Have you looked at the Chumba VF2? I obviously am biased, but i believe they are one of the stiffest bikes in its class and has exceptional build quality. It is a 4 bar design similar to the Ventana too.
Ellsworth epiphany or Turner 5 spot
I weigh the same as you and have an Ellworth id that is 5 years old and still going strong (rode it at Gisburn today) and this year I bought an Ellsworth Moment.. Flexy is just not a word that would ever be used to describe them. look at the singletrack review they express wonder at how Ells worth achieve such stifness.
Turners are great bikes, they do tend to be heavier and that might mean stronger but my moment has proved plenty strong enough for me to use on world cup DH courses and trips to the alps. As well as being abused at Innerleithen and other uk centres.
I went from a Moment to a DW Spot back in March. Huge difference!
Way way stiffer, pedals better with no wallow and doesn't hang up on certain hits, plush and nice and active under braking - better axle path too. Took it to the Alps in June and was way more confident on it than any of the Alpine trips I made on the Moment. It blasted down everything I threw at it.
You also know that the designer stands behind his product 100% and no need to worry about shady warranty or BS (TE has a famous history, plus my own experience of it). I emailed Dave Turner a question this morning and got a reply this afternoon - 7:30am his time. So you can bypass any bu11shit from distributors too.
I won't go into the hassles I had with two frames, crap I got from Freeborn and the legendary crap from Tony Ellsworth.
At the end of the day TE is not a designer, innovator or engineer... he's more of a money man... Plus he's now got caught up in producing bendy tubes.
They like to fly too
And when other bikes can't take anymore, one is still raring to go
Nice pics ChunkyMTB.
Chumba is an interesting option. I'll look into them.
Does anyone know the wheelbase measurements for the 5 Spot medium & large. Not stated on their website. My Meta is 1105 & I put its twichiness down to the WB (or more probably the front centre-BB to front axle) being too short for me. It's a difficult one that I probably wont get an answer to except by riding them back to back.
I had a great night ride last night for 3 hours on the Meta, & decided that I don't mind the short top tube & 70mm stem to keep it fun & flicky, but it's a hard bike to keep in a straight line when I want to. This has been the cause of several serious stacks on rides where I've been a bit off my game for one reason or another.
Nobody anywhere near Suffolk sells proper bikes like these. I had to get the Meta mail order from Glasgow Cycles. I have enough experience now to know what I want when I ride it, but discerning which numbers really matter is another thing. I mean, if it was as easy as connecting a load of tubes of the right length together at the right angles, there wouldn't be any bikes with that special feel. & why do 2 bikes with the same angles feel so different?
WHICH NUMBERS REALLY MATTER?? (or is it none- all in the ride?)
There was a really good article in a back issue of Dirt centred on the design evolution of Fabien Barel's World Cup Kona Stab. It really gave an insight into the whole geometry issue and answered perfectly the question you just posed.
The answer is that there is no one measurement that is any more important than any other; the key to understanding how a bike handles is to look at all the measurements in relation to each other, e.g. the HA, wheelbase, BB height, chain stays, front centre etc, all of these measurements must be taken into consideration in relation to each other. To illustrate the point a bike with a relatively steep head angle might feel more stable than one with a shallower angle if the former had a lower BB and a longer wheel base.
By the way, you really should look at the Nicolai range if you want strength, stiffness and quality. Both the Helius AC and AM should be on your list (as IanPinder points out); If you email Simon at Nicolai UK he can let you know where you can get a test ride closest to you: email@example.com
I’ve an epiphany for the last 3yrs. I can’t say I’ve noticed this flex that some here say the frame gives. Its a solid lightweight bike that handles everything that I’ve ever asked of it. As for warranty issues?? apart from the old style rocker that snapped and was replaced in a 3day turnaround .. the frame as been solid.
Cheers for all the advice, guys. It's led me to a purchase: Ventana el Ciclon with DHX5 air. Ex demo, looks as new, black dust colour, big saving on new price. I'm sure any of the others would have been suitable, but the Ventana came up at the right price at the right time.
I'll post a ride report in due time (be around 2 weeks before it is built up).
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