These days it’s all about the meat. That is, tire size and how big can you go in your road bike? “Gravel” is the buzz word as of late and the bike industry has jumped into this full-boat. You and many here at Moots have been venturing down the path less-traveled on our road bikes for years. With a little thought about what tire you run, pressure settings and making sure you have the right repair kit with you, those dirt & gravel roads can be all yours.
Today we are looking at Nate Bradley’s 2015 Vamoots. Nate manages our mitered shop where he along with Willy & Pete cut every bike we make. So he knows a thing or two about bikes and bike set up. Did I say he rides a lot? He does.
Now, the Vamoots name has been with us since 1993 and over the years has changed a little. Current Vamoots geometry provides for a more upright postion, less reach for a given size vs. the older model, a touch longer chainstay and just a bit more drop in the bb. This set up lends itself to a fantastic ride across many different surfaces. Add in the fact that the Vamoots can handle up to a 29mm tire and you have yourself a cobble crushing, dirt road, chip seal, pavement- eating machine, that can carry you all day in reasonable comfort. No crazy frills, just a machine that will take anything you can throw its way ride after ride.
Let’s take a look at Nate’s Vamoots, which he has opted for a few changes from the stock model:
Tried and true. A good frame pump will never let you down….and you’ll always be the most popular person in the group when others flat. Topeak Master Blaster is a hot favorite around the Moots building.
Now that the Ranch Rally registration is open, we’ll be posting some updates of course conditions as the snow leaves and equipment needs that will make your day at the Ranch Rally all that more special.
Hope you enjoy!
Our road warriors are still at it after the North American Handbuilt Bicycle Show and are now rolling into Texas. We have 4 demo events planned with our dealers. We hope you can make it out for some quality time with Michael Loomis from Moots. He’s got a van full of our lastest bikes in many different sizes. Read below and come out and ride!
THURSDAY MARCH 19TH
DEMO + GROUP RIDE
FRIDAY MARCH 20TH
SATURDAY MARCH 21ST
DEMO + GROUP RIDE
SUNDAY MARCH 22ND
DEMO + GROUP RIDE
It’s time to Rally! Back for its second year, we are gearing up for the Moots-Colorado Ranch Rally. For the 2015 addition we are enhancing our swag bag and improving on the Saturday evening social at Moots with more and better food items, and maybe most important, more beer! We are also aiming for 150 riders so we can write the Community Ag Alliance a much BIGGER check. Sign up and pass this around to your riding friends.
Now in its second year, the Moots Colorado Ranch Rally is a 50 mile cyclosportive held on the dirt and gravel roads around Steamboat Springs. Just 5 miles of the route are on pavement. The other 45 miles feature rural dirt and gravel roads that connect area historical ranches. You will pass by historic Elk Mountain Cemetery, climb up to Mystic, touch the Wolf Mountain area and descend down Deep Creek before the rolling hills of County Road 52E and finish it off with a small climb over Fly Gulch. Enjoy a stunning day on the bike.
The event starts and finishes at Moots World Headquarters. This is a non-timed, non-competitive ride. You can ride at your own pace or that of the group around you. There are no awards other than seeing the amazing countryside around Steamboat Springs and meeting some great people along the way. When you enter the event you will also be entered into the drawing for a MOOTS ROUTT frame. (choice of 7 stock frame sizes)
Moots is partnering with the Community Agriculture Alliance (CAA) to showcase the importance of the local ranches in our area. All proceeds from the event will go to CAA.
This route will pass several Centennial Ranches of Routt County, which means they have been in the same family for at least 100 years. Lunch will be served at a working ranch that is on the route. Later that evening we will meet at Moots HQ for an evening of factory tours, “adult beverages”, hors d’oevures and the drawing for the Moots frame.
We are limiting the event to 150 riders, first come, first serve. SIGN UP NOW to make sure you have a spot in this event that is sure to become a Moots Classic.
Go here to enter: MOOTS COLORADO RANCH RALLY 2015
WHAT YOU GET
• Entered into the MOOTS FRAME DRAWING just for this event…think about that…..1 of 150 chances to win a frame valued at $ 3325.00.
• Pastries and coffee the morning of the ride by local bakery & coffee roaster.
• Lunch at a nearby ranch
• Moots factory tour
• Event t-shirt
• Event water bottle
• Route cue sheet
• Event bandana w/cue sheet printed on it
• Locally raised beef jerky
Friday evening social at BUTCHERKNIFE BREWERY the night before we ride!
• Evening social at Moots HQ with catered heavy apps + Butcherknife beer
• Amazing ride through Routt County
• Half way point aid-station stocked with HONEY STINGER
• Mingle with Moots staff during ride and social evening
• 50 mile distance
• Event date: Saturday June 13th, 2015
• Packet pick up: Friday June 12th 4-7pm & Saturday June 13th 7am-8:30am
• RIDE START TIME: June 13th 9:00 am sharp from Moots HQ
• Evening social at Moots HQ from 4pm to 7pm that evening (frame drawing, beers, good food, fun times).
WHAT YOU NEED
Road Bikes: Yes, you can do this route on a road bike. However we recommend new tires and no less than a 28mm tire.
Cross Bikes: Yes, you can do this route on a Cyclocross bike. Stick with a tire of 30 or 32mm that is a semi-slick tread.
Mountain Bike: Yes, you can do this route on a mountain bike. Recommended tire on a mountain bike would be a 1.5’’ width.
Along with the above you will need a good working pump or Co2 set up…2 spare tubes and small seat bag tool kit.
The event will be run on open public roads that have minimal traffic. There are no painted center lines so it will be of most importance to obey all traffic laws while on the route. We will have one main support stop about half way around the route but will rely on you to be self-sufficient at fixing a flat tire and fueling yourself. There will be snacks and drinks at the main support stop as well as an assortment of mechanical supplies if you need them.
The event will be held rain or shine. Come prepared.
Rules of the road
- • • Please be safe and remember that safety is in your own hands and ride by these rules:
- • • This is not a race but a timed tour. Ride within your means. If you haven’t ridden in a large group before don’t.
- • • Wear a helmet at all times – NO EXCEPTIONS
- • • Carry ID and relevant medical information
- • • Rules of the road apply; same rights and duties as the driver of any other vehicle
- • • Ride single file where necessary, maximum of two abreast when conditions allow, do not impede traffic. Ride as far right as reasonable
- • • Obey all traffic lights, signs, and regulations.
- • • Pass on the left only, announce “passing” or “hello” or “on your left”
- • • Use hand signals to indicate road hazards, stopping, slowing, right, and left turns
- • • Prepare properly: nutrition, hydration, training, and for sudden changes in weather conditions
Respect others: riders, volunteers, host communities, motorists, pedestrians, law enforcement, and the environment.
Riding dirt roads on road bikes or cross bikes is nothing new to cycling. Located in Routt County Colorado, Steamboat is situated at 6700’ feet above sea level at the foot of the Continental Divide that shoots up to 10,000 + feet. The county itself has about 600 miles of unpaved dirt and gravel roads vs. the 159 miles of paved roads; this offers us many options and the chance to get up close to amazing views on the road less traveled.
Go here to enter: MOOTS-COLORADO RANCH RALLY 2015
Go here to look for lodging: STEAMBOAT CENTRAL RESERVATIONS
**You will need to sign a waiver at packet pick-up**
You can read more about last years RANCH RALLY, our dirt road riding and the Community Ag Alliance:
Steamboat dirt road riding: TAKING THE DIRT ROAD LESS TRAVELED
CAA article about our rural roads: RIDING RURAL ROADS
Steamboat Pilot newspaper: MOOTS-RANCH RALLY
Steamboat Pilot newspaper: RANCH RALLY GOES OFF WITHOUT A HITCH
Letter from the editior: SADDLE PALS
QUESTIONS?? CALL JON AT MOOTS: 970-879-1676
The Moots Vamoots RSL for Pedalers Fork was honorable mention in the Campagnolo build catagory. It also featured the first shown to public etched finish from us.
Just back from NAHBS (North American Handbuilt Bicycle Show) and we wanted to post some up-close photos of the new finish option we are going to offer and set the record straight about when this will be avaiable, how much it will cost and what is possible with this new option.
To start, all the work is being done in-house here at Moots. We want to have full control of quality and lead times. This point is very important to us as we have see over the years with bringing most of our machined parts in house. Not long ago, we bought a plotter to create the masks in-house as well as a dedicated blasting cabinet that will only be used for this finish. This way we can continue to blast frames at a normal rate and also etch the new finish options without disrupting our flow.
WHEN CAN I ORDER?
We will begin taking orders around May 1st for this option and this will add about 2 weeks to normal delivery times.
WHAT CAN I GET?
To start we will offer our normal placement locations on our frames, stems and seat posts. With the etched option the customer name is included on the top tube if they like.
Final price TBD.
We can and will offer to refinish older frames with this option and that will add the etched option price onto the top of the refinish cost. Price TBD.
At this time we are not offering any custom graphics outside our normal decal locations.
You can also view the post that BIKE RUMOR did on the show bike here:
Visit us at booth #343
It’s fast approaching road season for most of the world. Roads are drying out, snow banks are shrinking and longer days are starting to help with the mid-winter blues. We know there are still winter storms to come but we are pretty excited to stretch our legs and start getting those early season miles. It’s the time of year to get your bike dialed, whether it’s the old rig that needs some TLC or that new Moots build you have been dreaming about for ages.
We shot this little piece to somewhat dissect the build of a Moots road frame. 22 titanium pieces into the frame to complete a build no matter if it is the Vamoots RSL, Vamoots CR, Vamoots or the Vamoots DR. 22 items that are painstakingly sweated over to make sure all the details shine through when you put power to the pedals this spring. Starting by sourcing US materials throughout, from the masterful shapes our miter shop impresses on each, to welding that is metal art to a final finish that is trademark Moots, we are making sure that the ride quality of your Moots road bike is the finest you’ll experience, ever.
Time to saddle up and ride!
These photos have been bouncing around in my phone since August, never knowing exactly what to do with them and how to build a post out of them. Well, this week phone contracts were up and new phones are in place, so I was up late last night playing with the built in iMovie feature in the new 6 and put this together. You’ll have to forgive me of the music choice.
Moots has been attending Eurobike for the last 5 years or so, and in recent years we have had a good size booth in conjunction with our German Distributor. After being to the show and making the long trip there and coming right home, we (myself and Matt Alford our international sale director) decided that we wanted to spend an extra couple of days after the show riding (I know it’s crazy) bikes. It also happens that there are very few flights out of the small airport that is just across the road from the convention center. So we had some time to kill.
The little town of Friedrichshafen, Germany sits on the shores of Lake Constance, which is also bordered by Austria to the south east, Switzerland to the south and of course Germany along the west and north side of the lake. There is a bike path that circumnavigates the entire lake and is a huge draw for tourist of all walks of life. The route is about 165 miles total, with a mostly flat pitch, unless you venture inland away from the lake. Before we left the states we thought this might be a perfect place to try out “bike packing” for the first time ever……in a foreign country or two…why not? What could go wrong?
We closed down the show and the next day woke up in our tents (yes, we camp during Eurobike) packed our bikes mostly with bags we had borrowed or “procured” at the show only a day earlier. Nothing like winging it…. But hey, it really didn’t matter where we ended up as long as we were back to the airport 2 days later to pack down and catch our flight home. So, we shuttled (via taxi) our bike boxes and anything we didn’t need on the bike to a local hotel that would keep them for us until we returned. Then we clipped in and rolled away using the lake as our navigation point. Within minutes we were off course. Not for long, but off course. Finally we found the bike route and settled in to handling cross bikes loaded with bags. I have to admit, it was pretty liberating leaving everything behind for a couple of days. Within 10km we stopped at the first bakery for breakfast….this would be a theme for the next 48 hours. There are a lot of bakeries in Europe by the way……and we HAD to stop and at least sample something at each. Good thing we are not Gluten free.
As the first day buzzed by with ease, our attention turned towards the dark-as-night bank of clouds coming across the lake towards us. Yes, we were about to get pummeled by rain in a very harsh way. It hit us just as we crossed into Austria across the point where Bregenzer Ache River enters the lake. It so happens that the name of said town was HARD, AUSTRIA…..As Matt & I pushed through the storm as we pedaled, we shouted out loud…..and wondered if this was “epic” enough. Side ways rain, harsh winds and the feeling that we would need to find somewhere to stop soon. Part way through the flat delta that is close to the lake (and at this point, water was coming from all directions) we found another small group of bike tourist taking shelter in a wooden bridge that was “mostly” covered. We huddled up for a few minutes and quickly decided that we should keep moving in order not to get too cold. Off we went in the pelting rain. Another 20 minutes and we happened upon a small cafe’ that really had nothing else around it…..lights on and open doors! We ditched the bikes and peeled off our wet outer layers and took up seats at a table ordering coffee and hot chocolate one after the other. I also order the biggest calzone I have ever seen. In the same cafe’ was a family of four….mom, dad and two kids. They had been beaten down by the rain as well and had found this little slice of heaven for a stop. We stayed as long as we could….really not wanting to put wet jackets back on….we took one more coffee and off we went. Now we had crossed into Switzerland over a small inlet of the lake. The bike route now more of a Cyclocross track underwater. On we pedaled and passed the family of four…..kids hitting the deepest of puddles and loving every bit of it. Not far down the path we spotted a camping sign and decided to call it a day. They took us in and had a spot for a tent along with hot showers and small cafe’ for food and drink. Heaven.
September 1st. My birthday. The second time two years running that I would spend my birthday in a foreign country. We would wake up in Switzerland and finish the day in Germany. After a rain filled night’s sleep (picture two 6 foot + guys in a 1.5 man tent) we fueled up at the cafe’ and packed our bikes with mostly dry items. The bathrooms had these awesome air dryers that worked wonders on socks and chamois. Off we rolled. The plan was to ride away from the lake and further into Switzerland so we could experience less of the tourist attractions and more of the real country. So inland we pedaled and were hit with some of the steepest climbing we had seen. Imagine a tame little bike path and as you round the next corner it kicks to 18%. For a half mile. No lie. We made the pitch and got dumped out in a farmer’s back yard and onto more bike path. We pedaled on and mostly up. On our map we wanted to get to St. Gallen, which we eventually did at about noon. Still somewhat damp and still cool, we rolled into the town square where all the professionals we having lunch and a break from their jobs. Just us two disheveled dirt bag bike riders amongst the cashmere and leather wearing desk jockeys a very interesting scene.
Yet another pastry laced with meats then we rolled through the old buildings and found our way back to the signed path way. This time we found the country side with ease and cut a path through the Swiss villages angling in a direction that would have us meet the west end of Lake Constance. My thoughts as I pedaled and took in this amazing setting on my birthday turned to how fricking amazing the signage and pathways are in this area. Why didn’t we have more of this in the US? 3km to the next village, put your map away type of infrastructure…..you’re not every really lost, even if you don’t know where you are…..just keep pedaling and you will hit a sign or village that will tell you where you are. We eventually passed through the town of Gossau Switzerland which played host to the last two years of Masters Cyclocross World Championships. I’m sure Beat Wabel was lurking somewhere around those hills. Onward we rode….more hills, more beautiful farm land, never on a path wider than 8 feet across, some gravel, and some brick….all good. A late lunch/early dinner on a random corner of farmland on a high hill…….pinch me…..how can this be real?
Some funny things happen when you are bike packing/touring. Now, I’m new at this, but this is how I started to feel:
- • Time of day…..you lose track and it does not matter
- • Phone dead…..even better, don’t need it
- • Clean clothes…..don’t need but a dry set to sleep in
- • You can go lighter than you think…..simplicity is key, usually you won’t need it.
- • Eat that pastry……life is short, besides it’s a good 10km to the next one.
- • Birthday on bike…..never felt younger
- • German mosquitoes are feisty
Back next to the lake we found a nice little campground and a setting sun, which was 180 degrees different than the day before. Nice warm sun, dry tent, hot shower, followed by a hot meal on the shores of the lake. Birthday a success!
The final day came and the weather gods were once again on our side. We would finish our bike packing adventure under mostly sunny skies and apple orchards that went on for kilometers. We rounded the most northwestern corner of the lake and got a little “lost”, so we just kept moving, through a strange but enchanting forest, which had these cool little hunting tree houses built throughout. Strange, but very cool. We rode on and in a moment of panic had to pull out the smart phone and locate ourselves by the blinking dot. We guessed to go right then left and that should put us just above the lake. Sure enough, that’s what happened. Riding the double track through yet another backyard, we found our way to the lake front and spun the last km’s back to Friedrichshafen and the hotel that was holding our bags.
A small room awaited us as we packed bikes, pulled the last set of clean clothes of the trip out of our luggage and took a well deserved shower.
The next day came too quick as we left for home. Ready to get home to family, but wishing we could stay longer.
My take-away from our little venture into bike packing is that I love it. I’m quickly filling out my bag quiver and have planned a few summer trips to tick off my list. I’m a convert.
Here’s to some adventures in 2015, big or small!
Strarting today the LONDON BIKE SHOW opens and runs through the weekend. MOSQUITO BIKES based in London with be on hand showing off the latest from Moots. They’ve built out some wonderful show builds for the 50,000 visitors to view. If you never been to the London Bike Show, now is your chance to make it happen. Stop by the Mosquito Bikes booth and have a chat.
Join us this Tuesday at stand out Moots Dealer: MARTY’S RELIABLE CYCLE for the kick off event of the season, REP NIGHT! Our own Corey Piscopo will be on hand to show off Moots wares and answer questions on anything Moots. Marty’s Reliable Cycle is a stand out dealer and this night is usually sold out. Expect the same this year! Come early and make sure to swing by and talk with Corey.