Moots is best known as one of the world’s premier titanium bike manufacturers, so its latest bike will likely surprise many.
The new Moots Express is the brand’s first ebike, and it’s also made from carbon fibre.
The electric gravel bike is currently available in one build option and colour, and costs $9,999.
Why has Moots made an electric bike and why is it carbon?
Speaking to BikeRadar, Moots president Nate Bradley says the brand was interested in designing an electric bike from around 2017.
“Customers were asking regularly, ‘When is Moots going to make an ebike?’ or ‘What’s Moots’ stance on ebikes?’,” says Bradley.
Bradley describes Moots as a leader in gravel bikes: “We have a five-bike line-up that ranges from the competitive edge of gravel racing up to multi-day gravel expedition, so we have a gravel bike for everybody.”
As the high-end ebike market grew, a gravel ebike was the void in Moots’ line-up. Bradley says Moots spotted how brands that weren’t prominent in gravel were taking their first stabs at electric gravel bikes.
The combination of interest from consumers and seeing other brands moving into the gravel ebike market led Moots to begin developing the Express in earnest around 2020, before the project was placed on hold during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Bradley says Moots can’t move quickly with development due to its size, but that the company tries to keep up with progressions in the bike industry, rather than being forced to react to developments later down the line.
Electrification of bikes is a case in point, with Moots noticing more products coming to the cycling market in the last two years that are focused on electric assistance, including SRAM T-Type, according to Bradley.
Bradley says Moots is keeping an eye on where the market leads and that he expects the premium end of the bike industry to see an increase in ebikes.
Committing to making an electric gravel bike raised the question of frame materials.
“We felt we could make a better ebike out of a composite material than we could if we made it out of titanium,” says Bradley.
If Moots opted to make an ebike from titanium, Bradley says it was going to have to over-build it.
“It wasn’t going to be light and it wasn’t going to have compliance. It was going to be a really rigid bike,” he says.
Bradley says Moots could have made a titanium electric gravel, but the company “wouldn’t feel great about it, and it would probably never see the light of day”.
But Bradley says Moots was aware making a carbon gravel bike was a risk: “We knew this was going to hurt and we knew this was going to be a big ask from the public.”
This may explain why Moots presents the Express as embodying the brand’s “core concept of pushing harder and going further” and its history of creating bikes “that take you as far and as long as your heart desires”.
It represents a bid, possibly, to convince consumers that a change in frame material doesn’t mean a change in ethos.
The Moots Express frame isn’t made in the USA, like Moots’ titanium bike frames, but Bradley says the brand’s composite parts have always been made abroad.
He says Moots works with two composite companies, in Taiwan and China. He has “always been very proud of what we’ve got from them” and that being manufactured outside the USA does not mean the Express is “an inferior product by any means”.
Bradley says Moots is committed to expanding the Moots Express range by introducing more colours, build options and customisation, even if there isn’t a time frame for developments yet.
“This product will end up speaking for itself on whether it makes sense for it to survive in our line-up or if it doesn’t. We’re either not going to have the audience or we’re going to have this audience and they’re going to tell us they don’t like blue,” says Bradley.
Moots Express Shimano EP801 motor
The Moots Express is built around a Shimano EP801 electric bike motor, which delivers 60Nm of power.
The motor’s power curve can be tuned through the Shimano E-tube app. This means you should be able to balance the level of torque assistance from the motor with your pedalling torque to match how you like to ride.
The Shimano EP801 drive unit is powered by a 504Wh battery, which Moots says can be removed easily from the bike’s frame via one bolt under the battery access panel.
The Express has a range of more than 100 miles, according to Moots, depending on a variety of factors such as the level of assistance used, elevation gain and rider weight.
Moots claims the range of the Express means it will “deliver more ride distance than nearly any bike on the market today”.
The Express is specced with Shimano components throughout, with a Shimano LinkGlide chain, cassette and chainring designed to match the extra torque of an electric bike.
The bike has a 1x drivetrain with a 47-tooth chainring and an 11-speed, 11-50-tooth cassette.
The handlebar has two shifters for “intuitive ease of use”. The right shifter controls the rear derailleur and the left shifter enables you to increase or decrease the motor’s power assistance.
Moots Express frame features
The front triangle of the Express has two water bottle cage mounts.
The bottle cage mount on the down tube has three points, so you can attach a cage in a higher or lower position.
Moots says the lower position means you can free up space in the frame to accommodate a frame bag.
The fork has three mounting points on either side so you can affix more bikepacking bags to the Express.
The bike has internally routed cables and hoses utilising its MOD (Moots Own Design) carbon handlebar and stem.
Moots launched its MOD components when it released the Routt CRD in August this year.
Bradley says it can comfortably fit 2.1in mountain bike tyres on 29in wheels, depending on how round or square the profile of the tyre is.
The Express has a claimed weight of 33lb (approximately 15kg) in a size medium.
It is available in four sizes: small, medium, large and extra-large.