Van Dessel 700c disc suspension fork
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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Van Dessel 700c disc suspension fork

    Alas, another new thread from the previous custom bike porn... The Van Dessel suspension fork!

    I came upon this fork by chance last year and picked it up on the cheap, so I figured that I might as well give it a shot. I'd previously had a 700c Manitou on my KHS CX100 before the I upgraded to discs. I simply wasn't happy with the Manitou's rigidity (or lack thereof) at high speeds on the road - it was a bit scary to get that wobble at speed. I tried to find and old school AC brace to stiffen up the manitou with no luck, but I really wanted to switch to discs as well, so I knew the manitou had to go.

    I found the Van Dessel fork for sale new, described just as a generic headshok. It was cheap, so I gave it a shot. First thing I did was tear it apart to get at the innards and see what the story was. Very basic single coil design with adjustable prepload. It has two tiny screws that are supposed to take any looseness out of the steering. They're extremely sensitive - a half turn too much and the shock binds up, a half turn too loose and it feels like your headset is trashed... And you have to pull the fork to adjust them! But once set, it's fine.

    Overall, I'm quite pleased with the fork on my bike. It is significantly lighter than the Manitou - somewhere around 2 1/2 pounds I think - not bad for a suspension fork. The Preload is adjustable via sticking a 5mm allen key into the steerer - cleverly accessable since the top cap uses a 6mm key, so you can almost adjust on the fly. I've been debating rigging a knob on top, a la cannondale. We'll see how that goes...

    I've gotta head to work, but I will be very happy to entertain any questions!
    Cheers,
    -tom
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  2. #2

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    Another thread! Huzzah!

    I'm definitely getting more interested in the fork now--obviously the KHS will never be a big-hit machine, but that fork plus the softtail should really eat all the road buzz.

    Is the fork designed so that it doesn't do anything funky to the geometry?

    I've got an e-mail into Van Dessel regarding availability; if anyone's interested in their response, let me know.

    Thanks for the info....

  3. #3
    NeoRetroGrouch
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    Feb 2004
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    6,491

    Real brakes and thumbies...

    Nice job!

    TF
    "Don't those guys know they're old?!!"
    Me, off the back, at my first 50+ road race.

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