The new Moulton XTB is here.
We have our first Moulton XTB at The Traditional Cycle Shop
Our first Moulton XTB has arrived at the shop - a standard model in Camel Yellow. Come and see the exquisite detailing for yourself and take a test ride. We also have a Limited Edition XTB on the way, a drop bar version in Steely Grey, I’ll post some pictures when it arrives. In the meantime here’s some more details and background courtesy of Dan Farrell from the Moulton Bicycle Company…
The Moulton XTB brings full-suspension comfort to all kinds of terrain - paths, trails, tracks and gravel roads. Proven and durable Moulton suspension helps to stick your tyres to the ground for efficiency and safety, as well as absorbing shocks from bumps and dips in the trail. Easily adjusted to suit most riders, the Moulton XTB packs down quickly for hassle-free transport to the trailhead by car, bus, train or plane. Cross-terrain features include increased tyre clearances, adjustable bottom bracket height and custom 1 x 11 drivetrain. These are in addition to the well-proven Moulton characteristics – stiff multi-tube X-frame, front and rear suspension, adjustability to suit most riders and front and rear racks for carrying luggage. This combination of features makes the XTB the perfect choice for bikepacking. The Moulton XTB is a contemporary interpretation of Alex Moulton's AM-ATB, a pivotal design acknowledged as the world's first full suspension mountain bike to enter series production. This reimagining resulted in the new Moulton XTB being 3kg/7lb lighter than the production AM-ATB, an impressive weight saving. Additionally, the Moulton XTB offers both drop and flat handlebar variants and a wider gear range than the original triple-chainring AM-ATB, making it truly the perfect match for the gravel trail.
Moulton space-frame design, fillet-brazed construction in Columbus Spirit, Kaisei NiCrMo and Reynolds steels. Stainless steel dropouts.
Uprated Moulton leading-link front suspension, unicrown fork.
Adjustable Moulton rubber-cone ‘Monosphere’ rear suspension.
Generous tyre clearances and increased bottom bracket height.
Lightweight, supple skinwall tyres for low rolling resistance.
Easily and quickly separable into two parts, with kingpin stowage.
SRAM Rival1 with 42 tooth X-sync crankset.
Custom 9-36 tooth rear sprocket set.
23 - 93" gear range.
Front pannier carrier, front and rear platform carriers, rear bag with integral frame, and a rear day bag carrier are all available as options.
Available in flat bar or drop bar configurations.
Hand-built in England.
The XTB Limited Edition is individually numbered to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the launch of the original ATB. Moulton will manufacture 218 and all will feature an individually numbered headbadge, a unique Brooks 'AM' leather saddle and detachable pedals.
The AM-ATB was launched in 1988 and today is widely recognised as the first series-production fullsuspension mountain bike in the world. In Moulton circles, it introduced many new ideas, with the adoption of 20” wheels being perhaps the most notable. Following the demise of the Moulton MkIII in 1974, all Moulton bicycles had been equipped with the unique 17” ‘Moulton’ wheel size and with the arrival of the 20” size - any ‘BMX’ size tyre would fit - the world of tracks and trails opened up to Moulton riders. Whilst the suspension systems were uprated versions of those found on the AM series, a unique feature of the AM-ATB was an adjustable cam under the rear spring. This allowed for a little adjustment to the bottom bracket height and also to the frame angles – a fine-tuning of ride characteristics.
Intended to be a contemporary interpretation of the 1988 AM-ATB, the Moulton XTB shares much of its DNA with the original. A comprehensive review of the AM-ATB, its development history and production variants led to an analysis of strengths and weaknesses; the ultimate aim being improvement in all areas whilst retaining the Spirit of its creator.
Central to the Moulton philosophy, and rightly so, is the use of lightweight, supple tyres. Moulton’s research, from the early days onwards, found that it was the quality of tyre construction that largely influenced rolling resistance and the XTB follows that principle with specially-made 20 x 1.95 skinwall tyres that weigh less than 400g each. These give the XTB a unique ride quality on all surfaces, whilst maintaining rolling efficiency.
The centre frame section uses the same ‘hairpin’ construction patented by Moulton and featured on the AM-ATB. The XTB improves on the stiffness (lateral and torsional) and buckling resistance by the addition of three-segment (four joint) reinforcing tubes in each ‘girder’ section of the ‘X-frame’. To ensure that weight is kept low, these tubes have a wall thickness of only 0.5mm. The frame may be easily separated into two parts by the removal of the central kingpin (the kingpin can then be stored in the holder on the rear half of this frame). This separation feature allows for easy transportation by rail or by car and does not affect the strength or rigidity of the frame.
Whilst the front fork has been re-created to the original dimensions of the AM-ATB, the front stirrup itself has been significantly lightened and the mudguard mount has been moved to underneath the stirrup block. The rear fork is built to a new design with tapered chainstays and hooped seatstay, the latter feature offering greater tyre clearance and mirroring the aesthetic of the front stirrup. The introduction of diagonal brace directly from the hoop to the bottom bracket takes care of braking loads more effectively (and with less weight) than the original rear fork ‘X’ tubes. In another nod to the original AM-ATB, an adjustable spring cam plate is fitted, which allows the rider to adjust the frame angles and fork trail to suit the terrain.
Modern off-road cycle components are strongly centred around single chainwheels and very wideratio sprocket sets. This dispenses with the need for a front derailleur (and corresponding shifter) and offers greater ground clearance than conventional ‘2x’ or ‘3x’ transmissions. Moulton have developed a special 9-36 tooth sprocket set to suit small wheels, giving a 400% gear range (23 – 93” with 42 tooth chainring). The chainring itself is from SRAM – its ‘X-sync’ tooth profile prevents the chain from falling off the single ring. Alex Moulton – a long-standing advocate of the single chainring – would have been delighted to see this technical and mechanical solution to what was a perennial problem.
Brakes caused a headache for us, as indeed they had with the AM-ATB. To keep the new XTB ‘in the spirit of’ the AM-ATB we wanted to keep the leading-link front suspension, which in turn is incompatible with a disc brake - hence we have specified a V-brake on the front and a cable-operated disc brake on the rear. An interesting historical note is that Moulton’s first prototype bicycle (in 1959) featured a directpull front brake (like a V-brake), decades before their mainstream introduction.
To sum up, the result is that the new Moulton XTB is over 3kg/7lb lighter than the production AM-ATB, with drop and flat handlebar variants, and a wider gear range. And all of this within the Moulton package of separable frame, full suspension and small wheels.