The S Range

By Ken Butterfield

The newcomer to old Moulton bicycle history could be forgiven for thinking that the shiny metallic enamel and deep chrome guards of the deluxe model heralded the most luxurious F frame made.

Alex Moulton and his team had other ideas up their sleeves in the mid-sixties and produced a range of just three models which were to a truly luxurious specification.

This was the “S” range.

The special range contained three already popular machines, but upgraded with lightweight components and hand assembled around a craftsman built frameset!

It was also possible to “gild the lily” somewhat by ordering your chosen high end bike with full chrome plated finish at an extra cost of £8.

A relatively small amount of these expensive machines were built, not at the Hall (the home of Moulton bicycles), but down in the town of Bradford on Avon in a small shop (now a Tandoori restaurant).

The man in charge of the small production team was the legendary Jack Lauterwasser, a medal winning Olympic cyclist and builder of lightweight frames sometimes using his own design handlebars, which are now much in demand by veteran cyclists.

The bikes chosen for this exercise were the “S” deluxe at just under £50, (the standard production line bike was under £35) which featured a special frame with cables hidden within the main beam along with other improvements only possible on a bespoke product.

A fiver cheaper was the popular “S” stowaway with its joint in the main beam to enable the two halves, when simply separated, to be stowed in car boot or under the stairs at home. Hidden cabling was not featured, as there were no cables needed to operate the Duomatic rear hub!

The most expensive machine at just under £55 was the top of the line “S” safari which was the ultimate Moulton Safari fitted with six speed derailleur gearing and extra capacity “safari” bags front and rear.

All the range were fitted as needed with quality Airlite hubs from the British Hub Company, Williams AB77 chainsets with the unique splined axle, Aluminium GB brakes, alloy guards and most importantly the Milremo 17” wheel rims which made possible the fitment of special DUNLOP high pressure tyres.

This gave the bikes much lower rolling resistance and higher performance on the road.

The bikes all featured the well respected rubber suspension, only upgraded by the addition of friction dampers to the rear end, to allow fine tuning of the ride.

Any colour from the Moulton range was available to order and alternative equipment choices are known to have been specified by the well heeled or simply well travelled customers!

If your appetite has been whetted by this brief overview then I can do no better than point you to the Moulton Bicycle club and back issues of their splendid Moultoneer magazine which have often printed articles on these and every Moulton.

Related Pages

  • F Frame: Series 1 and 2
  • The S Range
  • Mini
  • Mouton Mk III
  • Y Frame
  • AM
  • APB
  • New Series
  • Bridgestone
  • Moulton TSR
  • MDev 90
  • 2 thoughts on “The S Range

    1. Thomas Ansell

      Hi, I recently found an original safari S (chromed) in my grandparents shed, apparently it was given to them after featuring in a show when it was new. It was quite furry, both tyres were flat and the whole thing was covered in an inch of grime, however after several weeks it has been (mostly) polished up by me, has had 2 new tyres and the front and rear forks have been cleaned to the best of my ability and then lacquered to stop any further perishing. So now, we are thinking of selling it. How much do you estimate it would be worth and do you know of the best place to advertise? Unfortunately, the bags mentioned in the article actually rotted away in the shed.

      Yours,

      Thomas Ansell

      Reply
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