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  1. #1
    hell's angels h/q e3st ny brunop's Avatar
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    surly karate monkey as tourer?

    i know folks are fans of the LHT, but would the karate monkey make a good tourer as well? it seems like kind of a poor man's thorn expedition bike. anybody use one for loaded touring?

    thanks.
    ". . .a striped jersey under his jacket; bared calves (outside the bicycle track); cap pushed back; feet in a false position on the pedals; a barking horn, a disorderly appearance, an always-dry tongue, and a definite fondness for wine merchants. . ."

  2. #2
    George Krpan
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    I think the KM would make a good tourer. In my size, large, the head and seat tube angles are 72 and 73 degrees, very road bike like. Compared to the 58 cm LHT the top tube is 1.9" longer, the head tube angle the same, the seat tube angle 0.5 degrees steeper, the 17.25" chainstays 0.85" shorter, the wheelbase 0.4" longer, and the frame and fork weight 0.65 lbs. heavier.
    There are no braze ons for racks but Old Man Mountain racks would solve that with no compromises. The OMM disk brake racks would compensate for the shorter chain stays with regard to heel clearance.
    You can run disk brakes or cantilevers and the skinniest or fattest tires available.
    With fat knobbies it would do much better on the dirt than a LHT. It is designed to accommodate a suspension fork.
    With disk brakes you could run 700c, 650b, or 26" wheels.
    It is truly a do everything bike.
    Last edited by GeoKrpan; 02-10-07 at 11:27 AM.

  3. #3
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeoKrpan
    With disk brakes you could run 700c, 650b, or 26" wheels.
    It is truly a do everything bike.
    I'd be careful trying to run anything other than 29" wheels. The BB drop on the KM is 2.7" - that's 0.8" lower than the LHT and the LHT has a low BB. I think with 26" wheels you'd be hitting pedals on the ground a lot - especially if you go off the asphalt.
    safe riding - Vik
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  4. #4
    hell's angels h/q e3st ny brunop's Avatar
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    so the chainstays are long enough for your heels not to hit panniers?
    ". . .a striped jersey under his jacket; bared calves (outside the bicycle track); cap pushed back; feet in a false position on the pedals; a barking horn, a disorderly appearance, an always-dry tongue, and a definite fondness for wine merchants. . ."

  5. #5
    George Krpan
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    With fat 700c tires fitted the bottom bracket height would be no lower than the LHT because of the higher profile of the tires. I have read of people running 26" wheels with 2.35 Big Apple tires and 170mm cranks and not experiencing excessive pedal strikes. You can compensate for 170mm cranks by moving the cleat forward on your shoe.

  6. #6
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeoKrpan
    With fat 700c tires fitted the bottom bracket height would be no lower than the LHT because of the higher profile of the tires. I have read of people running 26" wheels with 2.35 Big Apple tires and 170mm cranks and not experiencing excessive pedal strikes. You can compensate for 170mm cranks by moving the cleat forward on your shoe.
    Okay I guess I don't understand how the KM would have a higher BB than the LHT with 700c tires. I run 700 x 35 marathon XRs and would probably run 700c x 45s on my LHT for rougher roads. What 700c tire would you put on the KM that would raise the BB an extra 0.8" over a LHT with those size tires?

    I can't say how well the 26 x 2.35 big apples would work with 170mm cranks, but as long as you are aware of the potential problem and happy with your solution that's cool.

    One thing though - is the Big Apple the tire you really want to tour on?

    If you are really trying to get a 26" expedition touring bike I wouldn't start with a 29" wheeled bike and modify it. There are a number of 26" wheel bikes that are available that were designed for exactly what you have in mind. The REI Safari & Devinci Destination come to mind or an older steel rigid mtn bike.

    The extra money you would spend building up a Thorn Sherpa frame over a KM would be well worth it in that you'd get a 26" wheel touring bike with all the brazeons and a fork designed to be strong yet comfy for all day riding. If your goal is to go on long expedition style tours don't save a few $$$ on your bike frame - you'll regret in for thousands of KMs.

    Just my $0.02.
    Last edited by vik; 02-10-07 at 12:38 PM.
    safe riding - Vik
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  7. #7
    George Krpan
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    Actually, with Monkey Nuts, the chainstay length of the KM would be 17.55" only 0.55" shorter than the LHT. The wheelbase would be 0.95" longer.

    The KM was wisely given a lower bottom bracket to compensate for the larger, higher profile tires that it can accommodate.
    Converted to metric a 2.35 tire is about 60mm. A knobby has a higher profile than a smooth tire due to the knobs. The BB drop of a size large KM is 2.7 verses 3.1 for a 58cm LHT. I think the larger tires could make up the difference.

    Would I want to tour on Big Apples? Yes, they ride wonderfully.
    They roll fast even at low pressures and at low pressures they have tons of grip and a comfortable ride.

    To me, the advantage of the KM is that it's a 29er mountain bike. It would ride better on trails than either a 700c LHT or a 26" adventure touring bike. 29ers roll over trail obstacles better and are more stable when leaned. Gary Fisher has said that he's much better on a 29er and that he would not go back to a 26er. The head and seat angles of 29ers are more similar to road bikes than to 26er mountain bikes so they would ride well on the road too. With fat 700c road tires it would have to have the most comfortable ride of all.

    I agree with the advantages of the 26" wheel in developing countries.

  8. #8
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeoKrpan
    Actually, with Monkey Nuts, the chainstay length of the KM would be 17.55" only 0.55" shorter than the LHT. The wheelbase would be 0.95" longer.

    The KM was wisely given a lower bottom bracket to compensate for the larger, higher profile tires that it can accommodate.
    Converted to metric a 2.35 tire is about 60mm. A knobby has a higher profile than a smooth tire due to the knobs. The BB drop of a size large KM is 2.7 verses 3.1 for a 58cm LHT. I think the larger tires could make up the difference.

    Would I want to tour on Big Apples? Yes, they ride wonderfully.
    They roll fast even at low pressures and at low pressures they have tons of grip and a comfortable ride.

    To me, the advantage of the KM is that it's a 29er mountain bike. It would ride better on trails than either a 700c LHT or a 26" adventure touring bike. 29ers roll over trail obstacles better and are more stable when leaned. Gary Fisher has said that he's much better on a 29er and that he would not go back to a 26er. The head and seat angles of 29ers are more similar to road bikes than to 26er mountain bikes so they would ride well on the road too. With fat 700c road tires it would have to have the most comfortable ride of all.

    I agree with the advantages of the 26" wheel in developing countries.
    No arguments about the KM as 29" wheeled bike. If I was going to tour on that frame I'd use it as a 29" bike and I would forget about 26" wheels entirely.
    safe riding - Vik
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  9. #9
    George Krpan
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    Vik,

    Yes, I would run it as a 29er. But 26" wheels could be used if the need be.

    George

  10. #10
    Life is short Ride hard
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    anything can be used as a tourer.....as long as you can stand the pain and frustration....nuff said
    The Ferrari ('05 Bianchi Forza) had a flat (Stupid Glass) the Japanese wagon ('77 Nishiki with Arkel Utility Basket) was in the body shop (On my bench being repainted...repent ye rust)
    so I took the SUV ( Cannondale V2000 Active 100SL)

  11. #11
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    Some useful posts there
    I'm planning on touring on a rohloff equipped karate monkey running 29" mavic a719's
    We're going from ushuia to mexico city

    thing is that the rohloff mandates a 32h rim in the back. i'm thinking of using a 32 hole rim up front so if the rear goes awry I would at least have the option of swapping the front and back rims to get me going.
    Do you reckon the 32h front wheel will be strong enough?

  12. #12
    bike wannabee
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    I just checked the surly website and the chain stays on lht are over an inch shorter than the km, thats a big difference for pannier strike yeah? also load spread? The OP specified "loaded" touring, Unless you get one dirt cheap I'd think you should just get the lht. I have only seen the thorns online but I cant see any similarities with geometry.

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