Building the Momsen Vipa Ultra bike

So what parts work for the Momsen Vipa Ultra? Well you have a lot of options, but the Fox 34 SC fork is a lightweight fork that is super stiff and a lot of fun, so that was the first choice.

As for wheels, wide is right, so some 29mm internal EIE Carbon rims laced to 28 hole DT Swiss 350 hubs were making it onto the Momsen. Weighing about 1400g these wheels can support a wide tyre and low pressures. A Maxxis Rekon in 2.4" WT went on the front and although there is a Rekon Race out the back in the photos, it was subbed for a Maxxis Ikon in 2.35" for fast rolling and high volume.

For the group set there was some indecision, until Shimano said they had a Shimano XTR M9100 group set for us to test! These have been thin on the ground as major fires in Shimano's factory knocked production around a lot.

We opted for the Race brakes and the SGS derailleur with the 10-51 cassette. The cranks are the MT-900 unit - essentially the same as the last ones but with a direct mount ring. We hear that crank production of the new models was one of the aspects that was most delayed by fire.

The cockpit was easy enough. We fitted the provided 40mm stem and kept the front and low and short as recommended. Then we fitted the Ride Farr Farr Barr that we tested last year.  The bar adds an extra hand position near the stem, but otherwise has a good sweep and width.


The new Shimano XTR M9100 brake levers clamp further inboard, but the lever stays in the same place - basically it braces against the bar for a stiffer lever feel. Typically we found the XTR Race brakes didn't feel nearly as good as the Trail versions so let's see if this changes our mind. Some PRO slip on grips finished off the cockpit.

We have some of the XPEDO pedals on review and their light M-FORCE 8 with a Cromo spindle is just 260g and spins smoothly. We also have some flat and trail pedals being reviewed too - stay tuned!

The bike looks sharp all built up - and some parts of the build were easy (thanks for the threaded bottom bracket shell!) but others were not so staright forward. The internal routing was a bit of a nightmare without one of the tools to help. With the ports beyond finger reach from the head tube or bottom bracket, it did take some precise torch shining and work with a customised spoke to latch onto the outer or hose. So far we don't have a dropper post fitted, and although this bike is screaming for a light weight unit the thought of internally routing another outer is off-putting.

And while the cable port covers have options for one, two or three hoses or outers (or none) and are made from metal, they don't really retain the housing, so we are anticipating some trail noise inside the frame.

But will the ride of the bike win us over? That can only be found out one way - so we just need to hit the trails. As it stands this bike is about 11kg, and that's with a 34 SC fork and big tyres. We'll finish the build with a dropper and check back in - catch our full review of the frame in Issue #176.

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