The Perfect Stooge Set-Up

A number of people have been asking for advice on how to build their Stooge frameset up for the perfect ride. It goes without saying that all builds are personal, though having said that, there are key features to the Stooge frameset that should be taken into account. So in no particular order, here’s a few little pointers that i recommend when putting your bike together.

1. Dont be scared to run the front high. I use 35mm of headset spacers with a 0 degree 70mm stem. This keeps the bars nice and high, improves control and fatigue and means the front end skips rather than bangs into the trail. (A friend of mine commented that it needed zero spacers and an upside-down stem to get the front low. He’d missed the point and i refused to sell him a Stooge :)  )

2. Bars with big sweep. I’ve tried lots of bars on my own personal bike, from Thomson 12 degree bars as in the pictures, to Jones Bend Bars and a few in between. The final 2 that make my must have shortlist are the Jones and the Salsa 23 degree bend 2 bar. The Jones is supremely comfortable for general riding and climbing, the Salsa is superior for hooning down the trail. I’d recommend either. Other bars that fit in the same category are the On-One Mary bars (though a little too thin and a little too high-rise), Answer 20-20.

3. Surly Knard front tyre. The Stooge was designed to be run with this tyre. It provides all the suspension you need. Regular 29er tyres will work fine but the steering will speed up a little and obviously more chatter makes it through. I originally ran the Knard on a skinny rim and it was fine, though i now use a Velocity Dually which allows it to be run at a lower pressure.

4. The rear end was designed to make a responsive bike that accelerates fast. It was never designed to have fat rear rubber and takes it cue from BMX’s back in the day when we used to run a 2.25 on the front and a 1.75 on the rear. It worked great then and it works great now.

So there we are, a few little pointers that i think will help any rider get the most from their Sttooge. It goes without saying that if you’re loads shorter than me then you’ll probably need less spacers, but i think the golden rule is start high and make your way lower after a few rides.