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How to make my Moulton TSR 10 faster?

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How to make my Moulton TSR 10 faster?

Old 11-19-16, 06:41 PM
  #26  
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How heavy are these bikes TSR/APB? Birdys are suspended, are they not, and I am not hearing a lot of complaints about them being really slow or perhaps I missed them. I have encountered forum complaints about the rear suspension on Bromptons being a power robber but I can't say I notice this a lot. Could it be suspended bikes are just slower due to the pogo action? I would think when going over bumps/rocks/crap pavement an unsuspended bike bouncing around would be slower. Like many others I find TSRs intriguing and when I get a chance I will ride one to see for myself.
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Old 11-19-16, 07:37 PM
  #27  
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Part of the reason the bikes are so expensive is all the parts to the frame so more steps in manufacturing them.

I have had two over the years and found the bikes interesting. The first was a 64 Huffy Moulton Standard 4 speed. With front and rear racks. In some ways I liked that one better. It had front and rear racks and capable of carrying quite bit. It went comfortably over the pot holed bumpy streets we have here. It came with the worlds worse design kickstand. It came with steel rims, bad for stopping in the rain. Mine had Kenda 1 3/8" tires which were cheap and good.




2nd bike, is a Moulton APB mine is the Land Rover, space frame with a 9 speed Ultegra. It has Schwalbe Racers, which I suspect could be improved on but are OK. At its best it rides nearly as fast as my 700c touring bike. I think this bike would be a good candidate for making into an e-bike. I would probably go with a mid drive, and battery behind the seat post vertically.


I bought both used.
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Old 11-19-16, 08:51 PM
  #28  
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All the bikes coming from Moulton Bicycle Company whether built at Stradford upon Avon or Bradford on Avon are all handmade.. which is why they cost what they do.. they are not mass produced .. English craftsman building bikes and getting a proper wage .. that doesn't make them faster than anything else, just happens to be where the money goes..

Unless you do back to back to back testing over a period of time on the same courses with some data recording speed/vs effort etc, then it's hard to come to an educated conclusion..

One of the things I used to do regularly over a period of 6 years was ride with a Tri-group weekly with loops varying between 15 and 20 miles over somewhat hilly terrain .. good average speeds were in the 16mph range.. I normally recorded my activity with a Garmin gps/cadence/heart rate monitor.. I switched bikes often looking for the fastest folder based on my measurements... I also would ride my Merlin Titanium/Carbon Cielo 16lb road bike for data points.. it would be slightly faster than the fastest times of any of my folders, but less than .5 mph over 20 miles ..

I've had lots of 'fast folders' including Dahon SpeedPro, Dahon Helios XX (1x9 sub 17 lbs) , Birdy 8speed, Birdy 3x7, Airnimal Chameleon (2) both with 2x9 setups and drops (brifters and 520 wheels) and flat bar version, Pacific Reach Road (3) with 2x9 Capreo, 2x10, drops and flatbar versions with 451 wheels, Xootr Swift at 20 lbs with 1x9 and Rolf wheels and lots of carbon bits, also a pristine Moulton AM 14 with 62/52 up front and 9/30 in the back running on 17" 369 Kojaks ... none of these folders were any faster than a nicely set up TSR .. whether it would be 1x9 or 2x9 or 2x10 .. even my 451 TSR-3 was surprising compared with my Reach and Chameleon calculating speed/time/heart rate over the same course with my group.. I can't speak to what others feel, but I do know what my data suggests to me through the years ... on paper, the Chameleon should have been the fastest of the lot and my first choice, but generally, I'd ride the Reach or a Moulton.. and more times than not, a Moulton.

The ATB's were all heavier than the TSR series .. LP mentioned he had a TSR21 .. I'm guessing that it would be a Sachs 3x7 hub and that his commute would likely be in the overdrive range of the hub, which is not it's most efficient.. I had a Dual Drive TSR for awhile, it wasn't as efficient as my 2x10 TSR and my times suffered .. tires can make a difference, my preferred tire in 406 on my TSR's is the Panaracer Minits .. but others really like Continental Grand Prix, or Kojaks

If you are looking for Moulton Love, head over to the Yahoo Moulton Group.. there are racers currently running TSR/SST frames in Triathlon events as well as the enthusiastic touring/sporting following... I read it from time to time, sometimes too much enthusiasm for me.. I'm not really a fanboy for any particular brand, but I enjoy riding a Moulton a lot ..

There are some Moulton specific e-bike kits in existence, but no mid-drive I've seen ... I did convert both my Reach and Chameleon to mid-drive this year .. very pleased with those and they now get more use than my Moultons .. haha




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Old 11-19-16, 09:45 PM
  #29  
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That is just what I would like to do with my Moulton.
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Old 11-19-16, 11:20 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by BruceMetras View Post
Unless you do back to back to back testing over a period of time on the same courses with some data recording speed/vs effort etc, then it's hard to come to an educated conclusion..

One of the things I used to do regularly over a period of 6 years was ride with a Tri-group weekly with loops varying between 15 and 20 miles over somewhat hilly terrain .. good average speeds were in the 16mph range.. I normally recorded my activity with a Garmin gps/cadence/heart rate monitor.. I switched bikes often looking for the fastest folder based on my measurements... I also would ride my Merlin Titanium/Carbon Cielo 16lb road bike for data points.. it would be slightly faster than the fastest times of any of my folders, but less than .5 mph over 20 miles ..

I've had lots of 'fast folders' including Dahon SpeedPro, Dahon Helios XX (1x9 sub 17 lbs) , Birdy 8speed, Birdy 3x7, Airnimal Chameleon (2) both with 2x9 setups and drops (brifters and 520 wheels) and flat bar version, Pacific Reach Road (3) with 2x9 Capreo, 2x10, drops and flatbar versions with 451 wheels, Xootr Swift at 20 lbs with 1x9 and Rolf wheels and lots of carbon bits, also a pristine Moulton AM 14 with 62/52 up front and 9/30 in the back running on 17" 369 Kojaks ... none of these folders were any faster than a nicely set up TSR .. whether it would be 1x9 or 2x9 or 2x10 .. even my 451 TSR-3 was surprising compared with my Reach and Chameleon calculating speed/time/heart rate over the same course with my group.. I can't speak to what others feel, but I do know what my data suggests to me through the years ... on paper, the Chameleon should have been the fastest of the lot and my first choice, but generally, I'd ride the Reach or a Moulton.. and more times than not, a Moulton.

WRT trying it out with measurements over a known course over time, I've done that, as mentioned in the original post.

The question to me is :
Why is the TSR 10 slower compared to my other 2 main small bikes, and is there any reasonable thing that I can look into to get it on par?


Weight has been suggested a few times.
I'm already running 1 bidon (instead of the usual 2 on the other bikes), don't have a rack (the other 2 have).
Not that it does not have its merits.

I don't think I want to spend more cash on it if the stock TSR is going to perform the way it has.
So no air foil for sure.
Air foil, even better wheels, additional eqpt, is like saying that the stock bike is not on par with other small bikes unless even more cash is pumped into it.


So I'm looking at reasonable suggestions.
1. Suspension? - lock it up?
2. Its what it is for the comfort of suspension?
etc.


You seem to have got on par (or bit better) with your TSR compared to your other bikes.
Is there anything specific that you setup?



I'm on the verge of selling the bike.
Maybe, I'll try it out for another month.

Too bad about the Carradice bag and support I just bought for it.

Last edited by pinholecam; 11-19-16 at 11:35 PM.
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Old 11-20-16, 01:07 AM
  #31  
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"I'm on the verge of selling the bike."

There's a lot of choice these days, unlike when the bike was designed. My Moulton wasn't very well finished, it had cheapo wheels, and a paint run under the bottom bracket. It also came with a £25 Sturmey Archer crankset, leaving the feeling that you'd bought a £300 bike with a £900 badge.

Adding a Hollowtech Tiagra double to the front and 105 to the rear for 18 speeds, didn't make it any more fun, just more expensive.

A few years ago I had a Downtube 9FS. Suspension front and rear. That was more fun than the Moulton, for whatever undefinable reason.

I'm no judge, I'm riding a $220 supermarket bike now, that is fun.

I think you're not going to improve the acceleration by adding more stuff. Contrary to the usual thread progressions on here, the best way to improve acceleration is to take stuff off. :-)

If you don't need the comfort of the TSR, sell it while the paint is still good and the user-hype high. Buy something else.

Last edited by snafu22; 11-20-16 at 02:37 AM.
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Old 11-20-16, 03:02 AM
  #32  
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Few if any here have more experience than BruceMetras. I would pay attention to what he has to say. Experience is hard won.

I am yet to put some faster rubber on my APB to see if that will make it more lively. I also just remembered I have Slime liners on mine, and these rob some speed too. Connie's identical but more stunning APB has a Kojak and my last skinwall Continental, and she tends to roll faster on that bike than most.
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Old 11-20-16, 04:57 AM
  #33  
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For the original poster, a lot of work post-Moulton has been done on measuring suspension loss with power-meter comparisons between suspension bikes, and hardtails with different tyres.

The MTB world is a great arbiter of this, as generally, you can go faster with fewer power losses on rough terrain with full suspension, but a hardtail has fewer power losses on flat ground.

The current Pashley Moultons echo the thinking of Moulton, which was 'high pressure tyres are faster, smaller wheels are faster but the bike needs suspension to mitigate the harshness.'

One finding is that wider tyres with lower pressures return some forward energy to the bike as the tyre returns to shape when exiting a bump (with some hysteresis losses). With rear suspension, the compression absorbs the energy, but cannot return it to forward motion, as with a tyre.

In addition, pedalling adds a compression load to suspension, which again, isn't converted to forwards motion on de-compression and is a loss, however small.

"Moulton’s flawed premise was that you needed high-pressure tires for low rolling resistance, and that you could make up for the harshness with a secondary suspension. That premise was accepted wisdom at the time, so it’s not surprising that Moulton based his design on it. Only recently have we re-discovered that tires roll as fast at lower pressures as they do at very high ones."

Jan Heine

There's plenty of debate, especially in the comments; so knock yourselves out:

https://janheine.wordpress.com/2012/...ension-losses/


Also, this has rather been done to death here, several times:

https://www.bikeforums.net/folding-bi...g-moulton.html

Last edited by snafu22; 11-20-16 at 05:04 AM.
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Old 11-20-16, 05:40 AM
  #34  
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Very interesting, thanks for the info.

PS Snafu22, you remind me of novae. Bursts onto the scene with much brilliance and wit, only to fade away later, then repeat.
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Old 11-20-16, 02:31 PM
  #35  
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There is a guy and his son locally to me who ride in many UK cycling competitions with Moultons and hang with the big wheel riders no problem, even featured in the Moulton magazines testing bikes for Moulton in Monaco and on the velodrome, i have a buddy who has a few Moultons in Florida who competes in triathalons using Moultons also and he is no slouch and rides new shape and vintage Moultons, there is plenty info on speed records broken on the vintage bikes so like i say sometimes other things come into the equation. I run the Moulton f frame group on facebook with many veterans in the know and even a guy who still builds them since the factory opened and the guy who writes the books on them!
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Old 11-20-16, 08:11 PM
  #36  
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It was very informative . Thanks

I don't have a folding bike but thinking to buy one and this was really helpful.
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Old 11-20-16, 11:54 PM
  #37  
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I am still heartened by reports from some of the regular and reliable forumers here that their TSR ride as well.

I shifted the saddle more forward as it may be too far back when I got it.
Probably will also tighten the front fork almost all the way, leaving just a little bit of suspension.
Roads here are generally good and I don't need it to have so much travel anyway.
On the other hand, setting the fork to be totally stiff defeats the point of me having the bike.

Bad rainy weather so far, so I'll have to wait till Sunday to test ride.
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Old 11-21-16, 12:27 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by pinholecam View Post
I am still heartened by reports from some of the regular and reliable forumers here that their TSR ride as well.

I shifted the saddle more forward as it may be too far back when I got it.
Probably will also tighten the front fork almost all the way, leaving just a little bit of suspension.
Roads here are generally good and I don't need it to have so much travel anyway.
On the other hand, setting the fork to be totally stiff defeats the point of me having the bike.

Bad rainy weather so far, so I'll have to wait till Sunday to test ride.
It could just be a matter of not being adapted to your new bike yet. I don't time my rides, but I know I usually feel kinda awkward and slow on a new bike until I develop a muscle memory for how it fits and goes.
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Old 11-21-16, 09:30 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by pinholecam View Post
On the other hand, setting the fork to be totally stiff defeats the point of me having the bike.
I agree, why lock up the front suspension on a bike designed around a compliant ride.. I run mine soft .. I want the suspension to be active .. if you are a heavy rider or want to control the spring rate a bit better, obtain a 'race spring' which is just a progressive wound spring.. comes stock on the SST, but easy enough to install in a TSR .. these bikes respond better to spinning than mashing.. if you haven't already done so, grab whichever bike feels the fastest to you, and make sure your body contact points/angles are the same as on the TSR .. there may not be a magic bullet.. if you're not confident that the bike is as fast as your other small wheeled bikes, you won't be happy...

FWIW, none of my TSR's I've had through the years,and timed on runs, were ever stock.. haha ... wheels/tires/bb/drivetrains/handlebars, etc were all changed out by me as I really like to tinker with my stuff.. favorite handlebar is a Lauterwasser bar .. shallow drops, natural hand position...
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Old 11-24-16, 10:35 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by snafu22 View Post
For the original poster, a lot of work post-Moulton has been done on measuring suspension loss with power-meter comparisons between suspension bikes, and hardtails with different tyres.

The MTB world is a great arbiter of this, as generally, you can go faster with fewer power losses on rough terrain with full suspension, but a hardtail has fewer power losses on flat ground.

The current Pashley Moultons echo the thinking of Moulton, which was 'high pressure tyres are faster, smaller wheels are faster but the bike needs suspension to mitigate the harshness.'

One finding is that wider tyres with lower pressures return some forward energy to the bike as the tyre returns to shape when exiting a bump (with some hysteresis losses). With rear suspension, the compression absorbs the energy, but cannot return it to forward motion, as with a tyre.

In addition, pedalling adds a compression load to suspension, which again, isn't converted to forwards motion on de-compression and is a loss, however small.

"Moultonís flawed premise was that you needed high-pressure tires for low rolling resistance, and that you could make up for the harshness with a secondary suspension. That premise was accepted wisdom at the time, so itís not surprising that Moulton based his design on it. Only recently have we re-discovered that tires roll as fast at lower pressures as they do at very high ones."

Jan Heine

There's plenty of debate, especially in the comments; so knock yourselves out:

https://janheine.wordpress.com/2012/...ension-losses/


Also, this has rather been done to death here, several times:

https://www.bikeforums.net/folding-bi...g-moulton.html
The Mountain bike world and Motorcycle world both have gone through many gyrations to get full suspension to be efficient. With no ability to take up slack on motorcycles the suspension has to pivot at or really near the center of the drive gear.

Mountain bikes with the big gear up front and the small gear in back took a while to figure out how to eliminate power (pedaling) induced bob. The key is the pull from the chain must be in line with the rear suspension pivot or
the power will either pull the back wheel down (pivot above the chain) or start collapsing the suspension (pivot below the chain).

Nearly all the rear suspension folders I have seen have the pivot below the chain line causing the suspension to start to collapse when you pedal. This converts some of the minimal energy we have available into moving the bike up and down.
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Old 11-24-16, 11:04 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Rick Imby View Post
The Mountain bike world and Motorcycle world both have gone through many gyrations to get full suspension to be efficient. With no ability to take up slack on motorcycles the suspension has to pivot at or really near the center of the drive gear.

Mountain bikes with the big gear up front and the small gear in back took a while to figure out how to eliminate power (pedaling) induced bob. The key is the pull from the chain must be in line with the rear suspension pivot or
the power will either pull the back wheel down (pivot above the chain) or start collapsing the suspension (pivot below the chain).

Nearly all the rear suspension folders I have seen have the pivot below the chain line causing the suspension to start to collapse when you pedal. This converts some of the minimal energy we have available into moving the bike up and down.
This is the main difference between the Moulton APB and TSR. The APB has the suspension pivot behind the BB, and the TSR in front, so the BB is part of the swinging arm. No pedal-induced suspension bob is the idea.
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Old 11-25-16, 01:52 AM
  #42  
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The pictures I was able to pull up on both of those bikes have the rear pivot very close to the center of the crank. It needs to be directly in line with the chain---in the side view the upper chain.

Especially if you stand up and pedal the chain is pulling very hard on the cassette. If the pivot is below that then the chain is pulling directly on the suspension...

This is a very well known issue in the mountain bike suspension world and why most of the higher priced full suspension have multiple links to counteract it.

The single pivot all have the pivot even or slightly above the top chainline--

https://www.diamondback.com/shop/bike...spension/atroz

This one happens to have the pivot just above the chain..
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Old 11-25-16, 02:10 AM
  #43  
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In the old days when most of the gearing change in mountain bikes came from the triple chainring up front like 22-34-46 the rear pivot would often be even with middle chainring. With the new single and double chainring bikes putting the pivot right between or inline with the bigger ring is more common.

When the pivot is above the chain you get power induced suspension lockout and at higher speeds can get where the chain kicks back at the pedals in Big hit, big travel bikes.
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Old 11-25-16, 05:43 AM
  #44  
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This shows the TSR suspension pivot. Note how the bottom bracket is part of the rear swinging arm. Therefore, no torque on the pivot is exerted by pedaling.

Or do I have a lack of thorough understanding...?
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Old 11-25-16, 07:49 AM
  #45  
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One of the original full suspension designs from Trek was just like that. The Joshua (Fisher a sub brand of trek at the time). Especially in out of the saddle they bob a lot.

When you add force to the crank arm it puts it directly into the chain. Look how the force from the chain on the cassette works on the pivot.

Think about when you have the bike under very heavy load---Up a steep hill with slow speed and slow crank speed.

Your body is going up and down, you are only putting power into the crank as you are going down. The chain is trying to pull the suspension down accentuating the up and down of your body. This is the definition of pedal induced full suspension Bob.

Look at the force on the pivot of the bike I showed you. With the pivot slightly above the chain, the chain force on the swing arm actually pulls the swing arm slightly into the ground, pulling the frame Up a little counter acting your body's up and down movement slightly.

When pedaling at high rpm and smoothly this isn't much of an issue, but it is there. And since the travel of the suspension is minimal you don't get a lot of bob. Even if it only converts 1/16 of an inch of your power into vertical power that is then dissipated in the bumper. It adds up over time/distance.

The human motor is not smooth at all. Little short bursts of energy added to the chain which is then converted to forward energy---and with the moulton a little up and down motion too.---It may be imperceptable most the time but it is there.
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Old 11-27-16, 09:32 AM
  #46  
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I am not sure why this made my Moulton faster. I changed out the stem on my APB with drop bars. I had wanted to get the bars higher, which would mean replacing the the brake cables with longer ones. Mine has a quill stem and I went from a Technomic 60mm to a dirt drop 90mm which had the effect of moving the bars upward and further out. I tracked my ride to same place I usually go, about 7 miles there and back. It was actually faster than my touring bike for the first time. Both bikes have drop bars and 9 speeds. I hit higher max speed too. I was really not pushing either. It was surprising. The bike appeared to bob up and down less.
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Old 11-28-16, 05:53 PM
  #47  
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Some update.


Finally got good weather after a few days of unpredictable raining.
I took the TSR for a short ride to see if the adjustments made a difference.

Adjustments :
1. Tightened the front suspension to leave about half and inch of travel (still plenty for roads here)
2. Found something wrong in the fit and adjusted the saddle more forward (the imaginary plumb line from knee to ball of foot was not 90deg enough previously)
3. Touring bars (giving a pseudo aerobar position)

I'd just finished a 12km run, so I did not expect much of it.
So jumped on the bike with my jogging shorts.


This ride really surprised me and also reminded me of why the Moulton is special.
Despite not hoping for much with the legs that have already run, the bike ran at a very good speed, averaging 30kph on the longer flat portions.
Could have rode faster and longer if not for the chaffing on the tighs from not wearing the cycling tights.

On the 'special' part of the Moulton.
I seemed to feel that the suspension smoothed out the road bumps, allowing me to just concentrate on the pedaling.
The 'magic carpet ride' that some describe is certainly there and its the big difference compared to other non-suspended small bikes.
On my other bikes, a more smoothed out ride will mean lowering the tire pressure to a sweet spot to avoid noticeable rolling resistance increases, and even then, its still a 'air bump' type damping feel that is different from that of the AM.

So things are looking up and I will keep the bike for longer
The ride quality is different for sure and that does add something to the stable.

I'm encouraged enough to mod up the bike a bit.
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Old 11-28-16, 06:43 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by pinholecam View Post
Some update.


Finally got good weather after a few days of unpredictable raining.
I took the TSR for a short ride to see if the adjustments made a difference.

Adjustments :
1. Tightened the front suspension to leave about half and inch of travel (still plenty for roads here)
2. Found something wrong in the fit and adjusted the saddle more forward (the imaginary plumb line from knee to ball of foot was not 90deg enough previously)
3. Touring bars (giving a pseudo aerobar position)

I'd just finished a 12km run, so I did not expect much of it.
So jumped on the bike with my jogging shorts.


This ride really surprised me and also reminded me of why the Moulton is special.
Despite not hoping for much with the legs that have already run, the bike ran at a very good speed, averaging 30kph on the longer flat portions.
Could have rode faster and longer if not for the chaffing on the tighs from not wearing the cycling tights.

On the 'special' part of the Moulton.
I seemed to feel that the suspension smoothed out the road bumps, allowing me to just concentrate on the pedaling.
The 'magic carpet ride' that some describe is certainly there and its the big difference compared to other non-suspended small bikes.
On my other bikes, a more smoothed out ride will mean lowering the tire pressure to a sweet spot to avoid noticeable rolling resistance increases, and even then, its still a 'air bump' type damping feel that is different from that of the AM.

So things are looking up and I will keep the bike for longer
The ride quality is different for sure and that does add something to the stable.

I'm encouraged enough to mod up the bike a bit.
So more forwards on the frame by your description? That would remove weight from the rear suspension ball, making it move less with pedaling. If rear suspension is a culprit then that could explain a bit why things are better, plus your fit is now better to what you are thoroughly used to.

You might fiddle a bit with the front suspension's damping, those nuts on the trailing links. I found better results when damping is barely perceptible - nice absorption of bumps with not much lost. Back them off a bit.
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Old 11-29-16, 08:54 PM
  #49  
Schwinnsta
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Originally Posted by jur View Post

You might fiddle a bit with the front suspension's damping, those nuts on the trailing links. I found better results when damping is barely perceptible - nice absorption of bumps with not much lost. Back them off a bit.
Jur, I am bit confused about the nuts on the link, leading link, no. Your are talking about the two nuts on the ends to the link? These limit suspension by tightening resulting in less displacement of the wheel. They work by friction. What am I missing? So you are saying to tightening them and then backing off of them a bit?
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Old 11-29-16, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Schwinnsta View Post
Jur, I am bit confused about the nuts on the link, leading link, no. Your are talking about the two nuts on the ends to the link? These limit suspension by tightening resulting in less displacement of the wheel. They work by friction. What am I missing? So you are saying to tightening them and then backing off of them a bit?
There are 3 nuts on each (yep, leading not trailing) link. They don't limit travel, but rather damp the spring inside the steerer. If these are tightened, the friction and therefore damping is increased but that also tends to let through the harshness from bumps, as well as waste energy if there is pedaling-induced bobbing. So I have settled on barely tightening these nuts so that there isn't much damping at all. The nuts which control the damping/friction are the ones on the ends of the links. I'm not sure if the middle nut does anything at all except to hold the stop inside in position.
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