Where Dreams are Made

In a world teeming with fanboys, it's hard to stand above the fray for long. If it's not one thing, it's another, and even the most valiant efforts to stand impartial are seen by argumentative combatants as simply a blindfaith defense of their counterpoint, I pride myself on not giving in, particularly when it comes to videogames. After all, I've long had the feeling that Dante's ninth ring is steadily filling with the souls of obsessed gamers who have long since forfeited their right to live through comments made on internet message boards, over Xbox Live, and on various blogs' comments sections.

Unfortunately, as the Inferno steadily fills, thousands line up to replace the departed, therefore the void of the obnoxious never comes to pass. And I remain away.

Yet, even I am not invincible to the powers of consumatory lust and brand allegiance. In fact, I must admit that a principal reason for routing our Colorado road trip in the direction we took, was so I could visit the Moots factory in Steamboat Springs.

And on August 5th, before hitting the road for Winter Park, that's what we did. I had never just dropped in on a company like partially-crazed fan before, but I quickly learned I am far from alone. They get passionate Moots owners dropping in all the time.

We spent a few moments in the showroom (Kristin had to drag me away from the 29er full-suspension bike they unveiled this year), then went on a tour of the factory. We got to see where the raw material titanium comes in (lots of Ti here, folks) then moved over to the CNC machines where the small parts are automatically milled out of blocks of solid titanium, then continued through the area where they cut and bend the tubes, where they wash the materials, tack them up, and then get welded into the frames. From there, well... I don't remember. I really wasn't paying attention to what the girl was saying. I was just gazing wide-eyed in every direction, spinning around, snapping some photos, and trying to not drool on myself.

Since just about everything is done by hand, the factory is very quiet -- no loud robots or heavy presses stamping out pieces. Most of the employees had iPods on, and were just going about their jobs in rather spacious, clean, workspaces. The general vibe I felt from the place wasn't all that different than from an artists studio -- it was certainly a far cry from the forklift manufacturer I used to work for. The other thing that was very obvious was the extreme care that each of the frames were treated to. I never saw anything or anyone touching the exterior of the tubes -- they were all handled and hung from within.

I did learn one of their trade secrets, however. And I'm going to share it here. The last step in prepping a frame for delivery involves giving it that magical shine I saw when it first arrived in the box.

The polishing elixir of choice: Lemon-scented Pledge.

Click the photos to enlarge.

Time to see where my baby was born.

I believe Wayne and Garth said it best when they said, "Schwing!"

Inside the Moots factory (and our tour guide).

Expect to wait several months if you want one...
and for those months to feel like years.

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