Has it been 9 weeks since I updated this sucker? Uffda, as we used to say. Itâ€™s still winter here: cold, gray, fat, out of shape, but the days are getting longer and green things are poking out of the ground. The orders keep coming in and the bikes keep going out â€“ such is the circle of life.
Looking ahead in 2009 I see some fun things on the horizon and Iâ€™ll talk about them as I go along. Probably the first thing is to thank all you who contributed to 2008 being such a good year: all you customers, and suppliers, and builders, and pals â€“ having such good folks to deal with is a huge part of what I love about my job.
It looks like there will be at several magazine articles/reviews/blurbs on Hampsten and Tournesol coming in the next few months. I wonâ€™t give much away now but Iâ€™ll boast when the issue hits the stands (or â€œdropsâ€, to use the current vernacular) and Iâ€™ll link if possible. Keep those subscriptions current, yâ€™all!
Over the last six months or so weâ€™ve been sharing my shop with Max and Bernard, who build under the name 333fab â€“ www.333fab.com. Briefly, they both welded at Merlin, Seven and Rygin, and are working metal jobs here in Seattle as they get their company off the ground. And Iâ€™ve seen them work and the quality of what they do and Iâ€™ve asked them to build some frames for the HampCo juggernaut â€“ thatâ€™s how good they are. My thinking is to bring some of the welded steel frames in-house as there are features Iâ€™d like to offer that just donâ€™t mesh with what our suppliers offer: MAX tubing, Breezer-style dropouts, and curvy seat stays – just for starters.
IF still supplies us with lovely steel frames, Co-Mo with aluminum, Moots and Kent E with ti, Parlee with carbon, Martin with lugged frames â€“ none of that has changed. But now we can play around with steel just a little bit more. And I like being in the shop when a frame is bornâ€¦