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James Mason | all galleries >> Galleries >> Cycling in Portland, Oregon > Merz and DiNucci
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Merz and DiNucci

Jim Merz, left, and Mark DiNucci leave Merz's shop in NW Portland after a day of frame building. This photo was probably taken in 1980 or '81. I remember a frame was going for $700 at the time. Merz frames were so nice back then. Jim was hired by Specialized to design their bikes, and DiNucci followed him to the California company not long after. These two Portlanders had a huge influence on the bicycle industry world-wide. Merz's bike is built up with a full-on Dura-Ace AX group. Note the aero brake levers. What amazes me is the Dyna-Drive pedals didn't also catch on. They were brilliant!

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Tim Rutledge 01-Apr-2012 00:34
Awesome shot of Jim Merz & Mark Di Nucci, if that is Bruce Gordon, I believe he was out of Eugene, I never knew of Bruce in Salem. Jim belongs in the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame for his work on early mountain bikes, and is one of the most brilliant men I have ever known. These three are the holy trinity of Oregon hand built bicycles. I got to race Jim's early lightweight mountain bike at 'Cross Nationals in 1981.
Michael Palmer 02-Feb-2011 04:22
Jim Merz began building frames in the back corner of his basement apartment on NW Marshall just north of 23rd in 1973. He helped me build a frame that I rode from Portland to San Bernardino CA in '74. It's in my book, Trippin' with Vassily and the Captain, which I hope will be published later in 2011. Let me take this opportunity to say "THANK YOU Jim for turning me on to cycling and for helping me with that frame."
Guest 30-Dec-2010 20:41
I never worked for Andy Newlands. We both started frame building companies at the same time, but is was totally separate.

Jim Merz
Jerry Powell 09-Nov-2010 17:28
Both Merz and DiNucci had worked in Andy Newlands Strawberry Bike works before Jim opened up his place at 21st and Everett.
Guest 28-Jan-2010 05:23
Your page inspried me to take mine out of the garage dust it offf and take it out for a ride. Forgot how nice and comfortable it is. Number KE221 got it in 79. Nice site thanks for posting.

Bryant Bainbridge 04-Oct-2009 13:39
The third person in the photo is none other than Bruce Gordon, at the time, building frames out of Salem. Together these three summed up the entire framebuilding community of Oregon.
Matthew Sarna-Wojcicki 01-Apr-2008 05:15
Dear James,

I agree, I loved the Dyna Drive pedals. I rode those things until about 1989, even after clipless pedals. Owning those pedals taught me what the Physics property of "moment" was. Chris Carmichael convinced me to switch to clipless pedals in 1991.