In contrast to bikes such as Cannondale’s CAAD Optimo 1, Forme’s new Monyash 2 is much more representative of a 2022 all-round road bike costing around £1,000.
The Monyash 2 has an aluminium frame, a full-carbon fork, cable disc brakes, front and rear thru-axles and a 34×32 bottom gear.
Its all-rounder credentials are evident in its clearance for 35mm tyres – or 32mm with mudguards – plus its three sets of bottle bosses and rear-rack bosses. Fittings for mudguards mean you won’t be fiddling around to mount them either.
Forme Monyash 2 spec details
The sub-£1,000 price means you’re only getting Shimano’s eight-speed Claris groupset and quite modest Tektro Mira brakes, but Forme does spec a better set of wheels than you’ll find on many bikes at this price, and the hand-built own-brand hoops are paired with some quality tyres too, in the form of 28mm Schwalbe One tubeless-ready rubber.
Forme – pronounced ‘form’ rather than ‘for me’ – is the bike brand of the long-established family-owned distributor Moore Large. After a quiet spell, it has launched a number of new bikes for 2022, and it describes the Monyash as “the machine to reach for when heading out on an epic, a Sunday club run or even a fast commute”.
Despite having lesser pedigree than brands such as Cannondale and Spa, and less exclusivity than Oxford, Forme has put together a bike that’s a real treat to ride.
It’s a pretty firm ride, but not uncomfortable, and you could easily build in more plushness by upping the tyre width, because the Schwalbes only measure a shade over 26mm when fitted.
How we tested
We tested four bikes around the £1,000 mark that are all suitable for commuting, but that can be used for much more than the daily grind to work.
Their aspirations take in leisure riding, fast fitness and perhaps even racing ambitions, plus loading up for trips away. As such, while they are all around the same price, each offers a distinct set of characteristics and features.
Be sure to check out all four reviews to see which one might just be a good fit for you and the cycling you do.
Also on test:
If I was buying this bike, I’d go to 30 or 32mm tyres to soften the ride a little, and maybe opt for Schwalbe’s G-Ones for extra grip on unsurfaced tracks, while still allowing you to fit mudguards.
You do feel rougher road surfaces through the frame and the handlebar tops, which are quite skinny front to back; I prefer fatter bar tops, ideally with a bit of ovalising for long-distance comfort.
But the Monyash is pretty light for the price and you only really notice its 10kg weight when things start to get steeper.
The full-carbon fork with tapered steerer delivers precise handling and accurate steering, but this has a shallower head angle than a full-on road bike, so it never gets too lively. The result is pleasingly neutral handling that makes it an ideal commuter bike as well being suited to fitness and social riding (with mudguards fitted, of course…).
I’m a big fan of Shimano’s budget groupsets and the Forme’s eight-speed Claris gearing worked as well as I’ve come to expect.
The shifts across the cassette to a smaller sprocket (higher gear) are clunkier than you’ll find on Shimano’s higher-spec groupsets, and it’s also a bit more of an effort shifting to the big chainring, but it’s a groupset that should give you years of hassle-free service.
With only eight ratios, there are some quite big jumps between gears, especially with the lowest gears, but the 34×32 bottom gear is much lower than you’d have got a few years ago. I’d still prefer a one-to-one ratio 34×34 for that bit more help on hills.
The brakes are Tektro Mira cable discs with 160mm rotors. They are only a single-piston design, but I found the braking smooth, consistent and powerful enough, with only the merest whisper of a squeal on occasions.
The other advantage of disc brakes over rim brakes is that your rims should last a good deal longer.
Forme Monyash 2 ride impressions
I had no complaints about quality of ride. The Monyash 2 is a little heavier than the Cannondale CAAD Optimo 1 I’ve also reviewed, but once you’re up to speed, it rolls smoothly, comfortably and confidently.
Forme’s Monyash would make an excellent choice if you’re upgrading from a bike-shaped object and looking for your first ‘serious’ bike, whether for commuting, fitness riding or more.
It looks pretty good, too, for a budget bike, with the designers not going overboard with the paints.
Forme Monyash 2 geometry
|Seat angle (degrees)||74||74||74||74|
|Head angle (degrees)||71.5||71.5||71.5||71.5|
|Seat tube (mm)||520||540||560||580|
|Top tube (mm)||537||551||565||581|
|Head tube (mm)||110||125||150||175|
|Fork offset (mm)||48||48||48||48|
A little more
- Forme Monyash 1
Add £400 and you’ve jumped up the Shimano groupset hierarchy to the 11-speed 105, though the frame, forks, brakes and wheels are the same. It’s a shame the brakes aren’t dual-piston, but the price is still fair.
A little less
- Forme Longcliffe
The Longcliffe has the same drivetrain with wide-ranging gears as our test bike, but this one’s very much the entry-level road bike rather than a wider-tyred all-rounder. The claimed weight of 10.4kg isn’t bad for a bike at this price.
|Available sizes||52, 54, 56, 58cm|
|Tyres||Schwalbe One 700x28c|
|Seatpost||Forme alloy 27.2mm|
|Saddle||Selle Royal, Forme branded|
|Rear derailleur||Shimano Claris|
|Handlebar||Forme Compact alloy|
|Bottom bracket||Shimano BSA threaded, 68mm|
|Fork||Full UD carbon, tapered steerer|
|Cranks||Shimano Claris 50/34|
|Cassette||Shimano HG50 8-speed 11-34|
|Brakes||Tektro Mira cable disc, 160mm rotors|
|Wheels||Forme alloy, 24 spoke, sealed bearing thru-axle hubs|