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  1. #1
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    Surly Karate Monkey

    Pulled the trigger on a KM Complete SS yesterday. Just for commuting. Haven't had a bike in more than 15 years so I have a lot to learn. These forums have been a great help. I should have it in a week. I'm psyched.

    I'm a Clydesdale at 6'-4" and 200+lbs so I thought a 29er mountain bike frame would be a better choice for me than a road bike or lightweight tourer.

    Specs are here:

    Complete Bikes | Karate Monkey Complete

    If I don't like it as a singlespeed I can add gears or preferably an IGH at a later date. And yes, it'll get lights and a bell per NYC DOT regs and fenders for the rain.


  2. #2
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    Sweet ride, I'm still deciding if I want to build up a KM or Troll.

  3. #3
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    surly troll

    I like the Troll's dedicated area for fixing a Rohloff axle plate but I think I need a 29er for my physical size.

    My dream rig is a Niner SIR 9 with a Speedhub on it. But that is stupid money.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by marchone View Post
    I like the Troll's dedicated area for fixing a Rohloff axle plate but I think I need a 29er for my physical size.

    My dream rig is a Niner SIR 9 with a Speedhub on it. But that is stupid money.
    Nice choice of bike! It will do all you want it to.

    Regarding the dedicated area for fixing a Rohloff axle plate, there's an Ogre ('29er' Troll-ish) coming in Decembre. I've got a SIR9 with speedhub... you can find the parts 2ndhand.

  5. #5
    Still want a fat bike....
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    Congrats on the new bike man, I have always been a fan of the surly product line. Hope you enjoy it.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the kind words, guys. This is getting to be like Doublegun Disease.

  7. #7
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    Can't go wrong with the Surly KM, nice ride.

    You might want to change the gearing and tires for street riding.
    Ride more!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by asphaltdude View Post
    You might want to change the gearing and tires for street riding.
    Understood. I'll ride it for a couple of weeks and then make decisions on both of those items.

  9. #9
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    Congrats!

    Just slap some Big Apple 2.3's on there and you'll be in hog heaven.

  10. #10
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    I just might do that.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lurchlee View Post
    Sweet ride, I'm still deciding if I want to build up a KM or Troll.


    ....the new Surly Ogre is what i'm looking forward too - two in one, so to say....

  12. #12
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    Just built my 22" Karate Monkey in my garage last night... have yet to ride it actually.



  13. #13
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    I picked it up today and just put 6 1/2 quick street miles on it. I like it a lot. The BB7 brakes are terrific. It's huge but it fits me. The Exiwolf 2.3s are pretty quick and I'm told a lot of guys including messengers are riding singlespeeds in the City now. I'll ride it as is for a month and maybe put Big Apples on it then. Should be faster still. The whole build feels like it has no resistance at all.

    Now I need to get my skills back. And my lungs.

  14. #14
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    ^^^what is your gearing?
    here's a bit of irony for you...
    you got your km mtb to turn into a commuter - i have a steamroller frame that i just began building into mtb

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by markaitch View Post
    ... what is your gearing?
    Good question. I've been trying to understand it. Does this look right?

    700 X 32 (ISO 622mm wheel size) X 175mm (crank length) = 1.954 (radius ratio from Sheldon Brown)

    1.954 X 32t (crankset cog) / 17t (rear hub) = 3.678 singlespeed gear / gain ratio

    I need to familiarize myself with all of these terms. Tom Kunicki's Calculator rounds values to these:

    Chain Ring 32t

    Rear Sprocket 17t

    Crank Length 175mm

    Wheel Size 700 X 32c (32-622)

    Gear Ratio 1.9

    Gain Ratio 3.7

    Gear Inches 50.8

    Development Inches 159.7

    Development Meters 4.1
    Last edited by marchone; 09-05-2011 at 07:08 AM. Reason: correction

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by markaitch View Post
    ... here's a bit of irony for you ... you got your km mtb to turn into a commuter ...
    My KM came set up from Surly this way. I'm hoping the build makes a suitable commuter. Now I need to learn what changes I may want, if any.

    How are you planning to build your Steamroller?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by marchone View Post
    My KM came set up from Surly this way. I'm hoping the build makes a suitable commuter. Now I need to learn what changes I may want, if any.

    How are you planning to build your Steamroller?
    If you do a Google images search, you'll turn up with some pics of KM's decked out for commuting. I was tossing around the idea of getting one, but decided against it because it's just a burlier bike than I want for commuting. I ended up ordering an On-One Pompetamine in glow-in-the-dark paint. It can only be run SS or IGH. It has no derailleur hanger. It's also disc brake specific. It's more of a cyclocross-style frame, which is more like what I am after. Road bike geometry with room for bigger tires and disc brake mounts.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    I ended up ordering an On-One Pompetamine in glow-in-the-dark paint. It can only be run SS or IGH. It has no derailleur hanger. It's also disc brake specific. It's more of a cyclocross-style frame, which is more like what I am after. Road bike geometry with room for bigger tires and disc brake mounts.
    That looks like a really smart commuter. 8-speed. Hydraulic discs. Good price on that build, too.

    On-One Pompetamine Alfine 749.00

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by marchone View Post
    That looks like a really smart commuter. 8-speed. Hydraulic discs. Good price on that build, too.

    On-One Pompetamine Alfine 749.00
    I only bought the frameset. I'm building it as a SS with Mungo drop bars. I think the build is going to cost me about $800. I'm going to have to buy new wheels, but I'll be trying to buy used for the remainder of the bits I'll need.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by marchone View Post
    My KM came set up from Surly this way. I'm hoping the build makes a suitable commuter. Now I need to learn what changes I may want, if any.

    How are you planning to build your Steamroller?
    like asphaltdude mentioned much earlier in your thread, if you are using it strictly on pavement you really should look into changing the gearing on your bike, that small gear ratio has got to have you spinning like crazy on flat roads. what is your terrain like? is it very hilly? that will determine how high you can go.
    but i will say it looks like either surly or your bike shop treated you pretty well with the 32c tires. i would have expected a karate monkey to come with something much bigger. those should serve you well as long as they are not overly knobby.

    i plan on building the steamroller into a fixed gear "hipster mountain bike". back at the beginning of the year i saw a video of some guy riding his skinny tire 700c fixed bike in the wilderness & i was unhappy with the heavy weight on my ss 29er i was occasionally riding with a tomicog at the time. so i threw cx tires & a big cog onto a fixed free-style bike i was using as my road bike & it was a perfect match with my off-road riding. i just had my 2nd bike like that bought from under me at a trailhead & thought my steamroller frame would make a good base for a similar bike, guess i'll find out soon enuff if i have a clue what i am doing.
    wish me luck...

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by markaitch View Post
    like asphaltdude mentioned much earlier in your thread, if you are using it strictly on pavement you really should look into changing the gearing on your bike, that small gear ratio has got to have you spinning like crazy on flat roads. what is your terrain like? is it very hilly? that will determine how high you can go.
    but i will say it looks like either surly or your bike shop treated you pretty well with the 32c tires. i would have expected a karate monkey to come with something much bigger. those should serve you well as long as they are not overly knobby.

    i plan on building the steamroller into a fixed gear "hipster mountain bike". back at the beginning of the year i saw a video of some guy riding his skinny tire 700c fixed bike in the wilderness & i was unhappy with the heavy weight on my ss 29er i was occasionally riding with a tomicog at the time. so i threw cx tires & a big cog onto a fixed free-style bike i was using as my road bike & it was a perfect match with my off-road riding. i just had my 2nd bike like that bought from under me at a trailhead & thought my steamroller frame would make a good base for a similar bike, guess i'll find out soon enuff if i have a clue what i am doing.
    wish me luck...
    I'm still learning here. I made a mistake above with listing tire size as 700 X 32. That is standard 29er wheel size. I edited it above. The tires that Surly shipped it with are 2.3 knobbies. They're marked MTB Exiwolf 2.3 29". I have no complaints. My LBS is recommending 35mm rubber. I'm waffling on that because of the suspension effect fat rubber gives me. Rough road surfaces are the norm here. Canyoneagle's suggestion of Scwhalbe Big Apple 2.3s are what I've been looking at. A Brooks touring saddle may be another change.

    You and asphaltdude are right. I need to make adjustments to gearing and tires. Gearing most importantly. It's currently running 32 X 17 as shipped. I am definitely spinning too much on flat asphalt. Most of what I encounter on my route is pretty flat except for a couple of long inclines which I don't want to make worse.

    After only two days and 20+ miles I'm still jiggering seat height. Now I'm thinking about replacing the 175mm cranks with 190mm or 200mm cranks. I wear a 34" to 36" inseam. I might do that before changing a cog. Any advice is appreciated and will be carefully considered.

    This morning the first task was to remove the decals. Now it's a Sterile Monkey!

    Your Steamroller project sounds interesting. Keep us posted.

  22. #22
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    Marchone:

    We are similiar in size and taste.
    My KM build, basic outline:
    '08 KM
    Schwalbe BAs. The biggest BAs @ 2.35. I think 2.0 and 2.15 are available too.
    Planet Bike Cascadia 29er fenders
    Brooks B17
    32/16 direct gearing with Shimano Alfine 8 IGH, trigger shift
    linear pull brakes. Will be swapping out to mech disc for the front for the winter. Will keep LP on rear due to the '08 disc mount design. I think '10+ that changed to not have to loosen up the mounts for disc.
    Surly "open bar" handlebars.

    It's my only bike (for now) and suits me well in most situations. Sometimes I wish for higher gearing on the open flats, but again, suits well 95% of my travels.

    It's a great pothole and curb crusher in the New England streets I pedal

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleSpeedSimian View Post
    Marchone:

    We are similiar in size and taste.
    My KM build, basic outline:
    '08 KM
    Schwalbe BAs. The biggest BAs @ 2.35. I think 2.0 and 2.15 are available too.
    Planet Bike Cascadia 29er fenders
    Brooks B17
    32/16 direct gearing with Shimano Alfine 8 IGH, trigger shift
    linear pull brakes. Will be swapping out to mech disc for the front for the winter. Will keep LP on rear due to the '08 disc mount design. I think '10+ that changed to not have to loosen up the mounts for disc.
    Surly "open bar" handlebars.

    It's my only bike (for now) and suits me well in most situations. Sometimes I wish for higher gearing on the open flats, but again, suits well 95% of my travels.

    It's a great pothole and curb crusher in the New England streets I pedal
    That sounds great.

    I'm surprised that you're longing for higher gearing than the Alfine 8 provides. Would the Alfine 11 cover it?

    2011 Surley KM solves mounting a rack with disc brakes. They also added a structural cross-piece where the top tube meets the seat tube. The vertical slot cut for fitting the seat post weakened it.

    My immediate concern is that my center of balance is too high. Inseam/seat height/crank length have me sit too high to get off it quickly. Possible fixes include longer cranks and/or skinnier lower profile tires though I love the looks of BAs.

    Your fenders sound perfect. They're on my short list of improvements. Thanks.

  24. #24
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    The Alfine 8 meets most of my needs, it's just every now and then I'd like a gear or 2 higher.

    Well, IMO, no matter what with being a Clyde my center is always going to be high unless I'm driving a recumbent or trike.

    I have 175 cranks and find it just right. Not sure of the full geo spec differences between my '08 and the '11 design, but know the stand-over changed w/ the lower top tube hence the gusset from the top tube to seat tube.

    I've had 40s on it and the BAs are much better IMO for my needs. I do also use studded 40s for winter, but prefer them during that season for cutting thru the snow.

  25. #25
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    Why do you prefer BAs over 40s? And what size BAs? 2.3 or smaller?

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by marchone View Post
    2011 Surly KM solves mounting a rack with disc brakes. They also added a structural cross-piece where the top tube meets the seat tube. The vertical slot cut for fitting the seat post weakened it.
    Did it? I thought there was still a "no discs and racks" issue with the KM. Isn't that one of the reasons behind the Ogre?

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by slimhazy View Post
    Did it? I thought there was still a "no discs and racks" issue with the KM. Isn't that one of the reasons behind the Ogre?
    Depends on if the frame is a 2010 or 2011/12. The new ones have rack braze-on mounts on the seat stays, above the discs.
    Otherwise, it is easy enough to use P-Clamps or a stay-mount rear rack. surly's caveat with racks and discs relates to the eyelets on the non-drive side droupout (i.e. don't use standoffs/spacers) but can easily be rectified by mounting to the stays.

    It does look like the Ogre totally resolves this.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by canyoneagle View Post
    Depends on if the frame is a 2010 or 2011/12. The new ones have rack braze-on mounts on the seat stays, above the discs.
    Ah, you're right. I didn't know that the frame changed from 2010 to 2011 besides the canti mounts.

    My 2010/2011 Battleship Gray frame has the upper barrel mounts on the seat stays, but not the lower ones just above the disc mounts:

    Adding barrel mounts above the disc makes sense; I'm surprised Surly didn't do that earlier.

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