I was just thinking a bit more about the single speed 29"er availability versus the geared only frame availability and I realized that I had forgotten something. The geared only bikes are just around the corner. As in, there are a bunch of them coming out in '07.
The following bikes came to mind that will be seen in local bike shops soon: Caffeine 29"er from Cannondale, the Raleigh XXIX+G, the Haro Mary XC ( which should be out already), Jamis' new hardtail, Kona's geared hardtail comes back for a second year, and even a Canadian bike from Norco.
Not to mention the several "boutique" brands such as Titus, Badger Dorothy, and even Salsa's El Mariachi will be available as a complete bike, albeit it does have an eccentric bottom bracket for single speed conversion. As does Fisher's new Ferrous, which should be available sometime soon.
I just wanted to mention this, as I didn't want to give the impression that there weren't any geared hardtails available. That used to be the case, but it should be rectified soon.
Finally, I wanted to address something that was brought up during a discussion the other day. The Karate Monkee. Someone suggested that it be updated, when I think what they really wanted to see was a totally new bike from Surly. Why do I say that? Because most folks don't get it when it comes to the Karate Monkee.
How soon we all forget! Take yourself back to 2002. Now, name all the 29"ers available to the public. Sound rediculous? I bet if you think about it, you could do it, and you wouldn't even use up all of your digits counting. There wasn't much of anything available to the public beyond customs and Fishers. Then the Karate Monkee came. Okay, if you wanted maximum selling potential in 2003, you would be smart to do a "do-it-all" frame. SS, geared, suspended, or not. Commuter, off road, or touring. The Karate Monkee can, and has, done them all.
So, now things are different, why not change it now? Because the Karate Monkee is a standard. It's a benchmark that other 29"ers are still measured by. Also, it still is arguably the best "do-it-all" production 29"er frameset out there.
I know it's probably too soon to nominate for 29"er Hall of Fame bikes, but I vote for the Karate Monkee, which by the way, is still the coolest name for a bicycle ever!
Okay, that's my random thoughts for today. Don't forget! Trans Iowa Registration is open now until December 15th! Get your postcards in before the deadline!