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.
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.
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.
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.