Hampsten Shakedown Tour

As part of a loosely structured barter for cash deal with bike builder Steve Hampsten, Ben and I have been receiving some silky smooth rolling stock. My end of the deal was an intensely laid back randotourer with an underhood Guzzi-inspired metallic Mazda mustard sourced from one of Angelo Cruz’s bodyshop swatch books.

A five day springtime window created the impetus for the buildout, so I “collaborated” (badgered with esoteric component requests) with Rick Nersasian and the Garrisons Cyclery crew to assemble a three-continent, two hemisphere mash up of parts into a practical human-powered long hauler.

First, of course, is a hand-built lugged Columbus Nuovo Richie frame from Steve Hampsten’s Seattle workshop…

…with nice Steve Hampsten-built front and rear racks. Steve graciously tossed in the Paul’s centerpull brakes.

An NOS Simplex front derailleur and a Specialites TA Pro 5 Vis from the Doug Brooks Collection elegantly yet effectively take on the primary drive responsibilities…

…while a White Industries rear hub makes those deliciously smooth clickety click noises when coasting.

A fat front Schmidt SON 28 generator hub powers front and rear lights plus maybe even an iPhone charger with negligible rolling resistance and a Teutonic sense of style.

No aero cable-routing channels? So what. Nothing strikes strikes a more dignified silhouette than a set of Nitto Noodle bars.

I worked the bugs out on a five-day three-state tour assisted by Google’s beta bicycle mapping, handwritten turns, patient in-laws, a long-suffering spouse, National Parks and Rails to Trails.

Posted by on April 29, 2011