By Alan Johnston
A feature of the Mark 1 and 2 is that the lazy F frame is on the long side. It can therefore
be a stretch for many women, children and smaller men. Enter the Moulton Mini Moulton
designed around the 1960s average-sized woman.
Minis are first-class Moultons, made to a good standard and they deserve to be cherished.
They are smaller but fully formed. If you dismantle a Mini you will find that the bike is a
perfect reproduction of the full-size F frame Moulton. All parts are identical in the front
suspension but in 7/8ths scale. The rear forks do not have the curved rubber “sandwich”,
but a simpler “clapperbox” suspension which was also used on the top-of-the-range
Moulton Speed ‘S’ models. And of course Minis have the distinctive 14 inch wheels rather
than the 16 inch on the full sized model.
Some Minis were designed for adult use and some for children. The Super 4 and the Minx
were designed for adults; the former has aluminium alloy rims, a four-speed hub, full-sized
bars, levers, saddlepost and cranks. Both provide a good ride; they are quite light and the
small wheels provide a heightened sensation of speed. If you live in a flat they can be more
readily carried upstairs.
Avoid buying a Mini with no front suspension. (This was a cost-cutting idea that Raleigh
introduced. It led to cracks developing in the frame). They are less comfortable to ride and
you will feel every bump. Also a Mini without gears is frankly not a good idea but a single
speed can be readily upgraded to a 3 speed.
The Mini was a considerable success and Moulton sold around 10,000 by the end of the
1960s. Increasingly Moultoneers are recognising their importance in the pantheon of
vintage Moulton bicycles.
Please refer to ‘The Marvellous Moulton Mini’ by Paul Grogan and the Bicycle Hub website
created by Brian Perkins. Brian is also responsible for the Moulton Bicycle Club’s Mini