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Slightly Marinated Moulton

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Slightly Marinated Moulton

Old 11-13-22, 08:08 PM
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cudak888 
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Slightly Marinated Moulton

I should have been out buying packing materials for the Marinated Marinoni today, but I had to make an unscheduled dash out the door this afternoon to make sure I didn't miss out on some other pre-marinated goodness. Ad was up for three days, and by some miracle, the first person who was supposed to pick it up was a no-show - for once, a flaky buyer working in my favor instead of wasting my time

The last time I was offered a Moulton was via fellow forum member Chris_in_Miami, but his Raleigh-produced Mk.III was just a bit later than the Mk.I or II that tickled my fancy. I particularly wished to dig up something similar to the one clubman frequently posts, and it looks as if my wishes were finally granted:



This is a '65 (FW is January 1965), US-spec model, one of the 5,000 (claimed production #, no idea where that number comes from and whether it's true or not) imported between '64-'65 and sold by Huffy here in the States. There's a small oval "Huffy" sticker that disgraces the seattube.

While I've had as many Raleigh Twenties as underwear for the week, I've never ridden, much less seen a Moulton in person, and it's the first bike in a long time to be genuinely tickling my curiosity (and I'm hoping I won't regret the proverbial "meet with the hero").

First impression is that its long wheelbase - which seems longer than the Twenty, though the 16" tires might have something to do with it - means it still manages to be just under a foot of the Gitane TdF that it's parked next to at the moment. Not quite sure I buy into the "takes up less room than a normal bike" sales pitch, but the smaller wheels do make room for those wonderful racks - the rear of which has been damaged, but should be fixable with a bit of brazing.

Second impression is that the surface rust might just come off with an OA bath, so that's probably soon to come - after I figure out the need for possible reinforcement on the rear forks. (This is one case where the phrase "rear forks" certainly seems more appropriate than "rear triangle.") I'm no lightweight and I hear these crack. Depending on how well (or not) this thing cleans up, I might have it braced regardless.

I really wanted to try it thing out when I got home, but the BB is completely loose; apparently due to a fixed cup spinning itself out. Plus, the FW hub is gummed up and its wearing its original Dunlop tires and tubes (!). I did manage to get the front inflated to an extent. Rear tire has a big bulge in it, so that's not happening.

Really curious to discover how it rides in comparison to the Twenties. Can't be any worse than that intolerable, contemporary Riese & Müller Birdy BD-1 that I learned to hate so quickly.



-Kurt
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Old 11-13-22, 09:49 PM
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Didn't someone ride a Moulton in one of the Race Across America events?

I looked it up and that makes perfect sense. It was on a space frame Moulton. Not the "F" frame.
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Old 11-14-22, 03:40 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
I'm no lightweight and I hear these crack.
Mine did:



One side was almost all the way around, the other just starting. I made the gussets, took it to the local welder, he welds all day and has done a few bits for me.
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Old 11-14-22, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
There's a small oval "Huffy" sticker that disgraces the seattube.
While I may share your disgust for the brand, we enthusiasts can't forget that Horace Huffman and his posse brought to the U.S. market these Moultons, many other Sturmey-equipped 3-speeds and the indomitable Aerowind. We'd all be much poorer for their loss.
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Old 11-14-22, 09:42 AM
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You should love the ride of that bike Kurt. Right up your alley as a 'sub-compact' and the steering input is precise, never mind the plush ride. Congrats
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Old 11-14-22, 10:51 AM
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What a coincidence. I bought one of these yesterday, and I also benefitted from a no-show. Mine is a 4 speed as well, but came with a 3 speed shifter(?) Please post photos of your overhaul of the SA rear hub. Looks like mine is missing some parts, so I am trying to figure out what I need. Also, will follow this thread to hear about any bracing you do. Thanks!
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Old 11-14-22, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
Rear tire has a big bulge in it, so that's not happening.
Oh, come on, where's your sense of adventure? 😁😉 A little duct tape'll straighten that tire right out. 🤔😉
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Old 11-14-22, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by stardognine View Post
Oh, come on, where's your sense of adventure? 😁😉 A little duct tape'll straighten that tire right out. 🤔😉
What, do I look like this man to you?




-Kurt
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Old 11-14-22, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
What, do I look like this man to you?




-Kurt
I dunno, I've never seen you with a hat, on or off. 🤔😁
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Old 12-02-22, 10:07 PM
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Good news! Replacement Vittoria tires from Japan have arrived, and - though I had to use the secondary stand as a Breeze Bike Share SoBi 3.0 is occupying the main stand at the moment - I started some work to get the Mighty Morphin' Marinated Moulton into a state that'll at least let me test ride it around the neighborhood:





I don't believe I've mentioned it, but this thing is riding on its original Dunlop tires:



The front isn't particularly bad at all. The rear, on the other hand...



This turned out to be only the outer layer peeling off. There's a layer of rubber on the inside of the rim that would have prevented a tube from popping for a while, but I wasn't going to risk popping the original Dunlop Airseal tubes. I don't know what magic they molded this rubber with, but they hold pressure a lot longer than most modern tubes. I found this out over the many years I've had my '51 Raleigh Sports and have since made it a point to salvage or patch the all-steel valve versions if I find them in a state good enough to re-use.

Modern Specialized tubes are my go-to alternate, but why mess with success?



The inside of the rim and the cloth rimstrip are flawless. Changed nothing here.



Now you see the rust...



...and now you don't. Looks even better than the photo, and I haven't even tried polishing out the oxidation marks.

I ran out of bronze wool while doing this. I swear they're not making this stuff as dense as it used to be, and it flakes to pieces in seconds during use. I'm burning through all three pads with occasional use in a matter of two months; I remember when the stuff used to last three times as long and put up with 10 times the use.



It just dawned on me that I didn't even take pictures of the Vittorias, but I'll do that tomorrow. I thought I would make more progress, but - in a first that I've come across - the threads on the right hand Sturmey nut turned out to be stripped. Usually it's always the left that has threads made of of banana peels.

Believe it or not, I couldn't find a spare in my vast piles of junk, so it's off to the LBS for one, along with a bike box, and a long enough shift cable for the SoBi in the stand. 2m cables aren't long enough for this beast.

-Kurt
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Old 12-03-22, 11:42 PM
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Once again, couldn't get to this today, but finished the Breeze - so at least it gets pole position (pun not intended) in the stand. Also got some spare SA nuts from the LBS.

The original Dunlop tube gave up sometime the previous night too, so that's another step back. If it's a small puncture, I'll patch it.



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Old 12-04-22, 07:49 AM
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Kurt, I missed this thread back in mid-November. IIRC, I was dealing with Tropical Storm Nicole and was off C&V for a few days. I've also always wanted a Moulton with the FW four-speed SA. Even had a chance to purchase one from rhm a decade + in the past but decided it wouldn't be practical in the NH mountains. Your owning one gives me another excuse to visit just so I can test ride one!

Now all it needs are matching white leather boot and bonnet bags to grace those impressive racks.
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Old 12-04-22, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
Kurt, I missed this thread back in mid-November. IIRC, I was dealing with Tropical Storm Nicole and was off C&V for a few days. I've also always wanted a Moulton with the FW four-speed SA. Even had a chance to purchase one from rhm a decade + in the past but decided it wouldn't be practical in the NH mountains. Your owning one gives me another excuse to visit just so I can test ride one!

Now all it needs are matching white leather boot and bonnet bags to grace those impressive racks.
Bob, I've been meaning to ask how you faired through that. Relatively uneventful, I hope.

clubman has made me lust after one of them whenever he posts photo of his identical grey machine, and it doesn't hurt that the FW is my favorite classic Sturmey for riding. Granted, I dare say you could have made a Mk.II work for you with a modern Sturmey small-wheel 8-speed fitted to it.

I wouldn't mind fitting it with the original bags...is that a nudge nudge, wink wink?

At the rate I'm working on it, we might wind up trying it at the same time - tonight was no different, wound up fitting a rear fender to the Motobecane Nobly and repairing a neighbor's Dahon, and all I managed to do was find a slow-leak pinhole in the rear tube I had missed. I patched it and I have both tubes fully inflated just in case; I'll check them in the morning.

I'm going nuts in anticipation.







-Kurt
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Old 12-05-22, 07:50 AM
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The tidal surge with Nicole flooded our yard and water lapped the bottom of the house. Fortunately, everything on the interior stayed dry and other than gravel being swept out of the driveway, we were fine.

As far as a bag is concerned, I was thinking about recreating this in white leather. I realize the original is some sort of vinyl cloth. Leather would be classy. Is this the Boot Bag?

It's on Ebay for only 99 GBP, plus another 33 GBP for shipping.
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Old 12-05-22, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
The tidal surge with Nicole flooded our yard and water lapped the bottom of the house. Fortunately, everything on the interior stayed dry and other than gravel being swept out of the driveway, we were fine.

As far as a bag is concerned, I was thinking about recreating this in white leather. I realize the original is some sort of vinyl cloth. Leather would be classy. Is this the Boot Bag?

It's on Ebay for only 99 GBP, plus another 33 GBP for shipping.
Sounds too close for comfort, Bob.

Pretty sure that's the correct rear bag. Have seen a few with matching front and rears too (such as the blue Safari here: https://www.moultonbuzz.com/2016/10/...d-spaceframes/ . Let me get this thing running first and the rear rack repaired before considering prettying it up; that's still a ways off. Doubly so as I had to spend the evening boxing the Super Sport and Gitane TdF, and also help unload a pile of bike stuff I rented out for a TV commercial shoot. (My wrecked Guerciotti EL still has a purpose, apparently).

FYI, I might have a Wrights saddle for you to work on eventually; I think I'm going to keep the Humber. Didn't forget about the other saddle of the DL-5, but I want to figure out what direction that bike goes before doing anything else.

-Kurt
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Old 12-08-22, 11:17 AM
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Finally got it put together last night. Tubes went in without a problem (even though the 1980 Sports blew one of it's TipTop patches last night), and the Kool-Stop pads were also fitted.

I know I've been critical about the fit of the Kool-Stops in the past (and have been witch slapped by iab for it...hi, iab!), but I fitted them regardless, as I want this thing to stop. I still think they're a bit loose fitting, but they're workable. Be aware that they are also slightly longer than the original John Bull No. 25 pads they replace, but a sharp Xacto knife could solve that if one chooses.





Making them fit shouldn't be a matter of crimping the holders to the point of bowing, but whatever - I'm not interested in continuing that argument again.

And here she is - buttoned up enough for test runs. No cleanup yet; this is just to ascertain what I think of it and what the build needs moving forward. It also happens to be framing all the rust I have to cut out of the Plymouth eventually...ah, projects.





The wheels, post cleanup. Not perfect, but a great improvement.





Initial pad cleanup. To my surprise, these particular brakes self-center pretty well. Front was too loose and rear jammed tight, but minor adjustment fixed that.



So, first ride impressions:

The combination of a tiny front wheel, fixed basket hanging out over said wheel, and lightly telescoping front suspension is fairly unnerving at first. I had a hell of a time feeling comfortable making turns initially. It doesn't help that something isn't happy in the FW hub either, mainly in first gear. I'm assuming the compensator spring is off, resulting in random disengagements of the clutch assembly. Not fun.

Nevertheless, it is OK in 2/3/4. As soon as I got to grips with what I could work with, I began to actually experience the Moulton Mk.1. It doesn't feel anything like a Twenty, and the handlebar stem doesn't reach up high enough for me not to be slightly hunched over, but it's engaging and lively for what it is. Front suspension is a bit noticeable on turns, and the rear doesn't bounce enough to annoy me - far less than the elastomer-suspension Birdy BD-1 I tinkered around with a few years ago.

However, that Troxel saddle needs to burn in the fieriest depths of hell imaginable. I don't know if it's original equipment or an add-on, or a parts substitution made by Huffy to keep costs down, but it is singlehandedly the worst piece of garbage I've ever sat on. That includes every single bicycle shaped object saddle I've ever encountered.

The pattern is too wide and flat at the inner thigh, resulting in the saddle getting in the way of pedal downstroke. One has to ride either on the nose of it, or very painfully rock around on the saddle (the padding is nonexistent) to make it work.







Honestly, if this saddle was OEM equipment on 1950's and 1960's US bikes in large enough numbers, I bet you could claim this saddle as a runner up to John Forster for ruining this country's perception of the bicycle for transportation.

I can't wait to throw a B.72 on this thing.

-Kurt
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Old 12-08-22, 08:02 PM
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Kurt, the description of the saddle made me laugh! I suspected by just looking at it that it had to be extremely uncomfortable. Thanks for confirming my hunch!
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Old 12-08-22, 10:18 PM
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l to r: Horace Huffman, Dr. Alex Moulton, two Huffy execs



UK, contemporary with your machine. Furthest from frame, Dr. Moulton. Closest, author and illustrator Brian Walker

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Old 12-08-22, 10:36 PM
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Huffy catalog page:

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Old 12-08-22, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
Kurt, the description of the saddle made me laugh! I suspected by just looking at it that it had to be extremely uncomfortable. Thanks for confirming my hunch!
I had to funnel the frustration into something. Humor seemed to be the best thing.

Originally Posted by tcs View Post
l to r: Horace Huffman, Dr. Alex Moulton, two Huffy execs

UK, contemporary with your machine. Furthest from frame, Dr. Moulton. Closest, author and illustrator Brian Walker
Well, I'll give them this - it's the best Huffy I've rode.

Now watch me find one of those 7-11 Huffy Serottas and most definitely eat those words

Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Huffy catalog page:
I'm glad to know the Saddle Of Much Pain isn't original to it. I have a rough Brooks mattress that I might throw on it for the meantime.

-Kurt
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Old 12-09-22, 05:25 AM
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The UK spec was a Middlemores saddle 'without springs'.
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Old 12-09-22, 05:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Velo Mule View Post
Didn't someone ride a Moulton in one of the Race Across America events?
Fun fact: they said that unlike the other competitors, Mr. Bogdan could grasp a pen and sign his name right after finishing the trans-con ride.

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Old 12-09-22, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
The UK spec was a Middlemores saddle 'without springs'.
No need for springs in the saddle--- ---when there's full frame suspension!

Kurt, your Moulton needs to distance itself from the Huffy stigma and emulate the group ride photo in tcs post. I vote for GB drop bars, double cages with aluminum cork-topped bottles at the head tube, and notice what could be a Brooks Professional on the one Dr. Moulton is pushing. Classy and British through and through.
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Old 12-09-22, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
I'm glad to know the Saddle Of Much Pain isn't original to it.
Otherwise, yours look pretty original. So many were subjected to Mods back in the day.

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Old 12-09-22, 08:15 AM
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A gathering of Moulton enthusiasts...in Japan!

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