Moulton bicycles

Dr Alex Moulton pioneered the small wheeled bicycle revolution nearly 50 years ago. All of today’s small wheeled cycles owe a debt of gratitude to the original Moulton ‘F’ frame design which not only introduced and proved the concept of full-size bicycles with small wheels, but also, right from launch in 1962, have utilised front and rear suspension systems for improved comfort and performance. The Moulton bicycle has been developed and refined constantly ever since and is held in high regard throughout the world.

The Originator
“The Moulton bicycle was born out of my resolve to challenge and improve upon the classic bicycle, with its diamond frame and large wheels, which has locked bicycle design into that form since the pioneering work in England of Starley and others at the end of the 19th century”

Dr Alexander Eric Moulton CBE RDI FEng (April 9th 1920 to 9th December 2012) was a highly respected English engineer and inventor, renowned worldwide for his expertise in suspension design.

The great-grandson of the rubber pioneer Stephen Moulton, he was educated at Marlborough and later at King’s College, Cambridge where he graduated in Engineering.

During the Second World War he was employed in the Engine Research Department of the Bristol Aeroplane Company where for two years he was personal assistant to Sir Roy Fedden, the Chief Engineer.

After the War he joined the family rubber company, Spencer Moulton and Co., where he became technical director and established a research department specialising in rubber suspension systems for vehicles.

In the late 1950s the family business was sold to the Avon Rubber Co. and Dr. Moulton founded Moulton Developments Limited to concentrate on creative design and suspension systems for vehicles. One of Moulton’s notable achievements from this period was the design, development and production of the suspension system for the iconic Mini, designed by his friend Sir Alec Issigonis. The combination of conical rubber springs and small wheels was one of the many innovative developments which allowed Issigonis to achieve the Mini’s overall small size.

In 1956, inspired by his automotive developments and prompted by the oil shock caused by the Suez Crisis, Dr. Moulton started work on the small wheeled bicycle and eventually in 1962, at the Earls Court Cycle Show, the first Moulton Bicycle was launched.

Text & images from the Moulton bicycles website

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