Karate Monkey Big Apple Monster

7 05 2010

Surly Karate Monkey in lovely Chum Bucket red...

I stopped in at Fairfield Cycles [Victoria, BC] this week…very cool shop….Ortlieb, IGH bikes, folders, bents, cargo bikes…sweet!  Anyways not being in the market for a bike I was just browsing when I saw this nice 20″ Surly Karate Monkey with monster 2.35″ Schwalbe Big Apple 29er tires and fenders…the bike looked perfect and ridiculously huge all at the same time so I had to take a test ride.

Fat rubber and fat fenders do fit fine...

I was amazed that there was so much clearance in the fork for huge rubber and fenders to match.  I was also surprised that I liked the Chum Bucket red colour of the frame…I hadn’t been too stoked based on pictures I’d seen, but it looks quite nice in person. The 20″ frame fit me great and the bike was built up as a useful about town ride.

Single speed simplicity...

The KM was light and nimble despite the big wheels.  I would have lowered the pressure in the Big Apples quite a bit to take advantage of their suspension potential if it was my bike.  As it was the BAs rolled great and I was able to slalom around the neighbourhood with a big grin on my face.

I’m used to riding a fixed gear now so it felt strange to be on a single speed bike that let me coast…it almost felt wrong…=-)

Fenders...disc brakes...bring on the wet...

I gotta say this was a fun bike to bomb around on and setup like this would make a great all weather commuter.  As it turns out this bike is slightly used and priced at $1100.00cdn…somebody is going to have a big smile on their face.  Thanks to Max at Fairfield Cycles for the test ride…=-)


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9 responses

7 05 2010
kent

My only ride for about a year was a KM with Big Apples, fenders and a 1×9 drivetrain. It easily did everything I needed a bike to do from commuting to casual road rides to the occasional bit of singletrack. Seeing this almost makes me wish I had kept it (but then if money and storage weren’t an issue I’d have one of every frame Surly makes… Conundrum included!)

7 05 2010
jdmitch

Wow, I’ve actually considered building a “town bike” with the out of a Karate Monkey using 29×2.0″ Cream Fat Franks. Good to know I’m not crazy.

7 05 2010
alang

that is one pimp ride. one day i am sure i will cross paths with a km build. funny that the lrg fits you well given the sizes of your other bikes. i woulda guessed med. sweet bike!

7 05 2010
jon

Ooh, that is a sweet build! I just put 29″x2.35″ Big Apples on my similarly outfitted Monocog. Low 20s psi seems to be an ideal pressure for the tires on road and packed trails.

8 05 2010
steve Fuller

I love love love my KM (mine is Campstove Green). It’s geared now, but it will be turned into a SS once my Dos Niner buildup is complete. Fitting the 2.35 tires isn’t surprising, but fitting them AND fenders is a bit of a surprise. I’m assuming those were the PB Cascadias. Not quite as much clearance as I’d like but still cool. :)

JDMitch – I’m thinking cream colored tires on my green bike might look pretty good. :)

8 05 2010
jdmitch

Green & Cream would look good. Too bad they aren’t makin the 29″ fat franks in the brown that they do the 26″ in.

8 05 2010
bikefriendlynorthshore

Nice ride. I was looking at a Monkey myself four years ago but got a Pugsley instead because I’m surrounded by beaches. Then I looked again last year and got a Cross-Check! One day, one day…

I have those Big Apples on my 29er unicycle. Almost Endomorph-plush.

The “complete” monkey looks like pretty good deal, a very versatile bike like a lot of the Surlys.

22 09 2010
ben

Did you check out the fender brand? I just got stuck in the rain with my Big Appled Surly today and those tire can throw a major wave…In the past I’ve had trouble getting fenders to fit nicely around the disc setup.

Thanks,
Ben

22 09 2010
thelazyrando

I can tell by the mud flaps those are Planet Bike Cascadia 29er fenders:

http://ecom1.planetbike.com/7029.html

I use the ATB [26″] and Hybrid versions on various bikes and like them a lot.

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