The Rocky Mountain Gator lives around Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and has taken up mountain biking on a Moots Womble. Good luck catching it!
With all the touring and gravel talk over here, you might think that road bikes might be dead. Well, that’s not the case. Or at least that’s not what Moots is saying with their latest release. With the Womble breaking the mold of what a hardtail “XC” bike can be, Moots set their sights on doing the same with their Vamoots RCS (RCS= Routt County Special) high-volume, disc road bike.
The Vamoots RCS features:
-next generation 3D printed dropouts
-2x road drive train compatible
-NEW fastback seat stays
-NEW model-specific fork
-NEW camo anodizing finish: “Hunter”
See more photos below and all the info at Moots.
We would like to add an introductory note to this project. Covid 19 has impacted small towns and indigenous communities at disproportionate rates, so please don’t travel to do this ride – or any rides outside of your locales – until the pandemic subsides. This will give you plenty of time to plan for an epic and safe ride along the Camino del Diablo…
Fire up Google Earth, and look for a route across the Sonoran desert. Although it’s one of the most immigrated routes along the United States Mexico border, there isn’t anything there that would suggest it’s passable. It’s a massive empty, unknown expanse on the otherwise populated map. It is Shared Territory…
Moots opened shop in 1981 and have worked their way up to being the Masters of Metal. A lot has changed in the industry in those years, from rim brakes to disc, 3x to 1x, and more. Yet in that time the brand has remained steadfast in the industry, building road, mountain, gravel, and more in Steamboat Springs. For 2021, every bike to come out of Moots will have this unique head badge to commemorate their time melting metal. If a frame is too rich for your blood, they even made bottle openers. See the full story at Moots!
Let’s just say I didn’t expect any less than greatness from Moots when it came to the Womble, the latest creation from their shop in Steamboat Springs. From previous experiences, I knew how well Moots’ titanium bikes rode and was looking forward to trying out their take on a modern 29er.
A few years back, I put the Baxter 29er through the wringer on the Steamboat to Fort Collins Ramble Ride, and during my project with SRAM in the Inyo Mountains, I pedaled it high up in the Mojave Desert and through Death Valley, across miles of washboard roads.
If I learned anything from those experiences it’s that titanium is the greatest frame material, especially when it’s wielded by the Masters of Metal. I’ve had the Womble 29er for a few months now, throughout the dusty ‘n’ dry end of summer, well into the snow-filled fall, and am finally ready to make my thoughts official, so read on below.
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.