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Moots 2011/2012 Vamoots RSL — Build Decisions

Last updated 2012-02-15 - Send Feedback
Related: gear, Moots, Road Bikes, Shimano

Moots 2012 Vamoots RSL Titanium Road Racing Bike

In building up a Moots Vamoots RSL, the Moots titanium seat post and stem complete the elegant look, but are neither the cheapest nor lightest options for post and stem.

As my intended usage is for extreme climbing and I consider Shimano DuraAce Di2 essential for high performance and durability, I opted for a carbon fiber seat post and stem and handlebar, saving a little weight and a lot of cost over the beautiful Moots titanium cinchpost and titanium stem. And perhaps a little more comfort with carbon fiber.

Groupo choice

While SRAM Red is a respectable compromise for those looking to save money, or for those who must have the lowest weight, my experience with SRAM Red on multiple test bikes was a turn-off— SRAM Red is just not in the same league as Shimano DuraAce Di2— not in hand comfort on the brake hoods, not in shifting performance and not with its “lose a gear when you want one the most” design, and of certainly not in durability.

SRAM Red brakes are inferior to DuraAce (at least the 2011 model), as I found with several test bikes using my same wheels and pads— vibration problems under hard braking. Very disconcerting stuff, and so I would not ride SRAM Red brakes (2011) even if they were given to me free. I remain open to the idea that 2012 and later *might* be improved. But nothing beats DuraAce breaks. Period.

For a right proper build, Shimano DuraAce Di2 is the right choice, and for this Moots offers a Di2 internal cable routing option, so be sure to order a frame that way.

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Weight tradeoff

Choosing Shimano DuraAce Di2 adds perhaps 1/2 pound of weight; the derailleurs are heavier, there is a battery and its mount involved, and the parts are slightly heavier. What you get in return is perfect shifting with no adjustments for the whole season, and extreme durability.

Adding a power meter also adds weight, about a 120g penalty (plus about 76 grams for the PC7 head unit and its mount) = 196 grams— about 4/10 of a pound.

In short, using SRAM Red and skipping a power meter and bike computer, one could strip nearly a pound off the bike. This is not worth it in my view, unless one is doing short steep hill climbs regularly.

Head tube

I opted for the standard size head tube (not the oversize 44mm) for several reasons:

  • The 44mm head tube and its headset add about 55g to the frame weight.
  • My test ride persuaded me that the standard head tube offers outstanding handling.
  • The head tube is not particularly tall on a 56cm frame (my size), and the top and down tubes don’t change by having a 44mm head tube; frame stiffness is largely governed by those two tubes anyway.

Larger and heavier rides on a larger frame might well find the 44mm oversized head tube preferential, but it seems dubious that it is needed on a 56cm or smaller frame.

See the build list on the next page.


Moots 2012 Vamoots RSL Titanium Road Racing Bike

See also Nikon wishlist

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