Is this the perfect hand-built bike?

Moulton makes cycles unlike any other, with the small-wheeled stance of a fold-up bike, but with a unique stainless steel frame and quality and performance to put most modern rivals to shame. Despite first appearances, the latest line of Moulton bikes don’t actually fold up, but they do have a neat party trick. They also offer some of the most innovative designs currently on sale.

The latest line of bikes from the high-end cycle manufacturer all boast several distinctive features in common. The Moulton Double Pylon, the Moulton Speed and the Moulton SS stand out from regular bikes by virtue of their relatively small (at 20 inches) wheels – a concept close to the heart of the manufacturer, and one that Moulton claims leads to better performance.

According to Moulton, the more compact wheel size results in a “low moment of inertia, so acceleration is quicker and handling is nimble and fast”. Moulton goes on to say that “cycling requires less effort thanks to the low aerodynamic drag of the small wheels”.

The small wheels gives Moulton’s cycles the look of a fold-up bike – almost like a larger and less compromised Brompton. The latticework of stainless steel tubing that comprises the bike’s frame also sets the latest models apart from rivals, and although the bikes don’t actually fold, the frame is designed to split in the middle.

This won’t benefit you on the daily commute, but it does make the Moulton a lot more versatile, making it easy to pack in the boot of a car in seconds, without having to remove the wheels or seat.

The innovation doesn’t stop there, as Moulton has also used Hydrolastic suspension – a fluid filled rubber mount that’s more similar to a car engine mount than regular cycle suspension, giving better damping without sapping forward momentum. Innovative anti-dive rubber damping at the front, along with those smaller than average wheels, help to create a ride that most cycle manufacturers would kill for.

Features include custom CNC-made brakes and Campagnolo gearing, with a range of different handlebar styles. Moulton will also sell you an array of hand-made luggage bags and carriers to go with the bike, making it practical as well as distinctive.

The cycles are hand-finished with an impressive amount of quality and attention to detail, with the intricate and slender polished stainless steel frame worthy of a place in the Tate Modern. Can you imagine buying a Moulton, however, or do you prefer a more conventional big-wheeled bike?

From: Humans Invent | Innovation, Craftsmanship & Design