“The Moulton bicycle was born out of my resolve to challenge and improve upon the classic bicycle, with its diamond frame and large wheels, which has locked bicycle design into that form since the pioneering work in England of Starley and others at the end of the 19th century” Dr. Alex Moulton (9th April 1920 – 9th December 2012)
When the first Moulton was released in 1962 it was a revolutionary bicycle design in that, rather than relying on larger higher volume tyres to provide comfort, these bicycles had very small 16 inch wheels running on high pressure tyres, and had a front suspension and a rear damping unit.
These features gave the original Moulton a ride quality and performance that has rarely been equalled to this day. Originally fitted with a Sturmey Archer hub gear and cottered cranks the gear range was somewhat limited although higher performance variants were offered with 6 speed derailleur gears and extra light frames.
My second Moulton came to me in a completely restored and upgraded condition and the only things I had to do was change the stem and bars to make it a perfect fit. It has been fitted with a Shimano 7 speed internal gear hub, generator lights, modern dual pivot brakes, and a much nicer alloy crank. Rounding that out is a vintage GB stem and rando bars and Shimano 600 brake levers which have a light and well modulated feel with the modern brakes.
From a rider’s standpoint the bicycle is quick to accelerate, handles remarkably well, and the suspension design absorbs road shocks and small to moderate irregularities so well that it feels like you are always riding on smooth pavement. When the potholes threaten to swallow those 16 inch tyres, the bike is incredibly agile and maneuverable.
My friend John built this bicycle and said the original Moultons ride better than the new Space Frames… he owns more Moultons than most and gave me my first Moulton (which has yet to be built up).
I have decided to pass that first Moulton along to another friend who desires the Moulton experience and will help him build that bicycle up in whatever way his heart desires.
For more on Moulton Bicycles and their history: Moulton Bicycle Company