Thursday, August 14, 2008

Ventana "El Saltamontes"

It’s all Farqui’s fault! :-) An email pointing out a ‘bargain frame’ on STW Classified got me going on the bike-building trail again.
I had decided that it was time for the FSR to go as it was getting little use so when I saw the Ventana 4” travel frame it looked like a good ‘do it all’ replacement (like I needed one!). The thing that clinched it was that I had won a stack of ‘finishing kit’ that just needed a home.
The frame was a Californian built Ventana El Saltamontes, probably about 4 years old and fitted with a Romic coil shock. It came with the Quad bearing upgrade that is now standard for UK bikes – this means that each pivot point on the rear suspension has 4 sealed roller bearings. It also had and adjustable rocker arm allowing travel to be adjusted from 3” to 5”.
When the frame arrived it was clearly well used and the rear end had limited movement – it turned out that all the bearings had corrosion. I had read that using bike cleaner spray can cause water to enter bearings, it seems that this might have been the cause. Makes you realise that Turner got it right with their bearing design! A lot of GT85 type spray was applied and eventually they all started to turn fully, thankfully there did not seem to be any play. All were greased up and the rear suspension now moved smoothly and freely.
It turned out that the previous owner also had a Fox RP23 shock for this frame; I really like the way this unit works and its lightness, so a deal was done on this too. (Would have been foolish to miss it as the size and bushings are unusual). Funds stretched to a used XT HTII crank set and new front mech, the rest of the parts came from the FSR and Element freebies. Single run cables were fitted from the start.
Built up it weighs around 28.5 lbs at the moment and it is a delight to ride and fits me well, probably not as capable as the 5-Spot on the technical stuff, but it is a very different set-up. I suspect it will see more use than the FSR. Rob always said “4 inches good”; I will never hear the last of this!

Frame: ’04 Ventana El Saltamontes (17.4 “Medium)
Fork: Fox Float 80RL (set to 100mm travel)

Head set: FSA Orbit II
Shock: Fox Float RP23

Cranks; Shimano XT, HT II (external bearings
Rear Mech; Shimano XT

Front Mech: Shimano XT
Shifters: Shimano LX

Wheels: Mavic 519 on XT Hubs

Tyres: Hutchinson Bulldog Airlite

Brakes: Shimano XT 4-pot 160mm discs

Bars: Element Radium F OS Carbon

Stem: Element Neon Q 90mm (A mere 100grms!!)

Seatpost: Element Graph Q Carbon

Saddle: WTB Rocket V

More pictures:


Farqui said...

You snagged yourself a bargain there mister, a bargain. I've always fancied trying a Ventana - nudge, nudge ;), ;)

For your type of riding swapping to the RP23 was the right choice.

I see that your trusty Sh!mano 4pots have been dusted off again.

The freebie's look very bling.

Will you be trying the Olympic tubeless rims anytime soon ?

Only 4 inches ! Pah, that won't get you far :p

uphilla said...

Yes, forgot to say that a pair of very nice hubs came with the 'freebies', very similar to top-notch Hope, so looking to build them up with tubeless rims when I have enough funds - Stans rims seem to be a good lightweight choice. Watch this space!

Farqui said...

Hey, this is one of the 1st posts you've blogged that I've not had to reformat. What'd you do differently ?

uphilla said...

Firefox 3?? - I do not know in truth, but I worked out how to re-format last time if it happens again.
Hopefully not too long before you get to try the 'Salty' - would tempt me to look at the 'El Ciclon', cheaper than 5-Spot, but Turner have got it right with the bushings.

dahnhilla said...

Only four inches? Wont get you far? *nudge, nudge* my Meta 4x has that ;)

Bike is looking mint and certainly a more appropriate replacment for the Sworks.

Nice build, especially on the budget. Want a go at some point!!!!