The Moulton is one of the best riding bikes on the road today. This is due, in large part, to the highly adjustable suspension system. It allows the advantage of strong, rigid wheels in combination with high pressure/low rolling resistance tires, while still providing a more comfortable ride than a conventional bike. I was given a chance to ride two models – a TSR 10 and a Jubilee Veloce.
Today I am covering the 406 based Jubilee Veloce manufactured out of Bradford, the original home of Moulton. Previously the AM models were designed around the classic 17″ wheel. I had the privilege of owning a NS Stainless Steel which I was persuaded to sell away to make way for a AM Speed.
Engineered by the same man who created the suspension for the most famous small wheel car of all time – the Mini.
Moulton bicycles feature all of his genius in this area and all the other ways he felt the basic concept of the bicycle could be improved.
The cross link suspension makes its presence felt when you ride over cobbled roads where one feels little or no jarring. The suspension also maintains and improves traction on rough or loose surfaces. If you had a chance to ride one, or even better own one, you would find that the bike is very comfortable despite being fast.
The spaceframe – gives the initial impression of riding a frame made up of lattice pieces of metal is both rigid and exhibits no flex.
For the purpose of the test ride, the Jubilee was kitted out with a dual chainring Campagnolo Veloce. It also comes with a triple chainring for those who want to go touring or comes with Campagnolo Athena 22, called the Jubilee Sportive model.
To celebrate fifty years of production of Alex Moulton’s revolutionary double-suspension small wheel bikes, the Moulton Bicycle Company produced a new AM frame proportioned for 20″, 406mm wheels. They called it the Jubilee. Although only 50 were made in the original production run in Bugatti Blue, the Jubilee is now generally available, choice of colour is yours.
Handcrafted out of Bradford, it has the legendary monosphere rear elastomer that from the outside looks like any door rubber stopper but the cutaway of the rear suspension is a work of art.
The combined suspension system gives rise to the most comfortable ride while still achieving performance in distance and speed.
OMG, the Jubilee reflects the reputation and marque of the AM Bradford bikes in glorious fashion. The bike frame delivers the promise although I felt better dampening from my single pylon Flexitor suspension. The front does look “slimmer” as the suspension is based on the cross link suspension mode at the bottom of the fork.
I had progressed to 451 from 406 on my other Tern Verge X20 bikes but somehow the combination of the Moulton space frame and the cross link suspension makes the ride really plush and comfortable. Yet when I put pedal to the metal, I was cruising my usual average of 28km/h without much effort at all. Ride was responsive and I was telling myself – no wonder the guys can go touring and distance records on these bikes, they are built for speed but they are also build for comfort.
A buddy of mine on Durace 2x10 upgraded modified grey TSR was riding alongside, I could see the front suspension at work. Not something I would recommend to anyone as you should always keep your eye on the road.
Adjusting the spring tension allowed me to control the level of absorption and thus the bobbing. 50km rides on a mixed road, PCN and speed bumps – no issue. I have not tried the TSR frames yet but maybe its psychological but riding a bike made with so much prestige and heritage made the ride feel more memorable, makes one tend to forget about speeds and you start to enjoy the surroundings and ride.
On the looks department, allowing me to take such a classy looking bike and allowing me to choose the colour combinations of the grips, saddle to match does allow me to claim this bike as truly my own. Maybe I could replace Alex Moulton’s monogram signature with mine.
To the late Dr Alex Moulton – Thanks for so many engineering designs and innovation that started 50 years ago, I had the pleasure, without measure of riding your very comfortable spaceframe bikes.