Moulton SST -- reasons (not) to buy?

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

Postby igauk » 10 Mar 2019, 10:07pm

To bring this thread back from off, off topic to just off topic this is an interesting article ( if you can find a paper copy or have deep pockets. Much of this is focused on the fully enclosed Moulton for speed records. But, according to Tony Hadland's book, the Zipper fairing upthread produced an almost 20% reduction in drag and users reported a 5-8 kmh speed advantage. Downsides were noise, riding on the hoods your head was in the wind and at very high speeds (e.g. 50 kmh) side winds and gusts could blow you over. AFAIK Moulton's aerodynamic research was done by the Millikens in the US, who had access to a (General Motors?) wind tunnel, so it wasn't just a fairing shaped object bolted to the front.
Moulton TSR 30

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

Postby gazza_d » 5 May 2019, 8:19am

Resurrecting this possibly dead thread...

First off I'll declare that I love Moultons. My first M was a 60s frame and I've owned a handful more, and now ride either an Alfine 11 equipped APB (2002), or a TSR2 (2015) converted to 5 speeds with an SRAM P5 and coaster brake.

Moultons these days are a bit of an throwback to be honest. They were designed when there wasn't really any choice but steel. Anyone just wanting a light fast bike needs to look at something conventional with alloy or carbon. It'll be lighter, cheaper, simpler. And boring. People come up to you in the street to talk about the bike, or call out as you pass them. School children shout "cool bike"! Bottom line is that buying and owning a Moulton is more of an emotional choice. For me, I love the engineering of the things and that they are different, but I appreciate they are like Marmite to a lot of people.

My 2 space frames are both very similar weights to my 531 tourer (which has alloy racks). These days,the majority of my riding is a 16-18 mile (each way) commute which I always record on Strava. the Tourer is now the backup bike in case both Moultons are grounded for some reason.

The Moultons are possibly slightly slower overall, but that's mainly due to tyre choice in my eyes and additional drag from the IGHs and dynohubs as both Moultons are specced for year round commuting. The tourer has Marathon 700x28c (largest that fits) and the Ms have 20x1.35 M+ for reliability and puncture resistance. The moultons cope with all surfaces other than loose gravel or sand beautifully and tackle hard unsurfaced tracks (old rail lines etc) better than the tourer.

However the moultons are definately more agile and much more comfortable than the tourer. After my first ride on the APB I described it as a velvet covered girder and I have never changed my opinion. The riding style is different though from a conventional bike and you can;t just mash them up anything by sheer brute force. You can ride out of the saddle but it's only for short kicks. I'd suggest that possibly in somewhere like Cornwall which just seems to have only vertical roads in places that Moultons would struggle because you need that brute power.

I don't find the Moultons are any more of a maintenance pain than a normal bike. Once setup the front suspension barely needs touching other than an occasional spray over the links with GT85 than leaving overnight. Rear is just a case of keeping greased. I only occasionally grease my TSR pivot and it seems to be fine (it's done about 8k miles in about 4 years) although I do check for any play regularly. If you're not mechanically minded then you may need to hunt out a sympathetic mechanic though. The designs are not that complicated to be honest and certainly a lot less of a pain than some full-sus MTBs. A mate has had his (large US brand beginning with spec) MTB in the shop for over a month now whilst they struggle to deal with the rear shock (it's had to go back to maker) and pivots and it's only a couple of years old.

As for the Moulton Flyte, I like it, but they seem to be targeting it to a niche fanbase. To me it would be a perfect basis for a cheaper mass-market bike harking back to the goals F frame and original APB as that frameset must be cheaper to build than a spaceframe

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

Postby dezzie » 7 May 2019, 12:39pm

Still reckon it will be a 3k bike, it will have stem and bar options and also brand of gears n cranks, i would prefer they brought out a cheaper painted m60 with derrailluers or igh hub option, i would love a modern version of my 2 f frames but with modern gear as standard, the flyte does nothing for me.

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

Postby garygkn » 28 Sep 2019, 3:42pm

Just to be clear. The 'Y' frame was not produced at the time it was created because of legal issues with Raleigh it was impossible at the time for Alex Moulton to develop or progress. Not to be defeated Alex Moulton developed the space frame and started a new company. The first two bikes were the AM7 and AM2. Speaking from experience these bicycles both exhibit excellent ride qualities. Responsive, comfortable and laterally stiff as well as vertically stiff frame design. I think a comparison to Brompton is not fair on either design or company as both have set out to achieve vastly different aims and both have succeeded.

So the original 'Y' frame is the missing link between the 'F' frame designs and the space frame. It's a little known design even within the Moulton fraternity. The Flyte is a modern version of the original 'Y' frame design. The wheels are 406 and not 369 so they are bigger. It also incorporates the AM suspension. I've test ridden the Flyte and it was a very positive experience. Responsive, smooth and I had no trouble climbing a steep hill.

Raleigh disappeared and became extinct but despite all the odds Moulton went on to experience success and greater development of their unique take on bicycle design. The AM and NS bikes are all very popular exports from a company building and designing bicycles in Bradford on Avon.

Moulton really are a national treasure.