Sunday, November 9, 2014

1964 Moulton "F" Frame 4 Speed - COMPLETED

It took a couple months, but the Moulton "F" Frame is now completed.  It was a fun project, a bike that really deserved to be restored.  I took it out for its maiden voyage yesterday and was astounded how smooth this bike rides.  16" wheels at 75psi should have beat the daylights out of me on the bumpy path  that leads up to the north end of Mercer Island. Instead, I just kind of floated over them!  And no real loss in acceleration, speed or handling.  Nice job Moulton!

So here is a laundry list of what was done to this bike:

- Disassembly.  Frame and rear rack repaired at CycleFab by Haulin' Colin
- Frame sandblasted and powdercoated in original Gray by Seattle Powdercoat.  Racks were sprayed out in white with Rustoleum. Framesaver sprayed inside all accessible tubes.
- Hubs, bottom bracket, headset all pulled apart, cleaned and re-packed with fresh grease.
- New brake and shift cables with fresh white housing
- New Primo Comet tires
- Replaced saddle with a vintage Crown sprung saddle
- New white hand grips
- Replaced broken fender reflector with vintage original
- New decal set applied
- Sturmey Archer FW 4-Speed hub repaired

The 4-speed hub was an interesting problem.  When riding it in its original state, you couldn't shift it into any gears, the cable was shot.  In high gear you could pedal a ways, but as soon as you put any pressure on the pedals, the back end would just slip… no clicks or noise just a real un-natural slide of the drivetrain.  I pulled the hub apart and found a broken pawl spring.  The pawls in this hub were press fit, so I had Aaron at Aaron's Bike Repair pop the pawl out and I re-installed the new spring.  Put it all back together and took it out and, crap, the same slip thing!  During the original disassembly, I didn't remove the cog.  It looked like the cog on this hub was attached in a unique way and I didn't have a tool to get it off.  Now when I disassembled it again, I noticed that it wasn't a unique attachment, the old grease and dirt was hiding the fact that there was no retaining circlip!!  Every time you put some weight on the pedals, the cog shifted in the circlip groove and just spun around!  Needles to say, the cog's nubs that hold it to the driver were pretty worn. I put on a replacement 19 tooth cog and tried riding it again… No slip!  Fixed!

Anyway, here are some pictures of the bike in its glory!


  1. Hi Charles, congratulations on a great project. Like you say, nothing floats over the bumps like a Moulton! I too have a 65 deluxe, and am preserving the patina of the frame but have 'Rustoleumed' the racks following your lead and am pleased with the result. Have you done any work on the suspension? mine feels ok, but I suppose it down to initial lube and usage, so am going to leave alone for time being. Images of mine are on the R20- site under Woodbeam. Kind regards David

  2. Hi David, Yes, I've seen you on the R-20 site before too!

    I have to admit I like bikes in their vintage attire as well, but this one was just too messed up. It sure turned out nice with the new powder coating. I have to admit I don't ride this bike all that much - I'm a bit nervous about the 4-speed. It seems more delicate than the SA-AW 3-speed.

    Since this time, I've picked up an AM-14 and a Mk-3, both in really nice shape… not good… at least according to my wife! :-)

  3. Greetings, You did a lovely job, well done! I am actually working on a very similar project on my 64' Moulton 4-speed here in Portland! A few questions, Did you have to remove the head badge before powder coating? If so, how did you reapply it? Also, where did you get your new decal set? I'm planning on keeping mine mostly stock, but will have it painted a different color;)
    Thanks in advance!

  4. Thanks for the kind comments. Yes, this Moulton turned out super nice. I don't ride it too much, mostly just pull it out for short tours around the neighborhood... It deserves it!

    So, when you powder coat a bike frame EVERYTHING needs to be removed from it. This includes the oil brass hinge bolt sleeve, the rubber bumper (and the plate that it sits on) all the fittings for racks etc... and the head badge. The original head badge was riveted on. Once my bike was back together, I reattached the head badge with construction adhesive. I found two rivets and cut/filed them to the exact length to fit through the head badge and into the frame, but not so deep that they would protrude into the inside of the frame. I glued them there. The head badge looks absolutely original and is rock solid on the frame.

    I cannot remember where I got the decals, but a quick search of found a seller bluedolphin*09 who sells many of the decals for these bikes. I did not see the Moulton 4 Speed, but it seems all the others are there and he probably has them.

    Another place that you may want to link into is The Moultoneers. I joined (it costs 20 pounds sterling for a year) and you get a nice, very British magazine every few months. They also have a marketplace for parts etc..

    Best of luck with it! I'd love to see photos when you have it done.

  5. Fantastic job; I acquired a 1964 this year and have rebuilt it to stock at this point. Have sourced aluminum rims, and have to decide what to lace them to.
    Bad news: took apart hub to rebuild and discovered the innards are a standard AW 3 speed.
    So, anyway who has a line on a FW I'd be interested.
    Pacifica CA

  6. Hi Louis, congrats on your 64! I just had mine out around the neighborhood yesterday before the Seattle rain sets in for the long haul... They are fun bikes.

    I have to admit I've contemplated pulling the 4-speed out and replacing with a sturdy AW. For some reason, the FW just feels a bit dodgy. There is a place south of me that specializes in IGH called Aaron's Bike Shop ( They may have a spare FW laying around.

    Stay tuned here... I recently came across a SpeedSix that I'm having sent my way!! I'll be working it up on the site here through the winter...



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