Friday, March 21, 2008

Andy Hampsten's Land Shark

One of the most interesting bikes at the Handmade Bicycle Show lacked the high-polished freshness of many of the bikes that had been assembled in the 72 hours prior to display. John Slawta of Land Shark presented the bike he built in 1988 for Andy Hampsten, the bike he would go on to win the Giro d'Italia aboard.

The bike featured crisp lug work and fastback seatstays.





In one corner of Slawta's booth he displayed the original promotional poster put out by Cinelli celebrating that great day on the Gavia. However, the most curious aspect of the display was in the lower right corner of the frame.

Slawta displayed a postcard signed by Andy and members of the 7-Eleven team.

Slawta's hand-scrawled notes regarding Andy's requested frame measurements. The bike was built around 56.5cm top and seat tubes a 74-degree seat-tube angle, 73.5-degree head tube angle and only 35mm of fork rake, resulting in a whopping 6.42cm of trail, which is roughly a full centimeter more than is used in most racing bikes made today. With so much trail, the bike steered deliberately and remained calm at high speed, just like our hero did on those crazy descents in the Dolomites.

12 comments:

gary watts said...

That bike was the highlight of the NAHMBS for me. I talked with John for a few minutes and looked over the bike, thinking about it being in the snow that day in Giro. One of the most epic days in Pro cycling and I'm looking at the bike that was part of it. Hyper-kewl.

Anonymous said...

Man, that's Colnago'esque trail.

Anonymous said...

From my memory of Andy that seems like an awfully long top tube for someone his size - interesting.

nuovorecord said...

That is a long top tube. Plus there's a 130mm stem on it to boot. Man, I wish I still had that kind of flexibility!

Nice follow up post...it was my favorite bike in the show as well, for the exact reason Gary stated.

Geoff said...

I recall reading about 7-11's move to Merckx frames in '89 and the fun Eddy had changing Andy's position. He dropped his sta down to 73, iirc, and shortened the top tube. Eddy thought he was riding way too high and long and, after riding the changes, I believe Andy concurred with him.

Eddy knows positioning! This was in a 1989 issue of Bicycle Guide magazine. I would kill to get a copy of that mag if anyone has one they want to part with.

NewmaForma said...

I was lucky to have met Andy out training in Boulder while doing nanny duties for my sister in trade for free rent/food before moving to Ghent. I was on a LS as well and he commented that it was his favorite bike. Then he beat the hell out me for 3 hours and wished me the best of luck. Truly a classy guy.

Austin said...

A while back we took a trip to southern Oregon to visit Mike DeSalvo and John Slawta. Pinned to the wall was this postcard from Andy (photo taken with permission):

http://tinyurl.com/yqdgf8

Diablo Scott said...

I don't have the Bicycle Guide article, but I scanned a page from Winning Magazine with some details of the Slawta bike HERE

There was also a story in there about Andy flying home to Minnesota afterwards and he told a woman next to him that he'd been "touring Italy by bicycle". She was surprised to find a hoard of people in pink shirts to greet him at the airport.

privateer said...

Three whole days ago and he's still hammered?

Pussy.

XO-1.ORG said...

Funny. I recall, or was told, that Andy rode a lots of Moots bikes back then, with the sponsor decals on them instead of Moots. Kent Eriksen - who sponsored me in 1989+ when Moots was his baby and the bikes were still steel - personally told me he'd built at least some of the bikes on which Andy raced. I recall a feature story in some bike mag about Andy, probably around 1990, in which he was actually on a Moots mountain bike, which sort of validated what Kent told me.

Jason said...

I think that pic of Andy has served as inspiration for everyone of us that has pedaled through the snow and ice. Nice post. Nicer bike! :)

Queenofthesliptream said...

hi
you may know the answer to this. When did Shimano feature as a co-sponsor on the 7-eleven jersey? I've not been able to track down any images of the team wearing a jersey with Shimano on it, but I have read that they they were at one time a sponsor.
thanks
Matt