Maybe you’re a big guy, like to sprint, not afraid to grab a jersey or bump an elbow, do ok on the short hills, do better on crappy descents, double espresso at the coffee stop, a beer and a brat or two after a long ride. The spring classics are what get your blood pumping, full of rain, cobbled bergs, cow shit, and rabid fans. Ghent-Bubbelghum, De Ronde van Vlaanderen, Parigi-Roubaix – now them are proper bike races. Maybe add Amstel Gold and Liege-Bastogne-Liege in a pinch and certainly the new Strada Bianca race in Tuscany.
Here at HampCo we’ve distilled our long-standing love of the Spring Classics and sketchy roads 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 but we like welding Niobium and we save some weight.
2 – We drop the MAX fork. Carbon works well here for short or medium-reach calipers or we can build our own. Choose from Enve, Co-Motion Nor-Wester, or HampCo steel. We build these to work with up to 28mm tires for better cush and more traction.
3 – The swaged seat tube is awkward to weld around and we try to avoid brazed-on front der clamps so we substitute our own 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 Columbus Spirit stays in 14mm or 16mm, depending on the rider.
This leaves us with Columbus MAX 31.8mm bi-ovalized top tube, 35mm bi-ovalized down tube, 38mm tall chainstays, normal 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: light and comfy or stiffer and burlier – your choice.
Max frame with choice of fork – $2400
1.125” headset required
English BB shell
27.2mm seat post
28.6mm or 31.8mm clamp-on front derailer
Fender capability upon request