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New used Moulton

Old 03-02-23, 02:37 AM
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New used Moulton

So, not having any room for the bikes I already have, I saw and advertisement come up for a Moulton TSR 9 for a very reasonable price. I bought the bike yesterday with nothing but a few photos and a shaky description to go by, and the postman delivered it today (shipping in Japan is very efficient).

After opening the box and putting the bike together, I noticed the Reynolds 531 stickers on seat tube and fork, and realized that the bike wasnít a TSR 9, but a later model APB. After removing the dirt and crud I found the bike to be in excellent condition, the frame is literally without a scratch. I am rather glad it was an APB as I wanted something which would take fatter tires, I hope to ride this bike across Hokkaido this summer.

The tires were okay, but both tubes were leaking, so I replaced them. I found that the brake levers were stiff and required a lot of pressure to stop, it turned out they were mounted incorrectly, with the spring pins in the wrong holes. After installing the brakes correctly, they were much easier to use. The bike was fitted with a 9 speed SRAM cassette and a Sora derailleur, with an odd grip shift. Surprisingly, the shifting worked flawlessly, and required no adjustment.

The seller kindly included a brand new Brooks Swift leather saddle which I will install once I get the rest of the bike set up.

After replacing the tubes, reinstalling the brakes, and making a few fitment adjustments, I took the bike for a ride, and I was impressed. It felt more like a road bike than a folder. The clunky old Sora derailleur shifted surprisingly well, but the gear range is more limited than I would like, so I will either swap on the XTR 980 derailleur and cassette that used to run on my Birdy, or I will swap in a new crankset and front derailleur.

Iím not a fan of the style of the bar, the brake levers are a little clunky, and the wheels are surprisingly heavy. The cables and housings are a little worse for wear, and a few of the other parts donít agree with me, I suppose that, like my Birdy, everything but the frame will eventually be replaced. But that will give me something to do on the bad weather days we get here in the early spring.


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Old 03-02-23, 07:21 AM
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Congratulations!

Originally Posted by 50PlusCycling
After opening the box and putting the bike together, I noticed the Reynolds 531 stickers on seat tube and fork, and realized that the bike wasn’t a TSR 9, but a later model APB.
"later APB" as in an APB manufactured later in the production run; the TSR was the follow-on model.

Quick visual identification from 50 paces: APB on left, TSR on right



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Old 03-02-23, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by tcs
Congratulations!



"later APB" as in an APB manufactured later in the production run; the TSR was the follow-on model.

Quick visual identification from 50 paces: APB on left, TSR on right



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You are right.

The change of the position of the rear suspension cone to put it higher almost at the level of the horizontal tubes of the main frame was done because on some APB, the seat tube could bend due to the rear triangle pushing on the suspension cone and on the tube (I saw several pictures of APB with bend frame).
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Old 03-02-23, 02:48 PM
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Nice find! And yes, that cheap plastic-and-steel derailleur and SRAM twist shifter will work long past the time you can stand to look at them. We buy nicer parts because we like them, the lower-end bits work just fine!
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Old 03-02-23, 11:43 PM
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Thanks for the comments. I took the bike for a 5 mile ride today, and enjoyed it very much. I found out that the new saddle was actually a Brooks "Professional," and is stamped "Pre-Softened" on the seat. I installed the saddle and found there was nothing "soft" about it, but I am familiar with Brooks, they area on all my bikes, and today was day-one of breaking it in.

The ride is great, the suspension is firm enough that it doesn't bob around while riding, but works well when hitting bumps. The controls work well, but are heavy and clunky, the wheels are especially heavy. I ordered a set of wheels with hubs that accept the Shimano Capreo cassette (with 9 to 26 teeth), and a Dura Ace 7700 rear derailleur. I like the appearance of the old 7700 parts, they should go well with the color, and luckily new examples are still easy to find in Japan. I will use index shifters as I have always hated the look of the old STI levers. I will also change the stem and bar, but will go with something other than the usual drop bar. Later I'll add a 7700 dual-ring crankset, BB, and derailleur.

Tomorrow should be a good weather day, I'm looking forward to taking it for another ride.
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Old 03-03-23, 08:16 AM
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The APB was the 'cost sensitive' model Moulton, which explains the weighty, clunky componentry. The APB was licensed-built by Pashley in Stratford-on-Avon. They are still very capable machines. From the Moulton website:

"In 1997, Cambridge graduates, Ben Steele, Oliver Matthew and Baz Bix, chose Moulton APBs to ride across Mongolia and China following in the tracks of an 1874 Russian Research and Trading Expedition. Setting off from Ulan Ude in Russia, they encountered extremes of climate and terrain conditions passing through the sands of the Gobi desert and heights of the Tibetan plateau. They arrived in Zaisang on the China/Kazakhstan border, after traveling an amazing and eventful 6000 miles (9650 km)."
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Old 03-03-23, 02:18 PM
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I wish you luck with that saddle, ride lots! The hardest Brooks I've ever owned was a "pre-softened" Professional which adamantly refused to break in for me. I gave up!
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Old 03-04-23, 03:50 AM
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One more thing: I prefer the Moulton with a drop-bar, my two Moulton have a drop-bar, not a flat bar.
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Old 03-07-23, 01:46 AM
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So, the first mod is done, I got the new rear derailleur installed. It looks and works great, the Sora unit it replaced was a little beat up. Unfortunately, the rubber on the grip shifter has turned to goo, and ends up on my hands when I shift gears. I really like the grip shift system, so I am ordering a new SRAM Centera unit. The new wheels, cassette, and crankset are on the way, the last things I will need are a bottom bracket and chain.


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Old 03-07-23, 12:21 PM
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Congrats! I've always wanted a Moulton, but I'm running out of time!
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Old 03-10-23, 12:15 AM
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So the wheels and Capreo cassette arrived today, and I got them put on. The wheels are a narrow v-shape with DT bladed spokes, much lighter than the original ones, but it was damn hard to mount the tires.





The shifters arrived today, the chain and cables will arrive tomorrow, hopefully the back half of the driveline will be finished on Monday.

The Brooks is still hard, but starting to show some signs of relenting.


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Old 03-10-23, 04:01 AM
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Its probably too late because you bought brand new Schwalbe Marathon tires, but Continental Contact Urban 42x406 would provide some weight saving while being faster and as good for puncture protection as the Marathon.
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Old 03-10-23, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Jipe
Its probably too late because you bought brand new Schwalbe Marathon tires, but Continental Contact Urban 42x406 would provide some weight saving while being faster and as good for puncture protection as the Marathon.
Perhaps but Contis are notoriously tight on the rim. If he struggled with Schwalbes then I shudder to think what those Contacts would have been like.
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Old 03-10-23, 04:21 PM
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I mounted the Continental Contact Urban 32x406 on TL rims without problems.
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Old 03-12-23, 05:53 PM
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Thanks for the replies, the issue with the difficult tire mounting is the narrow rim, I believe it’s 14mm, a tight fit for clinchers with big beads. I don’t look forward to dealing with any flats. On the positive side, the wheels are very true, allowing me to do a good job fine tuning the crappy brakes.

Yesterday I installed the new shifter and a new chain. I couldn’t find a grip shifter that I liked, and as I said before, I really dislike the appearance and cable layout of the STI levers. So I went with the XTR 970 shifters, and they work brilliantly.




I temporarily installed a set of old MTB grips until I get a new bar, I ordered a set of Avid speed dial SL brake levers, and TRP v brakes, the original Tektros are awful. I should have those on by next weekend. I also installed a new Wipperman chain, the Moulton has a long swing arm, which means it needs a longer chain. In Japan it’s almost impossible to find chains more than 118 links, and I needed 122 links for the new crank set, so I bought two 114 link chains.

The bike rides like a dream, though it’s a little cramped. I’ve also ordered an old MTB chrome moly combined bar and stem which will move my hands a little more forward, and should look good on the bike.
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Old 03-13-23, 04:04 PM
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It looks great. Congrats!
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Old 03-16-23, 05:49 PM
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Yesterday I went for a ride around Yoyogi Park, the cherry blossoms are starting to bloom. I got the bar installed, and the new brake levers. After getting everything adjusted, the brakes are amazing. The Brooks is still rock-hard, I will soak it in a solution of hot water and glycerin soap, and then go out for a ride.

The best about the Moulton is the ride. It’s smooth, fast, and fun. I’m looking forward to taking it around Japan.


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Old 02-20-24, 11:33 PM
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Front Derailleur

Hiya,

Does anyone know which front derailleur hangers Moulton TSR 9 use please? I have a Shimano Dura Ace 7800 10x2 but not sure what derailleur hanger to use
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