I currently own a Ventana El Padrino 29er HT and a Ventana El Bastardo 650B FS. I really like both bikes but each have their weaknesses and strengths and as you would guess one's weakness is the others strengths. A little about me, I am 5'6" and weigh 165 and am 44. I was really into mountain biking back in 1991-1994 when I lived in Aspen, CO. I then moved to Chicago and then back to Michigan in 2002. Got married had 3 kids and didn't get back into the sport until 3 years ago when I bought the Padrino. Then last spring I bought the Bastardo.
Now what I love about the Padrino is it climbs like a goat and when it is on straight aways it is so fast. However when going downhill on the bike I don't feel super confident. The rides I do in Michigan are singletracks and are a lot of up and down hills. No real long downhills but the downhills are tight and in the trees. If anyone is from Michigan the trail I ride the most, 8 out of 10 rides, is Pontiac Lakes. Now the Bastardo handles the downhills way better than the Padrino and when it comes to handling the corners at speed I'd much rather be on my Bastardo. However I don't care for the pedal bob on the uphills.
So the hard thing for me to figure out is does the confidence come from the difference in FS vs HT or does it comes from the difference in 650B vs 29er? I guess I couldn't go wrong adding the ARC C since I don't have a HT 650B bike. But it is a lot of money to spend without knowing. To be honest what I'd really like is for Yeti to come out with a FS 650B with 4-5" travel. My Bastardo has 5.5" travel and it sort of overkill. However the bike really kills and it only weighs 27.5 lbs. It has a killer wheel set and I do enjoy it.
What say you Yeti fans about the ARC C to replace my Padrino? If I get the ARC C and really enjoy it more than the Padrino on my local singletrack I'll just take my Padrino out to my summer cottage and use it as a road bike. Not perfect for road riding but the roads out there are a combination of Asphalt and dirt.
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