It was only a matter of time before I blogged my sled. I am actually surprised it took this long quite honestly. Built by Sherwood Gibson of Ventana Mountain Bikes USA, this in one of the highest quality bikes I have ever owned. As my riding style started to change…so did my bikes. I ended up needing something that could handle more of a beating than what I had been riding previously. Apparently large drops to flat aren’t a good idea on 4 and 5 inch bikes…who knew? As of right now, I am down to one ride, so this bike needed to be a do-it-all machine. After some talking with Sherwood and Teresa and a trade in of my El Ciclon frame, I had a custom Matte Black El Terremoto 6.0 at my doorstep.
I had built up the Ciclon into a dual coil 6″ machine before I ordered this bike, so all of the parts transfered over without any issue. I did order up a new set of rockers so the frame would have nice glossy black ones instead of the faded ano adjustable 5″/6″ ones that I already had. I was also using my existing seat stays because there is no difference between the ones off the Ciclon’s and the Terremoto’s. The chain stays were replaced with the gusseted HD versions. After installing the rear end, new rockers and my Cane Creek Double Barrel (there will be a blog review on this shock at a later date), I was ready to start the build. But first, for some attempt at humor on the SORBA forums and the Ventana board on MTBR.com, I took some pictures of the frame around the house along with a Homer styled couch shot.
The fit and finish on this frame is perfect, all the way down to the “Electric Sex Welds”. The crew over at Ventana Mountain Bikes really know what they are doing. They are also one of the last companies that do everything in house, all the way down to the powder coat. The amount of love for the sport that the employees have can be seen in every single frame. From the quad bearings, head tube gusset and bottom bracket machining, you can see how much attention to detail is really put into these frames.
The build was the fastest I have ever had. It also helps that there was no cutting, bleeding or general fitment issues because I was just moving parts from one frame to another that were very similar. It even surprised some people when I had the entire bike posted on the forums within a little over an hour. The part that took the longest was actually getting the CCDB in the bottom shock mount. Both companies hold very tight tolerances.
The final build specs
Frame: ’07 Ventana El Terremoto 6.0
Color: Custom Matte Black
Options: Quad Bearings, HD Rear End
Shock: Cane Creek Double Barrel 450# Spring
Fork: Rock Shox Lyrik Coil U-Turn
Wheelset: Chris King HD on DT Swiss 5.1d
Skewers: Chris King Fun Bolts and Rock Shox 20mm Maxle
Seatpost Clamp: Hope QR Black
Front Der: Shimano XT
Rear Der: SRAM X.0
Shifters: SRAM X.0 Triggers
Cassette: SRAM 990
Brakes: Hope Moto V2’s 203mm
Cranks/BB: Race Face Atlas w/DH BB and 24T/34T Blackspire SuperPro rings
Pedals: Shimano XTR
Headset: Cane Creek 110
Handlebar: Syncros Bulk
Seat Post: Gravity Dropper
Stem: Thomson 70mm X4
Saddle: Selle Italia Prolink
Grips: Oury Lock ons
Front Tire: Big Betty 2.4 Triple Compound
Rear Tire: Maxxis High Roller 2.35
Accesories: Roach Chain Stay Protector, XTR Shift Cables, Heim Guide w/black MRP roller
Weight: 35.20 lbs
Future changes: Big Betty UST 2.4’s, Thomson 50mm X4 Stem, Custom black pc’ed XT cranks
Now enough about the build, how does it ride? One word….SOLID! This bike does it all. It was also a perfect choice for what I needed right now. One of the characteristics that I love about Ventana bikes is how they sit in their travel. It is incredibly plush but controlled, and with the CCDB on the back I can run more than average sag and the bike still feels bottomless. Now, this is a 36 lbs. bike, so it isn’t going to climb like a sub-30 lbs rocket, but it does climb surprising well for how much it weighs. Weight is really all relative anyway. I have gotten used to the weight so it isn’t that big of a deal anymore. Since the initial build, I had to have the rear wheel rebuilt. I taco’d the DT Swiss 5.1d, so the wheel went off to Chad @ Red Barn Bikes to get rebuilt with a Mavic 823. The front has not been done yet.