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Moots Routt RSL - Ridden and Reviewed

Dan, Bespoke's Head of Bike Fitting, takes a closer look at the Moots Routt RSL gravel/adventure bike, handcrafted from titanium in Steamboat Springs, Colorado:

We are lucky enough to currently have a Routt RSL demo bike in store. Moots demo bikes are extremely rare, especially in the UK, so I was keen to swing a leg over the Routt RSL and see how the craftsmanship and attention to detail that goes into every Moots frame translates to the road and trail…

My first few rides on the Routt RSL were road commutes from and to London, I've done this fairly long ride so frequently I can really notice the difference each bike I ride offers. Instantly the dampening properties of titanium were evident. This is the first titanium bike I've spent a significant amount of time on, and I was blown away by the compliance of this frame.

The Routt RSL is extremely stable and confidence-inspiring at high speed, low speeds, cornering….even during the odd pothole bunnyhop. Normally I'm getting bucked all over the place on my carbon road bike, but this was a different experience that I was able to relax through rougher sections of road and let the bike munch through the bumps.

There's a fairly punchy 3.5 minute climb on my way home that I was worried would catch the Routt RSL short and I'd be weaving all over the road trying to lug this 'gravel' bike upwards. No such worries however, while vertically very compliant, laterally it retains plenty of stiffness. In fact, this was what impressed me the most about the bike.

Moots have a made a gravel bike, that to be fair is not particularly light (this build was 8.5 kg), but which feels almost as responsive as my carbon race bike. Okay you do notice the weight when accelerating from sIower speeds or on really steep climbs, but it's nowhere near sluggish, even when compared to other titanium road frames.

Following a week or commuting I had to take the opportunity to try and push the limits for what Moots designed this bike for - ploughing through a soup of mud, roots and rocks while trying to retain something resembling 'speed'.

When Nate Bradley (Moots Product Development Manager) visited us in the summer, he said "everything about our frames is designed around the ride". When I took the Routt RSL off road, what he said made absolute sense.

The longer wheelbase and slacker head angle compared to a road bike meant that even with 30mm Schwalbe G-One tyres (not particularly knobbly), the handling had the poise and certainty usually reserved for mountain bikes. I was genuinely grinning from ear-to-ear the whole time. The highlight is going sideways around corners still pedalling and having absolute assurance I could keep the bike going rubber side down.

I think Moots have really made a special bike with this Routt RSL. It's made me rethink the stereotypical "genres" of cycling.

It won't replace my race bike, it probably wouldn't replace my commute bike. But to have a bike in the shed that I could happily grab for a 70 mile club ride, or a hack around the local mountain bike trails, taps into that 'freedom' we all experienced riding our bikes as a kid.

Should you buy a Moots? Probably. But you'll have to get behind me in the queue…

Want a Moots of your own? We offer the full range of Moots bikes, both road and MTB, and can build to the specification of your choice, or provide frame only - the choices are endless!

With each frame being handmade in Steamboat Springs there are a wide range of options for customisation, from additional bottle cage mounts to unique paint finishes.

And of course whichever you choose, it'll be expertly fitted to ensure you get the most from it.

For more info, visit one of our stores, or get in touch via email.