Author Topic: Moulton Bikes  (Read 9859 times)

energyman

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Moulton Bikes
« on: February 18, 2015, 10:50:57 PM »
Anyone have any comments on these bikes ?

martinf

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Re: Moulton Bikes
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2015, 06:46:46 AM »
Anyone have any comments on these bikes ?
I used 2 old F-frame Moultons from the 1960's (16" wheel) for about 20 years until the front and rear forks started cracking up with age and hard use. With modern tyres (Brompton, Schwalbe Kojak and Stelvio) they were very capable bikes for moderately loaded on-road use.

My favourite gear system on these bikes was the Sturmey Archer S5-2 hub gear, which was good for my local terrain but not so suitable for use in very hilly areas.  I also had a simple 2-speed "Duomatic" system with coaster brake, this latter was good for urban use as a "semi-portable" bike (no cables to the rear, so easy to split the frame for transport).

Later on, after getting the rear forks repaired and widened, I tried 3x7 SRAM dualdrive hub/derailleurgearing and a single-ring 7-speed derailleur setup. These systems gave wider range, but derailleurs on small wheel bikes are very close to the ground, so need even more maintenance than on large wheel bikes.

After my F-frame Moultons I had a more modern Moulton TSR with 20" wheels for a few years, this had a very rigid frame and luggage system (front panniers and rear platform rack) and was very stable for on-road touring. But I didn't like it as much as my F-frame Moultons.

All my Moultons were separable for transport. But in 2001 I bought a Brompton, which folds very small in a few seconds so is much more convenient for use on trains, buses and in small cars, so for me Bromptons have replaced Moultons for portable use.

And I decided that a 26" wheel bike with 50 mm wide tyres was about as comfortable as the TSR with suspension, with the advantage of more simplicity and larger wheels that are more capable on tracks and paths.

Hubs

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Re: Moulton Bikes
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2015, 11:53:36 AM »
I've run Moutons for about 20 years, generally in parallel with other stuff; the big question is: which one?

The older 1960's/70's f-frame models are now getting on a but, but are all capable of good performance and spares are available from Moulton Preservation (an adjunct to the Mouton Club). The general concept is still genius, with the integrated carrier mount and suspension both end. The 16 inch wheels limit tyre choice somewhat, but can be made to go well. The spacing of the swing arm limits the hub gear choice, but can be modified to accommodate more modern stuff, or there's a wealth of rebuilt 3 and 4 speeds available. I ran a recycled 4 speed with more modern brakes, new wheels etc. for a few years and it was a fine bike.

The AM range has existed since the 80's and variants are still in production now. This is the first of the space frame versions with small diameter triangulated tubes, 17 inch wheels and a number of variations including hub, 7 and 14 speed. They sell for large money now; the Japanese market in particular has driven prices up significantly. Again, spares available for everything, tyre choice is wider and there's optional upgrades if you want to go that way. Good handling, surprisingly quick and generally lovely. UI ran an AM7 for a few years; lovely bike, which I'd kept it!

The APB range was the 20 inch wheel Pashley made version. Lots of variations with a variety of gear trains and specials (such as the Land Rover). A far heavier frame, but a competent bike which has covered some serious miles on big expeditions. Never had one of these.

The TSR range - still current. A revised version of the Pashley frame, a lot lighter and again with a full range of gearing available, from a 2 speed to a Campag based 30 speed version. Biggest visual difference to the APB is that the location of the rear suspension unit has moved up the seat tube, improving strength ( I think that's what it's for..). I've had 2 of these - both worked extremely well.

New Series ( not so new any more) - a full space frame with torsion based elastic front suspension. A work of art, and prices never get below 4k, up to 16k for the double pylon. Interestingly, some reports suggest that the TSR is more useful as you can park it without fear, and it has more forgiving handling.

Naturally, there's a bunch of specials: the Bridgestone Moulton, a modern version of the F-frame; The elusive ATB, predecessor to the APB. Lots of obscure references - Jubilee; 'speed' versions, etc.

In short, a whole sub culture available, based on Moutons original concepts. I've always enjoyed them, they cause lots of conversation, they go well, handle luggage well, and are often very comfortable. I don't have one right now, but I will again!

Have a look at http://www.moultonbuzz.com for the club website, and the factory site is at http://www.moultonbicycles.co.uk


leftpoole

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Re: Moulton Bikes
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2015, 01:53:11 PM »
Anyone have any comments on these bikes ?

Hello,
Yes I have.
I have owned old F frame and they are pleasant to ride but old and not too fresh nowadays.
AM series, I have owned three. Very comfortable indeed but small wheels in 17" and potholes do not mix well. Tyres very difficult to fit or remove.
APB now TSR are OK but heavier although I believe the latest ones are on par with the AMs for quality.
New Series 20" wheels very nice as cost thousands to buy. Very comfortable of course. I have ridden but not owned as it would take a Lottery win to spend 15,00 on the cheap one!
If I could, I would have a New Series, a new AM and a new TSR but in my opinion are for fun, just like Morgan Sports cars.
Regards,
John
PS I was a Moulton Owners Club member for some Years visiting Moulton home every September. Very good Club with very friendly fanatical members!

rifraf

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Re: Moulton Bikes
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2015, 05:16:53 AM »
I rode an APB Landrover for approx 20 years.
Loved it.
Sold it last year due to it being unsuitable for extended touring in multi-surface Aussie conditions to to being unable to carry enough luggage/water for my liking (I'd lived previous in both UK and NZ where no water shortage and smaller distances in between towns.
I've only room in my accommodation for one bike so invested in a more suitable to locale, Surly Ogre.
Though not the lightest bike, the APB was way zippier than the Ogre and for local tarmac commutes I miss it dearly.

I cycles from East to West of Australia on mine like this but with a Carryfreedom Y-frame trailer:







Had the time of my life

Over the years I'd modified/upgraded it with better componentry, a Sondelux/Edelux lighting setup with E-work, custom CX-rays and Sram dual drive to replace the old Sachs 3x7, to name but a few.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2015, 05:30:15 AM by rifraf »

Danneaux

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Re: Moulton Bikes
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2015, 03:49:35 PM »
Rif'!

Oh, be still my heart, a yellow Landrover APB edition...

Many years ago, I wanted ("lusted after" more properly describes my state after a test ride) an AM7, but was put off by the 17in wheels and the difficulty of getting replacement tires for it in my area in those pre-Internet times. I later drove 911km round trip to a dealer in Washington who carried the APB with its 406mm wheels and took a test ride on that. I think I left fingerprints in the frame tubes -- I didn't want to let it go. Unfortunately, I was dealing with some staggering medical costs at the time for what would eventually result in a fatal prognosis that thankfully did not come true. I couldn't afford the bike and the test ride almost did me in (I was in the area to see a medical specialist; the test ride was a side trip on the way back). Somewhere, I still have a snapshot of me on the bike, taken by the shop manager that day.

As pictured, yours would have been my "dream setup" for touring on the bike. Gorgeous.

Thanks for bringing back a nice memory, Rif'. Remarkable bikes, those spaceframe separable Moultons.

Best,

Dan. (...who still remembers "the one that got away")
« Last Edit: March 09, 2015, 04:40:00 PM by Danneaux »

Templogin

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Re: Moulton Bikes
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2015, 05:30:39 PM »
I have 3 of these: -

*  An F frame Moulton Major
*  A Landrover APB
*  A TSR30

They were bought the other way around, i.e. TSR first.  I decided that I don't like drop bars, and should have bought the TSR27 really, but the components on the TSR30 are better.  My favourite is the APB as it gets around the "I've just pulled up in the wrong gear" problem of derailleurs.  There is a combination of an SA 3 speed hub with a 7 speed derailleur.  The F frame is so far unridden.  The mechanics are perfect, but there is rust that needs removing from rims, bars etc.  It also needs a proper powder coating.

They are lovely design statements, and the potholes bother you less than you might think, due I suppose to the suspension, but they sit there gathering dust most of the time.  Once I got the eXp with Rohloff hub there was no way that I would go back to derailleurs.  The furthest I have ridden one, the TSR30, was 500 miles from Aberdeen to (and around) Orkney via Inverness and JoG.  It was loaded, but nowhere near as much as the eXp would carry, unsurprisingly.  The ride was fine, the problem was the fat and unfit rider!

If there is anything specific you need to know, then just ask


TSR30


LR APB (in summer dress - now has mudguards and rear rack)


Moulton Major

The TSR30 will go at some point, the funds going towards a backup Thorn Raven/Nomad for their lovely Rohloff hubs!
« Last Edit: March 21, 2015, 05:41:42 PM by Templogin »

Swislon

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Re: Moulton Bikes
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2015, 09:21:08 PM »
Thought i'd resurrect this thread.
I have the option of buying a friend's TSR 27. He is now only a Rohloff cyclist!
I want to try flat bars and comfort as my hands tend to ache a lot these days. Going to see a Rheumatologist on 29th.

Those of you who have had a Moulton and a Raven/Mercury with fatish tyres which is the most comfortable?
Or didn't you feel much difference?

Steve

jags

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Re: Moulton Bikes
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2015, 10:13:08 PM »
how come i cant show my dolan on here ,thats no thorn. >:(

i think i'll pack this place in again.

energyman

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Re: Moulton Bikes
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2015, 10:52:28 PM »
My Moulton (TSR 11) is very comfortable even on farm tracks, can be I bit skittish in mud but I love it !!  My only worry is the long term maintenance of all the bits that wobble when riding (on the bike I meant).
I put Thorn comfort bars on to make it more comfortable and I suppose I could remove the Rohloff from the Thorn and put it on the Moulton ............
« Last Edit: December 22, 2015, 10:58:44 PM by energyman »

martinf

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Re: Moulton Bikes
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2015, 07:11:27 AM »
Those of you who have had a Moulton and a Raven/Mercury with fatish tyres which is the most comfortable?
Or didn't you feel much difference?

I rode Moultons for about 13,500 kms. About 10,500 on old F-frames and 3,000 on a TSR 27. All converted to drop handlebars, which I generally prefer over flat bars.

I found the Moultons more comfortable than a classic 700C bike with similar width tyres, when used on slightly rough tarmac roads, unmetalled tracks and paths, so long as there weren't too many potholes or too much mud, where small wheels don't do so well as large. I didn't notice so much of a comfort advantage over the classic 700C lightweight on smooth tarmac roads.

Comparing Moultons with bikes with fat tyres, I found that I was about as comfortable on an old mountain-bike, fitted with lightweight 50 mm wide tyres at fairly low pressures, and converted to drop handlebars. The advantages of this are better capability on potholed tracks/muddy tracks, much longer tyre life, more luggage capacity, and no suspension parts to wear out.

After extensive use of the old mountain-bike I bought a Thorn Raven Tour with Rohloff and Chainglider, which added the advantages of better luggage arrangements with purpose-designed racks rather than the add-ons on the old mountain bike, plus much lower maintenance compared to the derailleur drivetrain. I use the same lightweight 50 mm wide tyres at fairly low pressures on the Thorn.




Hubs

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Re: Moulton Bikes
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2015, 11:37:54 AM »
My immediate comparisons were, latterly, a TSR 30 and an eXp on 2 inch tyres, and more recently a TSR30 and a Mercury on 25c's. Both moutons on 28c

I'd say the comparative comfort level are pretty close from TSR30 to eXp, although the Moulton retains faster handling and does move around more than the very planted eXp. Moulton definitely faster than eXp. However, on poor tracks, eXp manages better.

The TSR is more comfortable than the Mercury, principally because of the front suspension ( I think - rear undoubtedly contributes as well). Mercury feels faster, probably because of the more direct connection to the road, although not much in it in typical rides.

Having had Moutons for years, I'm now concentrating on the Mercury, because of the mix of frame, handling, comfort, speed and Rolloff. If I could afford a Rohloff Moulton, I'd be there instead (probably - I love the Mercury!)