23 Jan A Visit with Moots
Our Moots owners group ride from The Bikery to the beach and back was a great way to get to know Moots Bicycles owner Brent Whittington and Moots USA Sales Director Corey Piscopo. Brent and Corey picked a perfect tourist bureau Florida winter day with blue skies and mid 60’s temperatures for the 25 mile round trip.
After the ride Brent and Corey joined The Bikery’s Taylor, Kim and Neal (me) for lunch at Urban Provisions. Over sandwiches and draft root beer we had a chance to learn more about the company behind these fantastic bicycles.
In June of 2015 Brent took his family on vacation to Steamboat Springs Colorado. Brent picked up a brochure at the visitors center that tipped him off to a factory tour at the Moots bicycle factory. An avid cyclist, Brent thought that the tour would be a great way for his kids to learn about how bicycles are put together. The family rode their bikes (naturally) to the Moots factory and took the tour. The tour was impressive and Brent liked what he saw.
About a year before, Brent had stepped down as COO of telecommunications company Windstream Holdings, Inc. a fortune 500 company. Since leaving the high pressure corporate life Brent had been looking for an opportunity to purchase a business that would be interesting and rewarding personally.
Just three months after his tour of the factory Brent closed on the purchase of Moots Cycles from longtime owner Chris Miller.
Moots bicycles had been founded in 1981 by MTB racer Kent Erickson and has long been an industry leader in hand crafted bicycles. Moots is widely recognized as a top player in the fabrication of titanium bicycles. Moots builds Mountain bikes, Road bikes and Cyclocross / gravel bikes all with titanium frames.
So what does Brent ride? He has 3 bikes right now, a Routt 45, a Vamoots RSL and a Mooto X YBB. “The Routt 45 is my favorite right now because of where it can take me,” Brent says. For example, “I rode 311 miles from Little Rock to Bentonville mostly on gravel heading to the IMBA Summit.” You can read all about the back country adventure in Brents own words here.
Brent says, “My next bike is a Baxter – a bike situated between the Routt 45 and the 29er.” (For a great look at what the Baxter is and what it can do check out this article.) Brent explained that he may have to wait awhile for his own Baxter as the customers in line for the new bike come first.
I asked Brent where he would like to take Moots as a business: “I want Moots to be a leader in the bicycle industry. I want to stay relevant and to build the best bicycles available anywhere.” Brent says he is “looking for slow and steady growth of 2% to 4% per year.”
I asked USA Sales director Corey Piscopo who is the primary customer for a Moots bicycle. “Our customers are cyclists looking for their dream bike – a bike that will last a lifetime.” Corey told us that the Routt and Routt 45 were there best selling bikes for the past 2 years. Brent added that “many of the customers I’ve spoken to have more than one Moots.”
Brent told us that “Moots has a real advantage in that our staff are almost all dedicated cyclists and that truly sets us apart from the competition.”
Titanium is the material of choice for Moots. I asked Corey if there was any talk about using any materials other than titanium. Corey told us that for both lightness and durability titanium is the best choice. I might have mentioned the word carbon under my breath and Corey told us that “the RSL came as an answer to carbon fiber.” RSL stands for Race Super Light and is made using specially double butted titanium tubes that give the RSL both stiffness and extremely light weight.
Not giving up on pestering Corey about carbon fiber I pointed out that Moots forks are all carbon fiber – so whats with that? Why not titanium forks? Corey patiently explained that “titanium forks would be a real pain to build and that they would be both heavier and more expensive.”
When I asked Brent if there were any weak spots in the Moots line up he told us there is something great coming, but “like all our bikes, we will not sell one until its perfect.”
Big thank you to Brent and Corey. We are already looking forward to the next time they stop by for a visit.