We’re guessing that way up in Steamboat Springs, Colorado where Moots Cycles has been based since its inception back in 1981, the word carbon fiber is probably not heard spoken of all that often.
And really, why should it?
As one of the world’s pioneers in titanium frame production, Moots has maintained a level of popularity and success with this single frame material that negates any need to pander to the black plastic market. And owing to their history of building road, touring, and mountain bikes, Moots was able to utilize a ready-made knowledge base to jump into the gravel game.
THE UP AND DOWN
Now that compliance and suspension have become all the rage with the drop bar set, Moots was ready to roll with their proven Rout YBB (aka Why Be Beat). The Rout YBB is based on a rear suspension design that Moots created in the early 90s for their mountain bikes. So simple in design and detail, even Tom Ritchey, the renowned master of minimalism, borrowed the design to use for his mountain bike team as full suspension bikes began gaining favor in XC racing circles.
Lacking any pivots, the YBB shock uses a steel/elastomer spring combo to provide 20mm of travel by relying on the natural bending of the titanium stays. There are three different spring rates (for different weight riders) available and the entire system is rebuildable.
AT THE HEART
Without a doubt however, it’s the Moots frame that really grabs the spotlight thanks to the double pass welds that are among the most even and beautiful we’ve seen. From the machined head tube to the 3D printed, 6/4, flat mount non-drive side dropout, the beat blasted, 3/2.5 straight gauge frame is a jewel in the rough. The option of different anodized graphics only adds more sheen to the frame.
In addition to the YBB model, Moots also makes two other versions of the Rout, both hardtails. The Rout RSL (Race Super Light) tacks on an additional $800 due to butted tubes and the 3D dropouts used on both stays. The Rout YBB is available in seven sizes as well as custom, and either as a complete build ($8670 with Shimano Ultegra Di2 or $7845 with mechanical Ultegra). It’s worth noting that for those prices the build kits included Moots’ own titanium stem and seatpost. The frame alone sells for $4999.
Despite all the focus on gravel, it’s worth mentioning too that Moots is famous for their line of Vamoots road bikes as well.