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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I built up an 18" (medium) Karate Monkey about a month ago, and I've got about 6 rides on it. This is my first 29'er. On a 26" bike I am usually in between 17" and 19" (meduim and large) frames, depending on the top tube length. So the 18" KM seemed like a no brainer, and all the geometry specs seemed spot on for me.

Once I built it up, however, it is a little too big. First of all, it is 18" to the top tube, not the seat post collar. I did not realize anyone measured mountain bike frames that way. It's almost 20" to the top of the seat tube, and I have zero standover clearance. Plus I had to go with a 50mm stem with no spacers to achive the feel I wanted. I was not expecting this. My Zion ss has a top tube 15mm shorter than the KM with a 105mm stem, so I figured I'd need a 90mm stem for the KM.

Is this sizing problem I am having a Karate Monkey issue, or is this a difference between 26" and 29" bikes?

I guess I will switch to a 16" frame (small) which seems odd as I have never ridden a bike that small. I have considered looking at some of my other candidate bikes (such as the Qball) now that I know I like the 29'er thing for ss, but I am not too confident in my ability to pick the right size. In 26" bikes I have always known how the bike would fitl by looking at the numbers.
 

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Angry bunny
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markf said:
generally with 29ers you have to get the next size down from what you normally get, as the larger tires make everything a little taller. i usually ride 21 inch mtn bikes, and i take a 19 in most 29ers.
Not sure I agree with that at all.
My El Comandante is a 22" and my Zion is a 20".
Both have 24.5" TT's (or close enough).
My previous 1x1 was also a 20" frame. If anything my 29ers are bigger than my previous bikes.
Sounds like the method that Surly to measure the ST on the KM is what has thrown you.
FWIW I am 6'3" tall and have a 34.5" inseam.
 

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TR said:
Not sure I agree with that at all.
My El Comandante is a 22" and my Zion is a 20".
Both have 24.5" TT's (or close enough).
My previous 1x1 was also a 20" frame. If anything my 29ers are bigger than my previous bikes.
Sounds like the method that Surly to measure the ST on the KM is what has thrown you.
FWIW I am 6'3" tall and have a 34.5" inseam.
i guess that's what i meant. different manufacturers measure differently sometimes. Surly (i think) measures the physical ST but because of the 29, it fits more like the next size up. if you follow me.
 

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Angry bunny
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markf said:
i guess that's what i meant. different manufacturers measure differently sometimes. Surly (i think) measures the physical ST but because of the 29, it fits more like the next size up. if you follow me.
Yes but what I am saying is that I am riding a bigger or same sized bike.
Cannot remember what ST measurement my Superlight had but I know it was a XL (I think that they have changed the ST and TT lengths now) My NRS was a 20.5" and my 1x1 had a 24" TT.
 

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To really answer your question, yes it is a Karate Monkey "problem". My other 29ers (GF Rig, Paragon and soon to be born Badger) and all the 26" bikes I have ever owned are 17.5 to 18" bikes, with 23.5 or so top tube length.
The Monkey I had to go with to be comfortable on stand over was the 16". I just had to re-adjust some things differently, mostly being stem length and rise.

Seems most 29ers do have a more sloping tt than the 26" equivalent, excepting the Karate Monkey!
 

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MTB Rider
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The Monkey has a relatively high top tube and long effective top tube. Top tube measures are really more important than seat tube measurements as you can adjust the height of the seat.

I'm 6'3" riding a 2006 22" (XL) Monkey with an effective 35" inseam. I've got about 2-3" of top tube clearence. I believe that Surly has dropped the top tube/seat junction a little on the 2007 Karate Monkeys.

The original poster may be used to riding bikes with dropped/shorter top tubes. I was riding XXL in a Giant, but it was a recreational level bike with a shorter top tube.

BTW, everyone always comments that my Monkey is the largest mountain bike they've ever seen!!!
 

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I live to bike
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KM doesn't have much slope to the top tube, like the Juice, so with the bigger wheels, there will be less standover. Standover is often much overrated--what is important is top tube length. If you are not liking the handling of the KM with such a short stem, and want to go with a longer stem, you may need to go with the size small. but if it is just standover,and the top tube length is right, and the handling with the short stem is good, you already have the correct size.
 

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I ride a 17" frame on a 26" wheel bike (FS) or 18 on a rigid frame... My Raliegh XXIX is an 18" frame and seems to fit me well. While 29'ers have larger wheels, the BB sits lower in relationship to the wheel axles, and the standover for most should be pretty much equivalent. That lower "effective" BB/axle position seems to help in the stability arena on the big wheel bikes when you are standing on the pedals in rough stuff...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
(Tom) said:
I'm your height and I felt the same way about the medium KM I had - but there's no way I'd want to ride a small because of the toe overlap.
Is the toe clearance really that much less on a small KM? I've got room to spare on the med.
 

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Always Learning
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Jwiffle said:
KM doesn't have much slope to the top tube, like the Juice, so with the bigger wheels, there will be less standover. Standover is often much overrated--what is important is top tube length. If you are not liking the handling of the KM with such a short stem, and want to go with a longer stem, you may need to go with the size small. but if it is just standover,and the top tube length is right, and the handling with the short stem is good, you already have the correct size.
Or a guy could get one of those "fad and chic" looking frames with a drastically steep angled top tube and then run a gazillion millimeter seatpost to get high enough for proper leg extension on the bike.:madman: Plenty of room to display one's ballz in that type of bike frame.:p

BB
 

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My monkey

Hey, I'm 5'10" and my medium monkey fits me perfectly. I run a short stem but I have always liked short stems. I have never had a problem with the lack of stand over height. I can probably lift the front tire an inch or two if I'm standing.

I prefer the aesthetics of the old fashioned relatively level top tube. I can understand the fear of mashing the nuts but I can't think of how that would happen. Can someone say exactly why it's better to have a few inches of stand over?
 

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BruceBrown said:
Or a guy could get one of those "fad and chic" looking frames with a drastically steep angled top tube and then run a gazillion millimeter seatpost to get high enough for proper leg extension on the bike.:madman: Plenty of room to display one's ballz in that type of bike frame.:p

BB
There's a point to tha, especially for bigger hit bikes. That type of design gives you lots of room to work the bike around underneath you, particularly in the air and in highly technical situations. I rather like bikes like theat for certain uses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hardtails Are Better said:
It all depends on the TT. If the small's TT is 1" shorter (I'm making #s up, just to make that clear) there will be 1" less toe clearance. Makes sense if you think about it.
But the head angle is slacker on the small.

However, you got me thinking while looking at the Surly site at the specs and I realized all I need to do is look at the difference in wheelbase length, sinse that takes the head angle into acount. The CS length is the same, so the difference must be between the bb and front axle. I looks about .8" shorter. I'll go measure my clearance.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Traktor said:
Hey, I'm 5'10" and my medium monkey fits me perfectly. I run a short stem but I have always liked short stems. I have never had a problem with the lack of stand over height. I can probably lift the front tire an inch or two if I'm standing.

I prefer the aesthetics of the old fashioned relatively level top tube. I can understand the fear of mashing the nuts but I can't think of how that would happen. Can someone say exactly why it's better to have a few inches of stand over?
I am guessing that although you are the same hieght, you have longer legs. I have short legs for my hieght.

I don't have anything against a short stem, but I usually do that to get a short cockpit for tech riding. The problem I have is that I need a really short stem just to get a comfortable all around xc feel. It feels like my front wheel is too far ahead of me. Too long of a wheelbase for the moves I like to pull in techy situations. I have never been one who needs a long wheelbase or tt to avoid endos.

As far as the standover, it's not a dealbreaker in itself, but I does make the bike less agile in some situations. It is harder to lean over with too high a tt. Plus, when I blow a big log crossing (or any move that ends in my falling off the downhill side of the bike) a high tt makes a safe "dismount" a bit more challenging.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
BruceBrown said:
Or a guy could get one of those "fad and chic" looking frames with a drastically steep angled top tube and then run a gazillion millimeter seatpost to get high enough for proper leg extension on the bike.:madman: Plenty of room to display one's ballz in that type of bike frame.:p

BB
The think is, those frames are perfect for guys like me (short legs). It may be why I don't get another KM.
 
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