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  1. #1
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    2017 Karate Monkey 29+

    I did quite a bit of research to see about fitting a 29x3 tire on my KM. No real answers but some mentioned it could be possible. Just had my first shakedown ride and it's a blast. No clearance issues, was a So. Cal wet sand/muddy/wet rock day and the bike rode performed perfectly.

    Very impressed with the first ride, bike weighs in at exactly 28lbs, rotational weight is low (for a 3" tire), the Bontragers are very light for this amount of rubber 800 ish grams. Tons of grip (wet/damp conditions) and very playful. Wheel is as all the way back in the rear drop outs but there's plenty of room for the tire, about 1/4" between the frame and the outside knobs on each side.

    Frame: 2017 KM large
    Wheels: Colorado Composites 29x50mm/Hope hubs (boost)
    Tires: Bontrager Xr2 (new Chupacabras) 15psi
    Fork: EBay Boost carbon fork 495mm https://www.ebay.com/itm/27-5-Carbon...53.m2749.l2649
    Brakes: XT
    Bars: Nukeproof Carbon 50mm rise
    Cassette: Sunrace 11-50
    Cranks: XT
    Pedals: DMR Vault Brendog
    Seatpost: Brand X 150mm








  2. #2
    Bikesexual
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    Nice!^^
    Surly Krampus
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  3. #3
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    I second that! Thanks for sharing. Bike looks great.

  4. #4
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    Third! A good looking steed, indeed

    Agree on the Chupas (XR2s), light weight, compliant, nice rolling
    You might give even lower pressures, 12f,13r, a try

  5. #5
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    Friend set his up 29+ with the stock fork, bike looks mean! love it!

  6. #6
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    Yup, have to agree with the rest, looks very sweet

    I'm curious on a few things though...first, did you read through the NEW KM thread, has loads of pics and info about people running it 29+?
    Second, how much weight did you save going to that fleabay, no-name carbon fork and do you feel your health is worth the risk?
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  7. #7
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    Great looking bike! Well done
    2008 BMC Fourstroke 19-559 ISO (RIP in peace)
    2017 BMC Speedfox 25-622 ISO
    2017 Salsa Timberjack 40-584 ISO

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    Yup, have to agree with the rest, looks very sweet

    I'm curious on a few things though...first, did you read through the NEW KM thread, has loads of pics and info about people running it 29+?
    Second, how much weight did you save going to that fleabay, no-name carbon fork and do you feel your health is worth the risk?


    Not OP, but the KM fork is 1.1 kg according to Surly, and these open mold carbon forks are typically ~0.7 kg... so maybe 1 lb. Pretty high value ($/g lost) for weight weenie stuff. I was looking at one of these for my 1x1 and decided it wasn't worth the cash or (minor IMO) risk.

    People always rail against these no-name forks when they come up. Is there any real history of anomalous failures behind these concerns, or is it simply an abundance of caution? Google shows some horrible pictures but the same is true for Al and steel forks. I don't love the use of carbon steerer tubes off road, but I think that is largely my own superstition as well.

    I still want a rigid fork for my Stache... If surly made a long enough fork I'd probably go that way, but carbon seems to be what's available. Is a $400 Trek carbon fork really any different from a $200 open mold one? Maybe I'll just get waltworks to make a custom steel one; for about the same price at the trek 1120 fork I can have the exact A-C I want and get it color matched, etc.


    Really awesome build OP! I was thinking of going this route but couldn't find a good deal on a used KM. Maybe I'll replace my 1x1 with a 29+ KM singlespeed one of these days...
    Stache 7 --- Rigid Surly 1x1 B+ --- Dirt Drop CrossCheck

  9. #9
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    Another question - how high is your BB with 29+ wheels and can you feel the difference?

  10. #10
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    Looks great! Could you take a photo of the rear drop out to see how far back the axle is? -Thanks!

  11. #11
    Big Damn Hero
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    Congrats on the build! For some reason the pics aren't rendering, but I'm sure it's a beautiful bike.

    I also just converted a 2019 KM to 29+ wheels and tires, though I went a bit more conservative than you on wheel size. I got some Stan's Baron wheels with 35mm inner diameter and some Panaracer Nimble B Fat 3.0 tires. There is loads of clearance in my build as well.

    Lots still to do with the bike, I have a bunch a new parts coming in the next day or so to help drop some weight but just swapping out the stock 27+ wheels and Dirt Wizard tires dropped just a shade over 3lbs off the bike! It went from 33.5lbs to 30.2lbs... crazy.

    The only challenge I'm running into right now is that a few times when I've really had to hammer hard I've had the rear wheel slip out of alignment on the drive side... not terribly uncommon when you're not butting up against the stops in the dropouts. So to help, I've got a Surly Snuggnut coming tomorrow which will also come in handy when I eventually convert it over to single speed.

    2017 Karate Monkey 29+-img_7856.jpg
    Orbea Alma
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    Yup, have to agree with the rest, looks very sweet

    I'm curious on a few things though...first, did you read through the NEW KM thread, has loads of pics and info about people running it 29+?
    Second, how much weight did you save going to that fleabay, no-name carbon fork and do you feel your health is worth the risk?
    I had searched quite a few threads, some of them 60+ pages but no solid answers to what would work and exactly what setup was bring run. Links to guys that have tried it but no wheel width/tire setup details. I figured this would be a good spot to list all my setup info for anyone that wanted to give it a whirl.

    Honestly, I wasn't going for weight reduction on the fork. I sold my original KM fork (like a dummy) when I had it set up with a 150mm pike. This seemed like a viable option at $100, I searched for a replacement fork (would've loved a lime color KM fork) but most were close to $200. It's 630 grams as opposed to almost 1200 for the km fork. I've heard a few horror stories about Chinese carbon but I've also heard horror stories about Niner/Salsa/ you name it carbon. This isn't my shredding bike, it only sees fire roads, and single tracks but so far has faired well in some So Cal rocky/ruts. The thing with most of these chinese brands is their source is the same factory as the big box brand everyone buys, it's just unbranded and 1/4 of the cost.

    Downside: the front is almost too light and likes to lift on the super steep but there's not enough super steep for it to bother me. It does make it much more nimble downhill and the extended length (longer than KM fork) makes it a little more fun downhill.

    Side note, I have had this frame set up 29x2.6 with 150 pike. 27.5x3 with 150 pike (most fun setup) and rigid with 29x2.2 Maxxis ikon (fast and great option to a cyclocross bike. But so far this seems like the perfect compliment to my other bike which is a super slack hardtail (Nordest Bardino) with a 160 pike and 27.5x2.8 Maxxis Rekon. The Surly is setup as a XC and so far it's right on

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mohrgan View Post
    Looks great! Could you take a photo of the rear drop out to see how far back the axle is? -Thanks!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by CBRsteve View Post
    Congrats on the build! For some reason the pics aren't rendering, but I'm sure it's a beautiful bike.

    I also just converted a 2019 KM to 29+ wheels and tires, though I went a bit more conservative than you on wheel size. I got some Stan's Baron wheels with 35mm inner diameter and some Panaracer Nimble B Fat 3.0 tires. There is loads of clearance in my build as well.

    Lots still to do with the bike, I have a bunch a new parts coming in the next day or so to help drop some weight but just swapping out the stock 27+ wheels and Dirt Wizard tires dropped just a shade over 3lbs off the bike! It went from 33.5lbs to 30.2lbs... crazy.

    The only challenge I'm running into right now is that a few times when I've really had to hammer hard I've had the rear wheel slip out of alignment on the drive side... not terribly uncommon when you're not butting up against the stops in the dropouts. So to help, I've got a Surly Snuggnut coming tomorrow which will also come in handy when I eventually convert it over to single speed.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Nice monkey! I have a snuggnut on the drive side but the downside to sliding dropouts is the wheel will knock out of place on any off camber landing no matter what's in the drop outs. I wish Surly would go for a non sliding drop out, or maybe offer a better locking system like the RSD frames.

    I actually had Baron S1 rims on my 27.5 hardtail and they're bullet proof. I just feel like the 3" tire is best served on a 50mm rim, it really digs in. I paid way too much for the Colorado composites but in comparison to Enve or similar they're a deal. I think they're still having a 10% off sale through the winter. Rotational weight is huge and shaving this monkey down to 28lbs from 32lbs (with 150 pike) is huge. It's really nimble and so fun.

  15. #15
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    Thanks for getting back to the thread with some answers Oloug, appreciated it. I didn't find/see lots of details specs listed in that thread, but definitely saw rim width and tyre size being fit and knew it was an option, but it is buried under a lot of pages, good idea to post about your build (always nice to share our personal builds) so that any looking can get ideas

    Looks like the Monkey is the same as the Unit, have to slammed the sliders all the way back with a proper 3" tyre to get decent enough clearance. Would love to find a decent smaller 3" tyre to drop some weight over what I run now, but only ones I know of, are also fairly welter weight in construction and known for tearing sidewalls, which wouldn't work were I love to ride - lots of coral.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  16. #16
    Snow Dog
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    yep, that is a happy ;looking bike for sure!! Looks like hero dirt on the tires as well...

    makes me want to go out and ride today!
    " ...the moonlit swamp Krampus is a king among bikes." - geraldooka

    15 Surly Krampus
    LET IT SNOW!

  17. #17
    Bikesexual
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    Op! you are in SoCal, we should go for a purple rain ride.
    Surly Krampus
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcd46 View Post
    Op! you are in SoCal, we should go for a purple rain ride.
    What brand tank bag is that?

    Iím looking for something on the smaller side for just car key, phone, wallet, etc.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  19. #19
    Bikesexual
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    Quote Originally Posted by racefit View Post
    What brand tank bag is that?

    Iím looking for something on the smaller side for just car key, phone, wallet, etc.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Get the bigger one, this is tiny about 8" long and I only put my pump and keys. But its a great fit!

    I have the stealth pocket 100c

    https://www.jensonusa.com/Frame-Bags?brand=XLab
    Surly Krampus
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_kwlsk View Post
    Another question - how high is your BB with 29+ wheels and can you feel the difference?
    Center of BB 13" off the ground. I never really rode this as 27.5 with a rigid fork so I don't have a frame of reference. I'm used to riding bikes with a low bb and this one doesn't negatively affect the ride

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcd46 View Post
    Op! you are in SoCal, we should go for a purple rain ride.

    People's minds would explode seeing two purple monkeys on the same trail. I rarely see another surly in these parts. What trails do you ride?

  22. #22
    Bikesexual
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    Quote Originally Posted by oloug View Post
    People's minds would explode seeing two purple monkeys on the same trail. I rarely see another surly in these parts. What trails do you ride?
    Mine is the new Krampus bad pic. I'm east of LA and ride Bonelli, Marshall Cyn, mostly XC trails, hence I went w/out suspension.

    That would be pretty funny.
    Surly Krampus
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