Bicycle innovator Alex Moulton dies at 92

by Raymond Parker on December 10, 2012

in Cycling, History, News

Alex Moulton 1920-2012

Dr. Alexander Eric Moulton, the inventor of the suspended Moulton bicycle, died Sunday evening at age 92.

A tribute on the Moulton Bicycle Company website announced: “It is with great sorrow that Shaun Moulton and The Moulton Bicycle Company announce the news that Dr. Alexander Eric Moulton CBE, distinguished engineer and inventor, passed away peacefully in the company of his family and staff on Sunday evening ….”

The Guardian published an in-depth obit today, examining the life of this extraordinary engineer.

Moulton’s namesake invention revolutionized the small-wheeled folding bicycle, using suspension developments he pioneered in the British car industry, smoothing the way for the original Mini to the MGF.

The Moulton bicycle was a big hit with commuters in the ’60s, lagged after the marque was bought out by Raleigh in 1967, and has made a tremendous comeback since Moulton reacquired the rights to the name in 1983.

May that name live on.

Jacques Bilinski (R) & friend display their Moultons at Paris-Brest-Paris, 2007

(Photo via BC Randonneurs)

Chris December 11, 2012 at 4:37 pm

I have often thought of getting a folding bike, tremendous idea that will live on!

Raymond Parker December 11, 2012 at 6:54 pm

Me too, Chris. They really make sense in the city and I also noted how much easier it was for Jacques Bilinski to pack his bike. There are a number of options, including Bike Friday and Dahon, but I think I’d lean towards the classic Moulton.

Paul Glassen December 16, 2012 at 10:07 pm

From the desk of Alex Moulton,
c. late 1950s;
To do:
One-
With fellow engineer, Alec Issigonis, design original automotive chassis layout that will establish a new paradigm to replace the 60 year reign of the Systeme Panhard, inline front engine driving rear wheels, with a transverse front engine driving front wheels.
Two-
Design alternative to the classic diamond frame bicycle that held sway from the first 1880s “Safety” model of James Kemp Starley. New model to become beloved of enthusiasts and start heated debates for at least the next fifty years.

Done and done.

Raymond Parker December 17, 2012 at 12:26 am

Even one of those would have been revolutionary!

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