Karate Monkey or Monocog 29er??- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Karate Monkey or Monocog 29er??

    I am thinking about getting a single-speed and have narrowed my choices down to either the Surly Karate Monkey 29er or the Redline Monocog 29er. Can anyone who has ridden both chime in on the pros and cons of these two bikes? Thanks.

  2. #2
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    I haven't spent a lot of time on a Monkey, but I have ridden both, my main bike is a Monocog 29er. Both bikes I've ridden were built up from frames, not as complete bikes so I can't comment on stock parts. The frames are very similar in geometry, Monkey has slightly shorter chainstays and wheelbase, slightly more fork offset, and a pretty high standover height. The Monkey (frameset) is lighter by at least a pound I think, my Mono is 6.73lbs for frame (17") and 2.85lbs for fork. Monkey has standard 27.2 seat tube, Mono uses weirdo 26.8mm. Monkey has rack/fender mounts and can take a derailleur if you're into that, Mono has none of that. Mono is pretty snug fit with Rampage 2.35s in the rear triangle, Monkey has better clearance there. Both are pretty rugged. I've ridden the pants off it for the last year and my Mono can definitely take more than I can dish out, and I know the Monkey I briefly pedaled was ridden hard for 2 years by a clyde.

  3. #3
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    Isn't a KM about 2x the price of a 'cog? Looked at that way, it's kind of an apples to oranges comparison
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  4. #4
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    My 19 inch Monocog Flight is 2.5 lbs less than my buddies 18 KM. I have ridden his bike, and I feel its not as compliant as my frame. The fork on the KM, is noticeably more harsh than my Flight. The rear disc brake issue on the KM is a pain... when removing the rear wheel. I added the Flight because it can be had complete, for less. In my opinion, a complete Flight is a better value, and a better frameset. So do yourself a favor, and check out the Monocog Flight model.
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  5. #5
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    Thanks for the replys. I think I'm going to take a good look at the redline.

  6. #6
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    If you have any interest in fat tires and rim, don't consider the MC Flight. The MC doesn't even have enough clearance for my taste. I'd probably be on a Flight now if they had more tire clearance.

    Haven't ever ridden a KM but I've had 2 MCs and it's a great budget frameset.
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by nitrousjunky
    If you have any interest in fat tires and rim, don't consider the MC Flight. The MC doesn't even have enough clearance for my taste. I'd probably be on a Flight now if they had more tire clearance.

    Haven't ever ridden a KM but I've had 2 MCs and it's a great budget frameset.
    A 2.3 on the rear, and 2.5 on the front. Its been a good setup for my Flight.
    The only regrets in life, are the risks you didn't take.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mo0se
    A 2.3 on the rear, and 2.5 on the front. Its been a good setup for my Flight.
    Which 2.3 and what width rim?
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

  9. #9
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    on my flight i have panaracer rampages 2.35's with stans arch rims and ive never had clearance issues.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by nitrousjunky
    Which 2.3 and what width rim?
    27 mm rim.. and the race king 2.4 fits as well. The Weirwolf 2.5 works too. The chainstays on two of Flights measure 3.5 inches at the appropriate area. Same with the seatstays. Are you confusing the regular monocog with the Flight model?
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mo0se
    27 mm rim.. and the race king 2.4 fits as well. The Weirwolf 2.5 works too. The chainstays on two of Flights measure 3.5 inches at the appropriate area. Same with the seatstays. Are you confusing the regular monocog with the Flight model?
    Nitrousjunky was right - wide rims and wide tires don't mix on the back.

    Don't get me wrong - I had a Flight - great bike, it just doesn't take the new 30+ mm rims and wide tires if you consider mud clearance.

    Here's a 29x2.25 CST Caballero on Flows
    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/iCOOkQrR96j5CF6n9hbh4A?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh5.ggpht.com/_2W6rELw9q40/SRdsaAq1rAI/AAAAAAAAB_8/CVsHwRAs4iY/s800/IMG_3984.JPG" /></a>

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Gd2lbFCkxFoYT6-b3MfR_Q?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh5.ggpht.com/_2W6rELw9q40/SRdsaiF7tSI/AAAAAAAACAE/iKLEGwpZzsE/s800/IMG_3985.JPG" /></a>

    Then with 35mm Gordo's and WTB WeirWolfs

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/OcOeImj_AmY-tUB_OSDttw?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh4.ggpht.com/_2W6rELw9q40/SUWXrLn6IVI/AAAAAAAACEU/Ihvm_oKE5Wk/s800/IMG_4026.JPG" /></a>

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/cvqOMFeMTCFxBh43jmDTlQ?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh4.ggpht.com/_2W6rELw9q40/SUWXsGSuOCI/AAAAAAAACEc/knlMAcB1eIY/s800/IMG_4027.JPG" /></a>

    I now have a KM - not because the Flight was bad - I refreshed it for my Dad to use. I got the KM b/c of the versatility and capability - it's more than two dimensional.
    Last edited by GreenLightGo; 12-03-2009 at 08:20 PM.
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  12. #12
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    The rim width is a key factor.. Having 27 mm allows the use of tires that are too wide with wider wheels. I dont see how the Flight is at all less versatile? Options for gears, a better designed slider/rear brake interface. Suspension corrected geo, lifetime warranty etc.
    The only regrets in life, are the risks you didn't take.

  13. #13
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    If you buy one of the models touted here and ride the crap out of it, you win.

  14. #14
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    mo0se- I think the Flight is very versatile, under rated, and was a serious candidate in my frame hunt until I found out about the CS clearance. I really liked most of the geometry (except the TT being shorter than I like). After spending time on my 38mm Kris Holm rims, I will never go back to a skinner rim on a rigid SS.

    I just wanted to make the OP aware that their isn't room for fat rim/ fat tire setups.
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

  15. #15
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    Its all good man.. I would complain too, had I invested in those wheels. But po folk like me, would not have known that.
    The only regrets in life, are the risks you didn't take.

  16. #16
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    I've spent a lot of time on both bikes. The Monocog is a smoother, slightly more stable ride, although handling felt a bit sluggish. The Karate Monkey is a bit rougher, but handles more precisely. I prefer the Karate Monkey for singletrack.

  17. #17
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    i looked at both, ended up with a soma juice and ird fork. a bit more $$ than a monkey, depending on how / where you buy.
    published room for 2.4s on the back, i'm running kenda nev 2.2s now with what looks like plenty room for more on delgado rims (transplanted from my crosscheck to do the build on a budget)

    the front looks like it could swallow way more tire if you get it past the canti studs on the ird fork. (not an issue if you get a disc only fork).

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