Vassago Bicycle Company Bandersnatch 29er Hardtail

DESCRIPTION

  • Traditional dropouts for use with 8 or 9 speed cassette
  • 29er specific WetCat geometry
  • Removable CNC v-brake posts
  • ISO disc brake mount
  • Double Butted, rust-resistant 4130 steel tubing
  • Clearance for muddy 2.3 tires
  • Comes in Steel grey. Custom powder coating available

  • USER REVIEWS

    Showing 1-10 of 25  
    [Feb 15, 2015]
    MTBeing

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Strength:

    A really dialed all-day comfortable geometry. Muted ride with the elegant steel and the prestige of a serious bike brand. Threaded bottom bracket, hallelujah! Stable at speed. 135 in the rear provides for a less expensive aftermarket wheelset.

    Weakness:

    A tad long-ish in the rear. Weak paint, chips alot. Need better documentation online. It's steel..keep it dry.

    As far as a budget steel hardtail goes, this one's tough to beat. It's an oustanding geometry and it climbs really well. I set a PR on a section of trail that I've climbed with my 3lb-lighter carbon f/s bike. The rounded tubes give you the feel of a whispy bike beneath you and it rides lighter than it seems. the normal 135 rear spacing means less expensive wheels and the threaded bottom bracket means you can run a threaded BB and not have to worry about the dreaded creak. As stated, I have a full carbon f/s 29er which is way lighter than my Vassago (for now) but the Bandersnatch is a blast to ride and a completely different experience.

    [Sep 14, 2014]
    mahtain
    Cross Country Rider

    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    4
    Strength:

    cheap, solid, excellent geometry (if it's your cuppatea) and a nice looong top tube. If you come from the NW style of bikes (kona, rocky mtn., cove, brodie, deKerf etc...) this is a natural but not copycat frame geo.

    Weakness:

    heavy, not as easy to bunnyhop or rise over obstacles like a short chainstay bike can. But minuses work out to pluses on the overall ride.

    Have ridden everything from the early 80's cannondales with 24" rear wheels up to cannondale jekyll FS with plenty of kona's, brodies, specialized, bianchi, redlines and on and on. Last bike was gary fisher with genesis geometry...very nice, but I missed that steel feel...so got the bander, regardless of the completely diff. geometry of the gary fisher. I like it. Reminds me of the more vintage bikes I owned but not as compliant (good and bad). The niner I tried was just too high in the steering, the bander does actually sit you in the "middle" of the frame...very nice. After a year I am writing this review as I was constantly surprised by the difference in riding feel. It is close to my 26" wheeled kona explosif but not as twitchy downhill. It is more sluggish than my kona unit 29'r and more rigid but overall more enjoyable...hard to put into words, but I will put it this way....could afford just about any bike out there, but this little cheap-o fits the bill. If I ever move up from this bander, it would be to an optimus ti. But for the value to price, it's hard to beat the bander.
    I have a long torso so the long top tube is perfect, if you have long legs and short top...try the niner or jamis dragon. If your thinking surley...that's a great frame as well but more upright...as well as the redline's. Just info for those thinking about what they should get towards their body styles. I would like to try a raleigh xxix as they are supposed to be very compliant, but otherwise, vassago has me hooked, even with their ho-hum heavy tubing that is a bit stiff....it's all in the fit and geometry my friend.

    Similar Products Used:

    brodie, specialized, deKerf, bianchi, raleigh, kona, giant, gary fisher, redline, too many others..

    [Dec 26, 2012]
    Greg Armstrong
    Cross Country Rider

    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Strength:

    Handling at speed, value, durability, quality

    Weakness:

    Weight, slow speed handling (mostly just a 29er thing), seat post slipped until I added a shim, some grip paste and a Salsa clamp. Could be the Thomson seat post finish, I've had the same problem in other frames.

    After looking at many different hardtails - On One, Niner, Specialized, cheap Chinese carbon, etc.- I got this frame on a smokin' closeout deal and couldn't resist. Overall very happy with this frame, real quality build. Feels very stable. I now spend much more time riding in the big ring, I just want to go fast on this bike. After many other bikes in almost 30 yrs and FS exclusively for the past 15 years, it's so great to get back to a steel hardtail! I don't miss the squish at all, and I love the precise handling, shifting, acceleration, etc. Climbing traction is good but the rear end can bounce around on steep rough sections compared to FS. I haven't weighed it; it's under 30 lbs but handles like a far lighter bike. Lighter wheels would help mine but at the expense of durability.

    I've become convinced that frame size should come down a step when moving up to 29ers. That is, if you ride a certain size 26er, get the smaller frame size in a 29er. It will help some of the handling issues, since the big wheels just aren't as nimble. I'm 6'3" and rode XL in 26ers. My first 29er was an XL and though I liked the big wheels, I hated the handling. Now I have a bright red 20" Bander, and it feels like a big BMX bike that can go cross country all day. Despite the long wheelbase it handles switchbacks really well. I've been running the fork at 100mm but there's too much sluggish oversteer so I'm going to switch it to 80mm. The long seat post (Thomson 27.2) really helps soften up the rear end.

    My only complaint is the low BB; though it does help the handling I get too many pedal strikes here in the Southwest (could be the 180mm cranks, or my sloppy technique!). When I ran XTR I would cringe a lot, but with cheap X7 I don't care as much. Some time you just gotta bash your way through. Which brings me to the next point- durability. Sometimes I end up wayyy out there, 20 or more miles from the car all alone, and having a good steel frame is a bit of peace of mind. This frame feels like it could stand up to some serious abuse and still get you home.

    The Bander is appropriately named, it just wants to be ridden fast. Sometimes I have to remind myself on screaming downhills that it's a hardtail, and slow down a little for that inevitable rear wheel smack. It loves to catch air but the hard landing can be a surprise.

    I think I'll keep this one for awhile. The new Bander frame looks even better, post mount brakes, bent seat stays, 44mm head tube. Looks like they're doing things right. You can't go wrong.

    Similar Products Used:

    Siren, Specialized, Trek, Giant, Diamond Back, etc.

    [Jan 22, 2012]
    bobeno
    Cross Country Rider

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Strength:

    Precise, predictable steering. Amazing climbing, great power transfer, soaks up the trail like it has suspension. Rails corners in tight singletrack. BB is maybe a hair low but tall enough to clear ledges and logs easily (as long as you are awake and thinking). Frame performs better than the spec might suggest, and the price is great for what you get.

    Weakness:

    Paint does seem to chip easily. A powdercoat may be in order in a few years.

    Ridden mostly on rocky, rooty, often steep and tight singletrack. I have no desire to even try another 29er (except maybe an Optimus Ti). I use it mostly as a SS (just don't shift) for conditioning. The bike does everything I ask of it without complaint or surprise, is just as nimble as my 26er softail SS and tracks better in the rough than my 5" f-s bike (both of which I have now sold). Added a wheelset with skinnies for the wet-trail road ride alternative, and I have the perfect bike for anything I want to ride.

    Similar Products Used:

    None. This is the first and only 29er I've ever ridden, but am very happy with it.

    [Oct 25, 2011]
    DEMOJOE
    Weekend Warrior

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Strength:

    Everything climbs like a goat goes like hell up or down great all around bike handles great cant say anything bad and it only weights 26lbs not to bad for steel

    Weakness:

    none

    love it!!! It does everything you ask of it and then some

    Similar Products Used:

    none class of its own

    [Feb 27, 2011]
    djvft
    Cross Country Rider

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Strength:

    Geometry and price

    Weakness:

    None that I have found. Have read things about the paint quality....I think it's on par for the cost of the frame

    Vassago recommends the fork be ran @ 80mm. Personally, I like it more ran @ 100mm. Maybe that's because I no longer ride a big drop from my saddle to my handlebars. The bike climbs great, handles like a dream, and turns as fast as I need it to turn.
    My other current ride is a Dean Colonel 26, and I can whip the Vassago around almost as fast as the Dean. The biggest difference is that my dental work appreciates the larger wheels and smoother ride.
    Granted, I could have saved a pound or so by going with a Niner MCR, but I'm going to save my other $450 to put toward a Black Label Vassago in the fall. Meanwhile, I'm going to ride my Bandersnatch and have a ball.
    This is a great frame regardless...the price makes it even a better value.

    Similar Products Used:

    Mint Cycles 29er,

    [Sep 23, 2010]
    principal_X
    Cross Country Rider

    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Strength:

    Cheap, Sexy, Namesake (can't count how many times someone felt the urge to shout out "Bandersnatch" in their own quirky way on the trail)

    Weakness:

    paint scratches easily

    Basically, price was the determining factor when buying this frame also the wetcat geometry was interesting. Even though the wheelbase is slightly longer, tight switchbacks don't seem any tougher to make than other std geo 29ers out there. I was also intrigued by the claimed "flexiness" of a steel framed bike. My impressions are that even on the roughest descents, I couldn't tell a noticeable difference between carbon and steel, maybe slightly damper than an aluminum ride. I suppose a fully rigid setup would show the difference better. I could definitely tell I sat lower in the bike the other niner riders out there.


    I would buy another Vassago, but maybe next time as a single speeder (Wocky or Chupa)

    Similar Products Used:

    FELT Nine Team, Specialized Stumpy 29

    [Jul 29, 2010]
    Dial Tone
    Weekend Warrior

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Strength:

    Steel, that often used "in the bike" feeling, stable at high speed

    Weakness:

    paint chips easy, a bit heavy, more effort to turn in the tight stuff

    For me the geometry is spot on. I know its a terminology that has been overused but "in the bike, rather than on the bike" feeling best describes it. Bike rolls smooth and feels very stable once the trail points downhill and fast descents are confidence inspiring. I am guessing this is due to the long top tube and long chainstays.

    I did notice that it take a bit more effort to 'muscle' in turns compared to my F/S 26. I really cant tell how much of the harshness is absorbed or mitigated by the steel frame since my other HT bike is also steel.

    I dont ride hard enough to flex the frame so I cant comment on flexing issues. The Bandersnatch climbs well even with a poor rider such as myself. Just downshift and keep on cranking. It does feel slower on the takeoff compared to a 26er.

    Paint seems to be another common issue on Vassago bikes, my Bandersnatch easily chipped in some areas and some paint were scuffed from minor cable rub. The Phantom Silver is just gorgeous seconded only by Bone White and Pitch Black.

    Gotten lots of positive comments on my Vassago since its a not a too common, big corporation bike.

    I really love the way this bike rides.

    Similar Products Used:

    Redline Monocog29er, Fisher Hi-fi Plus (26)

    [May 17, 2010]
    Tasselhof
    Cross Country Rider

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Strength:

    Grean quality, perfect fir (wetcat geometry is really what i need), great looks.
    In ride it's really what i suspect to get from this frame.
    Ride she about 6 month and happy :)

    Weakness:



    Great product.

    Similar Products Used:

    Marin Muirwoods 29

    [Apr 09, 2010]
    Rzar
    Weekend Warrior

    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Strength:

    Geometry. Great for climbing. Stable and fast on descents. Steel gives great compliance over small rocks and bumps. Stiff in the BB and the chainstays for great power transfer. Price to performance makes it a great value.

    Weakness:

    A tad heavy, but it is steel. My 18 inch weighed in at 5lbs. Paint seems to scratch easy. The BB threads had paint all over them and the LBS had to chase them. The cable guide on the BB also had paint all over the threads. Did not come with seatclamp or waterbottle bolts. All in all VERY minor stuff.

    This is my first 29'er so can't give a true comparison to other two niner frames. Also the fork, wheels, bottom bracket are a huge upgrade compared to my old Gary Fisher. The geometry is very close to genesis of the GF. It feels super stable on fast descents. When climbing I hardly have to get out of the saddle to shift weight for traction. It does feel a bit slugish on tight turns but that is to be expected.

    Similar Products Used:

    First 29'er. I was on a Gary Fisher Tasajara 26'er before this.

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