A fresh look at the 2019 ROUTT 45. CLICK THE LINK BELOW: MOOTS ROUTT 45 REVIEW
MOOTS ROUTT RSL IS A GRAVEL-RIDING MISSLE Going fast never felt so good.
“Don’t let numbers tell you how a bike is going to ride. Instead, do something very simple: Go for a ride.”
Quality hand-built bike frames are not a rarity in this world. The ability to replicate that quality with any kind of consistency, however, is an especially scarce art form. It’s an art form that Moots has down to a science. From the moment you walk into Moots’ modestly sized manufacturing facility tucked into the remote mountain town of Steamboat Springs, Colo., you can tell that it’s designed specifically to deliver the kind of consistent high-quality bike frames that its customers around the world have come to expect for the past 35 years. The shop isn’t sterile or uptight. Stickers with logos from Metallica, Brunton, Troy Lee Designs and the like are plastered on tool chests throughout the building, and opened cans of microbrews make the occasional appearance beside work stations. But this definitely isn’t a haphazard framebuilder’s studio dominated by chaotic artistry, either. There’s a cleanliness and an order to the shop that sit like powerful boulders in the river, subtly guiding the steady flow of creativity. It’s a place built for art and for science, chaos and order, free-spirit and discipline. The Moots building that houses this shop full of seemingly contradictory forces sits in an industrial park on the outskirts of Steamboat at the base of a mountain where elk still occasionally drop down to graze in the evening. A short bike ride to Main Street reveals a town that is an eclectic mix of modern and traditional in everything from the clothes people wear to the bumper stickers on their cars and trucks — which just happen to be an equal mix of Outbacks and F-150s. Keep riding, and not far past Main Street you can stand in a field full of cattle and watch world-class skiers soar into the clouds on the famous jump that helped put Steamboat on the map. It’s a town where the residents have figured out how to embrace the new without having to let go of the tried and true ways of doing things that work as well today as they did 100 years ago. It’s a paradoxical town that only makes sense to those people who put no weight in the absolutes of life to which the rest of the world seems to cling so tightly. It’s a town that is the perfect place to give rise to a bike company that proved it’s possible to consistently deliver a custom-quality frame with stock-frame efficiency. Like the town itself, Moots started off in rather humble obscurity. The company began in 1981 when Kent Eriksen started building steel road bikes in the back of the Sore Saddle Cyclery bike shop that he owned with Trip Harrelson and Mike Sanders. The quality of the bikes earned Moots a reputation and a small following of dedicated cyclists. A few years later, Moots took what seemed to be a rather radical step and branched out from road biking to also embrace the newest form of riding at the time — mountain bikes. Because it was a new company