Featured Bike: Vincent Kendziora’s Van Dessel WTF (Whiskey Tango Foxtrot)

VanDesselWTF-Vincent-2015-1This isn’t the first time a Van Dessel Cycles WTF (Whiskey Tango Foxtrot) had been seen on the pages of Gravel Cyclist. We first ogled the swoopy lines of the WTF at 2015 Interbike in Las Vegas. Without doubt, this example is the coolest and most high tech Van Dessel WTF we have laid eyes upon.

VanDesselWTF-Vincent-2015-3The bike’s owner, Vincent Kendziora, was looking for an all-round bike that could be ridden anywhere. But, he was looking for something different – BIG tire (tyre) clearance – 29’er / 2.1″ in the case of the Van Dessel WTF, cyclocross type geometry, the ability to run drop bars and support for a variety of drivetrains.

HUGE tire (tyre) clearance + Gates carbon drive.

Vincent chose a drivetrain you don’t see too often on gravel or Monster CX rigs – Gates Carbon belt drive paired with Shimano Alfine Di2 electronic shifting. Originally designed for city and commuter bikes, Alfine Di2 features 11 different gear ratios (0.527 – 2.153), with most everything for the system contained inside the rear hub. The Alfine Di2 system does not make for a lightweight bike, with the rear wheel as built weighing over 5lbs!


VanDesselWTF-Vincent-2015-13The Shimano Di2 battery on Vincent’s bike resides inside the seatpost, but his mechanic got creative with the normally-resides-beneath-the-bottom-bracket external B junction box – it now resides where a third water bottle would be located.

TRP’s excellent HY/RD calipers front and rear with IceTech rotors.

VanDesselWTF-Vincent-2015-15The core of the Gates Carbon Drive system is the CenterTrack belt. This 11-mm pitch carbon-fiber belt is stronger than a traditional bicycle chain without the need for regular lubrication.

VanDesselWTF-Vincent-2015-2 Purists may argue about drag penalty of belt drive versus a regular chain – JOM believes there is no drag penalty – the lads at Gates have run laboratory tests to prove this. Regardless, you cannot deny an Alfine Di2 belt drive bike may be the perfect setup for crushing gravel in totally disgusting conditions. Can you say Southern Cross 2015, Land Run 100 2015 or Dirty Kanza 2015?

Di2 battery resides inside the seatpost.
Belt tension is adjusted with the eccentric bottom bracket.
L to R: Bell, Alfine Di2 control box, Bontract Transmitr remote.

The innovative features on this bike do not end at the drivetrain. Like many of us, Vincent likes to ride at night time, and has kitted out his WTF with Bontrager’s Transmitr remote lights system. Consisting of two Bontrager Ion 700 RT forward facing lights and one Bontrager Flare RT tail light, these USB rechargeable lights are controlled with the ANT+ protocol courtesy of the system’s Transmitr remote – Vincent’s forward and rear facing lights can be turned on and off / modes adjusted from the handlebar – how convenient is that!


Swoopy lines.
Swoopy lines.

Not a svelte machine tipping the scales at 27lbs, Vincent’s Van Dessel Cycles WTF is built for comfy speed with a plethora of modern conveniences. We LOVE it!


Vincent Kendziora’s Van Dessel Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

VanDesselWTF-Vincent-2015-12Frame: Van Dessel Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, double butted steel.
Fork: Van Dessel Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, double butted steel.
Headset: FSA.
Seatpost: Shimano Vibe Pro.
Saddle: Bontrager Montrose Elite.
Wheelset: Alfine Di2 rear hub, Bontrager front hub, Stans ZTR Flow EX tubeless rims.
Tyres: Kenda Small Block Eight Pro, 29″ x 1.9″, tubeless.
Handlebars: Shimano Vibe Pro.
Stem: Shimano Vibe Pro.
Shifters: Shimano Alfine Di2 11-speed.
Derailleurs: N/A – Shimano Alfine Di2 internal gear hub with 28 tooth rear cog.
Crankset: Gates Carbon Drive, 55 teeth.
Bottom Bracket: Problem Solvers Eccentric.
Pedals: Crank Brothers.
Cassette: N/A.
Brakes: TRP HY/RD with Shimano IceTech rotors.
Bottle Cages: Brand X Plastic / Carbon.

Van Dessel Cycles WebsiteFacebook Page


  1. K-Dogg K-Dogg

    Off the charts with coolness!
    Now if they could only knock 5-6 pounds off I’d hock my Prius…..

    • JOM JOM

      I’d go with some lighter wheels… American Classic Race 29’er!

  2. Avatar Kyle

    So how does it ride with the Alfine and Gates?

    • JOM JOM

      Hopefully the owner will chime in to answer your question…

    • Avatar Vincent Kendziora

      It ride super quite. If it was not for the hum of the nobs on the tires the bike would be silent. The gates drive is great in crappy conditions just hose it off. The big trade off is weight. Total bike comes in at 29 lbs and most of it from the rear wheel. However I get a great gear range with the internal hub. At gear one, I can spin like mad or go up a hard climb in relative comfort. At gear 11, I can push to 30 mph on a flat with hard effort.

  3. Avatar James

    Hi – an impressive bike. I have the same with a different but great build. I’m interested to know how you find the lights – what brackets are you using for the forks? What type of crank brothers are they, a lastly, who makes the bell, it’s great!!

    • Avatar Vincent Kendziora

      Thanks James,
      I like the lights a lot. I usually run them at the lowest steady setting for night rides. That is 200lm and I can get a 6 hour ride in no problem (only did that once) on a single charge. The brackets are Problem Solvers Braze On Light Mount. The pedals are Crank Brothers Candy 3’s I believe, definitely the Candy line though. As for the bell that is from Spurcycle.com. I love the bell. Has a very refined look and it is loud and distinct like you need it to be. Plus it mounts very securely. Not cheap though, but I have never had a better bell.

      • Avatar TimH

        I just ordered the problem solvers parts for my Niner RLT 9 RDO. Thanks!

  4. Avatar TimH

    What are those mounts for the lights attached to the fork. I must have this awesomeness on my bike.


    • Avatar Vincent Kendziora

      Hey Tim,
      The mounts are Problem Solvers Blaze On Light Mounts

  5. Avatar Scott Hevert

    Hi Vincent,

    Such a gorgeous WTF it inspired me to buy the frame & fork and build my own. I see from the specs you run the Alfine close to 2:1 (55×28). Was hoping you could confirm the Gates CDX belt length and frame size? Mine is a 56cm and I am thinking about trying the belt setup. Thanks!

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