Gran Paradiso represents several things: it’s where the Pope takes his vacation. It’s the tallest peak situated entirely in Italy. It’s what we call our line of race/performance frames. And it’s where, in 1985, a relatively unknown first-year American racer soloed to a stage win in that year’s Giro d’Italia.
At Hampsten Cycles we continue to tirelessly fine-tune our Gran Paradiso line of lightweight skinny-tire road bikes. All thee versions – Minimus, La Dolce Vita and Titanio – make this the perfect bike for fast road riding, butt-kicking on weekends, and/or full-on racing. This model works great with tires in the 23 to 28mm range. Gran Paradiso are all custom and are designed right here at HampCo Seattle.
Minimus is made from smaller diameter Columbus Life and Spirit tubing and is intended for shorter and lighter riders. We like to pair Minimus with an Enve fork.
La Dolce Vita uses larger-diameter Columbus Life tubing and is suitable for riders of all weights, particularly those who like the look and ride of oversize, lightweight steel. We like the Enve or Falz fork with this frame.
Our titanium frames are welded in Kent Eriksen’s shop by Brad Bingham – yeah, that guy – with US-made titanium tubing and are optimized for the height and weight of each customer. We offer three choices of finish:
- Bead-blasted – the standard Moots or Eriksen finish, it holds up well and may be freshened with Pledge or Pedro’s Bike Lust.
- Polished – a bright, shiny finish, and we get there but hitting the bare ti with a polishing wheel followed by red Scotchbrite. Easy to touch up yourself and shown above.
- BOBW (Best Of Both Worlds) – we blast it, then we polish it. It’s sort of a neither-here-nor-there look, kind of a dull shininess and easy to maintain.
HAMPSTEN HISTORY – The Pioneer Days
“At their debut grand tour, the 1985 Giro d’Italia, 7-Eleven came away with two stage wins – a feat that was astonishing given their lack of international experience at the highest level of the sport – Ron Kiefel took the stage to Perugia, while another American, riding his first professional race in Europe, won the stage to Gran Paradiso. We’d be hearing a lot more from him in the years to come. His name was Andy
Hampsten.” Read More…