Happy 2009, part 1

Has it been 9 weeks since I updated this sucker? Uffda, as we used to say. It’s still winter here: cold, gray, fat, out of shape, but the days are getting longer and green things are poking out of the ground. The orders keep coming in and the bikes keep going out – such is the circle of life.

Looking ahead in 2009 I see some fun things on the horizon and I’ll talk about them as I go along. Probably the first thing is to thank all you who contributed to 2008 being such a good year: all you customers, and suppliers, and builders, and pals – having such good folks to deal with is a huge part of what I love about my job.

It looks like there will be at several magazine articles/reviews/blurbs on Hampsten and Tournesol coming in the next few months. I won’t give much away now but I’ll boast when the issue hits the stands (or “drops”, to use the current vernacular) and I’ll link if possible. Keep those subscriptions current, y’all!

Over the last six months or so we’ve been sharing my shop with Max and Bernard, who build under the name 333fab – www.333fab.com. Briefly, they both welded at Merlin, Seven and Rygin, and are working metal jobs here in Seattle as they get their company off the ground. And I’ve seen them work and the quality of what they do and I’ve asked them to build some frames for the HampCo juggernaut – that’s how good they are. My thinking is to bring some of the welded steel frames in-house as there are features I’d like to offer that just don’t mesh with what our suppliers offer: MAX tubing, Breezer-style dropouts, and curvy seat stays - just for starters.

IF still supplies us with lovely steel frames, Co-Mo with aluminum, Moots and Kent E with ti, Parlee with carbon, Martin with lugged frames – none of that has changed. But now we can play around with steel just a little bit more. And I like being in the shop when a frame is born…