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Old 03-01-08, 10:15 AM   #1
4cmd3
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$11,821.97 Moulton ???

That better be one damn fine bicycle...
(and according to the article... it is!)

Here you go Moulton aficionados!

The "New Series Double Pylon Separable Stainless"
http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/catego...win-pylon-8878

Info from Alex Moulton's site:
http://www.alexmoulton.co.uk/frames....bikes&range=ns

Photos:
http://www.alexmoulton.co.uk/bikes/ns-images.asp

Last edited by 4cmd3; 03-01-08 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 03-01-08, 10:32 AM   #2
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They make only 25 of them a year. Most of them are exported to eastern countries..

I know two people who have recently bought DP.
They say the ride is so smooth that it feels like flying in clouds..
I hope I will have the chance to ride one this year.
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Old 03-01-08, 11:49 AM   #3
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They say the ride is so smooth that it feels like flying in clouds..
I hope I will have the chance to ride one this year.
For that money, I would at least expect that it WOULD FLY IN CLOUDS.

Don't get me wrong; I like bikes, and I like the New Series, that's why I bought the poor man's version, the Pashley TSR30, but hells bells, what can there be in a bike that merits $11.8K? This is madness. It's like the magic beans in the story of Jack and the beanstalk - a ripoff.
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Old 03-01-08, 12:37 PM   #4
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For that money, I would at least expect that it WOULD FLY IN CLOUDS.

Don't get me wrong; I like bikes, and I like the New Series, that's why I bought the poor man's version, the Pashley TSR30, but hells bells, what can there be in a bike that merits $11.8K? This is madness. It's like the magic beans in the story of Jack and the beanstalk - a ripoff.
DP surely is expensive, but don't think that's a pure ripoff.
Moulton's spaceframe structure needs MANY tube cutting and MANY brazing.. (more than 100 points?)
Compare that to typical diamond-shaped frame which needs 10~ brazing points.
More tubes, more brazing points, more manhour... high price tag.

And pricing is subjective.
To some even $1K bike can be damn expensive.
Some people wait for months to get $1,200 cranks or $1,600 brakes, $7500 frames.

$10K MTB or road bike is actually quite common among amateurs.
Channel makes $12,000, 16kg city bike BTW...
For some DP can be a more cost-effective option.

Last edited by Raxel; 03-01-08 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 03-01-08, 02:15 PM   #5
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The most obvious area where this bike outperforms a traditional bike with large wheels and no suspension is in its ability to grip over uneven surfaces.
Down a regular test section of rough road descent, the Double Pylon was simply stunning. The level of grip and confidence it gives is amazing, and the ability to brake hard and change direction rapidly at the same time over rough terrain has to be experienced to be believed - it's a lot like riding a top dual suspension mountain bike with slicks, only faster.
I pulled the above text from one of the sites referenced above. I find exactly this with my TSR30. I know the suspension is somewhat different, the DP having rubber springs in the front, but the basic idea is similar and it IS TRUE that the bike rushes smoothly over pretty bad road surfaces - far more surefooted than my mountain bike. I've set my front suspension on the stiff side and the bike bobs much less if I get out of the saddle now. It does still bob though. I just drop a gear and sit. The riding technique needs to adapt to the design.
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Old 03-01-08, 07:20 PM   #6
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but hells bells, what can there be in a bike that merits $11.8K? This is madness. It's like the magic beans in the story of Jack and the beanstalk - a ripoff.
The bike is actually about 6K but the dollar is now less than half of the Sterling which explains the high price. You're actually overpaying for a 6K bike.
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Old 03-01-08, 08:24 PM   #7
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and here it goes again let's see....sell my bikes, my car, my wife....hmmmm that will get me about 2000.00

where can I get more $$$$$$$$$$?????


http://www.bikeradar.com/road/gear/c...win-pylon-8878
Alex Moulton Double Pylon Review | BikeRadar.com
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Old 03-01-08, 09:51 PM   #8
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I paid $650USD for my AM7 (w/ f&r racks and bags) in 1984. I could probably sell it for three times that today...but it's not for sale.

tcs

PS - My LBS has a $10,000USD bike in inventory. Carbon fiber, DuraAce, all-in-all pretty ordinary when you compare it to all the hand built parts and components on the DP.
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Old 03-01-08, 11:28 PM   #9
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and here it goes again let's see....sell my bikes, my car, my wife....hmmmm that will get me about 2000.00

where can I get more $$$$$$$$$$?????


http://www.bikeradar.com/road/gear/c...win-pylon-8878
Alex Moulton Double Pylon Review | BikeRadar.com
Don't sell the wife....rent.
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Old 03-01-08, 11:46 PM   #10
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I'll pass. The money's nothing, I light my cigars with 12,000 dollar bills, but it looks fragile, like hundreds of little parts and bars and poles and joints to break.

Last edited by werewolf; 03-02-08 at 09:41 AM.
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Old 03-02-08, 01:26 AM   #11
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IMO DP is an artwork, rather than a plain bicycle.
It looks gorgeous and rides gorgeous...










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Old 03-02-08, 10:48 AM   #12
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I only own ancient Moultons-1965 and 1973- but their primitive construction and suspension are still amazing to me.

Test riding the newest Moulton reveals a beautifully handcrafted spaceship or bridge-like truss system frame with a suspension system that left me unable to describe in words how effective and comfortable it is.

On the value/cost front: A Time carbon fiber road frame and components costs over $10K and rising as the dollar sinks versus the Euro
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Old 03-02-08, 01:13 PM   #13
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I can see how the older-style Moultons have an aesthetic appeal, but the newer ones look like you're riding the Eiffel Tower or something.... There's no way I'd plunk down $6k (let alone 11) for that thing.

I'm also not really buying the whole "suspension is more efficient" thing. Keeping in mind that I am nowhere near an engineer AND that efficiency is not always the primary characteristic for many riders....

You hit a bump; the wheels move, the frame generally stays in the same vertical position, so the rider does not feel the bump; so far so good. The spring returns, and a small percent is lost as heat. The rest of the energy stored by the compressed spring/elastomer is used to return the wheel to the ground, a job that would normally be done by gravity anyway (i.e. the rider isn't saving any effort). And, if the decompression of the rear suspension provides forward movement, the front suspension -- which is at nearly an opposite angle -- would do the inverse and slow the bike down....
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Old 03-02-08, 03:27 PM   #14
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I can see how the older-style Moultons have an aesthetic appeal, but the newer ones look like you're riding the Eiffel Tower or something.... There's no way I'd plunk down $6k (let alone 11) for that thing.

I'm also not really buying the whole "suspension is more efficient" thing. Keeping in mind that I am nowhere near an engineer AND that efficiency is not always the primary characteristic for many riders....

You hit a bump; the wheels move, the frame generally stays in the same vertical position, so the rider does not feel the bump; so far so good. The spring returns, and a small percent is lost as heat. The rest of the energy stored by the compressed spring/elastomer is used to return the wheel to the ground, a job that would normally be done by gravity anyway (i.e. the rider isn't saving any effort). And, if the decompression of the rear suspension provides forward movement, the front suspension -- which is at nearly an opposite angle -- would do the inverse and slow the bike down....
I would think that in lieu of suspension the difference would be that while the spring only loses a small percentage as heat, your muscles lose a large percentage as heat. In other words, you always have suspension, whether it's provided by the machine or provided by your body, and, just as cycling is more efficient than running, the machine can handle the task more efficiently than your body can alone.

The fundamental physics never changes. Transporting an X pound human body from point A to point B in Y minutes fundamentally requires the same amount of mechanical energy no matter what. Although there are obviously additional losses, in the case of human powered transport, mechanical losses are clearly not a dominant source of inefficiency. After all, running has no frictional loses, no rolling resistance, minimal air resistance, and zero frame flex and is, thus, obviously mechanically superior to cycling. Yet, despite being mechanically superior, the fact that running is clearly less efficient than cycling can only mean that it is not mechanical losses, but biomechanical losses which dominate. Therefore, we'll never understand the most efficient bicycles by mechanical considerations alone. So noting that suspended bicycles don't seem to have any mechanical advantage isn't really a convincing argument against their supposed efficiency.
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Old 03-02-08, 04:27 PM   #15
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I would think that in lieu of suspension the difference would be that while the spring only loses a small percentage as heat, your muscles lose a large percentage as heat.... The machine can handle the task more efficiently than your body can alone.
I fully agree that the task of "smoothing out the bumps" is performed in a more comfortable fashion by a mechanical suspension than by human legs. But that's not my point.

The claim forwarded by Moulton and others, as I understand it, is that suspension (if done right, I suppose) does not incur a performance penalty. So far, I'm not seeing it.



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The fundamental physics never changes. Transporting an X pound human body from point A to point B in Y minutes fundamentally requires the same amount of mechanical energy no matter what.
If Bike X is only 90% efficient, and Bike Y is 95% efficient, obviously you will need to supply more power to Bike X to make it move as fast as Bike Y.

The physics doesn't change, but the ability of the machine to convert energy into useful motion is variable.



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Although there are obviously additional losses, in the case of human powered transport, mechanical losses are clearly not a dominant source of inefficiency.... Despite being mechanically superior, the fact that running is clearly less efficient than cycling can only mean that it is not mechanical losses, but biomechanical losses which dominate.
"Dominant," eh?

If you're trying to say that the primary performance difference between two different riders is going to be their fitness and athletic ability, I'd agree. Tom Boonen would still beat me to the finish line even if I was on a time trial bike and he was on a hybrid.

But if we are comparing two different bikes that will be used by the same rider, and there are radical differences in design (e.g. 20" wheels + suspension vs 700c wheels without) then there are valid reasons to investigate whether or not those designs are or are not equally efficient. Especially if part of the astronomically high price tag is based on engineering claims relating to the bike's efficiency.
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Old 03-02-08, 04:51 PM   #16
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Arctos - I see that you live in Santa Barbara. Where did you test ride a Moulton DP? I would love to have a good excuse to visit SB again.
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Old 03-02-08, 05:07 PM   #17
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Alex Moulton's claims for high efficiency stress the importance of running tyres at very high pressure. Small wheeled bicycles can't run with tyres at 110 psi without suspension, unless intolerable shaking is to be suffered by the rider. He has designed suspension that avoids transfering power strokes made by the rider into winding up the rear suspension. This is achieved by placing the rear frame pivot point forward of the bottom bracket. If it were behind the BB, then the chain tension tends to wind up the spring.

I think Moulton's effciency claims focus on the suspension simply because it allows very high tyre pressures with small wheels and that his rear suspension design doesn't waste the rider's power stroke in compressing the elastomer.

He also makes claims that the small wheel is more efficient, though aside from a tiny aerodynamic gain, I'm not certain why. He claims to have measured the difference in this video here. It begins with a rather tedious voice over by some mech eng lecturer - Moulton's bits are more interesting. If you are interested in the New Series bikes this video outlines Moulton's journey to producing them. Well worth a look. It was after seeing this that I bought the TSR30 - not the same, but as near as I could afford to the bike featured.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...2343&q=moulton

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Old 03-02-08, 05:07 PM   #18
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I fully agree that the task of "smoothing out the bumps" is performed in a more comfortable fashion by a mechanical suspension than by human legs. But that's not my point.

The claim forwarded by Moulton and others, as I understand it, is that suspension (if done right, I suppose) does not incur a performance penalty. So far, I'm not seeing it.
If the likes of a bona fide engineer such as Moulton says suspension increases efficiency compared to none, all else being the same, then I'm taking his word for it.

I can argue for myself why it would be so: If you ride over bumps, a large amount of mass is moved vertically, and a lot of that mass is squishy, so jolts around. ie lost forward momentum. I can feel it acutely when I ride over a series of bumps eg tree roots in the bike trail. It definitely slows me down.

Consider, if all those bumps are absorbed by a suspension system - squishy mass is not moved up and down, instead the mass moving vertically is limited to the wheel and the suspended frame portion.

But even in the absence of squishy mass, Moulton's tests showed that suspension improves efficiency.

Caveat: If you have a pedalling style which activates the suspension, such as a thuddy downstroke, then all bets are off.
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Old 03-02-08, 05:35 PM   #19
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If the likes of a bona fide engineer such as Moulton says suspension increases efficiency compared to none, all else being the same, then I'm taking his word for it.

I can argue for myself why it would be so: If you ride over bumps, a large amount of mass is moved vertically, and a lot of that mass is squishy, so jolts around. ie lost forward momentum. I can feel it acutely when I ride over a series of bumps eg tree roots in the bike trail. It definitely slows me down.

Consider, if all those bumps are absorbed by a suspension system - squishy mass is not moved up and down, instead the mass moving vertically is limited to the wheel and the suspended frame portion.

But even in the absence of squishy mass, Moulton's tests showed that suspension improves efficiency.

Caveat: If you have a pedalling style which activates the suspension, such as a thuddy downstroke, then all bets are off.
I don't think he claims the suspension itself improves efficiency - he claims that high pressure tyres do, and that the suspension is essential in a small wheeled design to smooth out the road shocks. That's my reading of his points about this in the film linked in my post above here. I know you've seen this before Jur, because I remember you criticising the testing rig as having too small a radius on the rolling road.
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Old 03-02-08, 05:58 PM   #20
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OK, I concede that I con't remember if that is mentioned in the Moulton film; however here it is,

Quote:
To eliminate the rough ride given by a high pressure small diameter tyre, Moulton added suspension. This not only gave a generally smoother ride than a conventional bicycle, but also reduced momentum losses.
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Old 03-02-08, 06:11 PM   #21
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sahadev- just a brief trip to the center of the Moulton conspiracy- Bradford on Avon- appended to a business trip.
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Old 03-02-08, 08:10 PM   #22
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What is that thing on the cable in this picture? Looks like an inline cable splitter (or my idea of one)...
Yes it is. DP can be separated into 5 parts which enables very compact storage.
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Old 03-02-08, 09:31 PM   #23
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If you take a cropper on that baby it's liable to cause 10,000 dollars worth of damage!
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Old 03-02-08, 09:36 PM   #24
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I fully agree that the task of "smoothing out the bumps" is performed in a more comfortable fashion by a mechanical suspension than by human legs. But that's not my point.
I don't think anyone's disputing that the mechanical suspension is more comfortable, but which suspension incurs greater loses?

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The claim forwarded by Moulton and others, as I understand it, is that suspension (if done right, I suppose) does not incur a performance penalty. So far, I'm not seeing it.
I don't know if I'm seeing it either. However, being uncomfortable certainly feels like more work and I'm always skeptical of analyses which neglect to take into account the biomechanics of a bicycle, a machine whose very success clearly hinges on its biomechanical advantage.

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If Bike X is only 90% efficient, and Bike Y is 95% efficient, obviously you will need to supply more power to Bike X to make it move as fast as Bike Y.

The physics doesn't change, but the ability of the machine to convert energy into useful motion is variable.
Yeah, but I seriously doubt if we'd even see that much difference in purely mechanical efficiency between a Moulton and a department store bike. As in the comparison between running and cycling, I suspect that the vast majority of the differences in lost energy are in the muscles and that the 5% difference between Bike X and Bike Y is in the facilitation of power production in muscles, rather than the transmission of power from the muscles to the road.

You've already argued quite eloquently why there's unlikely to be any significant difference in power transmission no matter if there is a mechanical suspension or not.

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"Dominant," eh?

If you're trying to say that the primary performance difference between two different riders is going to be their fitness and athletic ability, I'd agree. Tom Boonen would still beat me to the finish line even if I was on a time trial bike and he was on a hybrid.

But if we are comparing two different bikes that will be used by the same rider, and there are radical differences in design (e.g. 20" wheels + suspension vs 700c wheels without) then there are valid reasons to investigate whether or not those designs are or are not equally efficient. Especially if part of the astronomically high price tag is based on engineering claims relating to the bike's efficiency.
Although I agree with what you've said about differences in performance between different riders, that wasn't what I was trying to say.

What I was trying to say is that a bicycle is, by it's very nature, not a machine designed to maximize transmission of power from the sole to the pavement, but a machine designed to maximize production of power from the tissue cells to the sole.

Think about it, putting your shoes directly to the pavement already maximizes the transmission of power from the sole to the pavement. Bearings, cogs, chains, etc, can't reclaim any loses. They can only rob more energy from the mechanical system. However many watts you're able to burn on the saddle, it's likely you'd be able to burn the same number of watts running. The soles of your shoes aren't going to get any hotter than the bicycle tires and, yet, for the same number off watts/calories burned, somehow the bicycle is going to be more efficient at moving your body forward. So what gives? The answer lies in the muscles. When running the muscles are wasting more energy than when cycling.

Therefore, if the aforementioned astronomically high price tag is warranted by a significant difference in the ability of any particular human to propel themselves forward, then I'd be very surprised if it were by any means other than minimizing losses in the muscles and not by minimizing losses in transmission from the pedals to the pavement.

That is the key nature of all bicycles which makes them so very efficient: A bicycle trades increased mechanical losses (which are negligible) for reduced biomechanical losses (which are substantial); and I, for one, remain unconvinced that the situation is any different for high end bikes. The muscles are still the weakest link, the least efficient component of the entire bicycle-man system. So it seems unlikely that any increase in efficiency (watts converted into useful motion divided by watts burned), if it does in fact exist, be realized in purely mechanical, as opposed to ergonomic, improvements.

Last edited by makeinu; 03-03-08 at 09:11 AM.
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Old 03-03-08, 07:30 AM   #25
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Think about it, putting your shoes directly to the pavement already maximizes the transmission of power from the sole to the pavement. Bearings, cogs, chains, etc, can't reclaim any loses. They can only rob more energy from the mechanical system. However many watts you're able to burn on the saddle, it's likely you'd be able to burn the same number of watts running. The soles of your shoes aren't going to get any hotter than the bicycle tires and, yet, for the same number off watts/calories burned, somehow the bicycle is going to be more efficient at moving your body forward. So what gives? The answer lies in the muscles. When running the muscles are wasting more energy than when cycling.
I don't want to get too argumentative here, or too hair splitting, but there is something else involved. The mechanics of walking are much more energy consuming per mile than cycling on almost any bike at all. Walking, the legs carry the full weight of the body, supporting and moving it forward. Superbly efficient on the rough terrain we evolved to handle, but much less so on smooth roads. The bike allows you to sit a substantial part of your weight in the saddle and doesn't require that you take the lot on one leg at a time as walking does. Then, the bike also rolls once you have moved your body mass forward - very unlike walking, which requires constant, inefficient starts and stops at virtually every step. The consequence of this is that to cover a mile on foot, a twelve stone man (168 pounds) needs about 90 calories of fuel, whereas the same man on a bike traveling at a leisurely 12 miles an hour uses only about 35 calories. From this I conclude that a bicycle is about three times more efficient as a way of traveling on a well paved road than walking. Crossing a bog, or rough terrain, the bike would be near useless though.

We all know this of course, after all, how far can you walk in a day on smooth roads and how far can you cycle?
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