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Who turned out the lights
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's a few pics of the bike fully built. I got a chance to ride it Saturday, and even though it is way too small for me, I felt incredibly fast on it. My torso is a good bit longer than Rob's, so I was cramped in the cockpit, but our inseams aren't too far apart, so the pedal to seat wasn't too bad.

This bike is FAST. I must apologize to the boys at Surly, but I don't even want to look at my Karate Monkey after having ridden Rob's bike. I'm sorry, but the KM is a fat, lethargic sponge of a bike compared to Rob's. Paul really did a spectacular job on his frame spec and build on that bike. I felt less trail chatter from the Lobster than on my Monkey, and when I put the pedal down, that damn bike just went.

We were both running the same gear (34x18), which was a bit taller than I wanted, but it worked for the chain I had on the Monkey, and I hadn't had a chance to put a new chain on it to gain that extra link needed for the 20tooth. We did two laps at Kill Creek (Hank - the "easy" trail) on our own bikes, and then we switched pedals and I rode the Lobster and he rode my KM. I had been dragging ass behind Rob for the first two laps because I just could not get going. As soon as I got on Rob's bike, I realized why. There is something about a custom frame spec and a high quality build that just can't be beat. Absolutely perfect feel, even if it didn't fit me right.

Here's a couple of pics with the bike fully built. And Rob and I talked about the tire clearance. Rob said that he specifically asked Paul to build it with this tight clearance. He doesn't intend to ride any bigger tires on it (and it really doesn't need 'em). Paul said he could get more clearance on it, but Rob didn't want it (I just didn't want anyone to think that the build was related to limitations on Paul's part - it's a perfect build).

Revision: My pics are too big (wrong camera setting). I'll get them reduced and posted later this week....
 

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www.badgercycles.com
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309 Posts
I can just touch my toe to the tire. I did it two or three times the first hour on it and I havent touched it since. I will have to measure the wheelbase put it looked to be 3 to 4 " shorter than Todd's (Francis) KM.
 

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Kill your... television
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924 Posts
Maybe..

it accelerates so fast because of a better wheelset. Do you have the same wheelset on your Monkey as your buddy does on his RL? Wheels effect acceleration much more than the frameset does.
 

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Who turned out the lights
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't have quite as good of a wheelset on the Monkey currently (Bontrager Race 29 vs. his king/ Mustang), but the Race wheelset isn't crap. And my primary wheelset for geared riding (WTB Laser Disc Lite to Delgado's on straight-gauge spokes) didn't feel anywhere as good on the KM as Rob's bike felt.

I strongly feel that the ride (and resulting acceleration) is largely the result of a very smart tubing choice by a veteran frame builder. At less than $1100 for a full custom frame and fork, I think it's well worth just more than twice the cost of a KM to go custom. Honestly, there is no comparison. it's just extremely vertically compliant, while still very laterally rigid. It's just a perfect build.

On a side note: Rob (owner of the bike) is a former Cat 1 roadie who has actually beaten Lance in a road race in Texas (in the early 90's), who has owned numerous custom frames (sorry to out you Rob). Even he could not stop with his incessant banter about how much he loves this bike.
 

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Kill your... television
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924 Posts
c'mon man

Just tell me it is the wheels... Otherwise I will keep on jonesing on this beautiful bike and want one really badly. Please... My KM has to last me a bit longer. I have only had it like 2 months.

Francis said:
I don't have quite as good of a wheelset on the Monkey currently (Bontrager Race 29 vs. his king/ Mustang), but the Race wheelset isn't crap. And my primary wheelset for geared riding (WTB Laser Disc Lite to Delgado's on straight-gauge spokes) didn't feel anywhere as good on the KM as Rob's bike felt.

I strongly feel that the ride (and resulting acceleration) is largely the result of a very smart tubing choice by a veteran frame builder. At less than $1100 for a full custom frame and fork, I think it's well worth just more than twice the cost of a KM to go custom. Honestly, there is no comparison. it's just extremely vertically compliant, while still very laterally rigid. It's just a perfect build.

On a side note: Rob (owner of the bike) is a former Cat 1 roadie who has actually beaten Lance in a road race in Texas (in the early 90's), who has owned numerous custom frames (sorry to out you Rob). Even he could not stop with his incessant banter about how much he loves this bike.
 

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Who turned out the lights
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1,127 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I can tell you......

...anything you want to hear, but I have a feeling it's about 90% frame and 10% wheel. Even Rob doen't think it's all in the wheel. I guess that's what comes out of 27 years of frame building. My advice: start putting your spare change in a jar, and hiding money under your bed, because the difference between Rob's RL and my KM is night and day. Hate to disappoint. My check went off to Paul on Monday.

motoman711 said:
Just tell me it is the wheels... Otherwise I will keep on jonesing on this beautiful bike and want one really badly. Please... My KM has to last me a bit longer. I have only had it like 2 months.
 
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