The Momsen Vipa Trail is a new model in the Momsen range. SHAYNE DOWLING hit the trails with the exciting, full carbon VIPA ONE.
IMAGES BY FRANS LE ROUX
RRP is R59 999 All measurements are for a large frame size
She is a home grown beauty. The paintjob is really special and eye catching – which is always a good way to start, I mean lets be honest: looks count! The “bumblebee” as we affectionately called it looks cool and we particularly liked the contour lines on the frame that included Baakens Valley and River which runs through PE, the hometown of Momsen, and where the bikes are tested prior to production.
Unfortunately looks fade and then it’s what underneath the skin, the personality and individual attributes that count. Now we haven’t in anyway got used to the Vipa Trails good looks, it’s not easy to do with such smooth lines, internal cable routing, white wall tyres and matching Momsen components but I can tell you what we found underneath that pretty exterior. This Momsen’s first production trail bike.
The Vipa Race is it’s established XCO race machine with the Trail coming in to offer a more relaxed geometry that will appeal to a larger market and certainly inspire confidence (and more speed) on the trails. The head angle on the Trail is a lot slacker, coming in at 67.8º but the seat post angle has remained the same, a smaller cockpit but leaving you well planted above the BB and so engage your big muscles when climbing, making the ascents easier.
Of course the Vipa Trail is a snake that isn’t just made for racing it is also made to take on the trails, with more control, confidence and comfort. This becomes very apparent when you point the nose down and head into the trail. The Vipa Trail is nimble and with a slightly lower BB, boost hubs which add to the stiffness of the hoops and overall ride, the Vipa Trail reacts superbly. 120mm front and rear offers nice travel when hitting the rock gardens and drop offs.
The bike is specced with a Rockshox Reba fork which offers proven reliability and is a workhorse, the Fox Float Evol handles the rear and is conveniently situated to easily flip through its three settings. The Shimano 1x drivetrain was great – it is smooth and never complained, an 11-42 setup with 32 tooth chainring up front. Changes I would make if I had to be picky, I would pop on a dropper post and upgrade the brakes. We ran a 90mm stem on the large frame and it is suggested to run an 80mm, 10mm doesn’t seem like a lot but I think it would further improve performance. I really liked the look of the Vee Synthesis Rail Escape tubeless rubber and partnered with the Stan’s ZTR Arch rims formed a good pairing that will take on most SA terrain and weather situations.
We ran 2.25’s back and front and I would definitely want more rubber up front, but that is personal preference and also would depend on where you usually ride. Overall the Vipa Trail One is a great bike. It climbs almost as well as a XCO bike and descends with confidence and dexterity that can only improve most riders experience on the trails. At just on R60k and as a full carbon trail bike the Vipa Trail offers very good value – I would arm-wrestle and get that dropper thrown in! It is a great looking and performing bike – local is lekker!