Ventana operates out of Rancho Cordova, California, and has done so since 1988. Their first product was the (unknown to me) elevated Cone Peak of 1991. I thought I knew elevated bikes inside and out as they’re a favorite design of mine, but I had never known of the Cone Peak before today.
1991 Ventana Cone Peak
I’ve always been a fan of Ventana’s old bikes because they just always looked good. It is admittedly a silly attribute to judge a bike on, but a bike that really looks good is more likely to draw you out onto the trails I think.
I’m not liking their current hunchback top tubes, but I’m sure the bikes are still good.
But that’s besides the point, which is, I found a super nice El Habanero on eBay a while back that really surprised me in what it sold for.
In the late 90’s, two California mountain bike builders decided to collaborate on a new full suspension bike. They created a new company with a line of three single-pivot bikes. The collaborators were Ellsworth and Ventana, and the new company was Aeon.
Aeon didn’t last that long. I’m not sure why though, as I’m not finding any details about them, apart from this amazing page from 1997 that is somehow still on the Internet. Ellsworth must have wanted to try and make money from this arrangement, as they took over the Aeon bikes and rebadged them as Ellsworths.
They had the Isis with 100mm of travel, and the Joker with 150mm. You often saw the Joker with a pretty burly spec for DH and shuttle run activities.
I also recall them having a high incidence of failure, but, that’s just what I’ve seen. Everyone knows that insert bike name here break all the time, but there are a much greater number of people that have never seen insert bike name here bike break, so it doesn’t mean that much. If you know what I mean.