Gravel Grinder News: Moots Debuts Routt ESC Model

Gravel Grinder News: Moots Debuts Routt ESC Model – by Guitar Ted

Today Moots announces a new titanium gravel/adventure bike dubbed the Routt ESC. This new model is a 700c wheeled rig set for those riders which like to go from the gravel to a bit of single track and back again.

The new Moots Routt ESC in the AXS Kit mode
Moots Routt ESC with the AXS Kit.

The new Routt ESC also features an unusual titanium fork spec which is not suspension corrected. This allows Moots to leave room for a bigger frame bag, if so desired, and makes for a different look compared to bikes set up with the capability of handling a suspension fork. The fork is also equipped with three bosses per fork leg which allows the Routt ESC the ability to mount two water bottle cages, or two King “ManyThing” cages, which are supplied with the complete builds.

The titanium fork close up on the Routt ESC
The unusual spec of a titanium fork features no suspension correction. Note the White Industries hub.

The Routt ESC also has the ability to handle a tire up to 2.4″ in width so it promises to be a great bike for deeper gravel and single track rides. That wheel and tire combination is wrapped up in not only a titanium fork, but also in Moots signature “S” bend seat stays. The frame should keep your mechanic happy with a 73mm threaded bottom bracket and Boost spacing which will give the chain plenty of room around those bigger tires.

Moots is offering the bike in two complete specification levels. The AXS Kit tops out the range starting at $12,000.00 and features ENVE handle bars, ASTRAL Carbon rims, and the AXS drive train, of course. The “Neo Retro” kit features White Industries cranks, hubs, and Velocity Cliffhangar rims with a MicroShift bar end set up on Velo Orange’s Dajia Far Bar handle bars. This set up goes for a starting price of $9,769.00. Both kits can be optioned with any of the several Moots finishes which will affect the price as well.

Here is a bit from the Moots press release about the new Routt ESC:

The Routt ESC is equipped with three frame bottle locations as well as two triple pack mounts on the fork that allow you to get lost without wondering about the next refuel stop. Wide gear range and a 38 tooth chainring allow big roll out and gears to climb where the goats reside. An oversized tubeset, and massive S-bend fastback seat stays give this bike backbone to perform across all-terrain, loaded or unloaded.

An image of the Routt ESC with the Neo Retro Kit
The Neo Retro Kit on the new Routt ESC

Comments: The new Routt looks great to my eyes with its non-suspension corrected fork and resulting main frame triangle. The bike is appearing to my eyes to be a no-nonsense bikepacking rig with a very nice finishing kit in the AXS form. The Neo Retro Kit is kind of puzzling, as it utilizes some parts which I would not have associated with a Moots build, but in terms of bomb-proof reliability? Yeah, I can see where bar end shifters might fit the “MO” of the design. Still, MicroShift and Velocity Cliffhangar rims at that price point? Hmm….

And let me be perfectly clear- Moots bicycles have not ever really been known to be the lesser expensive alternative here. But with these kits topping out at nearly 10G and beyond, this has to be seen as a bikepacking dream bike for many folks out there. That’s why the Neo Retro spec seems a bit glaring to me at first glance.

The geometry chart for the Routt ESC
Geometry chart for the Routt ESC

I do think the geometry is pretty spot on and that titanium makes a whole lot of sense to me as a frame material for “out there” adventures and longevity of service life. So, from those standpoints a Routt ESC looks pretty appealing. You could always swap parts and this frame and fork make sense in terms of value down the road if you were to choose to do that.

Bottom line: Eye-watering price for a bicycle that could feasibly be a life-time solution for those who crave self-supported adventure and reliable, proven design. Moots Routt ESC webpage:

Related Coverage: Moots Routt 45 here.

Note: Images and information in this post were supplied by Moots. Commentary is Guitar Ted’s and may not reflect the thoughts and views of Moots.


Author: Guitar Ted

Guitar Ted hails from Iowa. Home of over 70,000 miles of gravel and back roads. An inaugural member of the Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame and Co-creator of Trans Iowa in late 2004- Guitar Ted has been at the forefront of the growth of gravel events and riding since then. Creator of Gravel Grinder News in 2008, he produced the premier calendar of gravel and back road events. GT joined forces with Riding Gravel in late 2014.

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