Tuesday, May 09, 2023

20 Years Of Monkeying Around: The KM Today

The Karate Monkey in the Fall of 2005 in the Green Belt.
Yesterday I wrote about my realization that I had been riding the Karate Monkey I have for 20 years now. I went over the backstory of the bike's development and importance in cycling history. I pointed out some mile stones I have set with this bike personally. 

But I haven't shown you the bike as it sits today. It's quite a different look for the ol' Karate Monkey than what I have generally had for most of those two decades. 

Most of that time the bike was set up as a drop bar 29"er. You can see from the first image here today that this was the case. That image is from 2005! It didn't last long as a flat bar set up, although that is how it was set up to start out with. I did a little digging and I found where I switched it over to a drop bar set up on my blog. That would have been early August of 2005. 

So, who cares? Well, as of last week the Karate Monkey has gone back to a flat bar set up, but not just any flat bar. No! This one is odd, new, and I am going to be reviewing it. I won't say much today about this component combo you are about to see, but that will all come out in due time. Anyway, here it is as it sits today.

Back to flat bars. These bars and rack are from Velo Orange.

The bike has always been a single speed. I once had it set up with 177.5mm Cooks brothers cranks, (which are in a bin somewhere around here) and now I have it set up with 180mm White Industries cranks. The chain ring and rear cog are both from a cottage industry concern that was called Homebrew Components. The guy that was running that company was working out of his home and selling these single speed specific bits on mtbr.com. I'm pretty sure that was a long time ago and is no longer a thing anymore. In fact, those bits and the crank set were originally on my first Singular Cycles Gryphon. 

The Brooks saddle is courtesy of a blog reader here, (thanks again!) and the linear pull brakes are just some generic ones being pulled by some really old Avid brake levers. Fyxation pedals, the Mesa MP's, are on here and those tires are some GEAX Saguaro wire bead tires that were given to me and yes- those are white sidewalls. Well, they used to be white! They are turning a creamy color now after about ten years. I probably will replace those soon. 

The Revelate rear bag is something I got recently from a friend. I've never used one before but it is a very nice bag and well thought out. Like most Revelate stuff is, so no big surprise there. I added a Jerry Can, also a Revelate bag, just the other day which is not shown here. A Ritchey seat post there, a Dimension stem, (which may get swapped out for a bit longer, lower one), and notice that turquoise blue anodized head set? That's a 1990's era Race Face head set that has been in this bike since day one. In fact, I bought that head set originally and had it in an old mountain bike I rode back in the day. 

One purple Velocity Bottle Trap and a rare Velocity cage from when they made stuff in Australia in purple as well. (Thanks Adam for that!) The wheels are XTR hubbed, Salsa Delgado Cross wheels laced by a local wrench and purchased years ago from Mike, a Trans Iowa finisher and former volunteer. 

More about the handle bar and rack set up tomorrow.

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