Advertise Here

Join the Registry

If you own a frame or bike built by Dave Moulton, email details to list it on the registry website at www.davemoultonregistry.com 

Email

(Contact Dave)

Dave Moulton

More pictures of my past work can be viewed in the Photo Gallery on the Owner's Registry. A link is in the navigation bar at the top

Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Zero Tolerance for Spam

  I can delete Spam a lot quicker than it can be posted. Comments are checked daily, even on old articles, and any with irrelevant advertising links are deleted. Blatant or persistant Spammers are blocked. 

Dave Moulton

 

 

 

Powered by Squarespace
Friday
Aug082014

Mystery Bikes

In my last post I mentioned Kent and Kyle Radford, the owners of the Recherche brand name. A few days ago I got the following email from Kyle:

Hey Dave, years ago while visiting your shop I remember two distinct mystery bikes. I wonder where these are today? The first was a Mountain bike you had built.

I remember you letting me ride it around the parking lot. After about 30 seconds, I thought holy cow, this thing rips!!

It made every other mountain bike I had ridden seem like a banana slug. It performed like a crit bike with knobbies. At the time you told me not to tell anyone you had built it.I think it safe now,all these years later!

The second "mystery machine" was a time trial bike. If recollection serves me right you could convert it from 700c to 26 " wheels? I remember something about the rear brake bridge where you could un-bolt and flip it to accommodate the different wheel circumference.

I don't remember what you did with the front fork. Anyway, thought it might be fun to share with your readers and satisfy my curiosity! Thanks, Kyle.

The first bike mentioned is no mystery really, it was the Fuso Mountain Bike, (Above.) and the reason I probably wanted to keep it quiet at the time was because I was about to debut it at the 1987 Interbike Show. I built around 50 of these in the years that followed, and there are still a few around.

The second bike you mention was one of a kind. I have no idea where it is today, and I would love to know. As I have no picture I will do my best to describe it. Around the late 1980s the smaller 600c wheels became popular for a short time.

The thinking behind the smaller wheel was less weight and faster acceleration. I built a few track frames for these wheels and had good reports on their performance. The bike you mention was a Time-Trial/Triathlon bike. It was again built for one of the Interbike shows.

It was an interesting design, in that it used a 600c (26in.) wheel in the front, and had the option of using a 700c (27in.) wheel at the back, or a 600c. There was a special bolt on adapter to lower the rear brake bridge when the smaller wheel was fitted. This adapter was made from aluminum plate, and bolted on to the normal brake bridge and on to two brazed on threaded bosses on the rear seatstays.

The front fork arrangement was also interesting. A smaller wheel means less trail, the head angle was steeper at 74 degrees, also meaning less trail. So to compensate, the fork only had a very slight bend, and a 1 inch (25mm.) offset or rake.

The reason behind this scant fork rake was this. When the bike was set up with two same size 600c wheels the frame was level, and the front fork was set up in the normal way.

When the larger 700c wheel was used in the rear, it lifted the back end and made the frame angles steeper, including the head angle, and it was intended when the larger rear wheel was used, for the front fork to be turned backwards, like a “Stayer” bike.

The front fork was drilled in such a way that the front brake could be bolted on from either direction. This combination of angles and fork rake were chosen to acheive ideal handling with either set up.

As I recall it was a 58cm. frame and so was too big for me to ride. My apprentice Russ Denny rode it and reported that it handled like a dream, with either rear wheel set up. My thinking behind this design was that a rider could choose a different rear wheel set up for different courses. The smaller rear wheel might be better on hilly or more technical courses, for example.

The bike had a lot of lookers at the Show, but it was a little too radical to bring in any orders. As I remember it, after the show the bike was sold to a bike store in Del Mar, on the coast just north of San Diego. I never saw or heard of it again, and have no idea where it is today.

 

To Share click "Share Article" below

Tuesday
Jul292014

Two Recent Finds

Two very different and interesting pieces of my past work recently surfaced and were brought to my attention.

The first is a tandem built in England in 1975 recently showed up in Scotland when it was offered on eBay.

It was bought by Ewen Docherty, who sent me pictures, it has two sets of twin lateral tubes front and rear.

Probably one of the simplest and most sturdy of the various tandem frame configurations I built over the years.

Ewen is in the process of stripping down and re-building the bike. He sent these pictures after he had cleaned up the original paint on the frame. Not bad for 39 years old.

I nicknamed tandems “Tantrums.” I would invariably have one while building a tandem frame. The problem was a tandem frame was more than twice the amount of work of two single frames, however, it sold for less than the price of two singles, so I was screwed before I even started.

Just physically handling the frame while working on it was a pain. Every time you move it in the vise, you have to hold the frame in one hand as you tighten the vise with the other. This is no problem with a single frame, but with the size and the weight of a tandem frame it is a whole different story.

Often I could not turn away work, and people would pester me to build one for them, so I agreed. When I first came to the US I built a few tandems at Paris Sport.

But, when I started my own business again in Southern California, I vowed I would never build another tandem frame. I always said there was not enough money that anyone could offer the get me to build one more. No one ever tested me by offering a lot of money, so no more were ever built.

Having said all that, finishing a tandem frame did give more than twice the satisfaction of two singles, and that still goes for today when I see one.

The second bike to show up just this week is a Recherché, owned by Stephen Bryne from Ventura, California. When Stephen first emailed me he threw me a curve. When he described the decals and gave me the frame number 001A, it didn’t jibe with the Recherché frames I built and I feared he had a bootleg version.

However, when he sent photos I could see it was the genuine article, the scalloped treatment of the tube ends at the front and rear drop-outs was one clue. (See right.)

This was also a rare find and was a part of the history of the Recherché brand. Here is the story that I have told before but bears repeating.

In 1985 two young brothers Kent and Kyle Radford owned a bike store in Rancho Benardo, CA, just north of San Diego.

They wanted their own brand of bike they could sell in their store, and also market around Southern Calafornia. They had a name, Recherché, and a decal design, I agreed to build the frames.

Kent and Kyle were both avid bike riders, so it was natural that the first Recherché frames I built would be for them. Kent got a 53cm. frame number 001, and the last I heard he still owns it today.

The frame I built for the younger brother Kyle was a 56cm. and I stamped it 001A. That way both got a number one frame.

This is that very same frame. It has been repainted, hence the different decals.

 

To Share click "Share Article" below

Tuesday
Jul152014

Chicken or the Egg?

Which came first, did Alberto Contador’s bike break and cause him to crash, or did Contador fall breaking his leg and the frame at the same time?

The above picture of a bike, taken soon after the crash with Contador’s race number 31 on it, shows the top tube separated at the point it joins the seat tube. The down tube is broken mid-way.

Unfortunately, there were no cameras there to film the actual crash as it happened. Speculation as to what actually happened was immediate online and on TV. There followed denials from Contador’s team that the frame break caused the crash. At first saying the broken frame was not even Alberto’s bike but someone else’s, and it had fell off a bike rack earlier.

According to this article in Velo-News, the story was then changed, and yes it was Contador’s bike, but after the crash the bike was laid in the road in front of the team car, and during all the excitement of attending to the fallen rider, the bike was forgotten and they accidentally drove over it.

If this was the case, then the above photo doesn’t make sense. It does not appear to me as a bike run over by a car. The frame tubes appear to be broken not crushed. And why is the front wheel not crushed also, along with the water bottle cages?

In this account of the crash by Tinkoff team manager, Barne Riis, he stated:

“Alberto crashed on a fast and straight part of the descent. He was reaching for his pocket and the bike was swept away under him probably because of a bump or hole in the road.”

I was not there, I only have the information from articles written by people who were there. But piecing together this information, along with the above photograph, then making an educated guess, based on the many crashed frames I have seen over the years. This is the scenario I would put forward.

Descending at a speed of at least 50 km. per hour, Alberto hit a pot hole. The impact would be like a hammer blow up the seatstays, stopping at the seat post with the weight of the rider sitting on the saddle. The seatstays being partially attached to the sides of the top tube, would push the top tube away from the seat tube. Once the top tube had separated, the down tube would break.

Unless a rider hits something solid, usually when he falls, the bike slides out from under him and a rider will come away with road rash. Small bones in the hand are sometimes broken. But to break a leg, one usually hits something solid, like a car, or they are thrown down violently on the road. As for example, when a frame falls apart beneath you.

 

To Share click "Share Article" below

Friday
Jul112014

Disappointed but not Heartbroken

I am sorry to see Chris Froome out of the Tour de France. Disappointed but not devastated. Froome is a rider who can be exciting to watch, but at other times annoying and frustrating.

He is exciting to watch when he is going uphill fast, and the likes of Alberto Contador can barely hold his wheel.

On the other hand, he can be extremely frustrating because he seems to lack the basic bike handling skills needed to keep the rubber on the asphalt.

He has this annoying habit of riding with his head down, even when around other riders. Holding your head up, and looking where you are going is “Bike Riding 101.” One of the basics that every novice first learns.

One can argue that Wednesday’s Stage 5 that included cobble stone sections used in the Paris – Roubaix race should not have been included in the Tour, but the race organizers could not have predicted the atrocious weather, wind and rain. And they did cancel two sections of cobbles that were deemed too dangerous to ride in the wet.

That said, Chris Froome fell twice and retired before he even reached the cobbles. The main problem was, he was nursing an injured wrist from a fall during the previous day’s race.

Despite reports to the contary as to who was to blame, I was watching the race live that day, and as I saw it the fall never should have happened. It came on a straight section of dry road, Froome was riding in a safe place at the front of the pack, when he simply ran into the rider ahead, fell and brought down another rider.

The other thing about Froome is, he is obsessive about his weight, almost to the point of anorexia. Those pencil slim wrists will not take a lot of beating. All the more reason to stay upright.

Vincenzo Nibali rode a great race. Not known as a classics rider, and not that experienced on the cobbles. Never-the-less Nibali is a superb bike handler, and the other thing is he seems to excel in cold, wet conditions. He did so in 2013 when he won the Giro d’Italia.

He had two of his Astana team members with him for most of the race, but at the same time Nibali often took the initiative, and chased down riders when gaps opened up, rather than just sit on the wheel of his team mates and let them do all the work.

Belkin rider Lars Boom won the stage, with the Astana duo, Jacob Fuglsang and Nibali (Picture above.) second and third, 19 seconds down, but ahead of Cancellara and Sagan, (Both experienced classics riders.) just over a minute down.

Chris Froome’s Sky Team members, Richie Porte and Geraint Thomas after initially waiting for Froome, fought their way back to finish 20th and 21st on the day. American riders Andrew Talansky and Tejay Van Gaderen were within seconds of the Sky duo.

Big loser of the day was Alberto Contador, who is now 2 ½ minutes down. However, there is a long way to go, and the mountain stages still to come. Anything can, and no doubt will happen. All the afore mentioned riders are still in the running.

Had Froome not quit he probably would have lost a ton of time and been out of the running anyway. This year’s Tour still promises to be a cliff hanger, plus I will not have the frustration of seeing Chris Froome constantly fall on his ass.

Which is why I am not overly disappointed that he is gone.

 

To Share click "Share Article" below

Tuesday
Jul012014

A traditional hip flask with a cycling design

Some of the finest whiskey in the world comes from Scotland, so it is fitting that a company that specializes in hip flasks to carry the precious liquid, is based in Edinburgh, Scotland.

When the company contacted me offering to send me a flask with a cycling design, I was a little reluctant at first to accept their offer. I know very few cyclists who actually carry alcohol with them while riding.

However, there are some objects like this that are just nice to own, or to give or receive as a gift. So I thought why not, and accepted.

When the flask arrived I was immediately struck by the fine workmanship. The flask itself is stainless steel, with a “Captive” screw-top that you can’t lose. It is covered with a faux leather material that is printed with a bike race scene from the late 1800s when the bicycle and bicycle racing was in its infancy.

The picture itself is intriguing, the cyclist front and center races so fast he meets himself on the back of the flask where the picture joins perfectly.

A lesser quality object would not (See picture right.)

The design is by Ted Baker, also fitting as I understand he started out as a men’s shirt designer in Glasgow, Scotland.

The Ted Baker name is embossed in gold on a brown leather label that is actually stitched to the cover with the picture, before it is glued to the flask. Just another small attention to detail that went into the design and making of this flask.

The flask holds 6oz of liquid and measures 3.75 inches wide x 5 inches tall. It is 7/8 inch thick and is curved to fit in a hip pocket as is traditional. It comes in a gift box that has the same cycling design.

The cost is 27 (British Pounds.) $46.19 US Dollars. There is a 5% discount for my readers by entering code: thanksfor5

For this particular cycling design flask go to http://buyahipflask.com/6oz-bike-hip-flask

There is also a huge choice of other more traditional designs here: http://buyahipflask.com/  These flasks would make a very nice gift, to give or receive. Or for a special presentation they could be engraved.

Finally the company suggested I give one of these flasks away as a prize for a Tour de France competition. I thought that was a great idea. So send me a list of your top ten finishers in this year's Tour.

You can go to this web page http://www.steephill.tv/tour-de-france/ and scroll down the right side of the page for a complete list of teams and riders. Pick out 10 of them and email the list to me.

Please don’t post the list here in the comments, or others will copy it. My email is davesbikeblog[AT]gmail.com (Of course put @ instead of [AT]

The winner will receive one of these fine flasks, pictured above. The winner will be the one with the most riders listed that actually finish in the top 10. In the event of a tie, I will choose the list that has most riders nearest to the correct order of finishing. So pick your top 10 in the order you think they will finish.

The TDF starts this Saturday 5th July. And because we are getting so close I will accept entries up until next Tuesday 8th when the Tour will have left the UK and Stage 4 will be on French soil.

 

Update 7/9/14: Entries for the TDF Competition are now closed. Thanks to all those who participated. Your lists have been saved and the winner will be anounced when the Tour ends. 

Update 7/29/14: The result of the competition is in the comment section below.

 To Share click "Share Article" below