Monday, September 5, 2016

Bici d'epoca - Tribute to Hampsten's 1988 Giro d'Italia victory

Regular readers of the blog will remember our SCAPIN bici d'epoca project, still a work-in-progress for EROICA California 2017. Larry was planning to ride that one, but Heather now wants to join in the fun. So another project has been started.

American cycling fans old enough remember fondly Andy Hampsten's victory in the Giro d'Italia of 1988. Most remember the iconic HUFFY-branded 7/Eleven bikes the team rode - custom built by Ben Serotta using True Temper tubing, a team sponsor.

This tribute* bike will be far from a replica as it'll be Campagnolo-equipped like the MURRAY-branded bikes (also built by Serotta) the teams used in previous years rather than the Japanese brand components used in 1988. Epoca bikes are supposed to be pre 1987 anyway so we're more in the spirit, no?

So yes, this could have been painted and decaled (Grazie mille to, VeloCals and Sioux City Signs by Tomorrow) to look just like a MURRAY instead, but there's more to the story... the tubeset. Tange Prestige here instead of True Temper or Columbus. Heather has owned this bike for at least two decades. In fact it was repainted in CycleItalia livery after we stopped working with "those other people" back in 1998. It then sat around after Torelli joined up with us, eventually being turned into sort of a winter bike. But EROICA CA called!

While Ben Serotta WAS the "builder of trust" for the 7/Eleven team, some members sought out other constructors for their personal racing machines. This practice has gone on for years and in some cases is still practiced today, though there's a lot more cloak-and-dagger about it these days with million-dollar sponsorships to protect!

Oddly enough, it was Larry who ended up giving Serotta the not-so-great news back in 1988 that the "bike that won the Giro" was not his creation. He'd taken photos of Andy's bike at the Tour de France and when he got back to work at the bike shop, a sharp-eyed sales rep pointed out "That's no Serotta, that is a LANDSHARK."

The bike Hampsten rode to victory in Italy was indeed built by John Slawta of LandShark, same as Heather's bike, using the same Tange Prestige tubeset. The only obvious clue is the logo on the brake bridge, which Larry could not resist highlighting as you can see above. Needless to say Hampsten's bike didn't have this logo!

This will get built-up similarly to our other bici d'epoca with Campagnolo triple crankset and all polished alloy for the correct period look.

Read more about the original bike HERE. For even more on the history of the 7/Eleven bikes go HERE. To read a vintage bike piece Larry wrote for BikeRaceInfo go HERE.

*Please don't bomb us with comments about the fork/color that doesn't match Andy's bike. It's the one that came with the frame and this is a TRIBUTE rather than replica.

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