2022 Forme Monsal 1
The Forme Monsal 1 is the brand's top-of-the-range aluminium alloy gravel bike and it punches well above its weight. The bike feels ‘nailed' on whatever kind of ride you are heading out for, it’s fun and engaging on the fast stuff, while comfortable enough for those longer days in the saddle.
The Monsal 1 is one of those bikes where you just have to ignore the spec sheet and put the scales back in the cupboard. At 10.87kg the Monsal sounds on the weighty side, but it does a great job of not feeling even a slight bit sluggish.
The bike has a nimble feel which becomes apparent on technical sections of trail or gravel tracks and the geometry is lively and responsive. The steep 74° seat angle puts you in a position where you can really get the power down and Forme has found a good balance at the front end, making the bike slack enough to be stable on offroad descents whilst still being a fun bike to ride on the road.
All in all, the Monsal is one of those bikes that just gives you confidence as a rider to push on just a little bit harder or faster and that's not always the case with bikes of this price. When it comes to long rides the Monsal 1 also performs admirably, the tubing that Forme has gone for delivers smoothness whilst retaining feedback and without sacrificing stiffness.
The Monsal has plenty of clearance for the 45mm tyres that come as standard, a threaded bottom bracket, Sram's Apex groupset and WTB’s ST i25 rims. Forme's own-brand finishing kit completes an attractive package which is not only good value but is built around one of the best frames in the market when it comes to balancing ride quality, comfort and stiffness.