Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Trinity

The Trinity: McLean, Confente, Moulton. The first two died young. Dave Moulton is alive, but hasn't built bicycles in years.
Some time ago I wrote a snippet about Dave. He is an interesting man. Originally he was a bicycle builder in England who emigrated to America to join the Carlsbad Masi group in California, which spawned most of the west coast bike builders. He went on to become a composer/musician and novelist. Later in life he found himself without a bicycle. Records indicate that although Dave made several thousand production frames, he only made 216 top custom frames and only 15 were his size. A group of his fans found a needle in a haystack, restored it, and presented it to him. The pictures and copy below are from Jack Gabus. Although he refers to this as an American gem, the headtube would seem to indicate that this one was actually made in England. (See Gabus comment)



"In my collection I have what I call the top three. Of course the McLeans are in that conversation, but here is one of my hidden American gems. It is a Dave Moulton Special Professional Road made with Reynolds 753 tubing, only two of them were made. Out of all of what I have this is the Rocket. It loves the flats at the same time it flies up hills, a great all rounder.


McLean, Moulton and Confente. Then I have the one day race classic pack from Sunday in Hell: Gios, Benotto, and the Merckx (Colnago). So it is a tie. That is why I am looking for the beater Colnago. I have the Gios and Benotto."


Back to Dave Moulton: if you ever get a chance to bag a Moulton Pro, Fuso or Recherche do not pass it up."


(Note: Eddy Merckx rode Colnagos in his prime before having a falling out with Ernesto and going over to DeRosa. Later his name was licenced to three other companies besides his own. So you can get a bike painted Molteni orange with blue trim and EDDY MERCKX emblazened on the downtube tube, manufactured by half a dozen different companies with different skill levels. The Colnagos are the "real" ones, with DeRosa a close second. IMHO.) 

6 comments:

Echelon said...

I was one of the needle in the haystack friends, I supplied the regina de oro chain. As a side note all of his American frames still had Worchester England on it. He is proud of his heritage.

JG

Gunnar Berg said...

I sit corrected.

Anonymous said...

I remember the Fusos well . . . there were a number of wonderful California-based builders then. I guess Oregon is the new California.

mw

Gunnar Berg said...

Yes to Portland. There are still a number of southern California and pockets in places like Madison,Wi.

Echelon said...

Isn't there a little cottage builder named Trek in WI.

Dave Moulton said...

Thanks for the plug, much appreciated.
Don't go by what the head tube logo says, it was built in California. I figured if the California Masi frames could say "Masi, Milano" it was OK for me say "Worcester, England"
Dave