The local bike manufacturer has built a bike with all the attributes to make it the focal point of all your new adventures – By Oli Munnik
Momsen’s new R355 carbon gravel bike is named after the road that’s not only the longest between any two towns in South Africa, but also the longest stretch of road without a fuel stop! This 648km (and almost entirely gravel) road links Ceres in the Western Cape to Springbok in the Northern Cape, and has a reputation as a brutally tough but richly rewarding route.
Victor Momsen, owner of Momsen Bikes, stresses the fact that the R355 is not a CX bike intended for lap racing. Its taller head tube, slacker head angle and longer wheelbase offer stable, predictable handling, intended for long days turning the pedals.
Straight out the box the R355 is ready to hit any road, with a Sram 1×11 drivetrain, Sram Hydro disc brakes, Stan’s ZTR Grail tubeless-ready wheels and a set of 700x40C Clement X’Plor tyres. Flared handlebars are a nice touch, adding extra control and allowing a bar bag to be fitted easily.
In terms of tyre clearance, the R355’s full-carbon frame and fork (with thru-axles) can fit three wheel sizes – 700×28 to 40C; 27.5”x2.1”; and 29”x1.95”.
At under 9kg with the pedals, it’s a super-light package. A sub-R20 000 alloy version, the GP300 Gravel Bike, will also be available.