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  1. #1
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    Considering Karate Monkey

    Currently ride a hardtail 2x10.

    Recently saw a Karate Monkey and am intrigued by the steel and ss concept.

    The Monkey has 33/17 gearing. Just wondering for those of us not quite the physical gods we once were how tough is it to climb hills with that gear ratio?

    On my hardtail when I come upon a steep hill I just drop to smaller ring (24) and larger gear on cassette say 36 or 33.

    I am concerned that I will drop $1000 on a Monkey and wind up walking up hills but tahan agin it will make me stronger rider.

    I bike in North Florida so I'm not talking Pike's Peak but there are a few short steep sections I have concerns about.

  2. #2
    Ariolimax columbianus
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    Considering Karate Monkey

    A new freewheel costs about $20 and maybe another $10 for the tool if you don't have one. Easy decision.

  3. #3
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    Monkey is good, but for me, if I lived in the flatlands (FL), I probably wouldn't set it up as SS. Flats would just suck.

    But consider that some dude on here did the Great Divide race on 38x18, your gearing should be fine. Worst case scenario--slap on a rear derailleur and casette.

  4. #4
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    SS gearing is changeable. You could put a 20 tooth cog on the rear to make climbing easier. Still, there's no way around the fact that climbing on a SS is a whole body, out-of-the-saddle effort. No sitting and spinning a granny gear, like on a geared bike. Most SSers have to walk every once in while.

    The easiest way to try SS is simply put your current bike in one gear and don't shift. At all. Sure, "real" SS is more efficient and lighter and the rest, but it'll give you the flavor of it. According to Sheldon Brown's gear inch calculator, the stock KM (33 x 17) is 56.3 gear inches. If your current bike is a 29er, you can approximate that by putting the chain on your 24t in the front and a 12 or 13 sprocket in the back. If you can muscle up the hills in that gear, then you'll be fine on the Monkey.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by phsycle View Post
    Worst case scenario--slap on a rear derailleur and casette.
    The stock KM has a SS-specific hub, so you'd need rear wheel too.
    Surly Cross Check: fat tire roadie
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bolandjd View Post
    The stock KM has a SS-specific hub, so you'd need rear wheel too.
    I see. Although I'm unsure if the OP is buying new complete or used.

    Quote Originally Posted by bolandjd View Post
    You could put a 20 tooth cog on the rear to make climbing easier.
    Assuming he's got a new complete with thread on freewheel, he would need to get a FW, not a cog. Of course, as everyone knows, White Industries is the only one worth considering ($80). At that point, might as well get a 9-10 speed freehub'ed rear wheel for versitility.

  7. #7
    Abby Normal
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    SS gearing is all about personal preference, personal fitness and finding a happy medium between having to potentially get off and push the bike on steep sections and spinning like crazy on the flats. Personally since I am not uber fit and not racing I would much rather be able to climb more and coast or spin as needed. Get a few cheap freewheels to experiment with and find your perfect gearing.

  8. #8
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    Considering one myself(used) for riding in Nebraska(aka pretty flat). I liked the stock gearing but the SO is close for me. I think it should be fine even for what I tend to ride though.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bolandjd View Post
    The easiest way to try SS is simply put your current bike in one gear and don't shift.
    No.

    Its a difference if you cannot shift or if you don't want to shift. It makes adifference in your head and so a difference in your power.

    With the "one gear try" on a geared bike you cannot imagine what is possible on a SSP after a few months.

  10. #10
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Considering Karate Monkey

    Quote Originally Posted by DerBergschreck View Post
    No.

    Its a difference if you cannot shift or if you don't want to shift. It makes adifference in your head and so a difference in your power.

    With the "one gear try" on a geared bike you cannot imagine what is possible on a SSP after a few months.
    As my buddy, Sparticus, once said, the difference is like bacon and eggs. The chicken was involved. The pig is committed. (Not shifting vs real singlespeed)
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  11. #11
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    Singlespeeding has a short learning curve. Don't let the concept cause you to overthinnk it. Get the bike, and plan on having to/wanting to change the chainring and/or cog to suit YOU.

    Check out this site: BikeCalc.com - Bicycle Gear Inches Chart

    It will give you an idea of what to expect at a given gear ratio. You can then use your current bike to experience, for example, what "42 gear inches" feels/rides like, and use this information to help with deciding specifically WHAT chainring and/or cog to get, if you feel you need to.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DerBergschreck View Post
    No.

    Its a difference if you cannot shift or if you don't want to shift. It makes adifference in your head and so a difference in your power.

    With the "one gear try" on a geared bike you cannot imagine what is possible on a SSP after a few months.
    This, that just didn't work for me everything is in your head. I finally picked up a monkey a few weeks back and loving it. It really forces you to focus on the task at hand.

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