Just In: Vassago’s US Made VerHauen 29er

Vassago Verhauen 29er (4)

After chatting with Tom Ament for our Vassago company spotlight we did a while back, I have to admit that I was excited for the possibility of getting a VerHauen in for review. This was a bit odd due to the fact that I’m not the biggest fan of hard tails or 29ers, but for some reason the VerHauen really appealed to me. Perhaps it was the steel, US made frame, or the versatility with the slider dropouts – whatever it was it sparked some nostalgia for my first real mountain bike that was a steel hard tail. As luck would have it, a shiny red VerHauen just showed up for us to review.

At first glance, the VerHauen represents an incredible value and plenty of options for the build. Check out our first look after the break.

Vassago Verhauen 29er (5)

Vassago Verhauen 29er (7) Vassago Verhauen 29er (8)

Sold as frame only, the VerHauen offers enough build options that you should be able to swap over just about any parts you have to build it up. The frame uses a 44mm straight head tube which can be used for 1 1/8″ straight, or 1.125-1.5″ tapered forks. At the back, slider dropouts are offered with ISO or Post Mount 135mm QR, single speed or geared inserts, or 142×12 Shimano or DT Swiss thru axle inserts also in geared or single speed variety for a number of options.

So far, the hardware for the sliders seems like it would be durable enough for some serious abuse without creaking. Of course, the sliders allow you to adjust the effective chainstay length which I did immediately by slamming the wheel forward for the shortest 434mm setting. Just know that when running a front derailleur, there is a potential for the rear tire to rub depending on the size when in the shortest setting.

Vassago Verhauen 29er (10)

Beautiful translucent powder coating matches the beautiful work of Zen Bicycle Fabrications who builds the Verhauen for Vassago out of True Temper OX platinum air hardened steel. In only a few rides, the bicycle’s finish has attracted a lot of positive comments and attention.

The VerHauen uses a standard 27.2mm seatpost, that is held in place with a stainless steel seat tube insert to prevent the seat tube from rusting.

Vassago Verhauen 29er (11) Vassago Verhauen 29er (2)

A standard 73mm BSA bottom bracket is straight forward and hassle free, again allowing for easy builds and part transfers.

The Vassago VerHauen runs on the large side, with our small test bike measuring a 16″ seat tube, and 23.6″ ETT. If you’re concerned about the Large (20″) not being big enough, make sure to check out the geometry chart and compare the ETT to other bikes.

As for a build, our test bike showed up with a fairly reasonable build with a Shimano XT 2×10 drivetrain, 100mm RockShox Reba fork, XT Trail brakes, Sun Ringle Black Flag Pro wheels, Maxxis Ikon tires, and FSA SLK carbon bar and seatpost. You could certainly build a lighter bike, but for an incredibly trail worthy machine, the 24.56lb (11.14kg) weight is more than acceptable.

Depending on the options, VerHauen frames can be had for as little as $999. So far, based on what we’ve seen, it’s a steal.

 

Comments

Ryan - 08/14/13 - 5:52pm

Mmmmmmm, would make a sexy SS rigid.

Mat Long - 08/14/13 - 5:54pm

Love Vassago. Great product, great price. Can’t wait to get my Optimus Ti !!!!

Lee - 08/14/13 - 11:01pm

I think I have found a replacement for my 7 year old Voodoo Dambala

Matt - 08/15/13 - 3:52am

Not sure what size frame is in the picture but it looks really nicely proportioned, better than most 29ers. Wheel base looks pretty long though.

Alb - 08/15/13 - 5:53am

Any idea what that paint finish is called? Sort of like a coloured clearcoat where you can still see the weld burn marks at the joints.

MulletRacer - 08/15/13 - 9:49am

I kinda want one, but I already have an Optimus which rides awesome!

Murphy - 08/15/13 - 10:07am

I’m really glad they got their shit together, because I LOVE my Chupacabra, and someday I’ll probably build another Vassago. This is one pretty bike!

Alphaadam - 08/15/13 - 10:51am

Nice build with the upside down Bontrager stem face plate. It follows the same rule as race number 13.

evil - 08/15/13 - 10:56am

We built a sm with a Whiskey carbon fork rigid at 22lb!

larsv - 08/15/13 - 12:04pm

I’d like that color in a jar :-)

kurti_sc - 08/15/13 - 12:40pm

hey commentator – what is meant by a ss insert in the seat tube?
is the ss insert somehow joined to the seat tube, or just clamped in place with the collar?
also, just FYI, if you are using this bike or anyother with ss tubing, you need to be diligent with keeping your alu seatpost lubed. the galvanic potential between alu and ss is greater than with other low carbon steel alloys. It’s probably a good option to run a carbon post anyway.

Zach Overholt - 08/15/13 - 12:55pm

@kurti_sc, your comment made me go out to the bike and do some investigating. It looks like insert (Vassago’s term) might not be the best description. It appears that the top of the seat tube is a stainless piece of tubing welded to the rest of the bike at the top tube/seat stay/seat tube junction. You can feel a lip on the inside of the frame there, and the top of the seat tube is not magnetic, like the rest of the bike. You can see the horizontal weld on the seat tube right in the middle of the top tube, in the close up of the seat tube. The inner diameter of the steel tubing is larger than the inner diameter of the stainless section, so the post is only touching the stainless piece.

Tom - 08/15/13 - 1:33pm

Alb – I’m no expert but I think this style of finish is called “candy.” Which usually has a bottom coat that is metallic, followed by coat(s) of translucent color. In this case they didn’t use a bottom coat, since the bare metal is already metallic, so the changes in color from welding are allowed to show through. I love it.

Tom Servo - 08/15/13 - 1:37pm

This post really piqued my curiosity. After looking over their website, I am VERY interested in any reviews. Their approach to 29ers seems pretty unique

Darren - 08/15/13 - 3:55pm

@ Lee, I am riding my Voddoo, as well mostly SS and Rigid, I really like that bike, hate the sliders. I will keep using mine til it rusts out. This looks like a good option though.

wunnspeed - 08/16/13 - 5:05am

Strangely, I find the comment that you don’t normally like hard tails or 29′ers to be more interesting than the bike which, by the way, seems quite nice aside from the sliders (BEER EBB or swingers are the way to go now). Of course, I have ridden rigid hardtail singlespeeds for most of the last 15 years other than when I was reviewing bikes for one of the big 29′er review sites. Anyway… thanks for the review.

ScottO - 08/16/13 - 11:29am

Tom – the description says translucent powdercoat, so most likely not multiple paint layers.

Jery - 08/17/13 - 10:04pm

Which WTB Saddle is that??

Rohan - 08/20/13 - 6:50pm

Make a 650B version and I’ll buy one.

bin judgin - 09/05/13 - 11:02am

I really really wish this was 30.9 seat tube so that it could be fitted with a dropper post.

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