What's Cool In Road Cycling

Hampsten Bikes: Have It Your Way – Really!

What to do when a great racer retires? One popular choice is to start your own bike company, trading on a highly recognzed name to establish the business. But in the case of Andy Hampsten and his brother Steve, offering custom built rides in your choice of hi-zoot material has set them apart…

Steve Hampsten is relaxed, but the passion in his tone belies his reasoning for creating and selling Hampsten cycles. “People want high quality bicycles with good fit – that’s where we excel” he says in an even tone. Ah, in todays hectic bike manufacturing world, a simplistic insight is so very refreshing. We’re talking on the phone, and the Chicago to Seattle connection is abuzz with the ideals and passions of a cycling family going to great lengths to provide top notch American bicyles to the public. Gleaned and guided by Andy’s racing experience, the brothers Hampsten founded Hampsten Cycles in 1999, to bring very specific bikes and an “unparalleled degree of personal service” to the buyer. Round tubing (on all frames but one), simple solid color paintjobs, no integrated headsets, “well designed, somewhat old fashioned” bike design at its finest.

While Giro winner and brother Andy is focusing on leading some of the best cyling tours through Italy, Steve is in Seattle connected to the greatest American bicycle manufacturers making specialty road bikes for anyone who needs them. Completely spec’d out to each individual buyers needs, Hampsten Cycles cross every genre of material, while keeping a traditionalist theme in frame style. No, Hampsten doesn’t manufacture in Seattle, they job out each and every order on an order-to-buy status to completely satisfy each customer.

The list of frame builders is a who’s who in American frame building technology, style, and class. Their Titanio frames are made by Moots Cycles of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Steel frames by Ti Cycles of Seattle. Aluminum by Co – Motion of Eugene, Oregon. And the carbon fiber frames are built by “carbon guru” Bob Parlee of Peabody, Massachusetts. It’s not that Hampsten Cycles is anti-Italian or anti-Taiwan, as Steve says, “it’s just about choosing the best manufacturers for the job and letting people know who they are.” They could just as easily import their designs or not disclose who the builders are.

The Hampsten Z1 Pro – top-end carbon by Bob Parlee – same as Tyler rode in the ’02Giro.

Offering at least two models of all materials save for aluminum (for now), Hampsten Cycles will cater to every spec a buyer may need. Everything is possible in the world of custom bikes when you’re talking to Steve Hampsten. You want weird sizes? No sweat. Build it here and ship it to Timbuktu? No problem.

While Trek and manufacturers of its ilk have a stranglehold on the production bike market, Hampsten cycles represent a breed of American top notch quality specific manufaturing and support reminiscent of some of Europe’s finest builders. Check out more about them at www.hampsten.com and be sure to peruse every detail of this great site! And stay tuned for a full review of one of their fine products this Fall!

The logo is a wild boar – the kind you might see in Tuscany on one of Andy’s tours. In fact, Andy’s tour company takes it’s name from the Italian word for “boar” – pronounce it “ching-gee-ahl-lay” and you might just get a discount – (well, at least they’ll be impressed with your knowledge of Italian!)

Check out the Hampstem bros’ websites at:


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