The drop-bar bike market offers a variety of bikes for every surface or terrain to spice up your cycling adventures. This means you have a long list of bikes to meet your specific cycling needs. You don’t even have to be a bike nerd to know what type of road bike you need. You could be riding to work or school, delivering the morning paper, or simply road riding with friends while enjoying summer. I mean, even the mail man probably knows his bikes. We’ll be examining a new category of bikes on the market. They’re called gravel bikes or adventure road bikes. Briefly, we’ll be looking at what gravel bikes are, what they’re used for, and how they differ from other bikes.
Gravel bikes, or adventure bikes as they’re sometimes called, are basically road bikes adapted to a variety of surfaces, equipped with additional gear, and also suitable for all-day riding on roads less traveled. Compared to your average road bike, gravel bikes are made to be more durable and robust, as well as having an increased gear range and space for far wider tires. They are also quite similar to cyclocross bikes, with only a few subtle differences present.
What are they used for, and what makes them so unique?
Gravel bikes are suitable for a variety of surfaces. This makes them great for multiple cycling pursuits. They are robust and more comfortable than most road bikes. They have additional gear that allow for wider tires. Their wider range of gearing makes them more adaptable to more difficult terrain like off-road trails, fire roads, and gravel. They are also ideal for longer and faster commutes and light touring adventures as they can often carry luggage.
So having briefly looked at what gravel bikes are, we will now review a new special brand of gravel bikes. This is the Moots Routt RSL.
The Moots Routt RSL
The Routt is known as Moots’ fastest gravel bike. The RSL is the third Routt version from Moots. The original version is simply called Routt. Then there’s the Routt 45, made for fatter tires yet designed to make the bike a bit more stable. The RSL is lighter compared to the two other models. This, however, doesn’t mean it is lacking in speed and durability when compared to its predecessors. They are surprisingly aggressive on the road and can fit up to 40mm-wide tyres.
Understandably, all three models are made of titanium. Over the years, Moots have come to be known as one of the largest titanium builders out there. The company offers frames in stock sizes as well as stock build kits. In addition, customers are given plenty of choices on those models. One-off frames can also be built to suit your needs. Interestingly, the name ‘Routt’ is derived from the county in Colorado where there are miles of gravel, dirt, chip seal, and broad routes.
The Routt RSL uses 3D printed titanium dropouts. These are incorporated with flat disc mounts to ensure consistent alignment of thru-axle, wheel, and brake caliper. As mentioned earlier in the introduction, the Routt RSL is similar to the PsychloX. This is because the RSL model imbues components of the PsychloX, which is more cyclocross racing-focused. These components are paired with the more casual standard Routt gravel model, resulting in a balanced, aggressive positioning and stability in the new model’s mechanism. The frames’ titanium alloy also holds much appeal to drop-bar bike devotees out there, which in a way increases its market value. This, however, should not be one’s focus when deciding on giving the RSL a shot. More attention should be given to how a frame is engineered rather than what type of alloy is used.
Big clearance: The moots fork has room for a 40mm 700c tire, or a 650b x 47mm.
Threaded BB: It is equipped with a threaded bottom bracket to silence creaks.
It’s got a custom finish which makes it timeless.
3D dropouts: As mentioned earlier, they are made with a 3D printer and have flat brake mounts.
It has excellent frame geometry.
It has a fender mount incorporated into the underside of the wishbone.
The RSL is designed to handle dirt and gravel roads. This is due largely to its hybrid components. It is light, fast, aggressive, and comfortable. It is equipped for slightly long-distance adventures. It also doesn’t disappoint in terms of aesthetic value. The only drawback for some is it’s a little expensive, and rightly so. This development from Moots is bound to give you a deeper connection with your bike. No wonder it is termed the titanium gravel “forever” bike.