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  1. So I've been wondering if you could buy your dream SA built bike, but being realistic in terms of price.... Titan Racing Pyga Signal Momsen Silverback - Thanks for the suggestions Mecer - Thanks for the suggestions What would it be? Mine would be the PYGA Stage Max GX set. Which has a great all round setup, great 130mm for a good pop, it allows for relative "easy" climbs, great session down the trails and can also be used in some marathon events even. Would be really interested to hear what other hubbers think or WISH. Cheers
  2. 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
  3. Hi Guys, It's time to upgrade my MTB. Looking at getting a Full Sus 29'er and have a budget of around 30k. I mostly do XC and Marathon style riding. Hoping to do some stage races like Wines2Whales and Sani. Was keen on the Specialized Epic Comp (Aluminium Frame) which was on special for R30k but unfortunately they all sold out before I could get my hands on one... So need some advice relating to other brands and options. What advice do you guys have in terms of 1. Going second hand? Heard some scary stories about expensive repairs to the shocks... 2. Specialized. Would love to get an Epic. But not sure about the Brain and the 150hr services I'll need to send it away for. Any experience with this? ....Kinda wanna just get one anyway 3. Momsen? I've seen some pretty good deals on their bikes. But their frame guarantee is only for 3 years? Anyone have any experience with their VIPA RACE ONE? Seriously considering getting this one since I'm not so sure an Epic at around 30k is realistic. Thanks in advance guys. Will appreciate any insight or experience!
  4. Hi Guys, just some pics we took at the race registration last week --- so awesome to see the amount of VIPA's ( some old, some new ) on the startline. well done to all the riders -- each and every one of you are LEGENDS!!!! interesting to note how the bike setups have evolved over the past 3 years in terms of setup / bags / cockpit etc. please feel free to add to this thread if you rode the event or even just have a VIPA . we love seeing our bikes being put to good use like this!!!
  5. Hi all. I'm looking to upgrade my hardtail, just not sure what I could ask to sell my Momsen AL029 2018. Less than 300km on the road, still brand new and serviced
  6. Before we get stuck into the review, let me get it out the way that I'm a Momsen fan, specifically a Vipa fan. Having collectively ridden and owned four Vipa iterations and builds (even the aluminium AC), I was very excited to test out the Ultra. First encountering the prototype bike ahead of the 2018 Cape Epic I have to say I was unsure of the aesthetics but was encouraged by the bold design and engineering choices. Into production, thankfully the luminous yellow temporary decals were replaced with more subdued production designs. Seeing the production bike in the flesh I was more at peace with the design. The stout, angular tubes are striking and unusual and remind me somewhat of a Stealth Bomber. While evoking a hint of boyish glee and having had some time to grow on me, I'm still not sure if I love it. The Momsen Vipa Ultra is typically sold as a frame kit which includes the frame, rear shock, headset, rear axle, seat clamp, protective covers and storage accessories. MSRP for the kit is R 42,500.00 and it’s available direct from their website. The frame has a number of features intended to service the stage race hungry South African market. These include support for two bottle cages inside the front triangle, both accommodating full-size bottles, and without the need for any adaptors as with previous Vipa models. There is also a mount for a third bottle cage beneath the down tube for those needing more hydration on long stages or ultra-endurance events. The frame does also cater for a front derailleur should you want one. In terms of sizing and geometry, the Vipa Ultra is only available in two sizes (Size 01 and Size 02), which they say should cover range of a traditional Medium, Large and (smaller) Extra-large frames. Even on the smaller size, the Vipa Ultra has lengthy reach at 451mm (and 465mm on the larger size) which makes the super short 40mm or 50mm stem almost a necessity. Two notable features on the frame are the built-in storage compartments: one on the top-tube which contains a soft zipper bag to stash your things, and another at the base of the down tube which seals with a sturdy rubber lid. Being a fan of light pockets during stage races (and most rides) these could be useful. The head tube on the Momsen Vipa Ultra is relatively short at just 90mm on the size tested. The low stack gives the front-end an aggressive feel. The frame’s headtube is particularly short at just 90mm and 110mm on the two sizes making for a low front end. The geometry is adjustable via a flip-chip which switches between slack and steep giving a head angle range from 67.5 degrees (slack mode, 120mm fork) to 69.1 degrees (steep mode, 100mm fork). Our test build arrived with a 120mm Rockshox Revelation preset in “steep” mode, giving it a 68-degree head angle. Specifications FrameVipa Ultra Carbon, Toray Carbon, Boost 148 Rear, Threaded 73Mm Bb Shell, Dual Bottle Mount With Optional 3Rd Bottle Placement, 100Mm Rear Wheel Travel, Flip-Chip Geometry AdjustmentForkRockshox Revelation Rc, Boost 110, 15Mm Thru-Axle, 120Mm Travel, Rebound AdjustShockFox Float Dps, Performance Series, Trunnion, 3 Position, Evol, 185MmWheelsNo Tubes Ztr Arch S1, Tubeless Ready, 32H, Shimano M7010 Boost centerlock hubsTyresVee Tire Co. Rail Tracker 29 X 2.20, Tubeless ReadyShiftersSram Gx 12-Speed TriggerRear DerailleurSram Gx 12-SpeedCrankTruvativ Stylo, 12-Speed, 32T, 175MmBottom BracketSram Gxp Threaded 73Mm DubCassetteSram Nx 12-Speed 11-50TChainSram 12-SpeedSaddleMomsen CustomSeatpostX-Fusion Manic DropperHandlebarAlloy Forged Oversize 31.8mm ,12mm Rise, 720Mm WideStemCustom Vipa Ultra – 2 Stem Lengths Supplied / 40mm / 50mm / 31.8mm Bar BoreHeadsetCustom Vipa Ultra – Integrated TypeBrakesetShimano M8000 Xt HydraulicMeasured weight (Size)13.58kg (Size 01 / Medium)Retail PriceR 78,500.00 (or R 42,500 for the frame-kit) On the bike Let's start with the obvious standout features: the two built-in storage compartments in the top tube and down tube.The built-in top tube storage bag is great. The zipper keeps snacks or essential spares safely stowed away but allows easy access while on the bike - a great touch for stage racing and a good size to fit all you might need while on the go. One small irritation was the zipper tag tapping on the frame while riding causing a faux rattle and a bit of frame rub, but this was easily solved by tucking in back into the zip before closing completely. Momsen have since resolved this with a shorter tab and switched the zipper orientation to run bottom-to-top. The lower storage area on the down tube was where I struggled. The shape and depth of this compartment make it tricky to store a typical spare tube in it (which, in a stage race is what I want on the bike and not in a pocket). It did, however, comfortably house a 20g CO2 canister plus a tyre lever and other small tools. Although the compartment is lined with neoprene, on most trail surfaces I experienced an irritating rattle. Again, quite easily solved with a small cloth to keep everything separated (a sunglasses case worked a treat) or by taping the contents to the inside. My primary struggle was that the rubber lid just refused to stay shut and on a ride featuring any kind of rocky bumps the compartment exploded open, usually at a speed which efficiently distributed the contents all over the trail. Even after shaving the neoprene liner to ensure a proper fit I still had trouble with this. It’s an easy enough issue to solve with some trusty tape to keep the contents in place or secure the lid, but it’s one of those things you do expect to work “out of the box”. The bike itself is described as [an] "Unashamedly Focussed. Zero Compromise. Stage Race Weapon." As far as stage racing goes there are certainly some clever touches like the top storage compartment and, despite the slack(ish) head angle and a 120mm fork, the bike has an aggressive stance thanks to the low stack and short stem. The bulky tubing does give the bike an incredibly stiff, sturdy feel which might well deliver the efficient power transfer you want on long open roads, but for me, it also steals some of the character and playfulness that I enjoyed on the Vipa Race. Make no mistake, even on twisty downward trails the Vipa Ultra is fast - I set a good few PBs on my early outings on this bike. But the stiffness coupled with the hefty weight of the bike in this build spec (13.58 kg for the 120mm, Stans Arch build, with pedals) meant it resisted any sort of playful flick or hop on the trail. The weight aside, the stern characteristic of the bike is perhaps just staying true to the promise of a "Zero Compromise. Stage Race Weapon.", but the inclusion of a dropper post and 120mm fork in this particular build did have me expecting some more playful trail habits. Realising that the weight of this particular build could be playing against it, we switched out the fork for a much lighter 100mm Fox 32 Step Cast, and the Stans Arch wheels for some feathery XC focussed options to test the shorter travel set-up and shed a few kilos. Ironically, this build felt more fun and playful than the 120mm option thanks to weight loss and the more nimble, slightly steeper front end. While still stiff and uncompromising, the ride felt a bit more natural and, well, fun! We snuck a feathery 100mm Fox 32 Step-Cast Kashima onto the Ultra along with some lighter wheels to get a feel for a lighter, more race-oriented setup. When it came to the adjustable "flip-chip", my experience was that the Vipa Ultra felt best in the 68-68.5 degree head angle range. This meant "steep" mode with the 120mm fork (68 degrees) and “slack” mode paired well with the 100mm fork (68.5 degrees). Of course each rider will have their own tastes here, but it is useful to have the options provided by the flip-chip and fork selection. Although the lighter build did improve the feel of the bike, it still weighed in on the heavy side (11.92kg with pedals) for a stage race focussed bike with an upper-end spec, okay plus a dropper post. GX is not the lightest in the SRAM line-up, but I can only assume that the extra carbon required in the frame to accommodate the storage has also added a bit to the weight. Given the choice, I'd gladly forgo the bottom compartment in favour of a few (hundred) grams. Momsen did give us some insight on this and, according to them, foregoing the bottom storage area would only account for a 70g weight saving. Overall My overall take is that the Vipa Ultra does largely deliver on the promises of its tag line. It has a fast, race weapon-like feel to it and in many respects, aside from weight, is all about zero compromises. But I'm not sure I like that. Perhaps I'm not the target market, but as an avid stage racer, I do also enjoy a bit of fun on the trail, whether mid-race or a relaxed weekend outing. The Vipa Ultra just isn't a bike that delivers for both use cases, but given the hyper-focussed marketing message, that might well be intentional.
  7. Retail Specification FrameAlloy Gravel Plus, 142 X 12mm Rear Thru-Axle, Internal Cable Routing, Rear Flatmount For DiscForkAlloy Gravel, Alloy Blades, Taper Steerer, 100 X 15mm Thru-Axle, Disc Only, Flat MountHeadsetMomsen Integrated, AlloyStemMomsen 3D Forged Alloy, Oversize 31.8mm, 7 Degree Rise, 80mm (XS, S) 90mm (M, L) 100mm (XL)HandlebarMomsen Gravel Alloy, Oversize 31.8mm, 40cm (XS) 42cm (S, M) 44cm (L, XL)GripsAnti-Slip, Shockproof TapeRotorTektro Spyre, 6 Bolt, 160mm Front and RearBrake LeverTektro Spyre Mechanical Disc, Rear/Right, Front/LeftTyresClement X’Plor MSO 60TPI 700x40c Wire BeadTube700x 40C, Presta ValveRimsWeinmann U28TL / 32H / Custom DecalSpokesStainless BlackFront HubAlloy 32H, 100 X 15mm Thru-AxleRear HubAlloy 32H, 142 X 12mm Thru-AxleChainwheel SetSRAM S350-1, Alloy, 24mm, X-SYNC 42TChainKMC X11.93Bottom BracketSRAM Pressfit GXP Road 86.5/WA91.5SaddleMomsen Custom, Cromo Rail, Embossed GraphicsSeatpostMomsen Alloy 27.2mm / 350mmSeat BinderAlloy 31.8mm CNC GrooveShiftersSRAM Apex 11-Speed Rear OnlyRear DerailleurSRAM Rival1 Long CageCassetteSRAM PG-1130 11-42TAccessoriesClear Chainstay Protector, Momsen Headbadge, Owner’s ManualWeight10.22kg ( Medium )RRPR17,500 On the Bike The SRAM Apex 1 groupset is a dedicated 1x drivetrain that is available with drop- or flat-bar shifters with the drop-bar levers offered in mechanical or hydraulic versions. Both feature the company’s DoubleTap shifting technology as found on their other STI shifters. Shifting was what one would expect without any dropped chains or botched gear changes. The GP300 comes with Tektro Spyre mechanical disc brakes, presumably in an effort to keep the pricing down. Although I couldn't fault the brakes it would be nice to see hydraulic disc brakes fitted even if it does bump the price a bit. The extra peace of mind when it really matters and improved feel of a hydraulic system will be worth the added expense. The rest of the kit performed as expected with nothing distracting from the riding experience. Tyre and rim testing I first rode the bike with 700x40c VEE Tire Co Rail tyres on SRAM Roam 40 wheels. They were comfortable at minimum pressure and managed a good balance between rolling resistance and tractionI then changed to Pirelli's P ZERO velo 4S 28C's (their four seasons tyre) to tackle some road rides. There was a noticeable pick up in speed compared to the VEE tyres and they behaved well in all weather conditions. On gravel, I missed the extra width and cushioning, but that was not what the Pirelli's were designed for so it is understandable. The tyres had a good shape on the Roam 40 mountain bike rims (21mm internal width, 25.5mm outer) with no hassle seat them on the rim. The smaller 650b wheelset with the FARROFF 1.95 tyres fitted led to a drop of around 15mm to the axle and bottom bracket height. For more gnarlier (gravel bike speaking) riding, the drop in pedal clearance is something to get used to. For me, the bike won't take me too deep into trail riding so most of the hazards will be avoided by extension. As with the other tyre and wheel combinations tested, these were at the minimum recommended pressure and on serious corrugated roads, the extra cushioning from the tyres helped to smooth out the road and ride. I did miss the added momentum and roll-over that comes with the larger 700 / 29er wheels. The 700 rim and tyre were noticeably taller than the 650b rim and tyre combination. The main benefit with the chunky gravel tyres on the 650b wheels is the ability to lean the bike over to rail berms and push the bike harder around corners. On a gravel bike, this is the set up I would use the least as I'd rather just spend time on a mountain bike. I am sure there are riders out there who enjoy mostly gravel roads or jeep track and for them, this combo could make sense depending on how bad those sections are. Jonkerhoek jeep track comes to mind as an option for these. 650bx50c versus 700x40c Plenty of clearance at the rear with the 40c tyre. Even with the bigger tyres, with their pronounced side knobs, there was still ample tyre clearance on the GP300 front and back. It certainly won't be an issue to take these on a muddy ride.Overall, the bike was fun to ride and reminded me of the simple joys of just riding my bike. To get out and ride wherever straight from my doorstep and not have to worry about optimal suspension setup and messing around with a multitude of settings and levers. There was no easy cop-out lever; when the roads grew rougher I had to compensate with my grip and body position - as simple as that. Verdict When gravel bikes were first launched I thought it was a great idea and loved the vibe and ethos around them. In my time leading up to the review (and trying to figure out if I would ever buy a gravel bike), my enthusiasm waned. It seemed that the gravel bike was the perfect example of Jack of all trades, master of none. Not quite a road bike (1x gearing, heavier) and not quite fit for proper off-road riding, to not even mention trail riding. But then I road the bike and simply loved it. It is pure, simple fun and as long as you can get your head around the compromises, you will have a lot of fun.The added versatility is a great bonus and if it was mine it would rock gravel tires for 80% of its life and a set of all season road tyres for when I really wanted to spend more time on tar. For those who will spend more time on their gravel bikes riding a greater variety of terrain, a second wheelset could be an attractive prospect. ProsAmple tyre and mud clearance Comfortable cruiser Two and a half bikes in one (not quite making it into MTB-light territory) ConsI would like to see hydraulic disc brakes even if it bumps the price
  8. Bikes and Beer. What is there not to like? Right? What started out as a casual conversation with Timo Cooper quickly evolved into Momsen Bikes being commissioned to create a full custom version of their latest full suspension bike – the VIPA ULTRA. The VIPA ULTRA’s flat and large surfaces were ideal for applying the Devil’s Peak Lager livery With it’s unique and distinctive design, the ULTRA’s large and angular tube shapes really lend themselves to the decal application of the crisp and bold colours of Devil’s Peak Premium Lager. When we received the artwork from the Devil’s Peak team I immediately pictured how we could incorporate the label detailing onto the frame’s tubing. The frame has so many large flat surfaces which literally beg to be styled with classy details. Fox Float DPS Performance Trunnion Mount with Flip-Chip for Adjustable Geometry allowing up to a 67.5 degree head angle. Only 25 units will be produced. Stock will be available in May 2019. Sold as an ULTRA Frame-Kit which includes Frame / Rear Shock / Seatclamp / Rear Axle / Headset / Toptube Bag / Frame Protection / Downtube Storage Cover final pricing will be confirmed in April. Integrated Storage Compartment with Toptube Bag for “ on-the-ride essentials. Pre-Orders will be opening soon from Authorised Stockists or the dedicated VIPA ULTRA website and each lucky owner will receive a set of Devil’s Peak Cycling Kit (designed and manufactured by Ciovita) as well as 10 cases of Devil’s Peak Lager (over the space of 12 months). Depending on demand we could end up offering the DP Frame-Kits as a Complete Bike Build. (Watch this space) Custom VIPA ULTRA Build with a conservative selection of SRAM Eagle components matched to a Stan’s No Tubes Crest CB7 Carbon Wheelset. FrameVIPA ULTRA Carbon, Dual Storage Compartments, Dual Bottle Fitment, Boost 148 Spacing, 1x and 2x Drivetrain Compatibility, Available in 2 Frame Sizes, Threaded 73mm BB ShellForkRockShox Reba RL 29/15, Solo Air, 100mm Travel, Remote, Boost 110ShockFox Float DPS, Performance Series, 3 Position Adjust, Trunnion Mount, 185 ( 50mm Stroke ), Custom Spec for ULTRARimsStan’s Crest CB7 Carbon, WideRight Design, 28 Hole Front and RearHubsStan’s Neo with DuraSync as per Crest CB7 WheelsetSpokes + NipplesSapim Force Black 2.0/1.7/1.8 as per Crest CB7 WheelsetFront TyreMaxxis Ikon 29 x 2.25 EXO TRRear TyreMaxxis Aspen 29 x 2.25 EXO TRHandlebarFarr Carbon Endurance MTB, 720mm Wide, 9 Degree SweepGripsEsi Silicone Race, 60gStemKCNC Arrow 110mm -11 dropHeadset + top capVIPA ULTRA Alloy, Low Profile Top Cap, as supplied with Frame-KitSeatpostKCNC Ti Pro-Lite, 31.6, 400mmSaddleFarr Standard, 148mm Width, Crn-Ti RailBrakesSram Level TLM HydraulicBrake rotorsAvid Centerline, 160mm Front and RearShiftersSram GX Eagle, Trigger 1x12Rear derailleurSram GX EagleCassetteSram GX Eagle, 10-50TCrank armsSram Stylo Carbon, Dub 175, 32TChainringSram 32TChainSram GX EagleBottom BracketSram Dub Threaded 73mmPedalsFluid CliplessWeight10.7 kg
  9. 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.
  10. https://bikerumor.com/2018/11/19/momsen-builds-a-special-bike-for-munga-full-suspension-drop-bar-vipa-ultra/ Anyone who has been on the bike through the 90's would immediatelly appreciate the throwback, especially if you knew the man that designed it's own long standing appreciation for the influence a certain Mr. Johnny T had on our sport. My opinion is that this bike is the best of everything you could need for something like the Munga. Dual sus. Aero features. LITRES of drink storage and tons of onboard storage as well. Planned by Victor Momsen and assembled by Robbie Powell and his team who is a legend in his own right. Sho... This bike gives me... feelings. Unsure how something so modern can unearth that "old school" feeling as well at the same time. http://thebodymechanic.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/MTB3.jpg
  11. I have never owned a bike that was as rewarding in terms of the build process and having to dig around to make all the bits and pieces work. For some reason, I decided to sell that bike. To this day I still don't know why. A moment of weakness maybe. So when the opportunity arose to do another custom build I jumped at it and roped in Bogus again. What was a little different this time, was the involvement of another friend of mine Hasie and the Robots, who I happened to have met in an alternative universe at the same time that I first spoke to Anton from Bogus Designs about the Gulf Oil Momsen. Fast forward three years and they were working together on a custom design for Momsen's new ST-F frame. We worked through several ideas and settled on what we felt would look great, and suit the soul of the bike best.Hasie and the Robots was roped in to conjure up some designs and give us a feel for what may or may not work. These were refined, and I finally settled on a fusion of a couple of designs and ideas. From that point on, I was left in the dark by the Hasie (as he is lovingly known), and Bogus as they set about finalising the design and application. The design was then sent to Anton at Bogus Designs who added one or two twists in terms of the colors and how the design was applied to the frame. Some of the designs considered. It is just about impossible to describe the level of detail in the spray job, or for me to do it justice with my photography skills. The Momsen logos on the bottom of the downtube are a great example of this, as the way paint was applied means it is not visible from all angles and certainly not in darker conditions. The same with the Hasie and the Robots and Bogus Designs logos - they are there: just not visible from a couple of feet away. The main design incorporates some characters from Hasie's designs for a unique look and feel. A trial prototype for the rim design. This time around, I did not go as far as having a saddle and grips reupholstered, but thanks to a bright spark from South Industries, we did tackle a set of rims. There was some R&D involved to ensure the end result would match expectation. Hasie was given complete artistic free rein and decided to go with a city skyline theme. Overall, I could not be happier with how it all came together. Any rider who knows his gear will immediately realise that this is not a stock bike, but it's not over the top flashy so as to attract unnecessary attention. The Frame The ST-R29 is being reborn in two new models. The ST-R has a Tange Sliding Dropout for single speed or geared use while the ST-F is the fixed dropout option for geared use only. Even though the dropouts are different, the geometry and other frame details are the same for both models. I decided to go with gears this time around to give the bike the versatility I want. The bike will gravitate towards being a tourer, with our daughter's Thule RideAlong seat having already being mounted (hence the spacers under the stem) and I will most likely add a bag or two to the bike. The way the bike has been set up and built gives me all day comfort on a bike that can still tackle some local trails when the urge arises. I really like that there is provision for a dropper seatpost, and that the frame has a threaded bottom bracket. Those add practicality for me. Frame Specifications & GeometryHeadtube: Taper Integrated (44mm Top/56mm Bottom) Max Tyre Size : 29 x 2.4 4 Sizes: S (15”), M (17”), L (19”), XL (21”) 142 x 12mm Thru-Axle (Sram Maxle Thread) Seatpost: 31.6mm with Internal Dropper Seatpost Routing Front Fork Suggestion: 120mm with 51mm Offset Drivetrain: 1x only Chainring Suggestion : 30T to 34T Max Size provision Headset: Internal Type (52mm Lower / 42mm Top) Drivetrain For the purpose of the build, I moved the drivetrain from my ex-Mercer Hungry Monkey over. It is a straightforward, complete SRAM GX drivetrain with a 32T chainring and 175mm cranks. Depending on how the bike gets used, I may consider replacing this groupset down the line for a GX Eagle groupset for those longer days in the saddle. Fork The fork is a cheap and cheerful RockShox Reba. Those who have ridden one will know it is stiff, plush and ultra-reliable. Tyres: Vee Tire Co Crown F front, Rail Tracker rear I'm familiar with the Crown F having ridden them before on a VIPA Trail, but the Rail Tracker is new to me. To be honest they were mostly picked for their cool skinwalls, but have proven themselves up to the task on the couple of rides I've done on the bike. I'm happy to sacrifice some rolling resistance for the added security of grip with the Cape Town winter upon us. Seatpost I am running Morewood's Mamba dropper seatpost that we have on review. There are two options available, an external routed version with the actuator connected to the collar and the internally routed version that I have on my bike. The remote is an above the bar thumb actuator like the original KS seatposts. I would prefer a below the bar shifter or, even better, a 1x dropper lever that takes the place of the front derailleur shifter but will see how this goes with extended use. Handlebar, Stem & Grips: Momsen All-Rise Carbon, Spank Oozy Stem, Spank Lock On Grips The Momsen All-Rise handlebar from Momsen's range of carbon handlebars is 760mm wide with a 15mm rise. I have paired the bar with a 65mm Spank stem to give me the reach and fit I want on this bike. The grips are also from Spank and standard affair lock on grips. Other bits and pieces As on all my other bikes, I have opted for Specialized Zee Cage II bottle cage as they are some of the best bottle cages on the market. The saddle is a Fizik Gobi M5 we have on review and will be moved between a couple of bikes to ensure it gets the mileage needed to do a proper review. To mount my Garmin 820, I have fitted a K-Edge Gravity Top Cap mount and finished the build off with Shimano XT Trail pedals that I use most of the time. Specifications FrameMomsen Bikes ST-F SteelForkRockShox Reba RLStemSpank Oozy Stem 65mmHandlebarMomsen All-Rise Carbon Handlebar 760mm wide with 15mm riseGripsSpank Lock OnSaddleFizik GobiSeatpostMorewood Mamba Dropper (internal routed)BrakesSRAM Level TL, 180mm RotorsShiftersSRAM GXRear DerailleurSRAM GXCassetteSRAM GXChainSRAM GXCranksetSRAM GXRimsSouth Industries 29XCHubsHope Pro 4Front TyreVee Tire Co Crown FRear TyreVee Tire Co Rail Tracker Bottom BracketSRAM ThreadedPedalsShimano XT TrailWeight12.56kg (including bottle cages & pedals)
  12. 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)
  13. 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.
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. Canyon Inflite CF SLX 9.0 Pro Race Erik Kleinhans' eye-catching Canyon was his pick from their lineup for the event. It's a cyclo-cross race bike with more aggressive geometry than the other bikes on tour, but given the generally good condition of the Klein Karoo gravel and Erik's abilities it was well suited. This top end model was suitably kitted out with Reynolds Assault LS carbon wheels, SRAM Force CX1, and a beautifully integrated handlebar and stem. Tyres: Maxxis Rambler 700x40C SilkShield TR, 120TPI (Tubeless) Momsen R355 Jan Braai's Momsen R355 threw in a bit of a twist with some 29" mountain bike wheels and tyres. The Momsen offers good clearance and versatility being able to accommodate the 2" Continental Race Kings on Stans Arch rims. Jan certainly had an advantage on the bumpy, loose downhills, and in maintaining traction on the uphills, however the broader contact patch and meatier tread made for a less efficient ride. Given the predominantly smooth surfaces we encountered, the bike was a bit over-equipped for the route, but that didn't seem to slow him down. Tyres: Continental Race King 29x2.0 (Tubeless) Cannondale Slate Ultegra My steed for the week was the plush Cannondale Slate rolling on 27.5" wheels with some semi-slick 27.5x1.75 tyres. Had I done a bit more forward planning and arranged the bike earlier I'd have fitted something with a bit more tread. Thankfully though the road surfaces were quite accommodating and the tyres faired well until the road got bendy. On turns with loose marble like stones on a hard surface, it was very skittish and I had to slow right down to keep the bike upright. The turns aside, the tyre width and volume did make for an incredibly comfortable ride (and I'm sure the Lefty helped here too). Tyres: Kenda Koast Sport 27.5x1.75 60TPI (Tubeless) Santa Cruz Stigmata CC Tim Brink's Santa Cruz Stigmata CC was equipped with the same Maxxiss Rambler 40c tyres as on the Canyon and both had a hassle-free ride. The Stigmata is no stranger to our shores as one of the earlier gravel bikes to hit the market. Tim can usually be seen riding all sorts of typically "mountain bike only" terrain on this bike so naturally, the smooth roads of Tour de Braai offered little challenge for him (and the Stig). Tyres: Maxxis Rambler 700x40C SilkShield TR, 120TPI (Tubeless) Momsen R355 Another Momsen R355 was piloted by David Moseley, but this one featured a more conventional 700x40c wheel and tyre setup (the same bike which we reviewed earlier this year). Based on the feedback over the week, the general consensus was that 700x40c was the sweet spot for the Klein Karoo gravel providing just enough volume to give comfort while still a fast rolling tyre. Tyres: Clement X’Plor MSO 60TPI 700x40c Folding Bead (Tubeless) IF Bikes Custom Titanium gravel / touring bike To a casual observe Kenny Scheepers' understated bike might not garner a second look, but one look at the head badge and you realise it's no ordinary machine. This is a fully custom Titanium Independent Fabrication frame hand built in the US. Kenny opted for 38c Challenge Gravel Grinder tyres and as the only rider with tubes was also the only rider to puncture over the five days. All the punctures were a snake bite and all happened at speed as we headed downhill. In order to run the tyre pressures that we found to be ideal for comfort on these roads (2 - 2.5 bar) a tubeless setup is mandatory to avoid snakebites. Tyres: Challenge Gravel Grinder Race Series 700x38c, 120TPI (Tubes) To find out more about the Tour de Braai visit the website: http://braai.com/braaitour/tour-de-braai/The next tour takes place in May 2018.
  17. Thought I'd share how I fit a Specialized SWAT kit on my Momsen Vipa. I wasn't too keen on the Momsen Integrate Toptube Box so decided to rather try out the Spec SWAT kit. Only managed to secure the SWAT box bolt and the middle slot of the bottle cage. The assembly is quite solid with just the two bolts keeping in down. Can fit a normal CAMELBAK bottle or any other normal size bottle easily in die diagonal cage. Bottle cage in upright position has got the SWAT mini tool at the bottom which fits perfectly in that space. Next up will be to fit the headset chainbreaker tool.
  18. 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.
  19. Since then things have changed and, with the desire to launch the best possible trail bike for local and international riders, so the production VIPA Trail frame was born as we see it here today. Officially announced last month, the bike features all the latest tech, some neat solutions, and execution. Frameset specifications: Full Carbon front and rear triangles 120 mm rear wheel travel Boost 148 rear axle spacing Signature low leverage design (not dissimilar to the current VIPA RACE models) Monocoque front triangle with internal cable routing (various cable routing options and covers provided) 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 Seatpost diameter: 31.6mm seatpost diameter with internal cable routing for dropper seatpost Pressfit 92mm bottom bracket I don't usually comment on a bike's looks when doing a review, as that is very subjective, but it has to be said that this is the best looking Momsen there has ever been and, in my opinion, one of the best looking on our trails. I would maybe drop the contours from some of the tubes. Everyone that has seen the bike has commented on just how good looking it is and how catchy and well-executed the graphic design is. Well done, Momsen. Another clever design touch is the cable guide that keeps the rear derailleur cable neatly in place and out of the way, provision for a Shimano Di2 battery to future-proof the frame and an integrated chainstay protector that ads rubber to the frame where it suffers the most abuse from chain slap. To top it all off the frame sports a rocker that looks like it comes straight off the Batmobile. Custom Colours To complement the bike's ace paint job, I spoke to the friendly folk at cSixx who have a customization program where they mix and match decals and designs to suit your bike. I was set to go for an offset blue arrangement as I did not want too much orange and yellow on one bike. Thankfully, everything is done in Cape Town at their head office, so we could play around a bit and the bike was built with blue decals on the one side of the wheels and orange / yellow on the other side. This afforded me the opportunity to see it on the bike and once I did, I had to agree with the cSixx crew that their orange / yellow idea looked best. The same color scheme was applied to the fork and handlebar to complete the custom look. cSixx XCM 9SERIES Rim detaisDeep asymmetric profiled, hookless carbon rim Internal diameter: 26 mm Bead hookless Wall thickness: 3.5 mm Hole count: 28h Depth: 30mm Asymmetric profile: Front long side to disc Asymmetric Profile: Rear long side to drive Weight: 430 g ERD: 579 mm Spoke hole offset: 3mm Drivetrain I am running a mixed breed drivetrain on the VIPA Trail. Partly due to carrying some parts over from the prototype and part as I'm keen to see what a mixed and matched drivetrain will be like after years of riding complete groupsets. The crank is a first generation Race Face Next SL Cinch that is still holding up amazingly well. Paired with this, I have a cSixx 34 tooth oval chainring. It is direct mount and fits well with the crank. The cassette is E-Thirteen's 11 speed wide race version with 9-46T cogs giving it a 511% gear ratio - wider than SRAM's 12 speed Eagle. The shifter, rear derailleur, and chain are all SRAM XX1 11 speed. I'm interested to see how shifting performs once some wear and tear sets in and how it performs alongside complete groupsets I have on other bikes. Suspension The VIPA Trail is sold in two options, mine has the Fox Float DPS Factory shock and RockShox Pike RCT3 120 mm fork. The other option being a Fox Float DPS Performance shock with a RockShox Revelation RL 120mm fork. There is no remote lock-out on either of these. If there was, I would probably have it removed as I hardly ever use lock-out on a fork and don't mind flipping the switch on the shock if and when needed. Tyres: Maxxis High Roller II & Maxxis Aggressor I have opted for a Maxxis High Roller II in front and Aggressor rear, both with EXO Protection and tubeless ready casings. I have been using the Aggressor as a rear tyre on my Knolly Warden paired with a Maxxis DHR II. Handlebar and Stem: cSixx XCM LO-RISER BAR and Race Face Atlas cSixx's XCM Lo-Riser bar comes with a 10mm rise, 9° backsweep, 4° upsweep, and weighs in at a feathery 187 grams. This is mounted to the bike using a 65 mm long Race Face Atlas stem with a 0° rise. It is a perfect fit on my size large frame and feels very comfortable whether pedalling or standing up through technical sections. Other bits and pieces As on all my other bikes, I have opted for Specialized Zee Cage II bottle cage as they are some of the best bottle cages on the market. The saddle is also from Specialized's range in the form of the Power Pro and has become my go-to saddle of choice. To mount my trusty Garmin 820, I have fitted a K-Edge Garmin adjustable stem mount and finished the build off with Shimano XT Trail pedals that I have been using for some time now.
  20. I haven't seen a thread for Momsen bikes. So lets see them! I'll start with mine.
  21. Matt

    Review: Momsen VIPA

    Now while stage and marathon races are somewhat of a happy place for me, I also enjoy bombing down a trail and thrashing my bike about, just a bit. My hard tail is a solid bike and stands up well, but it has its limits in terms of forgiveness and comfort when the going gets rough. My ideal is a lightweight and fairly aggressive dual suspension bike. One with the versatility to see me through a multi-day stage race and freedom to hit some gnarlier trails (relatively) worry free. Is that too much to ask? The BuildAs Victor Momsen himself put it, Iwan’s VIPA build is particularly “unique". First off you may notice the dropper post. "On a cross country bike?" I hear you ask. Then we have the longer 120mm fork upfront (a factory VIPA and most bikes in this class will typically come with 100mm). And lastly the American Classic Wide Lightning wheels, which feature a wider rim profile claimed to offer more lateral stability and putting more rubber in contact with the ground.Throw in a VIPA frame, a few other vital bits and these unique choices combine to create a mildly schizophrenic, yet strangely ideal bike. For my tastes at least. SpecificationsPrice: R26,150.00 (suggested retail on the frameset)Frame: Momsen VIPA - Carbon Front Triangle, Carbon Rear Triangle, 80mm Rear Wheel Travel Rear shock: Rock Shox Monarch Fork: Rockshox SID XX 120mm, 51mm offset Brakes: Avid Elixer 5 Shifter: SRAM X0 Grip Shift Cassette: SRAM X0 2X10 Crankset: SRAM X0 2X10 Front derailleur: SRAM X0 Rear derailleur: SRAM X0 Chain: SRAM X0 Handlebar: Momsen Design Up / Down Stem: Momsen Design Downer 60mm Grips: ODI Seatpost: Rockshox Reverb 100mm dropper Saddle: Selle Italia SLR Pedals: Shimano XT Trail Wheels: American Classic Wide Lightning Tyres: Schwalbe Racing Ralph 2.2 (F&R) The FrameA result of collaboration between Victor Momsen and Patrick Morewood, by now the VIPA is no stranger to the SA market. The full carbon frame features 80mm travel with a low-leverage suspension design courtesy of Mr. Morewood (or is that Mr. PYGA) himself. I’m not going to pretend to know what all that means, but basically it is designed pedal well, give good small bump compliance and feel like it’s got a bit more travel than it really does.I’m not the biggest fan of the standard colour way on the VIPA, that’s not to say I wouldn’t have one. The frame itself has a matte black carbon finish, with red and gold checkered decals up front. The rear triangle has a gloss raw carbon finish and features gold caps on the suspension pivot points. In an interview earlier this year Victor Momsen hinted at more colour options on the way and we’ve already seen the white version doing the rounds. Personally I wouldn’t be opposed to a stealth black or black/blue variation. Off the shelf the frame offers internal routing for dropper posts - perhaps an early hint at this bike's "other" personality. Gear and brake cables are routed externally via some neat dual cable clips on the downtube. Weighing in at around 2.2kg for the large frameset (including rear shock and hardware) it's no slouch. And close on half the cost of some of the big brand competitors it's a highly attractive option given the racing pedigree the VIPA has shown. ComponentsAmerican Classic Wide lightning wheels: I was initially skeptical about the real benefit of the wider rim profile and the various marketing claims, but this turned out to be one of the big winners for me – mostly due to how well the tires performed as a result.Schwalbe Racing Ralph 2.2: At first glance the tire profile is noticeably wider than on a standard width rim. Conveniently at the time I had the same spec Racing Ralph’s on my personal bike, albeit with a standard width rim. Beyond the visual differences, the performance was impressive. The usually skittish tires I knew now had more grip in loose sand and stone. The wider profile also provided a greater degree of comfort (and confidence) floating through rock gardens which were ordinarily a bit “grabby”. Avid Elixer 5: Despite all the bad press the Avids get I had no issues with them performance wise. Though not as precise as the likes of XT, the light lever action and progressive brake force made for confident, assured braking. SRAM XO Groupset: The SRAM XO 2x10 setup was smooth, precise and dependable. What I didn’t enjoy was the grip shifters. The ODI grips have been cut to about 60% of their length to neatly fit the grip shift without too much excess grip space. In theory it means the gears are easily accessible without the need for too much hand movement. In practice I found my primary contact point became the shifter itself, which resulted in unexpected mid-bump gear changes. Momsen UP/DOWN bar and Momsen DOWNer Stem: Another of my highlights on this bike was the pairing of the Momsen UP/DOWN bar and Momsen DOWNer Stem. The handlebar was set in the UP mode meaning it had a +5mm rise (it can also be set with a -5mm drop when placed in DOWN mode). The width at 715mm and rearward bend (9 degree) made for an incredibly comfortable riding position and feel when compared to my standard narrower, flatter aluminium bar. RockShox Reverb Dropper Post: While quite out of place given the bike’s purpose, the convenience and effect of the dropper post significantly upped the fun factor and versatility of the bike for everyday riding. For the weight conscious marathon or cross-country racer though, the added heft with limited use is unnecessary. RockShox SID XX 120mm: It’s difficult to fault this fork. It’s light, stiff and performed flawlessly through the rough stuff, small bumps and when it wasn’t needed in the climbs. The added 20mm versus the typical spec added an everyday versatility to the bike while maintaining it’s race-ready stature and adding some serious trail capability. ClimbingThe wide bars, super stiff frame and cockpit made for an aggressive, confident feel in the climbs. Although packing a few extra grams than a factory spec, the bike still felt light and responsive when the road turned up.The negative drop stem seemed to compensate for the added height of the 120mm fork. And although the added travel meant for a slightly slacker head angle, the low forward set climbing position I’m used to was maintained. With the rear shock fully locked out it felt like a hardtail with no pedal bob and direct, efficient power transfer. In “Pedal” mode there was some noticeable bob during a standing climb, but while seated almost none at all. In either scenario the added compliance meant for better traction in anything from loose sand to rooted climbs. In the wet however the skimpy tires made for limited traction on slicker surfaces, regardless of suspension settings. DescendingBeing a race bred marathon / cross-country bike I was asking a lot of this bike in pointing it down the rootiest, rockiest semi-downhill tracks I could find. Although with it’s added attitude the bike would certainly be more capable, the 80mm rear travel was a concern.Immediately the low front end meant I was aware of getting my weight distribution right to avoid any OTB nasties, but even when I thought it had all gone wrong the bike was firmly planted. The slacker head angle thanks to the added travel and larger offset was very useful in these situations. While I wouldn’t attempt any mega drops - even with the limited rear travel - the bike handled the bigger rocks, roots and drops comfortably. There was enough forgiveness to save you (and your derrière) if you get a landing a touch wrong, but it's by no means unlimited - nor is it meant to be. Through mid-range trails the bike showed its forte. The already low stand over height coupled with the dropper post made for a bike that thrived in being thrown about in the corners. Along with the shorter stem and low cockpit it made for a super agile and playful bike with a sure-footedness that made me feel like a mountain bike video rock star, minus the sound track. When the going got bumpy and a bit pedally the rear suspension again proved its worth. Coming from a jarring hardtail the ability to comfortably remain seated through rutted bumps or stand and retain contact with the earth was welcome. In the endAside from the Grip Shifters and the dropper post for any stage or marathon race, there isn't much about this bike I'd want to change. Perhaps the frame colour, but even so as-is it's understated enough to not phase me.As it turned out the odd mash up of bike and components suited my riding needs almost perfectly. So much so that I held onto it for as long as possible before Iwan got suspicious. Built to be something of an all-in-one bike it proved great fun for an everyday muck-about trail ride while still light, stiff and aggressive enough for any stage race I might have thrown at it.
  22. I have been toying with the idea of switching to a dual suspension bike for some time and when Iwan Kemp, aka The Crow, offered me his Momsen VIPA for a test ride I jumped at the opportunity. Touted as a “Super Bike” the Momsen VIPA is purpose built for cross country and marathon riding, though this particular one had a few twists in its tail. Click here to view the article
  23. 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.
  24. 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
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