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Surly Karate Monkey

Old 02-10-17, 09:50 AM
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Itamar
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Surly Karate Monkey

Hey guys, I'm really new to bikepacking, I have been riding BMX for 20years, and now I ride singlespeed bike. I wanna do the GDMBR next summer, I was wondring if the Surly KM will be good fit for long rides like that, and also nice just for quick trail missions.

thank you.
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Old 02-10-17, 10:08 AM
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Hi - yes, the Surly KM would work. Lots of options. Many seem to recommend 2.0" tires or wider. Here's a poll showing choices:

https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/48...at-divide.html

Also, this link from ACA makes recommendations:

https://www.adventurecycling.org/res...-great-divide/
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Old 02-10-17, 10:13 AM
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thanks

thanks, looks like it should work fine.
I was also wondrin if the KM allows rear rack?
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Old 02-10-17, 10:43 AM
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Ogre is basically the same bike but with more braze-ons to carry things and slightly heavier tubing so it might be a better choice for bikepacking.

There is likely a re-vamped Ogre being unveiled in the very near future that has a non-suspension corrected fork and possibly more tire clearance. Look at the current Surly Troll and imagine it with 29" wheels and that's what the new Ogre is speculated to be.
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Old 02-10-17, 11:11 AM
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Bikepacking.com has a nice article comparing the Krampus and its sibling ECR. The KM is pretty similar except for the tire size. The 2017 versions of KM & Krampus got new drop-outs to better fit current MTB hubs.
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Old 02-10-17, 11:33 AM
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I bought my KM specifically for bikepacking but it's so fun to ride, I tend to take it out on the trails more than my full suspension mountain bike.

It's a very capable bike, this is last year's 29er model on it's maiden voyage.
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Old 02-10-17, 12:18 PM
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I set up my KM with 35 mm rims and 29x2.3 sort of slicks for my last tour. I did fit fenders and a rear rack, needed some fine tuning though. Get a "disk" rear rack that holds the legs away from the frame a bit. I also used monkey nuts to space the rear wheel back in the drops some. I have and older one with a rockshock reba sus fork up front too. Looked at some frame bags and bar bags?
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Old 02-10-17, 01:33 PM
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thanks

Im pretty sure Ill get the KM eventually , if I can rig a rear rack to it, even better. I was wondring about the frame size, im 174cm (5"8)ish, insem 31" , what would be better? at first I was thinking medium would be the best, but now might small can work better? any thoughts on that?
thanks everyone
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Old 02-10-17, 02:38 PM
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Yes.
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Old 02-11-17, 12:00 AM
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You might want to check the weight of the Karate Monkey. The person that I know who owns one says it's excessively heavy.
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Old 02-11-17, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Squeezebox View Post
You might want to check the weight of the Karate Monkey. The person that I know who owns one says it's excessively heavy.
It's a steel bike, obviously it'll be heavier than carbon or aluminum, but no heavier than any other steel bike on the market. Mine weighs the same as my FS aluminum mountain bike. It's not that bad.
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Old 02-11-17, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by SpeshulEd View Post
I bought my KM specifically for bikepacking but it's so fun to ride, I tend to take it out on the trails more than my full suspension mountain bike.

It's a very capable bike, this is last year's 29er model on it's maiden voyage.
What's the practical difference between the KM and the Ogre?
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Old 02-11-17, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
What's the practical difference between the KM and the Ogre?
I'm not sure, I believe the Karate Monkey is advertised more as a hard tail mountain bike where the Ogre is advertised as more of everything/touring bike. The new versions are quite a bit different, as the new KM went to 27.5+ wheels and a more aggressive geometry. I also think the complete KM is sold with slightly better components.

I ended up with the KM over the ECR or some of the other offerings because the shop had a great deal on them, a few of my friends picked them up as an everything/mountain bike, so I jumped on the deal because who doesn't love an extra bike! It's worked out well for a bikepacking bike.
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Old 02-11-17, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
What's the practical difference between the KM and the Ogre?
Pre-2017 KM's and Ogres differed in their tubesets (Ogre = heavier) and braze-ons for touring (Ogre = more). The geometry has been identical while the two bikes have co-existed. The early KM's were a bit different. I doubt most of us could tell the difference while riding them. The 2017 Ogres remain to be seen.
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Old 02-11-17, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by SpeshulEd View Post
It's a steel bike, obviously it'll be heavier than carbon or aluminum, but no heavier than any other steel bike on the market. Mine weighs the same as my FS aluminum mountain bike. It's not that bad.
I've heard that Surly does tend to be heavier than most other steel frame manufacturers. I've heard they tend to use heavier gauge tubing than most others, In their attempt to build a stronger/ more durable frame. I believe that I even read that on Surly's site. Some other builders use other methods for frame strength, larger diameter for 1 example.
Personally I don't want/need a bicycle that can handle 100 lbs of gear. I'm happier with less gear and a lighter load, and a lighter bicycle as well.
But if you want overbuilt it's a viable choice.
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Old 02-11-17, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by corwin1968 View Post
Pre-2017 KM's and Ogres differed in their tubesets (Ogre = heavier) and braze-ons for touring (Ogre = more). The geometry has been identical while the two bikes have co-existed. The early KM's were a bit different. I doubt most of us could tell the difference while riding them. The 2017 Ogres remain to be seen.
If that was the only difference, I'm surprised anyone bought the KM over the Ogre.

Bike 24 lists the KM size 18 frame weighing in at 2600grams approx and the Ogre size 20 frame weighing in at 2700grams approx.
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Old 02-13-17, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Squeezebox View Post
I've heard that Surly does tend to be heavier than most other steel frame manufacturers. I've heard they tend to use heavier gauge tubing than most others, In their attempt to build a stronger/ more durable frame. I believe that I even read that on Surly's site. Some other builders use other methods for frame strength, larger diameter for 1 example.
Personally I don't want/need a bicycle that can handle 100 lbs of gear. I'm happier with less gear and a lighter load, and a lighter bicycle as well.
But if you want overbuilt it's a viable choice.
To be honest, getting a light bike for touring wasn't even in my head at the time. I just wanted something that could handle being thrown around on singletrack with all the gear. I'd guess the bike was probably around 50lbs loaded up. I don't have much to compare it to, but found that it handled well both out on the trail and when we journeyed into town.

Brazeons didn't matter to me because I never intended on using racks.

Max's writeup pretty much sold me on the bike...
https://maxthecyclist.wordpress.com/...karate-monkey/
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Old 02-14-17, 06:41 AM
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now, im also thinking about the Ogre

but still the KM is my first choose. about the size? anybody can tell me from experience what will be better for 5"8, about 31"insem, Size Small or Medium for the KM?? thanks alot
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Old 02-14-17, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
If that was the only difference, I'm surprised anyone bought the KM over the Ogre.

Bike 24 lists the KM size 18 frame weighing in at 2600grams approx and the Ogre size 20 frame weighing in at 2700grams approx.
I forgot to mention that the Ogre had canti-mounts while the KM lost them several years ago.

I suspect people bought the complete bikes based on their intended use: KM - Mountain Biking, Ogre - Touring.

From the perspective of frameset only, it's hard to make a case for the older KM. A lot of people have felt the same away about the ECR, thinking it makes the Ogre obsolete.
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Old 02-14-17, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by corwin1968 View Post
I forgot to mention that the Ogre had canti-mounts while the KM lost them several years ago.

I suspect people bought the complete bikes based on their intended use: KM - Mountain Biking, Ogre - Touring.

From the perspective of frameset only, it's hard to make a case for the older KM. A lot of people have felt the same away about the ECR, thinking it makes the Ogre obsolete.
There is notable geometry differences between the ECR & Ogre, whereas the Ogre and KM use to have identical geometry.
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Old 02-14-17, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by corwin1968 View Post
I forgot to mention that the Ogre had canti-mounts while the KM lost them several years ago.

I suspect people bought the complete bikes based on their intended use: KM - Mountain Biking, Ogre - Touring.

From the perspective of frameset only, it's hard to make a case for the older KM. A lot of people have felt the same away about the ECR, thinking it makes the Ogre obsolete.
Older Karate Monkey user here. Currently set up for touring/bikepacking. Fits 35 mm rims plus 2.3 tires with fenders and a rear rack. Plus has a reba fork up front. Does everything it needs to do. And more. Op, start with what wheel size you intend to use, go from there. Really no bad choices. I own 3 Surlys. Not heavy, but durable, solid and can carry lots of stuff. My fully loaded bike with food, water, rear rack, bags and such weighed 70 lbs this summer. Add my clydesdale self, lots o weight.

Last edited by Leebo; 02-14-17 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 02-14-17, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
Older Karate Monkey user here. Currently set up for touring/bikepacking. Fits 35 mm rims plus 2.3 tires with fenders and a rear rack. Plus has a reba fork up front. Does everything it needs to do. And more. Op, start with what wheel size you intend to use, go from there. Really no bad choices. I own 3 Surlys. Not heavy, but durable, solid and can carry lots of stuff. My fully loaded bike with food, water, rear rack, bags and such weighed 70 lbs this summer. Add my clydesdale self, lots o weight.
I also ride a first generation Karate Monkey (2008 frameset) and chose it over the Ogre for the superficial reason that I wanted a "mountain bike" instead of a "touring bike" and I dislike the top-tube/seat-tube brace on the newer models. A new KM frameset wasn't an option because my wheels are rim brake, only.
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Old 04-26-20, 03:06 AM
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I feel like forrest gump on my KM and could ride and never stop riding!
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