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2011 Moots MootoX RSL — Conclusions

Last updated 2011-08-28 - Send Feedback
Related: Moots, Moots mountain bikes, mountain biking
Moots 2011 MootoX RSL

The Moots MootoX RSL is a very different bike than the Moots YBB 26; the RSL is both a 29er and a hard-tail.

I am very pleased to have both bikes because they can be an apples and oranges thing, inherently different in feel, grins and giggles, and purpose.

  • For maximum grins, quick acceleration, getting “air” easily over even small bumps and jumping the bike, lightning-fast handling on tight singletrack, the Moots YBB 26 is the clear choice.
  • For high speed descents with high stability, rolling over stuff (up or down), big sweeper turns, fire roads at speed, loose deep gravel or sand, nasty rocks or cobblestones, the Trek to the Summit of White Mountain Peak, the Moots MootoX 29er is the clear choice.
  • If you’re willing to run the Furious Fred tires, the Moots MootoX RSL is the closests thing to a 26er you’ll likely to find, but retains the wonderful traits of a 29er.
  • For those seeking more comfort than a hard-tail can deliver, the Moots MootoX YBB offers the YBB feature in a 29er format. Report coming in November, 2011.

No serious mountain biker can really do with only one bike for all conditions! These two bikes are so different that your particular preferences and local riding conditions will dictate which is better most of the time.

My take

I’ve always loved a quick feeling bike, and so the Moots YBB 26 has no peers among any bikes I’ve ridden in that respect, it is truly awesome and simply produces more grins per ride, on my local rides. That’s a 26er vs 29er thing; there is no getting around the 29er feel, which cannot be as quick and agile as a 26er. However—

Trails in your area might be more comfortable with a 29er, especially if you like going fast, really fast, or riding at night, or riding rough terrain. For really rough stuff, the MootoX RSL is definitely not the ideal choice, because of its hard-tail design, but on hard-pack singletrack it does a fabulous job.

YBB or not?

The Moots MootoX RSL is race-oriented hard-tail mountain bike. Don’t expect to glue your butt to the seat— this is not realistic. Run 28-30 psi with a tubeless setup for much improved comfort over higher tire pressures, with very little loss of rolling efficiency. Save your butt by losing your gut, if that is the issue.

My views on YBB from Moots are clear: I feel no need for conventional dual suspension on my YBB 26er, and on a 29er, I am certain that the larger tires at 28-30 psi with the YBB feature will be far beyond enough for my needs even on very rough terrain (MootoX YBB 29er).

In fact, after half a dozen three hour rides on the Moots MootoX RSL, I’m persuaded that the 29er format goes a long way towards mitigating rear suspension, and the responsiveness of a hardtail is an awesome thing. When the 2012 Moots MootoX YBB 29er appears (which shares many of the attributes of the MootoX RSL), I’ll be comparing to see just how the YBB feature changes the ride.


For a 29er, I strongly recommend a light wheelset such as the Easton EC90 XC, because 29er bikes need all the responsiveness they can get— heavy wheels don’t turn or handle as well.

The Schwalbe 'Racing Ralph' tires for both 26" and 29" wheels are highly recommended, but the 'Rocket Ron' drops quite a bit of weight while still hooking up on the loose stuff very well. But for all-out grins and a huge boost in responsiveness, go with the Furious Fred tires.

Where to buy

I obtained the Moots MootoX RSL frame at Palo Alto Bicycles. I depend on the expertise of Neil in the service department there— he’s the guy to specify and build your custom bike like this Moots MootoX RSL, because he knows all the tricky details of a high-end build, with long experience with a huge variety of bikes.

Build kit

I bought my build kit at, in Escondido, CA. BikeBling has a wide variety of cycling gear— give them a try. also supplied the Easton EC90 Carbon 29er wheelset, which amazingly is only 10% heavier than the 26" version.
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