Surly Karate Monkey 29er Hardtail

DESCRIPTION

Surly dealers are prohibited from shipping complete bikesToThefollowingcountries: Canada, Australia,The UK, Japan, Germany,The Netherlands,France,Finland, New Zealand,The Philippines, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland,Taiwan, and Italy. If you are in one ofThese countries, please provide analternativeshipping address at checkout. Surly bikes deliver bulletproof, reliable performance year after year.TheyveTakenTheir versatile 29er Karate Monkey frame and outfitted it with a careful selection of parts

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 75  
[Jul 13, 2016]
Brent
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Great hadling, durable, affordable and versatile.

Weakness:

Getting a bit more expensive these days, hard to find.

Great bike. Updated for 2015 with a 44mm headtube if you run a tapered fork. Multiple dropouts available. I have mine set up singlespeed with the rigid fork. 23.8 Pounds. Its snappy and fun. If you dont require a custom frame size its as good as anything youll find. I bash mine, its very strong. One of the best frames out there. I am 6 feet tall on a large.

Similar Products Used:

Too many

[Jul 21, 2015]
l'oiseau
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

Comfortable, responsive, climbing traction, versatility

Weakness:

Price, paint, weight

It's not the lightest, but it sure rides nice. It's really the first 29in MTB I've owned. I've owned a couple 29in bikes, but they were not true MTBs. That said I like the way it rides and feels, but it's different offroad than a 26er. Mine is currently set up as a light duty MTB. It has gears, 100mm front suspension but narrow, fast rolling tires.

On the road it's great. It's comfortable and I can ride for a long time without getting too saddle sore. Medium frame fits me like a glove.

On the trail, it's wicked fun too, but the narrow tires I'm using hold it back a little bit. I need to some 2.4 or larger tires to get some more ground clearance and grip. Handling is awesome on smooth, rolling terrain... I can stay in or near the saddle and blast through corners. It does real well on slow, technical trails as well... but more tire would be nice.

The bike climbs great, better than a 26er but I have trouble in slow, tight turning sections, even with a medium frame. I feel like the it's more a fault of 29in wheels and not the geometry. Put it this way, I feel better in that stuff on a well designed 26er.

Going down is fine - rolls over stuff great, chassis feels solid and nimble. Never feel like I'm compromised and going to go OTB even with a relatively long, XC style stem.

The paint (or powdercoat) mars pretty easily, but whatever, it's a bike... it's gonna get beat. Price is a little high for what it is... I mean it's just a basic steel mountain bike - they've been around for years. This one just happens to use 29in wheels and have a pretty nice layout. Weight is what it is... I've ridden lighter steel bikes, and heavier ones. I didn't weigh mine, but I can feel that it's no feather. I don't notice it when I'm actually riding the bike.

[May 24, 2014]
Doug2456

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Bomb proof, great handeling, good price.

Weakness:

None.

Love the bike. Has no problem ripping up the trails. I have had some hard crashes and no problems. I have since made this bike a custom build but stock is great.

[Mar 14, 2014]
Garth Adkins
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Great bike out the door. Simple SS, still getting used to that. Point and you go. No energy loss on take off.

Weakness:

No gears.

Over all fun. Cool blue color. Product is as advertised.

Similar Products Used:

Specialized rock hopper, front suspension

[Feb 11, 2014]
Forest

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

A versatile, fun, strong, no-nonsense bike that is a pure joy to ride. It is truly a "Frankenstein" bike...configure it however you want.

Weakness:

The WTB rims and a few other components (stem, seat post) are cheap and heavy...but what do you expect for the price?

This is my first single-speed MTB and I must say, I have seen the light. I feel like a kid again every time I throw my leg over it. Just get on and shred. This bike has made me a better, stronger, and more aggressive rider. As mentioned above, the WTB rims are junk and the stem and seatpost are cheap and heavy. The cable actuated BB7's are much better than I thought they were going to be.

The bike climbs very well, but is not the best of descenders due to its XC-oriented head tube angle (72 degrees). I never loose traction on the hills, even out of the seat (which happens a lot with a SS). For a 29er, I feel it is very agile in the twisties.

If you are thinking about trying a single-speed, this is your bike. If it ain't for you, just gear it up, put racks on it, fenders, whatever. I love this bike.

[Dec 28, 2012]
BruceBrown
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

This review is for the 2012 Stretchpants Black size XL Surly Karate Monkey frame. Cost effective frame price for everything from entry level to a full out, tricked out bike that will take how every many $$$$ you can throw at it. The geometry with the short wheel base (when the wheel is run forward) makes this a bench mark fun bike to own and ride. A simple, fun, classic frame to own and ride.

Weakness:

Surly took care of most of the weaknesses I had with the 1st generation bike. Rear disc brake mount has been updated to make rear wheel removal and installation simple. Head tube was too short on the size XL in prior generation, and it has been improved to 125mm with this version. So I can't really pick out a weakness with this new model since I am comparing it to prior generations. Visually, perhaps I'm not a huge fan of the housing routing being underneath the TT - but that's a cosmetic visual preference of mine. An opinion, not a weakness.

I bought this frame after 9 1/2 years on the 1st generation Karate Monkey (which I obviously loved since I kept it and rode it for so long). This new model is for SS riding only and I didn't need all the configuration options anymore (cantilever brake bosses, etc...). You can see my build here: http://forums.mtbr.com/9985212-post627.html

I have not tried the new KM rigid fork as I wanted suspension, so am using a 100mm REBA Race fork with a bar mounted lockout lever, Industry Nine Enduro 29"er wheels with a Gusset SS conversion kit, BB7 160mm front/140mm rear rotors, an old set of Race Face cranks with a titanium SS ring, and nice cushion of Racing Ralph 2.4's front and rear being run tubeless. I love the cushion with the suspension fork and big meat tires coupled with the steel frame that makes this HT bike actually quite comfortable for me. I can't wait to get another 10 years out of this frame like I did my first one.

Similar Products Used:

2002-03 Surly Karate Monkey frame (used it for 9 1/2 years)

[Sep 30, 2012]
ariel dekel
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

So durable it just survived falling from a roof rack on 90 kph without a skratch!!!.
Geometry feels like it was tailor made just for me, puts a smile on my face evry ride.

Weakness:

After 4 years of rides i can't find a single 0ne but im not a wight whiny and less then 14k do it all bike is unbeatable deal.

Ive riden the monkey ridgid the first 3 years including 3days desert ride . Last year i put a manitou tower 100mm on it & now i ride a bit faster :-)
The bike rides like a 26er just with much more fun factor taht words cant express , it jumps just the same, corners beter & rolls on everything much easyer without me wanting to go slower.
If you are an allarounder biker who's not a big drops fun & want to ride anywhere and any time, you should buy the monkey, smile is guaranteed.

Similar Products Used:

Few xc 26er, ht & fs no more then 5 inch of travle.

[Sep 08, 2012]
Brennan
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Steel yet light, Affordable

Weakness:

Haven't found any yet besides a worn chain but I bought it used so what do you expect.

This is my first 29er and my first single speed. I read soo many comments and reviews and was still torn on if I would like it or not. I love it! most fun I've had on a mountain bike. its nimble, it holds momentum and its definantly making me a better rider. Although mine is upgraded with Carbon Black ops front fork, Chris King head set, some kind of light handle bars, etc I still think if it was stock it would be just as good. Do yourself a favor and BUY ONE

Similar Products Used:

Diamond back response, trek 6500

[Jul 25, 2012]
Justin Twelftree

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
3
Strength:

Price. I was looking for steel commuting frame and this looked ideal. Feels lovely and solid. Novelty rarety (in UK at least) - only ever see one other. This frame has given me 3 years (15,000miles) of trouble free all weather commuting on widish road tyres and handbuilt 700c/29er wheels. Handy for any impromptu light off road bits i come across. Nice touch of having canti & disc brake mountings. Rigid forks are super solid.

Weakness:

Weight perhaps but it is a cheap steel mtn bike frame so cannot complain. Does not entirely give the famed steel springy ride. Paint fades & look scabby pretty quickly, plus skate park graffiti graphics are pointless unless target market is 14 year olds. Bottom bracket cable routing on a mtn bike? Please please please!!! Do you have proper mud in your neck of the woods? Frame has cracked at bottom bracket shell/chain stay/seat tube interface, which quiet frankly after 3 years road commuting for a frame that is allegedly designed to be used off road is appalling and smacks of poor manufacturing processes. I had 2 Surly crosschecks in 9 months that had identical issues, both replaced under warranty. Will not go near such badly made frames again.

A great cheap frame for those on a budget and looking for a (currently) non main stream brand. Steel is easily repairable anywhere in the world which given my Surly experiences is a good thing. Ideal to put skinny road tyres on and commute like the wind.

[Jul 01, 2012]
mtbinflorida
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

This bike handles great. This size 18" 29er is a shorter wheelbase than my 26er and the KM goes through singletrack like butter. Running rigid, the bike moves well. Converted the 160 front disc to 180, swapped out grips, converted to tubeless and dropped the air pressure and the ride is smooth. No front shock for now. Heading to New River Gorge, WV to try the new Arrowhead trails (thank you Boy Scouts for helping with the trail construction). Singletrack heaven they say. Adding a Dos Eno 17/19 in back and 32/34 front. Leaving the cranks because they are pretty stiff. Laser disc wheelset is nice.

Weakness:

The frame alone was on back order for two months so I bought the package bike. Rode good out of the box, but the above changes really brought her to life. The 17 degree sweep in the handle bars bring them back just a little too far for me (I am 6.0) so I have some H-bars on the way. Disc only this year.

Really having fun riding this bike. The weight is just under 26. Great handling. Will report after West Virginia. Should have everything fine tuned after that. Maybe not a race bike, but so much fun, who cares. Steel rides great.

Similar Products Used:

Canondale f1000, Trek Fuel ex8,

MTBR Newsletter

Get the latest mountain bike reviews, news, race results, and much more by signing up for the MTBR Newsletter

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.