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Ulrike Kellner-Goodwin

How The Stambecco Was Born

mountain goatIt was towards the end of the 90ies of the last century, when Shimano decided to drop the 5-arm crank in favor of a 4-arm one, at the same  time increasing the bolt diameter from 58 mm to 64 mm. Almost all manufacturers followed the market leader's decision and the 20 tooth chain rings started to disappear from the market and the mountain bike rider's life. But with small chain rings, two more teeth mean a 10% loss of power - just where you would need it most.
What could be done?

The easy way out, and quite a lot of bikers plumped for that solution, was to simply mount an old chain ring to your new bike. However, this was only a short-term fix, as the 5 bolt 20 tooth chain ring soon started to disappear from the retailers' shelves and over time became pretty difficult to get by. Even now, requests keep coming in here.

The do-it-yourselfers went ahead and tried to redrill 20 tooth chain rings with 5 bolts to 4 bolts; but to no avail. Though it's technically possible to accomodate the required four holes on the cog, those holes would need be located very close to the teeth, making the chain grate on the screws and the thread holders of the cranks, and eventually jump off.

We were among those who weren't willing to go without the 20 tooth chain rings, so we created the stambecco (Italian for ibex), a 20 tooth chain ring working with any 4 bolt crank. At the same time we fixed one of the major flaws of the 20 tooth chain rings from the 5 arm crank era: the low quality of the material. We use an aluminum alloy that is up to the tractive forces of a 20/34 gear ratio and defies wear and tear. For uses with high pressures (e.g. tandems) we even have a stambecco made of V2A steel.

How The Goat Got Its Name ...

When we towards the end of 2004 realized that we had found a solution for the problem of thousands of mountain bikers, we decided to set up a business. Which also meant: We needed a name. "Mountain Goat" was love at first sight. What could be more spot-on for a chain ring made to master mountains as good as the four-legged, furry climber mountain goat would do? And who includes the word "mountain" in it, same as mountain bike does?

Even more to the point: As new-fledged company founder I loved to have the goat as our mascot: austere, if needed, but also pawky and strong in putting through. For some years, I even had a goat as a pet. She broke out almost daily, and never - really never - I was able to use one trick to get her back twice. So don't be fooled if a grazing goat slants a guileless glance up to you...

... And Why It's Spot-On

Admittedly, I have let myself fool. What's really in our flagship animal I learned, when American customers enlightend me up on the matter. They sent me pictures of their encounters with mountain goats in the Glacier National Park and told me about the powers of the Rocky mountain goat according to shamanic lore of power animals. Let me tell you, those animals are one of a kind.

As my English vocabulary is limited, I had to use my dictionary a lot, and flipping through the pages, my awe and admiration grew bigger and bigger. The traits I like about goats were mentioned: insistence and perseverance, never giving up, optimism, independence, and also austerity. Then I stumbled upon the word "abundance", presented with the explanation that the goat's wealth stems from being able to live on tight resources. Like the goat, our business has grown organically and naturally, using exclusively our own funds. We take out very little cash and reinvest most of the profits. We aim at sustainability using high quality materials, as wear resistance also means using resources in a frugal way.

What really stroke me, though, was the word "tenacity", which could be understood as just another synonym for perseverance, but which in a technical environment also means tensile strength or pull resistance. Actually, the aluminum alloy we use (7075 aluminum) is the most pull resistant (and because of this most stable) currently available.

Well, in the beginning I had thought I had found a name for our business, but looking at it with this information in mind, I believe it#s closer to the truth to say the mountain goat found us. I consider myself the principal, but honestly I'm not sure I really am, given the fact that the spirit of the mountain goat lurks in every corner of our company.

The Mountain Goat Spirit

The following text have sent my customers from USA. Perhaps you like to read a little bit more than only about mounting chain rings and technical data on our website? It is told to be from Judith Hirst-Joyeux, sage and shamanic healer:

„If you hear the story of a mountain goat, you can be sure that mountain goat brings you a message.
Abundance and trust in finding that abundance is the message that Mountain Goat shares with all. In a very tough environment, Mountain Goat thrives and raises its family with many of the off spring being twins. The message in its behavior is to move through the rocky areas of life with grace and dignity.
Mountain Goat shows us how to explore the unknown, the uncharted areas that allow it to go where other animals cannot. As we move through the unfamiliar, we too move into areas that take us beyond the ordinary. By living high in the mountains, Mountain Goat is also a reminder to continually connect with The Divine. Mountain Goats represent wisdom and are said to be the Wisdom Keepers of the Earth. Mountain Goat walks through wisdom daily, and learns from taking chances, and with its appearance, encourages each of us to try something new.“ (abridged)

So if you are on the trail using our chain rings, think about it - why not also travel with the spirit of the mountain goat in mind?
Enjoy abundance und richness in simple things - moving in the mountains, at the same time close to the sky and wheels on the ground, ready to plunge into the unknown, to go to unexplored trails instead of following those beaten tracks? and to ride with your bike where others cannot? For example with a 20 tooth stambecco on your bike instead of wheeling a 22 tooth mounted one?


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Contact + Support

There are no special hours of availability by phone.

For assembly questions which are discussed best by speech you can call our technician. He is reachable best in the evening (f.e. 20:00 CET) under +49-941-270520. In the weekend too.

Questions about already done orders or shop access (f.e. forgotten password) please send by email to info@mountain-goat.de .

We only sell online. Please place new orders only via webstore. But we gladly give you pre-order counsel by email or phone +49-941-270520 or +49-1609-7609198.