We do about half a dozen Hampsten-branded lugged frames each year, most of them falling in the Team Pro catagory but some other odds and ends creep in. Not huge numbers – Tournesol lugged frames and builds seem to be more popular – but numbers that make me want to keep offering these. I like the end results and lugged craftsmanship occupies a warm corner of my otherwise cold, cold heart.
The fella who builds them, along with all of our brazed forks, is Martin Tweedy. We met at match bicycle company (lower-case) back in 1997 and Martin has been an integral part of Hampsten Cycles ever since. Mr. Tweedy, as we are wont to call him, has a day job that involves submarines and machine tools and I don’t quite know exactly what he does and he never really tells me – catch my drift here? Be that as it may, this is all a roundabout way of saying that there is a limit to the number of lugged frames we can produce in a year – maybe 12-15 – but that the guy who does them is quite good at what he does.
Looking ahead at 2012 (and beyond!) I’d like us to keep offering the current Team Pro: Sachs Issimo lugs and BB shell, Spirit4Lugs tubing, flat seat stay caps – the Full Chicago. We usually do these for short-reach calipers but occasionally a long-reach Strada Bianca-style frame sneaks through.
What I would like to introduce, however, is a match tribute frame option. We’ll use the same tubing as on the Team Pro, likely paired with Sachs’ Rene Singer lugs, a fastback seat cluster, integrated binder, straight fork, curved chain stays, and we’ll probably use Richard’s new socket dropouts on the front and rear. Pick a groovy color, add a downtube panel and the new script font, maybe some NOS Shamal wheels and you’re good to go. Price will be the same as above and I hope to have one soon to show.
Next: Can We Talk About Tournesol?