If you’ve been reading the blog lately, you might have noticed that I’ve been a bit Mootsessed lately. It shall continue indefinitely.
In the time that I was out in Steamboat, I was fortunate enough to be pointed towards an MX Divide for my saddle time. Second from left in this photo:
This fine steed.
Shimano XT drivetrain (2×10) and brakes, Schwalbe Racing Ralphs set up tubeless, Fox fork/shock with remote control for front (open, climb and locked-out), all Moots parts,
Fizik Gobi Saddle:
A note on the saddle…I didn’t think I was going to like it, based on the rounded shape of the contact area. That said, I rode it for four days straight and didn’t have any issues. I don’t think I’d want it on a gravel or road bike where you’re sitting all of the time, but the shape was perfect for mountain biking, and was very conducive to moving around and getting in front of or behind the saddle.
As far as components go, the bike was perfect. The XT drivetrain/brakes shifted perfectly every time, and stopped on a dime. They were incredibly confidence inspiring. The remote for the fork was appreciated on a few long, steep, smooth climbs, but I’m not certain that I’d opt for it on my personal bike.
So what about the bike itself? Well, Moots uses a Ti frame with an aluminum lower link setup in the rear suspension.
The bike felt incredibly plush under just about every condition. It was very confidence inspiring. Between the active suspension and the 29″ wheels, I found that often, the fastest line was to go over rather than around. Come around a corner and find a big rock mid-line? No problem.
The downside to the incredibly active suspension was climbing. This is a bike that strongly favored seated climbing as compared to standing efforts. If you stood and pedaled, you were susceptible to some bobbing in the rear end. If you remained seated, it would climb anything you could point it at, provided you kept turning the pedals. I would say that it did not feel quite exactly as precise in the rear end as does my Spearfish. But that said, I felt a lot more confident bombing larger, harder obstacles on the Moots than I would’ve on the Spearfish–because the increased travel and super-active suspension took the teeth out of every obstacle.
I had the opportunity to ride a hard tail or a YBB had I so wished, and there was not a single moment when I wanted to trade bikes. The MX Divide was the perfect bike for the conditions and trails we rode, at least when put into the hands of a relatively novice mountain biker like me. It covered up my mistakes, forgave my poor line choice, and otherwise enabled me to ride things that I should not have had the ability to ride. It was an incredible bike to spend some time on.