Last August I became the owner of a titanium Moots Vamoots RSL. I set it up with Shimano Ultegra 11-speed and Shimano wheels. From everything I had heard, I had high expectations for the ride quality of the Moots, but relatively low expectations for the bike to feel fast, especially since I was coming off a carbon fiber dedicated racing frame. The Moots is heavier and more compliant. My first ride began with descending Bear Notch in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and the second ride brought me to the summit of Mount Washington. I have since put in months of riding on both flat and hilly terrain. I’ve found that the Moots has the smooth ride of a classic steel bicycle while being as fast as a carbon frame such as the Specialized Tarmac and the Bianchi Oltre.
I attend the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vermont and I race for the school cycling team there. About half an hour south of Burlington, there is a network of fantastic dirt roads, the hard-packed dirt does not require aggressive tires, and a road bike can handle these roads fine. That being said, the Vamoots RSL eats up these roads and springs up every climb the rolling terrain presents. Steel bikes are known to have the compliance to smooth out dirt, but they don’t have that same snap to them that the Moots has as I shift out of the saddle into a sprint. This bike is comfortable and it does not sacrifice performance for that comfort.
One of my favorite things to do is racing my bike. The performance of the Vamoots RSL gives me confidence for the coming collegiate road-racing season. The Moots is still responsive and quick on climbs and in a sprint. It is a little bit heavier than many high-end carbon bikes, but it does not ride any slower for it. Some people questioned my decision to go with titanium over carbon considering my dedication to racing; some of these comments made me doubt myself, but now with some riding time on the Moots, I have no regrets. The bike is fast and can take on any carbon bike of the same caliber.
The aesthetics of high-end bikes is becoming polarized. Frames are either painted up to be flashy with strong reds and fluorescent yellows, blues, and greens or they are simple with a matte black finish or some other simplistic, classic style. All Moots models show off the beauty of titanium with that soft, metallic gray and those black or white decals adorning the bike. It is gorgeous. The Moots Vamoots RSL has a very classic and simple aesthetic that matches its ride. It is not too flashy and it looks incredible. My Vamoots RSL has a titanium, white, and black color scheme with blue accents that keeps it classy. That being said, appropriate bar-tape, saddle, bottle-cage, and sidewall colors could give the bike a little bit more flair if that is your thing. The unpainted titanium gives the Moots frames a classy, timeless look that can easily be made your own.
One amazing part of owning a titanium bike is the assurance that that bike will hold up and continue to be your bike for decades. Carbon is fast, but fragile. I am concerned about the rigors of the collegiate racing season and the high rate of crashes in collegiate races. If carbon is cared for and does not see a crash, there should be no issues, but it would be unreasonable not to expect a crash while racing collegiate. The titanium of the Moots can hold up through crashes and being packed along with my teammate’s bikes better than a carbon bike could. The aesthetics of the bike are not the only timeless part of the bike. The frame will last a very long time and keep the same ride. Moots offers the option to send the frame in and get it sandblasted and have the decals replaced. Between this and the durability of Moots titanium bikes, I know the Vamoots RSL will continue to ride and look like my new bike from last August for years to come.
By Jimmi Hayes