Contender Ten Best of 2021: An All-Road Moots Vamoots RCS

Written by Alvin Holbrook, on December 28, 2021

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.

Moots Vamoots RCS Force 2x AXS Contender Bicycles - front side profile

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.

Moots Vamoots RCS Force 2x AXS Contender Bicycles - downtube

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. 

Moots Vamoots RCS Force 2x AXS Contender Bicycles - headtube badge 40th anniversary

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. 

Moots Vamoots RCS Force 2x AXS Contender Bicycles - toptube

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.

Moots Vamoots RCS Force 2x AXS Contender Bicycles - drivetrain sram force

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

See the Contender Ten Best Bikes of 2021

Moots Vamoots RCS Force 2x AXS Contender Bicycles - side profileMoots Vamoots RCS Force 2x AXS Contender Bicycles - stem enve


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