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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i realize that this isn't precisely the right place to ask, but i thought i'd catch more karate monkey owners this way.

has anyone tried touring on their KM? schwalbe makes a 2.35" kevlar puncture protected slick that would be ideal. mostly my concerns are about frame geometry (comfort) and loaded handling.

can anyone shed some light? i really want to get my bike collection down to minimum. touring is very important to me, but i also need to be able to hit the trails when i'm in one place for very long.
 

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I can't offer any feedback to your questions, but just wanted to share this photo with you. By the looks of the photo, seems to be setup for touring. If anything, it can give you an idea of what a rear rack would look like mounted to the KM.

 

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One thing I would be concerned about is heel clearance running panniers. This may or may not be an issue but it is something to consider.
 

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Harmonius Wrench
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The first Karate Monkets I saw were at FrostBike at the Quality Bicycle Product warehouse in early '03. They were all employee's bikes and they all had panniers mounted on rear racks. Didn't seem to be a problem then.
 

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BB height

Everything should be fine except BB height too much for touring.
ink1373 said:
i realize that this isn't precisely the right place to ask, but i thought i'd catch more karate monkey owners this way.

has anyone tried touring on their KM? schwalbe makes a 2.35" kevlar puncture protected slick that would be ideal. mostly my concerns are about frame geometry (comfort) and loaded handling.

can anyone shed some light? i really want to get my bike collection down to minimum. touring is very important to me, but i also need to be able to hit the trails when i'm in one place for very long.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
i'm not sure how much stock i put into "BB height=stability" theory. i did my last tour on a crosscheck, which has i slightly higher BB than the KM, (i think) and it was fine. plus i run fixed more often than not (even whilst touring) so a high BB is good for my pedal strike phobia.
 

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Your bike sucks
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Been there and done that.... Can't wait to do it again.

I have an Old Man Mountain rear rack on mine w/ Ortlieb BikePackerClassic panniers and I have plenty of heel clearance (175 w/ sz 11). I use mine off-road so I've knocked it around a bunch and the KM's burlyness is an asset in this area. I don't use front racks/panniers so I'm a tad mis-matched w/ just a large Lone Peak handlebar bag. For off-road I'd get a different h-bar bag...Ortlieb or just a simple strap-on one. When I was on the CO trail I had over 50lbs in this setup and the bike held up fine. Still, I'd shoot for a lower total weight. The 29er seems to help w/ the clearance of the panniers in tricky single-track areas too. I've ridden this set-up on the road too and I don't think it's any better or worse than a comparable road specific set-up. I don't know really. Heavy loads = swaying that you may not be used to (but will be eventually) and extra braking. Biggest issue (not for me but a friend of mine) is that the Ortlieb panniers can disengage themselves on the bottom mount and may require a bungee cord to keep them there...not sure if this would happen on the road.

Oh yeah, I like the OMM racks because they mount to the brake bosses and axle and not to the little eyelets. This is a sturdy set-up for off-road. My friend broke an eyelet off at the end of a ride. Again, the rigors of touring off-road.
 

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Caveman
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monkey racks

I have a tubbus cargo 700c rear rack on mine.
Its fine for what I´m doing and the somewhat low volume of the Schwabble XR tires. I think that you would get some tire rub on the rack if you ran bigger knobbies. The rear most support for the rack is a big¨U- bent to the center of the rack and is not just welded to the sides.
Heal clearance is a non-issue since you can mount the panniers as far back as you want. I have size 13 feet.
E
 

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Caveman
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one more thing

That monkey in the photo is using the same tubbus rack, but has it mounted higher due to the disks and Rollof. Intresting setup! Like I said, normally it would not have as much clearance (but your load is better placed and lower)
 

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R I D E S T E E L
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I'd be tempted to do a Surley or Gunnar cross bike. The KM is a cool bike, no question, but a bit of a tank. Depends on your use, but I'd think a cross bike with wider road tires as opposed to a mtn. bike with super wide slicks would be a lot more efficient. Plus, they can be taken off road.

This would be my preference. One other thought would be to spend a little more and get a lighter frame, then use narrower rims that will take a wider road tire, like a 28c or so. Best of luck.
 

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Caveman
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just for conversation

Not to steal this thread.. but something to keep in mind is that 700c parts are very hard to come by in 3rd world countries. Most all the hardened folks who put serious time on their touring rigs use 26in wheels because you can find tires, rims and tubes just about anywhere.
That being said I´m really happy so far using the big wheels this time out, mainly because of the piece of mind that I got some stout wheels and rubber on them.
The weight issue isnt much to think about when you´re carrying a few days of food anyway. Touring bikes can be tanks, beef in the frame is a good thing. Think about the 10lb trailers people pull around.
 

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Harmonius Wrench
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No no! No cross bikes!

one1spede said:
I'd be tempted to do a Surley or Gunnar cross bike. The KM is a cool bike, no question, but a bit of a tank. Depends on your use, but I'd think a cross bike with wider road tires as opposed to a mtn. bike with super wide slicks would be a lot more efficient. Plus, they can be taken off road.

This would be my preference. One other thought would be to spend a little more and get a lighter frame, then use narrower rims that will take a wider road tire, like a 28c or so. Best of luck.
If you're going fully loaded touring, you really don't want a cross bike. It's going to have short chainstays, most likely, and more importantly, the wrong geometry. I have to agree with Bearbait on the 26" wheels for really outta the way places. They also are somewhat better from the standpoint of a stronger wheel, (gasp!) but I am talking about a bike you can't pick up when it's loaded.

Narrow tires are not good either. Pinch flat way easier and usually not very robust. You don't have any options on a fully loaded rig when you see that expansion crack in the road at the last minute. You run right over it! Hopefully, your wheels and tires are up to the task.

Wide rims, 36 spokes, (at least) and beefy tires will never let you down like light weight stuff can. Plan for your load, not for speed. The KM is perfectly suited to touring, and would ride a whole lot better with front and rear panniers loaded to the gills.

Speaking as a veteran of a few over the road, self supported tours. ;)
 

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Touring

For touring you probably want a touring bike.
Cross geometry would be fine if the BB height was lower.
700 tires roll so much better than 26 and I would not choose 26 unless I would go to remote places.
Remember, people have been roaming the globe on 531 butted touring frames for decades.
Choosing the KM is a little bit like choosing a hummer to drive in the US , overkill, (but still fun).
Guitar Ted said:
If you're going fully loaded touring, you really don't want a cross bike. It's going to have short chainstays, most likely, and more importantly, the wrong geometry. I have to agree with Bearbait on the 26" wheels for really outta the way places. They also are somewhat better from the standpoint of a stronger wheel, (gasp!) but I am talking about a bike you can't pick up when it's loaded.

Narrow tires are not good either. Pinch flat way easier and usually not very robust. You don't have any options on a fully loaded rig when you see that expansion crack in the road at the last minute. You run right over it! Hopefully, your wheels and tires are up to the task.

Wide rims, 36 spokes, (at least) and beefy tires will never let you down like light weight stuff can. Plan for your load, not for speed. The KM is perfectly suited to touring, and would ride a whole lot better with front and rear panniers loaded to the gills.

Speaking as a veteran of a few over the road, self supported tours. ;)
 

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Harmonius Wrench
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mvi said:
For touring you probably want a touring bike.
Obviously; however, the original post was questioning the feasibility of touring on a Karate Monkey with an eye on some off roading at times.

Cross geometry would be fine if the BB height was lower.
......But, it's not. Also, generally speaking, cross frames are built with shorter headtubes, which put the handle bars at a much lower level than would be comfortable for long days in the saddle on a fully loaded bike. A more relaxed upper body posistion is generally preferred.

700 tires roll so much better than 26 and I would not choose 26 unless I would go to remote places.
Ever been to Wood, SD. ? Epitome of remote. Most likely you would find at least a department store MTB to buy parts off of in a pinch than you would a 700c bike. That said, yes, I would prefer 700c wheels, but sometimes practicality wins out over preference.

Remember, people have been roaming the globe on 531 butted touring frames for decades.
Choosing the KM is a little bit like choosing a hummer to drive in the US , overkill, (but still fun).
It's not about what you are roaming the globe on, it's about what the people indiginous to the area you are riding in ride. If no one there has a 700c bike, then the likely hood of getting a wheel part specific to that size standard is quite low. Obviously, you could cart around everything you would need to repair your own wheels, and that certainly is a viable option.

Keep in mind that the original poster was eyeing some off road duty for the KM. That's far more than what most people would do with a Hummer. ;)
 

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Caveman
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Right on.

Some examples and food for thought.
I´ve seen folks touring on FSR´s with heavy rear racks which locked out the suspension.. strange.. people tour on just about anything
When I had my bag stolen in Quito I had to have tubes fed-ex down, fat 700c tubes because they dont exist here.
My last big trip was on a 26¨wheels But my rear rim blew out at the end of the southernmost road in Chile. Took 2 weeks and 3 differnet towns to find a 32 hole rim... (another lesson learned)
I´ve never had a cross bike so cant comment on the geometry, but like Guitar Ted said, you need tire beef for the loads. I just cant see a 35c cross tire being able to handle much in terms of crappy dirt roads.

Sorry if this sounds like a bunch of bla all I can say is that is sucks when your rig breaks on a tour because you thought something was strong enough but wasent..

Had a good spin on the unloaded monkey today through the desert outside of Trujillo. My man Lucho was packing heat, seems normal around here.
 
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