Hope this won't drown in all the recent spam...
So, I'm in the market for a Vamoots, because I'm looking for all day comfort and I love the classic looks and level TT. But still I want a bike that can perform on climbs and fast rides.
My current main ride is a 2009 Cervelo RS which is great, but it lacks that certain feeling steel and titanium frames have.
I was able to buy a hardly used 1999 Litespeed Natchez frameset two years ago, and built it up with with 10 speed Chorus parts from around 2003.
A nice and affordable way to test out what titanium can offer. It's a plush ride with WoundUp forks, 1" head tube + Cinelli Grammo quill stem. Sure, far from a stiff bike for hilly terrain... but on the flats it is smooooth and fast.
Been lusting for a Vamoots for over 3 years, and last week I finally managed to do a testride at the local Moots dealer (the only one in the Netherlands, just 5km from my home).
Some lusting comes and goes... but the Vamoots just stays in my head.
My local dealer has two road bikes on display which can be test ridden:
- an RSL with super nice Ventoux Lightweight wheels, equipped with Dura Ace.
- a 2008/2009 56cm Vamoots with Moots branded Alpha Q forks and equipped with Athena 11-speed, Moots post and stem.
Not much choice, but 56cm is close enough for testing.
Had the mechanic set up the bike to my dimensions, including my own saddle, pedals and Campagnolo Neutron Ultra wheels.
When I first headed down the street I noticed that the power put into the frame was transfered to the rear wheel direct and controlled.
First impression of handling was... well, different. I've spent the last two and a half years on my Cervelo RS, which is very comfy and racy. I remember I had to get used to the sharp handling when first riding the Cervelo.
I came off a steel Merckx MX-Leader which tracked like on rails and was very stable in corners. The Cervelo was different! I noticed the higher BB and slightly nervous steering straight away.
Now, a couple of years later, I guess I've really gotten used to the Cervelo's handling, and the same thing happened when I rode the Vamoots.
Probably a case of getting used to steering characteristics (I hope). It could also be the Alpha Q forks. I'm planning on building with Enve 2.0 forks, could feel different.
Riding no handed on the Vamoots was better than any frame I have ridden in the past. Super straight and stable at around 30 km/h.
I did notice the smooth backside of the frame instantly. Nice and fluid and very planted on the road, more so than my Cervelo. The ti post was doing it's work for sure!
The front end was harsher than I had hoped for, but that could also be the cheap aluminum bars and bartape.
I have carbon Zipp bars with gatorskins bartape on the RS which definitely takes away some buzz and vibrations.
Also, the older Vamoots happens to have a steeper HT angle (73.5 degrees vs 72.75 on a 2013 58cm Vamoots). I wonder how different that feels.
I spent over an hour on the bike and always had the impression the 56cm was slightly too small for me. Measured everything aftwards and the wheelbase was 2cm shorter than what I'm used to on other bikes. I guess a 58cm brings me more to the centre of the frame for a more balanced feeling.
The longer I rode it the more it grew on me, but I'm pretty sure I need to go up one size. (I'm 6'1" btw)
So all in all a nice frame, but hard to judge as I will be ordering a larger frame with a different geo (longer stays, longer TT, slacker angles) and different forks (Enve 2.0).
I have to admit I anticipated a revelation after reading many rave reviews, and maybe expected too much.
Or maybe I'm spoiled by the RS which simply is a really good allround frameset that'll be hard to top if it comes down to performance/comfort?
I know it doesn't have the durability and luxurious feel of a titanium Moots, but it sure rides great.
I have to give it a good thought... Maybe it's just a matter of getting dialed in with a new frame/fork, and after a few rides it will start to shine.
I'm also considering (custom) high end steel. There's a builder in my town who makes great lugged frames from Columbus Life/Nemo/Zona or Reynolds tubing.
Checked them out in person and he sure knows what he's doing. It also includes professional fitting by a specialist (former team doctor of Dutch Skil-Shimano pro team).
Whatever I decide, I won't be getting rid of the RS. The new bike (Ti or steel) will be something different so I can choose to ride whatever my mood is.