The Past and Future of Bike Racing
Steve and Andy Hampsten have returned to NAHBS in 2013 with a great line up of bikes along with a bit of bike racing history, both past and future.
On display are two bikes from Hampsten’s Gran Paradiso line of lightweight performance road bikes: A TIG-welded steel Gran Paradiso “La Dolce Vita,” or LDV, and a titanium Gran Paradiso Titanio with 1-inch chainstays and skinny seatstays.
Steve Hampsten admits, “Yes, the wide-tubed chainstays are a bit of a tribute to [legendary Italian framebuilder] Dario [Pegoretti]. Continuing the Italian theme, Gran Paradiso is the mountain peak where Andy soloed to a stage win in the 1985 Giro d’Italia during his first season as a professional cyclist – a prelude to even greater success in the Italian grand tour. 7-Eleven made cycling history that year taking two stages – an enormous feat for a fledgling American team in Europe. Andy’s teammate Ron Kiefel, the other stage winner, won the stage to Perugia.
Hampsten is well-known for mixing steel tubesets to dial a bike for a specific feel and purpose. Steve points out a newly finished TIG welded Hampsten Max roadbike that’s made from a mix of Columbus Max and Spirit tubesets to provide a solid bike that glides over choppy roads.
Also on display is the Team 7-Eleven Huffy-badged steel race bike that Andy rode to win the 1988 Giro d’Italia. It is *the* bike that Andy rode up the Gavia pass through blizzard-like conditions to take the Maglia Rosa. The bike shows plenty of wear and tear and remains in the same condition Andy left it in at the end of that hard season of racing the professional circuit in Europe. Today, Ron Keifel stopped by the booth to reminisce, and this bike evoked a lot of good memories.
The Hampstens have also built a Keirin-style track bike specifically to commemorate the ribbon-cutting for the soon to be opened Boulder Valley Velodrome in Erie, CO. Hampsten doesn’t produce a lot of lugged bikes or any track bikes for that matter, so this is really something special. It is painted in the legendary Team 7-Eleven colors – an homage to bike racing’s past with a look to the future of track racing in Colorado.