Maybe you’re a big guy who likes to sprint and is not afraid to grab a jersey or bump an elbow, you do ok on the short hills, better on crappy descents, recognize the value of the caffeine infusion. The spring classics are what get your blood pumping, full of rain, cobbled bergs, cow shit, and rabid fans. Ghent-Wevelgem, De Ronde van Vlaanderen, Parigi-Roubaix – now those are proper bike races! Maybe add Amstel Gold and Liege-Bastogne-Liege and certainly the new Strada Bianca race in Tuscany.
Here at HampCo we’ve distilled our long-standing love of the Spring Classics, sketchy roads, and iffy prose into a single frame; we call it “MAX”. Based on the famed MAX tubeset from Columbus Tubi – which Columbus has so graciously re-introduced using their top-notch Niobium tubing – we make a few tweaks to the package:
1 – We lose the lugs and BB shell. Yep, the lugs have their own appeal (and they don’t really exist any more) but we like welding Niobium and we save some weight.
2 – We drop the MAX fork, mostly. Carbon works well here for short or medium-reach calipers or we can build our own. Choose from Enve, Falz, Whiskey, or HampCo steel MAX fork. We build these to work with up to 35mm tires for maximum cush and better traction.
3 – The swaged seat tube doesn’t really suit this frame so we substitute a non-swaged Columbus seat tube. This gives us the seat tube option of 28.6mm or 31.6mm – one more chance to fine-tune the ride and stiffness of the frame.
4 – Those smooshed seat stays have never looked quite right so let’s save them for that coffee-table project and we’ll use Spirit stays in 14mm or 16mm depending on the rider.
This leaves us with Columbus MAX 31.8mm bi-ovalized top tube (or HSS 28.6/31.8mm tapered), 35mm OR 38mm bi-ovalized down tube, 37mm-tall chainstays, 36mm head tube. We get a frame weight here of about 3.4 pounds, unpainted, in a 55cm frame. The lack of lugs, the lighter fork, and the tubing substitutions both save weight and allow more tweaking of the end product: lighter and comfy or stiffer and burlier – your choice.