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  1. Hi Guys, our new website and marketing is in the works but here are some sneak previews of SOME of our new 2019 models. our dealers will be getting updated arrival and pricing within the next 2 weeks. please see our website for a list of dealers in your area. as those of you who have joined our newsletter will already know , we are expanding our GRAVEL range from 2 models to 4 ... we are also bringing back a CARBON 29er hardtail option ... Models shown: 2019 GP500 2019 SL729
  2. The team is financially backed by the premium South African carbon fibre bicycle wheels manufacturer, Darkhorse Wheels and brokerage Tuttle Insurance Brokers (TIB). “The new team won’t be just any other professional mountain bike team” commented Shaun-Nick Bester, “because the team will be in collaboration with Bester Performance coaching academy creating a feeder platform for young aspiring school athletes which ultimately will be incorporated into the professional team once they have developed the physical and mental skills needed for racing at an elite level” Said Bester. The new signings of Team Darkhorse Wheels will consist of Shaun-Nick Bester from Pretoria and Kzn based Andrew Hill. Shaun-Nick Bester, a prominent ex-professional road cyclist, who competed on the professional European circuit, switched to the mountain bike in October 2017. It was on the gravel where he quickly raced onto the podium and placed 3rd overall at Tour de Plett in his first MTB race. After a successful introduction, Shaun-Nick continued his successes solidifying 19 victories in 2018 including the overall series win for the Nissan Trailseeker marathon series. The other signing for the team is Andrew Hill. Hill is an experienced professional mountain biker specialising in stage racing and the longer marathon events. Andrew’s notable consistency over the years has culminated in many dependable results. A highlight from Hill was a 3rd on the African Jersey competition at the ABSA Cape Epic in 2014 (placing 11th overall). Along with qualifying for the World Mountain bike marathon championships, his results include an overall Win at the UCI Lesotho sky in 2018 racking up a total of 16 victories for the season. The tried and tested pair has teamed up on numerous podium successful occasions in 2018. “We have great synergy in our riding capabilities; especially where our strengths are very well matched” Commented Hill. “It also helps that we get along very well, which is probably the most underrated aspect of multi-day stage racing” Said Bester. Shaun-Nick Bester (left) and Andrew Hill cross the finish line first at the Zuurberg Mountain Village on the opening stage of the three-day 2018 PwC Great Zuurberg Trek mountain-bike race. Picture: Full Stop Communications. The team’s calendar will include all of the major and high publicity mountain bike stage races and one-day classics including: - ABSA Cape Epic - Cape Pioneer Trek - Tankwa Trek - joBerg2c - sani2c - Berg and Bush - Great Zuurberg Trek - Nissan Trailseeker series - S.A. Marathon championships Other partners include: - Momsen bikes - Biogen - VYE cycling apparel - Uvex safety wear - Ryders eyewear
  3. Arguably our biggest bike project to date --- the new VIPA ULTRA will be hitting the local trails shortly. Following it's debut at the 2018 CAPE EPIC, the new bike has seen 6 months of added refinement ( on top of the 18 months of design and development ) as well as extensive riding and testing in South Africa. Rider feedback and real-world feedback have resulted in various refinements and tweaks to those first bikes debuted in March. The new and final frames are expected next month ( August 2018 ). We will be launching a dedicated website and portal for all things ULTRA.
  4. A new company, Morewood Bikes (Pty) Ltd, has been formed that will give the South African-based mountain bike brand, Morewood Bikes, a new range and a fresh focus on it’s primary bike categories of Gravity and Trail. The new company is owned by Richard Carter, Morewood Bikes co-founder and Victor Momsen, founder of Momsen Bikes, another successful South African mountain bike brand. Click here to view the article
  5. The first model from Morewood Bikes was completed in 1996 and the brand will celebrate the start of its third decade with a new range that includes a new suspension platform. It will also move from being a frame-only brand to also offering complete bikes. The Morewood brand was developed in the downhill racing arena, the ultimate testing ground for mountain bike suspension performance and frame geometry. Morewood still has a strong presence in the downhill market, particularly in Europe, with plans to expand in 2017. Photo: Whippart “We know we’ve been a bit quiet since we released the Makulu 27.5 at Eurobike in 2013, but much has still been going on behind the scenes,” said Carter. “The market has changed rapidly over the past three years, especially in terms of wheel size (diameter and width) as well as a blurring of lines between traditional industry ‘standards’. This has put a lot of pressure on all the smaller brands to develop and adapt in order to stay relevant. “While there have been some changes at Morewood Bikes, the core team has remained in place and we have been working hard on an exciting new suspension platform on which several new models will be based,” added Carter. The Morewood Makulu is the ‘big daddy’ of the Morewood stable, offering 27.5-inch wheels, 203mm of rear suspension travel and second generation Stable Pivot Interface and Low Leverage Advantage design. “The bike industry has changed significantly in terms of bike categories, marketing and retail strategy. We knew we could not continue to be successful as essentially a frame-only brand. We needed to evolve into a complete bike brand and offer product that was suitable for the local (South African) market, and not just focus on export markets as we have done historically,” said Carter. “I’m excited to invest in the future and growth of Morewood Bikes, a mountain bike brand for discerning riders that’s achieved high levels of credibility both in South Africa and internationally over the past 20 years,” said Momsen. “There are a number of synergies between Morewood Bikes and my own brand, but the most significant is that they’re both South African brands competing with foreign brands operating within the local (South African) and international markets. “This is an exciting time to be in the mountain bike market – so many new technologies and trends are shaping the bikes we design and ride. Whilst the Momsen brand is known for our Marathon and Cross-country offerings, the Morewood brand has a reputation for producing bespoke Gravity and Trail-oriented bikes. “By combining our resources and ideas, this partnership will allow both brands to leverage their respective strengths whilst maximising our resources and creative energies. Richard and I have known each for a long time and I am excited to help re-position the Morewood brand in the local and global market,” said Momsen. All-mountain and Trail are the categories that Morewood will be expanding its current model offerings into with a new suspension design. Expect to see more Morewood models in the growing Enduro racing scene in 2017. Photo: Gary Perkin The factory has been relocated and the Morewood Bikes brand has plans to continue with the manufacture of certain new models in South Africa. The core focus will still be on creating high quality mountain bikes in the mid-to-big suspension travel categories. The new range of Morewood bikes will be launched prior to the annual Eurobike Show in Germany in September 2016. To get some early insight into the new designs and models, like the Morewood Bikes Facebook page and follow @Morewoodbikes on twitter. For more on Morewood Bikes, visit www.morewoodbikes.com.
  6. Update: Geometry chart and additional info added. Skip to the update Marco Joubert's Momsen VIPA Ultra. The decals are one off for the Absa Cape Epic only. The final production colours will be different. Details from Momsen Bikes around the new Ultra bike have been scarce but it is clear from looking at the bikes that the geometry has undergone a complete redesign. The prototype Ultra looks to have been heavily influenced by modern geometry trends appearing much longer and slacker compared to the current VIPA. Unfortunately, we don't have exact numbers yet but sitting on the medium frames the bike felt generously sized. On top of geometry changes, the Ultra boasts all the new standards you'd expect with Boost axle spacing and a metric sized trunnion mounted shock. Two-by drivetrains appear to be an option on the Ultra with the provision of a front derailleur mount. There are two storage compartments concealed within the frame, one in the extended top tube / down tube junction at the head tube and the other at the base of the down tube below the bottle cage. The covers for the integrated storage compartments are still being finished, so the team will be using trusty duct tape instead. Marco and Dylan are riding with Factory Series Fox suspension. A boost 32 SC fork in front while a trunnion mounted Float DPS shock controls the rear. It looks like there is a flip chip on the top tube shock mount for adjustable geometry. And there is space for two 750ml water bottle on these medium sized frames. Both Marco and Dylan are riding SRAM XX1 Eagle drivetrains but with absoluteBLACK chainrings. Both riders are on Stan's carbon wheels, Marco riding the ZTR Podium SRD and Dylan using the ZTR Valor. The team is riding Continental tyres with the Cross King on front and Race King on the back. The cockpit features Farr's Endurance carbon handlebar measuring 720 mm and features ergonomic protrusion allowing the riders some relief. The production Ultra is set to use 40 mm stems and Dylan and Marco have opted for the same in the Cape Epic. Both riders are using Shimano brakes with Marco on XTR and Dylan on XT. The first productions frames are said to arriving in July. Specification list: FrameVIPA Ultra Prototype, Medium SizeForkFox Float 32 SC, Factory Series, Kashima, Boost 110, Remote LockoutShockFox Float DPS 2019 Factory Series, Trunnion, 185RimsStan’s ZTR Podium SRD Carbon (Marco), Stan’s ZTR Valor Carbon (Dylan)HubsStan’s Neo Boost, 110 Front, 148 RearSpokes + NipplesSapim 1.8/1.5/1.8 (Marco), DT Swiss 2.0/1.8/2.0 (Dylan)Front TyreContinental Cross King 29 ProTection Series with Stan’s RACE SealantRear TyreContinental Race King 29 ProTection Series with Stan’s RACE SealantHandlebarFarr Endurance Carbon, 720mm WideGripsMomsen Design SiliconeStemVIPA Ultra 40mm, 31.8HeadsetMomsen Integrated 42/52SeatpostKCNC 31.6 (Marco), Momsen Carbon 31.6 (Dylan)SaddleRitchey (Marco), Selle Italia (Dylan)BrakesShimano XTR (Marco), Shimano XT (Dylan)Brake rotorShimano 160 Front and RearShiftersSram Eagle XX1Rear derailleurSram Eagle XX1CassetteSram Eagle XX1 10-50TCrank armsSram Eagle XX1 Boost, 175ChainringabsoluteBLACKChainSram Eagle XX1Bottom BracketSram GXP ThreadedPedalsShimano XTR (Marco), Look S-Track (Dylan)Bike computerWahoo ElemntBottle cagesLezyne Flow SL [anchor=update][/anchor]Update We attended a media launch of the Momsen Vipa Ultra at Imbuko Wines in Wellington on 23 March 2018. Victor Momsen gave us a tour of the new bike, one of the three prototypes that currently exist. Some key updates we had not touched on in the initial Bike Check: Updated to 100mm travel (current Vipa has 80mm of travel) Flip chip to adjust geometry to better suit stage racing or XCO Threaded 73mm bottom bracket Integrated dual bottle cage capability (the current Vipa requires an adaptor) The frame geometry has had an overhaul and most notably sees the head angle slacken off from 70.5 degrees to 68.5 degrees while the seat tube angle is 0.5 degrees steeper at 74 degrees (based on a 100mm fork with the flip chip in the "front" position). The top tube has been stretched out to 610mm and the head tube chopped down to 90mm (from 115mm) to keep the front end low. The frame has also been stiffened through the use of Torayca T1000 around the head tube and bottom bracket with a combo of T800 and T700 across the rest of the frame. From initial frame tests this has improved stiffness by 52% in the headtube and 13% in the bottom bracket. The other obvious touches are the two integrated storage compartments. The top compartment is intended for your bars, gels, etc. which you may want access to on the move. The lower compartment is suited to items like tools, tubes, and bombs keeping the weight lower. An early 3D Printed prototype cover: Momsen is testing ideas for the covers having taken some inspiration from the triathlon market. Vipa Ultra Geometry - 100mm Fork (Medium Frame) Vipa Ultra Geometry - 120mm Fork (Medium Frame)
  7. Among the updates are a new kids bike lineup, freshly refined colourways across the range and of course the Gravel bike announced recently. The other new arrival, the Vipa Trail, will be available as a complete build option in 2018. And amid the mass of bikes on show we spotted a prototype carbon hardtail e-bike sporting a Shimano drive system. Vipa Race "Vipa Race" is the new title for the original Vipa marathon / cross-country bike most will be familiar with. From first glance the more subtle approach to the colour schemes is obvious and smaller design details do well to finish off the look. Vipa Trail We're no strangers to the Vipa Trail having recently built up and reviewed one. For 2018, we'll see two complete build options in two colourways: black, yellow and orange or black, red and white. Gravel bikes Momsen R355 The brand new carbon gravel offering from Momsen and it's all about Gravel Plus. Plus you say? Not another standard, but rather points to the bikes ability to accomodate multiple wheel and tyre sizes: road (700 x 28-40C) and mountain bike (27.5 x 2.1 or 29 x 2.1).The standard build doesn't include the Lauf fork pictured below, but is equipped with a SRAM 1x11 drivetrain, Stan's ZTR Grail wheels with through axels on both. We've got an R355 at Bike Hub HQ - watch this space for the review. Momsen GP300 This alloy gravel bike should offer good value, but don't expect the suspension fork to come standard. Much like the Lauf on the carbon option, the Fox AX fork was just a show piece. AL29 series Momsen's AL29 series sees a slick new paint job for 2018 and all models now sport their L.S.G. approach to geometry. The new lineup looks sharp and professional. The AL29 range are impressively all equipped with tubeless ready wheels and tyres as standard. Junior series and kids bikes Momsen JSL60c A race-ready carbon 26er kids bike. 26 aint dead! Momsen JSL alloy options. Momsen JR16 keeping things fun. New range of Momsen balance bikes for the little ones Return of the ST-R (and intro to the ST-F) Momsen have refreshed their "ST-R" steel hardtail frame, now available with a Tange Sliding Dropout for single speed or geared use (ST-R) or as a fixed dropout option for geared use only (ST-F). Take a look at the custom ST-R we built up back in 2014 and the latest custom ST-F in 2017. Prototype e-bike Something new on the horizon? The team at Momsen were enthusiastic about the future of e-bikes, but were mum on too many details about when we will see a production version of something electric.The prototype features the Shimano STEPS system for e-mountain bikes, including a 250W power-assist drive unit, 504Wh battery, control switch and display. We'll provide full details on the 2018 range as we get the official info.
  8. The Momsen VIPA Trail is a 120 mm travel race orientated trail bike launched in the wake of the success of its more race oriented brother, the 80mm VIPA marathon/ cross-country bike. I put this proudly South African bike through its paces over the past weeks, heading from my local trails in Paarl to the open gravel roads of the Karoo to help shed some light on what could be the ideal all round do-it-all race rig. Frame In their own words, Momsen set out to build ‘a bike that makes you feel younger and faster no matter the terrain’. To achieve this they’ve settled on a 120mm frame capable of handling 2.4 inch tyres and up to 130mm of travel up front. The Trail is offered in fours sizes from Small to X-Large. At first, I was skeptical of the Large frame I was given to test (I’m 176mm tall). However, the compact geometry of the Trail featuring a moderate 1149 mm wheelbase, a shortish reach of 422 mm and a suitably slack head angle of 67.8 degrees, the Large frame fitted like a glove. The test rig featured an 65 mm stem. The VIPA Trail may share a measure of aesthetic qualities with the Specialized Camber, but some aspects of the Trail’s geometry are more in line with racing bikes than the trail family: making it accessible to a wider audience. This positions the Trail nicely as an all round bike capable of competing at the sharp end with relative ease, as well as allowing you to spend a fun day out on the trails. In terms of looks, Momsen pulled off a badass paint job that made me want to ride the bike fast even while walking past it at night. The contour details could possibly have stayed in 2016 though. Momsen has paid exceptional attention to detail with the Trail’s cable management system and beefy (but not overly so) pivots, and beautiful linkage which is similar to the original VIPA. The Trail even features routing provisions for Shimano’s electronic Di2 drivetrain. Something that Momsen always seem to get right is their choice in suspension. In the rear, you have a 120mm Fox Float EVol (Extra Volume) shock. An all purpose shock that is capable of handling very big hits but still locks the rear out in the truest sense of the term: the perfect addition to a racing trail bike. Up front the tried and tested 120mm Pike makes light work of rocks, roots, and drops with its bottomless plush feel. This fork is simply brilliant. The suspension setup of the Trail paired with the custom tuned Fox shock makes for a very efficient experience on both the uphills and the downhills, with a progressive stroke throughout the travel. A feature I’d like to see in future editions of this bike would be the addition of a second bottle cage, something we’re all starting to expect from dual suspension marathon bikes. I hear you saying that this is not a marathon bike but hang in there, we’ll get to the ride review. The Ride By calling it the Trail you might unfairly assume (myself included) that the Trail would climb like a rock and make you descend like Mr. Min on a Santa Cruz V10. But no. In fact, head to head against a dedicated trail bike: something like the YT Jeffsy, the Trail stands little to no chance. It is when you climb that the Trail feels refreshingly familiar and sheds light on the possibility of a new era for 120mm marathon bikes. Especially in South Africa where the go-to bike for any stage race seems to be 100mm dedicated race bike. My first rides on the Trail were naturally to test how much faster I could ride downhill, and it comes as no surprise that the Trail moves on the downhills. It makes light work of technical terrain and where you’d expect to feel a little uncomfortable on your typical XC dual suspension, the Trail, with it’s added 20 millimetres of suspension as ammo, sails right through. The bike has an inherent ability to add confidence to your usual downhill approach, and allowed me to hit road gaps and drops usually out of mind: but that is what 20% more travel can do. To top it off, the Trail is well balanced with its relatively low center of gravity and well placed rear suspension. It was on my way back up of from my ever faster downhill runs that the true colors of this unique bike came to the fore. On the climbs, I felt at home, much like I would on my Swift Carbon Evil Twin race bike. The Trail, although fitted with wider tyres and a lot more travel easily held it’s own when doing efforts on the climbs which made me realise that the Trail really is a bike built for riding and racing: not just weekend trail days. For some time now I have been asking why so many riders, especially those in the buffalo (90kg and up) category, rock up at races with the wrong bikes, and finally here you have a mountain bike so well fitted to the market that I find myself asking if the Vipa Trail is not the future. Blame local bike shops or good ol’ CEO pride for this, but it’s hard to argue that the 120mm XC Trail doesn’t have a bright future ahead. A race bike with 20% more to give and a lot more added fun. As a ‘proposed’ all round mountain bike, I figured that the Trail should be fairly tested in all scenarios so I took it along on a trip to the Karoo for some gravel grinding. Although not in its element, the Trail was a pleasure to spend some hours on. I did a few three-hour rides on the flat open roads and the compact but slack geometry of the Trail makes for a very comfortable ride, unlike many race rigs, with very little loss of power during some sprint efforts. In the end Over the past 10 years, the South African mountain bike market has enjoyed immense growth with a quick uptake by the market to new technologies such as 29er wheel sizes, 11-speed drive trains and dual suspension bikes. Paired with the healthy competitive spirit of most South Africans and a densely populated racing calendar, it’s not difficult to see why most South Africans are riding lesser travel ‘racing’ bikes. However, with advancements in technologies, lighter parts and improved suspension systems buying the right bike, as opposed to the lightest bike will become more and more important.The VIPA stands as a mountain bike truly fit for service to most, if not any mountain biker, wanting to own one bicycle. The VIPA Trail is essentially a racing bike built for the trails and not a trail bike built for racing which is a bold but almost predictable move by Momsen, a proudly South African brand catering for the local market at its heart. So perhaps they got it exactly right, perhaps the VIPA Trail is where mountain bikes are headed! Specifications: FrameMomsen VIPA TrailForkRockShox Pike RCT3 120mmShockFox Float DPS FactoryRimscSixx 9 SeriesFront tyreMaxxis High RollerRear tyreMaxxis AgressorHandlebarscSixx XCM LO-RISER BAR 750mmStemRace Face Atlas 65mmHeadsetCane CreekBrakesSRAM Guide RSCShifters + cablingSRAM XX1DerailleurSRAM XO1CassetteE thirteen Race 9-46TCranksRace Face Next SLChainringcSixx 34T OvalChainSRAMBottom BracketE thirteenPedalsShimano XT TrailSeatpostRockShox Reverb Stealth, 150mmSaddleSpecialized Power ProBottle cagesSpecialized Zee Cage IIComputer mountK-Edge Adjustable Stem Mount Geometry
  9. The Vipa is Momsen’s cross country marathon bike featuring 80mm of rear travel. The Vipa Two is a full carbon model sitting one notch up from entry-level, effectively replacing the “XT” version from earlier years. Although the frame itself remains largely unchanged, you may notice that this latest iteration has a far cleaner look thanks to the addition of full internal cable routing. While at first, I was admittedly “on the fence” regarding its looks, the boldly contrasting yellow and black colourway of this model has grown on me over my time with it. Specifications For 2017 Momsen made many notable updates to the specification of this model over prior iterations. The new Rockshox SID fork was a welcome change up front, paired with a Fox Float DPS Performance series shock on the rear. The bike also made the move to one-by with the Shimano M8000 11 speed groupset featuring a 32T chainring and 11-46T cassette providing good range. The switch to one-by means the Vipa Two sports the beefier chainstay previously seen on one-by specific models on the higher-end of the lineup. Interestingly, for 2018 the Vipa Two goes back to two-by with a 2x11 Shimano XT drive train. The Momsen Vipa Two is fitted with a sturdier one-by specific chainstay which, along with providing better chainring clearance, should stiffen up the rear end. A final highlight was the Stan’s ZTR Crest Mk3 rims which are wider, lighter, and stiffer than the immensely popular previous generation Crest. I did have some trouble with the free body on the Shimano XT rear hub. From the get go there was lateral play in the freebody which resulted in creaking under load and reduced shifting performance. The simple and relatively inexpensive fix was a freebody replacement and since then they’ve been hassle free. A handful of items on the specification list were a bit less exciting, namely the Momsen branded saddle, seatpost, handlebar, and stem. All of the above are no doubt where Momsen is able to shave some costs and keep the price down, and, from a functionality viewpoint, they all work just fine. However, the yellow theme which generously extends over the component decals just pushed my yellow tolerance that little bit too far. Thankfully the 2018 range has a notably subdued approach to colour which is welcome in my books. Finally, the alloy bar at 700mm was 20mm too narrow for my natural position and I often found myself slipping off the edge of the grips. The narrow bar relative to more recent trends was a bit of an oversight in my mind, but once again it’s something that has been addressed in the 2018 model which sports a 720mm bar. While on the cockpit, the generic looking stem was also out of proportion for my liking, just that little bit too long at 100mm on the large. Again though, it’s also worth noting that the 2018 range features a more aesthetically pleasing alloy stem which is 10mm shorter across the size curve. On the trail With 100 millimetres of travel up front and 80 millimetres in the rear, the Vipa is firmly a cross-country marathon specialist but is still capable on most moderately technical trails. Coming from a Vipa XT, I was naturally at home on the new Vipa Two.It did take some time to dial in the Rockshox SID RL which replaced the Fox Float 32 on earlier versions, and, compared to my old Fox, has a far firmer (and better) feel. A few tuning sessions on my local Tokai trails quickly found the sweet spot. While overall it has performed well and for me a big improvement over the Float 32, the remote lockout is something I’d prefer to do without in favour of clutter free bars. By newer standards, the 70.5 degree head angle might be considered on the steep side, but I’ve found it to be well balanced for a bike in this class. On the Vipa Two I have found I’m often precariously over the front end, but given time and comfort on the Vipa platform in the past, this is definitely more a result of the longer, narrower cockpit than something I’d pin on frame geometry. Although only 2mm wider than the previous generation, the Mk3 Stan’s Crests give a noticeable bulky look to the Vee Rail Tracker 2.2 tyres. The Vee rubber has been an unexpected surprise on the bike. They’re fast rolling, lightweight tires with a tread profile far racier than what I’d usually run. I had expected to be asking for more grip than available, but on balance, the Rail Trackers have impressed in a diversity of conditions. Particularly so in loose dirt over a hard packed surface. The center knobs have taken a bit of a beating over the year and some outer knobs on the front tyre have torn (oddly only on the left side). They’ve done well through the year though, and this could just be a case of reaching end of useful life in terms of mileage. The move to one-by was on trend and, for my tastes, almost a prerequisite on a bike at this specification level. On any one-by set up, gear range will be a point of consideration for most, but with the wider 11-46 cassette the top and bottom offerings have proven comfortable. I did occasionally find the intermediate gearing steps lacking that “just right” balance for tired legs, but for me, it’s a worthwhile compromise for the simplicity of one-by. Interestingly for 2018 the Vipa Race models all revert to two-by, presumably based on dealer and consumer feedback, so perhaps my tastes are less representative of the broader market. First seen on the 2016 Momsen Vipa range, the addition of a second bottle cage within the frame is a welcome convenience for anyone who has had to strap a bottle cage to a seatpost or lug that second bottle around in a droopy pocket. The triangular adaptor which allows a second cage to be fitted to the seat tube below the rocker is a simple, smart and sturdy solution to what seems to be a particularly South African problem. In the end The boldly styled Momsen Vipa Two sports an impressive specification, delivering excellent value as a cross country or stage racing specialist. It is a bike built on a well-proven platform and while I picked out some minor personal gripes with the cockpit, saddle and seatpost, functionally speaking there is nothing that absolutely must be upgraded from the get go, if at all.For those considering a Vipa, if you find a good deal on a 2017 model and like the colourway, the savings could be put towards some weight shaving upgrades or simply back in your pocket. 2017 Momsen VIPA TWO specifications: SizesSmall, Medium, LargeFrameFull Carbon Front Triangle, Full Carbon 1x Rear Triangle, 80mm Rear Wheel Travel, Dual Waterbottle Mount Design ( for Medium and Large Size ), Integrated Toptube Box ( I.T.B )ForkRockShox SID RL, 100mm Travel, ONELOC Remote Lockout, 15mm Thru-Axle LowersRear ShockFox Float DPS, Performance Series, Firm LockoutChainwheelShimano XT M8000 32T for 11 SpeedBottom BracketShimano BB-MT800 PressfitR. DerailleurShimano XT M8000 Shadow Plus for 11 SpeedShifterShimano XT M8000 for 11 SpeedBrake LeversShimano XT M8000 HydraulicBrakesShimano XT M8000 Short Lever / SM-RT81 Centerlock Rotors / 160mm Front and RearCassetteShimano XT M8000 11-46T for 11 SpeedRimsStan’s ZTR Crest Mk3 Tubeless Ready, 32HTiresVee Tire Co. Rail Tracker Custom Logo, 72tpi Folding Bead, 29 x 2.20 Front and RearHandlebarMomsen Oversize Flat Wide Alloy, 700mm, 6 Degree Sweep, 31.8mm OversizeStemMomsen 3D Forged Oval, 31.8mm Oversize ( S – 90mm, M – 100mm, L – 100mm)SeatpostMomsen Alloy, 31.6mmSeatMomsen 2017 Custom, Composite Base, Chromoly RailHeadsetCustom Integrated Taper for VIPAColorsMomsen Yellow/ Matte CarbonChainShimano HG701 for 11 SpeedHubsetShimano XT M8000 Front 15mm Thru-Axle, FH-M8000 Rear 142 x 12mm Thru-AxleSpokesStainless Butted with Alloy NipplesGripsKraton Composite Lock-OnAdvertised Weight11.85kg (Size: Large, Note: excludes pedals)Retail PriceR62,500.00 Find out more: To learn more about the VIPA TWO and other Momsen bikes, visit the Momsen Bikes website here.You can also follow the latest news from Momsen Bikes on the following channels: Facebook - Momsen Bikes Twitter - @MomsenBikes Instagram - @MomsenBikes
  10. So, I am in the fortunate position of being able to wheel a new bike out of the bikeshop. Something which I haven't don't in MANY years. A bit of background, I still race. But not XCO these days anymore, more longer marathons and things like Trans Baviaans. I'm not in the league to win Baviaans, but I still train and try do my best (11-12 hour rider). Earlier this year I cashed out on a small investment and bought a used, dual suspension MTB here on TheHub, 100mm travel front and rear. Great bike actually, super fast offroad. But now father Christmas came around and a *new* bike is a possibility. I have NO idea what to go for though... taking my background into consideration... what would you suggest? The options are the following, as they cost the same. Momsen Vipa Race One http://momsenbikes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/race-one-features-panel.jpg Momsen Vipa Trail One http://momsenbikes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/vipa-trail-one-features-panel.jpg The head says to go for the Race One as I still race, but I already have a "race" bike. The heart is leaning to the Trail....
  11. Frame The Momsen R355 Gravel is a full carbon frame resembling a road bike but shaped to accommodate a variety of wheel and tyres sizes to take the bike beyond the confines of tar. The frame comes with a number of practical touches to make long distance adventures somewhat easier. There is provision for three water bottle mounts. Two inside the front triangle and one on the outside of the downtube. There are also mounts for racks and bags on the seatpost and rear axle.The R355 gravel borrows technology from the mountain bike world. The axles size comes straight out of mountain biking with a 142 mm rear thru axle and 100 mm front thru axle. This allows the R355 to fit a variety of wheel sizes including 700 X 50C, 27.5 X 2.10, and 29 X 2.10. SizingWhen first looking at the centimetre sizing, I was a bit confused by how small the range appeared. However, its is best to ignore that and look to the S/M/L/XL sizing for a better representation. For example, I'm usually a 58 or 59 on road bike measurements but I fit reasonably comfortably on the 54 (Large) R355 frame although one size up would probably have been the sweet spot. Components The Momsen R355 arrives perfectly ready to get stuck in, with a well thought out selection of parts. There are no components that are subpar or necessitate an upgrade, except perhaps a tubeless conversion if your conditions require it.Originally developed for cyclocross racing, SRAM’s single chainring Force1 drivetrain has proven to be versatile across many cycling disciplines including gravel. The Momsen R355 features a SRAM Force crankset, derailleur, and hydraulic brakes/levers. The X1 cassette is borrowed from SRAM’s mountain biking catalogue while the chain has been sourced from KMC. Momsen have elected to go with a 40 tooth chainring and a 10-42 cassette range. The disc brakes are SRAM Force hydraulic with 160mm rotors front and back. The wheelset is Stan’s NoTubes gravel specific ZTR Grail MK3 rims laced with Sapim Force spokes to Neo hubs wrapped in Clement X’Plor MSO 40c tyres. The bike arrives with tubes and this is how I tested it, without suffering any punctures or pinch flats. The cockpit consists of Momsen branded parts. Most interesting is the carbon seatpost which is ovalised near the top to add flexibility to the post. On the large frame the stem is 90 mm with a 44 cm flared handlebars wrapped in shock absorbing bar tape. Momsen R355 Specifications: FrameCarbon Gravel Plus 142 x 12MM Rear Thru-Axle, Internal Cable Routing, Dropper Post Compatibility, Rear Flatmount for discForkFull Carbon, Carbon Steerer, 100 x 12MM Thru-Axle, Disc Only, Flat MountHeadsetMomsen Integrated, Angular Contact BearingCranksetSram Force1 24MM XSYNC 40T (170MM – XS, S) (172.5MM – M, L) (175MM – XL)Rear DerailleurSram Force1 Type 2.1 Long CageShiftersSram Force1 HRD 11-Speed Rear OnlyCassetteSram XG 1180 10-42TBrakesSRAM Force1 DiscRotorsSRAM CLX, 6 Bolt, 160MM Front and RearBottom BracketSram Pressfit GXP Road 86.5/WA91.5RimsStan’s ZTR Grail MK3 28H / 32HSpokesSapim Force BlackFront HubStan’s NEO 28H 12 x 100Rear HubStan’s NEO 32H 142 x 12TyresClement X’Plor MSO 60TPI 700x40c Folding BeadTubes700x40c, Presta ValueHandlebarsMomsen Gravel, Oversize 31.88MM, 40CM (XS) 42CM (S, M) 44CM (L, XL)GripsAnti-Slip, Shockproof TapeStemMomsen 3D Forged Alloy, Oversize 31.8MM, 7 Degree Rise, 80MM (XS, S) 90MM (M,L) 100MM (XL)SaddleMomsen Custom, Cromo Rail, Embossed GraphicsSeatpostMomsen Carbon 27.2MM Comfort / 350MMSeat BinderAlloy 31.8MM CNC GrooveSizesXS (48CM), S (50CM), M (52CM), L (54CM), XL (56CM)Weight (Large)8.6 kgsRRPR52,500 Models and pricingThe above build is currently the only model in the R355 range. The recommend retail price is R52,500. If that's a bit rich for your taste, Momsen also have an aluminium GP300 gravel bike with a modest build retailing for R17,500. On the trail I tested the Momsen R355 on a variety of terrain including gravel roads, tar, urban greenbelts, single track, and even the odd mountain bike rock garden. As is to be expected, the R355 excels on gravel and broken roads. The direct road bike feel coupled with a comfortable geometry and large tyres certainly enhances the experience of disappearing down a farm road. Putting the power down and surging forward feels great on the Momsen R355 but the rigid frame design does mean some harsh impacts without any suspension to soak them up. The flexible carbon seat post actually worked. I could feel it moving underneath me when I hit big holes but it was never was uncomfortable or distracting. While the large 40c tyres worked tirelessly to soak up a decent amount of chatter and corrugations. Having recently ridden around the dirt roads of L'Agulhas on a road bike with 25c tyres, I can attest to the gain in comfort and traction that larger tyres bring. The R355 is no slouch on the tar either, making switching between the road and dirt seamless and natural. I tested the bike on my regular road group ride around the Cape Peninsula. On tar, the bike feels like a road bike. The geometry made for a comfortable ride without impacting on performance. I even enjoyed the flared handlebars. The larger tyres do add a bit of weight, and a touch of extra drag is noticeable. The low gear range only hindered my progress on the steeper descents which I found myself approaching with much more confidence on the 40c wide tyres (and a higher cadence). There was little compromise on the climbs with the range of the mountain bike cassette. The R355 is a viable road bike for those riding for fun and fitness, and if you really don't want both a road and gravel bike, the R355 can go a long way to being your road bike. Throw on some skinnier slick tyres and I have no doubts that the bike will be even better suited for the job. The bike’s handling is predictable and stable. The flared drops proved to be the safest place for your hands on rougher terrain. This did mean that the back wheel can get a bit sideways with your weight far forward, just something to be mindful of when grabbing the brakes. The Clement X’Plor tyres give good grip and I was pleasantly surprised at their resilience when bashed into sharp rocks. This sense of adventure carries over to more technical riding on what is usually considered mountain biking territory. Much like riding on gravel roads, the Momsen R355 breathed new life into my midweek mountain bike route. (For those familiar with the Cape Town southern suburbs trail network, via the Constantia Greenbelts up Constantia Nek, back down through Newlands Forest, and back to the Greenbelts via the Cork Tree Trail). Riding the R355 on these familiar trails presented new challenges and required different line choices that transformed the experience. Perfect if you’re looking to switch up your riding but not the trails. On the R355, I managed to largely keep up pace, if not go faster, than my mountain biking companions. However, on fast and loose gravel descents where the robust tyres and coddling suspension of the mountain bikes show their worth in speed and stability. The R355 or at least I, fell apart in rock gardens and rooty sections. I found myself understanding why some gravel bikes come fitted with a dropper seatpost. Its worth keeping your expectations in check, it is a gravel bike after all and while it's perfectly adapted to mountain dirt roads and smoother single track, in most rider's hands, it is not a mountain bike. In the end The Momsen R355 is the ideal companion with which to explore the countryside. While it shines on gravel roads, the versatility means that you can get away with using it as a road bike and even on less technical mountain bike excursions. The component selection is spot on, matching the abilities of the light sturdy frame.
  12. The VIPA TRAIL shot on location at the new Momsen Bikes Head Office in the Baakens Valley, Port Elizabeth. Frame FeaturesFull Carbon Front and Rear Triangles 120mm Rear Wheel Travel Boost 148 Rear. We’ve left no stone unturned with our latest offering. Signature Low Leverage Design (not dissimilar to our current VIPA RACE models ) Monocoque Front Triangle with Internal Cable Routing (various cable routing options and covers provided) Carbon Seatstays and Chainstays with Boost 148 x 12 mm rear end Designed for both 2x and 1x Drivetrain Options Optional Internal Shimano Di2 Battery holder – allowing for enclosed battery fitment whilst still allowing Dropper Seatpost compatibility Available in 4 frame sizes – S, M, L, XL (to start sizes will be limited to M, L, XL) Internal Cable Routing for Dropper Seatpost Seatpost Diameter : 31.6mm Bottom Bracket : Pressfit 92mm Your weapon of choiceAvailable as a Rolling Chassis for 2017 we are offering the new Full Carbon 120mm travel model with a choice of Standard Build or an upgraded Premium Build. The Rolling Chassis consists of VIPA TRAIL Carbon Frame + Rear Shock + Wheelset + Suspension Fork. Each option has been carefully selected to compliment the frame and intended usage. Standard Build:Fox Float DPS Performance Shock Stan’s ZTR Arch S1 Wheelset RockShox Revelation RL 120mm R 45,000 incl VAT Premium Build: Fox Float DPS Factory Shock Stan’s ZTR Arch Mk3 Wheelset RockShox Pike RCT3 120mm R 52,500 incl VAT Fork Designed around a 120mm travel front fork with BOOST spacing we have opted for the following fork options:Standard Build: RockShox Revelation RL, 120mm, 51mm Offset, 15 x 110 Boost Lowers Premium Build: RockShox Pike RCT3, 120mm, 51mm Offset, 15 x 110 Boost Lowers Note: maximum suggested travel is 130mm to ensure intended handling and ride characteristics Rear Shock We have worked with Fox Racing Shox to offer 2 options of rear shock that have both been custom tuned for this frame. The emphasis was placed on a rear shock that was able to be plush during longer events but still offer the popular firm lockout option for long climbs and extended gravel sections.Standard Build: Fox Float DPS, Performance Series, Evol SV, 3 Position, Firm Lockout, 190mm Eye to Eye Premium Build: Fox Float DPS, Factory Series, Kashima, Evol SV, 3 Position, Firm Lockout, 190mm Eye to Eye Wheelset Recognizing that riders wanting the versatility that this bike can offer needed a wheelset that was both light and stiff whilst still durable and wide enough for modern tyre choices we only really had 1 choice of wheel brand – Stan’s No Tubes!Standard Build: ZTR Arch S1, Neo Hubs, 32H, Boost 110 x 15 Front, Boost 148 x 12 Rear Premium Build: ZTR Arch Mk3, Neo Hubs, 32H, Boost 110 x 15 Front, Boost 148 x 12 Rear Suggested “Wide Right” Tyre Size: 29 x 2.25 to 2.5 Width Geometry Availability The first shipment is expected to arrive next week with limited stock.In 2017, the Vipa Trail will only be available as a rolling chassis (frame, shock, fork, and wheelset). For more details or to order your VIPA TRAIL, please visit the Momsen Bikes website here.
  13. Planned as a 2016 Model, the VIPA Trail has been in development for several months and a couple of running prototypes have started to hit our trails for feedback and further design improvements. Click here to view the article
  14. Following on the success of the full carbon VIPA and the recent Team Issue with dedicated 1x chainstays, this new frame is set to be an exciting addition to Momsen Bike's ever expanding range for the 2016 season. Final specification and geometry are still being confirmed ahead of the 2016 Dealer presentations, but what we do know for now is the following: Increased rear wheel travel to better cope with bigger hits Plusher suspension tune for increased traction and small bump efficiency Lower BB to better carve single track and rail berms Production frames won't have Momsen Bike's integrated top tube bag Slacker head angle to make the bike big-mountain friendly Longer top tube for better reach when running a shorter stem Increased tire clearance to be able to run wider tires with bigger knobblies (Note: prototypes use existing moulds from the Team Issue, but production will see an entire new rear end) Internal routing for dropper seat posts Optimized for 120mm - 140mm forks First RideI've spend some time on a large running prototype on Cape Town trails and can only say that Momsen Bikes have a potential winner on their hands. It manages a fine balance between a trail ripper and all day, all mountain bike through it's lower bottom bracket, longer top tube and reach, and bang up to date angles. Handling is sharp with a lively ride, coupled with great traction. The lower BB allows it to rip around berms without causing pedal strikes on every bend. The longer top tube means that I could comfortably run a shorter stem with wider bars and not feel cramped or run out of breathing space on longer rides. Once at the top the lively ride and sharp handling makes for a super fun and rewarding ride. It doesn't take long to realise that the VIPA Trail can be enjoyed with a slammed dropper post. I've run a 120mm Revelation and 140mm Pike on the bike and it is comfortable with both. The extra burl and confidence the Pike brings is not let down by the bike's rear suspension. I am sure the versatility of the frame will suit many local trail riders to the T and with a well thought-out component choice this bike could be many things to many riders. 2016 already looks promising. Please note that the complete bicycle as pictured features a custom build and does not represent final specification or OE parts. Decals on the bicycle is unique to this prototype and does not represent what the production model will look like. The Momsen logo on the top tube features a "camouflage" design idea borrowed from the car industry to keep prying eyes guessing.
  15. When shopping for a budget mountain bike, it’s usually just a straightforward case of specification comparison to determine which bike offers better components for the price. The Momsen AL229 looks to set itself apart, not only in terms of components, but also with its LSG (long, slack geometry) frame design. Click here to view the article
  16. The Bike The construction techniques and alloy materials used to make the frame are very similar across brands in this price category and have proven to be strong and reliable. What Momsen claim to have done differently is to adapt the modern long, low, and slack geometry trend that we see across the board in higher end bikes to entry level offerings.So what does it mean for a bike’s geometry to be long, low, and slack? There are traditional frame shapes, angles, and lengths that bikes have stuck to for some time. In the last few years, the bike industry has started to question and adapt these shapes, angles, and lengths to better suit modern mountain biking. This process includes slackening the angle of the head tube and hence the fork relative to the ground, increasing the top tube and down tube lengths to make more room for the rider, and increasing the distance between the wheels (usually by bringing the front wheel forward). What is the benefit of LSG geometry? Without writing a whole separate article, the aim of this modern geometry trend is to make a better handling, better fitting, and more stable mountain bike. While this geometry trend is now common across mid to top of the range bikes, entry level bikes have generally stuck to the traditional layout. This is unfortunate as it is probably at the entry level that riders would most benefit from the boost in confidence that modern geometry can bring. So how long, low, and slack is the Momsen AL229 LSG then? In comparison to modern bikes, the Momsen’s geometry is still very much a traditional design. However, amongst entry level hardtails, it is definitely more progressive than most. For those wanting numbers: on our medium frame the head angle is 70.5 degrees, reach is 423 mm, wheelbase 1113, chainstay length 450, and the bottom bracket drop is 60 mm. The Components It is unfortunate but R10,000 simply does not get you as much bike as it did a couple years ago. That said, for the price tag, Momsen have managed to squeeze an array of reliable kit onto the AL229.The SR Suntour XCR32 fork with rebound adjust features an air spring rather than the coil spring often specified in this price category. While there is nothing wrong with a coil spring fork, the air sprung variants are usually far easier for riders to set up for their weight, resulting in a better suspension feel. For those looking to put down the watts, there is a remote switch on the handlebar to lockout the fork. The drivetrain is made up of Shimano’s entry level Altus and Acera components. Shimano have gone a long way to improve their base offerings. The Altus and Acera combo proved to work flawlessly. Compared to much more expensive drive trains, the shifting under power can be a bit clunky, and you need to plan your shifting in advance of steep climbs, but on the flat shifting is smooth and hassle free. The three chainrings are a bit overkill, as the gear range is more than adequate, but it seems that the cheaper groupsets are sticking to them, so no fault to Momsen on that one. Lastly, the chainstay is going to need a slap sock if you do plan to ride the rougher stuff, as chainslap noise can be alarming on bigger impacts. Overall, the drive system is perfectly suited for general mountain biking, and particularly covering distance on dirt roads. The Shimano M365 disc brakes have a sharp on or off feel but for the riding this bike is aimed at, they stop very well.In this price range, the wheelset is never going to be anything amazing. All you can hope for is something solid and reliable. The combination of the Weinmann rims and Shimano hubs show promising signs of being just that. The CST Jack Rabbit tyres rolled very efficiently on dirt roads but in the corners the lack of sizeable tread means there is very little grip for the front tyre, and I was not too comfortable cornering at speed. Contact points were good. The Kraton Composite lock-on grips were grippy and provided some shock absorption, and the Momsen 2017 custom, satin steel rail saddle was comfortable for short rides. Considering that I take the stock saddle off most bikes, this is no poor reflection on the saddle. To match the increased length of the bike, the 80 mm stem is a bit shorter than is usually found in this price range, providing a more direct steering feel. At 700mm across the size range, the handlebars unfortunately won’t provide stability for bigger riders, but the bars felt adequate on the medium frame. In terms of appearance, reactions were mixed in the office. The red and blue colour scheme is fun and striking, but we found the matching blue handlebar, and saddle with red decals to be a bit excessive. Specification: Frame2017 RaceTech TWO Alloy, Exclusive LSG Design, Integrated Toptube Box ( I.T.B ), Tapered Headtube ProfileSpeed27-SpeedSizesSmall, Medium, Large, X-LargeForkSR Suntour XCR32 RL-R, 100mm Travel, Air Adjust, Remote Lockout with Rebound AdjustBrakesShimano M365 Hydraulic / SM-RT10 Centerlock Rotors / 160mm Front and RearCranksetShimano M351 44/32/22TFront DerailleurShimano M370 AltusRear DerailleurShimano M3000 AceraShiftersShimano M3000 Acera TriggerHandlebarMomsen Oversize Flat Wide Alloy, 700mm, 6 Degree Sweep, 31.8mm OversizeStemMomsen Alloy Forged , 31.8mm OversizeHubsShimano RM33 CenterlockRimWeinmann XM260 Alloy Doublewall, Custom Decal, 32HSaddleMomsen 2017 Custom, Satin Steel RailSeatpostMomsen Alloy, 31.6mmTyresCST Jack Rabbit, 27tpi Wire Bead, 29 x 2.10 Front and RearEstimated Retail PriceR10,995.00 The Ride Compared to an older AL329, the AL229 LSG geometry of the Momsen is more planted on the trails which goes a long way in boosting confidence. On the steeper descents, being more centred on the bike relieves the fear of being pitched over the bars at any moment. The LSG geometry also increased the room in the cockpit which goes a long way to making the bike feel less cramped and an all-round a better fit. It is about time that the lower end of the market starts seeing the benefit of longer, lower, and slacker geometry. That said, I would not say no to even slacker and longer specs on the AL229 LSG.Weighing in at 13.9 kilograms without pedals, it is no XC race bike but competitive in the price bracket. It is very comfortable chugging along on the flats, and once up to speed is quite capable of moving it with the best of them. Handling is agile, and aside from the lack of grip on the tyres, the bike nips through berms happily. The fork was impressive with its smooth travel, it is probably not the lightest, but functionally it punches way above the bikes price bracket. Conclusion The Momsen AL229 is a solid all round package with the dependable Shimano groupset and air fork. The LSG geometry is a step in the right direction, with a noticeable improvement in fit and handling over previous models. It is good to see this thinking trickling down to entry level bikes.If you are looking for a comfortable and capable entry-level bike this is a good place to start. The AL229 has all the basic requirements to ignite a passion for mountain-biking or, at the very least, allow you to have a good time with your mates outdoors.
  17. The Momsen LA651 is a women’s specific 650b hardtail. Retailing at just over R7,000 it falls firmly in the entry-level category, however it might be just the ticket to encourage you or your partner to fall in love with biking, without making the huge financial commitment required by a higher specced model. Click here to view the article
  18. Kylie

    Review: Momsen LA651

    The LA651 is an attractive bike and features the ubiquitous pink and black colour scheme seen on many women’s models. Attention to detail is shown in the carefully matched decals on the saddle, rims and fork. The ride I found the handling enjoyable, and good for a beginner as the bike was nicely manoeuvrable on the flat and downhill. On the climbs, I found it a little heavy, and sometimes struggled to get over obstacles. I am must admit that I landed in a bush while trying out an interesting new line up some single track. I then did the same thing on my own bike a few days later- so I can only blame myself, and not the equipment. I was impressed by the performance of the Shimano 3x9 drivetrain, which shifted reliably throughout the ride. The Tektro Hydraulic brakes performed adequately, although I did not tangle with any flat-out descents. The SR Suntour XCM fork felt a lot stiffer than what I am used to, but it worked well enough for moderate single track- although I would not recommended it for tackling flights of stairs, drop offs or rougher trails. The LA651 features a low standover height, as is seen on most women’s specific models, which makes getting on and off much easier, and keeps the centre of gravity low and stable. The geometry meant that my seat was just below the bars, meaning that I was riding in a very upright commuter-style, which felt a little awkward. I had some issues with the overall comfort- I tried the small frame size, and suspect I would be better off on a medium. My bum did not appreciate the saddle, so I got a great workout standing a lot more than usual, which was fine for short rides. I also found the ergonomic grip shape to be annoying- to me it felt more like pushing a trolley than riding a bike, but the shape might be confidence-inspiring for a beginner, and is a matter of personal preference. In the end The LA651 is a good introductory bike, especially for shorter women, thanks to the 650b wheel size, which makes handling easier than that of a 29er, while still giving improved rollover when compared with 26” wheels. It is quite capable of keeping up with better specced bike-companions, on short rides and easy single track, and will allow a weekend warrior to enjoy the outdoors without breaking the bank.
  19. What sets the Momsen apart from the standard Arisun is the development and use of a 120tpi (threads per inch) casing. Higher thread-count casings are lighter, more flexible and supple, and (usually) more expensive. The supple casing means that there should be more grip and traction, but does tend to sacrifice on tyre wear. The dual compound design features a harder 68A centre for slower wear and a softer 60A on the shoulder for better grip. At this stage it is only available in 29x2.20, but there are whispers of more sizes to follow. Weighing in at a very respectable 621 grams, actual weight (on my digital kitchen scale), it compares well with the competition of similar specification. The squarish, slotted block tread design features short, relatively close-spaced centre knobs with wider spaced knobs on the sides and shoulder. The sidewalls feature a 40TPI x 40TPI reinforcement which is visible when holding the tyre in hand - compared to a tyre with a thinner, weaker sidewall, the Momsen Mount Graham stays remarkably round with very little sag. On the Trail:I mounted the tyres to a set of American Classic Tubeless 29 wheels and converted them to tubeless using Stan's No Tubes sealant. They mounted easily and sealed first time using a Topeak JoeBlow Mountain floor pump. The 120TPI casing and tread pattern delivers a good combination of traction and speed. My first impression on the trail was of instant acceleration, coupled with low drag thanks to the supple casing and shallow tread pattern. The rounded profile means that you have to use your weight to get grip going around corners. The tyres also struggle to offer enough grip in muddy conditions, but this is true of most fast rolling, low profile XC tyres. A big positive is the stronger, sturdier sidewalls - especially at this weight. I could easily run pressures I wouldn't dream of on other race tyres without suffering from sidewall "collapse" out on the trail. It also makes for a puncture resistant design when combined with a tubeless sealant. Multi-day stage racers will appreciate this. After six months of use, I haven't suffered a single puncture or sidewall cut. I am more than happy to sacrifice ultimate weight weenie bragging rights for this reliability. Wear has been good and, more importantly, as the tyre has worn the performance and feel has stayed consistent and predictable. Verdict:As a tyre, regardless of price, the Mount Grahams performed well and manages to impress with it's blend of speed and traction in a fast rolling, low profile tyre. As a XC / Marathon tyre it is highly recommend and can even do duty as a rear trail tyre for all but the rainy season. Considering that it retails for under R500, it's "worth" shoots up even further. Momsen have given us a tyre that is light, durable and inexpensive - a rare find in an industry where one would usually have to settle for 2 out of 3 of those attributes. Specifications:Suggested retail: R450 Weight: 640g Size: 29 x 2.20 From the Manufacturer:- High Performance Tubeless Tyre - Developed for XC & Marathon Conditions - 120TPI carcass for less weight and a more supple ride - Tubeless bead for tubeless compatibility and excellent sealing - Dual compound tread surface
  20. If you only knew what was in wait for you. The saddle was an old, used Selle Italia Shiver in Troy Lee Designs colours that belonged to my riding buddy. It's been on 3 builds before this one and has seen it's fair share of action. The brothers at www.velobrien.com took it into their care and set about recovering it and in doing so restoring it to it's former glory - only better. They also gave a set of Momsen lock-on grips I had the full leather treatment. The stitching (by hand) and finishing touches on the saddle and grips are of the highest quality and gives it a premium look and feel. Final BuildFrame: Momsen STR29 with custom spray job by fellow Hubber, BogusOne Crank: SRAM X5 33T Wheels: American Classic Tubeless 29 Tires: Momsen Mount Graham 2.20 120tpi Tubeless Handlebar: Momsen Design Up / Down Carbon Stem: Momsen Design Downer Saddle: Selle Italia Shiver re-covered by velobrien.com Grips: Momsen Design Lock-On grips re-covered by velobrien.com Brakes: Avid Elixer 7 Trail with 160mm rotors Single Speed Conversion: Gusset Double Six Chain: SRAM 9spd Fork: Rapide Pitchfork Weight: 10.07kg Finally built and looking pretty in all its glory I would still like to replace the presta valves with black ones, either change the wheels to something with a flat black rim or remove the decals from these. I also want to change the crank bolts with black ones, remove the decals from the seat post, swap the headset for a less ridiculous looking one, replace the top cap and add the wooden pedals that have been in the works for some time now. Front brake hose also needs a trim. It may be built, but still a little way from completely finished. A bit of carbon fibre in the cockpit to match the fork, and a touch of old-school class with leather grips. First ride on it was a hoot. No other way to describe it. No gears and no suspension takes some getting used to, but once you've covered a couple of km's and realise it's just you and the bike, and there's little that can compare to just being out on a bike. Riding a new bike and realising that you don't need to do any additional set up or suspension tweaks is a special feeling. It will be some time before I'm able to pedal a single speed bike to the top of anything, but the journey there will at least be heaps of fun. All in all I am very happy with how it's come out. It's been the most fun I've had with a build and definitely worth the extra effort. Big thanks to BogusOne and the brothers from velobrien.com. Working with them was not only effortless, but also inspiring as they added their own creative touches to the project. It's always nice to work with creatives who can take your idea or suggestion to the next level. Check out the previous installations: The idea, The build kit, The frame part 1, The frame part 2.
  21. What feels like an eternity is finally coming to a close: My Momsen STR29 Single speed is ready to ride in all it's Gulf Oil racing colors glory. Looking back at all the installments and browsing through the pictures I've taken along the way it's hard to believe where it all started and where we are now. Click here to view the article
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