Building the Momsen Vipa Ultra frame

To save on freight (as that frame and shock price is a delivered price), Momsen send their frames disassembled. This makes a whole lot of sense, and given that best practice on any premium bike build is to take the frame apart and rebuild it so you know the bearings are greased and the pivots at the right torque - it actually just saves you time stripping it down to do this.

The frame kit comes with everything you need, including an instruction sheet on how to put everything together.

 

Like anytime that you're dealing with set torque ratings, it's best to use a torque wrench. Cabron bike frames and bits have set tolerances, as do just about any lightweight part or fastener. And here's the thing, even if youre not a weight weenie you still probably have light parts on your bike with set torque ratings - it's just how the bike industry works to make sure we have cool bikes. So getting a torque wrench is a sound investment!

With all the parts laid out and the mainframe in the workstand, the Super B Torque wrench was a go-to tool. A workstand sure makes the job a lot easier.

Building the bike is pretty simple, but it does help to follow some guidelines that are available on the Vipa Ultra microsite. We used Ride Mechanic Bike Butter as an assembly paste, and learnt the hard way that the linkage should be attached to the seat stay swing arm before the swing arm is attached to the chainstay. 

But, all said it was an easy task - if you were uncertain any bike shop could do it and as everything is clean and ready it's a cinch, and shouldn't take them long at all.

We set the bike up in the slack position to start - as we figured it is more fun that way.

The whole frame looks super neat when built up, with the matte black finish and grey logos looking understated but cool.

 
As stated earlier, the frame has two in-built storage options. There's a zippered compartment behind the head tube which can probably hold about 4 gels, or maybe your multi-tool, tyre plugs and a small chain lube - it depends what you want close at hand but not in your pocket.
 

As the lower compartment sits so low, it suits things you don't need to grab quickly, and that weigh a bit more. To us this seems like the best spot for your multitool and maybe a light tube. A big tube won't fit.

The whole frame kit tips the scales at about 2.8kg with the shock and cable routing hardware. This is without the headset though. A lot of the hardware isn't that light, using metal where some brands use plastic. This adds up but it does make for parts that last longer.

This frame is Size 2. There are only two sizes in the Vipa Ultra, as the frame length covers such a variety of rider heights.

 

Of course we can't really test a frame without parts, so the next step was to build the bike up with a component selection that suited the bike's intended use.