Frame: Moulton APB 14 Shimano with triangulated steel space-frame which is separable into two halves. Fitted with leading link front suspension and swinging arm rear suspension.

Wheels: 20in alloy rims, 36x3 14 gauge spokes, Shimano hubs, fitted with Vredestein Montecarlo 37-406 tyres.

Transmission: Stronglight 80 crankset with 44 and 28 tooth rings driving a Shimano RX 100 freehub with 11-28 tooth, seven speed Hyperglide cassette, giving gears from 20 to 80 inches. Shimano Deore LX front derailleur, Shimano RX 100 rear derailleur.

Controls: straight handlebars fitted with bar-ends. Shimano Deore LX thumbshifters for gears; Shimano Altus cantilever brakes.

Accessories: Moulton steel mudguards (front fitted with mudflap); Moulton steel rear luggage rack, AXA HA dynamo with head and tail lights; IFAM combination padlock and Flexweave 3/8in x 4ft woven steel cable; Maptrap by CJ Designs supported above gear and brake levers by home-built frame of plastic plumbing components; two 3/4in x 6ft nylon webbing straps and two Karrimor pannier elastics for securing luggage.

For more information about Moulton bikes, see: The Spaceframe Moultons by Tony Hadland. Hadland, Coventry, 1994.


General tools contained in nylon stuff sac: Buddy tyre repair kit (comprising three nylon tyre levers, tube of rubber solution, emery cloth, chalk, crayon, 12 assorted patches, plus additional tube of solution, six more patches, and a packet of six Park self-adhesive patches); Stanley 14cm miniature long-nosed pliers; Bahco 15cm adjustable spanner; Raleigh 30mm headset spanner; Park 32mm/15mm headset/pedal spanner; Park 14/13mm open-ended cone spanner; Britool 11/10mm open-ended spanner; Britool 8/7mm open-ended spanner; plastic film container holding 8,9,10,12mm sockets; 1-off Park Y-type tool (comprising Phillips screwdriver, flat-blade screwdriver, 1/4in square socket-driver); Stanley miniature 65x3mm flat-blade screwdriver; Park AWS-5 Allen key set (comprising 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, 3,4,5,6mm keys); 10cm half-round file; junior hacksaw.

Special tools unlikely to be used contained in nylon zip-bag: crank-removing tool; Shimano bottom bracket tool; 9mm Allen key to fit freehub; Pamir Hyper-Cracker cassette-removing tool; Buddy chain tool for separating and removing chain links; Buddy spoke key; length of spare chain comprising eight pairs of links (acquired in Inverness); Park CC-1 Chain-Checker measuring tool.

Cleaning and lubricating materials contained in re-sealable plastic bag: packet of 25 Boots polythene gloves; 10ml bottle of Loctite Lite-X anti-shake thread-sealing compound; 100g tube of Finish Line bicycle grease; 2floz bottle of Finish Line Teflon cycle oil (I had to top this up twice during the trip but was never able to find this kind of oil until I got round to Bristol, so just used ordinary light oil as sold in every hardware store); Park gear-cleaning brush; two Park gear-cleaning Terry-cloth strips; bottle of degreasing agent (I started off with 4floz of Finish Line Citrus degreaser but the bottle leaked disastrously so I was able to use it only once in Newcastle and the rucsac pocket stank of lemon. Thereafter I was unable to find this substance until Bristol. Friends provided methylated spirit in Aberdeen. In Inverness, Ullapool and Oban I used washing up liquid. Family provided WD-40 in Appleby and subsequently carried a 200ml can of WD-40 which I sprayed on chain at end of each wet day).

Clean spares contained in re-sealable plastic bag: 5m length of parachute cord; 1.5m x 25mm nylon rucsac webbing; ten assorted rucsac buckles and toggle grips; four Karrimor pannier elastics; eight plastic cable ties; roll of 3/4in plastic adhesive tape; 50yd bobbin of button thread; plastic tube containing three needles, five safety pins and six buttons; 5ml bottle of Bostik Super Glue 4; Zippo lighter (not for smoking but for various tasks such as sealing-off the cut ends of rucsac webbing); Stanley Slimknife containing five assorted blades; plastic film container containing one spare headlamp bulb, two spare tail lamp bulbs, special pin for changing padlock combination number, Allen key to fit Moulton cable-splitting turnbuckles.

Loose spares: two brake blocks; rear brake cable; derailleur cable; two cables cut to length for forward end of rear cables; inner tube (after Inverness it became two spare tubes); tyre (after Inverness it became two spare tyres); Mt.Zefal Graph ATB telescopic tyre pump with built-in pressure gauge. Cuthbertson's Little Mountain Bike Book (by Tom Cuthbertson, Ten Speed Press, Berkeley California, 1992); Shimano leaflets for brakes, freehub,shifting levers, and rear derailleur.


Other than routine cleaning lubrication and adjustments, there were few mechanical problems. I was able to repair a broken chain and replace a broken gear cable at the roadside. A cycle shop tightened a few loose spokes. Two rear tyres burst because of a faulty rim, though it took many weeks to realise this was the problem. There were six more ordinary punctures. I had to use low-pressure shopper tyres on the rear wheel all the way around the north of Scotland because of the lack of availability of high-quality tyres and one of these wore out. The front tyre lasted the whole journey and was used for another year before being replaced. The rear brake blocks wore out and were replaced. The chain and the rear sprockets were worn out by the end of the journey and subsequently replaced.