Surly Karate Monkey Mountain Bike Review

4.50 out of 5
By Helena Kotala    on Jul 29, 2016

Rider Questions


Q: how wide can I go with karate monkey rims 29er -Guest

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March 14, 2016
Model/Year: Black ops/2015

Pros: Steel need I say more. The MDS dropouts allows you to tailor your whip to your riding/gear choices. Plenty of braze ons for racks,fenders, cages, etc. The Ops version comes with an ED coating to help prevent rust on the inside, tapered headtube for a more modern standard, and MDS dropouts mentioned earlier. Fox float 32 fork is a great value on this build preforms fantastically for the price.

Cons: Base parts spec could be better wheels are quite narrow and heavy. Built to last though. Shimano deore is a great entry level parts spec but i upgraded quickly.

Recommendation: Buy this if you like bomb proof bikes that are going to last a life time.

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September 28, 2014
Model/Year: old dog

Pros: it's old and still rides like new! Best steel, hard tail, single speed cycling contraption ever.

Cons: nope.

Recommendation: buy one. love it for the simplicity and steel-ness.

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December 3, 2010
Pros: Do it all frame, very versatile, accelerates well, climbs great, descends the best! Great for bombing technical trail. Bend in seat tube make s for a tighter wheelbase, shorter chain, and more power. Love the steel softness.

Cons: Sliding drop outs would be a nice addition so you wouldn't have to constantly tune the disc caliper when you take the rear off.

Recommendation: Buy this frame, you'll love it, your wallet will love it, and beat the snot out of it.

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September 26, 2007
Pros: The steel frame is bullet proof and a great single track downhiller. 29er wheels roll with more power over obstacles than 26ers. I don't sense much of a weight penalty while climbing either. Actually, since they roll over roots and rocks better than 26er's they seem to climb better too.

Cons: The bullet proof frame is on the heavy side, 5.5 lbs. The 29er wheels do add weight, especially the tires, relative to 26er's.

Recommendation: I've got my Monkey geared as an 8 speed (32 in front, 12/28 cassette in back). It's also got White Brothers Magic 29 100mm fork. Most monkey owners like to run theirs rigid (i.e. no suspension). I ran it like that for the first dozen rides, and it was a great XC bike. But, the suspension fork is the way to go in my opinion (especially if you like to blast over rock gardens and larger obstacles). All told, mine weighs in at just under 30 lbs. For the price, this frame is hard to beat.

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Surly Karate Monkey 4.50 out of 5 based on 4 ratings. 4 user reviews.