Moulton bicycles have a special spot among other British cycling brands and brands worldwide after all. Alex Moulton was a British engineer and ingenious inventor who designed plane engines during the World War II, introduced rubber suspension to car mass production and even started a whole new bicycle concept.
All these qualities merged in Moulton bicycles we know today. They could be characterized as small wheeled, universal and often separable bicycles with extremely rigid space frame and full suspension. But one word would descride them better - iconic.
The route to that was not easy nor straight forward. Initially, the design was offered for production to the industry giant Raleigh, but after some hesitation it was turned down. So Mr. Moulton started to produce his revolutionary bikes himself in Bradford upon Avon. Soon the people at Raleigh were really scratching their heads since the concept proved to be very popular and selling well. And so they came up with a similar design, but of lower quality and without any suspension, which was compensated by the thick ballon tyres. The marketing powerplay of much bigger Raleigh resulted that their inferior bikes were selling great and thus bringing the bussiness at Bradford into difficulties and Mr. Moulton was forced to sell the rights to his larger rival in 1967. Raleigh dropped the production of the Moulton bikes in 1974 and Mr. Moulton managed to buy the right back eventually. Since then, the bikes were targeting the high-end market and customers which knew what they wanted and were prepared to pay for it. And this made the new space frame, which was much more costly to produce possible. The design also brought the possibility to split the bike in two by simply remooving the iconic "king pin" in the middle, just like we see on our bike here. As a true Moulton, it has of course front and rear suspension making the bike surprisingly comfy even on a rougher terrain.
The frame of our piece is made of mix of tubing using Reynolds 531 steel still sporting the original gray paintjob. The Sturmy Archer 5-speed hub takes care of the shifting and offers a pleasant range of gears for practically any riding situation. It also comes with the original front rack which is rock steady and make carring your bags, baskets, beers or whathewer else simple and safe.
Vintage Moulton are quite a rare sight nowadays and however they are utterly practical and easy to live with day in day out, they are a collection material indeed.
|Schalthebel||Sturmey Archer 5-speed|
|Kurbel||Stronglight; 170 mm; 52|
|Sattel||Selle San Marco Regal EVO NEW|
|Naben||Sturmy Arcehr rear|
|Reifen||Schwalbe Kojak 369/32 (17x1 1/4) clinchers|
|Vorbau||GB; 85 mm|
|Lenker||Sakae Road Champion; 53 cm|