2014 Moots Psychlo X Review

I’ve shared plenty of pictures and some detailed specifications (and the supporting logic) about my Moots.

Here’s the review of the frame.

You may recall I had a 2013 Moots PX before this bike.  For 2014, Moots has tweaked the geometry.  Here’s what they say:

To achieve a better-rounded ride we lowered the bottom bracket height to give the bike a lower center of gravity on loose dirt and gravel. Next we slackened the angles to make the bike track better while riding changing surfaces. We have also made the 44mm head tube standard on the Psychlo X to accommodate tapered forks & disc brakes. Max tire size in the standard Psychlo X is 34mm.

In talking with Mr. Coble, he relates the difference between last year’s geometry and this year’s geometry as being European CX geometry (old) versus American CX geometry (new).

Here’s what I can say.

I didn’t do a Minotaur because I wanted the short chain stays of the PX.  The chain stay length is unchanged from 13 to 14, and happily so.  When you wind up this bike, it’s like being shot out of a cannon.  It is the most explosively accelerating bike I have–a completely different sensation from even my Madone.  (The Madone isn’t ‘slower’, but it doesn’t have the same sensation as the Moots).  Have you ever brake-torqued a car?  (Foot firmly on brake, car in drive, floor throttle and hold against brake, then release brake and accelerate quickly in a glorious smokey burnout).  That’s kind of what it feels like.  That second where you release the brake and you can feel the power pushing you forward…that’s what it feels like to get on the power on this bike.  It just goes.  The ’13 was like this too, and I’m glad it wasn’t lost.

Between the slacker angles and lower BB height, there are some noticeable changes, though.  On really loose gravel, the bike feels a bit less nervous.  I loved the high BB on my ‘old’ Moots because it gave great cornering clearance, rut clearance, etc.  Given the choice, however, I’d take the new geometry…it feels more confident in loose corners.  On fast downhills, the bike is more neutral and confident, and it does not require as much steering input to stay stable and tracking straight.  The BB drop went from 6.1cm to 6.9cm.  It is noticeable.

I honestly didn’t think the geometry change would be noticeable.  It is.  Quite.  For my riding, the geometry changes are entirely beneficial…the steering is a bit slower, and the bike is just a zippy, while being more stable.  For gravel, I think the best word is that the bike handles a bit more “confidently” now.

There is a minor change in head tube height, which I’ve accommodated by changing my spacer setup a bit.  For me, I don’t notice that change because I changed my setup.

Moots did change the seat post setup a bit.  On the old bike, there was a slot in the seat tube, and the seat post was secured by a screw that tightened the slot in the seat post.  For ’14, they have a more traditional seatpost clamp, coupled with a larger diameter seat tube and an aluminum insert inside the seat tube.  I’m not wild about the new design from an aesthetic perspective, but functionally, it’s just fine.

I stuck with 3 bottle cages and a rack mount on this bike, just for future-proofing.  I anticipate using those bottle cages for the 10,000 this summer.

What would I change about this bike?

Honestly, the one and only thing that I’d change would be somehow convincing Moots to give it an extra 2mm of tire clearance on each side in the rear, so I could run 38c tires without having to go to the longer chain stays of the Minotaur.  At some point, I’ll probably just clamp the seat stays in a vice and beat them thinner with a mini-sledge, so 38s can clear.

That’s it.  That’s all I’d change.  It is an AMAZING bike.  If you’d have asked me last year how I would improve on my ’13 Moots, I’d have said it was impossible.  I now know better.


One thought on “2014 Moots Psychlo X Review

  1. Pingback: 2014 Gravel Metric | riding against the grain

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s