The partnership of brothers Andy and Steve Hampsten, Hampsten Cycles, just ticked over twenty years of business and to celebrate they created a very fresh interpretation of a personally significant livery — that of Andy’s La Vie Claire team.
Bernard Hinault’s iconic La Vie Claire team kit was a very stark and clean reproduction of Piet Mondrian’s original paintings, which Steve had admired in person at an exhibition in Boston.
“If we look at his paintings in the flesh,” he tells us, “we see much that is lost in photos or in other people’s depictions of Mondrian: the texture of the canvas, the lines that are not uniformly straight, the uneven application of the paint — all of which gives a much more hand-drawn and organic quality to his work that, I think, many people miss.”
Enter Roger Rilling of
Svelte Cycleworks, a bicycle paint designer that had previously completed work for Rob English, including one of our favorites: the Project Right
inspired by Sir Paul Smith’s Land Rover Defender.
Roger started with a white background that recalls Andy’s White Jersey that he won in the same 1986 Tour de France he helped his teammate Greg LeMond win, thus creating a fresh scheme that’s more a respectful nod than a straight reproduction.
Eric Dungey at
Colorworks executed the final paint application. “To date, we’ve produced a small handful of frames using this design”, says Steven, “and we are offering it on all the frames we sell, usually as an upcharge of US$500.”
He continues: “Each one we’ve done has been slightly different but without losing the basic premise and not being overly stark or cluttered.” There are more designs in the pipeline, and we can’t wait to see what else results from the collaboration.