A Single-Speed MTB? The Womble Slider Blows Away Everything You Knew About Bikes

Womble Slider 12 photos
Photo: Moots / Edited by autoevolution
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If there are any off-roading hippies in the crowd, now is the time to listen up. Why? Because of the newest addition to the Moots family of indestructible bikes, the single-speed Womble hardtail, a hunk of titanium built upon decades of experience and the love for two-wheelers of a different breed.
Folks, Moots is a Colorado-based bicycle builder that's been around since 1981, and these days, they have bikes for dominating roads, mountainsides, and anything in between (gravel). But, they're also one of the crews that are constantly rolling out new and crazy machines, like the object of today's discussion, the Womble Slider, a variation of Moots' already acclaimed hardtail Womble MTB.

What's so dang special about this one? Well, if you're into cycling, you know that there are some limits to where a bike can and should be used, and all of them are proportionately related to the bike's geometry and the sort of components found on the frame. To cut to the case, we're looking at a hardtail MTB with a single-speed drivetrain. What!? Yes, you read that right! Now, let's see how the hell we got here. If I'm to think about my own life, and the bicycles I've ridden, one of the first I ever set my butt upon was a single-speed. But how does all this translate into a solid MTB experience? Let's dive deeper and take a look.

As I mentioned, the Slider variation is built upon Moots' already-existing Womble frame. Since this is the framework for the whole thing, there are a few things you need to consider if you're ever looking to drop $10,000 (€9,200 at current exchange rates) on this complete build. Overall, Moots specializes in crafting bikes from a very prized metal, titanium.

Womble Slider
Photo: Moots
Why titanium? Several reasons, actually. For example, when comparing two tubes of the same tensile strength, one of steel and one of titanium, the titanium tube will be around half the weight of the steel one, and that's absolutely amazing news for bike builders as it leaves plenty of room to create frames that can take a beating.

Up next, we can take a look at titanium's innate abilities to fight off the elements and corrosion. In short, ride these through mud, riverbeds, and back onto dusty trails. Afterward, just go home, break out the garden hose, and rinse it off; place it in sunlight to dry. What more could you want? These two factors, and several others, are also why frames built from this metal are often considered "forever frames." In short, they stand a solid chance of seeing decades of riding and even becoming a family heirloom.

Knowing this information, take a look at the Slider's frame. You're staring down the barrels of double-butted top and down tubes, a curved seat tube, and welds that you must search for with a magnifying glass. The seat and chain stay are also curved for refined and precise compliance. I'd love to feel this bugger under me while flying around on some trails. Judging by the slanted top tube, more than enough standover means you can even handle drops like a champ.

Aside from that solid base - the titanium frame - we also need to analyze what other components are responsible for your cycling experience. Since everything is set to the movements of just one speed, all you'll be doing is focusing on manipulating the road ahead. At the front, you'll be pushing into a crankset from White Industries with a 32T ring, but at the rear, an 18T titanium cog from Boone brings almost 1:2 gearing. No shift levers also mean you can focus on just the SRAM G2 GRC brakes, almost.

Womble Slider Drivetrain
Photo: Moots
One other lever, or rather, a trigger, is found in the cockpit, and it's connected directly to this machine's dropper post. Yes, the Slider is dropper-post-ready, and the full build is equipped with a RockShox Reverb AXS, yes, the wireless one. Push a button, and your seat post hides into the seat tube and out of the way, offering the clearance needed to handle rougher descents.

Speaking of descents, a RockShox Pike Ultimate with 140 mm (5.5 in) of travel is found at the front. It's enough travel for rough rides and a level of customization to adapt to more than one type of terrain. Throw on a pair of carbon fiber rims with 29 in Maxxis Rekon tires, and that's all you need to feel that burn you've been missing. I say this because it's not easy cranking uphill with a single speed, anything, but it's doable, wink-wink.

All that's left to do at this point is to find one of these beauties floating around in a shop window and take it out for a spin. Sure, it will cost you quite a bit to own, but again, titanium bicycles are the kind you can pass down to your kids! That alone is priceless. Imagine that for a moment and the feelings that arise. Maybe you don't give it to your kids, but someone equally passionate about something like this. You can't see me, but my hand is in the air; I'll take one!
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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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