While not brand new after being introduced at Interbike last year, the WTF just recently became available and it’s time to change it up. Perhaps the most attention grabbing aspect of the Van Dessel WTF, or Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is the wild new paint job. The WTF is just that, Whatever The F*** you want it to be. Geared 29’r mountain bike? Single speed drop bar cross bike? Internal geared hub eccentric commuter? You name it, you can probably set up the WTF to do it. All of that versatility with the added bonus of oozing retro cool with the twin arced top tube design (for which I feel credit must be given to the guys who have been doing twin top tube designs for years, Retrotec Cycles. I’m guessing that the Van Dessel WTF will be made overseas, and will result in a much cheaper bike, but if you like the design and want to shell out the cash for a made-in-the-US beauty, give Retrotec a call).
With that out of the way, the WTF is an incredibly cool bike that screams look at me with the loud green paint. Honestly, I’m not much of a fan of yellow, however, on the WTF it just seems to work.
Want to see the other WTF setups? How about the changes to the Ramble Tamble, or perhaps the soon to be replacement for the Jersey Devil? All of this after the break!
This WTF setup could be called Van Dessel’s monster crosser, due to the enormous 700 x 45 Panaracer Fire Cross tires. In fact the WTF can fit up to 700 x 52c tires, or 29 x 2.1 if you’re countin. Clearly compatible with road cranks, this seems like it would be a good alternative to a cross bike if someone wasn’t planning on racing.
Same frame, different bike! Single speed, flat bar, 29’r which looks fast yet should stay pretty comfy due to the steel frame’s ride characteristics. The guys at the Van D booth said the frame won’t be light, but that’s not the point. You can definitely build it up as a light weight, but the idea is for a comfortable, capable, beast of a bike.
Standard drop outs at the back must mean…..
An eccentric bottom bracket up front. The WTF retains the same four bolt eccentric bottom bracket that the Ramble Tamble used to have (more on that later). Of course this means you can run single speed or geared, and you wouldn’t be able to run a belt drive. However, Van Dessel thought of that too and incorporated a single sneaky bolt in the drive side seat stay that hides a split in the frame allowing you to belt drive it to your heart’s content. The EBB will help to keep costs down, as the WTF is going to be one of Van Dessel’s cheaper frames. Also take note that the WTF has the necessary cable stops to run internally geared hubs, a needed touch on a bike that can do almost everything.
Going back to the beautiful swooping twin top tube. The design is very retro, yet with modern geometry it should make for a good ride.
The Van Dessel Ramble Tamble has been their 29’r single speed capable racer for awhile, yet this year it receives some pretty major changes. The newest Ramble Tamble sees some tubing changes, but perhaps the most interesting is the axing of the eccentric bottom bracket.
Instead of an eccentric, the RT gets a new rear end that is not only adjustable to retain single speediness, it is also split on the drive side to allow for belt drives. As a mechanic that has seen plenty of EBB headaches, I am happy that it seems that the industry is trending away from them. The new dropouts seem to rotate on an elipse via the small adjusting screw inside the frame triangle. Adjustment is done with the bolts loose, then once the adjustment is made the bolts are tightened up.
Last but definitely not least is the Interstellar Overdrive, which is still in its development stages. When it is finished, it will replace their current 29 inch full suspension bike, the Jersey Devil. According to Van Dessel, they learned quite a bit with the suspension design on the Jersey and want to make sure the Interstellar is the full suspension 29’r that everyone is looking for. More on the Interstellar Overdrive when it’s available!