Van Dessels in this aisle...
Custom builder? Eh... ok, no. Small east coast company selling cool Tiwanese-made frames? Yep, I'll vouch for 'em!
Country Road Bob
So at the AZSF gathering earlier this year, Lidarman pulls this cool, swoopy green frame out of his rig and asks if anyone want it. I jumped (sorry, Brianc!) and $40 later it's mine. He only wanted $20, having won it in a raffle or something, but that felt too much like stealing. It's too small for me, but NuMexDonna appreciates a nice-looking bike almost as much as I do, so I built her a SS. I went totally budget on the build, using a UN72 BB, Titec seatpost and Truvativ Stylo cranks that I had laying around. Got the Jet 700c wheels, the Tsunami bar and Velo saddle from ChucksBikes.com. Tires are the $9.99 Nanoraptors from Nashbar, and that's where I got the cantis as well. Stem was $10 frm Jenson. Splurged on the grips since they matched, and will eventually get a yellow bottle cage. Yes, the flats will eventually be replaced by understated clipless, but right now it's more of a townie bike. The carbon fork came with the frame. Eventually I'd like to get a 36-hole rim for the rear and swap in a SRAM 7-speed hub. Neither Shimano nor SRAM seems to make their internal gear hubs in 32-hole. FWIW, the Van Dessel web page shows this year's Bob to be of straight tubing. Anyway, I promised Lidarman I'd post some pics once it was finished, and figured this was as good a place as any. Thanks Rich!
Nice looking ride
you did a great job on the build. Congrat to NuMexDonna on the new bike. Gearing looks about right for LA.
Thanks. Forgot to mention that the other part I got from Jenson was the Gusset SS conversion kit. It gave a much cleaner look than stacked spacers, and given that I'd have had to buy a BMX cog and some extra spacers, the $20 price seemed reasonable. There; I think that covers the parts list.
Originally Posted by nmcculloch
Joe, that's beautiful!
I installed a SRAM Spectro 7 speed hub with a drum brake on my wife's asphalt bike. It has a slightly wider gearing range than the Nexus-7, but does have an annoying habit of not dropping into gear on downshifts until pedal pressure is released (the shifter clicks just fine, but it's as if the request was put in a queue until the rider momentarily stops pedaling).
I'm torn between putting a little more work into my Straight Up and leaving it as is, the dilemma being that I want to be able to lock this bike up and walk away from it, and as it stands now, there aren't a lot of extra doo-dads hanging off of it that are desireable to a cherry-picking thief.
I expressed some concerns initially, but I've actually become comfortable with just a rear coaster brake and don't have any plans for a front caliper -- yet.
My only immediate plans are to swap the stock 170 cranks arms with some 175s (I slowly convinced myself I'm not getting a full power stroke with the shorter arms) and I'll go one notch bigger on the rear cog because the hills around my home are kicking my butt. I make this change begrudgingly because I know it comes at the expense of a little off my top end, but I've convinced myself I should only ride as fast as my brakes can stop.
The new Bob's are disappointing -- I just looked it up on http://www.vandesselsports.com -- but I was pleasantly surprised to see a green one like yours out at a local trailhead this past weekend, a couple setting out on a bike path ride down to the beach.
Anyway, nice going on the build, please post more pics as you make changes.
Yeah, Van Dessel's are cool. I love mine.
Even Lance is envious of my Texas ride...
Thanks guys!!! It's nice to see a thread just on VD...
I'm the Van Dessel janitor, designer, product manager, warehouse workhorse, resident athlete, import department, sales rep, president, bill collector, dog walker, marketing guy, pro-team liaison, and the accounts payable run-around-guy.
Figure this is a good place as any to fill in on the happenings at VD...
Lately I've been getting many requests for info on what's going on: What's the story with the 2004 CRB's, is there going to be a new Buzz Bomb? and all sorts of questions on the future of other bikes & parts. Mostly with either "hate the straight tubes" or "love the straight tubes" thrown in (also substitute 'straight tubes' for 'paint'...) Can't please everyone... Story is that we're very small (re-iterate "very"). With our limited resources we have not been able to manufacture all models at once. We need to pay cash up front for everything that comes into the warehouse and get no pre-season orders from shops to rely on. I've been rotating what's in stock by maxing out bank loans to make one or two models at a time and then scrambling to sell them off piece by piece as fast as possible. The bank and landlord know me very well..!!!.. Typically we're broke and out of stock on several models most days of the month, the other days we're broke and have a ton of inventory on many bikes, but everyone wants what's not in stock... This year and last I've been doing more and more of the road racing and TT frames which have been doing very well, and are also getting a huge amount of positive feedback - see pics. It's been the first two models that have been successful on a continuous basis with bike shops (as a Belgian who's heart lies on the wet cobbles surrounding Antwerp, that has been very satisfying.) Try selling a 29" MTB with Rohloff hub and White Bros shock to your local shop....hahaha, what a laugh.... Even with moderate success, growth, support, and lots of encouragement, after four years it's still a daily struggle to keep the doors open and mouths fed.
Not to paint a picture of despair, but this year, instead of throwing caution to the wind like in past years, I have decided to try and get things under control: Pay the banks down as much as possible before getting myself in the hole too far trying to live the dream (the dream at first was to be a pro bike racer, but I figured instead that this was the SENSIBLE thing to do with my energy instead... ) The future for Van Dessel Cycles ??? If anyone is looking at getting a Van Dessel bike, my advice is to get one fast!!! Many dealers still have them in stock - many thanks to those shops who have ever had one on the floor!!!. It looks like from now until next spring that more or less everything will be out of stock. Beyond that, unless we find a way to kick things up quite a bit, we will be moving forward slowly and with caution. The road & TT frames, CRB, and Buzz-Bomb type stuff are definitely what I plan to keep developing. On a personal level though I'm also pretty focused on getting a reliable income to supplement the peanuts I get here...
So that's the lowdown, hopefully delivered without too much whining or droning. Now if you don't mind my soap box rant: One thing I can say with pride about the Van Dessel bikes and components: The bike industry in general works on tiny profit margins, we must by far have the lowest!!! I've always been product and quality focused and my philosophy has been that if we can make all our stuff as well designed as possible, as high quality as absolutely possible, and keep the margins as low as possible, it would be insane if we don't make it. I must be biased, but I'm pretty certain that all of the Van Dessel frames are as much high quality for the buck as you'll ever see!!!
Here's a pic of my Nexus CRB - Nexus is great!, it shifts under load, and after seasons of beating it still works as good as ever. (Though it is fair to say that I share my riding between a Rohloff Buzz Bomb, a Campitello road bike -painted stars and stripes, originally destined for the USPRO champion Mark McCormack before Felt took over Colavita Bolla pro team sponsorship, a Tijdrit TT bike, and a Straight Up with racks and fenders.)
Thanks to all of you who like your bikes, especially the VD ones, it means a lot to me!!!!
Van Dessel Sports
WOW! You made that look sweet! Glad to see it has a great home. Those grips rock!!!
Originally Posted by NuMexJoe