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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just back in from Sea Otter. It's really past my bed time and I don't want to upload pics or search results right now, but...

Edwin from Van Dessel reportedly won his class, XC Mens Sport 30-34, aboard the new Buzz Bomb Full Suspension, by 3 to 4 minutes over the second-place finisher. His time was in the 1:18 range over the approximately 18 mile course (I've heard varying mileage figures from other participants). I haven't seen the official results yet to verify times.

As far as I know, this was VD's first year attending Sea Otter. Edwin had three Buzz Bomb models there, and got the FS sample in working order late Saturday, just in time for Sunday's race.

The bike sports 4" of rear travel on a Horst link 4-bar, and is paired with a White Brothers BW 1.0 fork.

I didn't get an opportunity to take the bike out on the trails, but I did have a few minutes on it in the vendor area. I can only say that the suspension felt good under acceleration and power, but it would be unfair of me to give it a review based on a few sprints over some loose dirt.

This is one to watch, though, and I only wish I had known this bike was in the pipeline two months ago.

I'll post some pics and addtional comments Monday afternoon.
 

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You're gonna make us wait until Monday afternoon!?!? ;)

Speedub.Nate said:
Just back in from Sea Otter. It's really past my bed time and I don't want to upload pics or search results right now, but...

Edwin from Van Dessel reportedly won his class, XC Mens Sport 30-34, aboard the new Buzz Bomb Full Suspension, by 3 to 4 minutes over the second-place finisher. His time was in the 1:18 range over the approximately 18 mile course (I've heard varying mileage figures from other participants). I haven't seen the official results yet to verify times.

As far as I know, this was VD's first year attending Sea Otter. Edwin had three Buzz Bomb models there, and got the FS sample in working order late Saturday, just in time for Sunday's race.

The bike sports 4" of rear travel on a Horst link 4-bar, and is paired with a White Brothers BW 1.0 fork.

I didn't get an opportunity to take the bike out on the trails, but I did have a few minutes on it in the vendor area. I can only say that the suspension felt good under acceleration and power, but it would be unfair of me to give it a review based on a few sprints over some loose dirt.

This is one to watch, though, and I only wish I had known this bike was in the pipeline two months ago.

I'll post some pics and addtional comments Monday afternoon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well that didn't work so well.

I got home to internet connection problems, a corrupt Photoshop, and memory card issues in my camera. GAH! Hopefully I can salvage some of the shots I snapped of the Buzz Bomb.

The Otter results are posted, and Edwin smoked the whole Sport class (all age groups) by at least four minutes. All this on a 4" travel full suspension Buzz Bomb. I know better than to credit the bike with the win, but that's damn impressive.

The bike is nice. It's got a Speedhub-ready non-driveside dropout (chain tensioner would be required), a crimped seat tube to provide a tiny amount of extra tire clearance, Zero-Stack headset, and some nicely forged linkages and yokes. I'll post up whatever I can that didn't get scrambled on my SD card.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Ok, got things sorted out, and recovered a bunch of my photos. Unfortunately, no full bike shot.

This is the same "production sample" Buzz Bomb frame that appears in the Van Dessel website photos. According to Edwin, expect a few minor changes.

As promised, this is a Horst-link design. Compated to the Ventana El Capitan, I really do note the difference when just sprinting around the venue. It's a shame I didn't get this bike out on to the course for a real trail demo.

Note the lengthened non-driveside dropout. This is a Rohloff Speedhub friendly frame, and the anti-torque tab of the OEM1 axle plate will slide into this opening, eliminating the need for a Speedbone setup on the disc brake tab.

Speaking of disc tabs, expect the production bikes to feature one with a longer base fastened further up the shockstay.



For the most part, nothing remarkable about the frame construction. This is a fairly conventional design using an "off the shelf" linkage layout a bucket full of truly off-the-shelf forged parts.

As you can infer from these next photos, fairly decent rear tire clearance. I didn't capture any head-on shots for a better idea of how much space remains, but perhaps we can persuade VD to post some additional info.



Forged bottom bracket / main pivot assembly ought to add some muscle to the design.

Take note of the missing non-driveside bottom bracket cup, which is why this bike was unrideable for the first three days of the event.



I don't know how much extra travel or how much additional tire clearance this seat tube crimp provides. I also don't know how much this will affect insertion for a typical setup using a 400mm seatpost.

Van Dessel plans a purely cosmetic switch to a different decal here, one that won't be clamped underneath the front derailleur. The new color scheme, by the way -- forrest green on brushed aluminum -- is very attractive and 180° from the bright orange of the original Buzz Bomb.



Stock shock is a Fox RP3, which I question for use on a 4" travel Horst bike. Can't really knock it until I try it, however.

Production bikes should be ready to go in May.



Edwin's amazing 1:20 finish says more about him as a rider than it does about this bike, but at least we know 4" of travel didn't get in his way. He's clearly a passionate rider and has known the value of big rubber for a number of years now, so I trust he knows what works when he laid this bike out. I hope this bike does big things for his company.
 

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Very nice. If anybody gets to test it for a long ride, try to pay attention to lateral flex of the rear end. I wonder how much more maintenance is involved in the horst rearend.
 

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Thanks for sharing Nate, it looks like this just might be the bike you have been waiting for and you don't have to switch brand allegiance. A Rohloff friendly FS bike to boot. Good stuff and they should do well with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Bigwheel said:
Thanks for sharing Nate, it looks like this just might be the bike you have been waiting for and you don't have to switch brand allegiance. A Rohloff friendly FS bike to boot. Good stuff and they should do well with it.
Ahhh... If only I hadn't just bought a new 26" frame. You can imagine I'm a little torn right now.
 

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Thanks for the write up and phots's Nate. I am doing research in preparation for a new 29er build, and I think you have convinced me to go with a Rohloff.

Current FS 29er frames being considered are essentially the Buzz bomb (which I just heard of, and El Capitan. I currently ride a Ventana Saltamontes which I love dearly, and find little to fault in, but I have never ridden a Horst link bike.

Questions:

1. What do you know about the Van Dessel company? The website tells you next to nothing?

2. Where are the bikes built? From the prices, I'd have to say Taiwan.

3. Bushing or bearings in the rear? If Bushings, are they the "Turner" type, or cheap one's?

4. Think you can get Edwin online to answer the questions?

I like that it is Horst link, and Speedhub ready. I like the relatively short 17" chainstays. I like the relatively short TT measurements. I also like the price. I don't want to get a flexy uncontrolled rear end, however, especially given what I'm used to. I can live without the Ventana's gorgeous looks, and don't think I am heavy enough, or a rough enough rider to require the abundant strength of El Capitan.

Eric
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
1. Not a whole lot. I don't know how long they've been in existance. They've been selling the original Buzz Bomb since 2001. From emails and conversations, Edwin is pretty passionate about bikes and was into the racing scene before putting together this company. I believe they began with city bikes, then added road bikes, then 29" mountain bikes once Edwin saw the validity of the concept.

2. The frames are all Taiwanese made.

3. I emailed them re: the pivots last week, and they replied with "Stainless Steel Sealed Bearings" all-around.

4. He knows about this forum and he's posted here before, and I suggested he jump in since everyone has lots of questions any time a manufacturer or product manager gets online. He's usually prompt with email replies when I have a question or a comment for him.
 
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