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.
- 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
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.
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 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
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.
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.