While in the Navy in
Japan during the Vietnam era, Mike Melton studied the work of
3Rensho and returned to Columbia, South Carolina in the early 1970s to
set up his frame building business. He was very active in racing (both
he and his first wife Debbie) and in frame building in the southeast.
Mike's easy manner and charm made friends in all cycling circles.
In 1979 he collaborated
Dave Moulton in building a special batch of ill fated
aero steel (among the earliest) for the USA National Team. (details
in Dave Moulton's blog
While successful at all
styles, he soon focused on tandems and shifted his workshop to Delaware,
Ohio. Melton's shop received national press when he hired Vietnamese
refugees to work in his atelier. That business failed in 1983.
Mike then went to
California for a stint with Santana before returning to head up Huffy
Corporation's Special Projects Division in the Dayton, Ohio area. There
he developed and built advanced bikes to be used by Greg LeMond and the
USA team in various forms, including the Olympics in 1984 & 1988.
Frame Builder Michael Melton Dies
bicycleretailer.com January 31, 2011
Michael “Mike” Melton, 61, the builder and designer of bikes ridden
by the successful 1984 and 1988 Olympic teams,
died in his sleep last Thursday.
Melton had battled a rare neurological disease over the last four
years, believed to be spinal cerebella ataxia,
similar to ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease. He spent
the last eight months at home with the care of
Hospice, and is survived by his wife, Jamie
Melton, and son Zachary.
After starting out as a frame builder in Columbia, South Carolina,
Melton moved Delaware, Ohio, eventually closing
down his frame building business to join Huffy
to head its Technical Development division.
Since Huffy was a major Olympic sponsor at the time, Melton headed
up developing the ’84 and ’88 teams frames. He
also pioneered the use of carbon fiber in the
A funeral for Melton was held earlier today at 10 a.m. at St.
Philip Catholic Church in Franklin, Tennessee,
with the burial service to follow at 1 p.m. at
the Middle Tennessee Veterans Cemetery, in