Where are you based?
Seattle, Washington – Meadowbrook, to be precise.
Is that where you grew up?
Nah – Grand Forks, North Dakota. It is/was as cold as it sounds.
What’s the riding like there (where you live now)?
Great, especially for in-town riding. Maybe the traffic is a trifle frantic out in the ‘burbs but we have hills and great scenery.
How long have you been building?
We’ve been doing Hampsten Cycles since 1999 – and we party accordingly.
How did you get your start?
I worked in bikes shops for many years, spent some time learning welding and metal work, got a job in a bicycle frame factory (match), had a brother (and business partner) who raced pro – typical, really.
Do you have an assistant? If so, who is he?
No, I do everything myself. Except for the welded frames, Max does those. Or the brazed frames and forks, Martin does those. Or the wrenching, Chase does much of that.
Do you ever work in a material other than steel?
We do welded and lugged steel frames along with welded XCr stainless and titanium. We still offer aluminum frames from Co-Motion and we’ve done carbon frames in the past but we’re not currently.
Who makes the tubing and lugs you like to use?
We use primarily Columbus tubing with some True Temper mixed in; lugs are generally from Richard Sachs and I think Long Shen casts those.
Tell us about the jig you use.
It’s an Anvil SuperMaster – we’ve had it for a while. We’re happy with it and it doesn’t seem to be wearing out.
What sort of cutting and shaping of lugs do you like to perform? Does it vary from bike to bike or are there stylistic elements people can find running through all your bikes?
We like the lugs just the way they come to us – sorry. Issimo lugs on the Hampsten bikes, Rene Singer on the Tournesol, and we all sleep well at night.