Dave Moulton

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« Candy Apple Paint | Main | Padded Under Shorts »

The Naked Truth

It is rare to see one of my frames stripped of its paint. This custom 'dave moulton' Criterium frame was recently bought on eBay in this already stripped condition. Only 36 of the Criterium model were built.

This frame was designed with lateral stiffness in mind, for fast sprinting out of corners, etc. For this reason it has oversize seatstays, and this modified track fork crown. (Picture above.) The Columbus oval fork blades were re-formed round at the top to fit this crown, which is engraved with my four "m" logo.

(Above.) All California built custom frames from 1982 on, had my name engraved in the bottom bracket shell. 

(Above.) Nice sharp points on the lug work. Those diamond shaped bridge re-enforcers were hand cut and shaped from the off-cuts from chainstays. 

(Above.) Rear drop-out detail. 

(Above.) The rear brake bridge. Again the re-enforcers were hand cut from a scrap piece of tubing. They were never measured exactly, but cut and shaped until the pair matched. The bridge itself is a straight piece of 1/2 inch diameter chrome molly tube. The little barrel shaped center was cutom made for me by a machine shop in Worcester, England, and I brought a box of them with me when I came to the US in 1979. 

(Above.) The seat lug and seatstay top eyes. Again roughly measured, and filed with a large round file to accept an off cut from a piece of head tube, which was then brazed in place and shaped untill the pair matched when held up side by side.

These little hand made touches were what made each custom frame different and special. Each frame was slightly different from another, because these little extras were purly decerative. As long as one side matched the opposite side, they didn't need to be precise.

The frame is now owned by Jack Gabus who plans to have it re finished. I appreciate him sharing these photos of the frame in its current state.


Footnote: Just this week, Mitch Pullen set up a group Facebook page for owners of frames I built. Lots of pictures already posted over there. Click here to take a look.


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Reader Comments (11)

I ask Jack do you really have to paint it ? Perfect at every angle

June 5, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMitch

This reminds me of some excellent work done by an old-school plumber when we had a bathroom remodel done about five years ago. The quality of the rough plumbing, sweated joints on the copper piping was so good that I told him I was considering fitting plexiglass instead of sheet rock so that his work would be exposed!

June 5, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMartin W

That is why privateers cannot survive making frames anymore. You Dave, were the epitome of the very thing corporations, whom took over the bicycle industry about the time you were getting out of it, hate. Each aspect of your custom frames cannot be monetized. From rounding the top of Columbus fork tubes to cutting out tabs by hand, Corporations, and we are talking about all but .001% of bicycles built, need to reduce costs to maximize profits. They want every process controlled and predictable. The Individual is gone, in Corporations (def. a legal creation authorized to act with rights/liabilities of a person/individual). And they certainly do not want customization for buyers; instead, everyone gets a Cookie-Cutter copy.
…Naked Truth is right. I could bring up Dave Tesch, Mario Confente, even Faliero Masi while talking about corporate attitudes ruining a company, and people.
The same thing happened in Machining. I once made a decent, middle-class living as a Swiss-Screw Machinist for 40 years. Now, people have been bamboozled into accepting IKEA and Fast-Fashion (shit) quality by Corporations that care less about its workers and even less about its customers!
Worldwide, wages have fallen off a cliff for craftsmen because they are not respected. Oh, wait, I meant needed. And it would take volumes to write about why that is…

June 6, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

Hi Dave,
Aside from beefed up stays and fork blades, is there any difference in frame geometry between your criterium frame ad regular road frames? As an owner of your 1st gen. Fuso frame, I am definitely a fan!


June 6, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMike W

Just wondering if changing details from one frame to the next was hopefully a process to improve? I know that some differences are because of different intended uses, but was there an evolutionary process going on?

June 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

Mike W,
The Criterium frame had a 74 degree head angle with 1 1/8 inch (30mm.) fork rake for quicker handling. A slightly higher BB. It was built in the stiffer Columbus PS (Track.) tubeset. Many owners say it climbs faster, in spite of being slightly heavier.
I would describe the slight differences in detail being like an artist doing a hand sketch of the same subject over and over. Each sketch would appear the same, and only when you laid them all side by side and studied them closely would you be able to see slight differences one from another.

June 7, 2015 | Registered CommenterDave Moulton

Dave, Thanks for sharing this information with us! These types of articles always make me smile. What was done, how it was done and with what and why is what interests me.

Great post!

June 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSJX426

One of the builders at NAHBS this year displayed a couple of raw frames.
It sure puts the spotlight on build quality.
The level of finishing and uniformity are there for all to see.
this looks great, Thanks.

June 8, 2015 | Unregistered Commenteredstainless

Fascinating to see the important details that you as the builder understand but I am not trained enough to notice. Also, I never realized that your logo was four little 'm's, I thought it was just a stylized cross or plus!

June 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRubeRad

Dave. The old saying "they dont make em like that anymore" rings true with this frame of yours. I am a great fan of many of the old British frame makers. TRUE artisans like you mate. My 1953 Rotrax, has a lot of the same touches, When I look at my C/F Concorde Xblade frame, I see nothing. Just a bunch of plastic tubes stuck together. Try riding any distance on that and you will see why steel IS REAL.

June 11, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterjohn crump


I'll send you a photo of my Paris Sport (Moulton) when it's media blasted and ready for the powder coating - Groody Bros. said they would send me a photo! Bet it will look just as nicely crafted as this frame!

June 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAndy Katz
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