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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 10:27 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 11:38 AM.
    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.

  13. #13
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    Karate Monkey experiences

    Quote Originally Posted by rustguard View Post
    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.
    I would highly recommend the Karate Monkey for any tour. I have large feet 13, never had any heel strike, my last bike i had heel strike with every pedal, I just lived with it. using monkey nuts will also help with heel strike, I have run oem sized tires with a single/speed set up for a few months and recently have tried running 35mm schwalbe marathon mondials (noticed a small amount of self steer, don't want to take my hands off handlebars- loaded front panniers could be attributing to this though), the bike is too fast now. I will have to install a gearset or a nuvinci n360. Although I like the speed of the 35mm tires... I am really missing the ability to hit the trails with ease using fatter tires. Oh can't we have it all

    I think eventually I will use the fattest tires I can fit and use a nuvinci hub.

    Hell yeah, go tour on the monkey!

  14. #14
    __________ seeker333's Avatar
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    I think that decision was made a long time ago, caveman, and probably more bikes in the past 7 years...

  15. #15
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Its just a Tool Pack it up and Go somewhere on It.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by anronmor View Post
    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?
    I bought my Rohloff with 36H so unsure where you get the idea of any mandate.
    I got a 36H dynomo hub to complement it..

    Why would you buy a Karate Monkey to tour on when there is an equivalent in the Ogre.
    The Ogre is merely a KM with braze ons.

    Not suggesting theres anything wrong with the plain KM but for me the convenience of the braze ons determined my purchase of my Ogre.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by rustguard View Post
    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.
    As I said above the KM is virtually the same as Surly's Ogre (sans braze ons (lugs) for racks n fenders).
    I can attest to no heel strike issue with Tubus Cosmo and Ortlieb Roller Classics.

    The KM can be made rack friendly via P-clamps and Tubus's own bracketry whilst my personal preference would be the factory lugs.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by anronmor View Post
    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?
    I'm having a slow morning here after a late night so forgive for not following your logic.
    Tell me, if you cactus either of your rims (front or rear) your sans said wheel.
    Dismantling your other wheel isn't going to change this.

    I'm a fan of 36H minimum for my bikes but different people roll with their own preference.

  19. #19
    Senior Member mdilthey's Avatar
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    I have a KM. Note that the seat tube is bent inwards to place the rear wheel further underneath the rider, more forwards. So, even though the chainstays are longer than the LHT, the overall placement of the panniers may still have heel strike. Likely not, but the KM is not "better" for heel strike than the LHT. Geometry needs to be considered holistically.

    My KM came with the fork that has braze-ons for just about anything. That's great. Do the same if you can. The KM frame has braze-ons for a rack, but I don't know about fenders.

    Overall, it's a fine frame, but I wouldn't choose it over a LHT or an Ogre unless you wanted to have a fun trail bike in your touring off-season. I am certainly happy with mine.
    Ultralight Gear Lists and Reviews... MAXTHECYCLIST.COM

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdilthey View Post
    My KM came with the fork that has braze-ons for just about anything. That's great. Do the same if you can. The KM frame has braze-ons for a rack, but I don't know about fenders.
    I wonder if a previous owner swapped out the fork with an Ogre.
    I see they can be bought aftermarket from a variety of sources as can forks from the other Surly models.
    I even read of people swapping out their Surly forks and replacing them with lighter ones.
    In the case of KM and Ogre forks, Salsa Fargo seem a mentioned direct replacement which also have brazed on lugs for both racks and bottle cages.

  21. #21
    bike wannabee
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    Quote Originally Posted by rustguard View Post
    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.
    I typed this the wrong way around the Long Haul Trucker is obviously the longer stays. But no one seemed to be confused and appeared to know what i was talking about.
    The KM has 431mm. in my experience this is the minimum for comfortable heel clearence. 460 of the LHT allows you to move your load forward or use grocery panniers with ease. Thumbs up.
    As to the 32 hole rolhof. it maybe that at the time of this thread they were only availiable in 32 hole. this does ring a bell. but I have never owned one.

  22. #22
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by rustguard View Post
    As to the 32 hole rolhof. it maybe that at the time of this thread they were only availiable in 32 hole. this does ring a bell. but I have never owned one.
    Ahhhh I just twigged that the thread was from 07 and had been bumped.
    Your judgement on only the 32H being initially available is one i'd agree with.
    Still, with the Karate Monkey still in Surly's line up the thread is still topical even if a few pointers are now out of date.
    I'll now try to remember to check thread dates to determine relevance.

  23. #23
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    Hello Folks,
    I have been using a KM as my tourer for a few years now.
    Did not set out to use it for touring but found it suited my needs perfectly.
    Works just as well on road as off.
    Absolutely no problem with heel strike using Monkey Nuts, a Tubus Cargo rear rack and Ortlieb panniers.
    If you already have a KM frame, definitely give it a go.
    Cheers,
    Ross

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  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    Solves every problem mentioned.

    YAK | BOBgear

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by anronmor View Post
    ...
    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?
    Quote Originally Posted by rifraf View Post
    I bought my Rohloff with 36H so unsure where you get the idea of any mandate.
    I got a 36H dynomo hub to complement it..
    ...
    When he wrote the comment on 32 being necessary in 2008, at that time Rohloff did not make a 36h hub.

    This is another example of vintage threads being resurrected years after the comments were written and are no longer valid.

    The Rohloff I bought in spring 2013 is also 36h.

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