MAX – web edit

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

4 replies
  1. padelsbach
    padelsbach says:

    sweet bike. cool to know the logic behind the tubing choices.

    and now that hampsten is fully on board with big tires and dirt roads, the next step is to drop the road pedals and rigid shoes that go with!

  2. mail
    mail says:

    Sounds like a great package for a very individual bike.

    Do you have any experiences with the MINIMAX tubing? Cool MAX look combined with more comfort for weaker riders like me?


  3. Steve H
    Steve H says:

    Oh, we ride in MTB pedals here as well – Shimano for the most part.

    And I think we’ll get in some MiniMAX tubes soon and try those out. They’ll likely be an option on our Strada Bianca and – what the heck – they should be on the MAX frame. Good call!



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