Monday, November 26, 2007

El Padrino tester ready to roll

In possibly the speediest build in Mountain Pedaler history, a brand spankin' 20" El Padrino test bike has just left the workstand.

This hardtail frame showcases Ventana's legendary 29er geometry, developed by the legend that is Sherwood Gibson.
The most striking thing about the build is surely the colour, with the Grinch Green finish sure to spark a love/hate relationship.

Where courses suit, expect to see this bike at races around NZ. Feel free to ask for a quick spin, or contact the Mountain Pedaler for a longer term test ride on your own trails, anywhere in NZ!

First impressions of the big wheels include an overwhelming feeling of smoothness which belies the hardtail nature of the frame. Traction is unbelievable, with technical pinches at Evans Pass on its maiden voyage dispatched with ease.

While the slower acceleration is a drawback, once they are rolling, a clear sense of momentum was felt, with rock strewn trails failing to rob precious speed as severely as with a 26er.

Without a doubt, the Padrino is a fantastically enjoyable riding experience, and the Mountain Pedaler recommends a test ride to anyone who has ever considered a 29er.

Mountain Pedaler out...

Crow comes home to roost...

El Cuervo in fully built finery

The newest member of the Ventana family is Nick, who opted for Ventana's 9" DH monster; the El Cuervo in the ongoing campaign to tame the brutally rough trails of Christchurch's Vic park.

Built with a full complement of the best SRAM parts, as well as a touch of white Syncros, this bike is sure to turn heads as Nick 'gets his shred on'.

Where 9" of progressive travel magic happens

If first indications from the recent Bike HQ DH race are anything to go by, this bike has pace to burn, so keep your eyes peeled for this masterpiece of CNC machining and 'Electric sex' welding at races and shuttle days over the summer.

Pity the rocks that get this view!

With a RRP of $7,500, and the ability to fully customise any component, the El Cuervo is a serious DH contender!

Mountain Pedaler out..

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Building a revolution!

A bike would be nothing without a nice set of wheels, but an air of mystique often surrounds the building and maintenance of this critical component.

In past times, Mountain Pedaler NZ's test bikes were fitted with wheels assembled by either ultra-intelligent robots or skilled wheel building masters. However, in an effort to further the understanding of the bicycle, the Mountain Pedaler embarked on a project to build a set of 29er hoops for a new Grinch Green El Pardino test bike dubbed 'Gringo'.

Starting with a set of Kore Durox hubs, complete with universal disc mount and oversized QR axles, the process began, and measurements of the hubs were taken to determine the required spoke lengths with a Spoke calculator. Rims chosen were Salsa Delgado Race 29ers in a classy brushed black finish.

While the task ahead at first appeared daunting, Sheldon Brown's guide put the process in a series of clear steps, and is surely a must read for any first time wheelsmith.
After lacing up the wheels with 32 double butted spokes in a 3 cross pattern, patience was required as wheel dish, hop, and true were carefully manipulated, with spoke tensions increased to the required level (as indicated by an F# tone when plucked!) A truing stand is essential for this stage, and a loaner will soon be available for any customers looking to give it a go.

All up it was a thoroughly rewarding experience, and time will tell whether these wheels will withstand abuse on trails around the country. The Mountain Pedaler wholeheartedly recommends wheel building to any amateur mechanics; a truly rewarding experience.

Mountain Pedaler out...