Build Project: Momsen VIPA Trail

I have been fortunate enough to have been riding a Momsen VIPA Trail prototype frame for the last couple of years. When it was first let loose on trails, 142 mm rear axle sizing was still the place to be and "long, low, and slack" were reserved for Mondraker, the Enduro crowd mad scientists. This was way back in Feb 2015, when the bike was planned as a 2016 bike in the Momsen Bikes line up.

Momsen Vipa Trail 9.jpg

 

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.

 

Momsen Vipa Trail 7.jpg

 

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.

 

Momsen Vipa Trail 8.jpg


Momsen Vipa Trail 1.jpg

Momsen Vipa Trail 2.jpg


cSixx XCM 9SERIES Rim detais

  • Deep 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.

 

Momsen Vipa Trail 10.jpg

 

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.

 

Momsen Vipa Trail 13.jpg

 

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.

 

Momsen Vipa Trail 4.jpg

 

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.

 


Momsen Vipa Trail 11.jpg

Momsen Vipa Trail 6.jpg


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.

 


Momsen Vipa Trail 5.jpg

Momsen Vipa Trail 12.jpg

Momsen Vipa Trail 3.jpg




19 Comments

Christofison, May 15 2017 07:38

Not bad.

splat, May 15 2017 08:00

Very nice looking bike with an awesome build. That must have been a fun project.

 

I am very interested to hear what you think about the geometry.

There was a big debate about it when the bike was launched, and most people seemed to think that it was very short by current standards.

nox1111, May 15 2017 08:57

Lekker Iwan!

As far as a build project goes - that's a lekker build and came together looking flash!

What would the build work out to price wise - this was an initial concern with the frame introduction?

I would opt for 130 or 140 front paired with the 120 rear, but that's just my flavour.  Now for a ride review.

Iwan Kemp, May 15 2017 08:57

Very nice looking bike with an awesome build. That must have been a fun project.

 

I am very interested to hear what you think about the geometry.

There was a big debate about it when the bike was launched, and most people seemed to think that it was very short by current standards.

 

With the 65mm stem and 760mm bars it's a perfect fit for me at 179cm. Perfect. First ride was meant to be dedicated to taking some photos and setting the suspension, has do much fun I did not stop once as I was having too much fun. Even took some Stava PB's!

deonkretch, May 15 2017 09:12

Pretty. Really pretty. Enjoy the bike!

Captain Fatbastard Mayhem, May 15 2017 02:05

Very good looking bike indeed. A tank-rider's XC bike, perhaps? :P

Burner, May 15 2017 02:15

I'm a big supporter of proudly S.A, but this geo is old, and it's guaranteed to be overpriced.I love the colours and details in the frame. Momsen, please use modern geo and make it affordable to us locals!!!

Iwan Kemp, May 15 2017 05:59

I'm a big supporter of proudly S.A, but this geo is old, and it's guaranteed to be overpriced.I love the colours and details in the frame. Momsen, please use modern geo and make it affordable to us locals!!!

 

As mentioned above I managed some single track PB's on my first ride which was meant to setup suspension. This the same segments I have ridden with

- Pyga Stage

- Evil Wreckoning

- Knolly Warden

- Silverback Sesta

- Pyga Stage Max

- The Prototype

- Momsen VIPA

- Cannondale Scalpel si

- Scott Spark

- Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt

- SC Hightower

- countless others...

 

Not saying it's the fastest bike out there, just saying it doesn't hang around and it not bothered by numbers on paper. And this from a geo-loving guy. [For reference Bottelary is a happy playground for 100 / 120mm bikes so the Wreck and Knolly doesn't really count on those]

 

If you look at the pricing it's definitely not overpriced. R52k get you carbon frame with shock, Pike and an Arch wheelset. Let's say the Pike sets you back R10k ( which it won't) and the Arch wheelset will costs R5k (which it doesn't) then you're left with a carbon frame and shock for R37k. Go price the market and let me know what you get for that.

Burner, May 16 2017 08:14

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure it's very playful and it is well spec'd. The detailing is excellent. I come from the composites industry, and know the price can be better....especially for local supporters. I'd love to buy one but the truth is that there are more affordable options out there

Odinson, May 16 2017 09:45

As mentioned above I managed some single track PB's on my first ride which was meant to setup suspension. This the same segments I have ridden with

- Pyga Stage

- Evil Wreckoning

- Knolly Warden

- Silverback Sesta

- Pyga Stage Max

- The Prototype

- Momsen VIPA

- Cannondale Scalpel si

- Scott Spark

- Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt

- SC Hightower

- countless others...

 

Not saying it's the fastest bike out there, just saying it doesn't hang around and it not bothered by numbers on paper. And this from a geo-loving guy. [For reference Bottelary is a happy playground for 100 / 120mm bikes so the Wreck and Knolly doesn't really count on those]

 

If you look at the pricing it's definitely not overpriced. R52k get you carbon frame with shock, Pike and an Arch wheelset. Let's say the Pike sets you back R10k ( which it won't) and the Arch wheelset will costs R5k (which it doesn't) then you're left with a carbon frame and shock for R37k. Go price the market and let me know what you get for that.

 

You're missing one critical element, Iwan. It's a R37k MOMSEN frame! You get that, right?

 

Buying this bike is the equivalent of buying a R500k tata hatchback. Perhaps it's not a bad car and goes okay, but at the end of the day it's still a Tata.

Iwan Kemp, May 16 2017 12:03

You're missing one critical element, Iwan. It's a R37k MOMSEN frame! You get that, right?

 

Buying this bike is the equivalent of buying a R500k tata hatchback. Perhaps it's not a bad car and goes okay, but at the end of the day it's still a Tata.

 

nonky, May 16 2017 04:36

Looks a LOT like a Spez Stumpy or Camber.  That's a GOOD thing, BTW.

 

What's the frame geometry - head angle etc?

Odinson, May 16 2017 05:01

Looks a LOT like a Spez Stumpy or Camber.  That's a GOOD thing, BTW.

 

What's the frame geometry - head angle etc?

 

ccs-62657-0-03785800-1491155649.jpg

 

For me, the reach and wheelbase numbers are too old school. It's a small bike.

NicoBoshoff, May 17 2017 09:19

Is this suspension FSR?

Odinson, May 17 2017 12:48

Is this suspension FSR?

 

Yeah, it's a Worst-Link.

sonofbovril, May 17 2017 04:02

Looks a LOT like a Spez Stumpy or Camber.  That's a GOOD thing, BTW.

 

What's the frame geometry - head angle etc?

 

So they changed to a Horst link, a low leverage rate kinematic and even made it look like a camber/Stumpy... then it pretty much costs the same just to top it all off...? my only question is WHY would anyone buy this over the bike they copied when they designed it?

 

On a side note, speccing a normal Fox instead of the EVOL would be a better choice for the low leverage rate design as the larger air canister provides good small bump compliance and it is more linear, but you to go through your travel faster, hence why Spaz doesn't spec the extra volume air cans on their bikes... the normal air can provides better ramp up due to the smaller volume. With the EVOL you will just end up putting more volume spacers into the can to make it more progressive anyways and prevent it bottoming out so easily, negating the benefit of the EVOL in the first place, especially when you only have 120mm of rear travel to start with.

 

Just my .02c

fusion01, May 17 2017 06:38

Every SCott Spark 2017 120mm uses the EVOL, you must know something they don't... suggest you put in that job app pronto!


"On a side note, speccing a normal Fox instead of the EVOL would be a better choice for the low leverage rate design as the larger air canister provides good small bump compliance and it is more linear, but you to go through your travel faster, hence why Spaz doesn't spec the extra volume air cans on their bikes... the normal air can provides better ramp up due to the smaller volume. With the EVOL you will just end up putting more volume spacers into the can to make it more progressive anyways and prevent it bottoming out so easily, negating the benefit of the EVOL in the first place, especially when you only have 120mm of rear travel to start with.

 

Just my .02c"

fusion01, May 17 2017 06:40

Reach is very short, my 2013 trail bike large size is 440ml (beer talking LOL, 440mm) but I suppose you can run some silly long stem if you wanna, but on a trail bike probably there is no cool factor there... buy hey let's not bash I'd like to ride it and see. Decals not bad but look a little 'bottom heavy' and not well worked across the entire frame. At least colours have a vibe and not boring like so many bike brands nowadays. Let's respect local... lekka!

fusion01, May 17 2017 06:41

 

gooi die cuck weg!