Dave Moulton

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The tale of two number ones

When I built frames in England back in the 1970s, and in California in the 1980s, no one and especially me, envisioned the Internet. I had no idea I would be writing about these same frames here, or corresponding with owners some thirty years later.

However, in 1984 when I embarked on a fresh project to build the “Fuso,” a new brand of bicycle frame, I knew the first one I built with the #001 serial number was somewhat unique. Too special to simply let it go to a bike store to be randomly sold to whoever happened along.

I decided to present it to a long time friend, David Ball. David had done a great deal of photography work for me, including the picture above of the #001 Fuso that I used in an ad campaign. The bike was part gift, but mostly in payment for his services.

Some years ago circumstances forced David to sell the #001. He also owns two custom bikes that I built, and had to make a choice of what to let go. The bike went to his local bike store owner in San Luis Obispo, CA who later retired, and the bike was stored and unused since.

Recently, this same bike came up for sale in eBay; David Ball made a successful offer and was able to buy the bike back. I am delighted the #001 Fuso is back with the original owner.

By a strange coincidence, just this week I have been corresponding with another old friend, Kent Radford. Kent and his brother Kyle were the people who commissioned me to build the Recherché frames in 1985.

The Recherché name and the decal design was Kent and Kyle’s concept, so it was obvious that one of the two brothers would get the #001 Recherché. It went to Kent Radford who still owns and rides it today.

Kent told me a neat story about a UPS driver who dropped a package off at his home, and mentioned he was a bike rider. Kent asked him, “What kind of bike do you have.”

The UPS guy answered, “Oh, you probably won’t have heard of it, it’s a Recherché.” Kent took him to his garage and showed him the #001. One of those, “It’s a small world” moments.

Apart from these two #001s, I am left to wonder, where are the other low number frames? A few years back someone contacted me after buying #10 in a Salvation Army store. Then I heard about #20 and #32.

With this in mind I am creating an on-line registry of frames I built. This will be similar to Bob Hovey’s Masi Regisrty, but with more information.

This will be a new website, (davemoultonregistry.com.) and will have separate listings for custom frames built in England, and those from California. Also, John Howard, Fuso, and Recherché brands.

I retired from framebuilding in 1993, so there will be no more of these frames built. I feel it is important to preserve those I did build, for current owners and those who may wish to own one in the future. I feel this registry will help achieve this goal.

The site should be up in a week or so; watch this space



Reader Comments (14)

The registry site will be a great addition. I noticed the Masi Registry doesn't have anywhere for the people registering their bikes to add pictures. I think it would be nice to see what they look like now.


August 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBill Whisennand

I will add my Fuso and my wife Moulton Mixte as soon as it is up and running.

August 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRonald Lau

I will be happy to add my Recherche to the regisrty once it's active. Yes, pictures would be a nice feature as I appreciate other cyclists sharing their rides.

August 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStelvio

Wow, it must be enormously gratifying to see these objects that you put so much of your passion into remain part of your life.

Chapeau. That we could all be so fortunate.

August 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBig Mikey

There will definitely be pictures, and people who have pictures on Flickr, PhotoBucket, and other similar places, I will link to those sites.

August 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDave Moulton

I would also be happy to add my recently purchased Fuso frame # 595. I would love to post the picture of it when I complete the build as I already purchased all the parts needed to do so.

August 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLouiegoat

I hope I am not crossing the line here, but there is a Dave Moulton Group on Facebook you can join and post pictures already.

August 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRonald Lau

Fuso ... what's behind that name?

August 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRider


original owner Fuso # 985

August 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJim

that is awesome dave I will add mine, I did purchase a JH #263 about 4 years ago on ebay for $500...you built several road and track frames for me dave, 2 of which I still have today and another I purchased on ebay for a total of 4.....

Thanks Nick Delia

August 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNick Delia

Fuso ... very clever.

August 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRider

Ready to post, Fuso Bike owner 608! Same red and grey color as your image! Had Dura Ace and Campy on it...Michelin tires. A real international bike!

August 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrittex

Hi there Dave,
I'd love to know what happened to the two frames you built for my friend Paul Carbutt. I borrowed one once when visiting him and it was a beautiful, responsive ride.
Mike Bell

September 30, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMike Bell

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