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Curses and glory

September 27, 2011

Oh curses a cloudy, glary sky and the limits of my phone camera – between them they have produced some photos that definitely do not do justice to this gorgeous pair of bikes (and matching riders). But glory be to the very existence of such a stylish pair of people, and their love of the small wheeled bike.

Picture this: after an hour of running errands on my bike, which concludes with me huffing and puffing over Richmond hill into the north wind, I’m feeling a bit tired and over it when I remember I have to go to the ATM. Blast! Johnston Street detour.  Slipping up the footpath past the supermarket I am distracted by some fabulous yellow tights stepping out ahead of me. Fabulous yellow tights worn by a fabulous stylish woman, who walks up to a matchingly fabulously stylish man. I forget my huffy puffy mood and say a private little thank you that I live in a suburb where I can stumble upon such style and grace on the way to the bank. Then I see their bikes.

Both have been put together by the gentleman half of the pair (name suppressed to protect his identity – don’t want him being mobbed by retro folding-bike enthusiasts).

His is a Moulton (I think – though I thought it also had a Malvern Star decal) apparently a very early small wheeled model. It has back pedal breaks, suspension and a two gear system that seems to be operated by a combination of pedal action and magic. Never seen anything like it.

Hers is a composite bike lovingly constructed  and powder coated by him for her. Its moniker, Clementine, is hand painted on the frame in perfect cursive.

I really wish I had taken more time to get some detailed shots, but I was too busy yakking away about the love of retro small wheeled bikes. I think I have found my people!

If we’re lucky we’ll get a comment back from him or her giving us some more details of the bikes…we love a bit of bike trivia here at Little Bike Blog… so fingers crossed.

  1. Anonymous permalink

    The Lady’s bike looks like a fairly standard Raleigh Twenty. It even has the original steel rims! His Moulton is an early version produced in the 1960’s. If you look at the rubber gaiter at the top of the front fork, you will see that it has front suspension as well.

    • Thanks Roy, you are clearly in the ranks of people who know their stuff about little bikes. I am impressed ( I am more in ranks of admiring in ignorance so I love getting information from people from your ranks.)

      I think the lovely gentleman told me the frame of her bike was a Raleigh model that came out before the Twenty, a WS something or other. That might mean something to you.

  2. James permalink

    Hi guys. My name is james and I’m the guy in the pics with the moulton. Pleasure to be apart of the blog and have a pic taken. Thanks. The moulton is a 1965 stowaway model with a fitchel sachs doumatic kick back hub. This was marketed in aus by malvern star hence the decal. (I’m yet to replace the moulton decal). Sadly this bike was in an accident the next day and has incurred major structural damage 😦 . With enough grieving Ive decided to build up another as I’m a bit of a moulton nut. I’m not alone as aparently moulton has one of the largest bike clubs in the world. As for my wifes bicycle which is a cyclops, was created from four others that where destined for the heap. The frame was originally a rust bucket but now is a sturdy work horse. Our bikes here are historically connected as Raleigh produced the inferior rsw ( Raleigh small wheel) in response to the moultons success. This basic lugless frame prevailed as the Twenty and the Chopper. Other brands such as cyclops here liscenced the design. Thanks again for the opportunity to show of our loved bikes and look forward in seeing you around town in small wheel shopper. happy riding. James.

    • James – you are a whizz! You get the Little Bike Blog Provenance Gold Star. Thanks for all the info and so sorry about the bike being in a stack and unfixable. Hope you came out of it in better shape.
      After reading my blog a friend and slightly obsessed bike nut told me that Moulton had just released a 50th anniversary edition of your bike model, in Titanium. And it costs tens of thousands of dollars. ( I thought he said $35 000 but surely the can’t be right.)

      See you on the street.


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