Thursday, December 15, 2022

Bikes Of 2022: Karate Monkey

It's the end of the year and time to review what's up with the bikes I used over the course of 2022. You'll get a brief overview, any changes made, and what the future has in store for each bike listed. Enjoy!

The 2003 Campstove Green Karate Monkey has been a fixture on this blog since the beginning.  It was my first 29 inch wheeled bike.It was my first "big-wheeled" drop bar bike. It was my first "gravel grinder". I did my longest ride ever on it. It has always been a single speed. 

I'll probably never get rid of this bike. Like anything one uses for years and becomes a trusted tool, you have your moments when you are maybe thinking something else would work better for the job. An idea that pops up that seems, somehow, 'better'. Yet that old tool just seems to fit to hand so well that you cannot retire it to the back end of the shop, nor sell it off to make room for the "Next Shiny Thing", whatever that may be. 

And the Karate Monkey is 'that bike' for me. It is somehow a classic bike that just seems to have its place amongst my other bicycles. Yes- it is not perfect, but its flaws are somehow not that big of a deal. 

It's one of the single speed gravel grinder bikes nowadays.

So, the future for this bike looks to be one of commuting and single speed gravel adventures. Since I converted over the Standard Rando to gears, this and the Pofahl, (post upcoming) are going to fulfill that single speed gravel bike role for me again. 

I don't foresee any big changes here unless that would be in tires. I'm not really digging those old Saguaros. I'd really like to put some skin wall tires on this bike and I have a set of Maxxis something or another that I just need to slip on here. And no- these are not tubeless. I'm using tubes in there! Those old Delgado Cross rims are not really tubeless compatible anyway. 

Look for more "Bikes of 2022" coming soon!


DT said...

Hopefully we'll be able to find replacement rim brake rims for a long time to come!

Guitar Ted said...

@DT - Yeah, agreed! I would only add "good quality" to that statement of yours.

teamdarb said...

I get away with using disk rims and thin line rim brake pads. Just do not expect tubeless to work with this combination. The heat generated will loosen the seal.

Visually, it look like the tube set used then was smaller diameter or the newer frame is externally butted?

Guitar Ted said...

@teamdarb - Yeah, the old QBP steel products had skinnier, livelier feeling tubing. Sometime after 2007 and by 2012, they had switched to a heavier, stiffer, larger diameter tubing that is not as nice to ride. Factor in many geometry changes, which may or may not work for you, and this old KM is really an oddball bike these days.

I am glad I have it though. Nothing they make now is of any interest to me since they effectively killed the ride quality which this bike has over the newer stuff.