A small company with big spirit
Bicycle company Two Wheels Trading was founded in 2007 to distribute fine bicycle accessories. Since then, it has released two bike brands tailored to South Africa’s unique conditions.
as an avid mountain biker, who in his day earned provincial colours in cross country and downhill racing, Victor Momsen always dreamt of starting his own bicycle brand. In 2007, he founded Two Wheels Trading, and two years later founded Momsen Bikes, a brand he specifically designed to meet the unique challenges associated with South Africa’s rugged and diverse mountain biking terrain.
Since 2013, between 1% and 4% of Absa Cape Epic participants were riding a Momsen. It was the seventh most-popular brand in this year’s KAP Sani2C, with nearly 5% of the event’s more than 4 000 participants riding one.
The stats might sound unimpressive, but a large portion of Cape Epic participants are foreigners and unfamiliar with brands sold only locally. The brand is competing with international giants, such as Specialized, which was the most popular brand (26.47%) at this year’s Sani2C.
In 2013, Momsen launched the Muna kids’ brand, after his children, Mia (8) and Ethan (4) made him aware of a gap in the market for quality, affordable children’s bikes.
What did you do before starting your own business?
I’ve always been a bike geek and started working part-time at BeachBreak, to my knowledge SA’s first real mountain biking shop, when I was 16. After school, besides cycling a lot, I went to Taiwan – the real heart of the global cycling business – to do in-service training for a diploma in mechanical engineering and ended up working there for almost three years.
On my return, I worked for Probike as product manager and later product director. While there, I helped to breathe new life into Raleigh, which at the time had developed a reputation for being “cheap and nasty”.
Why did you decide to start your own business?
It was a combination of reasons. Most importantly I always wanted to design and have my own bike brand. Working at a factory in Taiwan that manufactured its own brand, which was quite rare at the time, gave me a bird’s-eye view of what the business entailed and helped me foster valuable connections in the industry.
My experience at Probike also boosted my confidence – I thought if I could do it for someone else, I could do it for myself. And one can only go that far when working