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  1. #1
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    Buzz Bomb ride reports

    1st ride report (previously posted under "Buzz Bomb Arrival")

    Well, I am a bit puzzled. (and generally happy) I went from a L 293 to this XL Buzz Bomb, and here is what I saw from the internet:

    HTA STA ETT
    293 71.5 73.5 24.7"
    BB 72 74 24.25"

    I used the same wheels (DT TK/240), tires (Ignitors), and fork (100mm Reba).

    I expected the Buzz Bomb to be quicker handling but less stable due to the steeper angles (by the numbers, and my feeble understanding)

    However, my ride sensation was that it was "laid back", with my butt hanging far back over the wheel. I had been running a 90mm stem and a heavy setback post (1.75") on the sugar, but I used a 120mm stem and a low-no setback post on my BB. Sure seemed like the STA was way lower than listed. I also noted that there was lots of extra room b/w front tire and DT, but not much b/w rear tire and ST.

    My shock pressure was initially 150 psi, which generated a bit less than the specified sag. I continually pumped it up during the course of the ride, ending up at 205psi.

    The BB bobs much more in the rear than the 293, which led me to keep bumping up the shock pressure. However, the bike did feel much stiffer in most every other sense, which seemed to make up for the bob to a large extent.

    The front end felt light all the time, but not overly so. The rear seems to move MUCH more easily over obstacles than the 293, kind of like the rear wheel is moving straight up or aft rather than forward as it compresses.

    The only big negative I can report is that my rear tire made lots of contact with the seat tube. I did not notice any braking effect, and maybe it was worse with my intially soft shock, but it sure is ugly. I will let you all know what Edwin's response is when I call him to discuss on Monday.

    Overall, I'm real happy with the feel. Stiffer and more freeride slanted than the 293, I may have found a good match for my local riding area and large girth. Climbing may suffer some, but I can already see some major advantages on the downhill handling and rougher stuff...

    More to come...

    2nd report:

    After checking the max (300psi) I pumped up the rear shock pressure to 250, which eliminated nearly all bob, but also reduced bump compliance noticably. Think I'll go 225# for the next try. Love the way this bike feels- very sure footed downhill. Next experiment will be to drop the bars a little bit.

  2. #2
    giddy up!
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    Am I reading this right....the rear tire is able to make contact with the seattube?

    Wow.

    B
    www.thepathbikeshop.com

  3. #3
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    That's what I feared already from the pics, bummer...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by donkey
    Am I reading this right....the rear tire is able to make contact with the seattube?

    Wow.

    B
    I am with B on this...first Dean makes their CUSTOM frames not able to clear the current offering of 29"er forks AFTER "discussing the problem" with previous customers and now Van Dessel designs a bike which allows the rear tire to contact the ST...

    Anybody else feel like a guinea pig here...

    No wonder Walt has a 5 month waiting list! We all know that he can design a working bike!

    LP

  5. #5
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    Hmmmm....

    ...I should've figured that if neither Titus nor Ventana could produce a 4"+ travel FS 29er with a straight ST that the VD version was a bit suspect...

    Oh well, better than wasting $850 on the roulette wheel...
    Professional Amateur. Disagree? Submit your grievances here.

  6. #6
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    frame rub response

    Below is the response from Van Dessel on my frame rub problem. I am a bit skeptical that the shock may be the problem, but I guess it is possible. At any rate, they appear to be responding to the problem appropriately thus far (acknowledgement).

    On another note, finally dug up the old threads on axle-crown dimensions, and confirmed that my 100 REBA is much longer than was intended for the bike. Edwin tells me that the frame was designed for about 490mm, and my Reba is listed at 515. No wonder all the angles felt slack! (But it actually was really fun and comfortable) Assuming we reach a satisfying conclusion on the frame rub problem, I will likely try an 80mm REBA and try to evaluate the differences...

    I'm also thinking the long fork is shifting my weight aft, which could be contributing to more bobbing? Maybe I will be able to run lower rear shock pressure if I switch to the 80mm? Help me out, smart guys...

    Will report more news on my guinea pig saga as it surfaces.



    That is something that definitely should not be happening!!!

    I need to call FOX on this as I have the feeling it may be a shock issue, unfortunately they are in Watsonville, CA so I will not be able to get in touch with them until this afternoon.

    I will be in touch with you as soon as I can.

    Best,
    Edwin

  7. #7
    featherweight clydesdale
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    25mm shouldn't affect the HTA more than a degree, and if the HTA is really 72 with 490mm axle to crown, then your Reba should be a blessing for general trail use.

    The taller axle to crown height will not affect you rear travel distance/ST rub issue. It could be that the Fox has to much stroke...hence Edwins question for Fox

    Can you do a few things?

    1) measure your actual effective top tube (chainstay is off, this could be wrong too)

    2) measure the actual effective chainstay length (17 inches isn't right..no how, no way...)

    3) place frame in workstand (or have a friend hold it), disconnect the rear shock, cycle the suspension from its normal position to where the tire "almost" hits the ST, and then tell us the amount of verticle travel at the rear axle? --Thanks

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by heavyg

    On another note, finally dug up the old threads on axle-crown dimensions, and confirmed that my 100 REBA is much longer than was intended for the bike. Edwin tells me that the frame was designed for about 490mm, and my Reba is listed at 515. No wonder all the angles felt slack! (But it actually was really fun and comfortable) Assuming we reach a satisfying conclusion on the frame rub problem, I will likely try an 80mm REBA and try to evaluate the differences...

    I'm also thinking the long fork is shifting my weight aft, which could be contributing to more bobbing? Maybe I will be able to run lower rear shock pressure if I switch to the 80mm? Help me out, smart guys...
    Did you take into account fork sag? I think the REBA is 515 A-C pre-sag. Makes a difference! You do not want a bike designed around a forks pre-sag number as the angles would steepen up once you sit on the bike, let alone actually begin to use the forks travel...


    LP

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by heavyg
    The BB bobs much more in the rear than the 293, which led me to keep bumping up the shock pressure. However, the bike did feel much stiffer in most every other sense, which seemed to make up for the bob to a large extent.
    It's not unusual - Horst links feel more bobby compared to other designs - a platform shock can help. The always active design has advantages - better on technical climbs, no pedal feedback, no brake jack, etc.


    The rear seems to move MUCH more easily over obstacles than the 293, kind of like the rear wheel is moving straight up or aft rather than forward as it compresses.
    Yup - rear axle path is more up-down and less arc-like.

  10. #10
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    ouch

    Guinea pig here.
    For Fattirewilly:

    ETT (CL Headset horizontal to CL seatpost) = 635mm
    or (CL headset straight to CL of top of seat tube) = 597mm

    Chainstay length (CL BB to CL Rear axle) = 462 mm


    Rear wheel Travel until tire CONTACTING seatpost- barely 2 1/8"

    Bummer. Nowhere near advertised. Not sure how long I want to keep playing guinea pig...

    Any XL Leviathans out there for sale?

  11. #11
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    You don't think the thing is even getting 3" travel? Bummer. Its too bad because the bike seemed nice on the website and the price was incredible. What I don't get is how a production run of bikes can be made not knowing the tire would rub on the seat tube? Have you been riding the bike much since your initial review. If it wasn't for the tire rubbing, would you be stoked on the frame?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by heavyg
    Guinea pig here.
    For Fattirewilly:

    ETT (CL Headset horizontal to CL seatpost) = 635mm
    or (CL headset straight to CL of top of seat tube) = 597mm

    Chainstay length (CL BB to CL Rear axle) = 462 mm


    Rear wheel Travel until tire CONTACTING seatpost- barely 2 1/8"

    Bummer. Nowhere near advertised. Not sure how long I want to keep playing guinea pig...

    Any XL Leviathans out there for sale?
    HeavyG, Thanks!

    So ETT = 25" ...Perfect XL size (for me), but nowhere near advertised
    Chainstay = 18.2, a hair shorter than Titus, but it could also explain the rub/travel issue
    Rear Wheel Travel = 2 1/8"....glad that's out there now!!!

    Can you get a refund???? I'd certainly ask for one.

  13. #13
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    How did you measure rear travel? Maybe I just overread that...

    Perhaps the used damper is just too short. That would explain both the bottoming and the seat tube angle feeling so slack. if the bike's geometry is based on a 490mm fork, that sounds perfect for a 100mm fork after sag. I guess a longer damper (if that's the problem) would make handling snappier and seated climbing less of a constant wheelie.

    I wonder why the frame design changed so much from the pre-pro pics to full production. Do the changed add more than just weight?

  14. #14
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    more news

    Checked rear travel by setting up in a bike stand down near the ground and using a buddy to cycle the triangle while I measured. Tried several times with same result on each. I don't think a longer shock will do it because it nearly hits the front of the seatpost as is when fully extended.

    Edwin was insistent that the 490mm Axle Crown was pre-sag, but I don't think he has the right numbers for the WB 1.0 in his reply below:

    The MTB frames are designed for the WB 1.0/ 0.9 suspension forks at 490mm axle to crown length before any rider weight compression.


    I have previously seen posted A-C for WB .8 to be 483, so 490 sounds too short for the 1.0 to me. But maybe the post was wrong.

    Anyhow, I am returning the frame ASAP, and Edwin was polite and very willing to live to his word on that count. It's a shame, and I do hope he gets it worked out, because I think the frame has potential. Kind of a poor man's version of a Behemoth.

    Now I am debating Lev vs. Asylum, and it's killing me. Any leads on new or used frames that are available ASAP would be most appreciated.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by heavyg

    The MTB frames are designed for the WB 1.0/ 0.9 suspension forks at 490mm axle to crown length before any rider weight compression.

    Is it just me, or does this statement make absolutely no sense. If this is the case, all the angles will steepen drastically, and BB height will drop the second a rider just sits on the bike, let alone ride the thing.

    I knew something was not right when VD had 17" posted on their site as the CS length...



    Quote Originally Posted by heavyg
    Anyhow, I am returning the frame ASAP....
    Good Call!

    One key part of "Build it and they will come" is that it has to be BUILT RIGHT!!!

    LP

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by heavyg
    Anyhow, I am returning the frame ASAP, and Edwin was polite and very willing to live to his word on that count. It's a shame, and I do hope he gets it worked out, because I think the frame has potential.
    What a bummer! It's very unfortunate but I'm surprised such an obvious problem would make it out to end users. Did he have any comments regarding the mistake, number of units involved, further R&D, replacement units, etc.?

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