Moots began building steel road bikes in 1981, and introduced the YBB (Why Be Beat) soft-tail design in 1987. Steel fabrication was largely replaced with titanium in 1991, and the first Routt was released in 2014 – as so often with these Colorado innovators, ahead of the gravel trend.
Now 32 years old, Moots has added the YBB spring and elastomer micro suspension system to the 2019 Routt YBB I have here.
The YBB spring and elastomer micro-suspension system.Robert Smith
Built with unfussy, round, seamless 3/2.5 titanium tubes, and displaying immaculate welding, the Routt YBB includes a titanium, 3D-printed rear flat-mount disc mount and dropout, as well as a third bottle mount beneath the down tube, beautiful internal routing ports, and simply extraordinary colour shift anodised graphics.
There’s clearance for 700c x 45mm tyres, or 650b x 52mm, and it’ll accept full-length mudguards.
There are suggested builds available, or you can customise the components, the geometry, and as much as you can afford. Of course such craftsmanship isn’t cheap, but hand-built metal bikes can have such tangible long-term beauty that you can clearly see what you’re paying for.
The frame relies on the springy titanium to flex along the chainstays so the YBB unit can compress by up to 20mm. It’s surprisingly active, and on bumpy terrain can be seen moving from the saddle.
I love the shiny colour-shift graphics on the titanium frame.Robert Smith
The combination of 27.2mm diameter curved titanium seatpost, YBB system and 35psi in 45mm tubeless tyres makes for a supremely plush feeling rear end, even on tarmac. It doesn’t wallow, and has great directness and response, reacting quickly to additional efforts.
Impeccable road manners and raw speed make ticking along at 20mph a breeze, and long climbs hold no fear, just positive upward progress.
Letting rip on gravel roads, the Moots is clearly in its element. The ever-composed nature of the Routt YBB breeds confidence, and little is out of reach, although with a front end that’s lazier to turn than a cyclocross bike, more weight shifting is needed at times.
A steep, sketchy, rutted descent showcased great poise and the Moots’ deft line control, before tarmac took over again.
Robin began road cycling in 1988, and with mountain bikes in their infancy, mixed experimental off-road adventures with club time trials and road races. Cyclocross soon became a winter staple, and has remained his favourite form of competition. Robin has always loved the technical aspect of building and maintaining bikes, and several years working in a good bike shop only amplified that.