Handbuilding custom fit bikes since 1981, the American titanium frame specialist Moots released their first soft-tail design Routt YBB (Why Be Beat) back in ’87. It was their signature bike then and it continues to set a high bar today.
With a combined 65 years of experience in their design team “tuning titanium bike designs for optimal performance, comfort and durability”, when Moots says, “we know titanium”, they do, they really do.
The Routt YBB sits at the adventure end of Moots’ gravel range for those looking for “next-level compliance, when tackling mixed-surface rides”. While the RSL is the brand’s dirt racer and the 45 fits in between the two.
Back in June of this year, Moots treated these three gravel bikes to a makeover, introducing slacker head angles and wider tyre clearance thanks to the arrival of Shimano and Sram’s gravel-specific groupsets (GRX and AXS) with their wider Q-factors. The chainstay length remains the same which should keep the ride feel nimble.
The US brand has a reputation for being ahead of the curve when it comes to utilising the latest technology in their engineering process. Moots says: “Perfect rear wheel and brake alignment come courtesy of the proprietary 6/4 titanium 3D-printed flat-mount disc mount”.
By developing this “built as one” dropout and brake mount, accuracy is delivered for critical components. Using 3D printing also means less waste is produced during the manufacturing process and the part can also be made hollow so Moots has been able to include an internal tube for routing a Di2 wire. We think this is a pretty neat design touch.
Over 20mm of rear axle travel is included with the soft-tail micro suspension at the rear, which Moots says is fitted to “take the edge off backcountry road and trail chatter, to provide supremely smooth, confident, and pleasurable pedaling experiences”.
Moots says, for “improved stability, comfort, broader handling capability and more fun”, the 3/2.5 internally butted titanium frameset of the Routt YBB has a longer top tube, which is paired with a 1-2cm shorter stem and 1-2cm wider handlebars to optimise the position for off-road handling.
The Routt YBB has ample capacity for 50mm tyres, with “generous room” said to be given at the chainstay and upper seat stay for mud and debris—clogging up should be not so much of an issue.
Versatility and all-weather riding has been addressed with a third bottle location and rear mudguard mounts on the titanium frame, while the carbon fork features hidden mudguard eyelets.
For clean and stylish aesthetics, internal rear brake routing and in-house finishes are offered so each Routt has the final look you desire. Polishing, anodizing, etching, brushing techniques are all used and there’s a variety of colours to choose from too.
Moots’ Routt YBB is available in a wide range of seven sizes, with custom geometry options also offered for the perfect fit for all riders.
Fully confident in their build process and the durability of titanium, every Moots frame has a lifetime warranty against any defects in material and workmanship.
The Colorado based brand is not only incredibly passionate about the bikes they forge to make, but also follow commendable environmental policies. The Moots has a commuting programme which consists of donating one dollar per employee commute to the team’s chosen charity. Alternative energy is also used from solar panels fitted to the factory roof and the brand recycles 100 percent of their part-offs and material waste.
Anna has been hooked on bikes ever since her youthful beginnings at Hillingdon Cycle Circuit. As an avid road and track racer, she reached the heady heights of a ProCyclingStats profile before leaving for university. Having now completed an MA in Multimedia Journalism, she’s hoping to add some (more successful) results. Although her greatest wish is for the broader acceptance of wearing funky cycling socks over the top of leg warmers.