Enve aluminum stem.
Enve aluminum stem.

Building A Bike During The Pandemic (Part III)

This is a continuation of Part I from July 18th and Part II from July 24th, in case you missed them. When Andy launched the MK5 in the spring, ETA for the framesets was August. Because a certain percentage of the population has forgotten that living in a modern, democratic society doesn't just come with personal liberties but with responsibilities as well, we live in a seemingly never-ending pandemic. And as long as the Coronavirus has the upper hand, our economies will continue to stutter each time case numbers explode, supply chains will remain broken, and bike components will be in short supply.

The MK5 started heading out of Stooge HQ in early November, and mine arrived on November 17th. The Cane Creek 110 headset I ordered in the spring arrived a few days prior. This Thursday, I had Patrik at 47° Nord install the headset. He faced and reamed the headtube, faced the steerer, installed the race, and pressed in the headset cups. Lastly, he cut the fork steerer with a pipe cutter a few levels above the one I have in my toolbox. While I could do this work myself, buying the necessary tools to do this every couple of years just isn't worth the expense.

On Thursday afternoon, I assembled much of the bike. I cut the brake hoses and bled the brakes only to realize that I didn't like how I routed the rear brake hose. Typically, I run it from the right side of the handlebar around the head tube to the left. The rear brake hoses on both my Fortyfour bikes run that way and enter the side of the top tube. However, the rear brake hose on the Stooge MK5 runs along the underside of the down tube. This lengthens the hose and brings it much closer to the lower headset cup and the fork crown. When riding, it'll oscillate up and down, rattling each time it hits the fork crown. I have to shorten it and run it to the down tube on the right side. The point it'll make contact with the paint of the head tube will be protected with clear frame-protecting tape. The hose to the front brake caliper was also routed differently than usual. Typically, I run it up the backside of the fork leg and let it loop to the brake lever. With the design of the Stooge fork and the position of my left brake lever, the brake hose didn't want to stay on the backside of the fork leg. It slipped to the outside of the fork leg. I wrapped it around the inside of the fork leg, which gave it a natural curve to the brake lever. Transparent skin armor protects the paint wherever the hose contacts the fork.

Still on the to-do list is replacing the small steel bolts at the dropouts with golden titanium bolts and the bottom bracket, which will be my own design. The design is done. It needs to be machined and anodized so that the MK5 can be completed. I hope to get this all done before the end of the year, though it wouldn't be a big deal if it drags into next year. I did my first ride in the snow today. The fat-bike season is off to a good start.