Last year, ENVE opened its doors to the public for an Open House event. Once inside, visitors took a tour of its Ogden, Utah facilities and were greeted by two-dozen custom bikes from builders across the globe. This year the pandemic forced ENVE to pivot a bit, holding a virtual tour and framebuilder showcase they’re calling the Builder Round-Up. We’re pleased to once again host this showcase, with two-part coverage, so read on below for part two of a full breakdown on these Beautiful Bicycles along with a few teasers of new ENVE product…
Moots first introduced the Routt in 2014. Do you remember what gravel bikes were like back then? 15mm TA forks, 1x drivetrain had just picked up steam, 40mm tires were commonplace, and gravel races were just starting to catch on. Now in 2020, Moots has revamped the Routt family of their gravel bikes to fit the modern sensibilities of gravel riding and racing.
The ROUTT RSL will now fit a 45mm tire, has 3 bottle locations, and has been upgraded to the 3-D printed dropouts. The ROUTT 45 & ROUTT YBB now fits a 50mm tire, comes spec’d with shorter stems and wider bars.
Read all about these exciting updates at Moots.
While most hardtails we feature here are long, slack, and low, we still love riding XC and that pleasant middle-ground an all-rounder hardtail offers. Titanium wizards MOOTS just launched their Womble 29er, which fits a 2.6″ tire, has a 67º head angle, and 57mm of BB drop. The geometry on this bike looks like an ideal all-rounder bike, perfect for XC trails, bikepacking, and a bit of all-mountain underbiking. Check out more of this beautiful steed at MOOTS.
Also, check out our Shop Visit to MOOTS from a while back for more titanium wizardry!
Wow! What a year it’s been. In the past twelve months, we’ve shot roughly 300 bikes. From gravel races, to NAHBS, the Philly Bike Expo and our normal travels, we really captured some unique builds and we’ve got a good handle on the bikes the readers of the Radavist enjoy checking out based on some key metrics.
Every year we try to do our best to sort through twelve months of archives to narrow down to this list. The first filter is the comment count, which we start at 50 comments. Then comes page views, with the minimum number being 20,000 views. Finally, we look at the social media chatter; including Instagram comments and how many times was the post shared across various platforms.
What we end up with is a list that is filled with a plethora of interesting, versatile, and quirky bikes. The only editorial decision I myself made was to omit reviews of stock bikes. So no Santa Cruz Stigmata or Cannondale Topstone this round!
Check out the full Top Ten Beautiful Bicycles of 2019 below, in no particular order…
A few years back, we would post the bikes from the readers of this site, in a feature dubbed Readers’ Rides. Well, we’ve been getting a bunch of inquiries over the years as to if or when we’re bringing these posts back and the answer is yes! They will be cut and dry, down and dirty, cell phone style photos. As you can imagine, this will open the torrent of submissions, so hold tight until I can set up a new email address for this next week.
After yesterday’s OysterBar post, the designer of the bar shared his Moots and a little back story. I thought it was a perfect seque into relaunching this fun feature…
Santa Cruz has no shortage of bike shops. This sleepy little beach town might be known for its surfing and pesky vampires, but the road and mountain riding is exceptional. With a myriad of dirt and paved roads snaking their way through coastal redwoods, and dusty, steep mountain bike trails, any cyclist can spend days upon days exploring the terrain. Spokesman Bicycles is one of the powerhouse shops in Santa Cruz and just recently opened up what they’re calling Outpost on the West Side of town, right next to their friends Sawyer and Co, a surfing lifestyle shop.
ENVE has been supporting frame builders, both in the US and internationally for years now and has developed a symbiotic relationship with these artisans, who choose to put their forks, bars, and wheels on customer’s build kit lists. With this catalog of talent at their fingertips, they decided to have an Open House to celebrate not only their factory and offices in Ogden, Utah but the frame builders who choose ENVE to build out their complete bikes.
With clearance for a 45mm tire, three bottle cages, ultra-precise titanium construction, and a geometry tuned for all day dirt rides, the Moots Rout couldn’t get any better. Then, it did. Moots just announced the introduction of the YBB micro-suspension for their new Rout YBB all-road bike. Head over to Moots for more details.
Let’s rewind a bit, back to the Steamboat Ramble Ride, where I rode this very frame, fully loaded from Steamboat Springs to Fort Collins along with a whole crew of people from all over the country. The whole time I was on the ride, I kept thinking about how much I love drop bar 29ers for tours like that. It’s the best of both worlds – drops for different riding positions and MTB gearing for slogging a loaded bike up mountain passes. In the back of my mind, I began playing out how I could use a bike like this for some of my more ambitious rides in the Death Valley or Inyo Mountains area. Then SRAM contacted me about working on a project with their new AXS components. Initially, their thoughts were to build a custom bike around the interchangeability of the eTap AXS road with the new Eagle AXS system and do a project with this new bike. The subject matter was entirely up to me. Meanwhile, my mind was still on the Moots Baxter and how it would be perfect for this loop I had scouted a year or so ago…
As a supplement to our Reportrage with SRAM in Cerro Gordo, I pinged James from Drop Media to tell the story through his incredible video work. For an in-depth look at this ride, don’t miss the corresponding Reportage that dropped this morning.
Owens Valley, the Mojave, and Death Valley have been the backdrop for many stories here on the Radavist, but there is one region in particular that has interested me in regards to both the terrain and the history. The Inyo Mountains are ripe for adventure-seekers looking to get off the beaten path of Death Valley National Park or the Eastern Sierra. It can be a very isolating place: the roads are rough, rugged, with little to no cell reception or provisions. If you can, however, access this zone safely, you will be rewarded with unsurpassed views of the Eastern Sierra as the backdrop and colorful geological features abound.
I spend my free time exploring this region for routes that are suitable for travel by bicycle and to be honest, very few have proven to be fruitful in such endeavors. The area is plagued by roads so steep that even an equipped 4×4 can overheat, or miles upon miles of rock gardens, and sand traps. Not to mention the complete absence of water. To ride in this zone, you have to be prepared, both mentally and physically. It’s a region that challenged the native tribes as well as the prospectors who were driven by the desire to strike it rich. There’s a bigger tale here before we dive into our story, that needs to be told. One that hits close to home for us at the Radavist.
We shoot a lot of bikes here on the Radavist. A lot. From my estimates, including tradeshows, and events like the Chris King Open House, or the Moots’ Employee Bikes, and even the Speedvagen Build Off, we shot 220 or so bikes in 2018. That’s a lot of bikes. A lot of details. A lot of component selection, build styles, and uses. From road, to mountain, and everything in between, noting the permutations that exist in this ever-so-special era in the cycling industry, I really feel like we’ve shown you just about everything you could see this year.
Out of those 220 bikes, I looked at the data in the form of traffic metrics, social chatter, and comments to pick the Top 10 Beautiful Bicycles of 2018. While many bikes had a lot of comments, some had higher traffic or social media shares. Compiling all the numbers, a very compelling list was formed. Not included in this lot are bike reviews, of which Morgan’s review of the Midnight Special and Kyle’s review of his Chubby Cosmic Stallion took the highest metrics from all others on this list. I guess they’re in a league of their own!
At any rate, check out the complete Top 10 Beautiful Bicycles of 2018, in no particular order, below!
Steamboat Springs is the birthplace of Moots, Eriksen, and other outdoor industry brands. Visit this ski town and you’ll see why. Located in the Northern Yampa Valley the city has thrived due to its proximity to the Routt National Forest and its plethora of trails. It doesn’t matter what your preferred form of recreation is, Steamboat has an abundance of resources for it.
One of the bike shops in Steamboat is in one of the most unique spaces I’ve ever visited. Period. When Jon from Moots took me to pick up some last minute supplies before embarking on our Steamboat Ramble Ride trip, my jaw was on the ground. While most of the outdoor shops in Steamboat are very clean and corporate, Orange Peel Bikes embraced its chaotic beauty. Much like something found in nature, there are no right angles in this bee-hive shaped space.
For the past few years, Chris King has opened their doors to the public as part of an entire weekend of events dubbed the Chris King Open House. This event’s intent is to be coordinated with a product launch of their new colors for the year, as well as to showcase what makes their operations tick, and to display a selection of custom bikes, built by some of their best builder customers.
the two new colors for this year: matte turqoise and matte mango.
This year, they sent out an open invite to 30 of their best builder accounts, offering up discounted pricing to them to build a bike for the show, passing on the discount to their customers. Out of those 30 builders, 17 showed up, and they were displayed alongside a Pegoretti bike, which we looked at on Friday. These bikes lined the halls of the Chris King factory, where visitors could look at their features in great detail, chat with the builders about their process, and if they were so inclined, purchase their dream bike.
I was invited up to the Open House to document these bikes for the builders and for Chris King, as well as offering up an ultimate dream bike gallery for you, the readers of this website. Please enjoy! Which bike do you like the best and why? Oh and if you’re interested in one of the bikes showcased here, be sure to reach out to the builders, who are linked in the bike descriptions below.
If this bike were made for the 2018 NAHBS, it probably would have had a Shimano Steps system. A lot has changed since 2013, yet a lot is still the same. Trail builders need help accessing trail and over the years, I’ve taken a real liking to documenting trail working rigs, some as simple as mountain bikes with a BOB trailer, others built with custom racks to carry chainsaws and e-assist.
Moots made this bike in 2013 for NAHBS, alongside IMBA. It was at the height of the 29+ fad, so naturally, that’s what the bike sits on. It’s a true deep custom bike, with racks designed to carry trail tools like a collapsible shovel, and a geometry tuned for the extra weight but boy will you have to work for it! Even pedaling up to this little knoll above the Moots factory, I was short of breath. It’s easy to see how e-assist is a big helper in trail access!
Still, this bike has seen plenty of work days in and around Steamboat Springs and to this day, it stands as one of my favorite Moots to leave their facilities! I hope you enjoy!
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With companies like Moots, it’s not the branding, or legacy, or history, or name that makes the frames, it’s the people that work there. Both literally and figuratively. One of the job perks at Moots is the incredible employee purchase program, the details of which I’ll omit here, to save them from a flood of job applications. Joking aside, the company knows that the best product research and development can come from within and pride can often result from ownership. While the workers might not own Moots, each of them is part of the process. In today’s world, that means a lot, ATMO anyway.
The first thing that really struck me as I walked the floor of the production facilities was how many amazing employee bikes there were, of all makes and builds. From full on road bikes, to fatty all-road, mountain, commuter, and bikepacking setups. While my time was limited at Moots, I did my best to grab a few of these bikes and shoot details. The one that evaded my lens was Peter’s rim brake Psychlo X, which I don’t even want to describe here because it’ll make me cry! I suppose you’ve gotta leave something to look forward to on the next trip to Steamboat Springs. That and Taco Cabo!
I hope you enjoy this gallery, as much as these employees enjoy their commutes!
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One of the hardest things about reporting on frame builders and their shops is doing their operations justice. I’m still buzzing from my trip to Colorado to hang out with the crew at Moots and ride the Steamboat Ramble Ride. Spending a few solid days literally living amidst the operations, riding with the fabricators, talking and photographing everyone behind the scenes brought such great joy that I’m literally gushing as I write this intro. The 23 people that make this company tick are all great people who truly love their job and love cycling, at many capacities. Capturing that in photos and then writing about it is not easy!
Moots began in 1981, from the shop of Kent Eriksen, called Sore Saddle Cyclery, which technically opened in 1980, but the operations of Moots didn’t get rolling for a whole year. Kent began the brand with the help of many others, and eventually sold it off to begin his own company, Eriksen Cycles. Meanwhile, Moots began to permutate into their current state as one of the largest framebuilding operations in the USA. I can’t compare their shop to anyone else, other than Seven in the Boston-area. In terms of scale and organization.
When the Ramble Ride popped onto the horizon in my late summer travel and photo shoot plans, the guys at Moots offered up one of their prized models, the Baxter, for me to ride. Out of all their bikes in what I would consider a stout lineup, the Baxter is one that always stood out to me as the most versatile. The beauty about this bike platform is the Baxter is what you want it to be, although it’s designed to essentially be a drop bar 29’r. How you build it is up to you and there are options like with a suspension fork, or with a rigid fork, with or without a dropper post, and everything in between. Di2 or cable, double crankset or 1x, and now with the updated boosted rear spacing, compatibility with your “other” mountain bike wheelsets. The guys at Moots are great at constructing these frames, it’s just up to you to make them roll…