The Moots Vamoots Disc RSL is one of those bikes that, once you've had the chance to ride it, you just aren't going to want to give back. It delivers the performance of many high-end carbon fibre race machines while retaining that beautiful titanium ride. As in: how can a frame as firm as this still offer such a sublime feel and so much feedback?
You may have read many times about the way a titanium frame behaves when it comes to stiffness and performance, and it's not all marketing guff. It is a beautiful material to ride, in the way that it seems to absorb road buzz and vibration yet still have the strength and stiffness to deliver on performance. The frames aren't exactly heavy either.
Like all materials used in frame manufacturing, though, everything still comes down to great design. Tube profiles, wall thicknesses and geometry are the key, and Moots has absolutely nailed it with the Vamoots Disc RSL.
A glance at the geometry table (I'll go into more detail on that in the next section) shows you that this is a no-nonsense race bike. The front end is low and the angles are steep, which means this frame is fun to ride, while the compact frame delivers loads of stiffness for when you really want to get the power down.
A lot of the titanium bikes I've ridden are more endurance based, the Ribble Endurance Ti (the clue's in the name) and the Mason Aspect, for instance. Great bikes to ride, and neither are slouches on the road, but when you get aboard the Vamoots it's great to feel just what can be achieved with titanium.
This frame feels incredibly tight, and just goads you into pushing it as hard as you can into every bend or straight that you can find.
I listen to music on the bike, and occasionally the perfect song comes on just as you are about to start a really technical, flowing descent. With the road in front and the tyres beneath becoming my only focus, I want to just let the bike go – and that's what you can do with the Moots. It's just so balanced. So much feedback through the frame and fork that you can be properly at one with the machine, every ripple felt and change of camber dealt with by just the tiniest flick of the handlebar or shift of bodyweight.
The steering is fast, yet not quite twitchy. It's close – just like any quality race machine should be – but a positive hand and plenty of confidence will guide the Vamoots through the most challenging of bends without the feeling of being out of control.
Elsewhere, when you need to get a shift on, the Vamoots also delivers. The tubes themselves are pretty beefy for the front triangle, which makes for good stiffness, while the more slender rear end focuses more on comfort.
You can sprint and accelerate hard very efficiently, and once you hit the climbs that stiffness equates to great power transfer, especially when you are out of the saddle giving it everything you have.
Stringing the power climbs and do-or-die descents together can be long, meandering stretches of tarmac which, on a super-stiff bike, can become a little tedious. The Vamoots negates that with a smooth ride feel, the double butted tubing soaking up a lot of the road buzz.
It just takes the edge off. It's not the most comfortable bike I've ever ridden, but for one that is focused on performance it doesn't batter you about, so you can cover some decent distance without starting to feel too much fatigue in your wrists or lower back.
All this makes the Vamoots a fairly versatile machine for anything from racing through to fast sportives or just getting out in the lanes for a quick century, and I'm talking imperial here, none of that new-fangled decimal stuff.
The Vamoots Disc RSL is probably the most custom bike that ever came off the peg. Manufacturing quality titanium frames is neither quick nor cheap, yet the company offers this model in nine sizes!
Starting at 48cm (51.5cm effective top tube) through to 62cm (59.5cm TT), each frame uses specific tube diameters, wall thicknesses and angles to create the same ride feel throughout the range.
Moots quotes a weight of 1,360g for a size 58cm frame.
The tube design is to Moots' own specification and it has gone for double-butting – two different wall thicknesses to create stiffness where required while dropping weight where it isn't.
The rear dropouts aren't machined or cast like many others, they are 3D printed, something we have seen on a few high-end frames. It's a very neat and lightweight solution to the manufacture, allowing the designer to put material exactly where it is needed, plus it can create much more complex detailing and shapes – as you can see with the gear hanger design.
Up front, Moots has gone for a large 44mm diameter head tube, which certainly delivers on the stiffness front when paired with the full carbon fork.
The front end is really direct and tight as a drum, most noticeable when really hauling on the brakes as you fly into a tight bend.
Moots has gone for a threaded bottom bracket shell which will please many of you, maintenance and longevity-wise. The narrower width than the BB86 internal options found on carbon frames might lose out a touch on the stiffness front, but not so much that you'd notice out on the road. As far as I could tell, the Vamoots was never found wanting.
As to be expected in this day and age, the Vamoots Disc RSL comes with 12mm thru-axles front and rear, and flat mounts for the disc callipers.
When it comes to geometry, as I've said, it is race orientated, our 55cm model coming with a 55.5cm effective top tube, 150mm head tube, 73.5-degree head angle and 73.75-degree seat angle. This equates to a stack of 580mm with a reach of 386mm.
There are loads of finish options to be had when it comes to the decals, which contrast well with the satin bead blast finish of the tubes. You can have brushed, anodised, polished, etched or the rather fetching offering we have, Stanley.
Other options include the inclusion of a pump peg, chain hanger, custom sizing and an engraved head tube.
There's no denying this is an expensive option. The Di2 version of the Vamoots frame and fork we have here will set you back £6,500, which is a large investment.
That's nearly twice the price of the Mason Aspect I mentioned earlier. The Aspect isn't as race inspired as the Vamoots, but that doesn't make any difference to the build quality. Handmade in small batches in Italy, with beautiful welding, a frameset will set you back £3,450.
And you could buy two J.Laverack J.ACK framesets for the price of one Moots. It comes in two geometry setups, one of them a race option, and the frameset is available for £2,480.
But it doesn't just come down to weight or price, there's a feeling you get from riding the Moots, from running your hand along the top tube as you walk past it, or the fact that no matter how bad your day has been, a quick blast on the Vamoots is going to make it all pale into insignificance.
Moots has delivered a brilliant frame and fork with the Vamoots Disc RSL, and it is an absolute joy to ride, from every aspect. Yes, it's a massive chunk of money, but what you are getting here is more than just a bike. It's a piece of engineering art.
If you can afford it, you won't be disappointed.
A big investment, but the performance, precise handling and beautiful titanium feel will see you smiling every ride
If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website
road.cc test report
Make and model: Moots Vamoots Disc RSL
Size tested: 55cm
Tell us what the frameset is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?
Moots says, "Pure road performance - Stiff and light- tight handling-fast acceleration - smooth, balanced ride - titanium durability."
The Vamoots is a superb race bike thanks to loads of stiffness and aggressive geometry, without giving a ride that is overly firm.
State the frame and fork material and method of construction
The frame is made from a proprietary, butted titanium tubeset while the fork is full carbon fibre.
HEAD TUBE DIAMETER - 44MM
BOTTOM BRACKET - 68MM THREADED
SEATPOST - 27.2
DERAILLEUR CLAMP - 34.9
THRU-AXLE REAR END SPACING - 142 X 12
DISC MOUNT - Flat mount 140 adaptable to 160
MAX TIRE CLEARANCE - 30MM
WATER BOTTLE LOCATIONS - 2
FRAME WEIGHT - 1360 GRAMS (58CM)
Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?
Everything about the Vamoots is top level, from the high quality welding through to the eye-catching graphics.
Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?
Moots offers a total of nine sizes and they all have very race-orientated geometry figures, with steep seat and head angles and a low slung position.
How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?
The stack and reach figures across the size range reflect the aggressive, race-orientated style of the bike.
Riding the bike
Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.
Yes, it was comfortable. The Vamoots has a stiff frame but that doesn't translate into a harsh ride.
Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?
Stiffness levels are exactly where they need to be for this type of bike. When riding hard out of the saddle there is no noticeable flex from the bottom bracket area.
How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?
Power transfer is excellent, especially considering it doesn't have the large tube profiles and bottom bracket junctions of similarly priced carbon race frames.
Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so was it a problem?
How would you describe the steering? Was it lively neutral or unresponsive? Pretty lively, but a lot of fun.
Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?
The Vamoots has very balanced steering. It will tackle fast technical bends without feeling twitchy at speed, and remains smooth and easy to live with in the slower corners.
How did the build components work with the frame? Was there anything you would have changed?
A top end frame like the Vamoots requires a quality build, and the Shimano Ultegra Di2 and carbon fibre deep section wheels worked well.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
At £6,500 the Vamoots Disc SLR is undeniably pricey. The Mason Aspect is handmade in small batches in Italy, with beautiful welding, and a frameset will set you back £3,450, while the J.Laverack J.ACK frameset is available for £2,480.
Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes
Would you consider buying the bike? Yes (but don't tell my wife!)
Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's exceptional, but for the price – twice as expensive as some rivals. If you can afford it, you are looking at a proper bike for life, and the way it rides and handles means that you'd never get bored of it. Great performance, stiffness and comfort is a tough balance to achieve, but that's what you get here. It's very, very good.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!