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Moots show prototype softail gravel bike at NAHBS

Moots puts YBB softail technology into a new gravel and adventure bike coming soon

Last week we told you that Moots, the US titanium specialist, was planning to show its brand new gravel and adventure bike at the recent North American Handmade Bicycle Show, and while we weren’t at the show, we’ve just been sent these photo of the actual bike. And what a mighty beast it is!

It turns out my photoshop mockup last week was pretty darn close to how the actual bike turned out. I must point out that the new bike is still a prototype, the company is still developing it and it’ll be a while before it’s available to buy. It doesn’t even have a name yet.

We do know a few details though. It’s based on the Routt range of adventure bikes which have been well received in the last year or two, but with the added cushioning provided by the YBB rear suspension system that has been an optional feature on its mountain bikes for many years. The idea is to provide a “short travel gravel beast that will create new adventures each ride.”

moots gravel bike details3.jpg

There was a brief period in the early days of mountain biking before full suspension bikes evolved from the shonky first efforts when softails were extremely popular with cross-country mountain bikers. They were simple and lightweight and added just a small amount of rear wheel suspension.

The YBB system conceals a small spring inside the top of the wishbone seatstay providing a small amount of travel, just over an inch. Instead of heavy pivots, the chainstays are designed to flex. The suspension can be tuned with different weight springs. Moots says this bike sports the latest iteration of the YBB platform that has been refined to provide “added compliance on rougher surfaces” so we imagine it has been fettled a bit from the mountain bike versions.

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moots gravel bike details1.jpg

The bike is then fitted with the Fox AX suspension fork, which is a shortened mountain bike fork with 40mm of travel, and it’s fully adjustable and damped, and you can lock it out. It gives an indication of the type of riding the company has in mind for this bike. A rigid fork will be available with a similar axle-to-crown height as the Fox fork.

- Review: Fox AX Suspension Fork

Moots was only sharing a bunch of details about the new bike. The frame will accommodate 27.5in x 2.25in and 700c x 45mm wheels and tyres.

The 44mm head tube will provide clearance for the suspension fork crown, as we know some gravel frames simply can’t accommodate a suspension fork (the top dials clout the bottom of the downtube). There’ll be a 68m threaded bottom bracket, 142x12mm rear axle spacing with thru-axle dropouts. The disc mount is post mount and not the new flat mount standard that has been embraced by most of the road industry this year. Geometry numbers include 71.25-degrees for the head tube, 73 for the seat tube and 435mm chainstays.

That’s about all we know so far, no word on availability or pricing, but as soon as we know we’ll update this story.

David worked on the tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes

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