It’s not a common occurrence for a weekend warrior to rest his recreational bum on an $8,000 bicycle. So without any hesitation, I jumped at the chance to test ride the Moulton AM 20-2 despite being a relatively new cyclist.
Known in the biking world for its hand-brazed space frame and smooth ride, the first Moulton bicycle was created by Dr Alex Moulton in the 60s. An engineer and inventor by trade, Dr Moulton took it upon himself to improve on the diamond-framed, large-wheeled bicycle design which was ubiquitous during that time.
You know a Moulton when you see one: a bicycle with significantly smaller set of wheels and a different frame, which started with an F Frame and finally evolving into the Space Frame the brand is known for. Not satisfied with just these adjustments, he also added full suspension to the bicycle, something of an anomaly during the 60s. In fact, the Hydrolastic suspension – found in the original Mini – was fitted onto his range of bicycles.
Thus, I believe it is accurate to say that Moulton bicycles are built with the innovative expertise of an engineer and the unerring hands of surgeon.
The AM 20-2 features a Campagnolo Athena 2x11 with a Moulton rear cassette 10-28. With a frame size of 16.5” and coupled with its 17″ wheels (ETRTO 369mm), which features Velocity rims (offset rear) and stainless spokes, it sure does look like rather small. The bicycle can also be separated into two halves with the removal of a kingpin. It’s not a typical foldie but the ability to separate itself is a plus point for riders who like to store their bicycles in the car boot. Click here for a step by step guide on how to separate the bicycle.
I took the AM 20-2 out for a spin at the Simpang Kiri Park Connector near Sembawang Park. The PCN runs alongside a canal leading out to the sea and features a nice, long straight – perfect for me to test out the speed of the AM 20-2. The experience was effortless, to say the least, and the handling was stable. The front and rear suspensions also performed admirably, absorbing the minor bumps along the way, which was something I don’t get on my suspension-less foldie.
For its hefty price tag, I naturally expected nothing less than a smooth and speedy ride and it didn’t disappoint one bit. The 17” wheels initially gave me some cause for concern at first as they were even smaller than my Dahon’s but once it’s off and running, the smooth transmission between gears made me forget about the size. In fact, the choice of a smaller set of wheels was Dr Moulton’s initial challenge to the classic bikes. According to Moulton, the combination of high pressure tyres and the lower aerodynamic drag of small wheels allows the bicycle to go faster with less effort. Given to a better cyclist, I’m sure the Moulton will perform much better.
Throughout the ride, I couldn’t help but notice other cyclists or pedestrians staring at the AM 20-2. And it’s little wonder why. With its’ unique space frame and its general aesthetics the bike is easy on the eye.
My cycling experience with Moulton AM20-2 was memorable enough to leave a lasting memory. A smooth, speedy bicycle that rides well on roads or pavements, the only thing that is somewhat of a deterrent is its price tag, which could be justified by the brand’s rich heritage and attention to details, due in no small part to the precision of its maker.
As for me, the weekend warrior, the AM 20-2 remains a holy grail because I will be doing a great piece of engineering a disservice if I just use it during the weekends.
You can visit here for a more detailed specification.
Interested? Check out Onesport website for more information!