In a move that will no doubt have a few people hammering at their keyboards and attempting to set fire to titanium frames, Moots has announced a carbon fibre bike. Not only that, but it’s an e-gravel bike. Those of you upset by this should probably go and buy something by David Turner. For those who are curious, let’s take a closer look.
Here’s the official PR:
Moots launches the ultimate adventure-ready eBike, the Express. Since day one, they’ve designed and built bikes that take you as far and as long as your heart desires. Purpose-built bikes, hand-crafted with equal parts passion and experience. Over the decades, that focus has built a tremendous following of cyclists who appreciate the craftsmanship put into every bike that sports the Moots head badge. And now, Moots is thrilled to announce the addition of an eBike to their fleet of premium bikes engineered for wherever the ribbon of road and wandering trail may lead.
In the world of ebikes, there was a clear path forward for Moots, applying decades of design and build experience into a purpose-built model designed to go the distance. The Express brings Moot’s electric-powered vision to reality.
The core concept of pushing harder and going further has always motivated Moots. So, to introduce a power-assisted bike into their fleet, it had to do two core things: First, to enable riders to seek & explore further. And second, to showcase design characteristics that elevate the experience beyond other power-enabled bikes on the market today. Those being rider comfort, ride quality, ability to conquer mixed trail conditions, and the long-term durability that is synonymous with the Moots name.
The result is a bike that is sleek and a fully capable partner for whatever adventure lies ahead. The Express is a game changer, where every time you step out the door, adventure awaits.
The freedom to adventure more and travel farther, faster. Explore the ups and downs. Gain more twists and turns. From soft gravel footpaths and bone-rattling washboard, all the way out to the open-range two-track. Whether it’s dust, mud, wind, rain, or a beautiful bluebird sunny day… above all, the view around that next hidden bend is within reach because, with the Moots Express, the trail ahead is unpaved with possibility.
Moots Express Key Features
- Range: With a range well past 100* miles, the Express will deliver more ride distance than nearly any bike on the market today. (*depending on ride characteristics like assist level use, rider weight, elevation gain, wind speeds, and tire pressure.)
- Power: The Express is built with a class 3 Shimano EP801 drive unit tuned to deliver 60nm power. The power curve is able to be tuned through the Shimano E-TUBE app. The drive unit is supported by a Shimano 504wH battery that is easily removable via one bolt under the battery access panel.
- Frame features: Two water bottle ports in the main triangle, one being a 3-pack variant to accommodate frame bags. Along with a 3-pack mount on each fork leg and integrated fender mounts front and rear. Shimano GRX carbon wheels come wrapped with 50c Panaracer GravelKing+ tires with plenty of clearance to spare.
- Components: The Express is spec’d with a premium Shimano system from nose to tail, for their proven, premium performance and reliable service for years to come. Shimano LinkGlide chain, cassette, and chainring are designed and built specifically for eBikes to deliver precise shifting and durability for the extra torque the bike delivers. The drivetrain spec is a 1 x 11 system with a 47 tooth front chainring and an 11/50T rear cassette.
- No mess/No fuss: Fully internal routing via Moots MOD series components; handlebar and stem
- Intuitive ease of use: The right shifter controls the derailleur while the left shifter adjusts the assist mode to seamlessly add or reduce available power assist.
- The Shimano EP801 system allows riders the choice of two levels of Autoshift control. The Autoshift feature automatically adjusts gearing based on your input torque and cadence.
- Weight: A ride-ready Medium weighs in at a trim 33lbs.
- Available sizes: S, M, L, XL
- Price: $9,999 (No plans for UK distribution yet)
Because we thought you might want more information than that, we asked the folks at Moots a few extra questions:
Electric, carbon, Moots… some people are going to lose their minds! Could you tell us a bit about the market demand/customer feedback that’s lead to this move? Did you consider making it a sibling brand rather than a Moots? Or has the e-naysayer ship sailed?!
In 2017-2018, there was continual chatter from the public to gauge interest because it was the new buzzword in the bike industry. Moving forward, we were starting to garner a lot of unsolicited feedback from loyal customers along with long-term dealer partners asking, “Has Moots ever considered making an ebike, that would be interesting? When will Moots make their first ebike? Seems like something you must be discussing internally?” We had to ask ourselves, If our trusted base is asking us this question, why are we not considering it ourselves? That put the wheels in motion, albeit with no assistance at the time.
In 2019 we started to conceptualize what an ebike would be like if we ever produced one. Things progressed, and we continued to hear similar questions being asked by the public to the point that we were now engaging and asking some questions back. We gathered that we are considered by our following, and likely others, as an industry leader in the gravel space. That locked us in on what we wanted to achieve – design and execute a premium gravel ebike that would disrupt the market, and add value to the growing category.
The Express complements our existing line of five gravel models quite well and really rounds out the family. We would rather keep that sibling welcome and in the house than say they are related but live in different neighborhoods. It is important for Moots that our customers know we stand behind the Express in the same way we do every bike in our lineup. The “e-naysayer” has a good permanent residence in a number of places on the internet, but I would not be surprised to see more e-assist formats come to market in the next several years. The momentum is definitely moving in that direction.
Simply put, titanium is not the right material for a high-level/performance ebike. Over the years of working with titanium, we have learned a number of things about where and how to use the material, but we still pushed to see if we could push the boundaries further. We spent a lot of time looking into how we could pull it off and what it would take to make an ebike out of titanium only to get to the same conclusion each time: when building the frame to a level of stability and robustness out of Ti the feature benefits of the Ti tubing is lost in the amount of material needed to secure a large battery and powerful drive unit. In short, we would need to use so much titanium in spots on the frame to make it safe to ride that legendary ride quality characteristics would be lost.
Where is it made?
This is a two-part answer: The Express is designed, engineered, tested, and assembled here in Steamboat Springs, CO by the same team that has sweated over all of the details of every Moots that has left the factory over the past four decades. The juicy part of the answer is that our composite components, the frame, fork, handlebar, stem, and seatpost are manufactured by two long-term partners based out of China and Taiwan. We have produced Moots branded components with these partners for over ten years now and we’re proud to have them execute the manufacturing of our designs.
How many are you making? Is it a limited edition run or a permanent addition to the line up?
We are expecting the Express to be a fixture in the Moots lineup, and round out our gravel lineup for years to come. Our initial preparations will allow us to support demand in an efficient manner.
Will there be other carbon Moots to come?
Too soon! At this point let’s just enjoy this one for a little while before we start talking about what’s next. We have been working to condense our backlog to a manageable state over the past three years, and just this year are finally getting some new products and innovations to market. Our CRD (Complete Race Design) line is a great example of this.
And how about other electric Moots – any more of them to come?
We got to this point because we are always working on something. There is nothing at this point that is far enough along to even dangle out there. This project definitely opened our eyes to how capable the Moots team is.
If you are bikepacking on a carbon e-gravel bike, what should your dangle mug be made from?
Why just bring a mug, dangle the whole espresso machine and really make a statement!