First Look- Moots Psychlo-X Custom

By March 23, 2016 Moots, sponsors


After living in Portland for a year it’s easy to see why cyclocross is such a thing here.

There are a multitude of events close to town, and you have to drive past them to get to the trail head to ride mountain bikes.  Of course it rains frequently as well, so you see plenty of guys out on fendered ‘cross bikes for winter training.

In addition to the ‘cross scene there are a slew of gravel rides and events where the additional tire clearance of a ‘cross bike allows for bigger tires.  If you’ve paid any attention to modern trends you’ll know that gravel bikes are all the rage, so some folks will tell you that’s the tool for job. 


Moots makes several bikes that fall between endurance road and gravel/light utility so the decision pretty quickly came down to what I wanted the bike to excel at.

Last summer I demoed a Routt, which was a remarkably smooth and comfortable bike.  While it was not fast or snappy it was predictable, stable, and kept me from getting too beat up on the rough gravel sections.  Even with thru axles front and rear it was not an overly stiff bike, a fact mainly attributed to its rangy chainstay length, and while I wouldn’t say it wallowed under power it did not lurch forward during out of the saddle efforts. 

So the Routt was fine, but not racy enough for my personal taste. 

While I’ve sworn off ‘cross racing twice recently it does seem like something that’s remarkably easy to do here given the great number of events nearby.  I’m also OK with not being awesome at it, so it would just be for fun…you know, like every other asshole who says they’ll race ‘cross “just for fun.” 

And of course there’s the Psychlo-X RSL which with its flattened top tube is remarkably hot, if not overkill for my limited ‘cross needs.

Fortunately this model year saw the reintroduction of the Psychlo-X with disc brakes and standard thru axles front and rear.  Perfect.

Through some collaboration with Michael at Moots we sorted out the custom geometry I wanted to make the bike more balanced for general use without taking away too much of the race capability.  The changes were small but significant with a lower bottom bracket, slightly shorter than stock top tube and taller head tube.  My goal was to get more “in” than “on” feel for stability at speed without taking away too much of the steering response necessary for taking sharp corners at walking pace which are common on a true ‘cross course.

This thing has been awesome, and I’ll post more as I get more time on it.



Solitude and Exploration

By January 31, 2016 Uncategorized

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Things are often where we least expect them.

In the corner of an industrial park, next to a shipping hub, by the power lines was one of the few times in the last couple months I’ve truly had the feeling that I was peacefully alone.  I mostly ride alone, and perhaps it was the surprising weekend stillness that made me aware of exactly what wasn’t happening around me.  No trucks.  No cars.  No planes.  Just quiet.

It would really be trite to call Portland an urban jungle; really it’s quite livable and accessible, even by Vermont standards.  The one downside is that nature is definitely further away and more of a commitment, so getting away takes some effort.

While things are slowly fitting into place here there’s still a lot of turmoil and uncertainty.  Now more than ever it’s important to appreciate solitude whenever, wherever I find it.



The Oregon Trail

By September 5, 2015 Moots, MTBVT

I made it to Portland.  

Of course it seems like it’s taking forever because I changed almost everything in my life in one fell swoop.  Who knew?  Well now I do anyway, and if anyone talks whimsically about moving across the country, “starting over”, or anything ridiculous like that you should go ahead and punch them in the face.  It’s a lot of fucking work.  Know that up front.

Since moving here I’ve fallen in love several times.

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This one was so close to working out, but I’m still miserably particular and it wasn’t quite perfect.  And before you ask, I’m keeping the Speed3, though it needs a better name than the “vomit comet”.

What’s been frustrating is that there’s so much amazing stuff all happening out here and at any point in time I feel like there’s something amazing going on that I’m missing.  I asked my friend Nathan how to stay on top of all of the cool events in the area and he just laughed.  ”There’s no way, dude.”  I guess even if there was some dopey calendar I wouldn’t use it anyway.

Of course there have been some adventures and great rides out here including a stay at this five star resort for my birthday.

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A camper trailer renovation is something I’ve been curious about for a while now, and this one was renovated by a local woman over the course of a summer.  She now rents it out on Airbnb, which is pretty genius really.  She was also nice enough to indulge my questions about the process, and after some research it looks like they’re really just small, mobile houses.  So the wheels are turning, as ever.

I have been riding.  Not a ton, but regularly.  More than anything it’s been to maintain sanity and has proven itself time and again to be the best remedy.

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I got back into some racing too, but with everything else happening it was a remarkably frustrating experience.  The last two years have been really tough as so much of my life has been in flux that even with the big pieces finally fitting into place it’s still an amazing drain on time and energy.  So much so in fact that I haven’t really been able really train, and when the races have gotten tough there was nothing left in the bank to dig deep and keep pushing…because everything has required that same pushing.

As I settle in I’m getting a better sense of what I want my life to look like.  It’s cloyingly existential, but I think it’s worth it to refocus a bit now rather than just roll down the same familiar path out of habit.  After forcing myself to step back and reassess my commitment to racing I still feel like I want to be a part of it.  More on that later.

The transition out here has not always been pretty, but it’s so worth it.

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