Drop Bars Make it Hot: Mike’s Moots Mooto X RSL Dirt Drop MTB

Drop bars make any mountain bike hot. Now whether it’s a heat that you feel in your heart or in your stomach depends on your point of view. For Mike at Golden Saddle Cyclery, he wanted to do something new to his rigid Moots Mooto X RSL after growing tired of it with flat bars, so he converted it to a dirt drop MTB. By using a Wolf Tooth Tanpan, Mike was able to run Shimano road shifters with the MTB derailleur and cassette. That nifty piece of tech, gives you Di2 road / mountain compatibility with standard, cable-actuated shifting.

Mike’s been riding it to work at GSC, where he’s a mechanic, via the various dirt trails and roads in LA. When you think about it, a bike like this makes a lot of sense when you can ride dirt from your front door, that may not merit suspension but would benefit from a chunkier tire. Personally, I think bikes like this look damn good and are damn fun to ride.

  • barry mcwilliams

    Doesn’t hurt that Mike’s about the nicest dude you’ll ride with.

  • tylernol

    mountain bikes running drop bars, cross bikes running flat bars… when will this madness end?

    • I wanted him to keep the suspension fork on it! haha.

      • Leroy

        I blame BikeSnob

  • Eric Wang

    How does he like the long reach of an MTB frame? I’m doing something very similar to this with a vintage full susser and found I had to size down to account for the extended drop bar reach.

    • Depends on the frame really, but the Mooto X RSL doesn’t have especially long reach for a flat bar bike. Looks like Mike is handling it just fine with a reasonable stem, but you’re right that a lot of people would need to size down and still run a stubby stem.

  • Trevor Nawalkowski

    I built something along these lines with a Soma Juice 29er frame. Works awesome! All the fun on single track with the “grind it out on the highway, drop bar positioning” for long haul or gravel. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f0714ba678b4d20ced6f526e62646e3d4fad3529092d1da899f053cbe42c6315.jpg

  • Richard

    Holy cow that chain ring looks like some kind of ninja weapon with those teeth!

    What are the opinions out there on using teeth like that, versus “regular” chain ring, versus a chain keeper on a 1x? I’m in the process of converting a ‘cross bike…

    • 1x narrow wide rings are amazing. I would never use a normal ring with a chain keep anymore.

      • Let’s just start calling narrow wide rings normal!

  • Jake Hueber

    Great looking bike, whats the saddle bag? I’ve been searching for one this style that’ll hold a 29er tube and a few other items if possible.

  • AaronBenjamin

    Smart mounting on that Tanpan!

  • Bailey Gene Newbrey

    Go Cubbies.

  • Chris Dunand

    What handlebars are those?

  • Troy Phillips

    That’s bad ass looking. And yes it works for a lot of situations

  • Michael Hotten

    I have been thinking of doing the same thing with my hard tail. I even have the Enve for installed. But the question I keep asking myself is, “how will putting on drop bars make this bike more fun?”

    • Michael

      Getting under wind? More hand/body adjustments? I suppose neither is fun altering though being forced to ride upright against a headwind because you can’t tuck comfortably for an extended period would be decidedly not fun…

    • JScriv

      Drop bars and dropper posts!

    • Drop bars save your wrists. Not only that but the body english over the bike is different. Somehow more agile

  • Robert Franklin

    I wonder how the geometry on this compares to a Salsa Cutthroat.

  • Cole Cochran

    I commute to work on my Fargo with a similar setup. A good chunk of my commute is on the green belt in Austin.

  • Pat Smith

    That fly…..what timing !

  • Paul_SFC

    Perhaps I’m thick but I can’t quite figure out which part of this bike has Di2. I thought the tanpan just converts cable actuation between mechanical road and mountain components.

    • I was just saying (probably poorly) that Di2 opens up compatibility for road and MTB Shimano shifters to communicate. For traditional cable-actuated derailleurs and shifters, the Tanpan makes it possible.

  • jon robert

    where can i get that amazing patch!?

    • Which one?

      • jon robert

        huh. so distracted i didn’t notice there were two. the Set Phasers to Stab one

        • That’s an old design from @FLTodd. Not sure he’s got anymore.

  • Peter Chesworth

    The light in the rear three quarter photo is captured beautifully John.