Van Dessel Sports Straight Up X 7 2002 Cruiser Bike

USER REVIEWS

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[Aug 24, 2003]
fy'ntik
Recreational Rider

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5

Great bike for getting around town. An absolute steal at the price I paid. Drop-dead simplistic with one shifter, coaster brake, Nexus 7 speed hub and an ever-perfect chainline. What's not to like? The gearing is a little steep but easily adjustable with a quick chainring swap. But for a get-around bike, I can likely live happily with a grind up and occassional steep hill. The Nexus hub should be up for the effort as long as I am. Theft proof? I convinced myself and my wife that despite this bike's scream for attention (it's hard not to notice it, isn't it???) I can lock it up and feel fairly secure it'll be there when I get back. Really, as long as the frame and wheels are secure, there's not much else to steal: No brakes, derailleurs, and only one cheap twist shifter useless to anyone without a Nexus. No-name seat, post, bars and stem. Let's hope no one is interested! :) Horizontal drops with bolt-on (non-QR) axle mean I have to add a 15mm wrench to my tool bag. Sears sells a Craftsman "stubby" combination wrench that, at only 4" long, fits nicely in my tool pouch. Nexus hub makes breaking down the bike to fit in a car trunk a little challenging. Van Dessel left enough excess cable & housing to provide for some slack so the wheel can be "flopped over" with the hub still connected to the single shifter cable. The Nexus isn't quite as smooth shifting as the Rohloff Speedhub, but good enough for what it is (and for what it cost). Indexing is at the shifter, so some cable tuning is called for. The coaster brakes work surprisingly well. I haven't had coasters since I was a kid on a Huffy with yellow mag wheels. The thought has crossed my mind that if my chain goes, my brakes go, so chain maintenance and inspection is a high priority. The fork includes a mounting hole for a BMX type caliper brake; Van Dessel lists the caliper and lever as a $13 extra on their website. I'm thinking about it, but on the other hand I used to do some crazy stuff as a kid and never had a coaster brake problem. As an alternative, Shimano makes a lever operated drum brake that's an accessory to the Nexus. With the coaster brakes, I can't back-pedal at a stoplight to reset a good starting position. The ability to shift at a standstill partially makes up for this, but it's something to think about while braking to a stop. Front and rear rack mounts for added carrying capacity.

Similar Products Used:

Rohloff Speedhub, which is superior to the Nexus in most ways but would be 2x overkill for this bike.

[Mar 19, 2003]
dvollandt
Recreational Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

The key to this bike is the rear hub “Shimano Nexus 7 speed Coaster brake”. Perfect for the city. Jam it in any gear, any time, pedaling or not with total confidence. I even shift while accelerating hard out of the saddle. The alignment markers on the hub make adjusting bone head easy. The coaster brake takes some getting used to, but works well and is dependable when riding in wet weather. I went ahead and added a front V brake for extra stopping power though. The rear S shaped seat stays, 700 wheels and carbon (upgrade) really help take the edge of the harsh Manhattan streets. The mustache handle bars are comfortable. Some say they are too narrow. I find this useful in though when going trough tight spaces.

Weakness:

the paint scratches easily , also the color ( bright red). I am consiereing stripping the paint and going with that industrial gray look of raw aluminum.

This is a good city bike. I use it for exercise and general transportation.

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