Exclusive: Momsen Teams with Morewood, South African “Superbike” Vipa Snakes into Reality
Heralded as the first full carbon, full suspension mountain bike that has been designed and developed in South Africa, Momsen is introducing their all new VIPA Marathon/XC
29er mountain bike. To bring the VIPA to life, Victor Momsen teamed up with renowned suspension engineer Patrick Morewood – formerly of Morewood bikes. Patrick left his namesake company in 2011, looking for a new challenge and started PYGA Industries which currently offers three different models, a 29 and 650b full suspension model and a 650b hard tail. The name of the bike, while carrying a viper connotation, is derived from the combination of VIctor and PAtrick’s names, hence VIPA.
Teaming up with Morewood, Momsen hoped to create a short travel full suspension rig based on Patrick’s Low Leverage Ratio designs. As a result, the VIPA is reported to have 80mm of mostly linear travel with a short progressive spike at the end of the curve to keep things from bottoming out. In order to tailor the bike to the South African market (or any XC market, really) the VIPA needed to be extremely pedal efficient, yes still retain great small bump compliance all in a very light package.
Both Patrick and Victor are happy with the result, and without further ado, the Momsen VIPA…
Beneath the surface, the VIPA features most of the modern features you would expect on a “superbike” – namely a 142×12 rear end, press fit bottom bracket, and internal cable routing for a dropper post. Interestingly, while the routing for the dropper is internal, the rest of the cable routing is externally routed along the downtube, held in place with a combination of bolt on cable guides and zip ties (yes, one of the rear zip ties is missing in the photo above).
The head tube is a 1.5 to 1 1/8″ tapered affair with Patrick’s signature gracing the top tube – we’re thinking they might have been better off with one version of Patrick’s name in the paint, but there it is. As far as the weight goes, currently, medium prototypes are pushing 1800g excluding the rear shock. Without the shock included in the measurement it’s a little difficult to compare, though when Cannondale introduced the new Scalpel it was a claimed 1900g for a frame and shock – so the VIPA seems plenty light.
It appears that the low leverage ratio has been worked out using a Rock Shox Monarch rear shock, though final spec and pricking are still to be determined. The shock itself is attached to the seat stay, which itself rotates on the carbon rocker arm connected to the front of the seat tube. The graph above illustrates the VIPA’s leverage ratio which starts at a fairly low 2.126 which then drops to nearly 1.984 before rising just before bottom out. Victor draws attention to the fact that the design is not an FSR design as the pivot is behind the rear axle on the seat stay rather than the chainstay and in front of the rear axle. Victor and Patrick are confident in their design that they do not need suspension trickery to make a well balanced and efficient suspension bike.
VIPAs will be available as complete bikes, or as frame modules which will include the frame, shock, headset, seatclamp, and seat post. Both options are to be determined as far as pricing and specification.