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  1. #1
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    250 miles with the new Belt Drive Moulton TSR-2

    Since I haven't seen a review about the new Moulton TSR-2, I thought I'd write a few words of my impressions.. I'm a big fan of 2 speed kickback hubs.. I like belt drives .. and the Moulton spaceframe models are my favorite bikes to ride .. so, the announcement in late 2009 of the belt drive Moulton TSR-2 seriously piqued my interest.. In late 2010 a few trickled into the US.. I got the first ones off of the boat and filled my pre-orders .. our most notable of professors flew out from Chicago to pick his up.. I kept one to put some miles on and provide demo rides.. other than a change of tires to a little wider Primo Comet (42x406) to allow me to ride some of the dirt trails in the area, the addition of lights, mirror, and tool bag, the bike is basically box stock..

    The TSR-2 uses the new Sturmey Archer S2C kickback coaster brake hub... the belt drive system is from CDrive, which has provided it to a few OEMs wanting to implement the system on their bikes .. it is not nearly as expensive as Gates Carbon Drive, and as such, can get more people into belt drive technology at a lower price point.. gear inch range with the stock Continentals is approximately 50 to 70 gear inches using a 67/25 sprocket/cog.. with the change to the larger 42/406 Primo Comets, 52/72 gear inches.. that's very close to what I'm used to with my Dahon Mu at 54/74 and my converted Titanium Douglas at 56/76.. the frame is almost identical to other TSR models with the exception of horizontal rear drop outs, a split in the seat stay to allow belt installation, and an absence of rear braze-ons and cable stops.. it has a very clean look and handles the same as the rest of the TSR family.


    So what do I think after 250 miles of use in moderately hilly Marin County, CA, all in all, the bike is a pleasure to ride .. I've been trying to push its limits, out of saddle uphill sprints and hard use of the coaster brake on the long downhills ... the TSR-2 is ultra simple, no cables to the rear, no shifters, and the belt drive is silky smooth .. it's biking in almost its most basic form... the Sturmey S2C is new to the market and doesn't really have a track record.. the coaster brake is powerful and will lock the rear wheel up instantly if you don't modulate the pedal pressure with care .. it is much more sensitive than either the Sachs, Shimano or earlier Sturmey units that I have used.. I'm sure as the parts continue to wear in, the abruptness will smooth out... the hub shifts by back-pedalling a few degrees and then proceeding to pedal forward.. there isn't much room between shifting and starting to apply the brake.. it's a knack one gets used to after a few miles.. having a 2 speed, belt drive, full suspension bike that separates in half might seem like an odd combination to some, but in actual practice, it should find a few happy cyclists wanting a bike this simple, clean, quiet and comfortable.. I like the TSR-2 a lot.

    Bruce





  2. #2
    Senior Member Foldable Two's Avatar
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    Bruce,

    ...and it's not Black - nice color!

    Interesting bike, but I'm not personally a big fan of coaster brakes after riding a cruiser for the last two years. I recently added a front hand brake to balance things out a bit (and it's now set-up the same as my Dahon S1).

    What is the cable visible in the pic?

    Lou

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    Front brake.
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  4. #4
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    Thank you for sharing! I would love to have a moulton. Only if they could fold fast and fit into my luggage.

  5. #5
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    I'd love to have a Moulton. I'm saving for one now.

  6. #6
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    Nice write up. Good to see these bikes slowly getting out there.

    As per another thread I have a TSR2 as well, purchased by my wife for my 50th birthday

    Mine is boring black, but hey that is what I like



    More pics on flicr here if you are interested.

    I currently ride a Brompton for my daily commute and have a modernised Raliegh Moulton MK3 as my shopping/day bike.

    I have been slowly working up on the bike to about 100 miles covered. I plan to switch to this for my daily commute in the spring.

    I love the bike both for its simplicity and the ability to split it in half with few cables and no messy/oily chains. The only problem I had with the belt drive was it started to squeak after about 25 miles or so. Some grit or something got into the rear sprocket but was soon sorted on its first free maintenance call.

    I would say my only gripe was the riding position with the stock bars and stem. A personal thing I guess, as being older I can't cope with a stooped rinding position. Basically by changing the stem and bars I have brought the whole position up two inches or so and slightly forward about an inch. I now find it really comfortable to ride. The stock folding pedals are functional, but this weekend I changed them to quick release QRD Wellgo caged ones (as per this thread) and also fitted some Power Grips. This is the first time I have used Power Grips and I have to say I like them. It makes it even nicer to ride as the folding pedals, whilst ok, do not grip that well.

    Finally I added some genreic 20" mudguards which I will probably remove them when the drier eather comes. I also plan to try some Kojak tyres. I managed to find a an adjustable seat post clamp as well. The seat post is pretty large at 38mm and not so common, but they are available if you look round. My one is a 38.5mm one made by Hope.

    The S2C hub does take a little getting use to and as you say is different than the F&S Duoamatic which I also have fitted on my MK3. I would say the F&S is smoother but that may be because the S2C needs a little wearing in as you say. I also find the S2C seems to occasionally slip into the other gear, but that may again just be me getting use to it or it wearing in.

    Its a bold move by Moulton to try out this new technology, but in this application I think it works really well.

    Ps I haven't read it yet, but there is a review of the TSR2 in the March issue of Cycling Active. By all accounts I am told the review is a little disjointed but overall it gives the bike the thumbs up.

    Regards

    Jerry
    Last edited by jerrysimon; 02-08-11 at 12:31 AM.

  7. #7
    Erudite white trash lexm's Avatar
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    I'd like to give a 250-mile report on my TSR-2. However, after riding ~45 miles in California on the pickup trip I've probably logged all of 10 miles in the last four weeks due to snow, temperatures in the teens or below (Fahrenheit), illness, or some combination thereof - these being the downsides of winter in Chicago. So, I'll let you know in two months (and 195 miles) or so.
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  8. #8
    Erudite white trash lexm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerrysimon View Post



    ...

    I would say my only gripe was the riding position with the stock bars and stem. A personal thing I guess, as being older I can't cope with a stooped rinding position. Basically by changing the stem and bars I have brought the whole position up two inches or so and slightly forward about an inch. I now find it really comfortable to ride. ...
    What bars did you go with, Jerry? They're elegant.
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  9. #9
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    Thanks lexm,

    As I said without higher/longer stem and the new bars it was not comfortable for me at all. Its pretty much perfect now

    The bars are just some generic non brand alloy ones that I picked up from my local bike shop. If I recall I think they have a 1/2 inch sweep back and 1 inch rise. I cut them back to the same width as the originals give or take a mm or two. I will check the label that came with them and report back.

    Regards

    Jerry

  10. #10
    jur
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    Quote Originally Posted by lexm View Post
    I'd like to give a 250-mile report on my TSR-2. However, after riding ~45 miles in California on the pickup trip I've probably logged all of 10 miles in the last four weeks due to snow, temperatures in the teens or below (Fahrenheit), illness, or some combination thereof - these being the downsides of winter in Chicago. So, I'll let you know in two months (and 195 miles) or so.
    Snow? You're soft.
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  11. #11
    jur
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    Hmmm. I am toying with the idea of converting my now spare Moulton APB which I broke into a TSR-2 clone.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  12. #12
    Erudite white trash lexm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    Hmmm. I am toying with the idea of converting my now spare Moulton APB which I broke into a TSR-2 clone.
    Do it, man! You don't want me calling you soft.
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  13. #13
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    Lexm is the Moulton your only bike now? I checked out your log, some nice bikes on there.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    Snow? You're soft.
    He'll be hard by Spring .. he's a man on a mission..

  15. #15
    Erudite white trash lexm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dynocoaster View Post
    Lexm is the Moulton your only bike now? I checked out your log, some nice bikes on there.
    In addition to the Moulton TSR-2 (a.k.a., Turandot, the Mighty Deuce, Stiffy Byng), I have a Brompton M1R (a.k.a., Bobbie Wickham). Mrs lexm has taken over the Strida (a.k.a., Honoria Glossop*) and, later this week, she'll receive a Peter-Reich-built Swift (no nickname yet) that I just got a UPS shipping notification for.

    [* Stephanie "Stiffy" Byng, Roberta "Bobbie" Wickham, and Honoria Glossop are all Bertie Wooster love interests in the Jeeves & Wooster stories. The Mighty Deuce should be obvious. Turandot, from the opera, is an inside joke between Mr Metras and me. ]

    Thanks for looking at my tumblelog - it was conceived on a dare.
    Last edited by lexm; 02-07-11 at 05:42 PM. Reason: Forgot a *.
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  16. #16
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    A former New Yorker, my favorite word.
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  17. #17
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lexm View Post
    In addition to the Moulton TSR-2 (a.k.a., Turandot, the Mighty Deuce, Stiffy Byng), I have a Brompton M1R (a.k.a., Bobbie Wickham). Mrs lexm has taken over the Strida (a.k.a., Honoria Glossop) and, later this week, she'll receive a Peter-Reich-built Swift (no nickname yet) that I just got a UPS shipping notification for.

    [* Stephanie "Stiffy" Byng, Roberta "Bobbie" Wickham, and Honoria Glossop are all Bertie Wooster love interests in the Jeeves & Wooster stories. The Mighty Deuce should be obvious. Turandot, from the opera, is an inside joke between Mr Metras and me. ]

    Thanks for looking at my tumblelog - it was conceived on a dare.

    All these fine bikes in his first year of Folderitis.

    "ROOKIE OF THE YEAR!"

  18. #18
    jur
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    Quote Originally Posted by SesameCrunch View Post
    All these fine bikes in his first year of Folderitis.

    "ROOKIE OF THE YEAR!"
    Year?? Try decade.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  19. #19
    Erudite white trash lexm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    Year?? Try decade.
    Whatever period I get to be 'rookie of', I couldn't have done it without you guys. (And on that uncharacteristically saccharine note, I'm going to bed. )
    @AlexeiM on Twitter

  20. #20
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    @JerrySimon: Any particular reason for you to be using the Brompton as your daily commuter?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by 14R View Post
    @JerrySimon: Any particular reason for you to be using the Brompton as your daily commuter?
    Well my commute is 5 and 1/4 miles each way and my Brompton has a little help

    Firstly appologies to Bruce in advance for going off topic

    Brompton front wheel laced with small 2kg, 36v, 260RPM, Tongxin/Nano, 80mm wide and almost silent 36h hub motor.



    I started commuting by bike (having not ridden one in years) just over a year and 1500 miles ago leaving the car at home. My DIY EBrompton enabled me to overcome both lack of fitness combined with a medical condition that meant I would have never been able to contenplate it without this modification. The conversion provides gentle assist over the full 10+ mile commute and with battery, controller and motor only adds 3kgs to the weight. The controller and battery sit in the front bag so I can easily split the two, carrying one in each hand into my office or off and on trains/buses etc. If you are interested then my post here on the UK pedelec forum, covers the whole DIY conversion process.

    Since starting my commute however I have slowly been working up my fitness to a point where I hope to soon be able to alternate week day commutes, on this and the TSR2 as the weather and my confidence/stamina build up further.

    Regards

    Jerry
    Last edited by jerrysimon; 02-08-11 at 05:24 AM.

  22. #22
    jur
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerrysimon View Post
    Brompton front wheel laced with small 2kg, 36v, 260RPM, Tongxin/Nano, 80mm wide and almost silent 36h hub motor.
    I am interested in building an electric wheel for SWMBO, could you pls post the info about the electric Tongxin hub and its supplier?
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  23. #23
    Erudite white trash lexm's Avatar
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    Since Jerry's been generous with photographs I think I'll add a couple of more recent ones of my TSR-2. (Apologies for the indoor lighting and my always dodgy photography.)

    Here's the Mighty Deuce in the kitchen:
    TSR2 in kitchena.jpg

    She is pretty much as she came from the factory, except for the TSR day bag, an N'lock stem (it disengages from steerer with the turn of a key - the inventor conceives of it mainly as an anti-theft device; for me the appeal is easy turning of the handlebars for flat storage of the bike) and a first-generation Rido saddle generously donated to the cause by the maestro himself, Bruce Metras.
    N'lock stem on TSR2a.jpgRido on TSR2a.jpg

    If not for the single-digit (Fahrenheit) temperatures and wind chills well below zero, I'd be riding right now.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    I am interested in building an electric wheel for SWMBO, could you pls post the info about the electric Tongxin hub and its supplier?
    They are actually quite hard to source as the manufacture won't sell direct unless you buy them in the hundreds!

    The link below is the only reliable source that we have found, but it means buying direct from China and paying by western union. The contact is Billy. You need to be absolutely certain that you get the specification right as the cost of postage, means its not worth returning. For this reason most of us have ordered two to provide a backup/spare (postage cost is the same for one or two). Note also delivery can be anything from 3 - 6 weeks plus. The whole process requires a lot of patience!


    Link is http://www.desheng-intl.com/

    As quoted above the link to my DIY build details is here where you should be able to find everything you need, including the problems you will need to overcome if you order the wrong motor casing

    Regards

    Jerry
    Last edited by jerrysimon; 02-09-11 at 06:38 AM.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by lexm View Post
    Since Jerry's been generous with photographs I think I'll add a couple of more recent ones of my TSR-2. (Apologies for the indoor lighting and my always dodgy photography.)
    Lexm,

    Its all looking very nice especially with the proper mudguards, unlike my generic ones. Interesting concept on the N'lock system, which I need to follow up on. What is the length of the stem lock center to center ?

    Like you I need to sort out my luggage option. I prefer luggage on the front like my Brompton. Did you buy the carrier direct ?

    Re the colder weather I have a rule, if its below 3 oC I don't commute on my bike

    PS I just checked it looks like it is 120mm. Also I assume you used a shim to bring it up to the 1" diam stem tube fitting ?

    Seems like a good idea as you say for storage, but they aint cheap!

    Regards

    Jerry
    Last edited by jerrysimon; 02-09-11 at 01:48 AM.

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