Contender Ten Best of 2021: An All-Road Moots Vamoots RCS
It is hard to mess up a titanium road bike. As long as you have someone who can put together titanium tubes and has an idea of how a bike ought to handle, then titanium is inherently an outstanding material with which to make a bike. But it takes a level of mastery and artistry to make a truly excellent titanium bike, which is exactly what this Moots Vamoots RCS is.
The Moots Vamoots RCS is an addition to the array of drop bar bikes on offer by the Steamboat Springs, CO company. Really, however, there are two model lines for consideration here: the Routt and the Vamoots. Routt bikes are gravel bikes with some adjustments, with the idea that you can have a gravel bike tailored to your riding style, propensity for obscure exploration, and speed.
The Vamoots line is what makes this bike particularly interesting. The Vamoots has largely been dominated by the Vamoots RSL, which we appreciate for feeling light, agile, but with the characteristically-springy ride feel of titanium. With that kind of DNA, the Vamoots RCS is interesting in that it isn’t trying to be a gravel bike, as many endurance bikes are trying to be. It isn’t the road bike that the RSL is, either.
What is the RCS, then? Well, we would call it a near-ideal example of what an all-road bike ought to be. Not only does it have clearance for a 35mm tire, it is optimized for a road tire that big. Titanium frames are an excellent material choice for this, a lightweight option that is resistant to rocks and gravel spewing all over the place. Further, the forgiving feel of titanium is made extra valuable on imperfect roads, which the RCS is ideal for.
A few details about the RCS. This Moots gets double-butted titanium tubing all around the frame with 3D-printed dropouts. This build doesn’t get the unique Moots titanium stem and seatpost, but the little details - the 40th anniversary Moots headtube badge, the little alligator hanging out the rear dropouts - set this apart from other bies. And there is more that can be done with this bike, of course: more bottle mounts, different anodizing and engravings, and even custom geometry are all available with the Moots Vamoots RCS bike.
This build, particularly with the characteristically muted grey titanium frame, doesn’t draw as much attention to itself as the other Contender Best Bikes of 2021. But the SRAM Force AXS/ENVE 45 combination leaves little to be desired in performance and outright quality. The only exception is the ENVE SES AR handlebars, which are highly divisive. We personally like them quite a bit, but we recommend taking a hard look at what they might do for you before pulling the trigger.
Check out build specifications and photos of the Moots Vamoots RCS bike below.
|Frame||Moots Vamoots RCS|
|Fork||Moots RCS Flat Mount Disc|
|Headset||Chris King I8 - Black|
|Groupset||SRAM Force eTap AXS 2x|
|Crankset||SRAM Force eTap AXS - 172.5mm|
|Gearing||SRAM Force 10-33t cassette, SRAM Force 48/35t chainrings|
|Brakes||SRAM Force AXS HRD, SRAM Centerline XR 160mm rotors|
|Wheelset||ENVE Foundation 45 - SRAM XDR|
|Tires||Panaracer Gravelking Slick - 700c x 32mm - Black|
|Handlebar||ENVE SES AR Road - 42cm|
|Stem||ENVE Road - 120mm|
|Seatpost||ENVE Seatpost - 27.2mm/0mm offset|
|Saddle||Selle Italia SLR Boost TM Manganese|
|Accessories||Lizard Skins 2.5mm DSP tape - Black|