by Brandon Grant
Titanium is forever, they say. For young Gage Hecht, forever likely seems like a long time, but his titanium Moots bikes have more than held up since he began riding them in 2014.
In that time, Hecht has turned in impressive result. He was Junior National Champion in 2015 and 2016, finished fourth at Worlds in 2015 and was runner-up at the 2017 U23 Nationals in Hartford. This season, he has ripped off an impressive string of top-five finishes and a U23 Pan Am Championship victory in Louisville.
After Hecht’s impressive ride on Saturday at the Derby City Cup in Louisville last month — and our attempt at our best Hecht impersonation earlier in Cincy — we made sure to grab his Moots Psychlo X RSL, one of the few metal bikes being used in UCI-level racing, for a closer look.
While we have profiled Hecht’s bike before, updates to the frame and fork, plus Alpha Bicycle Company-Groove Subaru’s updated choice of components caught our attention for another look.
Hecht has been riding Moots for several years now and races the Colorado company’s Psychlo X RSL cyclocross frame, a lighter version of the Psychlo X. Since our last profile, Moots has updated the frame, moving cables off the top tube and adding their 3D-printed titanium, flat mount dropouts.
Hecht has been able to experience the evolution firsthand. “All of the new designs have been great,” he said. “It’s really cool to see all of the technology that Moots is developing here in Colorado, both in the carbon fork that they began to use this year and in those new, clean, 3D-printed dropouts.”
The frame is made of USA-sourced 3Al/2.5V titanium, which is mandrel-butted by Reynolds to Moots’ specifications. The top tube features a flattened profile to assist in shouldering, and this year, the cables have been moved to the down tube.
The clean top tube is appreciated by Hecht, “It’s definitely nice to have a bit of a cleaner overall setup,” he told Cyclocross Magazine. “There’s a lot less to get in the way when I need to make quick movements to get the bike up over a barrier or on the shoulder.”
As he did with last year’s bike, Hecht uses a Chris King i7 tapered headset and Chris King PF30 bottom bracket. Like all the Alpha Bicycle Company riders, the anodized components are color matched.
Also new this year is Moots’ own carbon fork, which replaces the TRP model Hecht previously used. Designed alongside the Moots road fork, this 475-gram, cross-specific fork has clearance for 45mm tires and ships with the new Psychlo X RSL frames. Moots says it will be available aftermarket in the future.
Last year Alpha Bicycle was using SRAM mechanical groupsets, but after issues with frozen derailleurs, they switched to Shimano Ultegra Di2 for this season. The team is using the earlier-generation R6870 derailleurs and the R8000 cranks with WickWerks chainrings. The team uses ST-R6870 shifters, which are designed to operate mechanical brakes, that are paired with the TRP HY/RD hybrid hydraulic brakes. To ensure Hecht’s chain stays in place, his R6870 front derailleur is fitted with a WickWerks Sentinel two-sided chain catcher, which guards against both dropped chains and overshifting.
Stopping is done via TRP HY/RD hybrid hydraulic brakes, which actuate a built-in master cylinder by way of a mechanical brake cable. Team mechanics told Cyclocross Magazine the team was unable to purchase enough R8000 hydraulic brake units and decided to continue with their longtime brake sponsor, TRP, choosing the HY/RD model. The calipers are paired to TRP Centerlock rotors with an aluminum spider in 140mm.
Alpha Bicycle rolls on DT Swiss Spline RC 38T carbon tubular wheels, which the team has been using for a few years. They feature a 38mm carbon rim and a DT Swiss Star Ratchet driver in the rear hub. For the muddy climbs in Louisville, Hecht chose Donnelly PDX tubular tires in 700x33c width.
Hecht is using a Selle SMP Blaster saddle, which is an unusual choice in cyclocross. He told Cyclocross Magazine he first used this saddle on the road with the Aevolo team he races for during the summer and found it a good fit. Once he returned to cyclocross, he found his saddle lacking and switched to the Blaster.
The saddle features a leather cover and stainless steel rails. Hecht’s cockpit features a PRO PLT compact handlebar, but the stem, seat post and even headset spacers are titanium and produced by Moots in Steamboat Springs, CO. Hecht also uses titanium in his pedals with the Crankbrothers Candy 11 model.
No profile of a Gage Hecht bike would be complete without a mention of Bart Simpson, a career-long feature of his bikes. “Bart has been on my ‘cross bikes since I began to ride cyclocross,” he said about his racing companion. Previously living on the seat cluster, he has moved to a new home on the fork crown. Hecht’s bikes always feature the character, “My dad put him on for the fun of it and he has been on my bikes ever since.”
See the full photo gallery of Hecht’s Moots Psychlo X RSL below the specs.
Gage Hecht’s 2017 Pan-Ams Titanium Moots Psychlo X RSL Specifications
Frame: Frame: Moots Psychlo X RSL, USA sourced 3AL/2.5V titanium, mandrel-butted by Reynolds, 12mm TA, 56cm
Fork: Moots carbon cyclocross, tapered steerer, 12mm TA
Shifter: Shimano ST-6870 Di2, cable brake
Brake Caliper: TRP HY/RD hybrid hydraulic, flat mount rear, post mount front
Rotors: TRP Centerlock, aluminum spider, 140mm
Rear Derailleur: Shimano RD-6870-GS Di2
Front Derailleur: Shimano FD-6870 Di2
Crankset: Shimano FC8000 Ultegra
Chainrings: WickWerks Shimano 4-bolt, 46/36
Cassette: SRAM PG-1130
Chain: Shimano CN-HG601
Stem: Moots Ti
Handlebar: PRO PLT, aluminum
Seatpost: Moots Cinch Post, Ti
Saddle: Selle SMP Blaster, stainless rails
Pedals: Crank Brothers Candy 11
Wheels: DT Swiss Spline RC38 T
Hubs: DT Swiss Spline 12mm TA
Tires: Donnelly (Clement) PDX 700x33c tubulars
Photo Gallery: Gage Hecht’s 2017 Pan-Ams Titanium Moots Psychlo X RSL