South Africa is mountain bike mad. It's the home of major mountain bike talents like Andrew Neethling, Greg Minaar, Alan Hatherly, Mariske Strauss, the late Burry Stander and many more. In South Africa, mountain bike stage races are king - with events held nearly every weekend. One professional has even claimed he could race a stage race every week if he wanted to.

Momsen Bikes are born from this riding and racing passion, and here at AMB we tested the Momsen Vipa Race Two earlier this year. The 29er sported 80mm of travel, with steady geometry, a full carbon fibre frame and room for two bottles, ideal for marathons and stage races. But the bike's designer, Victor Momsen, was working on a new project - the Vipa Ultra. A bike designed specifically for the demands of major stage races like the Cape Epic, Joburg2c, Cape Pioneer Trek, Tankwa Trek and more. 

Having launched the first VIPA in March 2013 at the Absa Cape Epic, the Ultra was launched at the 2018 Epic. Momsen claims the bike is more comfortable, more stable and more focused on the long distance events.

This is partly due to revised geometry thanks to the changes in mountain bike geometry and axle standards in five years, plus suspension refinement.

The Vipa Ultra stands apart from the crowd, as so many bikes are XC focused and then put to work in a stage race. But Momsen claim they have gone 'all in' with the Ultra, with a focus purely on stage racing.

The reach has increased 40mm for better stability, and the 20mm of extra travel aids traction and comfort. Details of note include:

* Progressive modern geometry: 68.5 degree head angle and longer reacg ( 67.5 degrees when coupled with 120mm fork )
* Dual Integrated Storage Solution
* Two bottles (750mL) can fit in the medium
* New Flip Chip suspension/geometry adjustment
* Low front end with short headtube
* Boost 148 rear wheel spacing
* Threaded 73mm bottom bracket
* Both 1x and 2x compatibility

Integrated Storage and increased hydration

The new Vipa Ultra features an integrated storage compartment at the front of the toptube, complete with a durable zipper bag. This offers easy access to on-the-go essentials like nutrition, tools, repair and items typically stowed away in your pockets.

A second integrated storage compartment located on the bottom of the downtube features a robust click-in cover that is perfect for storing additional CO2 cartridges, repair tools and items where access is not required on the move.

With two bottle mounts inside the frame's main triangle, there is a third below the down tube, suitable for spares or a 3rd bottle for ultra-distance events.

Modify your ride

The flip chip means you can ride in the 'slack' or 'steep' position, with an adjustment that only takes a few minutes with a hex key. The slack position mimics running a 120mm fork if you keep a 100mm fork on the front.

Right now we are waiting to hear whether the Vipa Ultra will land with the Australian importer. Otherwise, the frame kits are available direct from Momsen Bikes. More details can be found on their website.