View Full Version : Yet one more new bike...
07-15-2008, 06:14 PM
If anyone is down for some intellectual drawling all about bicycles, I bought a 5" 650b bike from Ventana called the El Bastardo, and posted up a big ol' review. 650b is "yet another" wheel size more appropriately called 27.5", half way between 26" common tire size and 29er. Seems to have a little of both worlds, rolls over more, seems to have little drawbacks on the (currently, but this is changing) limited availability of product.
It is pretty sweet, what I really wanted but couldn't really afford at the time (and I also still have a Lenz Leviathan coming (http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=16109)). I am hoping I can afford to keep both (how to go from zero to $10G in bikes in two weeks)... It has so far met me expectations and then some. I still have some transitioning from light hardtails and my super light single speed, to a close to 30 lb trail bike. But I am enjoying it a lot, 40 miles on it easily so far and nearly all types of terrain tested...
Full review/writeup here... (Very long/comprehensive).
07-15-2008, 06:39 PM
Dang, the 29'er, now this Ventana and a Lenz on the way? All this in like a year? Can I work where you do? Wow. I'm still rolling on my '99 Redline CX and the bought-in-'03 Blur.
07-15-2008, 06:39 PM
Thats a pretty bike, I have only ridden the 650B as a commuter bike, I would like to try one on trail sometime soon.
07-15-2008, 06:46 PM
Lots of finagling to get it done... Working two jobs (lots of web stuff on the side) in addition to my full time job. And still doing some mechanic work on the side (installing vegetable oil kits into diesels)... aka, head slightly spinning... And, I am getting fairly sick deals direct from the bike shop (helping do internet sales, some part time work). But I did have to entirely purchase the Ventana with cash (no tradeout). I reasoned it with the future wife by giving up the Land Cruiser habit for the year, subsidized by the relatively fuel efficient pickup truck that is seeing limited expensive Southern Utah trips (unfortunately). Also, sadly, chose to sell the 29er Gary Fisher single speed to fund some of the components for these bikes. It made sense at the time as I thought I was doing a website for yet another single speed 29er manufacturer, was 90%-95% there but in the end didn't pan out. Stupid move, then the 29er got damaged in shipping, so I ended up losing money anyway...
But regardless I am happy.... The 650b wheels really exceeded my expectations. I think 29er is probably the way to go single speed or hard tail, personally, but there is a lot of merit to this wheelsize...
07-15-2008, 06:48 PM
PS Dave you directly led to my interest in this bike... I started the research (you may remember the long, drawn out intellectualizing last fall) on "which bike" and settled on this one... I really shopped it as "the one bike" to plan to settle, long time, with about the same commitment you have to your Blur... I don't think I would have really looked at it hard (and would have ended up on a 29er) if you hadn't expressed interest in it. I'm psyched I took the plunge :)
07-15-2008, 06:52 PM
PS Dave you directly led to my interest in this bike... I started the research (you may remember the long, drawn out intellectualizing last fall) on "which bike" and settled on this one... I don't think I would have really looked at it hard (and would have ended up on a 29er) if you hadn't expressed interest in it. I'm psyched I took the plunge :)
Yeah, man, the 650 is where's it's at I think. I'm supremely interested in how you feel about it. I agree that 29" wheels can make sense on hardtails and maybe very small travel race FS, but a 4~5 inch bike for the rest of us (I LOVE the Blur LT) is probably easier to squeeze in a realistic frame geometry and still benefit from the bigger wheels. But I'm afraid the whole 29'er movement will pass me by before I ever own one... I've always dug Ventanas, cool bike.
PS: I'm just needling ya about the bikes. If I had the money, I'd be upgrading all the time, too. The only thing left from the original build I did on my bike is the front derailleur, the rest is at least one generation and in most cases two generations removed from that first bill of materials I put on. Our budget has been tight for the last 18 months and will be for the next 24 because my wife decided to go to grad school. Who am I to stand in the way of that? But since she'll be done the year I turn 40, I'm afraid she's in for a mid life crisis that will rank up there with the best/worst of them. :-) New truck, new bike, travel. It'll be financially ugly...
07-15-2008, 07:00 PM
Hey Dave, no worries and I hear you... I have a big year too with aforementioned items, also as I depart my 20's attempting to develop fiscal responsibility (something I have not payed too much attention to), repairing credit, etc (costs a lot of money to be bad at paying bills). I am psyched though, all of this hard work sort of paying off.. Now back to it I suppose :)
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