Stooge Cycles probably isn’t a name you’ll be familiar with but given the bikepacking worlds love of steel 29ers, I think that situation may soon change. Just like Mr King, Andrew Stevenson had a dream and that dream is about to become reality … his own bike company.
I fired 10 questions over to Andrew hoping for a little insight into his ideas and the Stooge ethos. He didn’t disappoint … Put the kettle on, break out the digestives and enjoy.
1/ Stooge, where did the name come from?
As an aside, I remember Haro were pushing 650 wheels back in about 2007. They were publicly ridiculed and pretty much opted out of the quality bike scene thereafter. Turns out they were merely ahead of the game … but here’s the big BUT. If I were designing a suspension bike today I’d no doubt use 650 wheels, they just look so right. As for hardtails, it’s 29er all the way. It really is the only size that works so well in all areas. I work in a trail centre by day and it amazes me how media led the punters are. The myths surrounding 29ers are still alive and kicking and healthier than ever – the handling’s shit, they don’t go around tight corners, it’s cheating etc etc. None of these people will ever swing a leg over a 29er, let alone a bike like the Stooge, but they’ll allow themselves to be sold a 650 hook line and sinker. Interestingly, we couldn’t give away 26″ wheeled bikes right now. Incredibly sad when you stop and think about it, and a prime example of successful hype in action.
Years later I embraced the whole suspension bike scene. Lots of Specialized Enduros and Big Hits, an Ellsworth Joker, and then I traded that in for a Gary Fisher Ferrous 29er back in 2007. The geometry was awful, but I loved that bike. That was traded in for a Sawyer as the idea of riding a fully rigid bike was starting to appeal, however, the bike was so flawed for me, and this was when I started hatching my plans. For me it made sense that on a rigid bike the front end should be substantially higher to reduce the pain and improve control. The slacker head angle also really lightens the front end, makes it stable at speed, less twitchy, all of which you need when you’re arms are your springs.
The end result was the Stooge. I’ve always loved twin top tubes from my bmx days, but dislike the fact they are only ever used in retro designs. My design is based more on a childhood BMX dream than anything. The Stooge has turned out to be incredibly comfortable, and I’m sure some of that has to be down to the twin tubes. Aesthetically they tick all the boxes for me. I always wanted the Stooge to stand out in a crowd and I think I’ve achieved that. I liken it to a Hot Rod in a car park full of Audis.
|Adorning 29ers near you soon.|
|29+ fans rejoice.|
My first batch of frames is due to arrive some time in April, so at the moment I have a list as long as my arm of things that need to be done. Then it’s all systems go, heading to events, riding as much as I can in as many different places o get my bike out there. I’m pretty keen to get Adventure Stooge up and rolling asap, it’ll be much like the original but with lots of mounts and a slightly taller headtube so you can run drop bars if you so wish. Put it this way, if this all works out, there’ll be a lot more heading into the world under the Stooge banner.
The stooge website is due to go live anytime but for the moment you can find out more here
|Production frames land shortly.|