The Ventana El Cuervoe is a beast! There is no other way to put it that captures the size and power of this DH pig. Weighing in somewhere near 50 lbs with 8″ of travel in the front and 9″ in the rear this baby will do better than just about any other bike in smoothing out a rough ride. I am still new to the bike riding thing. This will be my third summer, second summer of riding DH, and the El Cuervo I picked up off some rich kid from Park City has treated me right. The El Cuervo is the XXL of DH bikes in my mind.
The above newer frame is setup with the Boxxer fork which I know nothing about. My ride is exactly the same as the top photo and is equipped with a FOX 40. The 40 has saved me from imminent death many times and I would suggest it to anyone who rides DH hard and is not very good at it like myself. Jos from Go Ride, a guy who know way more than most about bikes, confirms that of all the bikes he has ever owned that the El Cuervo gives the smoothest ride.
All this smoothness comes at a cost. The El Cuervo DOES NOT pedal. Not at all. Riding on flats feels like uphill and if you encounter a hill the only option is to stand and crank until your legs/heart explodes. I have ridden the beast on Porcupine a bunch of times and it crushes the down, but those short up-hills are pretty killer. The big fork and general heaviness also make the handling a little sluggish. Like the XXL this bike is fast and stable, but the turns you make are long and need to be planned ahead of time.
One of these days the snow is going to melt and you can go ride like this guy. Try out an El Cuervo if you get a chance. I think you will enjoy yourself for sure.