Maintenance of the APB

WARNING

Modification, repair and renovation work should only be carried out by qualified people. If you do not have the experience and/or expertise to judge whether any procedures described in in the APB Pages are correct, and/or you do not have the experience, expertise, materials and equipment to carry out the work, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DO THE JOB YOURSELF. The information given in the APB pages and Masterclass articles is intended to act as a reminder to capable people who are carrying out repair work. The authors, the Moulton Bicycle Club and its Officers accept no responsibility for work carried out by owners or their agents, whether that work is done in accordance with any information contained in these articles or not.


The APB is supplied with an Owners Guide, which provides useful information about riding and maintaining the APB. If you do not have a copy of this manual, we suggest that you contact the manufacturers, your dealer or local distributor.

Most aspects of maintenance of an APB are similar to conventional cycles, since most components are similar to those used on conventional cycles. Many good cycle maintenance books are available, and you should consult these for general information. Do not attempt any work on your cycle unless you are competent to do so, and have the necessary materials and equipment. If in doubt, contact a qualified dealer.

The main parts of the APB which differ from conventional bicycles are the front and rear suspension systems. Compared with the suspension of conventional mountain bikes, the APB units require very little attention, and indeed there is more danger of causing damage by fiddling with them than by leaving well alone. It is particularly important to note that the front suspension system should not be lubricated in the normal course of events – doing so will almost certainly cause problems.

Two adjustments can be made to the front suspension, and these are referred to in the Owners Guide. The first of these involves setting the ride height, which is done by adjusting the ride height nut and its associated lock nut, located inside the rubber bellows at the top of the fork stirrup. The nut should be adjusted so that the leading links are close to parallel with the ground when the rider is in the normal riding position – see the Owners Guide for details. The second adjustment is to set the damping, which is done by tightening or loosening slightly the nuts at each end of the leading links – see the Owners Guide for details. Personally we have found that if the nuts are tightened too much, to increase the damping, this can result in the front suspension operation becoming sticky, so that travel is reduced, with the suspension tending sometimes to stick in a partially compressed state after going over bumps.

Early APBs were fitted with a much stiffer front spring than current models, and owners of these early bikes can obtain the current spring from Pashley. Replacement can be carried out by a dealer, or those competent to do so can do it themselves – some general information on how the job is done can be found in a Masterclass article. The original spring is no longer available, so those who would like a stiffer (or indeed a still softer) spring will have to make do with the standard one.

We understand that current APBs are being supplied with small containers of special grease – a copper-based type for application around the rear suspension pivot point and a silicon grease for application around the base of the steering tube (more to prevent corrosion than for any other reason). Only very occasional, very sparing, application of the grease is required – once a year may well be enough for some users.

Apart from ensuring occasional lubrication of the rear suspension pivot using the appropriate grease, as described above, the rear suspension should require no attention, although after very extended use the bearing may eventually wear and need replacement.

The front suspension should also be relatively trouble free, but it is possible for the nylon cylinder which slides in the fork tube to swell and jam – this is particularly likely to occur if any attempt is made to oil it. If the front suspension appear to have jammed (which usually happens under hot conditions), we suggest that you first check that the leading link damping is not too tight. If the suspension has jammed, but the problem seems to disappear later under cooler conditions, you should be warned that it is likely to recur, and it is best to deal with the problem before it causes problems again in the future. Most owners would be advised to contact a Moulton dealer to have the cylinder replaced, but for those who have the necessary skills and equipment, the process is described in a Masterclass article (the article actually deals with fitting a different front suspension spring, but cylinder replacement follows the same steps).


REMEMBER THE WARNING

Modification, repair and renovation work should only be carried out by qualified people. If you do not have the experience and/or expertise to judge whether any procedures described in in the APB Pages are correct, and/or you do not have the experience, expertise, materials and equipment to carry out the work, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DO THE JOB YOURSELF. The information given in the APB pages and Masterclass articles is intended to act as a reminder to capable people who are carrying out repair work. The authors, the Moulton Bicycle Club and its Officers accept no responsibility for work carried out by owners or their agents, whether that work is done in accordance with any information contained in these articles or not.