Wyndy Milla Massive Attack SL review
Custom and superlight, the Massive Attack SL is an epic all-rounder
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Wyndy Milla has created something quite special with the Massive Attack SL to the point where I think labelling it as purely a climber's machine is doing it a bit of a disservice. This is a frame that will do it all and leave you longing to extend your ride every time you take it out. The ride quality is simply superb and straddles the line between raw performance and tempered comfort almost perfectly. Yes, the fact it only comes in a rim brake option might limit it's appeal in some quarters but if this is the case then Wyndy Milla also has you covered with the 'standard' Massive Attack.
Fully custom package
Build and ride quality
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The Wyndy Milla Massive Attack SL has been devised with one goal in mind, to be the ultimate companion in the mountains. It's a breath of fresh air in a cycling world filled with angular tubed 'aero' race bikes thanks in the main to a traditional round tubed double diamond frame design and an emphasis on the super light. It certainly cuts a profile that you can't help but admire for it's elegant simplicity.
The frame is obviously the beating heart of the Massive Attack SL and the crucial part of the custom element of Wyndy Milla's USP. Before you get your hands on a frame Wyndy Milla take you through a full gamut of customisation steps to ensure you end up with the perfect frameset (and build) that suits you and your riding. The process starts with an online questionnaire to ascertain cycling history, existing issues and the type/s of riding you focus on. A full bike fit then needs to be completed at Wyndy Milla's Surrey HQ in order to gather the information to customise the frame to your body shape, strengths and limitations.
It's a full customisation job as well, not just little tweaks to a couple of the tubes. All frame tube sizing, carbon layup and geometry can be adjusted to get the perfect fit and bespoke levels of stiffness and ride handling. At this point the fun starts and you can create the finished look of your frame with the help of Wyndy Milla's in-house paintshop. Included in the price is the first tier paint and graphic option but for small additional costs you can go pretty wild.
Wyndy Milla uses Toray High Modulus M55J carbon fibre for the frame construction and hand build all frames at its factory in Italy. The traditional stylings hide modern thinking with the Massive Attack SL. Gracefully curved and flattened seatstays adorn the rear end, adding some compliance to a frame endowed with a front triangle and bottom bracket area that smacks at positive power transmission. These are also subtly dropped to reduce drag whilst adding even more comfort.
The main frame tubes are all classic round profiles with pretty large diameters being used. These increase junction stiffness in the tube to tube construction whilst keeping weight to a minimum. It utilises an internal clamp system for the seatpost and internal headset to keep things neat and lightweight. Cable routing is also internal but of course as with a custom frame such as this you can opt for routing or even no routing dependent on your groupset of choice.
Eschewing the 2019 approach of putting disc brakes on everything Wyndy Milla is only making the Massive Attack SL in a rim brake version, owing to its raison d'être as a lightweight climber. If you want disc brakes then you'll need to look at the newly launched, 'standard' Massive Attack to get the same frame approach but with the more powerful stoppers. One traditional aspect we are very grateful for is the return of the threaded bottom bracket. Whilst it might add a little weight, the creak free performance by far outweighs this little issue.
>>> Wyndy Milla launch newly revised Massive Attack all-rounder
The kit list on this particular build reads almost like a fantasy dream build you might create whilst whiling away the hours at work. Granted mechanical Shimano Dura-Ace almost feels a little second tier now compared to its Di2 electronic twin or SRAM's eTap AXS wireless groupset when thinking about a dream build, but performance and reliability is without doubt superb.
Owing to an emphasis on light weight the Massive Attack SL A full complement of Enve components are befitting of the custom, high-end feel of the Massive Attack SL.
Highlight of the build has to be the Enve SES 3.4 wheelset consisting of a shallower 38mm deep carbon rim on the front for improved handling and a more aero, deeper 42mm rim rear laced to Chris King hubs. The performance of the resulting wheelset is the equivalent of adding a second engine to a Ferrari. Yes, Wyndy Milla could have specced a slightly lighter wheelset, Enve's own SES 2.2 for example, but at less than 1400 grams for the pair they are lighter than many 'climbing' wheels from other brands.
The only area of the build that had me squirming was the Fabric ALM saddle where the shape and comfort really didn't suit me. Saddles are very personal though and with the custom approach of the Massive Attack SL you will be able to choose your favourite brand and shape without hassle.
After covering over two hundred miles on the first weekend of our test period it was safe to say that I was a little smitten with the Massive Attack SL.
Of course it's quite easy to enjoy riding a bike with this level of componentry but the ride quality of the frame managed to shine out even over the rest of the build. The first thing you notice is just how composed the ride is when cruising, it simply breezes over the road. Even when the road surfaces deteriorated, as is the case with most of the smaller lanes around Surrey and Hampshire, the feedback is delightfully muted.
Fortunately it hasn't fallen into the trap of killing performance in favour of comfort. Neck a caffeine gel, stamp on the pedals and the Massive Attack SL turns into an engaging handful of a bike. Add in the low overall weight and it's easy to get it skipping all over the road, making mincemeat of even the steepest climbs.
Handling is razor sharp and downhill it absolutely screams, well, up until the point when you need to apply the brakes. It's only then when the limitations of even the best specced rim brake/wheel combo leave this disc brake convert wishing for the extra braking confidence instilled by hydraulic stoppers.
With every frame being built differently it’s really difficult to compare geometry and fit but one thing to note is the fact that the bike I rode wasn’t custom to me but still had geometry and sizing that felt nigh on perfect for the type of riding it is intended for.
Find out more: Wyndy Milla Massive Attack SL from Wyndy Milla from £3,925
When dealing with a custom built bike it can be quite difficult to discuss value as each build will technically be tailored to the individual owner and therefore pricing will vary wildly. My particular build for instance came in at £9,000. However at £3,925 for a frameset the Massive Attack SL is right there with the most prestigious of bike brands in terms of cost.
When you add in the fact that the frame will be unique to yourself, not only in the fit but also in finish, then it begins to be a bit easier to justify this cost for what is a very niche brand. Making that price a little easier to swallow Wyndy Milla also offers full builds from £4,745, which actually represents pretty good value for money.
One final area to consider is the typical thought process when paying for a custom frameset. Usually when considering a custom frame we almost invariably think of a steel or titanium 'frame-for-life', with carbon not really being considered for its longevity. Wyndy Milla however has considered this and each frame also comes with a full lifetime guarantee that adds plenty of reassurance when committing large sums of money on such as special item.
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James Bracey's career has seen him move from geography teacher, to MBR writer, to Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and video presenter. He possesses an in-depth knowledge of bicycle mechanics, as well as bike fit and coaching qualifications. Bracey enjoys all manner of cycling, from road to gravel and mountain biking.
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