2012 Moots Psychlo-X RSL – First look

New 'halo' bike sports 44mm head tube and new top tube

Jon Cariveau, Moots’s marketing director, rode his prototype Psychlo-X RSL cyclo-cross bike to second place in the Masters men’s 45-49 age group on a rutted, quickly thawing course at the USA Cycling national championships on Saturday morning.


The new bike, which was shown in pre-production form at Interbike, is built from US-made seamless 3/2.5 titanium tubing that’s heavily manipulated to bring frame weight down to a claimed 3lb. 

Moots ship the top, down and seat tubes to Reynolds in the UK to be mandrel butted, and have recently added a swaging machine to their workshop in Steamboat Springs, Colorado which allows them to taper the chain- and seatstays in-house.

Highlights of the new frame include a Press-Fit 30 bottom bracket, a dramatically shaped top tube and a 44mm steerer tube, which allows a tapered fork steerer to be used. “The head tube is impressive,” Cariveau told BikeRadar. “The bike tracks well; it’s very tight.” The Psychlo-X RSL also uses a 1-3/8in (34.9mm) seat tube to gain a larger purchase on the press-fit shell.

The new fork with the trp hanger and avid shorty ultimate brakes : the new fork with the trp hanger and avid shorty ultimate brakes
Matt Pacocha

The new 44mm head tube and fork with the TRP hanger and Avid Shorty Ultimate brakes

According to Cariveau, the tapered chainstays help mellow the ride, adding some comfort to offset the stiff front end. Riders can further tune the ride feel of their frames by opting for or against a traditional chainstay bridge, which limits mud clearance but is said to noticeably stiffen the rear end.

In classic artisan fashion, Moots pay attention to the details, including plugging weld purge holes with nylon plugs. There are also a plethora of options available, as with all Moots bikes, including internal routing for Shimano’s Di2 electronic groupsets and disc brake tabs.

A fork to match

Moots designed their own cyclo-cross fork last year, to fill the void left by Alpha Q. It’s made in Asia by PMG to a proprietary Moots design. Right now it’s only available with a 1-1/8in steerer, but with the RSL’s upgrade to a 44mm head tube a tapered version could be on the horizon. Moots decided to produce the 1-1/8in version first so current Psychlo-X owners can use it as an upgrade.

The fork has a 395mm axle-to-crown measurement and 47mm rake, and Moots have paid special attention to mud clearance and weight. In designing the fork, the company went through a design process that included creating a plastic rapid prototype mock-up before rideable samples were produced. The rapid prototype allowed designers to put it on a bike and wheel to check tire clearances and the spec before cutting the mold.

The fork has provision for TRP’s crown mounted cable hanger and has nifty indents that offer cantilever brakes – notably SRAM’s Avid Shorty Ultimate – 2.5mm more splay when open to make tire clearance during wheel changes a non-issue.

Detents behind the pads allow them 2.5mm more splay for better tire clearance with tire changes: detents behind the pads allow them 2.5mm more splay for better tire clearance with tire changes
Matt Pacocha

Indents behind the brake pad holders allow 2.5mm more splay for better tire clearance during wheel changes