I remember the exact moment I decided to buy this bike.
I was in the car with my girlfriend on the way to an upstate birthday weekend that I’d finish off at Whirlybird Cross. (Birthday weekend away vibes definitely contributed to me wanting to plop down some cash.) Our newest TBDer Mitchell mentioned that he wanted a new do-it-all Moots. A few messages later and I’d determined that it was time to get really specific with my bike choice and get the Moots Psychlo-X RSL that you see here, and sell Mitchell the Routt. Two months after that, the bike was in a box on the way to ACME for me to build it up.
So…why switch from a do-everything bike that I absolutely love to a very specific bike that I’ve never ridden before?
After spending a full season on the Routt, I can tell you that it is an excellent cross bike with a few drawbacks, none of which have to do with the way the bike feels when you’re pedaling or turning it. It has a short-ish, aggressively sloped top tube, which makes dismounting a little less good, and contributes to a small amount of toe overlap. Toe overlap is overrated as a problem, though. My main top-tube-length gripe is that I’d been running a super long stem, and 140mm doesn’t make for a good-turning cross setup. And the rear brake line routing goes along the bottom of the top tube, which makes shouldering very uncomfortable. A note: I never once noticed this during a race (adrenaline! hell of a drug.), only in practice.
There are a few really neat things about Moots’ purpose-built cyclocross bike.
- The first is the absolutely incredible hand-shaped top tube. It flattens from a vertically ovalized 41mm tube at the seat-tube junction to a 26mm flat, 44mm wide oval at the head tube. This feels incredible in the hand and on the shoulder.
- The second is the horizontal top tube, which makes setting up for dismounts more comfortable (you have to bend over less to grab it), and makes shouldering the bike easier (more room to get your arm through). It also looks killer. I’m not really a fan of sloping top tubes, so the PSX scratches this itch.
- It builds up super light. Without pedals, this bike weighs 17.8lbs (8.1kg). With alloy bars and stem, and a long ti seatpost. The wheels are light for tubeless, but no lighter than a normal carbon race tubular setup.
After a bunch of pre-riding and 25 minutes of racing (I crashed out, being a total macho idiot, sorry Victor), I can tell you that the PSX is every bit the hyper-specific cross machine that I’d hoped it would be, and that looking at it makes me really excited to do more cross.
With an 8mm higher bottom bracket (6.1cm drop vs. 6.9) and 1 degree steeper headtube (72.5deg vs. 71.5) than my Routt, it wants to turn: fast; under power; while braking; while skidding. The Routt was fast, but never felt fast on a CX course. This thing feels super fast. Stiff, light, snappy – it’s exciting to ride. More to come when I can do a proper review.
- Frame: Moots Psychlo-X RSL, titanium, etched finish, flat mount
- Fork: Moots Cross Carbon, flat mount, tapered steerer
- Size: 55cm
- Gruppo: Full Ultegra Di2, 2x (46/36), with an Ultegra RX rear derailleur and 11-28 cassette
- Brakes: Ultegra calipers and XTR 140mm rotors front/rear; Shimano L04C pads
- Cockpit: Zipp Service Course SL-70 bars (44cm) and stem (120mm); Moots seatpost and Ergon SR Pro saddle; Supacaz tape
- Headset & BB: Chris King, stainless steel
- Pedals: Shimano XT
- Wheels: NEXT Rule with i9 Hubs
- Tires: Donnelly PDX WC 33mm