Moots is one of the big names in titanium bikes, and it also doesn’t have the same model turnover as more commonplace brands, so when it releases a new road model it is something that tends to prick our collective ears.
Until today, Moots had five gravel models and only two dedicated road bikes, but that balance is being redressed slightly with the launch of the Vamoots 33, an all-road offering from the Steamboat Springs outfit.
Blurring the lines
It’s something of a cliché already to say the lines between road and gravel are more blurry than ever, but the Vamoots 33 is a perfect illustration of this. Compared to the Vamoots RCS (Routt County Special) the 33 has increased tyre clearance up to 38mm (rather than 35mm) to cope with chip seal and dirt roads. It’s not a gravel bike, or it would bear the ‘Routt’ moniker rather than the ‘Vamoots’ one, but it’s pretty close, certainly enough to bridge the gap between the brand’s existing bikes.
Beyond the increased tyre clearance though it’s a little hard to discern the differences between the RCS and the 33. Both have identical geometry and external cables, so the major differentiator it seems is the price.
Straight-gauge tubes, cheaper builds
The main sell of the new 33 is the price tag, if you look beyond the capabilities, ride quality, and the durability of the material. Titanium bikes are expensive, particularly ones made in the USA. Titanium is harder to work with, and more expensive as a material, and this tends to reflect in higher retail prices for finished bikes.
The Vamoots RCS starts at $11,449, while the 33 begins at $7,499. This brings the brand into the affordability range for more people, though we’d be reticent to say it’s a budget model by any stretch.
The savings start at the groupset, with the 33 being offered with SRAM Rival builds with DT Swiss alloy wheels, as opposed to beginning at the higher Force tier and coming with Enve Foundation 45 wheels. The stem and seatpost on the 33 are Zipp models, rather than Moots-own titanium affairs, and the 33 eschews the expensive and eye-catching anodised logos in favour of simple polished ones, against the brand’s usual matte finish. The 33 also doesn’t feature mounts for fixed fenders.
These savings certainly add up,…