Andy Hampsten was one of the first american cyclists to achieve success in the european theatre of professional cycling. most famous for his win in the 1988 Giro d'Italia - and his second place on the Passo di Gavia, a legendary performance in some of the worst weather conditions ever in a road race - he also won the Tour de Suisee twice and won the Alpe d'Huez stage of the 1992 Tour de France. and in 1999, he started his own bike company with his brother.

commence to drooling!

i've only been aware of Hampsten for a couple years, but everything i've seen has been gorgeous. there's a very good reason for that though; he has some of the best builders in the world putting these bikes together. the steel bikes are made by Independent Fabrications. the titanium bikes by Moots and Kent Eriksen - he started Moots by the way. carbon frames are made by Bob Parlee.

those are the builders of dreams my friends!

this is just the
aluminum Gran Paradiso! i prefer compact geometry myself, but this is beautiful.

Compounding the obvious lack of a ‘70s style road bike..." i'm sold right there - how cool is that? i'm not sure that i could ever ride a road bike as the riding position just kills me, but maybe YOU buying it for me is what would finally put me at ease...


I want YOU.... to buy me a COLNAGO

the other day i was thinking about a couple of the more famous 'warm and fuzzy' internet stories. warm and fuzzy is maybe not the best descriptor; they're the Internet Cool Thing of the day kinda thing.

one of them was 'One Red Paperclip.' in this one, some guy decided he'd try trading his red paperclip for something bigger and better, until he got to his ultimate goal of getting a house. it took him a year, but he did it. now the house he got is in kipling, saskatchewan so maybe i'm not that impressed, but still, it's pretty rediculous to think of it.

the other one i was thinking of was the million dollar website. this is a website with one million pixels on it, and each pixel was for sale for one dollar. you could (obviously) buy more than one pixel at a time, so the guy that thought it up didn't need one million takers, but he still needed a lot. look at the page source on that site and marvel and the gigantic list of URLs.

let's be honest though about what these two things are; they're scams. not malicious ones - everybody that got involved got what they were promised - but still scams. good ideas that got a lot of good press, and that press pushed them on to success. (although i gotta say, the guy running that paper clip deal is pretty charismatic...)

so i figured; why not me? everybody is getting all these free houses and money from the internet and all i get is russian cracks of Left 4 Dead that only have sound - russian sound - and offers like this for the bikes i try to sell on craigslist;

goodday seller, am interested in buying this item posted, but firstly i will like you to tell me in details the present condition and the last price before making any purchase and also my means of my payment is through a valid cashier's checks. So if this means of payment could be convinient for you, just let me know by sending me a mail now.
Hope to hear from you soon.

where's my million dollars?

well, i'm not asking for a million dollars, i want a colnago. not even a bititanio, just a nice steel one.

of course, my scam got as far as changing my facebook status to 'i want YOU... t buy me a Colnago.' none of my 12 friends knows what that is. so it didn't go very far. but, maybe the power of the blog can get me that finely crafted italian craftsmanshipness.

(i hear people talk about twitter though, maybe i need the power of the twit? sadly, i have no idea what twitter is, and i can't be bothered to find out. when you stay home and play lego star wars most of the time, social networking doesn't count for much.)

so here's the deal, the colnago fund starts here - with YOU. for $2, you can have your personal bicycle rated on this website. it'll get it's just deserts believe you me. i have tons of cynicism, anger, and carcasm available. and tons of exposure too. this website has one follower! and i might ask redbike to mention me - that'll drum up two or three more.

just send me some pics, and we'll get this done. everybody wins. mostly me though.



i'm not done blogging of course, just done posting the old bikes.

after three years!

kinda sad actually, but there were a lot of them.

in fact, i found a bunch more in a folder that i never got to. i might post them in the future, but i wanted to get this done so i could talk about other stuff.

i've been buying cycling magazines, reading mountain bike forums online; adding fuel to the fire as it were. and i'll pick up a few of the bike companies that have popped up since i stopped the old bikeguide.

so, as a great man once said; 'let's get started shall we?'


Yeti pt. 2

Ultimate - Another excellent rare Yeti Ultimate - this one with the original Yeti/Answer Accutrax rigid forks, and Magura Hydraulic brakes.

Softail - This was Yeti's first attempt at a full suspension bike. Travel was minimal, two inches or less, and I don't really know if it was called "Softail" or not, , but that's the information I have. This was the bike to own if you wanted to win the Kamikazi at Mammoth mountain in 1992.

Softail - This is the second evolution of the bike above. This one has Pace forks and a pretty freeride-ish high stem and riser bar. My thanks to Johannes from Germany for this pic of a great bike.

Lawwill - I have to kinda laugh at this bike. You probably recognize the design, it's the Lawwill rear end from the Yeti/Schwinn Straight six/eight (Schwinn owned Yeti at this point). Except it only has 4 inches of travel, which is nowhere near adequate for DH racing today. It's probably a great bike to ride though - except for the fork.

Lawwill - This one has 6 inches or rear wheel travel. And a pretty serious Foes fork. Probably a pretty decent DH bike.


Yeti has had a long life in the world of mountain bikes. Their history includes; holding on to straight-gauge steel tubes longer than anybody else, the first box van at NORBA nationals, the first downhill-only race team, moving from California to Colorado, several ownership changes, and a bunch of other stuff I'm sure.

A.R.C. - I really liked this "second generation" Yeti that had Troy Lee pin-striping. Would have fit in nicely with the low-rider crowd.

A.R.C. - This looks like one of the first Advanced Racing Composites that Yeti made. It was apparently a big time fire-road bike. Or in other words - a downhill machine. Yeti's were always built more for open spaces than the woods.

A.R.C. - These used to be classic Yeti colors. But I guess it's black and yellow now... Anyway, cool bike.

AS3 - Yeti's second attempt at a fully suspended bike. Pretty nice design, though most people who consider themselves experts (bike magazine editors) feel that 'strut' bikes are out-dated. Excellent Troy Lee paint details on this frame.

Ultimate - This is the Yeti Ultimate, originally designed (in 1989 or so) with input from Zapata Espinoza, then of MBA magazine. The idea was to build the ultimate mountain bike, something that wasn't too heavy to race, but had some "all-mountain" characteristics - like tire clearance, and no chain suck. Another old bike I'd love to own.

Wilderness Trail Bikes

You've surely heard of WTB. Their saddles, tires, and headsets are quite popular. But, you might not know that they made bikes as well. They're one of those cult companies - not very popular, but with fiercely loyal customers.

Phoenix - I think WTB is just the type of company that attracts the kind of rider that likes Noleen forks. Surely not TeamCow's first choice.

Phoenix - I like this bike. Steel frame, RaceFace, Magura hydraulics, and a White Brothers fork. Well done!

Voodoo pt. 2

Nzumbi - Don't you wish you had enough money to afford not just a dedicated single-speed frame, but one with a RaceFace stem and a fancy boutique crank like this MRC Steely Dan? Maybe you're one of those nut-jobs that has a bike like this as your first bike. Now that's weird - the kinda weird that TeamCow likes...

Bizango - This bike is fabulous. Reynolds 853 frame, XTR everything, polished Marzocchi Atom Bomb - nothing but the best.


Voodoo was started by Joe Murray. Murray was the first guy to really dominate NORBA racing in the States. He eventually started consulting with Kona, and then started his own company. You can see a lot of similarities between Konas and Voodoos. I think they're out of business now, which is too bad - they were nice bikes. [edit] voodoo lives on, they have a pretty complete line, a couple really cool bikes, and they're pretty cheap. it all sounds good to me.

D - Jab - Titanium is very cool. And titanium with XTR and Arch Supremes is very expensive...

Erzulie - A solid looking steel hardtail here. Good fork, I loved those Answer barends, but a Kore stem? You'll lose points for that...

Canzo - This is a beautifully finished bike. A titanium Canzo with a long-travel SID and those crazy green Micheins. Of course, the Canzo has the stigma of being a URT bike, which because of it's characteristics, somehow makes it less worthy. I'm willing to bet there are thousands of people enjoying bikes like this, and they either have no problems, or they just deal with it's idiosyncrasies.

Bizango - An excellent setup on this steel Voodoo. That, by the way is one of the reasons I liked Voodo - they held onto steel right to the end. Anyway, it looks like a great singletrack bike.

Bokor - Was this a calculated attempt to put together a bike that doesn't attract attention? Or just somebody who doesn't mind a plain looking bike...


I think Vicious is one of those "retro" companies. Mostly making single speeds and oddball bikes out of steel. They're also making an effort to revive the rigid fork. We'll see about that.

Motivator - Is this the future of mountain biking?

You can't really tell, but the Motivator runs on 29" wheels. Apparently the big wheels roll faster and smoother over bumps - which sounds great to me. Of course, nobody makes suspension forks for these bikes yet, that's why this one is still rigid. I bet the build quality is excellent, and the paint is super cool, but I'll stick my neck out and say that we won't all be changing over to big wheels for a while. [edit] haha! sometimes these entries i've written are hilarious. of course now, 29 inch bikes are on like michelle kwan. and this bike - this kind of bike - is right at the top of my wanted list. and i'm building a rocky mountain blizzard singlespeed with a vicious cycles fork on it. funny how people change...


Ventana is a California company that dates back to the early 90's. Really nice bikes - great welds, nice colors, and names that are fun to say.

El Toro - This is a hardcore single speed. Aluminum frame and no suspension. It hurts my arms just to look at this bike. Sure doesn't hurt my eyes though.

El Habanero - The Ventana El Habanero uses a very common suspension design, you can find it on entry-level Rocky Mountains, yet is regularly hailed as a truly great bike. How come nobody ever raves about the RMB Spice like that?

El Matador - If there was a beauty contest for mountain bikes, the El Matador would not win. But it looks light. I wonder if DH racers care about that...

El Saltamontes - I just have to chuckle at this one. I guess this is a freeride bike, it's got a double-crown fork. But it's got a Fox air shock, and as good as it is, it's not a freeride shock. And those rear link plates look incredibly spindly. And while I'm critiquing - I've never liked that WTB saddle - looks stupid.

El Saltamontes - Can you say money? Marzocchi SuperFly, Avid Arch Supreme, Syncros Ti seatpost, Titus Ti stem, and the ultimate expense - Morati titanium cranks. I wouldn't even venture a guess as to how much those are worth. Not suprisingly, the seller of this bike was not including the cranks and brakes.

Turner pt. 2

I have to say some more about Turner;

A couple years ago he brought out his 29" bike, the Sultan. But before he did, he made comments indicating that he didn't like 29" wheels and thought the whole thing was dumb.

But not too dumb to make money off of. I'm OK with people making money, but I'm not really impressed with someone doing something they don't like to make money. Especially when you're talking bikes - something that people have tremendous passion for. Riders scrimp and save for years to afford that custom frame, the name on it, the guy who built it - it matters. So are you really wanting to drop $2K on a frame made by a guy who didn't really want to make it?

DHR - This new DHR - belonging to Paul in England - thanks Paul! - is a fabulous bike. Notice the mixed Hope brakes and titanic Mr. Dirt fork. I can't imagine riding a bike like that, but I'll bet it's a good time.

O2 - Turner's latest XC type bike. Looks great to me, and I love that the rider hasn't sacrificed ride for weight and went with a Marzocchi.


Dave Turner has been involved in suspension bike design since 1990. He apparently helped Horst Leitner develop the "Horst Link", which now, in a somewhat bizarre twist, he must license from Specialized. His bikes have always impressed me, and they seem to impress everybody else in the mountain bike world too.

Burner - I think the Burner has now been replaced by the XCE. Given this bike is decked out with the finest in air shocks, it must be intended for some XC action.

Afterburner - The first true DH bike from Turner. Those are some pretty serious looking forks right there.

Stinger - A really crappy pic of a really awesome bike. That tells you alot about what I think of Turner that I'm willing to post this pic.

Turner - I'm not really sure what this bike is, though it does look a bit like the RFX. Anyway, it's ready for DH action with a chain guide, 8 inch front rotor, XVert Ti, and that huge head tube junction gusset.

True North

They're Canadian. You don't need to know anymore. Actually, I don't know anymore than that...

Hardtail - Marzocchi, Race Face, looks like a winner to me.



Trimble was one of the first carbon bikes out there. And it was out there. The "boom tube" (i'd love to smack whoever coined that term) design was really exotic at the time - trivia question; name the two other frames that looked virtually the same - as was the frame material. [edit] alpinestars t-24, and the grove innovations X trimble is back by the way, as a 29er of course....

Carbon Cross - This bike is especially special because it has a Mountain Cycles Suspenders inverted fork and the Mountain Cycles Pro-Stop disc brake. Both well ahead of their time. And some might say not very good either.

Trek pt. 3

ok, i don't know if this is the case for other people, but it's pretty obvious that i don't like trek. and i don't mean that other people don't like trek, but don't like any company for no real good reason. i imagine the bikes work well and are made well, but i've never seen one that i thought 'that looks good, i'd like to ride that bike.' i certainly have softened over the years - i'm riding a GT right now, and i have a trek 8700 carbon frame that i'm going to build as a singlespeed and sell - but still, i don't like trek. i'd buy a giant or even a specialized before i'd buy a trek.

DH - Custom Troy Lee stickers won't save this piece of crap. I think a cable operated Rock Shox disc on the front, and a hydraulic 8 inch Hayes on the rear, could be the worst brake set up I've ever seen.

VRX 400 - This has to be a joke right? Somebody that's really good at PhotoShop? This bike can't exsist in real life - it just can't. I refuse to believe it...

Trek pt. 2

8900 - A crappy Trek sitting in front of a Porsche Boxster? A yellow rim on the front, and a black one on the rear?? Specialized cranks??? A SID????? I'm laughing hard now...

Y-22 - Well this is just... It's so... Wrong? Dumb? Both?

Ysl-20 - Fox sticker = cool. That seems to be a theme amongst the joke bikes...

9000 - A crappy Trek sitting in front of a Porsche 911 turbo? This could be the worst suspension bike ever made. This particular example had two inches of travel, but no damping at all. I guess at times it was like riding a mechanical bull. Why does this person have a Porsche 911 turbo, and a Trek 9000?

DH - Wow - this bike is so ugly. I don't know what to say here - it looks like a triathalon bike modified for DH. And this guy probably thought those Fox stickers were sooo cool. That's not gonna save you here buddy.


One of the giants of the American bicycle industry. One of the few remaining giants I should say. Of course these days, Trek is Lance. Which is ironic, because for the longest time in the 90's, Trek did not race. Nobody could figure out why. I still can't. [edit] trek was/is also travis brown. he was the trek MTB racing team before there was a trek MTB racing team. and you have to like him because he races CX on a 69er singlespeed and won the 1999 and 2002 SSWC. i think he also won the 2005 race, but that only got him pole position for the go-kart race that actually decided the title that year.

8700 - The S-Works bikes are the top-of-the-line light-weight race bikes in Specialized's lineup. This one is fairly nice, with Kooka cranks and a Selle Italia Flite saddle. It needs a new fork though. [edit] yeah, no idea what i'm talking about here. i mean it's true, but this is not a trek... i think i may have accidentally deleted part of what i had written. this is actually a bonded aluminum and carbon trek from about 1990.

6500 - If this bike gets used for what it seems to be built for, I give it 2 months...

9900 - I wish I had more pics of this one. Could be one of the the ugliest bikes ever. You can't quite see it, but the other side of the bike is purple. I really don't know what kind of look they were trying for...

Y-bike - I personally blame Trek for the URT suspension bike. I know they didn't invent it, but they proliferated it better than anybody else. Anyway, I guess this one was a special promotion in Europe. Get an Alfa and they'll throw in a Trek with big Alfa stickers on it. Pretty sad...

Y-bike - This is sooo Trek. What appears to be a serious off-road bike, with a ultra-adjustable SID rear shock and a Manitou XVert up front, has a very non offroad super hi-rise stem, rise bars, and barends reaching for the sky. Only on a Trek... Or possibly a GT.


If you know anything about mountain bike racing, you know who John Tomac. America's second MTB superstar, one of only two people to win a XC and DH World Championship, and the guy every mountain biker wanted to be in 1993. Now he's teamed up with Manitou's former head man Doug Bradbury to build some pretty cool bikes.

165 - Tomac's latest ride, the 165 DH bike. Designed by Johnny T and Doug bradbury. So by rights, this bike should at least have an XVert Carbon on it. Doesn't that Boxxer look a little spindly?

204 Magnum - Jonnhy T's latest DH creation - the 204 Magnum. This one has a very tasty Stratos Super Star fork. TeamCow really likes Stratos forks.

00 Buckshot - Too bad this wasn't a slightly better picture, this one doesn't show the frame details at the seatstay/seatpost junction and at the BB area. I guess if you really wanted a Manitou HT, but didn't want to be stuck with an 1 1/4" heattube, this is what you should get.

78 Special - This looks like a beauty. Great fork and great brakes - looks very fast.

00 Buckshot - A super nice hardtail that's got the single speed treatment. Very nice bike...