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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    Van Dessel Jersey Devil HT (pics)

    I posted the other day about help on tire choice and I finally made a decision and tested them out. First, let me give you the details. I was looking for a geared 29er hardtail frame for endurance races. I have a singlespeed Niner One9 that I planned to use for parts until I'm ready to build it up again. Thus, my new Jersey Devil with a mix of new and used parts.

    Frame: Van Dessel Jersey Devil HT (has carbon seat stays)
    Fork: Lefty Carbon SL with the Project 321 adaptor
    Wheels: Industry 9 with silver hubs and silver/black spokes
    1x9 gearing with 32 front Salsa ring and Sram XO rear derailleur with 11-34 XT cassette
    XT crankset
    Avid Ultimate brakes
    Moots laid-back seatpost
    Fizik Gobi saddle
    Dimension stem (adjustable until I find the right setting)
    Syntace low riser bar
    Ergon grips
    Eggbeater 4 ti pedals
    And finally, my tire choice for the endurance races:
    Stan's Crow on the rear
    Kenda Karma on the front
    Both are run with Stan's tubeless setup.

    The weight with a waterbottle holder, pedals and the bell to warn away black bears:
    21 lbs, 15oz.

    Not much room to make it lighter, so I'll just work on making myself lighter (185 lbs, down 15 with 10 more to go).

    So how does it ride? Beautifully. Between the tubeless, carbon seatstays and the Moots Ti post, the ride is reasonably smooth. The handling is great and the climbing ability is phenomenal. The Crows bite well for such little tread.

    What would I change? The only thing that is tempting is the Fox 29 fork. The Lefty is limited to 80mm of travel in the 29er version. However, I love the stiffness of the Lefty.

    The 1x9 is about perfect for me although late in races, I may want a smaller ring on the front. However, at that point, I would be faster walking.

    Finally, thanks to Edwin and Ted at Van Dessel for helping me get setup. I think I've found the bike I'll ride for a long, long time.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    29er Geek
    Reputation: tozovr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    what a beautiful bike! Until fox or rockshox offers a thru-axle, stick with the lefty! Nice to see a different bike with a different fork...very unique and I'm sure a great a side not, I want a Van Dessel Gin and Trombones VERY badly...

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MMcG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Mighty light bike. I wonder how Van Dessel is doing - haven't seen many posts with their new 29ers this year.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    I assume Van Dessel is doing fine. Luckily, I live about 20 minutes from their office. It was cool to be able to go there and talk with Edwin and Ted about the bikes and see the frames in person. They are huge into cyclecross and road so I think mountain bikes take a little bit of a backseat. However, I think they've come up with a great design for the 29er with the carbon seatstays. My guess is that as a two man operation, it is a struggle for them to publicize the 29ers given the huge effort that their cyclecross and road take.

    Having said all of that, their lineup with the new Ramble Tamble singlespeed (the winner of the 24 hours of Allamuchy rode one), the Jersey Devil HT and the Jersey Devil full suspension is a solid group. I've heard mixed reviews on the full suspension as it is not very plush (per reviews on MTBR). My decision was to save the weight, get the combination of the Ti seatpost and the carbon seatstays to take the edge off. We'll see if I regret the decision, but no remorse so far.

    The good thing about Van Dessel is that the guys are bikers. In talking to them they ride everything - meaning that the mountain bikes are not an afterthought. They ride mountain bikes as well as cyclecross and road.


  5. #5
    Gold Member
    Reputation: F5000sl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    I see they are out of Dover. I tried to find them once a few years back when I was visiting family, but couldn't seem to locate them and no one answered the phones, so I wasn't sure if that is a "walk-in" shop or not.

    Is it? If so, I'll mark that down as a "must" next time I'm in NJ.
    Shop Hand
    On-One Lurcher
    S-Works DEMO
    BMC SLR01

  6. #6
    wot no bike?
    Reputation: pahearn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by tozovr
    as a side not, I want a Van Dessel Gin and Trombones VERY badly...
    I do too, I was bummed to learn they got rid of the white/pearl w/ blue panel though, that scheme looked great.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    It is not a walk-in shop, they share space with another business and the only indicator that Van Dessel is there is a little sign on the door.

    I emailed and got a response and talked to them on the phone. Since I was local, they invited me over to take a look at the frame in person. They also recommend checking out Marty's Reliable in Hackettstown since they carry the frames. The place is small. There are basically two desks, a bike assembly area and a storage area for frames and parts. They do the design work there and have the frames built in Taiwan. Then, they build them up to the customer component spec in Dover.

    Hope that helps.

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