Be prepared for a fast ride and well if it is your first ride in 29er bike then it would be a new experience with Surly Karate Monkey and you will know what it meant to ride 29er bikes for off-road performance. It is an all purpose 29er mountain bike which is available with complete bike or frame only option. This commuting bike has strong frame but not too heavy and much suitable for building your own bike from the scratch. It is a competent bike simply built to give pleasure in urban jungle. You will not go wrong if you plan to buy the Surly Karate Monkey frameset and built the bike with your desired component setup and it is a good idea to save your money. Surly has given an option of choosing either frameset or complete bike without letting the user wasting the money by making a wrong decision.
Versatile Bike frame
The bike frame is not lightweight but strong and affordable, it is made with Surly custom 4130 CroMoly tubing and the weight of the complete bike depends on the outlook and need for a bike. The main advantage with this high quality mountain bike is its versatile frameset. The bike is not feather weight but the extra weight of the bike frame is not noticeable even when it climbs. This multi purpose bike frame can be fixed with mix of parts making it as a single speed bike with rigid forks or a mountain bike with running gears.
Set this 29er bike frame for about any application and make use of the frame to built commuter bike or cross bike all from one frame. This single speed bike with big and bolder tyres is relatively smooth on singletrack and versatile on other off-road condition. The bike frame is durable and burly enough to handle some serious trails but also a decent commuter at heart. The feel of the steel frame comes to your surprise, not plush and jarred as full suspension but snappy and responsive as XC trail bike.
The seat tube is curved little forward to give enough room for bigger tyres to tuck under the seat so, the rear tyre is set under the seat this means the bike is very quick and snappy in twisty turns. It also manages to be a good climber and rides pretty well at anything that gets in your way.
Love the Snappy Handling
This hardtail steel frame really climbs well with better riding position and gives stable downhill. Not a steep climb we are talking about, it is little heavy for sustained climbing and obviously you might lose the balance. This 29er bike is not good for tight spots but handles the corner better than 26 inch bike when fixed with suspension fork. The bike frame is cheap and affordable with spot-on geometry that delivers better manoeuvrability on tight trails. It is not an active or agile frame but riders will love the snappy handling with 29er bigger wheels. This steel frame delivers right amount of flex results for a comfortable ride in rocky jungle. The riding quality of the frame is exceptionally good in full rigid setup and the bike is perfectly balanced in tight singletrack due to its short chainstays and tight wheelbase. You can confidently go downhill with precise handling because the stiff steal frame has long wheelbase to avoid any skittish move.
What you get in a complete bike is a very good frameset and the remaining parts are just entry level. This versatile mountain bike is enabled to use 80mm suspension fork and big fat tyres rolls with lots of clearance under the fork and frame. It is great to ride with rigid forks than with 80mm suspension fork. If you have plans to use this bike for long ride than throw a suspension fork on it and try it as a geared bike. The precision of the bike frame is extremely good that makes you ride the bike even without flexy suspension fork. One caution from Surly is you must not use racks and disc brakes at the same time on Karate Monkey.
The new frame comes with removable disc calliper mounting plates and rim brake pivot which gives option to go either disc or V brake. No need to undo the calliper adaptor mountain bolts for installing and removing rear wheel because the new Surly Karate Monkey comes with redesigned calliper mounts that makes your rear wheel fixing job easy. The disc brake has variable adjustment and the frame accommodate 29″ wheel, a 27″ wheel or a 26″ wheel. Horizontal dropout with derailleur hanger proves the singlespeed setup, full gear or a fixed ratio.
Intended Purpose of the Bike
The natural habitat of single speed 29er mountain bike is for light mixed trail training and for commuting and it cannot be loaded for heavy ride. There is no need to worry about durability of the bike because the steel frame and large volume of tires would take care about handling rough terrain. This bike frame would make for a great cross bike when fixed with drop bar or make for a great commuter bike when fixed with light weight components but it cannot be used as a mountain bike frame.
There is no complex adjustment needed for this bike because it is a single speed and no need to shift around the extra chains to rip off the derailleur because there are no running gears. Fix with the light wheelset and stock rigid fork to lower the weight of the bike and use the bike for everything, this mountain bike just keeps on handling the abuse with ease. The stiffer frame gives much needed change for those who look for 29 inch bike. Tall riders will have no complains with this mountain bike at the same time it may limit the smaller riders due to bigger sized wheels.
For sure you will get all the benefits of 29inch wheel in Karate Monkey and pleasure to ride on wide varieties of terrain. This versatile single speed bike has all the potential to transform from commuter bike to XC trail bike and single speed to snowbike. Do not underestimate the bike frame just save some money to build the frame with good components to explore its full potential.
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Surly Karate Monkey 29er Mountain Bike – Technical Specification and Features
|Brand Name: Karate Monkey|
|29er Mountain Bike|
|Surly Custom 4130 CroMoly steel|
|Derailleur hanger with horizontal dropouts|
|Dual water bottle mounts|
|Full length housing for derailleur and brakes|
|Cable guides on seatstay|
|Cable routing on toptube|
|29inch tyres clearance|
|Suspension corrected for 80mm fork|
|Option for using either disc or V brake|
|Redesigned calliper mounts|
|Removable disc calliper mounting plates|
|Removable rim brake pivot|
|Accommodate 29″ wheel or 27″ wheel or 26″ wheel|