After years of producing fewer than 10 bespoke one-offs for insistent customers and Iditabike racer Mike Curiak, Moots will finally put their titanium snow bike into production – albeit in a very small run capped at just 20 frames.
The FrosTi is designed around a maximum 3.7in tire width front and rear, with a 100mm-wide threaded bottom bracket shell, 170mm rear hub spacing, ultra-widely-set chainstays and seatstays, and 135mm front hub spacing for the recommended Salsa Enabler rigid chromoly fork.
According to Moots, the FrosTi's geometry will also accommodate an 80mm-travel 29er fork for fair-weather riding. Other adventure-specific features include through-guides for full-length housing throughout and options for a third water bottle mount and rack mounts. Up front, a 44mm-diameter head tube allows for straight and tapered steerers.
Snow bike fans will notice a number of changes on the FrosTi relative to Moots' earlier custom builds – understandable since the original versions were said to be so labor-intensive to construct that Moots were virtually unwilling to sell them. There'll be no optional slider dropouts on the FrosTi, no belt drive option, and no option for S&S couplers.
The Moots FrosTi will have room for up to 3.7in-wide tires front and rear
Likewise, the old version's trick welded box-section chainstay yoke design has been skipped in favor of a more conventional tubular construct and you can also say goodbye to the original's striking titanium-legged fork, which was built around an old Marzocchi Monster T lower crown. In addition to bringing the cost down to a more manageable figure, Moots say the alterations also reflect recent changes in snow bike sizing conventions.
"In the past year there really has become a more 'normal' setup, as strange as that may sound," Moots marketing man Jon Cariveau told BikeRadar. "Changes were made to make this version conform more to the 'industry standard' snow bike setup these days. The welded box yoke added a huge amount to labor and cost – the price of the frame with the yoke would have added US$500 for the customer."
The FrosTi looks like it'll be a worthy companion for winter trail riding nonetheless, and certainly an exclusive one. Moots will offer four frame sizes and each of the 20 frames will cost $3,975 (sorry, the fork isn't included). Non-refundable deposits must be placed by 1 November 2011 and delivery is slated for the following 15 December.
"We're figuring most of these will go to the northern area of North America: Alaska, Canada, upper Midwest," said Cariveau, "although we do have one running around the sand dunes of the Middle East!"
Moots' earlier snow bikes used a custom titanium fork built around an old Marzocchi Monster T crown and had a complex custom box-section chainstay yoke