2018 NAHBS: Moots Dirt Drop Soft Tail Prototype

I love seeing Moots‘ offerings at NAHBS. They’re typically very subdued, void of ostentation and fine-tuned for whatever form of riding. So when I see Moots do something experimental, I’m intrigued. This year, they brought a dirt drop “Soft Tail Prototype” to the show and it gained a lot of attention. My favorite moment was overhearing an older gentleman explaining to a younger child who John Tomac is. Sure, bikes like this live in that magical Tomac era, and many would argue they should stay there, but part of me – the fun part of my brain anyway – really wants to see how a machine like this handles. As for the details, Moots selected the Fox AX fork, a new soft tail design with 15mm of travel in the rear wishbone seat stay and a chunkier tire up front. All it needs is a dropper post, ATMO.

Are you interested in one? Well, this is a prototype, and Moots is still trying to figure out the final detailing. If you want to email Moots, you can do so at their website.

  • Eric Wang

    This is pure radness! I had hoped Moots would make me a YBB Baxter frame to swap the Slate’s Lefty Oliver fork onto. When I realized that they didn’t want to do that, I went a different route: grabbing a first-gen Santa Cruz Blur with the super short ETT and slapping dropbars and 27.5 wheels on it. Full squish gravel+ is the jam.


    • Jon B.

      ^ fresh

  • Bryce Dillon

    I’ve got to say I really don’t find that Fox AX aesthetically pleasing

    • It’s a little much, visually, for such little travel. I’d rather ride a fat tire at lower pressures than get a big fork to basically do the same thing. It’d be rad to see Moots do a steel fork with some kinda YBB tech in it, versus putting this on a bike. BUT – that said, I get it and still wanna ride one. hahah

      • singlespeedscott

        Front suspension will be the norm on gravel bikes within two years. We went through all of this in the early 90’s with MTB’s. Nay sayers will be quiet once they discover the improved comfort and control in the rough that comes with suspension.

        • John B.

          Time for a cannondale headshock revival!

          • I’d love to see some kind of YBB “inverted” fork design at the lower ends of the fork but honestly, bigger tires at lower pressures always do the trick for me.

          • andygowans

            Inverted forks are the way to go for gravel. They look better and function better then normal forks for long distance events. I have an RS1 on a Shand drop bar monster cross and it looks pretty good. If Rockshox did a 50mm RS1 gravel with axle to crown to suit gravel frames it would be rad.

        • You should have seen what was hanging in the office of a big bike brand a few years back. Kinda mind blowing.

      • Bryce Dillon

        I agree with you for sure! I have nothing against suspension forks on gravel bikes, I just think it would be cool if Fox redesigned the looks to better suit gravel bikes rather than a smaller version of their traditional mountain bike forks. Also DAMN I want to ride that Moots!

  • Steven Elmes

    Definitely my favorite bike of the show!