Tim Stirling was drawn to Moulton bikes after staying with a friend who has a huge collection of these unique bicycles. Together they used to compete in many long distance AUDAX rides together and every time Tim stayed at their home, he would always be planning to purchase an older style Moulton.
At a Bendigo Swap around 15 years ago, another cycling friend had a 1965 Stowaway Moulton for sale. This type of Moulton comes apart in about two minutes and is so convenient to transport and store. The person Tim bought this Moulton from had actually ridden it around Turkey. Tim restored this cycle and rode it many kilometres on rides up to 100km and has since sold this one to another Bendigo cycling enthusiast.
Since his first purchase, Tim has collected 9 Moultons, including five of the Stowaway models (16 inch wheels), a Mini complete with 4 speed Sturmey Archer gearing and a Midi (both with 14inch wheels). He has owned a very rare Stowaway model, but swapped this one for a Moulton Pashley uni cycle that he could never master! But his favourite model is a ‘late’ model (1984) Moulton AM7.
AM represents the initials of the originator Dr. Alex Moulton, while the 7 represents 7 speed gearing. This type of design looks more like the Sydney Harbour Bridge than a bicycle due to the amount of small lightweight aluminium tubing used in its construction. These style of Moultons have also referred to as the ‘Spaceframe Moultons’. Tim purchased this machine from a cyclist in Ballarat, who in turn had purchased the AM7 from the Isle Of Wight in the UK and provided Tim with the original owner’s name. Tim made contact with the original owner and he forwarded the history of the bike from the day it left the factory in Bradford on Avon, near Bath in the UK.
Tim has ridden this bike over 200km in a single ride, which included climbing Mount Alexander twice and Mount Tarrengower and marvels over the smooth and comfortable ride provided by a Moulton, due to the front and rear suspension. Nil soreness even without a great amount of training for long distance rides. Tim has ridden most of his Moultons on AUDAX rides from 50-200km, even the smaller models which has been great fun spinning along on a small wheeled bike in amongst a group of riders on conventional road bikes.
He also raced his AM7 on several occasions in the Sunday morning Vets races. The gearing on his AM7 is comparable to a road bike even though the wheels are only 17 inch in diameter. This is achieved by having such small sprockets as small as nine teeth, a feat not even available on current road bikes.
When Tim began collecting these machines, he wrote to Sir Alex Moulton asking for his autograph, he was only too pleased to forward this to Tim who has been a member of the Moulton Bicycle Clubs, both within Australia and the International Division. The Moulton experience has been great fun, the design of the Moulton has created great interest for Tim and those who have seen him out riding. With today’s busy lifestyle, being able to ride long distance with such a small amount of training has suited Tim intensely.
Looking forward to seeing you on the road soon God willing.