Saturday, May 12, 2012

On tour: Ventana factory expose!

Sherwood the brains of the operation shows the tooling for a seat tube gusset

Nestled in a nondescript warehouse outside Sacramento amongst row after row of units exactly the same (from the outside at least), lies a factory where a bit of bike magic happens every day. 

Led by industry pioneer Sherwood Gibson and supported by the ever helpful Teresa and bad ass bike building singlespeed aficionado Rob, the small team produce an awesome line up of frames by hand with a degree of love and care which is all to lacking in this modern carbon world.

Rockers awaiting further machining

The team's hospitality was a sure sign of this and straight away on arrival I was greeted by Teresa with a new frame then a full tour of the factory taking in everything they do in house from tube mitring to welding, heat treatment and powder coating. 

A custom road frame jigged up for welding

The day wouldn't have been complete without a ride and we were shuttled to the Folsom Lake trails for some flowing brown pow in the mid afternoon heat. Heidi even got to ride a pimped out test El Rey kitted out with Sram XX kit. She was shredding and I'll be surrpirsed if there isn't a big wheeled steed in her near future! Aaron kindly lent me his El Saltamontes and after parting ways with my one of these it was nice to feel the familiar squish of this loaner 'mountain jumper'.

With delicious dinner (thanks Teresa!) and a place to crash for the night (thanks Rob and Cary) we were sure beyond doubt that these Ventana people were of the friendliest kind. The fact they make great bikes that are so enjoyable to ride and which I am lucky enough to sell makes me a proud member of the nuclear Ventana family.

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