To some, in our modern world of sophisticated carbon frames, titanium no longer has a place. To which we say, pah! Sure, titanium’s been around for a while but that doesn’t mean its has-been technology especially when its teamed up with the very latest manufacturing techniques such as 3D printing. And in our eyes, if it’s good enough for Formula One teams to use, then it’s still very much on the cutting edge.
Colorado-based brand Moots has been in business since 1981 and titanium frame manufacture started in its Steamboat Springs base in 1991. While each of its bikes is custom-built to order, Moots also offers a set of stock geometries if you prefer. A quick glance online told us that a 60cm ‘stock’ would give us what we needed, and three months later it was ready to ship. The Vamoots RSL Disc is the brand’s top-of-the-line offering, so we were expecting a race-worthy, sportive beast.
It doesn’t take more than a couple of hundred yards of pedaling before you realize that the Vamoots is every bit as stiff as many carbon frames and more so than many, meaning we can dismiss any thoughts of it being soft or outdated. If you’re well-tuned, you’ll also notice that it’s your feet that feel the road while your backside is well cushioned, the Moots Cinch seatpost no doubt helping with its elegant titanium curve.
Up front, there’s a pair of stocky Moots carbon forks which swallow the 28 mm Schwalbe tires with ease. They offer a stiff, precise ride with enough feel to encourage you to push that bit harder yet give plenty of information about the levels of grip beneath you.
Elsewhere, Vamoots is a fairly standard build with a full Shimano Ultegra R8000 Di2 specification and a 50/34 chainset plus an 11-34 cassette designed for climbing Colorado style. The wheels are new to us. At least the Astral-made rims are, while the hubs, made by White Industries, are more familiar. Both function well. Fizik supplies the bars and saddle, although we ended up swapping the supplied Moots titanium stem for a longer Pro Vibe Carbon one to get the right reach.
Stiffness – More than stiff enough for our needs.
Fit – A standard or fully custom geometry is available.
Subtle looks – Etched finish gives this beautiful bike a classy yet contemporary look.
Not so good
Weight – At this price, other materials would be lighter.
Price – Custom, limited- production craftsmanship doesn’t come cheap.
Comfort – A little more comfort would have suited our tastes better.
Custom-drawn and internally butted 6/4 titanium tubes are welded together and finished in the most beautiful way we’ve ever seen. They help supply a ride that’s firm on rough surfaces and super smooth when they’re good. Treads the fine line between race and comfort extremely well.
Size/wt: 60 cm/8.2 kg
Frame: Moots Custom 3/2.5, 6/4 Titanium with Moots Flat Mount Disc carbon fork
Groupset: Shimano R8070 Ultegra Di2
Brakes: Shimano R8070
Chainset: Shimano Ultegra R8000 50/34
Cassette: Shimano Ultegra R8000 11-34
Bars: Fizik Cyrano R3
Stem: Pro Vibe Carbon
Saddle: Fizik Aliante R3
Seatpost: Moots Cinch
Wheels: White Industries CLD hubs, with Astral Wanderlust rims
Tires: Schwalbe One, 28 mm