Posted by: wasatchprotocol | January 8, 2011

Karate Monkey!

X-mas/B-day combo gift: Surly Karate Monkey 29er rigid singlespeed.

Steph and I are riding quite often now and NC trails lend themselves very well to singlespeeding.  I was eyeing a Vassago Jabberwocky for awhile, but always been interested in a Karate Monkey.  I have a Surly Cross-Check road/cross bike that I love for commuting, so I stuck with Surly.

I ordered the Monkey through Cycletherapy Bikes, a local bike shop in Lewisville, just outside of Winston-Salem.  They’ve had the parts I’ve needed in the past (when other shops didn’t) and the guys there are awesome.  I went in and ordered the bike on Tuesday just before 5 pm.  It was in the shop on Friday and built and ready for me by 5:30 pm.  Best service at a bike shop I’ve ever had.

It rides awesome.  The lack of suspension and sag was a bit weird at first, but it didn’t take long to get used to.  Riding is much more dynamic since you can’t rely on any suspension to make up for your riding.  You have to work with the bike and trail.  I had a blast doing this.  What many seasoned singlespeeders say is true.  “It’s like when you got on your BMX(ish) bike as a kid and just rode and had fun.”  No worrying about shifting gears.  No suspension.  Just you adjusting to the trail.

Only rough spot was when I was climbing up a somewhat steep but short hill.  I was too forward out of the saddle hammering the pedals and hit a big root.  I stopped and “disembarked” over the handlebars.  Saw some stars and may or may not have broken my hand.  It’s on ice now, and hopefully we’ll be back to riding next weekend.


Back from the shop, pedals on. Hard to see here, but I love the slightly bent back handlebars.

Eating Tanglewood Park for breakfast. Well, a late lunch.

Steph finds the good light and makes me look good.

The obligatory "proof that Steph was there too" photo.

Riding a plank.

So far (except for the hand thing) I’m sold.  Got a duathalon race in 4 weeks that hopefully my hand will be better for.  1.5 mile run followed by a 10 mile trail ride.  I think the Monkey will be perfect for it.



  1. […] 2011.03.20 Apparently It’s Spring, So Let’s Ride! It’s been warm lately.  February was rainy and wet, so the trails were muddy.  MTB trail etiquette says that you don’t ride when the trails are muddy (the exception being a scheduled race) because wet riding will destroy the trail, so our riding has unfortunately been a little sporatic.  In addition, I tweaked my left wrist/hand/forearm on a bizarre fall off my bike back in early January while breaking in my Karate Monkey. […]

  2. Hello very nice bike,

    Could you tell me what is your size and what is the KM size because I’m very interested in buying the same bike..


    • I’m 6 feet 2 inches and I’m riding a large Karate Monkey (20″ frame)

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