Mark Stonich's Moulton MkIII

Mark showed his early model Moulton three speed that he is setting up (and even doing a little training on!) for the Lake Pepin ride. It is a 1970 Mark III with a triangulated rear swingarm but a beam main frame, which Mark prefers on general principles to the later space frame models. It was one of the better examples of a bike that had been collecting dust in an acquaintances attic, though it still required a lot of cleaning up and some new wheels.

It now has discontinued Halo saddle. These were quite wide, but very short front to rear. Unlike other saddles, the sides curve up instead of down. There are two kinds of bar end extensions for varied hand positions as Mark has arthritic hands. Mark still anticipates some discomfort (and many rest stops) on the Pepin tour.

Mark's comments; Until I saw this Mk III I was uninterested in Moultons. Unlike other Moultons, MkIIIs were built by Raleigh. The workmanship is poor compared to other models, but I much prefer the design.

I disliked the rear suspension design on the earlier . Poor swingarm pivot location, highly leveraged, and untriangulated.

Later Moultons always struck me as downright silly. Sure, a space frame is theoretically the stiffest for a given weight. However, the forces on a single bicycle aren't that high. If you designed a space frame only as stiff as needed to contain those forces, the tubes would be so small or thin they would be fragile. Therefore you end up with a frame that isn't particularly light, is much stiffer than needed, and is a bitch to build. Connecting the head and seat tubes with a pair of 1.375" OX Platinum downtubes would give a lighter, easy to build frame. It wouldn't be as stiff, but neither you, me nor anyone not in the WWF or NFL would be strong enough to notice a difference.

Space frames would be good for Titanium, which for a given weight is tougher, but less rigid, than steel. They would also be great for tandems, where rigidity is at a premium.


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