The next post will be about welding. I’m delaying that for two reasons: 1) the people are more important than the welds; and, 2) I want to make GMatt wait just a little longer.
Who are some of the Moots people?
But who else?
This guy above, who hole-saws the seatstay miters to match the down tube…and then patiently files them with a tiny hand file, to welding joint perfection. This guy shows the kind of artisan manufacturing skill that you’d expect in a tiny shop with one guy building a frame a month…but he does it in a venue where across the room, there’s a guy doing CAD work on the next prototype frame that will be custom built and CNC’d to perfection.
This guy above, who looks at every frame after welding and literally touches every part of the bike–every corner, every edge, every weld, to make sure that they feel perfect. (Of note, Moots does not dress or sand any welds). He faces every BB and steerer, and chases every thread. He makes sure every derailleur hanger is perfect. In his quest for precision, he not only faces the steerer to a perfectly flat plane, but then he goes back and daintily files a tiny, imperceptible bevel on the edge, so it isn’t a sharp corner to touch when a new owner picks up the frame for the first time.
It’s this guy (below), showing that once a frame is hydro/ultrasonically cleaned for welding, anyone who touches the frame has to wear gloves to keep oil off of the frame.
Good Lord, it’s these guys who do the amazing, awe-inspiring welding.
This isn’t robotic welding. Every welder had his TIG machine set up to his specific preference on heat, frequency, and duration.
It’s this guy (below) who claims to have found an imperfection in a frame’s finish after being blasted, and who thus restarted the frame finishing process to ensure that there were no imperfections. I say “claims to”, because I couldn’t see the problem he was pointing out.
It’s the gal who was doing the blasting (I didn’t take my camera out in the blasting room, because of the media), or the gal who blasted up Emerald Mountain with us on that first bike ride.
It’s this guy (in green):
That’s Jason. Jason not only hung out with us and served as tour guide in Steamboat, but he’s also been an incredible resource at other times. He came out to the Gravel Metric with the Moots demo van and some fantastic water bottles. He’s been a proponent of Axletree.
More than that, Jason is the factory rep for dealers, and yet he’s an advocate for owners. When I ordered by Di2 Moots, I talked to North Central Cyclery, my local dealer. Jason reached out to me, knowing I was already a Moots owner, and went the extra mile(s) to talk through options directly. He talked about cable routing, and Di2, and geometry. He talked about custom build options. He took my measurements and generated different spec sheets showing what I could do with head tubes and frame sizes, and with different geometry options including the new Routt geometry that I ended up going with. He sent me pictures of the bike while it was being made. He responded to Facebook messages at 10:30 at night, explaining the best options to future-proof my frame. He even sent an extra decal for me, knowing my predilection towards stickers. (Jason also happens to, quite literally, have a world of bourbon. My kinda guy).
There are some great people at a lot of bike companies. I love a lot of the guys at Salsa, and I know a couple great people from Trek. That said, I don’t know any other bike company where I can get a world-class bike with first-rate technology, and can talk directly to the company president if I’d like to, or can go and literally watch the whole bike being built. I don’t know of any place where you can meet the people–all of the people–in one spot, and yet have a bike that is competitive with anything in the world. I don’t know of a place where the people are as OCD about the details as I am, and yet as chill as the Moots folks are.
I think Moots is a pretty extraordinary company that makes some of–if not the–very best bikes in the world. The reason that they’re great ultimately isn’t the CNC or the miters–it’s the people making the decisions and running the machines. It’s the people.
The whole Moots Series: