John Tomac. The design was so similar I was seriously taken aback (ask anyone who worked for me at the time, they will remember). I considered my options and ultimately decided to push forward with production. Why? Because I knew I had come up with the design and manufacturing solutions entirely by myself and I had not been influenced in any way by RC's bike or anybody else's. I felt solid in my ethics and I felt that I had actually come up a cleaner version of the same basic concept.

    I have since used that same approach in designing all Ventana's frames. You could call that designing in a box, but I think of it as unclouded creativity where I can use my design tool box to make simple solutions to complex problems. Over the years, Ventana's reputation has grown to be something bigger than reality and each new design has increasingly bigger shoes to fill. But our reputation is fundamentally built on solid designs, honest communication, and top notch execution of production. And I like that challenge.

    In the years of Ventana's infancy, I worked as a Composites Design Engineer for an aerospace company. My boss was a Designer Engineer who conceived and developed the Kestrel EMS carbon fiber road fork. When things were slow we would sit around in his office with a bike mag opened up to a mail order page that posted actual weights of every component they sold an we would devise and scheme how to make the lightest this or that, the stiffest this or that and what not.

    Now this is a guy who had made arguably one of the most significant contributions to the biking world at the time and one day I asked him what design he wished he had come up with, if any. You know what he said? The Jack-O-Knife. Why? Because it was simple, elegant, cheap, and everybody needed one. You can hardly carve a pumpkin today without one. Yep, I had to agree.

    And since I haven't seen any bike companies come up with the ultimate Bike-O-Whatever so far, regardless of what their marketing tells us, I will continue designing my bikes, my way, imposing my influence on the way I think bikes should be made. Ventana...you can like 'em or hate 'em, but they are all me.


    Beautiful answer, Sherwood. You should put that somewhere on your website.

  8. #8
    Ultra Ventanaphile
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    Bravo!!!

    I'm printing this out and taping it on my garage wall next to my (cough, cough, ahem, sheepishly) 5 Ventana's.

    OLE!!

    -Aaron
    -Aaron G.

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

  9. #9
    Having a nice day!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ciclistagonzo
    I'm printing this out and taping it on my garage wall next to my (cough, cough, ahem, sheepishly) 5 Ventana's.

    OLE!!

    -Aaron
    I don't know whether to laugh or be envious! Actually I did both. In that order.

  10. #10
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    Ah, thats what i like about ventana, you get answers to the questions, i do think its quite nice as well that a lot of other frame builders are using the el salt as a base for creating their bikes, not many other makers have Sycip, Hammerhead and Moots using some of their designs. As for my bike, well now i know i have number 22 of 2005, now if only i could set up the DHX 5.0, its always feeling like it can be tweaked that little bit more, i must resist and just leave it for more than an hour,



  11. #11
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    Sherwood,

    Your approach and dedication to craftsmanship and originality (not to mention disregard for what your competitors are doing) are the exact traits that caused me to buy my first Salty. It won't be my last.

    Keith

  12. #12
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    I knew i'd fail, i've just changed the settings on the DHX 5 again, removing 1 click off the pro pedal and rebound, plus i've added 1/8th turn of preload.




  13. #13
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    nicely done Sherwood .... your views toward bicycle design is greatly appreciated by us all.

  14. #14
    A New Ventanaphile
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    You obviously have a passion...

    for doing things right. I can't wait to get my X5 (thanks to Larry-about 1.5 weeks). So what's the serial number? I'll post pics throughout the build if you guys are interested.

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