Moots strays away from its titanium roots for its first foray into pedal-assisted gravel bikes
No titanium here: Moots launches gravel e-bike with a carbon fibre frame
Moots is typically known for its beautiful handmade titanium framed bikes, however the new Express E-bike sees the brand stray away from its roots
Junior Tech Writer
Moots has a long history of creating beautiful handmade titanium-framed bicycles for road, gravel and mountain biking. However, until now, the brand had never delved into the world of electric bikes. The Express sets out to change this with what the brand is claiming to be the "ultimate adventure e-bike".
Sticking to the ethos that Moots was established upon, there are two factors that the Express was designed around. The first is to create an e-bike platform that allows riders to "seek and explore further" as well as to "showcase design characteristics that elevate the experience beyond other power-enabled bikes on the market today".
Moots identified ride quality, comfort, versatility and durability as the key elements that achieve this.
Moots has designed the frame/battery interface to be a simple one-bolt affair
The Express is quoted to have a range well in excess of 100 miles, however e-bike range is something that is very hard to calculate in the real world as factors such as terrain, speed, mode and rider weight all need to be factored into the equation. Regardless of this a quoted range in excess of 100 miles should allow for any range anxiety to be quelled for all but the biggest of adventure rides.
A complete Shimano system allows for some nifty features
Moots has spec'd the Express with a Shimano EP801 drive unit that has been configured to offer a maximum of 60Nm of torque, however the power curve for each mode is configurable in the Shimano E-Tube app. The EP801 motor runs off a 504Wh battery that is easily removable for storage, charging or in the need to replace the battery during an epic adventure ride.
Sticking to the current trend for gravel riding, the Express comes as standard with a 1x11 Shimano drivetrain, using the benefits of the motor assistance to fit a large 47 tooth chainring up front, paired to an 11-50-tooth cassette at the rear. This gear range paired with the EP801 drive unit will allow for a comprehensive range of gears for the intended terrain of the bike.
Shimano XT Di2 takes care of shifting across the 11-50-tooth cassette
Finishing off the complement of Shimano equipment are the gravel-specific GRX RX-870 carbon wheels, with Panaracer GravelKing SK+ 50c tubeless tyres mounted to the 25mm internal-width rims. This offers a higher level of compliance and suspension through the ability to run the tyres at lower pressures.
- Read More: Shimano reveal all new 12-Speed GRX groupset
A nice feature, the unused shifter has been programmed to operate as a mode selector. This function allows riders to increase and decrease the level of pedal assistance without the need to let go of their natural riding position.
The use of a complete Shimano system allows another unique feature to be packed into the Express: the option to run the drivetrain as an automatically shifting drivetrain, based on rider input and cadence. This is something that can be turned on or off via the Shimano E-Tube app but is an interesting feature that is currently only available on e-bike platforms.
In the USA the Moots Express falls into e-bike class 3, allowing pedal assistance up to a maximum of 28mph, however outside of the USA local governing laws will dictate the maximum speed assistance the bike can offer.
No titanium here
One of the biggest take homes from the release of the Express is Moots' deviation away from its favoured frame material. No longer is Moots purely a titanium specialist as the Express e-bike is made out of carbon fibre. Moots says that, "simply put, titanium is not the right material for a high-level/performance e-bike."
There is something different about the shape and design of the Express, a big part of that is the move to carbon fibre for the frame
The brand tried to make titanium work, however it had to concede that making an e-bike with a removable battery that aligned with the necessary performance characteristics just was not possible.
Sizing and availability
Moots is offering the Express in four sizes from small through to extra large, with a size medium weighing in at 33lb / 15kg. All frames feature dual-water bottle cage mounting points, with one being a three-pack mount to allow for frame bags. Both fork legs also feature three-pack mounts for further bottle or luggage mounting options.
Both fork legs feature three-pack mounting options to give riders the versatility to configure their bike for the adventure ahead
The Moots Express will be available to order directly from Moots via its website or through a Moots dealer with the Express retailing from $9,999.
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Junior Tech Writer
Alex writes for the GCN editorial tech with a passion for all things bike tech.