close up of almost completed cable guide

Replacing Moulton Series 2 'F' frame plastic cable guides

Functional and less obtrusive

Those of us familiar with the early Moultons know that each model (Series 1, 2 or 3) is a mixed bag of pros and cons that silently tell the short, turbulent story of the most original bike of the twentieth century. The first 'F' frame of 1962 had the formula right, but in execution it wasn't quite 100%. The problems were ironed out progressively, and by the latter part of 1965 the Moulton had evolved into the definitive 'Series 2', fully sorted at last. If your bike is one of these you may well feel chuffed, especially about the strengthened swingarm that replaced the fracture-prone version on thesteel cable guides of Series 1 f frame moulton earlier bikes.

But it wasn't all good, as by then some corners had been cut. The trouble is the company found itself in financial strife before the bike could be fully sorted. Sales were falling with the emergence of competition – most notably the Raleigh RSW – and they responded by cheapening the product. This included replacing the tasty alloy parts on the deluxe model with heavier steel equivalents, and replacing the distinctive 'billiard cue' paintjob with a solid colour.

But if you're like me, what annoys you most are the horrible white plastic cable guides that came with the Series 2s. The earlier bikes had fine steel loops brazed to the frame, but that must have been too costly to survive the austerity campaign. A shame, as I think the plastic guides look cheap and nasty, and would have looked so even when the bikes were new (judge for yourself from this advertisment). As you'd expect, the survival rate of the plastic cable guides after 50 years isn't good, and your Series 2 may only have a few useable ones left; how many Series 2s have their cables tamed by zip ties? And where a frame isn't marred by broken cable guides and zip ties, then it's pocked by little holes where long-departed cable guides once lived.

What to do? Exact replacements can't be found, and the search goes on for the neatest, most effective way to replace them. So here's Bootiebike's way: Essentially, I've fabricated some little brackets from a length of right angle plastic trim moulding, obtained from a hardware store. Each bracket is held in place by an automotive trim 'canoe' clip, which fits snugly in a frame hole.


I've aimed to make the illustrations below tell the whole story, so it shouldn't need much explanation, but a few notes are in order…

Good luck!

An original cable guide from a Series 2 'F' frame Moulton of late 1965
An original cable guide from a Series 2 'F' frame Moulton of late 1965
Automotive 'canoe' clip available on ebay
Automotive 'canoe' clip
canoe clip
Business end of canoe clip
plastic moulding from hardware shop
Plastic moulding from hardware shop
holes drilled in moulding
Holes drilled, ready for cutting up into individual brackets
small plastic bracket near completion
Another little bracket near completion!
bracket and canoe clip checking for fit
Checking for fit
completed cable guides ready for painting
Family portrait of almost-completed cable guides
head tube clips are shortened
Trim the canoe clips that go into the head tube
finished guides looking unobtrusive
Voila! Functional, but less obtrusive, cable guides