On The Trail
Getting straight to the point, the MX Divide is a fun bike to ride. It’s lightweight enough that the big wheels are easily thrown about, though the SRAM XX-equipped version that I rode was no featherweight.
The front wheel can be popped off the ground with little effort, which I found surprising considering the somewhat steep 71° head tube angle. This head tube angle helps the MX Divide descend and climb well. The bike gave me loads of confidence as it tracked well through the corners and climbed nimbly.
The geometry feels more relaxed than it is, though the suspension design could be the source of that comfort. Bombing the trails around Laguna Seca the MX Divide feels like it has more travel than it does. The MX Divide is plusher than other 100mm travel rigs, such as the Specialized Epic.
This ride quality makes the MX Divide more an all-day-in-the-saddle trail bike than a true XC race rig. But, for rugged races, the MX Divide won’t hold you back. The Moots would be ideal for a race like the Breck Epic.
At the end of the day, the MX Divide is expensive, but Moots has never welded a bargain bike, and they never need to. Moots makes boutique bikes. Some get raced and some toured, but they’re all made in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, one at a time.
The MX Divide comes in six sizes (16, 17, 18, 19, 20 and 22″) each with specially engineered angles for a given size. Currently Moots is not offering custom sizing.
The MX Divide incorporates as many cutting-edge features as they could squeeze into the oversized tubes. The PF30 bottom bracket is becoming the go-to for high-end titanium and aluminum frames and we expect the 142mm rear end will become a standard for 29ers as many pros are adopting the thru-axle idea, even on their hardtails.
Moots’ attention to detail, innovative use of materials, and subcontracting to American engineering firms could justify the price tag of the MX Divide. The MX Divide is one expensive bike, but if an average-sized rider wants the best, then the MX Divide may have cornered the market on the boutique, race-ready, dual-suspension 29er.