Moots is no stranger to drop bar off-road riding. The titanium shop has built the Psychlo-X and Psychlo-X YBB for decades and back in 2014, embraced the gravel movement with the Routt.
Now the company has the bigger tire clearance Routt 45, the lightweight, butted Routt RSL, the drop bar mountain bike Baxter, and now, introduced this year, the Routt YBB.
Softail designs like the YBB have been around for years. Softails are low maintenance suspension designs because they don’t require pivots (and bearing or bushing maintenance). Instead, the frame relies on chainstay flex and either a shock, spring or damper to absorb some of the impacts.
While pivotless suspension designs have largely faded into obscurity in the mountain bike scene, they may have found a second home in gravel. They take the edge off for long days in the saddle, don’t bring much weight penalty and offer little to break when you’re half a day away from civilization.
Moot’s adaptation of its YBB system found on its YBB mountain bikes and Psychlo-X offers 2cm of travel at the rear wheel. Looking at the shock, you don’t see 20mm of travel available, but it’s just a matter of geometry, as the travel is increased the further down the lever (stays).
While the mountain bike YBB, with its 35mm of axle travel, relies on a steel spring and elastomer core, the Routt YBB swaps the bumper for an elastomer ball.
Don’t think you’ll have a ball playing with the shock’s internals? While there are two spring stiffnesses and two ball durometers, Moots sets up the YBB for the intended rider weight and riding style. Of course, you can pick up the spares to play with all four possible combinations.
Moots says the YBB system weighs less than 4 ounces (113.5g), which put in context is less than the penalty of most suspension seat posts that don’t offer wheel movement.
Of course, the Routt YBB is an order of magnitude more expensive than a suspension seat post, but the made-in-USA titanium frame is designed to last a lifetime. It should, as retail for the frameset with a Moots Cross fork and Chris King headset will set you back $4,999 for a mechanical shifting setup or $5,199 for Di2 drillings.
Want the multi-color anodized logos? The metallic purple fade logo treatment is what the company calls its Stanley finish and is a $600 upcharge.
Moots has also made a few tweaks in updating the Routt 45 that benefited the Routt RSL. Chainstays are now shorter, at 43.7cm, from 45cm on the older Routt 45. You still get three bottle mounts and fender mounts, and clearance for 45mm wide 700c tires.
The updated Routt 45 was on display at Sea Otter. Moots outfitted the 45 with a full suite of bikepacking bags to showcase a potential use. The frameset with Moots Cross fork and Chris King headset retails for $4,799.
Moots also was showing off its Baxter drop bar mountain bike at Sea Otter, which we first spotted at NAHBS 2019 in a back corner of the SRAM booth.
The monster cross bike is designed for a 100mm travel suspension fork or rigid equivalent, uses Boost spacing in the rear, a 73mm-wide bottom bracket shell, and has even bigger tire clearance than the Routt with room for 2.25″ 29er rubber. The frame retails for $3,349.
Want butted tubes, gram savings and don’t need fat tires? While the original Routt has been discontinued in favor of the Routt 45, the Routt RSL is still available. At both NAHBS and Sea Otter, Moots had a beautifully painted Routt RSL on display. The frameset retails for $5,799.
For a closer look at Moots’ Routt YBB, Routt 45 and Baxter MTB, check out the photo gallery below.
More info: moots.com
All of our coverage of new bikes and products is available in our 2019 Sea Otter Classic archive.
Photo Gallery: Moots Routt YBB, Routt 45 and Baxter MTB