ARCC Moulton and the Process of Getting There (LONG)

craiggor

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 9, 2015
498
171
I love my phablet and my sony Qx 10 but I would rather read about your Moulton in this thread. Perhaps someone should start a phone thread.

Sent from my D101 using Tapatalk
 
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Croxden

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 26, 2013
2,097
1,349
North Staffs
Is it bad form to bring a thread back on topic when we are having an interesting discussion?
 
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
49,006
26,728
Flecc, are you sure there's no reception where you are, not that you need it at home? It's when you're out and about that it's useful. There's a lot of new masts and networks gone up recently. They normally make sure that there's at least one that works in every location. I have been all over UK.
Sorry I missed this question earlier. (Apologies for being off thread subject for this reply)

Yes, quite sure, a very common sight here is people wandering around in the road outside and climbing the hill with their latest smartphones to get some sort of a signal.

A few years back we had a chance of a relay mast at the local primary school but one nutter mounted a successful campaign against it on "radiation" grounds and that failed as a result,

The same has happened at a number of locations around here so even around the local area the signals are very patchy.

The fundamental is that the networks are mainly relying on a set of huge masts at the top of the North Downs by the B269 to beam over a large area. Fine for many, but those of us in some folds in the downs and on the lee side masked from the signal get nowt. If I walk down the hill, cross the road and climb the steep hill on the other side a signal appears and at the top of the opposite slope reaches five bars on any network's SIM card!

My only mobile use is for emergency contact when travelling. I absolutely don't want mobile internet access. I get more than enough of that indoors and don't want to spend my life peering at screens.

I don't reject advances when they are genuinely useful, for example we set up QR trails in our nature reserve, much of which sits on a plateau so mostly has a good signal.

QR Green Trail

QR Red Trail

This post
might interest you! :)
.
 
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Templogin

Pedelecer
May 15, 2014
117
88
61
Sorry that it has been so long since the last update. Things have not been going well.. I have had a cough for ages. The first time that I can find it mentioned in one of my emails to a friend was back in September. Nevertheless, once the Moulton arrived I was busy riding it back and forth to work. My colleagues around me were coughing too, and they had all been diagnosed as having a viral chest infection, and I assumed that mine was the same.

Around the beginning of December I was getting fed up with the cough and went to see a GP at a walk-in clinic, was prescribed antibiotics and steroids, and told to take a week off and rest. I felt no different after the week off so just soldiered on until xmas, when I decided that I was probably putting a strain on my chest and would stay off the bike until the cough got better. By the end of February there was no improvement, so I went to the doctor and he suggested that my reflux has got worse and stomach acid is being driven up into my lungs, which seemed obvious once he said it, so I am now on some new meds. The first lot just made me sick, so the second lot I am hopeful will cure me. If not I will have to have a test for helicobacter pylori.

Things have changed at work and I needed to access the cellular network rather than the work wifi. My iPad mini was just wifi so I gave that to my son, who was about to buy a used one from CEX, and replaced mine with another iPad mini, but this time the cellular/wifi one. Vodafone managed to balls up the online order, but with a bit of chasing on the good old telephone it had them running the credit check, which they had failed to do. “The SIM will be in the first class post today sir, so you will have it tomorrow”, they said. There’s no point telling them that it wont arrive tomorrow. Three days later I now have it. I popped the nano SIM out of the card and it comes as no surprise that there is no signal here at home. We just haven’t got any coverage, but I know that it will work at the place of employ as my colleague is using one not 12 feet from my desk, and work is where it is most important. I spoke to my son about the lack of signal, and he said, yes people get so used to having such a good signal wherever they are in the UK, even in the Peak District and the Lake District in the middle of nowhere, but Shetland really is in the back of beyond and unless you go there you just can’t understand how it is. Indeed!

Anyway, getting away from the personal tech, my other half has just had an electric bike delivered and was keen to go out on it. As we were at her place at the time, Scalloway, once the capital of Shetland, seemed like a good place to go where we could get a coffee. I should add this was before the latest trip to the GP. I wasn’t sure that I would be able to do the 11 mile round trip, and we agreed that if my lungs gave up on me I would turn back and she would carry on. Amazingly I made it in one piece feeling really well, and I just couldn’t understand why I was coughing so badly one moment then zooming off on the bike the next. We sat down in a cafe and had a cake and a coffee and then headed back. I had changed the battery over so that I wouldn’t have to stop on the way back, and we headed off back to Lerwick by a slightly different route with more hills.

A third of the way into the trip a car came by, the driver tooting the horn and waving, a friend of ours. She pulled into the lay by and we had a chat, but I set off after a while and let the women have a yarn. I got back to the other half’s place, and except for a fit of coughing I felt fine. I wish I hadn’t left it so long until trying to ride the bike again.

She arrived home later and was obviously pleased with the bike except for a rubbing sound that we weren’t able to track down, but seemed to be plastic on plastic around the crank area. Being small she fins the bike difficult to lift up the steep flight of steps to the block of houses, taking the battery off reduces the weight, but I was surprised how little it weighed. The Bosch batteries on mine are much more densely weighted. With the battery on her bike, to me the weight seems to be much the same as my heavily built Thorn.

I engaged a talented young man with engineering skills and the tools for the job and he has knocked me up a lovely stainless steel front rack to fit the panniers to. Unfortunately the measurements I gave him didn’t take into account key access to the lock that can lock both the ePod and the battery to the bike, so I plan to lop the top of the key off.

I have since ridden the bike the 18 miles home with loaded tail pack and front panniers, albeit not heavy, and the bike still rides like a dream.

Pottering about on a Moulton with its small wheels, whilst the other half rides about on her large wheeled bike reminded me of when we rode from Aberdeen, back to Shetland via Cullen on the Moray Coast, Inverness, Tain, Wick, JoG, along the coast, then across to St Margarets Hope on Orkney and Kirkwall, before getting the ferry to Shetland.

As you will know if you read the thread from the beginning, it took a long time to make a decision which bike to buy, and a lot of the decision was based around the battery. In a way I am envious when I see her large wheeled Bergamont from the Electric Transport Shop in Cambridge. It is very stylish, except for the Dutch sit up an beg look about it. I have no wish to be bent over drops, but I like to lean forward a lot towards the handlebars, and that is probably born out of riding in the winds up here.

Being used to riding a rigid bike the Moulton always seems like a little bit of luxury when I get on it. I know that the suspension doesn’t move much, but that small amount of movement, especially at the back does make a difference, and I think it is that, and the combination of a saddle that suits me, means that my butt survives painless for longer.

The Moulton doesn’t really have a huge carrying capacity compared to the large wheeled bikes, which naturally have more space to hang stuff from, and further before it scrapes on the ground, though I have seen some very heavily laden Moultons on touring expeditions. That does have an advantage though as it prevents people like me, who like to be ready for anything, from taking the kitchen sink with me. Generally though I don’t need to take a lot back and forth between home and work, and if it does get heavy and/or bulky the trailer will step into the breach..

So if it got stolen tomorrow what would I replace it with? I really can’t say with absolute certainty. I would prefer a large wheeled bike, but the Moulton has its advantages, as well as looking very cool. I still like the battery system. I know that Bosch batteries will be available for years to come. The ePod system has worked well, and the only problem that I have had was when I hadn’t clipped the battery on properly, but a warning light indicated a problem, and as there isn’t many places the system can go wrong, I went straight to the battery fitment. I have ridden through torrential rain without problems, and we all know that ebikes take a good few years off your legs so I ride in winds and conditions that I wouldn’t have considered before. It was initially horribly expensive, but lungs permitting I will do many more miles on this bike, and go to places that I may not have gone to before. Yes, it’s been good value. If you like Moultons, then this could be the perfect way of getting about, and hub gears have surely got to be a logical choice for all but those who don’t ride in adverse conditions.
 
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Templogin

Pedelecer
May 15, 2014
117
88
61
Vodafone ballsed it up again, by charging me for a service that I didn't want, despite it being free for 3 months. Even when I told them this they still wanted to charge me for it. It was only a quid, but that was not the point, so I used their 30 day agreement and opted out of the contract. It has been the only bit that has gone smoothly!

Today I rode the ARCC Moulton to a local art gallery 8.4 miles in 35 minutes. I handed the battery and charger to the staff and they charged it up for me whilst I sat in the cafe eating, drinking and listening to screaming babies. We then had a look around the gallery and shop and by the time that we were finished the battery was charged.

Then we set off the 12.6 miles into Lerwick and all was going well until the bike started lurching, despite being in the correct gear, going up a hill and giving the motor plenty off assistance, both with the position of the switch and the input from my legs. I was on my second battery, which was properly fitted and well charged. It was as though the voltage was being reversed intermittently to the motor, and had the effect that engine braking has, especially on a large engined motorbike with few cylinders. It was even happening downhill. I have used ARCCs online web form to ask for advice.

The other half is loving her Bergamont eHorizon and managed to leave me standing up the hills, despite being in the second lowest level of assistance. There is a long descent into Lerwick, which she doesn't like, due to the speeds that you can get up to, so she took a longer detour, so I got back first. We both came back cold, but well exercised, her having ridden 26 miles as we set off from different locations.
 
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reggie_electric

Finding my (electric) wheels
Dec 15, 2015
23
8
41
The other half is loving her Bergamont eHorizon and managed to leave me standing up the hills
Hi templogin, can you please share the motor type you have on the e-horizon? I'm interested in that bike but live in a hilly city so it would be good to get some real life performance thoughts.
 

Georgew

Pedelecer
Apr 13, 2016
148
185
81
Fife Scotland
@Templogin.........good to know that you're still riding and happy with your bike. I have never regretted buying mine as I've now reached the stage where I'm not able to use a conventional machine. It's going to be perfect for buzzing about town doing my shopping and I continue to be impressed by the smoothness of the ARCC system and have invested in a Bluetooth Controller. It appears that my pod needs to be converted before it can cope with the controller but they have offered to do this gratis if I can post it to them.
Let's hope your health problems clear up ad you can get back to enjoying your bike.
 
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Templogin

Pedelecer
May 15, 2014
117
88
61
Hi templogin, can you please share the motor type you have on the e-horizon? I'm interested in that bike but live in a hilly city so it would be good to get some real life performance thoughts.
I haven't been back here for ages so apologies for not responding to your post. I do have some good news though about 4G in Shetland. https://www.pedelecs.co.uk/forum/threads/arcc-moulton-and-the-process-of-getting-there-long.26238/

Hallelujah!

The eHorizon has a Bosch motor, but you probably know that by now!

I hardly rode a bike at all last year because of COVID and some fairly average weather/high winds when I wanted to get out. Plans to ride the Caledonian Way in 2021 may come to nothing if this virus is not got under control by early summer. It was going to be a trip on the touring bikes.

I ought to mention that I have bought a smartphone, an iPhone 8, just over a year ago. I mostly use it as a hotspot for 3G broadband. I speak to my partner on Skype on it, and use it for banking. My trusty iPad, with its new battery is still always with me. I have even used it to take some photos when I have left my camera at home!! The other use for it is for reminders in OmniFocus. It's hideous as an input device, and for tht I use the iPad if the laptop is not available. I have never used the phone as a GPS.
 
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johnb80

Just Joined
Mar 1, 2021
3
1
Cambridgeshire
Hi templogin, this is my first post on any website ever, so let me know if I mess up. Pleased to hear you are back on the bike and enjoying it, your string could have been written for me, I came upon it searching for front rack Moulton ARCC . Is your purpose made rack ok, does it clamp to the head tube, fit around the pod, is it supported by the front wheel nuts? Having read the AtoB review and photos of the Brompton ARCC I asked ARCC if some similar front bag attachment could be devised for my Airnimal Joey if my Joey were the donor bike for an ARCC conversion. They thought about that and came back with a no.
Like you I have been "faffing" about for 2 years over electric assist, an 80th birthday gift to myself, I am now 2 years behind schedule, my short list for a Joey conversion (Cytronex, Nano, Pendix, ARCC) is now ARCC - either on the Joey or a Moulton which sounds like a great bike with a well engineered assist. (Any Joey owners out there who are thinking about Cytronex... etc. I can happily exchange thoughts on why three of the above are not right for me)
The upside of all the above is threefold - I am 40 miles from Cambridge (ARCC, Elec Transport Shop, CycleCentric), I have my second Covid jab next week (great being 80+) and Cambs is pretty flat. ARCC, help-ful as well as being technically astute, have agreed to provide an unassisted and an assisted Moulton to test ride and I suppose a fourth 'plus' is that the Joey is one of four makes on their recommended list. My current thinking is to go with the ARCC Moulton if the ride is as good as it is said to be so your comments have been invaluable. I have to say that I am not keen on the weapon-like appearance of its pod and battery up front which rather screams electric bike but functional it certainly is and I could not live with the tripping hazard that is a battery on the down tube.
A word on the Airnimal Joey, which I have had for 9+ years and is great - our move to a retirement property with much reduced space, car must be garaged etc, had me looking at folders and the Joey has been the perfect compromise. Last year we changed the car, attracted to among other things, the upward folding rear seats expecting this to give easy access for a bike minus its front wheel. In fact the Joey is just a fit in the space created - front wheel on, pedals detachable, handlebars turned through ninety degrees. I thought of this when reading of the overnight storage of your lady's bike. It also beats bike rails, racks, folders in the boot, plastic covers in a salty atmosphere and most of all a bad back from lifting and moving awkwardly on a staircase.
The Moulton by the way is I think about three inches shorter than the Joey and its bars are a couple of inches narrower. I did consider maybe adding a smallest size Kalkhoff or similar to my short list, maybe I will look up the Bergamot Horizon, 5' - 6"me, what do you think?
Be good to hear that you are still riding and now fully fit.
All the best to you both,
John B.
 
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Templogin

Pedelecer
May 15, 2014
117
88
61
Hi John

Welcome to the world of Internet forums. My overzealous mail application has been tossing notifications from this forum into my junk folder, hence my tardy response.

There hasn't been much in the way of riding this year due to the winds up here. We seem to go through days when I think that it is too rough to ride, followed by gales the next day, making me wish that I had taken the bike out on the previous day. Never mind!

My rack bolts to the frame. There are specific mounts just behind the headstock, below the top and middle tubes. The tubes go from the top tube, forward to either side of the battery then curve downwards, then back towards the lower fittings. I have never liked things attached to the forks, as I think it ruins the steering of most bikes, so mine is a good solution for me, although the panniers rub on the tyres if you are moving the bike around, and turning the steering much further than you would whilst riding normally.

If you want to get a rack made follow my lead and just get a request written up for a local forum and ask if someone can make you a rack. They will need thin-walled stainless tubing, and the ability to weld such material. I had one of the Moulton pannier rays that I could give them so that they had an idea of what to build, but on a wider scale, to allow for the battery and control box. In fact you don't have to have stainless steel, but I wanted to leave mine unadorned with paint.

I also considered the Joey, not for e-conversion though. I liked the idea of being able to dismantle it, but not the loose wheel! There's no pleasing some people.

The downside of the AARC is all that weight up front, but if you are not lugging it up and down stairs it won't matter.

I think that my partner got the smallest Bergamont she could. She was looking at Riese and Muller originally, but they were all too big for her. She is about 5'2", so I would assume that you would have no problem, except for getting it in a car.

I will be interested to hear what you think/thought of the Moulton.

If I had to do it all again I would have spent another £2k and bought a Riese and Muller. I just prefer larger wheels. I can't explain why 5 of my 6 bikes have small wheels! The thing that I would always choose is hub gears, preferably Rohloff. I give them a yearly oil change and they have been totally free of trouble for both me and her.

Whatever you do end up with I can only suggest that you use it as often as possible. My partner has had problems with the Bosch head unit and charging the battery because she doesn't ride it enough. The vendors have been really helpful though when she has run into a problem. She prefers to use her own steam to get about on her Thorn Raven. She needs the e-bike to keep up with me when I am riding mine.
 

johnb80

Just Joined
Mar 1, 2021
3
1
Cambridgeshire
Hi John

Welcome to the world of Internet forums. My overzealous mail application has been tossing notifications from this forum into my junk folder, hence my tardy response.

There hasn't been much in the way of riding this year due to the winds up here. We seem to go through days when I think that it is too rough to ride, followed by gales the next day, making me wish that I had taken the bike out on the previous day. Never mind!

My rack bolts to the frame. There are specific mounts just behind the headstock, below the top and middle tubes. The tubes go from the top tube, forward to either side of the battery then curve downwards, then back towards the lower fittings. I have never liked things attached to the forks, as I think it ruins the steering of most bikes, so mine is a good solution for me, although the panniers rub on the tyres if you are moving the bike around, and turning the steering much further than you would whilst riding normally.

If you want to get a rack made follow my lead and just get a request written up for a local forum and ask if someone can make you a rack. They will need thin-walled stainless tubing, and the ability to weld such material. I had one of the Moulton pannier rays that I could give them so that they had an idea of what to build, but on a wider scale, to allow for the battery and control box. In fact you don't have to have stainless steel, but I wanted to leave mine unadorned with paint.

I also considered the Joey, not for e-conversion though. I liked the idea of being able to dismantle it, but not the loose wheel! There's no pleasing some people.

The downside of the AARC is all that weight up front, but if you are not lugging it up and down stairs it won't matter.

I think that my partner got the smallest Bergamont she could. She was looking at Riese and Muller originally, but they were all too big for her. She is about 5'2", so I would assume that you would have no problem, except for getting it in a car.

I will be interested to hear what you think/thought of the Moulton.

If I had to do it all again I would have spent another £2k and bought a Riese and Muller. I just prefer larger wheels. I can't explain why 5 of my 6 bikes have small wheels! The thing that I would always choose is hub gears, preferably Rohloff. I give them a yearly oil change and they have been totally free of trouble for both me and her.

Whatever you do end up with I can only suggest that you use it as often as possible. My partner has had problems with the Bosch head unit and charging the battery because she doesn't ride it enough. The vendors have been really helpful though when she has run into a problem. She prefers to use her own steam to get about on her Thorn Raven. She needs the e-bike to keep up with me when I am riding mine.
 

johnb80

Just Joined
Mar 1, 2021
3
1
Cambridgeshire
Progress! - Had a test ride of the ARCC Moulton on Wed 5th at Great Abingdon which is about 50 miles from my home, 60 miles if you get lost, the last few miles is tricky, esp. if you leave your downloaded map at home.
Worth the effort though, both to see the spotless workshop and ride the bike also to meet the man Roger whose knowledge of the process and the bike excellent.
Not much in the way of hills in Gt Abingdon but a gentle slope through the village so down and up that three times:-
No assist - needed all the gears.
Power level 1 - as above but easy climb
Power level 3 - easy climb
It is hopefully the case that power levels 4,5 and 6 will cope with anything my 81 year old legs will encounter in Cambridgeshire. The test bike has an Alfine 8 as has my Joey and although I can accept that fewer gears are ok with electric assist the legs etc will no doubt protest in the oncoming years so I expect to stick with the Alpine hub.
The power level selection seems to me not exactly as AtoB magazine's ARCC Brompton review described it. On the test bike having set the power level in M and then switching to A the power level did not exceed that selected in M, this could have been the conditions i.e. the gentle slope or my variable input, the slope not being sufficient to enable the accelerometer perhaps. Not sure.
Something else I had not understood from the AtoB review - the attachment of a Brompton front bag to the Moulton is slick and quick and impressive and obscures the pod and battery, important to me, I do not altogether like the bullnose appearance of pod and battery at the front, it rather shouts "electric bike." Problem solved and looks good, AtoB makes this design seem like an afterthought, it does not look that way at all. (Please be clear that I am an enthusiastic subscriber to AtoB, it is a great read and has been helpful in my understanding and choice of my current and next bike)
Everything else about the ARCC Moulton is as described, yourself, reviews and the website, no excuse now for not making a decision, it's all about cost. I have had the Airnimal Joey for 10 years this year, it's in good order and seems to fit me, the 24" wheels I like, I was conscious riding the Moulton of the smaller wheels, I think this maybe because without my front bag and mudguards my eyes were drawn to the front wheel, no reason for this the ride was perfect, must be something in my head. Back to money I think an ARCC conversion to the Joey is near 2,000 but a new ARCC Moulton with extras could be twice that. Then there is the age thing, mine not the bikes.
Need to get the calculator out.
Let me know how you are doing, you and the bike, I mentioned your posts to Roger at ARCC, he thinks there are three of you up there, getting crowded.

Best to all
JohnB


 

Templogin

Pedelecer
May 15, 2014
117
88
61
Thanks for the interesting post. My email application is still insisting that emails from Pedelecs are junk. It looks as though I will have to beat it into submission. It's a good while since I have been out on the Moulton. My fitness has suffered over the last couple of years so I am keen to ride the Thorn, which is unassisted. I could blame Covid-19 but it is not entirely the culprit. There are many other factors. Laziness is amongst them.

I was looking at the Moulton tonight, and there is rust on the accessories, so it needs to be looked after better than I have. I must chivvy myself along and get one with it.

I have not come across anyone else on an e-Moulton up here, but they would be easy to miss as other than work, I don't get out a great deal. This tends to change in May as the weather improves, but except for this afternoon May has not got above 8 degrees outside, and is often down to 10-12 degrees C in the house when I get home.

I am also a keen AtoB reader. Such an eclectic mix of material in there. I always consume the magazine from end to end in one go. There are some good bargains in the classifieds, but they are always too far away for me to take up the opportunity.

I can't advise you on what to get. I am sure that you will find an answer that suits your budget, but I wish you the best of luck, whichever route you take. Keep us informed.
 

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