Beautiful looking classic. The style and simplicity greatly appeals. Would be really interested to know you're unbiased (is that possible?)opinion of the bike, ride characteristics etc. (and reason for purchase of course).
Well, I bought this one without knowing much about Hampsten bikes, and was drawn to it by the style, paint and other superficial reasons. After reading a lot about the fabrication, for example the richard sachs complete lugset, silver brazing by a respected builder (Dave Levy) I decided to start inquiring through the website. All communication was through Steve Hampsten himself and not an underling, and he seemed to know what he was talking about. He also has had a lot of experience in the business, not to mention being the brother of the man himself! He also commented on his experience in probably working on a frame I had already owned and ridden unbeknownst to me--a schwinn paramount 60th anniversary frame, b/c he worked on the finishing of those frames under Tim Issac. He assured me (maybe the biased part?) that I would find the ride quality of the Hampsten more lively, and more forgiving in the rear end than the Paramount. Like I said, I already owned the paramount, so he wasn't trying to compete with it. Since I already knew that was a great bike, I decided to take a chance on getting an even better frame. It does not dissappoint. At this time I am planning to replace the dura ace annv. kit with some good old chorus 10 speed so I don't have to feel like I am trashing a collector's item every time I ride. I still won't race it, that's why I have a Colnago, but I will ride it a lot more once the special parts are taken off. It was initially built with that stuff as a look-at-me bike for nice days, club rides and all that, but I just can't stand not to ride it more often. Other than being a great-looking bike with terrific ride quality, you can also get custom sizing and other made-to-order stuff for less than you would elsewhere. They have recently come out with a frame called the alpe d huez that is designed for heavier riders who want steel. I am around 155 and this bike with the lightweight S3 tubing otpion, is stiffer than a serotta CSI that I have that is a few years old now. They are worth a look if you are considering a truely custom frame. http://www.hampsten.com/
Great, I just found out that you can get a 7-11 paint job on your custom Hampsten now!! I was asking for that when he built my frame a year ago, but they weren't doing it then. See, another reason to ride it and not worry about dinging it up, I can just get a re-paint. Let me know if I can answer any other questions.