Review: Momsen GP300 - One Bike, Three Sets of Tyres

Momsen Bikes launched the GP300 as part of their 2018 gravel range which includes the R335, but where the R355 is aimed at the higher end of the market with its full carbon frame and fork, the all-alloy GP300 is a bit more budget-friendly. A big feature of the GP300 is that it can support two support 29 and 27.5 wheels with up to 2.1" mountain bike tyres or 50C gravel tyres, so we tried it out with three different configurations.

Momsen GP300 1.jpg

 

Retail Specification


  • FrameAlloy Gravel Plus, 142 X 12mm Rear Thru-Axle, Internal Cable Routing, Rear Flatmount For Disc
  • ForkAlloy Gravel, Alloy Blades, Taper Steerer, 100 X 15mm Thru-Axle, Disc Only, Flat Mount
  • HeadsetMomsen Integrated, Alloy
  • StemMomsen 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 Tape
  • RotorTektro Spyre, 6 Bolt, 160mm Front and Rear
  • Brake LeverTektro Spyre Mechanical Disc, Rear/Right, Front/Left
  • TyresClement X’Plor MSO 60TPI 700x40c Wire Bead
  • Tube700x 40C, Presta Valve
  • RimsWeinmann U28TL / 32H / Custom Decal
  • SpokesStainless Black
  • Front HubAlloy 32H, 100 X 15mm Thru-Axle
  • Rear HubAlloy 32H, 142 X 12mm Thru-Axle
  • Chainwheel SetSRAM S350-1, Alloy, 24mm, X-SYNC 42T
  • ChainKMC X11.93
  • Bottom BracketSRAM Pressfit GXP Road 86.5/WA91.5
  • SaddleMomsen Custom, Cromo Rail, Embossed Graphics
  • SeatpostMomsen Alloy 27.2mm / 350mm
  • Seat BinderAlloy 31.8mm CNC Groove
  • ShiftersSRAM Apex 11-Speed Rear Only
  • Rear DerailleurSRAM Rival1 Long Cage
  • CassetteSRAM PG-1130 11-42T
  • AccessoriesClear Chainstay Protector, Momsen Headbadge, Owner’s Manual
  • Weight10.22kg ( 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.

 

Momsen GP300 4.jpg

 

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.

 

Momsen GP300 14.jpg

 

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 traction

 

I 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.

 


Momsen GP300 8.jpg

Momsen GP300 17.jpg


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.

 

Momsen GP300 10.jpg
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.

 


Momsen GP300 12.jpg650bx50c versus 700x40c

Momsen GP300 6.jpgPlenty 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.

 

Momsen GP300 2.jpg

 

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.

 




9 Comments

MomsenBikes SA, Jul 25 2018 08:46

the SRAM GX Crankset is an interesting addition to the test bike - not our standard spec. Running MEATIER 27.5 Tyres would raise the BB and also open up another DIMENSION for this bike ... horses ( tyres ) for courses.

TheJ, Jul 25 2018 09:09

I really like the look of this bike... wish I could add one to my stable.

Shebeen, Jul 25 2018 09:23

I like the thinking gone into this.

 

You buy the bike with a set of wheels (700 is stock right?), but then have to source the other size separately.

 

Why not offer the option of 2 wheelsets in the full OEM package?

MomsenBikes SA, Jul 25 2018 10:10

yes - most true Gravel Bikes come with 700 x 40c ( or thereabout ) wheels fitted.

 

the choice of 2nd wheelset is a personal one - ie. the above was with a 27.5 Semi-Slick ( hence the very small outer diameter ) - we would have gone with a MORE AGGRESSIVE option ... like a 27.5 x 2.1 tyre -- that would make the bike eve more DIRT-FRIENDLY.

 

it really depends on the sort of riding/adventures you want to do.

 

this model has been very popular for us this 2017/2018 season.

daniemare, Jul 25 2018 11:46

Would have loved if you had an option - even if it was a R2000 more, with hydraulic brakes. Ai, price point marketing - gotta love it

MomsenBikes SA, Jul 25 2018 12:25

Would have loved if you had an option - even if it was a R2000 more, with hydraulic brakes. Ai, price point marketing - gotta love it

 

there is a GP500 coming for 2019 ... it has Hydraulic Brakes and some other upgrades - launching next month 

TheJ, Jul 26 2018 12:07

2019 GP500

post-131547-0-09569700-1531819025.jpg

 

2019 GP300

post-131547-0-11099000-1531819340.jpg

wildwindfr, Jul 30 2018 09:50

Man I really love the colour on that Gp500. Makes me wonder what I need to save up for. A new Al529 or Al629 or the GP500. At least I have till December to decide!

Bernard Jansen, May 03 2019 08:47

Would have loved if you had an option - even if it was a R2000 more, with hydraulic brakes. Ai, price point marketing - gotta love it


The GP 500 is out with hydraulic disc brakes and costs R7,500 more. In the words of the cycle shop sales rep, it is essentially a GP 300 with a massive premium for hydraulic disc brakes, Dear Momsen, why so much more?