Moots makes frames, stems, seat posts and a host of other cycling accessories, all out of titanium of course. But did you ever think about the small things that go into building a frame? A stem or seat post? The head tube, the bottom bracket shell, the drop outs, the cable stops, a brake mount, face plate….. The list goes on. It takes a wide array of small bits to collectively put together a bike frame and the associated components (in our case a stem & post).
Here at Moots we make about 75% of those small bits in house, with the other 25% being made by Paragon Machine Works, which without doubt is the best in the business of machining parts for frame builders. If we don’t make it ourselves, it comes from them. End of story….kind of….
The machining department at Moots consists of 2 (Eric Hindes & Evan Soard ) full time staff that design, program, set up tooling and run 4 CNC machines each day, every day. Some ask….why bother? Well, the evolution of Moots is more than just changing our frames for the current technology or components in the market. We strive to build the best even if it’s a simple part of the big picture. Having this in-house allows us to have complete control over quality of part and internal delivery time to continue to move frames along. No junk, no delays. Eric and Evan make sure we operate with the best parts possible.
From an insider’s point of view (me in this case) I’ve seen over my 18 years at Moots things change in amazing ways. The machining department is one of the biggest and best changes that have occurred over that time. It also goes much deeper than just the weld-ons you see on our frames.
All Moots seat collars are made in-house. Road, Mountain and RSL version are all different. These are just out of the tumbler that removes sharp edges. Next they go off to anodization for color. Note the engraved Mr. Moots wheelie gator. Details.
You might think of this as making the correct tool for you tool box….not just a simple screw driver, but very complicated tools that are used in every department at Moots. Mitering has some very specific tooling that is used to shape, hold or manipulate tubes as they go through a very diverse system of cutting a tube set. You see when we need something let’s say a mandrel that will give us the shape of our Psychlo X RSL top tube….we make that piece as well. It’s a giant block of aluminum that is designed (after input from several others at Moots) to give that top tube the perfect shape so when you are suffering up a run-up during a Cyclocross race, your RSL sits nicely on your shoulder. Machining at Moots builds that mandrel and the miter shop uses it every time they build the RSL top tube. When welding needs a new purge unit or jig to hold stems or seat posts, machining is called on once again to build those…this happens for the finish department as well.
When it comes to developing new products or even tweaking an existing one, the machining department at Moots can take an idea that one of us might have had during a weekend ride and turn it into a usable, testable unit in very little time. This, to me can be some of the more “fun” times building bike stuff. Having the quick turnaround from a napkin drawing to a usable part is pretty great. That part may never see the light of day so to speak, but you never know until you build it and then ride it…..which is what it’s all about.
I hope you enjoy the photos and descriptions that go along with them….
Moots dual binder that graces our stems and YBB units as well as our head set spacers….standard and RSL (pictured)… All built in-house. Engraved so there is no mistake where it came from.
Disc brake mounts. We make our ISO and post mount (pictured)
Seat post tops. Inside the welded on titanium piece is a very special taper that holds the Cinch post tight and allows for a smooth adjustment.
One of the most intensive parts we make. This is the RSL stem binder set up. First we make the steerer tube section, then weld on the binders. Once welded the unit gets the weight saving window machined into it, then the unit is slotted. Titanium bolts for the RSL.
Brake bridges are made by Paragon Machine Works as blanks, when they arrive at Moots we engrave them with the man himself….Mr. Moots putting the hammer down.
A tacked frame with our 68mm English shell. We know each time a frame goes together that the parts are first quality every time.
Shavings. There are a lot of these when you machine parts as much as we do. We recycle these instead of putting them into the landfill. They pay us by the pound, which keeps a few beers around the factory.
The plans for our stem back plate.
The Moots ROUTT continues to get some great reviews as the go-to all ’rounder for mixed surfaces, road and hobby crossin’. The February issue of PELOTON just hit the stands. Inside you’ll find their take on the ROUTT.
Get out and grab an issue or you can click below for the entire ROUTT review in PDF form.
Junior Gage Hecht rode his Psychlo X RSL to the stars and stripes during the 2015 CYCLOCROSS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS in Austin, Texas.
THE RACE THAT ALMOST DIDN’T HAPPEN
Over the weekend the rains came to Austin, TX and mud was served up on the 3km course that was the 2015 Cyclocross Nationals. The drama that unfolded by canceling the events on Sunday and then moving them to a Monday nationals was enough to cause a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. There are plenty of stories out there so we’ll just focus on what Gage did.
Gage came into this race as the odds-on favorite. He had been to 3 camps in Europe leading up to our nationals and had some absolute amazing results. He currently is sitting in 5th overall in the junior World Cup rankings; he also won our Colorado State Elite Championships. This guy knows how to ride a race. Back to Monday and his race…..still muddy from the hard rains the course was left covered in peanut butter like mud. Bike changes would be necessary and riding a smart race would be very important. Gage took to the front right after the gun went off, but had challenges the entire way. At one point he was (by my watch) 13 seconds down from the leader. He didn’t panic…he rode steady and smart and pulled back into the lead and then another chaser passed him and they would duel on the last lap of the race. Gage stayed within himself and powered away with about 3/4 of a lap to go. He took the win!
Gage is part of a great organization that is based out of our dealer in Centennial Colorado…..Alpha Bicycle Company has an elite junior program to help give these kids a chance to do great things. Product support, technical support and funds to get to races. Adam and the crew at Alpha have done an amazing job.
It was the most exciting race of the day. You can view it here if you like: CX NATS 17-18 JUNIOR
Gage has 3 Psychlo X RSL’s. One training bike and two race bikes. When he travels to Europe he takes two bikes with him. The bikes are set up the same so he can move from one to another without any issues. Here’s what he runs:
Frame: 58cm Psychlo X RSL
Fork: Enve CX disc
Wheels: DT Swiss Carbon Tubular 38
Tires: Clement PDX (mud tire for muddy days)
Kit: SRAM RED 2 x 11
Brakes: TRP SPYRE mechanical disc (keeps things simple and powerful)
Rings: Wick Werks 46/36
Finishing Kit: Fizik stem, bar, seat post and saddle
Extras: Bart Simpson figure zip tied to the seat tube
Next up for Gage is the last World Cup this coming weekend in Hoogerhide, NL and then onto Worlds in Tabor, Czech Republic the following weekend. All great stuff for a young guy. We’ll be posting and watching as he finishes out his great season.
Thanks to Gage for taking us along for the ride! Go get ‘em!
This very bike you see above will be hitting the 45-49 masters race this afternoon in Austin at 3:50 pm CST to be exact. The pilot of this machine is Michael Robson. Michael is from Australia and lives in Boulder, Colorado….. If you have ever met him in person you’d know what a good guy he is. It’s tough to relay how much this guy likes bikes….Moots in particular. Michael is a photographer by trade, but that just scratches the surface of his skills. He coaches the BOULDER JUNIOR CYCLING program, he writes for VELONEWS as a tech guy, he also writes for BIKE RADAR as a tech guy, he restores old motor cycles and would come to your rescue if need be. If a cheering up is what you need, look no further than Michael. This will be his 5th CX NATIONALS….all of which he’s been on Moots. All of which I’ve been there with him, racing in the same age group. I’ll be missing him this year to say the least.
Michael came to us by way of photography needs and these photos you see here are just samples and a quick visit to the alley behind the place he is staying in during nationals in Austin. I sprung this on him last minute and he says “no problem”….”will shoot you some shots when I land in TX.” Anyway, Michael cracked the podium last year in our race by taking 3rd. He’s also taken some big Colorado State titles over the years. This year I look for him to go better at nationals. He’s a bike driver and appreciates the way we craft our bikes and the way they handle the race course. Speaking of his bikes…by his nature they are always in top shape. Clean and dialed. He’s no afraid to experiment with parts and does so to do tech reviews, so he knows what works. So that brings us to his build.
Frame: Psychlo X RSL (disc) post mount
Enve Disc fork (tapered 1.5 to 1.125)
Chris King 1.5 head set
3T stem (only because I haven’t sent him a Moots)
SRAM Red hydro disc
Rotor Crank 46/34 (rings by WirkWerks)
Enve XC carbon tubular rims
DT Swiss 240 hubs
Clement PDX tubular tires
Moots Cinch Post seat post
Moots Zelvin bar tape
Stiff, light durable….The Psychlo X RSL is a race machine from top to bottom. The shaped top tube is for shouldering comfort while on foot….we shape all of our tubing in house for complete design and quality control.
1.5 Chris King head set for tapered forks. Michael is a true artist and did a self-blacked out paint job on this head badge. 44mm head tube adds stiffness and provides a large landing plateform for the top and down tube.
Double rings are a favorite for Michael. Note the water bottle bosses are closed with a small 4x threaded screw with no head. Michael found these little beauties at famous McGuckin’s Hardware in Boulder….just another touch of his attention to details. Red front derailleur, shaped chain stays and gearing for a strong rider.
The beauty of our tapered chain and seat stays do more that add style…..a compliant ride is achieved by making them taper to the rear drop out so the ride quality is at it’s best during bumpy races….again, all done in-house at Moots.
We’ll be posting updates on out Twitter feed as the race happens. Stay tuned!
Who says you can’t be competitive on Titanium in this carbon fiber world? Australian Andrew Stalder took the very competitive win in the masters field on his Vamoots RSL during this last weekend’s BAY CRITS in Portarlington, Australia. While we are in the dead of winter in the northern hemisphere, the summer and a full road race calendar are at high pitch down under. Andrew was connected to Moots via our distributor CYCLING EDGE. Once a U23 Australian National Road Champion, it seems Mr. Stalder hasn’t lost the snap or drive to compete at a very high level. He got a fair bit of attention from the commentators as the “titanium” bike in the field came clipping past each lap.
Back in the day Andrew raced side by side with the likes of Simon Gerrans, who tweeted about his friends win at BAY CRITS.
Andrew is racing on a stock Vamoots RSL, with our full carbon RSL fork, Moots RSL stem and Cinch post. Campy Super Record takes care of the rest.
Congrats to Andrew! Great to have you on our bike.
Jamie’s ”BIKE-IN-A-BOX” sits course side in Austin ready to take practice laps and prep for his second nationals week. Jamie will be racing the open race as prep and then his master’s age group race on Saturday.
Our next look at a week of Cyclocross Nationals Bikes comes to us by way of Jamie Kripke out of Boulder, Colorado and all points around the world. Jamie makes some beautiful pictures for a living and travels the world to do so. He came into the Moots family several years ago when he started shooting our action photos. That first time he stepped into the Moots factory he was hooked and we like to trade bikes for services when we can, so we hit it off and started talking about a build for him before the first pixels had been down loaded. After talking about his travels and riding we quickly decided that his bike would be based on a Psychlo X with some twists. Here’s where we landed.
Based on our Psychlo X geometry to keep the geometry racy while on course we added a few items to make this bike go much further than taped off tracks. First and most notable are the S & S Machine couplers. This allows Jamie to easily take his bike anywhere his job might take him. Add a set of road tires to the box and you have a formidable road bike. Next, we added a 44mm head tube to up the stiffness in the front end borrowing a feature from the RSL model. Next we added the press fit bb30 to give the bike a stout bottom end and good power transfer to the ground. The couplers cannot be added to the butted tubes, so we kept with our straight gauge thin-walled 3/2.5 US made ti for the tube selection. Double water bottle bosses, replaceable derailleur hanger and 27.2 seat post diameter grace the rest of the frame, which were standard at the time of the build.
Jamie chose a SRAM Force 2x 10set up and a compact chain set to make sure no matter where he landed he could ride most any terrain. The bike as pictured has been updated to a SRAM Cx1 ring, rear derailleur and gutted left lever to simplify things during cross season. Jamie also chose TRP mini V brakes to add some braking power, and the Moots carbon cross fork to keep the front end stiff and light. Topping off his build are the Moots Cinch post straight post and Moots Ti stem. HED rims and Clement tires round out the current set up. Solid working components, no-nonsense when traveling were all key.
We delivered the bike and box to his Boulder studio and ran him through the take apart and build up of his new rig. He was set to fly to Ohio for some family visits in just a couple of days after that…..I was a little worried how it would go, but soon enough started seeing Instagram photos popping up from him riding in Ohio….he had made the first trip with the “bike in a box” and the smile on his face said it all…..he was hooked.
Fresh off the plane in Austin, CXNATS 2015 the “BIKE-IN-A-BOX” travels well in the 26” x 26” x 10” case….no fees, no waiting.
Later that same Fall he was headed to New York for a work trip and the rig flew with him again. Once there he rolled the box onto a train and found himself at the GP Gloucester. He opened the box, assembled his rig and went on to win his category! Once done kicking some ass and taking names he packed it back up and headed out. I think there might have been a few stunned racers that day.
Tatered numbers on the wall….this bike has racked up some great times.
Over this past summer Jamie and the gents from SCRATCH LABS hosted a Rapha Gentlemen’s Race….Jamie rode this same rig that day over 107 miles, 14,000 feet of climbing….pretty versatile bike I’d say.
In addition to knocking out big rides from time to time, Jamie is fully hooked on Cyclocross, he competed in nationals in Boulder last year, laying down a top 40 finish (out of 130) and is now in Austin this week to unpack and rip it again. If you see him out on course, give him a HUP! HUP!
Evolution Pro Bikes has been around since 1995, they have been a Moots dealer since then as well, which puts them up there as one of the longest standing Moots dealers to date. Scott Wilson owns and runs the shop in Bucks County, PA. He also owns 4 Moots himself and has the option to ride anything he wants….he chooses Moots. The shop, which dates back to 1829, sits in a very pretty place with riding options that are described as ever changing, never flat and scenic. He carries Moots, Niner, Ibis, Ritchey and a few Euro brands. High quality products and pro builds rule the days at Evo. Its setting is warm and sits close to a house on the lot. I once visited Scott back in my early days with Moots and help him set a new toilet in the house. How many reps can claim to have done that with their dealer? Scott is an avid road rider and racer, but has a deep passion for Cyclocross. At many an event around the country he is on the list of people I always run into and is always good for a smile and a beer. He would do anything to help you out.
His customers are loyal. Greg and Gary are what he calls his MOOTS leaders. They have multiple Moots each and say that once you ride one, nothing else will suffice…..this may explain why they have so many!
We are very proud to have Evo-Pro on the Moots list of super shops. If you are ever in the area, stop in and say hi. Take a walk through the shop and we are pretty sure you’ll come away with a smile.
You can visit the EVO-PRO site here: EVOLUTION PRO BIKES
Full Psychlo X RSL race machine. SRAM CX1, carbon tubular wheels,supple Team Edition Challange Grifo tubulars, high powered cantis for braking. No water bottle bosses and no front derailleur routing. Business only on this 16.5 pound 56cm build.
As Cyclocross Nationals gets underway on Wednesday of this week and runs through Sunday, we thought it might be fun to talk Cyclocross at Moots. Going back to our first Cyclocross frames in 1993 to the present state of the art Psychlo X RSL the history of cross runs pretty deep with our company. In 1993 our bikes ran very traditional “European” geometries, which meant very high bottom brackets, 1” head tubes and were sized more like a longer road bike fit than anything. At that time they all were made as custom only and by “all” I mean the handful or less per year that were made in those early years. As time passed our Psychlo X grew into a formidable race bike and landed many racers on podiums far and near. Small changes over time really brought the Psychlo X up several notches. Refined geometry and increased tire clearance to name a couple. There were also the couple of years we had a seamless 6/4 tube set in an “SL” (superlight) version of the Psychlo X.
PSYCHLO X RSL IS BORN
As we introduced the Vamoots RSL into our road line those of us here at Moots that live and breathe Cyclocross were licking our chops at the prospect of putting that butted tube set into a Psychlo X. We didn’t want to stop with just the tube set and built out the Psychlo X RSL that would share the same features in the road model (press fit bb30, tapered stays, 35mm seat tube and 30.9 seat post). We also added the 44mm head to further stiffen the front end and address the demands of racing Cyclocross. We also shaped the top tube right where you would shoulder the bike while on foot. The first proto types were raced at Cyclocross Nationals in Bend, Oregon 2010, with the production model ready fall of 2011.The RSL really set a bench mark for many other titanium companies to follow. The Psychlo X RSL went on to win best Cyclocross at NAHBS 2012.
Our line of Cyclocross bikes can be built with a number of options: Disc, 142 x 12 thru-axle, Electronic routing, single speed, 7 stock sizes and full custom as well.
It was during the summer of 2012 that Shimano North America approached Moots to provide a neutral support fleet for the races they support as well as dealer events and the biggie: Cyclocross Worlds 2013 held in Louisville, Kentucky. They had grown tired of replacing broken frames in the fleet that was made up of mostly carbon and aluminum bikes. So starting in Verona, Wisconsin at Nationals the neutral support fleet was Moots. The bikes are with them to this day and have supported numerous series from New England, Colorado to Seattle. Look for them this week in Austin!
Let’s take a look at some details of just one race-ready Psychlo X RSL. I’ll be posting more as the week moves along…..I hope you enjoy.
Our Cx fork has the option to run a crown mounted cable stop. Clean cable routing and total chatter free performance. This older PX RSL runs the internal 44mm head set, which now the current goes with the external and geometry is adjusted as such. In true weight weenie fashion this bike went with no head badge.
Rear derailleur cable routing under the seat stay with zip-tie cradles. One piece housing from top tube to derailleur to keep out the muck. Also note the tapered tips of the seat and chain stays, along with the machined away breezer style drop outs.
Our 33rd year has come to a close. 33 years! 33 years of building bikes. 1981-2014! Not many hand built companies can say they have been in business nearly that long. What keeps us going? You of course, our dedicated customers that support our little company and love to ride. Everyone at Moots is really a bike geek at heart. We pour over the details; how to make it better, how to make it more “Moots”. This is our livelihood and our passion and we thank you for the support….we could not do this without you!
Wow. 2014 is done and dusted. Where did the year go?
All the best in 2015!
A stunning Vamoots RSL ready for its owner and many miles to come. 15.1 pounds as it sits…. The particular owner of this rig choose to go with a very clean and reliable Shimano Dura Ace 9000 build, Enve hoops tied to Chris King R45 hubs, Chris King head set and PF30 to keep things running smoothly for years to come. At first glance those are some of the component highlights….lets take a closer look…
The Vamoots RSL comes standard with a 1 1/8” head tube, with the 44mm (shown) being an option. He choose the 44mm head tube to increase stiffness and opted for the 1 1/8” Moots RSL steerer fork with a Chris King 1 1/4”lower, which gives the head tube to head set to fork a nice look. It also keeps the front end just a little more compliant on the hands. We have grown very fond of this set up hear at Moots. Since we are not making tapered road forks of our own yet, this will allow a rider to change out to a 1 1/4” tapered fork if/when they like, without disturbing the geometry of the bike. It also looks a bit cleaner vs the 1 1/2” lower external bearing. (see below)
The Moots RSL fork is all carbon from drop outs to top of steerer. We designed them in-house, we own the molds and have been very happy with the performance. A Chris King R45 keeps things smooth and classy.
Moots RSL spacers to match the nice curvy lines of the head tube. Note the RSL stem with windowed steerer tube clamp and titanium bolts.
All of our RSL line; road, mountain and cross use a PF30 BB. Best paired with a Chris King bb and in this case the CK 24mm adaptors. The large surface area of the PF30 allows us to use bigger tubes in every direction….bigger tubes=bigger foot print=more power to the ground.
1 inch tapered chainstays help put the power down, they are mated to our RSL drop outs that are scuplted for style and windowed to save grams. The slim seat stays are seamless 6/4 and help keep a smooth ride possible, without being overly harsh. Chris King R45 hub brings it all together.
Topped off with a set of world famous Ron Andrews Titanium King cages. They are blasted to match the finish of the frame and will last most of a lifetime.
The owner of this new build will be kicking off the new year in style. Durable, light and timeless….he’ll be ready for many seasons of miles.