" I arise in the morning torn between a desire to inprove the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day." -E.B.White

Saturday, December 29, 2012

1975 Moulton

...or Moulton vs Masi Throwdown.




This is just an old bicycle frame. It has chipped paint and a little rust here and there. It's reasonably attractive, but not spectacular. From a distance it looks look a hundred, even a thousand, other frames made in the mid 1970s. So why are looking at it?









We are looking at it because it's a Dave Moulton frame. Dave Moulton built bicycles have been ridden in the Tour de France, Olympics, and World Championships. He is also a musician and after he quit building bicycles he became a novelist.  This bicycle belongs to Silk Hope, who is "restoring" it. The restoring he is doing is really just cleaning it and stabilizing the finish by brushing the rust with a toothbrush and paste, applying neatsfoot oil and waxing it. Why isn't he  repainting it? From the builder:
Jack,
I really think you leave the paint as is. Although it is very rough, it is the original paint done by me, and as it is a very early frame there will be few like it with original paint making it somewhat rare.
Dave Moulton
"Somewhat rare" is a bit of an undestatement; more likely, "one of a kind". And why I am posting this now? Because John Pergolizzi has recently listed a repainted restored Masi on eBay for $19,500, and every six months or so the boys on the Classic Rendezvous vintage bicycle chat group go ballast, and at times abusive, arguing about whether to leave things as they are or to strip, repaint and restore them. Below is the Masi in question.



The old framebuilders seem to feel the frame is the bike, the paint is just window dressing, and the components are merely things that clutter up the lines of their work. Others, apparently including Mr. Moulton, feel that the paint is part of the bike, especially if it has some historical value.

Before I go I must throw in this argument for "it's about the frame", by Mr. Billy
Ketchum:
" After Helen of Troy was abducted by Paris, and after his death, passed on to his various brothers, Menelaus still wanted her back and didn't feel she was essentially altered by their time away."
Me? I think most of them are merely bicycles and we need to get things in perspective and ride them. I would not refinish that Dave Moulton under any circumstance and I'd rather have it than that restored Masi, no matter who built or rode it. My humble opinion. Yours?

26 comments:

Dave Moulton said...

The pin striping on this frame was done by a man named Les Scrivens; an artist in his own right. Les was a sign writer who would paint signs on businesses and vehicles by hand, with a paint brush. This too is a dying art as signs today are computer generated and printed on a large format printer. If this frame were re-painted the lug striping would probably be done with a felt tip pen.
The reason I suggested this frame should be left original is because it may eventually end up in a museum, and museums usually want original paint. Museums are about preserving and displaying history, and if a frame is repainted a large part of that history is lost.
Dave

Gunnar Berg said...

Thank you for your perspective.

Johann Rissik said...

I'd have the Moulton. As is. Do you need my shipping address?
And happy year change to you all in the cold part.

Gunnar Berg said...

Sorry, we only ship to North American addresses.

Silk Hope said...

@ Johann: Shipping or not, sorry ol' boy the frame stays in So Cal. Happy New Year!

Gunnar Berg said...

@Jack, Have you assembled components? And, if you have, are they NOSish, or do they show honest wear like the frame does.

Silk Hope said...

All used parts. I am cleaning them up as much as possible just like the frame. The only parts I need to source out are the following. Old logo (Oval) Cinelli stem (120-125) in length, and a first gen. Super record derailleur. Come to think about it Gunnar, you wanna chase over to Rydjor to see if there is anything in the basement..... Just kidding.

Gunnar Berg said...

Seriously, I'll have a look, but it would be in March and I suspectbyou'll be riding it be then. That first generation SR will be tough.

Silk Hope said...

!st Gen's pop up on EB every so often. Besides I think Hilary has one.

Gunnar Berg said...

I'm surprised you don't already have one. I think I may have had one, and threw it away becasue it was NR ugly.

Silk Hope said...

Ahhhaaaauuuwwww!!!

reverend dick said...

Repainting is equivalent to elective plastic surgery. It's creepy. Wear that age/use/resilience proudly.

That Masi looks tawdry.

Gunnar Berg said...

Cutting the Masi some slack, it had been repainted red at some point and this brought it back to the original colors, tawdry though they may be. If she is a painted lady, she is one expesive whore.

Silk Hope said...

The Rev has spoken.

Gunnar Berg said...

Can we have an "Amen"!

Silk Hope said...

I'm still having a hard time wrapping my head around that Masi seat post.

Gunnar Berg said...

Good or bad? Explain, expound.

Tony T. said...

The seatpost looks non-period correct to me. Also, solely based on the low settings of the seatpost and stem, this bike looks to be too big for the rider.

Gunnar Berg said...

The style of the times I think.

reverend dick said...

Style of the times. Low seat, hunched over reaching way forward.

Tart. Strumpet.Plus that old Masi logo panel has much too much going on- Tradition be damned. It could be improved by riding the hell out of it, dropping it (accidentally, but it will happen), riding it a bunch more, leaning it against some stuff, using it, riding it, and generally having a great time aboard it as opposed to polishing it, etc.

We all love the bikes (right? why else are we here? OK, maybe for the hot pictures of gatherings of Minnesotans drinking awkwavitte), but the fetishizing of the appearance of the matchine versus the experiencing/using of the matchine is, to my mind, the wrong fetishizing. Gentlemen- priorities. I realize it is Winter, but it will be Spring again.

Gunnar Berg said...

Dropping. Now that hurts. I skinned up my newer Kvale. While the Rev would have just ridden it proudly, I took back to the doctor for a touch-up.

Silk Hope said...

Hear hear the Rev!

Tony T. said...

I don't touch up. Once the initial and inevitable scratch has happened, and after a (very) brief period of mourning, I can ride more aggressively! (However I do have one mirror polished titanium frame that I rebuff every few years)

Gunnar Berg said...

It was more than a scratch.

Anonymous said...

That Masi is unfortunate. Braze-on's added and removed by subsequent owners...never ridden in a significant race or by a significant rider. Other Confentes sell at auctions for much lower. Offer him 6 grand cash. Love the sellers comments about using period-correct grease!

Best,

Rick M.

Gunnar Berg said...

I don't want it, certainly not $6,000 worth.