Thursday, 15 August 2013

Moots Mooto X YBB 29er 2013 review and initial impressions

At long last the new Moots Mooto X YBB 29er has arrived... I'm very excited after the initial inspection and ride.  I say "at long last" because I've anticipated it for a long time, but in reality, they executed on the timeline they promised on and everything went quite smooth, so there wasn't any delay.  Mongolia is coming up soon!
First, the intent was for a simple, elegant, yet robust workhorse travel bike.  An older MootsMooto X YBB 29er and a Lynskey were sacrificed and passed on to new owners for this!

Parts of that will take time to evaluate, but we're on the right track. It's simple - one shifter on 1x11 setup, basic suspension without bar mounted controls, simple cable routing with full housing.  ~23lbs vs. 20lbs for the Cannondale Flash (I'm gonna say a proportion of that is tires, 2.25" Racing Ralphs with Snakeskin front and back) gets a little suspension (1 1/8" in the rear) and the ability to carry in a small box, plus some improved impact resistance (ti is tough) and a little more travel/more silky travel in the Fox fork vs. the 90mm Lefty.  Elegance is subjective but I like Moots' finish and the uncomplicated design.  Their welds are incomparable.


Craig, Shawn and I test rode out through COP, over to Valley Ridge and back in on Sideshow Bob.  The reality is, this bike isn't good at keeping up with them... oh wait, that's not the bike's fault.  1x11 with a 34t up front covered the paved downhills fine - we were doing roadie speeds and eventually spun out, but entirely functional for mountain biking.  It also let me grunt up all the steep Valley Ridge trails too, so I'm happy on that.  Drivetrain feels solid and is silent, Chris King PF30 hopefully will keep that true over time.  If the prior Moots was any indication, this should hold up well over time.  Frame improvements are a PF30 BB, tapered head tube, geometry for 100mm fork, oversize seat tube to increase BB welding areas/diameters, and clearance from the curved down tube.  The front end feels stiff (15mm thru axle, Fox 32 Float 100mm, tapered head tube, Ritchey Super Logic carbon 260 stem and Ritchey bar, and wheels that just don't get stiffer in the Enve XC 29ers) and responsive, the bike has a nice geometry.  It was fun swooping along the Sideshow Bob trails, stopping is top notch with XTR trail brakes - I haven't felt anything better to displace these as my brake of choice.  The rear grabs traction well, feels alive, without feeling wasteful.  I'll probably need to switch away from a setback post, but that's about it for changes.

I spent a bunch of time up front thinking about how many bolts I had to undo to pack my prior S&S bikes, and made effort to minimize on this one.  Rear brake will be unbolted, couple zip ties cut, derailleur unbolted and couple zip ties cut, and SRAM quick link undone basically seperates the back end.  Seatpost, pedals, and stem cap/side cinch bolts.  Wheels.  That's really it, should be a snap!

I debated going with a Lefty, and there's a few bits left one could weight weenie, but in reality, I wanted simple, standard, utilitarian and tough... but elegant.  These are parts that should stand up in Mongolia and Nepal, and other as of yet unplanned adventures, and if they don't, should be reasonably commercially available.  Seeking adventures.  Have bike.  Here we come!

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