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  1. #1
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    Surly Karate Monkey vs Kona Unit?

    about the same $$
    Would like your pro's and con's

    what would you choose?

  2. #2
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    Better warranty on the Kona if you care about that sort of thing. Setting that aside I would go with whichever feels better to me on the trail.
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  3. #3
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    For me it would depend on how big you are. I am 6ft with a 33" inseam so I got a 19" unit. I love it but... I didnt know the ht length was 130mm or over 5". This puts the handlebar very high. I am running a 1 piece carbon fork, its cut to still use a shim so I can use different stems or put on another bike. A 10deg drop stem and dropped niner flat bar just put the seat and bar hight the same. With the head angle already slack and a high bar hight getting good handling is tough. I have the seat all the way forward and run a 110mm stem to get good handling. The bar I want to run is a wider riser but it just a little to tall or to put more than an 80mm sus fork would also be to tall. Looking at the kona web site this problem could be worse with the smaller sizes.

    I have two other 18" konas and always thought they were to small so I got a 19" but it could be to big.

    The karate monkey has better parts, the same tt length, longer stem, an inch shorter ht and is 2?deg steeper making it almost a perfect fit for me.I would like to try a monkey and see but if I am going to replace my frame it will be a Spot or Niner.

    And you can put gears on the monkey if you want. Not the unit unless someone machines diff dropouts for you.

    That said, I love the unit and every ride on it, can't complain about anything else, it was almost perfect when stock. I will probably put the steel fork back on, its as good as the carbon just more weight, get a 15deg drop stem, put the wider bar on and sell sell the fork and flat bar. This would make it almost stock. Only different bars, stem seat post and tires and should still be in the 25lb range.
    Last edited by k29er; 12-21-2011 at 04:50 PM.
    2011 Kona unit with some carbon.

  4. #4
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    I considered both but I bought the Unit since my LBS is a Kona dealer. I don't regret my purchase; the Unit is a great bike and is everything I need plus some! There's no denying that the KM is a great bike as well, so if you have the chance to ride before you buy just pick the one that suits you better. I don't think you'll go wrong either way. Merry Christmas!

  5. #5
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    Since we're here in the singlespeed forum, I'll whisper this (You can actually gear your 2001 Kona Unit with this dropout from Kona.)

    CMPHCCSS Sliding right side dropout, Singlespeed - KONA EUROPE WEBSTORE

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by gdkeys View Post
    Since we're here in the singlespeed forum, I'll whisper this (You can actually gear your 2001 Kona Unit with this dropout from Kona.)

    CMPHCCSS Sliding right side dropout, Singlespeed - KONA EUROPE WEBSTORE
    Sorry thats just the dropout replacement. Don't see the dropout with der hanger part number CMPHCC or CMPHV.
    2011 Kona unit with some carbon.

  7. #7
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    No opinions on either bike, but I'd like to throw the Monocog Flight into the mix, as it's about the same price.

  8. #8
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    I just got a KM and I really love it. so versatile and it rides wonderful. check the reviews and threads in the Surly forum. no experience with Konas though.

  9. #9
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    Frame content only -

    I've soley been riding a rigid 20" '11 Unit SS for the past 4-5 months (my fifth 29er HT and my favorite). Compared to KM, I prefer its slider dropouts, higher BB, longer headtube, and slacker headtube angle (all things I sought when shopping). It's perfect for me, but I've got a 37" inseam on rocky trails with 180mm cranks. Kona also has more sizes to chose from (I appear to be between a KM 20" and 22").
    2017 Diamondback Haanjo
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    2011 Kona Unit

  10. #10
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    first, thanks for all the input! I just sold an 18" 2010 Kona unit. It was to big. (got it used) I need a 16"
    I love the sliding dropouts. I have Surly Pugsley and have no problem with the horiz. dropouts. (although running ss on a KM I will have to have a bolt on hub. imo) I don't care for EBB. never had one but I'm a sser and fixed gear rider who is use to that type of chain tentioning dropout. I will not get a chance to ride a KM, but if it's like my Steamroller & Pug, I'm sure I would be happy.
    The Unit felt great! did I say I love those sliding dropouts.....
    still can't decide..........

  11. #11
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    I have a KM, but I've never ridden a Unit. Mine's a 2004 that I bought used a while ago, it's a solid bike that handles well and is really versatile. You really can't go wrong with either.

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