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Don’t Call It a Baxter: A Review of the All-New Moots Routt ESC Adventure Gravel Bike

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Don’t Call It a Baxter: A Review of the All-New Moots Routt ESC Adventure Gravel Bike

The Baxter was a blip in a long line of adventure bikes to grace Moots’ 40 years of building frames in the Rockies. Personally, I really liked the Baxter. It held its own in the Steamboat Ramble Ride and tackled our “Disconnected” project in the Inyo Mountains with SRAM but the Baxter had some quirks that needed to be addressed. With the Routt ESC, Moots did just that, abandoning the Baxter model altogether.

In an era where adventure, gravel, touring, and bikepacking bikes are seeing lots of permutation, there’s no time for nostalgia. Brands need to address their bike’s quirks and redesign as needed. That’s where the Routt ESC comes in. It’s like the Baxter and the Routt gravel line had a lovechild, which resulted in a completely new paradigm within the Moots catalog. Let’s check out this new Routt ESC bike in more detail below!

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Introducing Our Beautiful Builds Video Series! Beginning with John’s Retrotec Funduro

Beautiful Builds. Like Beautiful Bicycles but in video! For our first video in this series, John goes over his Retrotec Funduro with videographer Justin Balog in beautiful Santa Fe, NM. Check the video out above and be sure to like and subscribe to The Pro’s Closet’s YouTube, where we’ll be hosting our videos from here on out…

Many thanks to the Fat Tire Society for maintaining these wonderful trails and to our creative director Cari Carmean for the kick-ass Beautiful Builds type treatment!

Music: Electric Wizard “Dunwich”

René Herse Got a Big Shipment of Tires In

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René Herse Got a Big Shipment of Tires In

If you’re one of the people patiently waiting for a model René Herse tires to land in stock, today is your lucky day. This morning the Seattle-based tire manufacturer just received a shipment of their most popular rubber including the 650B x 55 Umtanum Ridge, 700C x 35 Bon Jon Pass, the 26″ x 2.3″ Rat Trap Pass, and more. Head on over to René Herse to see the full stock availability.

The Otso Cycles Fenrir Touring Bike is a Drop Bar 29er Stainless Steel Monster!

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The Otso Cycles Fenrir Touring Bike is a Drop Bar 29er Stainless Steel Monster!

Is it a gravel bike? A drop bar 29er? Or something else entirely? When it comes to the nomenclature surrounding these modern touring bikes, I often scratch my head, pondering an answer to this question. My usual inclination is to envelop these bikes under the umbrella of “adventure bikes” but then this bike landed in my lap. The Otso Cycles Fenrir is aligned with bikes like the Kona Sutra ULTD and the Moots Baxter but Otso did something different – i.e. better – than its competitors. The Fenrir took it up a notch and has utilized boost spacing wheels, which in my mind, put this in the drop bar 29er category.

I’ve had the Fenrir for a while now, have taken it on an overnighter, and have ridden some of my favorite mixed terrain routes here in Santa Fe with it. On washboarded sandy roads to singletrack, doubletrack, and gravel, the Fenrir is a hell of a bike and one that I really resonated with, so let’s check it out in detail below…

Mason Cycles Introduce Its Made in the UK RAW Hardtail

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Mason Cycles Introduce Its Made in the UK RAW Hardtail

Featuring custom shaped Dedacciai Zero/Zero Uno tubing, mixed with Reynolds, a 66º (sagged) head angle, clearance for a 29×2.6″ tire and a 34t chainring, 73mm stainless BSA threaded bottom bracket shell, the Mason Cycles RAW is a made in the UK expedition-ready hardtail that’s available as a frame, frame+fork, or two build kits, SLX or Deore XT.

The RAW takes touring and long-distance rides seriously, with 15 discrete integrated bottle/bag/accessory mounts, including semi-custom options such as male threaded/standard bottle bosses or top tube pack mounting points. It also has rack mounts and is designed for a 120mm travel fork.

There’s so much to unpack with this one, so hop on over to Mason to see the RAW in its full glory!

Improving on a Icon: A Review of the New 2022 Santa Cruz Chameleon 29er Hardtail Mountain Bike

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Improving on a Icon: A Review of the New 2022 Santa Cruz Chameleon 29er Hardtail Mountain Bike

Back in 2018, I reviewed the Santa Cruz Chameleon in the 27.5+ platform with a tricked-out build spec thanks to Hope Tech. Much like its namesake, the Chameleon really stood out from the crowd of other production hardtails on the market, making it a proper icon in the world of hardtail mountain bikes. Fast forward three years and I’ve had the new and improved 2022 Chameleon model under my butt for a few weeks now, have taken it on similar terrain as I did in Los Angeles with its predecessor, and have a few thoughts about the two models. Which one is worth your money? Read on below to find out…

Rigid and Spellbound: The Sour Bicycles Pasta Party 29er SSMTB with BERD Wheels

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Rigid and Spellbound: The Sour Bicycles Pasta Party 29er SSMTB with BERD Wheels

In some form of intergalactic serendipity, this review coincides with the 2021 International Singlespeed Day, so hopefully, this article inspires you to dust off the ol’ Cruiser or SSMTB and get out for a sunset shred with your friends.

I’ve had the Sour Bicycles Pasta Party for longer than I’d like to admit for a review period but with supply chain shortages, I decided to scrap my original plans for the build as a geared hardtail and assembled it with various spare parts and some new fancy BERD wheels which ended up resulting in one very unique rigid singlespeed 29er.

The Pasta Party is a strange bird with a few clever details and a few quirks, so read on below for my review of this unique chassis offering from the German brand Sour Bicycles…

Cjell’s Moné Hardtail with a 130mm Lefty Fork

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Cjell’s Moné Hardtail with a 130mm Lefty Fork

These days, it’s hard to set your bike brand apart from others within a specific niche but if there’s one thing Cjell has achieved with his brand, Moné Bikes, it’s just that. Moné frames are instantly recognizable with their large, bountiful brass beds of fillet brazing, unique tubing bends, intricate and ingenious singlespeed-friendly dropout designs, and yeah, rat rod aesthetics. Cjell and I have met before, albeit briefly, but at last weekend’s Dangerbird event, we got to spend a lot of time on the bike with each other, which helped me gain an even deeper appreciation for the brand, the bikes, and the man who designs and even builds some of them.

Guerilla Gravity’s New Pedalhead 29er

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Guerilla Gravity’s New Pedalhead 29er

Guerilla Gravity is best known for their made-in Colorado carbon and aluminum full suspension bikes but today the brand announced its updated steel-framed hardtail 120-140mm travel 29er. The Pedalhead got a revamp including bosses for better frame storage of bottles and cargo gear and most impressively, a new modular dropout system that allows riders to transition from gears to singlespeed riding with a twisting of a few bolts.

The Pedalhead comes in a few build configurations starting at $3,495. Head to Guerilla Gravity for more!

From Snow to Sand: The Otso Voytek is More Than Just a Fat Bike

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From Snow to Sand: The Otso Voytek is More Than Just a Fat Bike

Fat bikes. They’re the cycling industry’s lost children. The forgotten ones. Remember when every brand under the sun had a fat bike in their catalog? Now there are only a few brands still putting in the PR&D required to make these bikes less cumbersome, less heavy, and more like a true-to-form mountain bike. One of those brands is Otso, whose Voytek is all the above and more. I’ve held onto this bike for probably longer than they anticipated, cycling through the winter months, into the spring, and well into the summer. I’ve ridden it in its thicc 26″+ form and now in its chonk 29+ form and have pulled together a comprehensive argument for why bikes like the Voytek hopefully stay around for a while…

Dillen From Baphomet Bicycles’ “Left Hand Path” Singlespeed 29er

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Dillen From Baphomet Bicycles’ “Left Hand Path” Singlespeed 29er

We took a look at Baphomet Bicycles earlier this year and in that post, we discussed the ideology surrounding the iconography of this unique framebuilding operation, nestled in the mountain town of Taos, New Mexico. If you haven’t read that piece, you really should check it out first.

Yesterday I caught up with Dillen from Baphomet Bicycles, as he came to town to ride the BFL, an event Sincere Cycles throws each year, offering a classic 55 mile loop with over 10,000′ elevation gain and a “B” loop with 38 miles and 6,400′ elevation. Both take you deep into the Sangre de Cristo mountains at the terminus of the mighty Rocky Mountains. Doing either singlespeed is quite the undertaking!

Dillen finished this build right before the event and drove in from Taos for the day. We pedaled together briefly and then his chain exploded about 10 miles into the ride, sending him back down to town. Later in the day, we caught up to shoot his new 29er hardtail, aptly named the “Left Hand Path”, so let’s check it out in detail below!

Is This Firefly #1066 The Dreamiest Yet?

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Is This Firefly #1066 The Dreamiest Yet?

We’ve shared, photographed, and yeah, owned some pretty amazing Firefly builds over the years but this one, #1066, might take the cake in terms of a deep custom creation. There are so many hidden details, from the 44RN ring, to the ano-matched eeWings cranks, anodized stem, and more. Spend some time drooling over a few more choice details below and see the full spread at Firefly’s Flickr.

Alexandera Houchin’s New Custom Chumba Sendero Titanium and Terlingua Titanium Bikes

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Alexandera Houchin’s New Custom Chumba Sendero Titanium and Terlingua Titanium Bikes

Chumba Cycles has been supporting ultra-endurance and all-around badass athlete Alexandera Houchin for some time now, outfitting her with a variety of bikes for her endeavors. Yet with the announcement of Chumba’s in-house titanium manufacturing earlier this year, Mark and Vince, the owners of Chumba, wanted to get Alexandera on some new frames. You might recall our coverage of the Sendero Titanium from this year’s ENVE Builder Round Up. After the show, I reached out to Chumba to see if they’d share some photos of Alexandera’s new bikes, so let’s check them out below…