From time to time, I get emails asking for information on framebuilder Mike Melton. I always respond that I have no idea where Mike is now. However, here is the little I do know.
I met Mike in 1980 a year after I came to the US and I was working for Paris Sport. I was building some aero-bikes for the US National Team. Time was running short and Mike Fraysee of Paris Sport brought Mike Melton in to assist me.
Mike was an established and well-respected American framebuilder from Columbia, South Carolina. We worked together for a week and obviously got to know each other pretty well during that time.
Afterwards we went our separate ways and usually met up at least once a year at the various bicycle trade shows. Mike continued his connection with the US team when he later went to work for Huffy and built frames for the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.
In the years that followed he would design and build some carbon fiber frames for the US team and was somewhat of a pioneer, in building frames using that material.
Below is a picture of an earlier 1982 steel tube Aero frame that Mike Melton built for John Marino for his winning “Race Across America” ride.
I have not heard anything of Mike since the late 1980s and I would love to renew our contact. I recently received a request for info from Matthew Marion who sent me the photos of his red Melton frame you see here.
I believe Mike is a few years younger than I am so he may or may not be retired now.
If he wishes his whereabouts to remain unknown, I will of course respect that. However, he may not even know that his past work still has a following and their owners treasure the fine crafted frames he built.
Update 1/29/11: Mike Melton died on January 26th, 2011, after a long illness resuling from a rare neurological disease believed to be spinal cerebella ataxia, similar to ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease.