Wednesday, April 03, 2013

The Monkey Decade: Part 2

Intro: This year marks the tenth year I have been riding 29"ers. It also is my ten year anniversary of owning my Campstove Green Karate Monkey. There will be several posts throughout the coming months about my story with my KM and what is going to be happening to it now. Here's the  second post....(see the first installment here)

By Late 2005 the KM was a drop bar bike
 The Original Build: 

The KM's original build was a hodge-podge of new and used parts which I had to  employ in order to keep the cost down. I built my own wheels for the bike and used an Alex TD-17 rim laced to Paul single speed disc hubs. The brakes were the, (then), new Avid BB-7's. Tires were not all that easy to choose circa 2003, since there weren't but a handful to choose from. You had IRC and Kenda which each produced one model a piece. (Both discontinued now) You had WTB, of course, with the Nanoraptor, and a new tire called the Motoraptor. You know.......I think that was it! There may have been one other tire at the time, but I can not remember. I went with the Motos. Tubes were rare as hen's teeth, so I used 700 X 44mm Presta valve tubes, which back in '03 were actually twice the size that they are now. They worked perfectly. I used a Cook Brothers crank, a 177.5mm length one, and a "Big Cheese" chain wheel from QBP which was a 37T. I used a 20T ACS Claws rear freewheel. Probably some old Sachs chain that I had laying around as well. The original stem was a puke orange Control Tech aluminum one that held a Bontarger Crow Bar handle bar. The ones with the welded in cross brace. Those went by the wayside pretty quickly for a Bontarger 118 titanium bar. Grips were proabaly some Kraton take offs, as I recall. The brake levers were vintage Avid SD-1's in red ano. The brake housings were silver Nokon.

That set up lasted for two years until I had read a bunch of stuff about early mountain bike drop bars and decided to give that a try. In the Summer of 2005 I switched to drop bars on the Karate Monkey, and it's been that way since with the exception of a very brief stint in 2008.

By early 2006 I had acquired my second 29"er, an On One Inbred. This slotted the KM into gravel grinder duty. I rode thousands of miles on the KM on gravel roads. This allowed me to refine the set up on that bike to the "nth" degree. A few stem changes and bar changes, but that bike was, and still is, about as dialed in as a single speed gravel rig as it gets. Subsequently, my greatest memories of this bike are from gravel rides.

Next Time: The Memorable Rides

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