Custom Moots Routt RSL first look at NAHBS show stopper

Is this $11,700 build the true do-it-all bike?

We are fortunate enough to be able to ride a lot special bikes here at BikeRadar, but there is something about the sense of unattainable exotica of a titanium bike that still sets the hearts of even the most spiel-weary among us aflutter.

Moots is arguably the true master of this wonder material — the Steamboat Springs based brand has been producing titanium frames since 1991 and has continued to push the boundaries of what is possible with ti ever since.

The keenest bike nerds may recognize this particular bike — a seriously tricked out Routt RSL — from the oodlesofcoverage it received at this year's edition of NAHBS and it’s just arrived in the BikeRadar offices, destined to spend the next year as Reuben Bakker-Dyos’ long term test bike.

The bike's decals are colour matched with the Chris King emerald finishing kit
The bike's decals are colour matched with the Chris King emerald finishing kit
The Routt is Moots’ all-road/gravel bike and was released alongside the beefier Routt 45 back in 2014.

The original Routt received almost universal praise, but some — including BikeRadar — found that the bikes tall head tube and short top tube resulted in a sportive-like fit that was too relaxed for racing and hard riding.

The RSL suffix is used to distinguish the more race-oriented bikes in Moot's lineup
The RSL suffix is used to distinguish the more race-oriented bikes in Moot's lineup

Responding to this, Moots released the Routt RSL (the RSL suffix is used throughout the Moots line to denote race oriented bikes) back in November last year — with 16mm less stack and 9mm longer reach than the original Routt, the fit of the RSL is more in line with a true race machine.

Built as a showcase for the new range of emerald Chris King parts, Reuben’s Routt RSL is exquisitely finished with a colour-matched saddle rail clamp, stem clamp and decals.

Even the hammer of the Spur Cycle bell has been anodised to match the Chris King goodies
Even the hammer of the Spur Cycle bell has been anodised to match the Chris King goodies

Truly pushing the boundaries of #deepcustom, Moots has also anodized the hammer of the bike’s Spurcycles bell to match the emerald green kit — impressive or obsessive? You decide.

After racing last year’s edition of the Dirty Kanza on a Routt 45, Reuben was keen to try out the more aggressive RSL for, well, pretty much everything this season

From a zillion early morning road rides to gravel races, such as the Dirty Reiver and The Distance, and a brand new bikepacking ‘race’ in Galloway this June, he’ll be spending nearly all of his saddle time onboard the Routt RSL.

Although Reuben is going to spend a lot of time fettling with different tyres on this bike, he's starting with Schwalbe's venerable G Ones
Although Reuben is going to spend a lot of time fettling with different tyres on this bike, he's starting with Schwalbe's venerable G Ones

These tyres have time and again proven themselves to be a great all-round option
These tyres have time and again proven themselves to be a great all-round option

The Routt RSL is designed to accommodate tyres up to 38mm wide and Reuben plans to run the bike with a huge variety of rubber — from his current favourite 28mm wide Panaracer Gravel Kings for everyday riding to the voluminous 650b 42mm-wide Soma Cazadero tyres for gnarly gravel adventures.

As a man who clocked up over 8,500 miles in all manner of weather last year, Reuben is also the first to admit that his bikes have a pretty rough life and even the most studious fettler would have a hard time keeping up with the rate at which he seems to destroy gear cable housing.

The Di2 cables are cleanly routed through the 3D printed dropouts
The Di2 cables are cleanly routed through the 3D printed dropouts

The bike is equipped with an (almost) full Dura-Ace 9100 Di2 groupset. Even most of the pros don't have these cranks yet!
The bike is equipped with an (almost) full Dura-Ace 9100 Di2 groupset. Even most of the pros don't have these cranks yet!

So the move to electronic shifting — Shimano’s top end Dura-Ace Di2 R9170 groupset in this case — which is largely unfazed by even the greatest levels of grimy abuse has been openly welcomed by our resident drivetrain killer.

Reuben visited Moots' factory last year. Check out our video about how Moots makes its bikes on our YouTube channel.

From the double-pass welds, to the hidden mudguard mounts, matching titanium headset spacers and 3D printed dropouts, the whole bike abounds with countless nice details to oggle at.

Keep your eyes peeled for a first ride from Reuben alongside on-going coverage in the next few months.

  • Dura-Ace 9170 complete builds start at $11,699 (approx £9,415 / AU$15,280), with additional costs for the custom features as pictured.
  • Ultegra 6870 builds start at $10,059 (approx £8,095 / AU$13,140 ) with frameset', including a Chris King headset, coming in at $5519 (approx £4,440 / AU$7,210),
Jack Luke

Staff Writer, UK
Jack has been riding and fettling with bikes for his whole life. Always in search of the hippest new niche in cycling, Jack is a self-confessed gravel dork and thinks nothing of bivouacking on a beach after work. Also fond of cup and cone bearings, skids and tan wall tyres.
  • Discipline: Long days in the saddle by either road or mountain bike
  • Preferred Terrain: Happiest when on a rural road by the coast or crossing a remote mountain pass. Also partial to a cheeky gravel adventure or an arduous hike-a-bike.
  • Current Bikes: Custom Genesis Croix de Fer all road adventure wagon, Niner EMD 9.
  • Dream Bike: A rigid 44 Bikes Marauder, all black please.
  • Beer of Choice: Caesar Augustus
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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