Litespeed Ultimate.
Litespeed Ultimate.

bike (12)

Patrick

Pulled The Trigger On An MK5

Stooge MK5 in size 18".

I've always been a huge fan of the Stooge MK series of bikes. There was the plum crazy purple MK1, the redberry MK2, and probably my favorite, the plum crazier purple MK3. The MK1 was specifically designed around a 29×3 front/29×2.3 rear combo, whereas the MK2 received enough clearance on the rear to run 27.5x3" tires. Otherwise, the geometry remained unaltered. A lot of changes were made to the MK3. It had a 44 mm head tube, a tapered steel fork, and a shorter rear triangle. The MK3 was designed around B+ and was up to that point the most agile of the Stooges. With the MK4 Andy Stevenson pushed the boundaries and came up with a pretty radical geometry. It had a slack and low geometry and was designed around an 80 mm offset rigid bi-plane fork. It lost the 44 mm headtube and went back to a straight steerer tube. The frame was designed around a 29x3"/2.6" combo but kept room for 27.5x3" in the back. Whether you wanted a single-speed, an all-mountain trail bike, or a bike-packing rig – it did it all.

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Patrick

Nordest Albarda On 650B

Evening ride to the Grenchenberg on May 12, 2021.

After 217 kilometers my new wheels have proven that 650B is my ideal road and gravel size. I made this discovery with my third Volagi Viaje years ago already. But for the last two years, I rode my latest bike, my Nordest Albarda, on a set of 700C wheels. Such wheels roll well, but they don't like to change direction as quickly as a smaller 650B wheel. I like a bike to be lively and agile. Directional stability can have its advantages, but I generally prefer quick, sharp steering. Switching my Albarda to smaller wheels, instantly gave me that. The bike is so much more fun to ride. Not just when going downhill, but when climbing as well. When riding up a climb out of the saddle, it always seemed like the 700C front wheel was working against me. After putting 650B wheels on the bike, that feeling is gone. The bike now is a better extension of myself when motoring up a climb out of the saddle.

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Patrick

Nordest Albarda 2021 Update

Nordest Albarda in 650B mode.

When I built my Nordest Albarda in the fall of 2019, I didn’t spend the money to get all new parts for it. I took the SRAM Red eTap HRD groupset off my Ritte and used the Nox Composites wheels that had been on my red Volagi Viaje, which I had sold. A year later, the bike finally got its own drivetrain components. When I switched to 650B RoadPlus with my third Volagi Viaje, I was immediately sold on the slightly smaller but wider wheels. The Viaje felt way better with 650B wheels. If I weren’t climbing and descending as much, I’d be perfectly happy rolling around on 700C, but in the mountainous Jura, 650B just feels better.

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Patrick

All Good Things Take Time

Lots of orange components.

In early 2019, I rebuilt my 2015 Ritte Snob Disc only to take it apart again to build my Nordest Albarda in the fall of the same year. Then my wife and I moved at the end of 2019 and the Ritte hung on the bike rack in our new basement missing many parts. In 2020, I purchased a SRAM eTap AXS groupset for the Nordest and moved the eTap HRD parts back to the Ritte. Over the course of the year, I bought bits and pieces here and there to complete the Ritte once again, but alas, I never quite finished.

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Patrick

Nordest Albarda

Gorgeous day on October 12, 2019.

Although the Nordest Albarda sort of was the 50th birthday present to myself, it was built on a tight budget using the wheels I had on my red Volagi Viaje and robbing my Ritte Snob Disc of most of its parts. Building the Albarda was a slow process. An hour one evening, two hours another evening and sometimes more when I lost track of time. Everything got built in stages. One night the BB and crankset. The next night the drivetrain. One night headset and fork. Another for the brakes and one last evening to bleed them. No hiccups nor problems, except that the Chris King headset Nordest sold with the frameset isn't suitable for the fork; at least not in my opinion. So a Cane Creek 110 was installed instead. Fork and DT Swiss Centerlock lock ring didn't have enough clearance for me. Then I remembered that my wife's Alfine hub had an older DT Swiss lock ring with an inner spline. This one would leave a wider gap to the fork leg, so I swapped lock rings since it really doesn't matter what type of lock ring is on my wife's bike.

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