Dave Moulton

More pictures of my past work can be viewed in the Photo Gallery on the Owner's Registry. A link is in the navigation bar at the top

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If you own a frame or bike built by Dave Moulton, email details to list it on the registry website at www.davemoultonregistry.com

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 If you ask me a question in the comments section of old outdated article, you may not get an answer. Unless the article is current I may not even see it. Email me instead. Thanks Dave

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Sunday
Nov122006

Happy Birthday Dear Bike Blog


Dave’s Bike Blog is one year old today, how time flies when you are having fun.

I have posted 45 blogs; that’s a little under one a week for the year. I started out slow, averaging only two or three new posts a month to begin with, but in recent months that has increased to as many as six to eight a month.

One of the reasons for the slow beginning; when I started I had three blogs going, which proved to be hard to keep up. As the Bike Blog seemed to have the most support, I dropped the other two and kept this one.

I have come to realize that in order for a blog to be successful and have a following the blogger needs to post something new on a regular basis, and try to keep it interesting. That can be a challenge.

My writings are of course aimed at the bike enthusiast, but I try to write in a way that a person outside the sport would find the piece interesting, informative and entertaining. So if you ever feel that I am “dumbing down” an article remember that there are some out there who are new to this wonderful pastime of ours.

I have always believed in writing in simple, uncomplicated terms anyway; some people can get way too technical about bicycles. The bicycle is one of the simplest and yet most efficient machines ever invented; you push one pedal down, and the other comes up. How can you get over technical on such a simple machine?

Why do I blog? Several reasons. Writing is what I do now and just as building a lot of bicycle frames improved my skill as a framebuilder; a writer needs to write on a regular basis.

This blog allows me to post random thoughts and other writings without cluttering up my website; although I will admit my website gets neglected at times because of time spent writing blogs, when it too needs updating regularly.

Earlier this year I added advertisements to the blog, but removed them after only a week or two. The reason; I realized we are all bombarded with too much advertising and I did not need to be cluttering up my blog with more junk.

This blog is of course a form of self-promotion, to make others aware of my current creative endeavors. There is no point in creating anything if no one knows about it

When I came to the US in 1979 I was an unknown framebuilder. Even though I had a solid reputation in my native England; I was relatively unknown in America. The way I became known was by articles in various magazines like Bicycling and Velo-News, and after that it was steady word of mouth.

Now I am a relatively unknown writer with a novel called Prodigal Child; it too sells largely by word of mouth. This blog is a two way street; if I can manage to inform, entertain, and occasionally amuse you with my writings, hopefully you will become a regular reader and tell others of this blog and thereby perpetuate the word of mouth thing.

I appreciate and encourage your participation by way of comments and suggestions. Some of you don’t want the hassle of signing up with Blogger to post a comment, but you can always go to my profile page where you will find my email and contact me directly if you have a specific question or suggestion for a blog.

Sometimes I am swamped with emails and it takes me a while to answer them all, but I am not at the point yet where I cannot handle the personal contact. When it gets to that point it will be nice to have a wider audience for my writings, but for now I like the way it is; I feel I have a small but very elite following.

But then bike riders are, for the most part, an elite bunch anyway.

Wednesday
Nov082006

Centering side-pull brakes

Do you have trouble in centering side-pull brakes? Here’s a simple little trick that I have always used. First, tighten the brake; don’t worry too much about centering the brake pads at this stage.


With a flat punch, (An old bolt or ¼ inch socket extension works well.) and a small hammer, tap on the top of the brake spring as shown below. Tap on the right or left side, moving the pads in the direction they need to go to center.

What you are doing, is not bending the spring, a light tap with a hammer will not do any harm. By tapping on the spring you nudge the brake bolt into the center position without loosening it. 


Make sure your brake cable housing is not too long, or too short, or it will constantly push or pull you brake pads off center.

Sunday
Nov052006

Toe Overlap: No Problem


There was a discussion recently on Classic Rendezvous Bike list; the tread titled “Toe overlap even on good bikes,” implied that toe overlap was a design flaw and one should not expect to see this on quality bikes. Toe overlap is a result of other critical design factors and cannot always be avoided especially on smaller frames.

When a framebuilder designs and builds a racing frame, his main criteria are to: (1.) Place the rider in a position where he can pedal with maximum efficiency, and (2.) Design the frame so the finished bike will handle at speed in the best way possible. If the result of the design is toe overlap then the builder can do little because to achieve toe clearance other aspects of the frame’s design would have to be altered.

For example the picture above shows my own bike. It has a small 52 cm. (C to T) frame and has about an inch of toe overlap. If I were to make the front end of the bike one inch longer to avoid toe overlap, I would have to do one of the four following things or a combination of all four.

(1.) I could make the seat angle steeper, or (2.) the top tube longer. (3.) I could make the head angle shallower, or (4.) the fork rake (offset) longer. The first two would effect my riding position; the last two would affect the handling of the bike.

Toe overlap is not a problem because riding and cornering at normal speed the front wheel never turns far enough for the toe to hit the front wheel. The only time it becomes an issue is when turning sharply at a very slow speed; doing a U-turn on a very narrow road for example.

Caution and common sense are all that is required when executing a tight U-turn. If you are turning left then your right pedal will be down for maximum ground clearance as you coast into the turn. By the time you need to start pedaling again you are already half way through the turn, and the right crank has to complete ¾ of a turn before the toe is opposite the front wheel.

By that time, you should be all the way around and the front wheel is straight ahead again. If you are not the coast again, or ratchet the crank back again on the freewheel.

Doing the same maneuver with a fixed gear is a little trickier; but it is a matter of timing. Go very slow and start to turn as the toe passes the front wheel; that way the crank has a whole revolution to go before it makes contact again. If the front wheel is still turned the next time round; straighten the front wheel so the toe clears, then turn sharply after it has passed.

Fixed gear and fenders (Mudguards.) is going to make this move a little difficult, but not impossible. With clipless pedals, you could unclip the outside foot and move your toe back to give more clearance. I sometimes get out of the saddle and simply point my toe downwards to give more clearance.

What you need to avoid is a situation where you get your toe on the wrong side of the wheel in a turn; if you do, try not to panic. Ratchet the crank back if you have a freewheel, or if you are riding fixed gear, keep going and let the toe pass the front wheel so you can straighten up again.

Lastly, I would like to point out that a racing motorcycle with narrow swept down handlebars; turning is restricted because the handlebars touch the fuel tank. Here is a machine that will go 200 mph plus, and restricted turning seems not to be a problem. Therefore, I maintain the opinion that toe overlap on a bicycle is neither a design fault nor a problem.

Wednesday
Nov012006

Hey!

Out for a ride the other day; enjoying the beautiful weather and the peace and tranquility of the countryside, when car full of young guys drove slowly by.

Through the open passenger side window someone yells “Hey” right in my ear. I just about jumped out of my anti-bacterial padded shorts.

I wondered; what was the purpose of that? And had I been riding a Harley Davidson and sporting a lot of tattoos would he have yelled in my ear?

Probably not.

Friday
Oct202006

Chuck's custom bike


I’m sure Chuck Schmidt will not mind if I share pictures of his pristine custom ‘dave moulton’ bike.

Built in 1983, Chuck is the original owner, and this is the original paint and chrome. A true hand built specimen, the concave seat stay caps for example, simply cut at an angle with a hacksaw, then filed with a large round file and an off cut of tubing fitted and brazed in place. Not measured but simply filed until they looked identical.




The rear brake bridge has a barrel shaped center boss that were custom made in a machine shop in England and I brought a supply of these with me when I moved to the US in 1979. The center boss was brazed to a piece of ½ inch diameter chrome-molly tubing, drilled to accept the brake bolt, then hand filed until it fit perfectly at the correct height and central between the seat stays.


Finally, the brake bridge re-enforcers were cut from a piece of steel tube. Shaped with a hand held belt sander; again not measured but shaped until they matched as a pair. Working in this fashion gave me great satisfaction, and means that this frame is unique.