Surly’s Karate Monkey has always been a crowd favorite, but it’s about to get a lot more versatile. Unlike the race oriented Foundry Firetower, the Karate Monkey is gaining a new wheel size trick. But part of that is the introduction of a brand new frame and fork that adds benefits even if you plan on running it as a 29er instead of plus thanks to more modern geometry. In fact, the Karate Monkey will be sold in both builds, each making use of the Gnot Boost spacing…
Similar to the dropouts that were introduced on the Wednesday, the Gnot Boost dropouts are exactly what they sound like. They’re not Boost. But they’re also not 142mm. Instead, the dropouts measure 145mm which can easily stretch to fit Boost hubs, or crank down to fit 142mm hubs. The horizontal dropouts also include a vertical slot to make wheel changes easier after the TA is removed.
Another clever touch, the included thru axle will work with both 142 and 148mm hubs thanks to the cap on the end. One a 142mm hub the extra axle slides inside the cap to allow it to tighten down. Going even further, Surly offers 10/12 adapter washers that will allow you to use 135mm QR hubs with the frame as well.
Thanks to the chainstay plate and Gnot Boost dropouts, the 4130 Natch chromoly frame will clear 27.5 x 3.0″ or 29 x 2.5″ tires. While the frame keeps a classic threaded 73mm bottom bracket, geometry becomes more modern with a longer top tube and shorter stem, 69º head tube angle (down to 67.5 depending on fork), and a shorter 30.9mm seat post for use with internal droppers. Sold with a rigid Boost 110 spaced fork suspension corrected to 100mm sagged, the frame will work with up to a 140mm travel suspension fork which is where the slacker head tube comes in.
Surly has also added an XS size to the line up thanks to the longer front center which allows for a tiny bike without toe overlap.
Over on the purple side, this 29″ build only needs one gear. That means the build options will be an orange 1×11, 27+, Boost Karate Monkey, or the purple, 1×1, Gnot-boost, 29er (both are also front derailleur compatible). Complete builds will only be available in one color each, but both colors will be available as framesets.
Both builds include tubeless ready Alex rims and tubeless tires, with the plus build taking advantage of the newer 27.5 x 3.0″ Dirt Wizards. Expect these to hit the trails this October.