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Moulton bikes. Great bike or over engineered?

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Moulton bikes. Great bike or over engineered?

Old 02-24-22, 11:31 PM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by Jipe View Post
Yes, the Xootr fits in a car
In my count this back of the car would take 3 Bromptons, with no need to fold the back seat. 4 Bromptons? Not sure, but one could try.
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Old 02-24-22, 11:51 PM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
In my count this back of the car would take 3 Bromptons, with no need to fold the back seat. 4 Bromptons? Not sure, but one could try.
The fact that a bike fits in a car doesn't mean its small: my Hase Pino tandem fits in my car without even dismounting it in two pieces !
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Old 02-25-22, 08:12 AM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by Jipe View Post
The fact that a bike fits in a car doesn't mean its small: my Hase Pino tandem fits in my car without even dismounting it in two pieces !
​​I'm not claiming that the Swift is renowned for it's tiny compact fold. And yes, a Birdy might indeed have smaller folded.footprint. But the Birdie's folding fork comes at the expense of more complexity, more weight, and poor aerodynamics, which definitely matters if your thing is riding it many kilometres in the elements like a road bike. From my subjective point of view and for my needs it's "over-engineered".

Also, in your initial reply to my comments you claimed that the Swift "doesn't fully fold", which I think is inaccurate. The Swift (unlike the Moultons I've seen) is a true folder. I don't need any tools to make it smaller and I can accomplish this in a few seconds. I'd give the Swift slightly better than average marks for its fold in fact. 7/10.

Here's some positives and negatives of the fold from my pov starting with the negatives.

Negatives of the Swift fold:

-The Swift is a bit taller than most conventional 20" folder designs in its folded state,.

-It's not the neatest fold. One needs to be careful with the handle bar/stem/steerer combo when it's detached.

Positives of the Swift fold:

'-Folds down in seconds.

-Doesn't have the usual bulky hinging mechanism in the middle of the frame. This saves weight, eliminates a potential weak spot and gives a much stiffer ride (my Swift is stiffer than my road bike). It also looks nicer in my opinion.

-Has a skinnier folded footprint than most other 20" folders. This means it sometimes does fit where other 20" supposedly "smaller folding" bikes do not.

-The brake and derailleur cables don't get bent or stretched when folding/unfolding.



I've brought my Swift on buses, trains, trams and subway cars many times. It's ridden with me on the London Underground, the Berlin Metro, the Vancouver SkyTrain, the Eskudi Train in Pais Vasco, The Toronto Subway, The Montreal Metro. I've never had any trouble getting it onto public transport. On occasions which I've flown with the bike it has fit into a large suitcase with roughly half an hour of disassembly/reassembly at either end of the flight.

Other bikes fold smaller and more gracefully perhaps, but I don't care. If my number one criteria was the fold I'd probably have a Brompton or a BF Tikit. But the Swift is a far more capable bicycle than these on the road and for my purposes it folds small enough.

Different strokes for different folks. Some people collect watches because they like to marvel at the genius of the miniature clockworks inside.. Personally, I like simplicity. I also like products which offer a lot of value for money. I'm sure that a BF Pocket Rocket Pro is a lovely ride, but a Swift set up for speed would give comparable performance on the road and a quicker fold when needed for a third the price. And what exactly would an $18900 Moulton Double Pylon offer me? Would I get up the hills any quicker? Would it be more fun to ride? I'm far from convinced that this would be the case. If I can ride with and push roadies astride Dura-Ace carbon fiber Grand Tour machines up steep gradients with the Swift, I'm sure that it'd be fine up against the flagship Moulton and I'd have saved myself approximately $17,500 in the price difference.

​​​​​Btw, the car in the picture is really tiny. A Brompton or maybe even three might fit with the seats up, but most 20" mid-hinge folders would struggle without the seat down as the boot is very very narrow.

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Old 02-25-22, 10:55 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by joey buzzard View Post
As can be seen in your picture, the Swift doesn't fully fold, the front wheel and fork do not fold, the stem neither, its only the rear that folds.

I am sorry to say that you judge bikes you don't really know.

The Moulton Double Pylon is a touring oriented bike, not a performance oriented bike.

In the Moulton range of bikes, the performances oriented bike is the Moulton Speed that with lightweight Pro-one tires, lightweight AX-ligthness full carbon saddle and lightweight TI axle pedals is close to 8.5kg.

And indeed, Moulton aren't folding bikes.

I was actually comparing the Swift with the most versatile folding bike I know which is the Birdy: with 50mm wide tires and full road suspension (especially the front fork that doesn't move when pedaling and doesn't dive when braking) it has high performances on any surface, its lightweight if you compare it with similar equipment as your swift (no lights, no mudguards, no rack, mechanical disc brakes) but can carry a lot when equipped with a rear rack, front pannier rack and Brompton front block (when I see the picture of the Swift, I wonder how you can travel with a bike that has absolutely nothing to carry anything on it, even not a single bottle of water) and folds almost as small as the Brompton.

The rear suspension that uses the same axle as the one for folding doesn't add weight and the front suspension is also combined with the front wheel folding so suspension also doesn't add weight. The narrow front fork doesn't add any additional aerodynamic drag compared to a classic rigid fork like the one of the Swift.

The frame is one piece hydro-formed aluminum and weight less than a tube built frame. It has no hinging mechanism.
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Old 02-25-22, 01:58 PM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by Jipe View Post
As can be seen in your picture, the Swift doesn't fully fold, the front wheel and fork do not fold, the stem neither, its only the rear that folds.

I am sorry to say that you judge bikes you don't really know.

The Moulton Double Pylon is a touring oriented bike, not a performance oriented bike.

In the Moulton range of bikes, the performances oriented bike is the Moulton Speed that with lightweight Pro-one tires, lightweight AX-ligthness full carbon saddle and lightweight TI axle pedals is close to 8.5kg.

And indeed, Moulton aren't folding bikes.

I was actually comparing the Swift with the most versatile folding bike I know which is the Birdy: with 50mm wide tires and full road suspension (especially the front fork that doesn't move when pedaling and doesn't dive when braking) it has high performances on any surface, its lightweight if you compare it with similar equipment as your swift (no lights, no mudguards, no rack, mechanical disc brakes) but can carry a lot when equipped with a rear rack, front pannier rack and Brompton front block (when I see the picture of the Swift, I wonder how you can travel with a bike that has absolutely nothing to carry anything on it, even not a single bottle of water) and folds almost as small as the Brompton.

The rear suspension that uses the same axle as the one for folding doesn't add weight and the front suspension is also combined with the front wheel folding so suspension also doesn't add weight. The narrow front fork doesn't add any additional aerodynamic drag compared to a classic rigid fork like the one of the Swift.

The frame is one piece hydro-formed aluminum and weight less than a tube built frame. It has no hinging mechanism.


Reflecting on this conversation, I've realised that the very title of this thread is essentially negative:

"Moulton Bikes. Great bike or over engineered?"

The answer of course is in the eye of the beholder and anyone's opinion is of course a subjective one. But the title invites one to make a choice as to whether these are "great bikes" or "over engineered".and leads a person towards stating their conclusion in negative terms.

Fwiw I've expressed what I consider is important to me in a bike. I value performance and simplicity. I like simplicity because it tends to be reliable and I like an uncluttered aesthetic. I realise that other people have different needs, different tastes, etc. I don't mean to denigrate either Birdy nor the range of Moultons. These are both bike brands that I have examined examples of up close, marvelled at and have even considered acquiring. But I'm still of the opinion that I made the right choice for me by choising the Swift design. Somebody else might enjoy having suspension and have other priorities such as a smaller fold (Birdy) or else want something that looks like it's a bridge to outer space (Moulton) or else want something more inexpensive and utilitarian such as a Dahon Boardwalk.

Incidentally the Xootr Swift does have a place for a bottle mount, although I must confess that I don't like the position of it as it cramps the front end of the bike when pedaling out of the saddle,

Ancient fountain in the village of Almegijar, Granada.

so I never use it. Fortunately I'm living in Granada Andalusia now which despite getting very hot has natural springs to drink from everywhere on the mountain and splendid old drinking fountains in all of the villages.

It also used to be possible to order a crossrack style seat post mount for a pannier bag for the Xootr Swift. I used one of these on a trip to México a few years ago and it worked well. However, it had a fairly small capacity which I augmented with a backpack. I've done a few multi-day rides since and I've only been using a backpack, which I tolerate well but I can we'll see that carrying 9 kilos on the shoulders over more than a hundred kilometres a day for several days of mountains might not be everyone's cup of tea. My favourite thing though about the Swift is taking the bike out somewhere hilly and riding for some hours in a loop. It's simply a great machine for that. And it does do most other things quite well too. It's a versatile machine.

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Old 02-25-22, 06:04 PM
  #56  
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Swifts are very versatile. Racks are easy to mount. I carry stuff like this.
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Old 03-01-22, 06:46 AM
  #57  
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One of the enjoyable aspects about folders/small wheel bikes is the diversity of solutions that designers have come up with over the years. Their looks, costs and riding characteristics are quite different (sometimes unique), which makes it fun for us to compare and contrast.

Personally I own a number of bikes but my go-to bike is my Moulton TSR. I suppose it is an evolutionary dead end, especially since carbon fibre can make bikes very stiff and light and tyres are better, but somehow it is the most enjoyable to ride.
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Old 03-01-22, 10:13 AM
  #58  
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The concept of the Moulton is to have a ultra stiff frame, also torsional stiffness that cannot be obtained with a diamond type frame which is a 2D frame, and obtain efficiency and comfort with a suspension made for road use. The small wheels reduce the inertia, increase the stiffness and reduce the weight compared to bigger wheels.

A classic diamond frame without suspension even in carbon cannot do that, it cannot be very stiff and must remain flexible to compensate for the lack of suspension. The torsional stiffness of the frame remain limited due to the diamond 2D geometry.

So, no its no a dead end in term of engineering but well for race use because of the rules enforced by the UCI.
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Old 03-01-22, 01:10 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by Jipe View Post
The concept of the Moulton is to have a ultra stiff frame, also torsional stiffness that cannot be obtained with a diamond type frame which is a 2D frame, and obtain efficiency and comfort with a suspension made for road use. The small wheels reduce the inertia, increase the stiffness and reduce the weight compared to bigger wheels.

A classic diamond frame without suspension even in carbon cannot do that, it cannot be very stiff and must remain flexible to compensate for the lack of suspension. The torsional stiffness of the frame remain limited due to the diamond 2D geometry.

So, no its no a dead end in term of engineering but well for race use because of the rules enforced by the UCI.
I have to call BS at this point unless you can back this up with hard data. I just don't see any evidence e that Moulton's are faster. UCI did Moulton a favor by banning them. They banned them because they thought they had an advantage in drafting by being lower. His own hired professional racer got in trouble with him for zeroing out the front suspension of his Moulton so it would not bob. Moulton told him never do it again if he wanted to work for him. Check this out by Jan Heine from the middle of that page;

GuitarSlingerIf you want to prove your suspension loses theory even further ……. ride a Moulton over any predetermined route …. and then ride any non suspension bicycle on the same route in as close to the same conditions as possible . Your fatigue factor will be some 40-60% less riding the Moulton … due to the lack of shock induced stress and fatigue delivered by the Moulton
Or alternatively read Alex Moulton’s extensive research on the subject … as he confirmed your theory/suspicions some 40 years ago …… hence leading to the full suspension design of all his subsequent bicycles .
So now ….. the real question . Which overall is better for performance and comfort ? Wider tires on a non suspension bicycle …. or a high tech full suspended bicycle on narrower tires ? Seeing as how the TDF UCI etc has banned Moultons from all competition …… I’ll guess Sir Alex’s solution is most likely the best .

August 13, 2012 at 7:41 am

  • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle QuarterlyI am glad you really like your Moulton. It’s a very interesting design.
    However, for suspension losses, the Moulton does not work well. The high-pressure tires don’t absorb the high-frequency vibrations, and the suspension cannot handle them, either. We were surprised how harsh-riding our Moulton test bike was on rough pavement. On the other hand, it was great on big hits, like roots that have caused the pavement to buckle. In those situations, the suspension works very well.
    The merits of the Moulton do not lie in superior performance. It’s a really neat design that is radically different from other machines. That makes it quite appealing by itself.
    Moulton’s own data shows that a “classical” bicycle was superior at frequencies >11 Hz. Rumble strips cause a frequency of about 25-40 Hz (bumps per second). Rough pavement causes vibrations of about 500 Hz. We discussed this in the Autumn 2010 issue of Bicycle Quarterly (Vol. 9, No. 1).
    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.
    A Moulton with wide tires would be very nice, if you could somehow control the suspension bob at high power outputs. (Or just go slower!)
    Which overall is better for performance and comfort ? Wider tires on a non suspension bicycle …. or a high tech full suspended bicycle on narrower tires ?
    Our tests, as well as Moulton’s own data, answers that question conclusively: Wide tires cannot be replaced by suspension. So as you pose the question, wide tires on a non-suspension bicycle are much faster and more comfortable.

Heine reviewed the New Series in Bicycle Quarterly issue Autumn 2010. I have a copy. I don't think I can link to it online. His take is mostly negative.

Last edited by Schwinnsta; 03-01-22 at 01:24 PM. Reason: added to text
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Old 03-01-22, 04:40 PM
  #60  
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Nice explanation.

Yes, wide tires are better.

But the widest tire used currently on race bicycle is 28mm which is the same width as what is used on the Moulton.

About the new series suspension, this one was developed long time ago and wasn't really successful, only few Moulton use it and are, even for the New Series Speed (also called single Pylon) more touring oriented bike than speed oriented bikes.

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Old 03-01-22, 05:03 PM
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Jan Heine's work on tyres is very interesting, and he shows that wider tyres at lower pressure can be fast, but only if they are supple fast tyres in the first place. My Schwalbe Marathons are reasonably wide but have stiff sidewalls for strength so I don't think they count. I do feel some chatter despite the suspension.

Jan needs to offer some of his tyres in 406 so we can test the theory.

PS Marathon Racers would in theory be faster as they have a softer side wall but for some reason they felt like treacle.
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Old 03-01-22, 05:54 PM
  #62  
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The Moulton tested by Bicycle Quarterly was privately owned and several years old. After the test, it was discovered that the suspension was damaged. It was refurbished to factory standards and offered for retest, which Mr. Heine declined.

Mr. Heine has a real bug about Moultons. In his book, The All Road Bike Revolution, he mentions in passing several bicycle builders favorably. In the entire history and world of bicycle design, the only bicycle designer he criticizes is Dr. Alex Moulton - and he does it repeatedly throughout the book.
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Old 03-01-22, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Schwinnsta View Post
His own hired professional racer got in trouble with him for zeroing out the front suspension of his Moulton so it would not bob.
Interesting. This does not track with the personal interview of John Woodburn and his record-setting ride from Cardiff-London in the Moulton Bicycle by Tony Hadland. Do you have a source?
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Old 03-01-22, 06:37 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Interesting. This does not track with the personal interview of John Woodburn and his record-setting ride from Cardiff-London in the Moulton Bicycle by Tony Hadland. Do you have a source?
I am not sure. I would have thought it was the book you reference, but it could have been from "The Mouton Bicycle: A History of Innovative Compact Design" I found this starting on page 62 of Google books for that book. I could no longer find any Moulton books, so I am not sure if I kept them.
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Old 03-02-22, 12:40 AM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by Falconista View Post
Jan Heine's work on tyres is very interesting, and he shows that wider tyres at lower pressure can be fast, but only if they are supple fast tyres in the first place. My Schwalbe Marathons are reasonably wide but have stiff sidewalls for strength so I don't think they count. I do feel some chatter despite the suspension.

Jan needs to offer some of his tyres in 406 so we can test the theory.

PS Marathon Racers would in theory be faster as they have a softer side wall but for some reason they felt like treacle.
There are such tires, the Greenspeed Scorcher 120 40x406 is such a tire.

I didn't try it but I used the 40x349 Greenspeed Scorcher 120 and indeed, its very fast. Faster than the race Schwalbe Pro-one 28x406 and One 35x349 when used at about 7 bar.

Its also relatively strong, better than the Pro-one, I never had a flat when using it on good roads and it last longer than the Pro-one.

I guess you know the rolling resistance tests of Wim Schermer who tested many ETRTO406 tires.?
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Old 03-02-22, 02:08 AM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
The Moulton tested by Bicycle Quarterly was privately owned and several years old. After the test, it was discovered that the suspension was damaged. It was refurbished to factory standards and offered for retest, which Mr. Heine declined.

Mr. Heine has a real bug about Moultons. In his book, The All Road Bike Revolution, he mentions in passing several bicycle builders favorably. In the entire history and world of bicycle design, the only bicycle designer he criticizes is Dr. Alex Moulton - and he does it repeatedly throughout the book.
Jan Heine's business is selling wider tyres to reduce vibration and energy losses. The Moulton principle of small wheels and suspension is a competing technology to do broadly the same thing. He does imply that a combination of the two might work well.
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Old 03-02-22, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Falconista View Post
Jan Heine's business is selling wider tyres to reduce vibration and energy losses. The Moulton principle of small wheels and suspension is a competing technology to do broadly the same thing. He does imply that a combination of the two might work well.
Yes, wide tires and suspension work even better !

That''s what I have on the Birdy, 50mm wide tires and full road oriented suspension (we should not mix MTB and road bike suspensions as they are very different). The only problem is that the 50mm wide Big Apple tire even if it is relative fast is not a tire optimized for speed but for comfort. Fortunately, comfort need a soft casing that is also good for speed.

There are many touring wide tires but these are made to be strong, last long and have a high puncture protection and have stiff casing, they aren't optimized for speed.

But there are few really wide race road tires. And there is a very good reason for this: there are also almost no road bike frames that can accept really wide tires, so there was no market for such tires.

But thing are changing, gravel bikes frame are made to accept wide tires and several of these frames are also very good for road use, users might want to mount real road tires on them instead of gravel tires.
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Old 03-02-22, 11:25 AM
  #68  
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From the Moulton intelligentsia:

As of present, all Moulton Bicycle Company machines are built to order. These lead times are the current best estimate from MBC and are not a guaranteed date - these dates can be affected by component supply issues.
TSR 9+:3 months
TSR A8:3 months
TSR 22:12 months
SST:15 months
XTB:15 months
Jubilee:12 months
AM:12 months
AM (Stainless):18 months
SPEED (Stainless):18 months
New Series:12 months
New Series (Stainless):18 months

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Old 03-02-22, 04:21 PM
  #69  
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Actually, TSR aren't built by Moulton at all: frame and assembly are done by Pashley.

SST and XTB frames are also built by Pashley but the bike are assembled by Moulton.

.The remaining models are fully made by Moulton, frame and assembly.
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Old 03-02-22, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Jipe View Post
(we should not mix MTB and road bike suspensions as they are very different)
It's funny you should mention that as it was just occurring to me. No one in your sphere is capitalizing on lessons learned in mountain bikes. First and especially rear suspension suspension design to eliminate pedaling problems. All these designs have pivot points placed seemingly at random with one-piece swing arms, a design abandoned almost immediately 25years ago by the MTB side. A real suspension is arranged to cancel pedal bob with anti-squat, put the brake caliper on the floating link to reduce brake jack, and arrange the shock linkage to put the right leverage into the shock absorber throughout the travel. These would all be perfectly good things to do for a road bike too. But it also should be obvious by now how damping is the missing ingredient from all heine/not-heine discussions.
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Old 03-02-22, 10:36 PM
  #71  
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You're far from the first to suggest Moultons has learned little about how to design light, simple, effective suspensions for road bikes over the last 65 years and an advanced multilink mountain bike suspension design would be more apropos.
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Old 03-03-22, 12:48 AM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by Falconista View Post
Jan Heine's work on tyres is very interesting, and he shows that wider tyres at lower pressure can be fast, but only if they are supple fast tyres in the first place. My Schwalbe Marathons are reasonably wide but have stiff sidewalls for strength so I don't think they count. I do feel some chatter despite the suspension.

Jan needs to offer some of his tyres in 406 so we can test the theory.

PS Marathon Racers would in theory be faster as they have a softer side wall but for some reason they felt like treacle.
Jan Heine does have a vested interest in selling his line of tires as well as 'vision'.
I don't fully disagree nor agree with him, based on my own experiences with bike types, tire and tire widths.

Similarly, I find that Alex Moulton's thoughts on bike design and build to be interesting, worth some of its merits, but also antiquated by today's standards.

On J.Heine, my own experiences are that wider tires are also heavier and behaves a bit like a basket ball when pumped up more.
Too little pressure and there is significant rolling resistance. ( I know this since I am getting dropped or struggling on regular rides which I often lead or is in the top 3 riders )
High enough a pressure and yes, very obvious rolling resistance decrease, but there is a bouncing ball effect that is more than a narrow tire at high pressure will have.
Mix that in with purely good roads (where high pressure is best with no bumps to cause the bouncing ball effect) or pure bad roads (where there is serious loss of traction for a high pressure bouncing wheel/tire to properly execute pedaling/rolling force), and there just isn't a straight answer to this wide + low pressure equation.
The right width + pressure varies often along a ride.
If fellow riders put in the pressure and surge in a ride, the wider+heavier tire will still struggle more.

The Moulton concept of small wheels at high pressures w/ suspension, I have found to have bobbing when the pedal stroke is very hard (eg. sprint finish or intense short climb vs other riders to the top )
The combo of high pressure small wheels w/ suspension does well for the occasional bumps, but gets overwhelmed if the frequency of road irregularity is beyond what the suspension can cope.
Generally, I find that the TSR style frames are over engineered. Very stiff, and then compensated back w/ suspension.
That added weight however, can't be compensated back. (ok vs 70s steel bikes, but no longer so vs the carbon "fantastics" of today )
Of course a portly gentleman weighing 90-100kg may find it just right, so again, it can depend a lot on who's riding.

In a way, I am left with the impression that the 'ideal' bike is moderate pressure (for one's weight), but not overly wide (hence not too heavy nor too large road footprint), some very slight suspension like a stiff elastomer (that does not bob with hard pedaling, but give some compliance).
In some ways, the modern bikes try to do it with carbon fiber, thin stays, suspension/ flexy seatposts, redshift stems, etc)
The Birdy is of course another vision of the same goal.
Many ways to get to more or less the same thing and also in the end subject to user preference/needs as well.

Personally, for myself, I'd think its 25-28mm tires at around 65-80psi on a Ti /carbon bike with flexy seatpost and Redshift stem.
For a 20" wheeled bike, I'd say 28-32mm tires, 65-80psi and similar seatpost/stem or some hard elastomer rear sus.

Last edited by pinholecam; 03-03-22 at 12:54 AM.
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Old 03-03-22, 02:06 AM
  #73  
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A Birdy with Greenspeed Scorcher 40mm wide tires at 7 bar is exactly what you describe.

A rear suspension with an elastomer and short travel.

A front suspension that doesn't dive nor bob when pedaling and braking

And slick, supple, lightweight relatively wide, relatively high pressure road tires with a very low rolling resistance.

About the MTB suspensions they are now made to have a very big travel that doesn't fit the needs of a road bike.

Now about the weight of the Moulton TSR, its not really due to the suspension and space frame but to the cheap tubes used to lower the price (and compensate for the high manufacturing costs of a space frame with many small tubes to cut, assemble, solder). When using high end tubing like on the Moulton speed, its possible to have a lightweight space frame.
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Old 03-03-22, 04:01 AM
  #74  
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The TSR frame was (is?) also sold as the APB - sort of a mini MTB. This suggests that it is compromised as a pure road bike or off-road bike, but for me it is perhaps one of the reasons why I enjoy commuting on my TSR much more than my other bikes. It has a decent balance between agility, speed and comfort across the mixed surfaces that I use - roads, tracks, potholes, pavements, verges etc.

Individual designs will clearly be better at one of speed, comfort etc.
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Old 03-03-22, 04:05 AM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
It's funny you should mention that as it was just occurring to me. No one in your sphere is capitalizing on lessons learned in mountain bikes. First and especially rear suspension suspension design to eliminate pedaling problems. All these designs have pivot points placed seemingly at random with one-piece swing arms, a design abandoned almost immediately 25years ago by the MTB side. A real suspension is arranged to cancel pedal bob with anti-squat, put the brake caliper on the floating link to reduce brake jack, and arrange the shock linkage to put the right leverage into the shock absorber throughout the travel. These would all be perfectly good things to do for a road bike too. But it also should be obvious by now how damping is the missing ingredient from all heine/not-heine discussions.
Can you explain more on the damping side? Does that lead to energy loss or to smoother and easier travel?
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