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Info Needed: MATTHEWS Lightweight Cycles, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan

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Info Needed: MATTHEWS Lightweight Cycles, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan

Old 08-18-17, 09:51 PM
  #1  
AAVA Tech
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Info Needed: MATTHEWS Lightweight Cycles, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan

Greetings,
I recently acquired a very nice bike, the frame of which was made by "Matthews";
The headset tube says: "Matthews Lightweight Cycles, "Mt. Pleasant, Michigan".
(It's too late for pictures as it's currently almost 10:00 PM here in Michigan, but
I'll upload some pics tomorrow. )

I was wondering if anyone had any information about these frames.
The frame is very well built with nice, clean welds at dropouts and all lugs.
It's made with Reynolds 531 aluminum, and a gruppo consisting of:
Campy Record headset, bottom bracket, chainrings/crankset, pedals, hubs and dropouts.
Shimano Dura-Ace breaks & Suntour Cyclone mII derailleurs, Cinelli stem and bars, Weinmann 700G rims.
Nice choices I'd say. A pretty light bike indeed 20 odd years ago and not so bad now honestly.

I've been all over the internet trying to find out anything about the builder but the only relevant article I've found
is another Matthews owner looking for info himself in '06!

If anyone that knows anything about Matthews Lightweight Cycles of Mt. Pleasant, MI I'd sure appreciate
any info or history you can forward.
Thanks much

M. B.
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Old 08-19-17, 06:09 PM
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Without pics my only suggestion would be to call these guys and ask them if they know anything:
Motorless Motion - A Family Run Bike Shop Since 1976

Of course you will have to wait until Monday morning.

Last edited by FBOATSB; 08-19-17 at 06:14 PM.
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Old 08-19-17, 07:52 PM
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The promised pics: "Matthews Lightweight Cycles"

Hey FBOATSB,
thanks for the link. I was thinking the same thing actually.
I'll give 'em a call on Monday for sure.
Until then here are the pics I promised.

Thanks again

-M>
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Old 08-19-17, 08:22 PM
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Looks beautiful! Most likely a custom built frame. Hopefully it's your size.
The intricate lugwork is a definite sign of high quality usually available only from custom frame builders.
From some of the details on the frame, it looks like it might have been built sometime in the mid to late 70's.
BTW, Reynolds 531 tubing is not aluminum. It is a premium quality manganese steel alloy double butted tubing with a long history in cycling, used by builders of quality framesets. It was also used to build frames for competition and record setting cars and motorcycles.
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Old 04-22-20, 07:06 PM
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Hey Chombi 1, I know it's been 5 freekin' years since you were kind enough to reply to my post but a lot has been going on and i had to put the bike
up until I could find the time to deal with it. And thanks for all the info. I've since found the company, still in existence, near Flint, MI. (..just now)
The frame was made by Matt Assenbacker, then in Mt. Pleasant, MI. A good job indeed and a great choice of components. I'm hoping to get it restored this spring.
So even given our circumstances here in the US I'll give 'em a a call and see if they're like to see some pics. Maybe they even have a few rolling around up there in Flint.
I hope you're doing well and are safe and sound at home. Take care of yourself and happy cycling.
Mark - Ann Arbor, MI

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Old 04-22-20, 08:43 PM
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-----

the name is Assenmacher

https://www.assenmachers.com/about/our-history-pg56.htm

Assenmacher, main

https://www.bikeforums.net/search.php?searchid=7964025

-----
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Old 04-22-20, 08:59 PM
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Great bike from a lesser known American maker I just love most of the independent lesser known American hand built frames from the 70's and 80's. There just seemed to be a bit of art to these this one has hand finished blunted smoothed fancy lugs very mice.
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Old 01-21-22, 05:28 PM
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FYI to anyone interested, I see a Craigslist posting in Ann Arbor Michigan for this bike. Same pics. I am not involved in any way with this sale. I thought it may be of interest considering a recent discussion of American frame builders.

https://annarbor.craigslist.org/bik/d/ann-arbor-vintage-matthews-10-speed/7435576582.html


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Old 01-22-22, 01:09 AM
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Matt Assenmacher and I share a similar history. We are both frame builders in Michigan that learned in Yorkshire England. Although his shop in the eastern part is more than 200 miles from mine in the south west. Our marketing areas don't really overlap. He went (as already noted) to Bob Jackson in Leeds about 1973. His college degree is from Central Michigan University in Mt Pleasant. That is in the upper middle part of the lower peninsula and where he began making and painting his frames under the trade name "Mathews" (his 1st name). In 1977 he moved his operation further east to Swartz Creek, MI not too far from Flint. Flint was a car manufacturing town until it wasn't. It was famous a few years ago for its water problems. He then started using his last name to brand his frames. He also ran a full service bike store so that limited his frame painting and building. He recently moved his bike shop again and no longer offering painting services.

I went to Ellis Briggs in Shipley West Yorkshire in 1975 after I got my teaching degrees and had taught high school for a few years. Shipley is in the same metropolitan area as Leeds. The 2 shops were only 17 miles apart although it seemed a lot longer because to get from one to the other required driving on winding city roads with lots of stop lights. I build and paint frames in Niles on the southwest corner of Michigan just north of Notre Dame University and South Bend, Indiana.

Matt and I have always had a friendly relationship. Both Ellis Briggs and Bob Jackson offered painting services. That knowledge has served us both very well once we started our own businesses in the Michigan. He taught me something really important about painting. Dust nibs in paint is much more likely to come through the airline than through the air. Once I put a nearly $1000 filter in the airline just before it goes into the spray booth, I greatly decreased that problem. I've passed this information on to my colleagues too (including Joe Bell - who was surprised like I was at the news).

Someone needs to interview Matt about his experiences living and learning to build frames in Leeds. Just for reference Bob Jackson's is where Kevin Sayles (now at Woodrup's in Leeds) got his start. They may have been at Jackson's at the same time but maybe Matt had left before Kevin got started there.
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Old 01-23-22, 03:38 PM
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If only that were a 1/2" shorter, I would pick that up and put an apostrophe on it. It's a nice looking frame.
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Old 01-25-22, 10:37 PM
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If it were an inch shorter I'd be keeping it!
Thanks for the background also, Doug. I spoke with Matt earlier last spring. A very kind man indeed.
He offered me a bit of info on the time frame the frame was built and so forth. I hope to get up to his shop here in Michigan
sometime soon.

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Old 01-28-22, 06:50 PM
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Judging by the saddle height in the photo, I would have assumed it was too short for you. GLWS!
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