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  1. #1
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    1976 Melton Touring Bike

    Here is my 1976 Melton touring bike off the wall and out of the barn for the first time after +/- 20 years of storage. 27" frame, 27" rims; designed with steep angles and short rear triangles to offset the flexibility in the tall frame;4-cross spokes on low flange hubs for softer ride. Touring fenders and racks gone. Current condition: dry rot tires, corroded spokes and tire-guides on brake calipers, various rust spots & paint chips on frame, "Melton" decal backing yellowed (don't know if I can find new decals anywhere); seat cover laminants sepparated (original Brooks saddle gone, damn!). Overall, not too bad to get back on the road with a couple weekends of work.
    Recommendations from vintage bike type folks? Leave original paint and spot fix the chips and rust or repaint? Input on tips for restoration from anyone would be appreciated.

    Matthew
    Smithfield, NC

  2. #2
    Senior Member PatLuc's Avatar
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    I'd vote trying to repair the chips. If you repaint, you will likely not get as tough a paint job as the original (unless you get it professionally done or paint via a paint ***). You also loose the original decals.

    You'd be surprised just what a good degreasing (I like the orange oil cleaners) and a wax will do.

    Very unique bike by the way! Enjoy!
    Pat
    1993 Specialized Globe 7 - main commuter, love this bike!!!
    1965-ish Firestone 3spd hunk of misc parts - winter beater
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  3. #3
    Sweetened with Splenda
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    Quote Originally Posted by imapls
    27" frame, 27" rims; designed with steep angles and short rear triangles to offset the flexibility in the tall frame
    Jeez, what are you, about six foot fifteen? That's a TALL bike!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatLuc
    I'd vote trying to repair the chips. If you repaint, you will likely not get as tough a paint job as the original (unless you get it professionally done or paint via a paint ***). You also loose the original decals.

    You'd be surprised just what a good degreasing (I like the orange oil cleaners) and a wax will do.

    Very unique bike by the way! Enjoy!
    Pat
    Thanks, Pat. Are tyou talking about the orange cleaners available in stores in the spray bottles? Never used them before but willing to try 'em. You're right about the paint: Mike used Dupont Imron (an epoxy) paint at the time. Will be tricky to match the colour and find a suitable enamel for the fixes.
    What is the best grease these days for bearings, etc.? I used to use Phil Wood grease...looked like grape jelly. How about chain lubricants? You can tell I've been out of it for a while. Thanks for your comments. Bike has a lot of miles on it and I've hated to think about it in the barn all these years.
    Matthew

  5. #5
    SLJ 6/8/65-5/2/07 Walter's Avatar
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    If you're talking small chips you may have luck with model airplane paint. As a once avid and still occasional scale model builder as well as chip "toucher-upper" I recommend the "Model Master" make by Testors. Easy to mix if you can't find an exact match and they make dozens of colors for all manner of scale models. For $12 or so you can get a Co2 powered air *** with a fine tip that'll let you do fine line work. The spray can clear coats apply very well too over enamel paints. I've even clear coated repop decals with the Testors clear.

    These are all things I've done and can verify.

    I believe the reference was to orange based cleaners. I've used them with good results. Lots of greases out there. I like the Park stuff out of the blue squeeze bottle but I'm sure most of them are good.

    Last edited by Walter; 06-01-04 at 07:02 AM. Reason: additional info
    “Life is not one damned thing after another. Life is one damned thing over and over.”
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  6. #6
    Senior Member PatLuc's Avatar
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    Yes, the stuff like "Orange Clean" etc. There are many out there now. 409 makes a good one too. It seems to clean things up well without damaging the paint.

    I'm probably not a good one to ask about lubes, as I don't use bike-specific stuff. I use what I have around for my car/truck. I use Mobil-1 synthetic grease for everything. It's waterproof, is not too thick, and resists drying up. I like it. For general lube, I use automotive synthetic ATF. It's thin, flows well, lubes well, and is high detergent. It's high detergent properties are cool since it dissolves old oil or lube when you use it. Today I put some on my commuter chain, and it got "gritty" sounding afterwards. Ends up that the ATF loosened up all the old lube that was there (before I bought the bike) and all the trapped dirt. After wiping the chain down, all that old stuff was gone and the chain was like new. I use it on cables, brake pivots, etc. I'm not sold on the bike specific stuff, although I'm sure it is great.


    By the way, I made my own precision oiler by taking one of those turkey marinade injector deals (Cajun Injector, etc) from Wal-Mart ($2.00) and cut the tip off. I pull some ATF into it from the jug, and I'm set to go!

    Pat
    1993 Specialized Globe 7 - main commuter, love this bike!!!
    1965-ish Firestone 3spd hunk of misc parts - winter beater
    1971 Jeunet - single speed French monstrosity
    1973 John Deere 3spd - family ride

    Virginia Tech Hokie for life!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatLuc
    Yes, the stuff like "Orange Clean" etc. There are many out there now. 409 makes a good one too. It seems to clean things up well without damaging the paint.

    I'm probably not a good one to ask about lubes, as I don't use bike-specific stuff. I use what I have around for my car/truck. I use Mobil-1 synthetic grease for everything. It's waterproof, is not too thick, and resists drying up. I like it. For general lube, I use automotive synthetic ATF. It's thin, flows well, lubes well, and is high detergent. It's high detergent properties are cool since it dissolves old oil or lube when you use it. Today I put some on my commuter chain, and it got "gritty" sounding afterwards. Ends up that the ATF loosened up all the old lube that was there (before I bought the bike) and all the trapped dirt. After wiping the chain down, all that old stuff was gone and the chain was like new. I use it on cables, brake pivots, etc. I'm not sold on the bike specific stuff, although I'm sure it is great.


    By the way, I made my own precision oiler by taking one of those turkey marinade injector deals (Cajun Injector, etc) from Wal-Mart ($2.00) and cut the tip off. I pull some ATF into it from the jug, and I'm set to go!

    Pat
    Thanks, Pat, I like your ideas on the synthetic oils and ATF (auto transmission fluid, correct?). I know there's many years of stuff in that chain that will probably come flying out en-mass. Could be dangerous! I imagine that the auto stuff would be a $$ savings as well over those designated as bike lubes. What do you use to clean/rinse with (bearings, races, chain, etc.). I used to use gasoline but know that this is bad for the surfaces. Does the ATF attact dust and dirt any better or worse than normal lubricants?

  8. #8
    bbc
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    Great Melton,

    I have a '76 Meton club racer I got from Ken Putman's shop in Winston.

    We have a very similar story. Mine has been in storage approx. 22 years as well and its seems to be in similar condition as yours. I asked a frame biulder in my area (Philly) and he suggested Testers model paint as well.

    I hear that Melton is not making frames any more, and yours is actually the only other one I've seen except some pics at First Flight Bikes in NC.

    I bought mine when I was 16 (now I'm 42) and I'm hesitant to fix it up as it would currently be 3-4 cm too short for me.

    Anyway, you have a great frame and I'm envious that you can actually refurbish it and ride it.

    good luck with it and if I ever see decals (unlikely) I'll let you know.

  9. #9
    Senior Member PatLuc's Avatar
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    imapls,
    I've found that the orange cleaner and a good rag will usually clean things up. I would remove the bearings and cups, and put them in a glass jar or coffee can and spray them down good with the orange cleaner. Then, let sit overnight. When I did my French bike, I had lots of loose ball bearings of different sizes from the headset, crank, wheels, etc. I'd put them in different glass jars and swirl them around in the cleaner. Worked great. I too used to use gas or kerosene for cleaners, so I was really surprised by how good this new stuff worked. You can also use it inside (like my basement) and not stink up the house. In fact, it smells kind of nice! For really nasty things or to blast out a chain I use auto brake cleaner. It really cleans things out nicely and dries fast.

    Yep, auto tranny fluid. Any lube will attract some dust, but the ATF doesn't seem to be too bad so far. And yes, it's super cheap.

    Oh yeah, I brought back a 30-yr chain by soaking it in orange cleaner, wiping it down, blowing it out with brake cleaner, and then soaking in ATF. I then hung it up over a can and let it drip for a day or so. One final wipe down and a like new chain! It can be clean on the outside but lubed well on the inside that way.

    Enjoy your project. A few evening's of work will have you going in no time.

    By the way, send me some Eastern NC barbeque. My wife and I just moved from Wake Forest to Wisconsin, and miss it! I brought a few containers of vinegar-based BBQ sauce with me, but I might run out! Once you are used to that, it's hard to go back to thick traditional sauce. :-)

    Pat
    1993 Specialized Globe 7 - main commuter, love this bike!!!
    1965-ish Firestone 3spd hunk of misc parts - winter beater
    1971 Jeunet - single speed French monstrosity
    1973 John Deere 3spd - family ride

    Virginia Tech Hokie for life!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbc
    Great Melton,

    I have a '76 Meton club racer I got from Ken Putman's shop in Winston.

    We have a very similar story. Mine has been in storage approx. 22 years as well and its seems to be in similar condition as yours. I asked a frame biulder in my area (Philly) and he suggested Testers model paint as well.

    I hear that Melton is not making frames any more, and yours is actually the only other one I've seen except some pics at First Flight Bikes in NC.

    I bought mine when I was 16 (now I'm 42) and I'm hesitant to fix it up as it would currently be 3-4 cm too short for me.

    Anyway, you have a great frame and I'm envious that you can actually refurbish it and ride it.

    good luck with it and if I ever see decals (unlikely) I'll let you know.
    Hi BBC: Great to hear from you. I've been trying to track down other Meltons. Please send a picture or two to imapls@earthlink.net, or post some here. My frame, as tall as it is, is actually about an inch too short for me. Seat post is extended as far as it goes. Bought mine in college and am now 49 (gads...)
    If I were you, I'd restore your bike and hang it! Or sell it to me and I'll fix and display it. By the way, what is the defenition of a "club racer"...a lightweight road bike built for racing? Ther's another post on this forum for a guy who has a '78 Melton club racer, but he has not posted any pictures.
    I designed the Melton decals for Mike when he finished my frame but never got the head/seat tube emblem for my frame. Do you have the decals or his hand painted "cinelli" crest on the head tube? If your's was built in '76, do you know what month? I might have seen it in his shop in Columbia, SC, in February when I took delivery. Maybe yours was the reason mine was so long getting finished!! Just speculation, but fun thoughts.
    I do plan to start riding mine again, but maybe not the extensive touring I used to do. Other obligations come with the 40s! Let me hear from you!
    Matthew

  11. #11
    winning magazine junkie lofter's Avatar
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    hi my name is don loftis im from springfield illinois, i have a melton racing frame that mike made for larry and gary doering.i think i got garys bike . the paint is in bad shape but i will post a couple pics i got . i want to restore this to original. i have no decals left at all. my son found me this site . im thinking of sending it to cycloart in cali anybody here of there work ?i too am interested in finding out about mike how long he made frames and how many.if any one wants to know my email is ramsfans711@insightbb.com would love to find any info. thanks don

  12. #12
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    Don,

    Cyclart does good work alot of folks are very impressed with Jim Cunninghams restos.
    If you are on the east coast there is also www.Koolbikes.com The Pfiefers do really nice
    work and can create any decal you need. Their prices are a little less expensive than
    cyclart but the work is as good (IMHO).

    Marty
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  13. #13
    winning magazine junkie lofter's Avatar
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    thanks lotek i will check them out too i eally want to get this thing back to when i rode it too hell .what do you think of it, horendous project , alot of work project , moderate project?i dont care really about $$ to an extent i not selling just want the once love of my life back to the way it was i gott the other pics in the other thread bout club racer check them out .

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    Quote Originally Posted by lofter
    thanks lotek i will check them out too i eally want to get this thing back to when i rode it too hell .what do you think of it, horendous project , alot of work project , moderate project?i dont care really about $$ to an extent i not selling just want the once love of my life back to the way it was i gott the other pics in the other thread bout club racer check them out .
    Hi Lofter: Great frame!...how do you know it's a Melton? From the previous owner? I see the usual cast of braze-ons he used: cable guides, shift lever posts, water bottle bracket, deraileur (sp?) eyelet. And, the seat stays have the flared/tapered ends wrapping around the seat tube like he did it. Looks like a fun project. I imagine the finish/paint is the most difficult thing you'll come up against. Other wise, bolt on the road set and ride! Are you goin to fit it with parts vintage to the '70s? E-Bay has bunches. lots of SunTour, DuraAce and Campy. Like I've found out, standards have changed since then and the current equipment won't fit. I found your other pics and will save them to study later. I'm really interested in seeing the bike when you're done. Please keep in touch with pics and descriptions. I'll e-mail you with my address.

  15. #15
    winning magazine junkie lofter's Avatar
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    imapls it is for sure a melton frame, trust me on that.mike melton made two frames for the racing twins gary and larry goering that both lived here in springfield. it dont have decals because like a idiot i started to sand and was going to repaint it when i was a young dumb kid.digital technology wasnt aroung so no pics of the decals before i started to take it down.i asked gary if he had any extra decal but he didnt .dont know how old it is but i was riding this bike right around the time or before lemond won his first tour.a guy we used to ride with has or had the other melton frame that larry used .but he was really tough on his frame. ive been trying to find him but i think he dont live in the area any more.yeah it was decked in campy nouvo, with cinnelli stem and handle bars those are stil the original cranks and pedals that i used .as i was searching for this site or anything else i came accross a stlouis site that sold old used frames and the had a melton frame they sold for 65 bucks but it was painted like a new frame so i had to wonder bout it . i seen the melton on firstflight bicycles and my jaw dropped i said man thats exactly like my bike cept a hell of alot bigger.

  16. #16
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lotek
    Cyclart does good work alot of folks are very impressed with Jim Cunninghams restos.
    I can certainly vouch for Jim and Susan. They run a very professional operation, and I have had the pleasure of cycling with them a few times, as well. I need to post some better pictures of my Capo under the "show us your vintage ride" thread -- the CyclArt two-tone paint job and drop-shadowed downtube decals, all based on one of Otto Cap's original factory color schemes, are stunning.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  17. #17
    winning magazine junkie lofter's Avatar
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    thanks for the lowdown john e and lotek. i have left a email and voice message with cycloart tues but still havent gotten a reply back . i figure they might be out of town on vacation or something.hopefully i can get ahold of them soon

  18. #18
    SLJ 6/8/65-5/2/07 Walter's Avatar
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    In regards to your difficulty question Lofter; if you're having the frame prof. restored then the real hard part is over. The rest is installing the components. Do you still have them? Chasing down the vintage Campy stuff takes a little time and a bit more $ (well, maybe alot more $ ) but the stuff is out there. eBay and the classifieds at Campyonly.com are, IMO, the best places to look.

    “Life is not one damned thing after another. Life is one damned thing over and over.”
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  19. #19
    winning magazine junkie lofter's Avatar
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    walter, ill have to go up in the garage and dig to see if i still have the group set .the mrs threw alot of stuff out up there and i would cry if there gone lol .i hope she didnt throw all my winning magazines out . i had all campy cept for the stem and bars cinelli there

  20. #20
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    Lofter,

    well, your project is in a better condition than mine!
    paint half removed, bit o rust on the BB shell (underside) and
    rusty cable braze ons. I think this one is off to the painters for some repair,
    decal reproduction etc. I've been slowly building up my collection of super
    record components for this. I'm building it as a rider, not showpiece so I don't
    need NOS on the components, just "period correct" although I am going to try
    to restore it to its out of the shop configuration.
    Not sure if they are up and running yet, but Brian Baylis is starting up a full
    paint/restoration business if you are interested drop me a PM and I'll send his
    contact info.

    Marty
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