1. Why the small wheels?
The small wheels are an essential feature of the Moulton concept. They offer many advantages.
- With only half the rotating mass of the wheels on a ‘conventional’ bicycle, it is possible to accelerate faster.
- They are extremely stiff and much stronger than larger wheels because of the short spokes.
- The aerodynamic drag is lower; there is less frontal area and less spoke area causing turbulence to slow you down.
- The centre of gravity is lowered, resulting in improved stability.
- The small wheels free up space normally occupied by large wheels, allowing luggage to be carried lower.
2. Aren’t smaller wheels harder to pedal?
- The gears are chosen so that they correspond to pedalling a bicycle with large wheels.
- The smaller frontal area results in less aerodynamic drag.
- The lower inertia means that you can accelerate faster.
- If you are still doubtful, consider the HPVs (Human Powered Vehicles) developed for the ultimate performance – many of these use the unique 17″ Moulton wheels and tyres fitted to the AM series bicycles.
3. Why the space frame?
- The construction makes it far stiffer and stronger than conventional frames.
- The weight is similar to that of the best conventional touring bicycles – and the Speed model is comparable with the lightest racing frames.
- In conjunction with the small wheels it results in a low centre of gravity.
- The standard frame size can be ridden by cyclists of almost any size.
- The low top tube leads to improved safety and controllability.
- The low top tube allows it to be ridden equally easily by men and women; it is also a major advantage for elderly or disabled riders, who cannot easily ride conventional bicycles.
4. Why suspension?
- It allows the advantages of the very rigid small wheels, high pressure tyres and space frame to be enjoyed while giving a much more comfortable ride than a conventional large-wheeled bicycle.
- The road shocks experienced on a conventional bicycle are dramatically reduced.
- It is a light, simple, maintenance free system.
- Improved traction – the wheels do not bounce going through corners or on rough surfaces.
- Reduced strain on the wheels – the wheels stay true, spoke nipples stay tight and spoke breakages are extremely rare.
5. Does it fold?
No – this is a no-compromise high-performance bike, quite unlike any folding bicycle.
- The frame does separate into two parts.
- This does not affect the frame rigidity – tests on a brazed-up version of the frame against the normal separable version showed no difference in rigidity.
- When separated into the two parts, it easily fits into the boot of a car.
- When placed in the carry bag, it can be carried on a train as hand luggage, rather than needing to be placed in the luggage van of the train – a big advantage given the restrictions on some train services.
- Users have also transported their AMs as normal luggage on aircraft flights.
For some additional comments on why Moultons don’t fold, see http://www.moultoneers.net/nofold.html.
6. Is it as good as a conventional bicycle?
It’s not just as good as a conventional bicycle, it’s better:-
- Owners of Moulton bicycles report that after using the Moulton for a week, they never want to ride conventional bicycles again.
- Just look at the specification and the performance details.
7. How well does it perform?
- An AM bicycle holds the world speed record for bicycles of conventional riding position at 51mph, fully faired.
- The AM bicycle has successfully completed the Race Across America (RAAM) – finishing the course of 3117 miles in 10 days 15 hours and 1 minute.
- Owners of AM bicycles use them successfully for commuting, touring the world and for racing. The APB bicycles are ideal for commuting, touring and use off-road.
8. Where can I get one?
Contact the factory for information on dealers.
The Moulton bicycle is one of the few makes to have attracted such an enthusiastic following that it has a club for its owners. The Moulton Bicycle Club supports users of all models of Alex Moulton bicycles and original Moultons, and has over 900 members world-wide – probably the largest single-make cycle Club in the UK, and perhaps the world.