Updated 6.24.2014                   Click on images for larger view

  

   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 with 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 here.)
   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.

 Olympic Frame Builder Michael Melton Dies 

Published in bicycleretailer.com  January 31, 2011

FRANKLIN, TN
   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 industry.
   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 Nashville, Tennessee.
                                                                —Matt Wiebe

A Ferrari red road frame from the 1970s
Courtesy Peter Scheffler

Aaron Lipstadt's road Melton

Large Melton road bike
On display at First Flight Bicycle Shop in Statesville, NC

           

Frameset at swap meet
Pictures taken by webmaster

  
          

Publicity clippings fromMelton  tandem shop , circa 1982.

        

Pictures from Melton booth at 1982 International Bike Show
 Taken by web master

     

LOWREYS TEAM Huffy by Mike Melton
Courtesy Janelle

    

Aero Melton, owned by Omar R. Esteves


        
       

1988 Time Trial bike ridden by USA team member Chann McRae
As seen on display in a 2013 show at the Los Altos History Museum
Photo courtesy Brad Stockwell

Have images of Mike Melton's work? Please contact the webmaster

Back to Classic USA