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Better Than Art: Moulton’s Dual-Suspended Compact Bike

Better Than Art: Moulton’s Dual-Suspended Compact Bike

What’s better than a gorgeous bike tricked-out with space-frame technology? One with a proper British pedigree, of course. This sexy ride got its start nearly 50 years ago, when the engineering mastermind Alex Moulton debuted his “bicycle of the future,” proving that small wheels could deliver speed. And now, it’s been revived with one of the craziest support systems we’ve ever seen, this side of Norman Foster.

While lots of small-wheelers, including a host of collapsible ones, are fast, most look dinky aside the handsome sturdiness of the full-size-framed Moulton. The latest version, the Pylon, is lighter and faster than the original, with a spare, geometric form that sports masterful engineering.

Moulton, now 81, cut his engineering teeth in the late ’50s on the adorable Mini, developing its compact suspension system, which, along with its tiny tires, became the basis for his F frame — a tremendous success when it debuted in 1962. He figured that by increasing the pressure in the tires, he could reduce tire drag. That also contributed to a rather bumpy ride, which he countered with a front-and-rear suspension system. The result? You might be tempted to balance a full tea service on the handlebars. Check out the suspension system on the New Series Speed in the video above.

Speed

[The New Series Speed; pictured up top, the Pylon]

CC-race

[A velodrome race conducted on some of the original Moulton bikes]

Moultons — still hand-made in Bradford-upon-Avon, England — start at about $7,000. So if you’re looking for something to chain to a lamppost, perhaps this isn’t your cup of tea.BL