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Testing and Maybe Building Up a Moots Vamoots RSL Road Bike

As noted in my initial coverage of the Moots Vamoots RSL, I plan on test riding one very soon, with a report and image gallery follow, as I’ve done for other bikes.

As I have two Trek Madone 6.9 SSL bikes, I am thinking of stripping the Shimano Dura-Ace DI2 components and the SRM crankset from one of the Madones and using that to build up the Vamoots RSL, with the sturdier 44mm head tube.

Why? I am so darn impressed with the ride quality of my Moots mountain bikes that I have a lot of confidence that something very special is likely to be found in the Moots Vamoots RSL ride.

I also like the idea of a frame that lasts and lasts... and lasts. And can be safely clamped into a car rooftop carrier without concern. And can take a few dings.

Since the Vamoots RSL is a heavier frame, I probably will go with a carbon seat post, carbon bar, and carbon or aluminum stem, to help keep the weight down (good ideas from Nail at Palo Alto Bicycles), since every pound counts for winning the 2012 Everest Challenge. I’ll run the Lightweight Obermayers on it of course.

Absolute lowest weight is not the goal however; a bike that is as light as possible but not too light: remaining comfortable, stiff and durable is what counts, not some super light build that won’t hold up.

Anyway, if there are any Moots Vamoots RSL riders out there, particularly the 2012 model, I’m interested in hearing your comments on handling, climbing efficiency and overall ride quality, as well as the fork choice— I am debating using the Moots fork or the Enve 1.0 fork.

Assuming I like the Vamoots RSL enough after the test ride to make it worth the trouble. The issues I see for my particular use:

  • Minimal weight gain over my Trek Madone 6.9 SSL, which weighs 14.3 pounds including bottle cages and bar mount for the SRM head unit, double bar tape.
  • Must climb and sprint as well or better than the Trek.
  • Looking for an improvement in handling on steep curvy descents. I don’t expect it to behave as well as the Look 695 SR, but something better than the Trek would be a big plus.
  • Comfort— I’m assuming this is a given, that it would be at least as comfortable as the Trek Madone 6.9 SSL.
  • Feel— has to feel great with a frame with some personality (a critical point rammed home by riding the dead-as-wood Look 586).

Potential parts list, suggested by the experts at Palo Alto Bicycles (Neil):

Moots 2011/2012 Vamoots RSL Titanium Road Racing Bike
With Lightweight Obermayer rear, Lightweight VR* front, SRM 7950 power meter crank
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