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Cycle Monkey

Internal Gearing Specialists, Bicycle Distribution & Service Center

Monkey Ride: Ventana Zeus with Rohloff SPEEDHUB

Last fall we built up this full suspension Ventana Zeus for Xan, a friend of Cycle Monkey who helped us out part time over the summer and is now in college in Colorado. Chief Monkey Neil coached Xan on the El Cerrito High School Mountain Bike team and watched him progress from a novice cross country rider to an experienced, technical rider favoring all mountain-style terrain. Xan planned out this build over the summer and we got it together just in time for him to take with him to Colorado Springs, where he knew he would be riding challenging and technical terrain regularly. Xan has been riding his Zeus hard, including on a trip to the famed trails of Fruita, and said the Rohloff SPEEDHUB is perfect for his riding style.Xan is a daring rider, and seeks out rocky, technical trails with plenty of drops and obstacles. For his new bike, he wanted something with long travel and a slack head tube angle to handle this type of riding. He also wanted 27.5” wheels, which are a relatively new mountain bike wheel size that are well suited for Xan’s height and riding style. This wheel size blends the advantages of the two established wheel sizes: better rollover/angle of attack like 29” wheels and lighter, stronger, and more maneuverable like 26” wheels. Based on this criteria, Xan chose Ventana’s new Zeus frame as the basis for his build. Ventana is one of the few companies still offering U.S.-made full suspension bikes and has been building durable aluminum frames in Northern California for more than 25 years. Their Zeus model is designed around the 27.5” wheel size and offers 140mm or 160mm of rear travel depending on which hole the shock is connected to on the rocker link. Its geometry lies between a trail bike and an all mountain rig, with a short rear end, a slack headtube angle, and a long top tube. As with all of Ventana’s models, the Zeus is fully customizable, so we opted for Rohloff-specific cable routing on the swingarm.For the wheelbuild, we started with Stan’s NoTubes’ ZTR Flow EX rims, which are the most durable rims the company offers and are designed to handle aggressive trail riding. We laced the rims to a Hadley front hub and a Rohloff SPEEDHUB in the rear. The resulting wheelset is one of the sturdiest mountain wheelsets that we offer. The Rohloff SPEEDHUB has developed a reputation as the perfect drivetrain for touring and commuting bikes, but its high durability and low maintenance makes it ideal for mountain bikes as well. It can be used for all styles of mountain riding, from cross country racing to downhill. The SPEEDHUB excels in the type of all mountain riding that Xan favors, where there is a high chance of damaging an external drivetrain from drops, jumps, and rock gardens. While a derailleur could hit a rock, get sucked into the spokes, or get bent or jostled on these types of trails, the SPEEDHUB avoids these problems because all the shifting components are located within the hubshell, out of harm's way.For suspension, Xan chose RockShox’s Pike fork and Monarch rear shock. The Pike, recently redesigned to suit the way most modern trail riders ride, offers up to 160mm of extremely smooth and capable suspension for 26", 27.5", or 29" wheel sizes. It is capable of gobbling up rough rock gardens and big impacts while still being extremely light and making the small bumps disappear. The Dual Position Air feature allows the fork to be lowered 30mm to help keep the front end from lifting on some of the steeper, more technical climbs that Xan expected to encounter. The Monarch rear shock is a solid performer that is light, easy to tune, and reliable. It is equally at home on shorter travel cross country bikes as it is on longer travel trail bikes.Completing the build package, Xan chose Race Face's wide Atlas handlebars and short Atlas stem as well as Magura's MT2 brakes. He added Kind Shock’s 160mm travel LEV dropper seatpost to get the seat out of the way on steep descents and ensure the bike is maneuverable in technical sections.Xan has been in touch with us regularly to share his excitement about the rides he’s been going on in Colorado. He said he has been riding the bike as much as possible and enjoying every minute of it! If you’re interested in getting a Rohloff-equipped mountain bike set up for yourself, contact us to see what we can put together for you.Build details:• Frame: Ventana Zeus• Fork: Rock Shox Pike RCT3 with Dual Position Air• Headset: Acros• Stem: Race Face Atlas• Handlebar: Race Face Atlas• Shifter: Rohloff• Grips: Race Face Half Nelson• Seatpost: Kind Shock LEV• Saddle: WTB Devo• Front Hub: Hadley Disc XC with 15mm thru axle• Rear hub: Rohloff SHEEDHUB 500/14• Spokes: Sapim Race• Nipples: Sapim Brass• Rims: Stan’s NoTubes ZTR Flow• Tires: Maxxis High Roller 2• Cranks: Race Face Turbine• Bottom Bracket: Race Face• Chainring: Race Face Single• Pedals: Shimano XTR Trail• Chain: Wipperman 808• Brakes & Levers: Magura MT2• Rotors: Magura Storm