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Surly Karate Monkey gets a black belt in front suspension with new 2019 completes

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The original Surly Karate Monkey was pretty simple. Steel frame, 29″ wheels, one gear. As one of the first production 29ers available, it was pretty far ahead of the curve when it came to the bigger wheels. But as the song famously goes, times, they are a changin’.

Surly Karate Monkey gets a black belt in front suspension with new 2019 completes

There are two complete Karate Monkey builds offered for 2019, and neither of them has 29″ wheels. Instead, both offer substantially chunkier 27.5 x 3.0″ Surly Dirt Wizard tires with corresponding 27.5″ wheels.

In addition to the wheels and tires, other big changes come from the drivetrain with the rigid model opting for a 1×11 SRAM NX build instead of single speed. That’s right, a complete single speed build is no longer an option for the Karate Monkey (for now).

Surly Karate Monkey gets a black belt in front suspension with new 2019 completes

However, the good news for the 29″, single speed loving fans out there is that the frameset is still available and can be built up exactly like the original. Granted, the new frame features more progressive, trail oriented geometry and a suspension corrected fork, but it will still run standard 29″ wheels and tires or 27.5+. One thing that remains is the 4130 Cromoly steel frame with ‘Natch tubing and Gnot Boost spacing.

As a refresher, Gnot Boost dropouts will fit 135mm, 142mm, or 148mm hubs and offers single speed compatibility as well as threaded fender eyelets.

Surly Karate Monkey gets a black belt in front suspension with new 2019 completes

The other option for a complete build includes a 140mm travel RockShox Sektor RL suspension fork with a 51mm offset. This bike also runs gears but opts for the 1×12 SRAM NX Eagle group instead. It also features a TranzX SP15 dropper post with 80mm of travel to take advantage of the internal dropper post routing. According to Surly, the Karate Monkey SUS will be available in limited numbers, so if you want one, don’t wait.

Surly Karate Monkey gets a black belt in front suspension with new 2019 completes
Surly Karate Monkey Rigid geometry
Surly Karate Monkey gets a black belt in front suspension with new 2019 completes
Surly Karate Monkey Suspension geometry

Available in five sizes, both models have the same frame geometry, but the RockShox suspension fork is 20mm longer than the rigid which gives the SUS build some slightly different numbers. Offered in Lemon Lime Soda, Blue Porta Potty (gotta love their names),  or Hi-Viz black, we’ll update with pricing soon.

surlybikes.com

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13 Comments
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Craig
Craig
4 years ago

Good luck keeping the front wheel on the ground up steep hills with the combo of a 140mm travel fork, 73 degree seat angle and 423mm chainstays.

Patty
Patty
4 years ago
Reply to  Craig

I love riding geo charts

Craig
Craig
4 years ago
Reply to  Patty

Geo charts tell a lot if one can understand them. Trouble is most people cant.

ninjichor
ninjichor
4 years ago
Reply to  Craig

Do you understand them well enough to place a wager on this prediction? I’d like to see your side of the story, like what size rider and weight range is required to make your prediction come true.

Without such support, that judgement seems unfair, so worth investigating to give Surly a chance. I think they keep the front wheel tucked in close enough for that to not be a problem, as long as you angle your upper body forward or get out the saddle.

Scott
Scott
4 years ago
Reply to  ninjichor

The 140mm fork jacks up this bikes geometry. This bike was designed around a 483mm fork that gave it a 73degree seattube which I think 73 is fine. Axle to crown on a sektor 140 is 553mm !!! That’s 70mm . You need a massive frame re design to make that work. Bike now is basically a 66 HTA and 70 STA.

Scott
Scott
4 years ago
Reply to  Scott

The numbers they have listed in their geo chart would assume you were at 50mm (36%) sag at all times. Bike manufactures need to stop just swaping forks and throwing up some BS geometry chart. List geo’s a standard way, or at least say how you are measuring it.

John Harfouch
John Harfouch
2 years ago
Reply to  Scott

I have a 140 pike on this and Craig is right. My stem is slammed and seat moved all the way forward on the rails.

Some dude
Some dude
4 years ago
Reply to  Craig

Sounds like someone is stuck riding bikes from the 90s

Craig
Craig
4 years ago
Reply to  Some dude

Yeah, I cant believe they haven’t moved on and specced something like a 74 or 75 degree seat angle, then pushed the top tube out a bit more. Then it would be awesome. As it is its 1990’s meet 2019, not an ideal combo.

Matt
Matt
4 years ago

140 is too much fork for this bike atmo.

Scott
Scott
4 years ago

I measured the photo the STA of the 140mm bike is 70 degrees LOL

Jerson Pikes
Jerson Pikes
4 years ago

how about Manitou Machete 100mm on this?

brcjacks
2 years ago

The beauty of getting this bike with the Rockshox 35 Gold RL is that it can be pretty easily adjusted from 120 – 160, and any 10mm increment in between with travel spacers. I bought mine as a frameset and built it up as a rigid single speed. Now I’m looking to put a shock on it so I can use it as an all mountain single speed when I want. After lots of research (and examining my finances) I ended up choosing the same fork and I didn’t even know that’s what came on the full bike build. So, it must be the right fork. 🙂 I’m going to start with the 140 setting, because that’s what Surly recommends, and try different settings as time goes by. If you buy this fork as a 120mm, you get all the travel spacers for free so there is no cost in parts to move from 120 to 130, 140, 150 or 160. If you buy the 160, then, I believe, you don’t get any spacers and would need to buy them separately. I may need to look into this.

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