Moulton SST -- reasons (not) to buy?

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Sidlaws
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Moulton SST -- reasons (not) to buy?

Postby Sidlaws » 28 Feb 2019, 9:13pm

Hello everyone,

Does anyone have anything positive (or negative) to say about buying a Moulton? I'm thinking of the SST model (basically a slightly uprated TSR -- crucially incorporating a beefier rear-pivot bearing) equipped with the latest incarnation of Alfine 11 hub gear (SG-S7001-11). A full(ish) equipment spec can be found on Moulton's website http://www.moultonbicycles.co.uk/models/SST.html.

But why a Moulton? I'm currently riding a Brompton M6L which I have found to be the only bike I have ridden that offers a posture which doesn't result in sciatica after a couple of hours in the saddle,... and the Moulton has (or can be configured to have) a similar geometry (posture). While I love the Brommie, it does get a bit waring beyond a 100 miles.... the small wheels are tad on the unforgiving side, especially the front, which results in numb fingers, and achy wrists and hands. What I hope is that the Moulton front suspension would alleviate this, especially on long days in the saddle.
Looking forward to contributions from anyone with experience of riding Moulton's, or knowledge of the equipment spec, good or bad.

Kindly,

Nicholas.

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Mick F
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Re: Moulton SST -- reasons (not) to buy?

Postby Mick F » 1 Mar 2019, 10:23am

Can I be first? :D
Welcome to the forum too! :D

I bought a TSR30 a few short years ago. Much about mine on here if you search.

Mine was fine, except for loads of components being not to my taste at all. Carbon seatpost, Tiagra STIs, rubbish Tektro brake callipers, dropped handlebars not deep enough, gearing wholly inadequate for me in that the top gear wasn't high enough and the bottom gear not low enough. Saddle was horrible, so swapped that for a Brooks. Tyres were Schwalbe Durano which were terrible - swapped for Continentals.

The ride is superb. It's a relaxed ride and although it will fly down the hills ok, it's a bit a pig climbing them. It isn't too good aerodynamically and it's on the heavy side. Dunno how it compares to the SST weight-wize.

It's a delight to ride .......... now I've sorted the above issues.

Do I regret the two grand I paid?
Still not sure with respect to being a bike, but it's kept me sane working out the problems and difficulties. The whole thing is fun to work out the foibles and it's an endless conversation on here too.

Latest issue:
The original front mudguard cracked as it needs another set of stays. I repaired it and added more stays.
The rear went out of shape.
Both mudguards have now gone in the bin and I'm in the process of fitting aluminium ones.
Mick F. Cornwall

pwa
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Re: Moulton SST -- reasons (not) to buy?

Postby pwa » 1 Mar 2019, 10:31am

I have been tempted by Moulton in the past and the main things that put me off were to do with the wheels. Firstly, the braking is done using a smaller band of aluminium than on a 700c wheel, meaning the braking surface will heat up quicker on long steep descents, and it will wear down quicker. And because they are a bit niche the smaller tyres will have a restricted range of choices. And they too will wear down quicker than 700c tyres.

But if you like everything else about the bike.....

S2L
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Re: Moulton SST -- reasons (not) to buy?

Postby S2L » 1 Mar 2019, 11:05am

pwa wrote:I have been tempted by Moulton in the past and the main things that put me off were to do with the wheels. Firstly, the braking is done using a smaller band of aluminium than on a 700c wheel, meaning the braking surface will heat up quicker on long steep descents...


I did think about that, but the wheel also rotates faster, which means it should also cool quicker... I suspect in this country it will only be an issue on a handful of descents... coming after ascents that you would probably try to avoid anyway on a folder

Brucey
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Re: Moulton SST -- reasons (not) to buy?

Postby Brucey » 1 Mar 2019, 11:09am

I have owned several moultons. In summary I'd say a + for comfort, a + for idiosyncracy, a - for outright speed and a - for any offroading . 'Separable' moultons go more easily into cars which can be handy too.

FWIW I suspect there are other ways of getting about as comfy; riding positions can be made anyhow you like with a bit of fiddling (saddles, stems, bars can be adjusted/changed) and there are such things as suspension seat posts and suspension stems etc

BTW the brakes definitely run hotter; the wheel rim goes through the air at the same speed and gets more heat per unit length (or weight) dumped into it.

cheers
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georgew
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Re: Moulton SST -- reasons (not) to buy?

Postby georgew » 1 Mar 2019, 11:21am

I've had a couple......most comfortable bikes I've ever owned and I only wish I'd owned them when I'd been touring.

reohn2
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Re: Moulton SST -- reasons (not) to buy?

Postby reohn2 » 1 Mar 2019, 11:29am

Sidlaws
TBH,I wouldn't touch one with a bargepole and certainly not for the reasons you give as many bikes can be set to give the same riding position.
Reasons against a Moulton ,MickF's experience with his,ie complicated suspension,small wheels which give a harsher ride on bad roads and have limited tyre availability,poor initial build quality.
A 700C wheeled bike with clearances for bigger tyres,set correctly for your needs will be much more comfortable,easier to maintain over a long period with more readily available standard parts.

From what I've read I've developed a bias against both Moulton and the Alfine 11 hub,and make no apologies for that until I'm proved wrong.
If you are set on an IGH why not go the whole hog and go Rohloff
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Brucey
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Re: Moulton SST -- reasons (not) to buy?

Postby Brucey » 1 Mar 2019, 11:38am

FWIW I meant to mention that the A11 hub isn't especially efficient; there is no direct drive gear and the most efficient gears still use at least one gear train; the least efficient gears use three gear trains in series and are consequently somewhat draggy. An A11 hub also feels slightly 'spongy' (a bit like a belt drive does) in the low gears. Even on a conventional bike it best suits riders who don't tend to get out of the saddle and attack short climbs etc., but are more prone to sit and pedal smoothly. In this respect it may be a good match for a moulton, because the suspension in the moulton tends to best suit that kind of rider too.

I have both an A11 hub and a moulton ready to put it in, but I have not tried it yet.

cheers
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Sid Aluminium
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Location: Beyond the edge of the wild

Re: Moulton SST -- reasons (not) to buy?

Postby Sid Aluminium » 1 Mar 2019, 4:50pm

I bought an AM in 1984. Easily my most ridden machine over the last 35 years.

pete75
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Re: Moulton SST -- reasons (not) to buy?

Postby pete75 » 1 Mar 2019, 7:06pm

reohn2 wrote:Sidlaws
TBH,I wouldn't touch one with a bargepole and certainly not for the reasons you give as many bikes can be set to give the same riding position.
Reasons against a Moulton ,MickF's experience with his,ie complicated suspension,small wheels which give a harsher ride on bad roads and have limited tyre availability,poor initial build quality.
A 700C wheeled bike with clearances for bigger tyres,set correctly for your needs will be much more comfortable,easier to maintain over a long period with more readily available standard parts.

From what I've read I've developed a bias against both Moulton and the Alfine 11 hub,and make no apologies for that until I'm proved wrong.
If you are set on an IGH why not go the whole hog and go Rohloff


The suspension is fairly simple. No dampers no hydraulics, no air just rubber bushes. It also gives the bike a good ride quality on poor surfaces. Last summer my son an dI rode along the famous Arenberg trench. I on a 700C Surly Long Haul Trucker, him on a Moulton Tsr. I pulled onto the smooth path at the side after about 50 metres as it was so uncomfortable. He did the full length on the cobbles and said it was fine.
The TSR build quality seems fine and uses quality components, Campag and Stronglight mainly. I've been riding the Moulton quite a bit recently and like it. My advice is if you fancy one buy it. I only bought our Moulton on a whim just to see what they were like and now pleased I did.
Like you I was a bit scathing until I'd done a few miles on one.

reohn2
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Re: Moulton SST -- reasons (not) to buy?

Postby reohn2 » 1 Mar 2019, 8:10pm

pete75 wrote:
The suspension is fairly simple. No dampers no hydraulics, no air just rubber bushes. It also gives the bike a good ride quality on poor surfaces. Last summer my son an dI rode along the famous Arenberg trench. I on a 700C Surly Long Haul Trucker, him on a Moulton Tsr. I pulled onto the smooth path at the side after about 50 metres as it was so uncomfortable. He did the full length on the cobbles and said it was fine.
The TSR build quality seems fine and uses quality components, Campag and Stronglight mainly. I've been riding the Moulton quite a bit recently and like it. My advice is if you fancy one buy it. I only bought our Moulton on a whim just to see what they were like and now pleased I did.
Like you I was a bit scathing until I'd done a few miles on one.

I've ridden one not far granted but still think larger wheels are much better especially on crapmac and gravel roads,the rear suspension is simple enough,not so on the front.Then there's the limited tyre choice issue.
MickF's Moulton seems to have had more than it's fair share of issues for a £2K bike.

Moulton's seem to be a Marmite product,that to me seem over priced with the higher end machines carrying laughably ridiculous price tags.
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Mick F
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Re: Moulton SST -- reasons (not) to buy?

Postby Mick F » 1 Mar 2019, 8:23pm

reohn2 wrote:MickF's Moulton seems to have had more than it's fair share of issues for a £2K bike.
The issues were my issues, not the bike's issues.

The gears and the gear-range didn't suit me, neither did the brakes or the STIs.
I didn't like the tyres, or the saddle, or the silly carbon fibre seatpost, let alone the shallow (black) dropped handlebars.
(to name a few issues)

If I were to live my life again, would I buy a Moulton?
Not sure TBH.
The bike is a delight to ride now. It was a delight at first too, but it wasn't long before I wanted to change things to make it more of a delight. Good job I could part-fund the upgrades by selling the unwanted components.

Given what I know now, I'd buy a bare frame and start from there.
Mick F. Cornwall

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fossala
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Re: Moulton SST -- reasons (not) to buy?

Postby fossala » 1 Mar 2019, 8:34pm

I've owned Moulton bikes on and off for around 5 years now. At the moment I have one, a MK3 that I'm restoring.

Overall I don't think moulton's are worth it due to the amount of ongoing work they tend to need. I also don't like Moulton's (company, not the man) attitude and direction.

In the latest Moultoneer magazine that came through the door I read that they've re-made the "y" frame Moulton. So now Moulton has died, they're running out of ideas so started using ones Alex cast aside...

EDIT: I've also owned a Brompton, they ride nothing like a Moulton so if that's what you're looking for I'd make sure you get a test ride before dropping the cash.

reohn2
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Re: Moulton SST -- reasons (not) to buy?

Postby reohn2 » 1 Mar 2019, 9:05pm

Mick F wrote:
reohn2 wrote:MickF's Moulton seems to have had more than it's fair share of issues for a £2K bike.
The issues were my issues, not the bike's issues.

The gears and the gear-range didn't suit me, neither did the brakes or the STIs.
I didn't like the tyres, or the saddle, or the silly carbon fibre seatpost, let alone the shallow (black) dropped handlebars.
(to name a few issues)

If I were to live my life again, would I buy a Moulton?
Not sure TBH.
The bike is a delight to ride now. It was a delight at first too, but it wasn't long before I wanted to change things to make it more of a delight. Good job I could part-fund the upgrades by selling the unwanted components.

Given what I know now, I'd buy a bare frame and start from there.

Haven't you had rear suspension bush and front suspension problems?
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Mick F
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Re: Moulton SST -- reasons (not) to buy?

Postby Mick F » 1 Mar 2019, 9:15pm

Yep. Rear suspension yes very much, and front suspension issues too a bit.

I won't have another problem though because I've learnt that the rear suspension bushes need injecting with grease almost monthly or more frequently.
My problem - and no doubt everyone else's - is that the these bushes are neglected. They need constant attention.

The SST version has a better system, but I reckon that they will need constant attention too, though perhaps bi-monthly instead of monthly. :wink:
Mick F. Cornwall