my tool of choice is my Stooge hardtail, its a 29+ bike, well it can take a + up front but can only take a 2.85 inch tyre on the back. its a great compremise i think over a fat bike, given the mixture of technical and dirt road riding I undertake.
I have done many miles on the stooge over all sorts of terrain in all sorts of conditions and found it a more than capable bike. I used it as a trail bike prior to using it as my primary bikepacking bike and it’s was a fast machine.
I kitted it out with xt group set and brakes. the front wheel is a stans Hugo 52 mm rim on a Chris king hub and a 3 inch max is chronicle tyre.
on the back it’s a 3 noobley nic with a stans flow rim and hope hub, this wheel combo rocks and has been so good to me.
I ran a surly ecr folk for the extra cage mounts etc. I used stooge bars everywhere, they are ace, though I am looking forward to trying some h bars soon.
I used a hope headset but found the star replacement no good in this frame for some reason.
My seat is a Charge spoon which I find comfortable enough for full multi days so it must be pretty good. I have no intention of changing it.
seat post as it was a 18 frame I used a Thompson lay back post which wasn’t idea.
I built the bike myself, choosing components tried and tested, it weighs in as is at 13.5kgs, which isnt bad.
|Stooge frame and forks||£375|
|Hope seat post clamp||£26|
|Full xt double ten groupset inc
Xt brakes calipers
Xt brake levers
Xt rear mech
Xt crank, double
Xt rear disc
Shimano 10 spd chain
|Deore side pull front mech||£23|
|Superstar components front disc||£30|
|Superstar nano pedals||£40|
|Front wheel 29 + consists of,
chris king ISO hub
stans hugo rim 29 rim
Wheel buildtubeless maxis chronicle
|Rear wheel, 29 stans no tubes flow ex with hope pro two hub, just been rebuilt with new bearings by swinnerton cycles
Nobly nic tubeless
|Thompson layback seat post||£51|
|Charge spoon seat||£27|
Alterations to current bike
I plan on swapping my brakes out to mechanical Avid BB7 ones, this should reduce the things that could go wrong with the more complex hydraulic xt brakes currently running.
I am also considering swapping the charge spoon seat for a brooks B17 saddle.
looking at the geometry it is very similar to surlys capable bikepacker the ECR, (see table below), in fact i wil be swapping the stock stooge forks for some surly ECR forks to take avantage of the storage facilities on them.
|Effective Top Tube Length
|Head Tube Length||127||100|
|Chainstay Length||436 – 449||451.0|
|Seat tube length c-c||457.2||457.2|
|Head Tube Angle||69||69.5|
|Seat Tube Angle||72||72.5|
Adaptions necessary for increased storage
As mentioned earlier I am swapping out the standard forks for Surly ECR ones with extra bootle cage facilities on each fork side, which I plan to utilise with anything cages, they also have the ability to take the surely 24 rack which I plan to utilise.
left: Surly ECR forks, Middle surely 24 rack , Right; salsa anything cages
I use a wildcat frame bag specific to the frame and me. it was robust and well made, did exactly what it was meant to do, well.
I use a revealed designs seat bag, stem bag again amazing gear, well made and very robust. no problems with it whatsoever, I would highly recommend.
I have up front a revealed designs harness and Sweetwater bag. I love the harness but find it does drop, I have tried passing the rubbers out, to no avail. But I have found strapping it up helps loads.
on the forks I have 2 Salsa anything cages and alpkit bags, all great gear but have found the plastic connector plate that holds the bolts wears out pretty quickly, I find using some big washers helps but shouldn’t be necessary if this plastic was beefed up.
I have chossen to use a surly 24 cage and 42 litre Porteur bag up front over a bar bag as it will distribute the weight better and give me a larger facility for storing and transporting the kit securely. Also on longer more remote sections I can top the bag with additional bags for extra water, food etc.
For othe rbike staorage I plan to use wildcat bike bags, who are a Welsh Company who have a really good reputaion in the bike packing world.
For a frame bag I use a wildcat amur leopard
Right; Porteur bag, Top Right; Wildcat Dover seat bag system Bottom Right ; wildcat amur leopard frame bag