Going up my favorite climb on May 3, 2017.
Going up my favorite climb on May 3, 2017.

stooge mk5 (9)

Patrick

First 160km On My Stooge MK5

Above Les Roches in Plagne.

Cycling hasn’t been the same for me for the last three years. From 2016 through 2018, I used to ride over 8’000 kilometers. When we moved in 2019, my mileage dropped considerably before, during, and after the move. In 2020, and 2021, my riding dropped even further. Not because of the pandemic, but because one of our kitties was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. Her sister’s kidneys were in slightly better shape. This dramatically changed our lives. From then on, at least one of us had to be home. Taking care of our cats to provide them with the best possible quality of life became a 24/7 job. My wife usually worked the late-night shift, and we would switch around 3-4 AM. Our palliative care included feeding both kitties every two hours or more frequently if they didn’t eat well enough. Cats with chronic kidney disease lose appetite. The sicker of the two, Chic Chic, was also given sub-Qs by us once a week. Besides both of us working full-time jobs, such care-taking left both of us often exhausted. I tried to maintain a regular riding schedule but rode locally and much shorter. In 2020, I managed to ride over 5’200, mostly road kilometers. In 2021, that dropped to 4’200 km. Our Chic Chic was a brave cookie. She got weaker, but she was happy that we were taking care of her. She far outlived our vet’s prognosis but sadly had to be euthanized in the afternoon of Friday, March 11th. She had been with us for 17 years. Palliative care now continues for her smaller sister, Chou Chou. She is still stronger than her sister was, but she may not be the fighter that her sister was.

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Patrick

Stooge MK5

Stooge MK5

I bought my first 29er in 2006 when most were still riding 26-inch wheels and stuck with that wheel size for all things mountain biking, which in my world was rigid and single-speed. After we moved into a region where most of the trails are too steep for a bike without a derailleur, I had to consider adding a geared MTB to my bike fleet. At the time, the knobby side of the fleet consisted of my 29er 44 Marauder, the 26" 44 Big Boy, and the 27.5" 44 Snakedriver fat-bikes. I did a bit of reconnaissance on the old Big Boy and quickly realized that the new trails I loved required more traction than a regular 2.2-2.4" tire can put on the ground. The Big Boy with its tractor-sized tires climbed wonderfully, but the snow-only I9 wheels were too delicate for the rocky descents, and the bike, in general, was more at home on gentler terrain.

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Patrick

The Nuts And Bolts Of BB3106

The finished BB3106.

In my previous post, I introduced my BB3106 bottom bracket. The cycling world is full of different bottom bracket standards, and each time a new one is introduced, every cycling forum and every comment section of every cycling news website moans about it. So, I'm gifting the cycling world with yet another "standard." But no need to worry. Specifically designed for Rotor Kapic cranks with Boost axle mounted to a Stooge MK5, BB3106 isn't anything the bicycle industry is going to adopt. And should it ever become a thing, remember that you saw it here first!

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Patrick

A New Bottom Bracket Standard

BB3106 Bottom Bracket.

If there's one thing I would change about the Stooge MK5, it's the eccentric bottom bracket. With a 1x12 drivetrain, I simply don't need it. I acknowledge that there are benefits to having one. For one, the MK5 can be set up single-speed or geared. As such, it has a wider appeal, and should I ever part with it, the circle of potential buyers would be considerably larger. My experiences with the two EBB-equipped bikes I've owned, however, were more bad than good. My Niner One9, for instance, had a setscrew EBB. The setscrews quickly ate themselves into the EBB, and the BB shell ovalized over time, leaving a wide gap between the shell and the EBB. The gap filled with dirt, and the whole setup was creaking more often than not. My Air9 Carbon came with Niner's own Bio-Centric bottom bracket, a design that clamps to the outside faces of the EBB shell. In theory, this seemed great. Machine a precise cylindrical BB shell with parallel outside faces and clamp two eccentric cups against those faces. In practice, it was pretty shitty, to say the least. For one, machining tolerances were such that a Bio-Centric cup would more easily turn on one side of the shell than on the other. But much worse was that Niner designed large cutouts into the shell so that shifter cables could be routed internally. This dramatically weakened the shell to the point that the proper tightening torque of the Bio-Centric was enough to crush it. It was an extremely troublesome design that creaked a lot as well.

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Patrick

MK5 Geometry

Stooge MK5.

The numbers below are from Bike Insights, from Stooge and from Kris' drawings I imported into QCAD, an open-source 2D CAD system. While some people totally geek out about bike geometry and could hold a 2-hour monologue on head tube angles alone, I'm really not a numbers expert when it comes to cycling. Whether the topic is frame geometry or watts and whatnot, I'm not the expert to talk to despite 36 years of cycling. I don't sit on enough bikes to have an expert opinion on what a slacker head tube or longer trail do to a bike. Sure, I have an idea about it, but with the rather small number of bikes I've ridden over the years, I'm still far from having earned the degree of "armchair geometry wizard." The 36 years in the sport have given me the ability to know what works for me; no more, no less. Changes I've made over the years happened gradually. Being limited to riding only the bikes I purchased, my experience and knowledge of the sport are fairly narrow. I know nothing about suspension and bikes equipped with it. I know even less about bikes powered by motors and honestly don't care to know anything about them. When the time comes to look for a new bike, and it's not made to measure by a bike builder, I usually compare the geometry to the bikes I already own. Often, I draw the frames up in CAD and overlay them for comparison. This also helps to figure out what stem to select to achieve a similar position on a new bike.

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