SRAM PC 1091 hollow pin chain.
SRAM PC 1091 hollow pin chain.

bike components (12)

Patrick

Building A Bike During The Pandemic (Part III)

Enve aluminum stem.

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.

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Patrick

New Road Front Light

Magicshine MJ-906S front light.

Since I don't Zwift during the dark season of the year, time had come to look for a new front light. I've been using Magicshine lights since I bought a Magicshine Racer's Special from GeoManGear in 2009. I got two more MJ-808E lights in 2014 and have been using them ever since for mountain biking, road cycling, and most often for nightly fat-bike rides in the snowy Jura.

The MJ-808E series of lights are not super ideal with their rubber O-ring that wraps around the handlebar, particularly on the road. Over time, the lights tend to rotate out of position and have to be re-adjusted. So, for the past few years, I've kept an eye out for new lights but never actually pulled the trigger.

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Patrick

Building A Bike During The Pandemic (Part II)

Onyx Centerlock Boost front hub.

At the end of 2019, my wife and I moved eastwards. Switzerland being as small as it is, it was a move across borders into a different canton. With the move, my bike territory changed. While we're once again living at the foot of the Jura mountains, now slightly elevated at 550m (1800ft), the flanks north of our house are considerably steeper than they were in my old mountain bike playground. They're too steep for my 44 Marauder single-speed, and I quickly discovered that my 44 Big Boy fat-bike was also not the ideal machine for my new trails. So, I sold it in the summer of 2020 and started making plans for a bike that would feel more at home in steep terrain. In May of 2021, I pulled the trigger on a Stooge MK5 and used the following months to purchase components for it.

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Patrick

Building A Bike During The Pandemic (Part I)

SRAM Eagle XX1 10-50T Cassette

The pandemic broke supply chains, slowed production, and threw global shipping into absolute chaos. Combine that with people discovering cycling because their gyms were closed since the start of the pandemic and you have a bike market that can’t fulfill the growing demand. Much has been reported about bikes quickly selling out, component shortages, and long lead times. People can’t get the bikes they would like or build them with the components they would love. Many custom builders can currently not build complete bikes. They happily build frames but have to tell their clients that they’re on their own to build them up.

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Patrick

My Road Handlebars Over 28 Years

Descending the Montagne de Romont on March 29, 2019.

Looking at the photos of all my road bikes since 1992, one very noticeable change is the handlebar and in particular the position of hoods. On my early bikes the hoods were extremely low on the bars. Thinking about wrist and arm alignment particularly on that photo of my black Trek 5200, I wonder how it could have been comfortable. Well, I was a whole lot younger and rode just fine with that setup. The last couple of years I’ve standardized my handlebar on all my drop bar bikes and used a 44 cm wide Thomson KFC-One carbon handlebar. Before that I ran 42 cm and even narrow 40 cm bars.

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