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Surly Karate Monkey Rigid – Organic Eggplant

$1,848.99$2,299.99

Free shipping on bicycles priced over $1500 (within the lower 48).

See LG Make-It-Mine version notes below

*Also Available in Fool’s Gold

Unleash your trail demon with the Surly Karate Monkey Rigid, a fortress of durability with a full-rigid steel frame that’s tough as nails. Whether you’re conquering steep climbs, navigating technical descents, or getting lost in the backcountry, this bike is your ticket to legendary off-grid adventures. Picture cruising down the Kokopelli Trail or exploring the singletracks of Pisgah Forest with friends, then sharing those tales around campfires for years to come. This bike ensures a ride quality that’ll leave you grinning from ear to ear.


Overview

LG Make-It-Mine version include these upgrades
(Discounted price is another $300 off these built in discounts)

  • Tubeless Setup $50
  • Hold Fast Premium Insert Compatible Valves, Pair – Turquoise $7
  • 2 x Teravail Coronado – 27.5″ X 3.0″ – Tan Supple $119.99
  • PNW Coast Suspension Dropper Post – Internal 30.9/120mm $151.19
  • Jagwire Sport Derailleur Housing – Celeste $10.99
  • PNW Loam Lever – 22.2 Seafoam Teal $68.99
  • Jagwire Pro Compressionless Brake Housing – White $14.99
  • Jagwire Sport Derailleur Housing – Celeste $14.99
  • Wolf Tooth Anodized Color Kit – Gold $27.96
  • Brooks Cambium C17 $95.99
  • PNW Loam Grips – Seafoam Teal $19.19
  • RaceFace Chester Platform Pedals – Turquoise $53.99

*Also Available in Fool’s Gold

Unleash your inner trail demon with the Surly Karate Monkey Rigid. This bike is a fortress of durability, built around a full-rigid steel frame, that is tough as nails and ready to party over hill and dale.  The frame, a pioneer in sparking the 29″ wheel movement, now accommodates 27.5+ rigs just as seamlessly. So while you’re suffering steep climbs,  tackling technical descents and generally getting lost in the backcountry, this bike ensures a ride quality that’ll leave you grinning from ear to ear.

The Surly Karate Monkey Rigid is your ticket to off-grid adventures that you’ll recount around campfires for years to come. Picture riding with your friends, cruising down the Kokopelli Trail or navigating the labyrinthine singletracks of the Pisgah Forest. Its robust steel frame can bear the brunt of your camping gear without flinching on rugged bikepacking routes like the Colorado Trail or the Arizona Trail. This bike is the stuff of legends.

Geometry & Ride Characteristics

CAD of MD Surly Karate Monkey Rigid (Use BikeInsights.com to compare/contrast bicycle geometries)

The geometry of the Surly Karate Monkey Rigid is designed to offer a versatile riding experience. Its head tube angle is moderately slack, making it both responsive and steady on a variety of terrains. The reach and stack are thoughtfully configured to offer a riding posture that is both comfortable and engaging. The wheelbase is elongated for added stability, while the bottom bracket is positioned to lower the center of gravity, enhancing the bike’s overall handling.

Riding the Surly Karate Monkey Rigid feels like a harmonious blend of comfort and performance. The stable yet agile nature of its geometry allows for quick turns and efficient climbing. The reach and stack dimensions offer a relaxed yet alert riding posture, making it equally suitable for long-distance trails and quick sprints. The elongated wheelbase adds a layer of confidence to the bike’s handling, especially on descents and during high-speed sections.

  • Head Tube Angle: The Surly Karate Monkey Rigid features a head tube angle that provides a balanced blend of agility and stability. This is in contrast to more aggressive mountain bikes, which might have steeper angles for quick responsiveness.
  • Bottom Bracket Drop: The bike has a consistent bottom bracket drop, which lowers the center of gravity and enhances stability. This is unlike cyclocross bikes that might have a higher bottom bracket for obstacle clearance.
  • Wheelbase: The Karate Monkey Rigid has a wheelbase that offers added stability, especially at high speeds. This is longer than many aggressive mountain bikes.
  • Reach and Stack: The bike offers a range of reach and stack, providing a comfortable yet responsive riding posture. This is in contrast to endurance bikes, which might have elongated top tubes.
  • Uniform Chainstay Length: The bike features a consistent chainstay length across all sizes, ensuring predictable handling. This is slightly longer than some performance-oriented mountain bikes.
  • Seat Tube Angle: The seat tube angle offers an optimal pedaling position. Unlike aggressive race bikes with steeper angles, this leans towards a balance of performance and comfort.
  • Standover Height: The standover height varies depending on the size, allowing riders of different heights to comfortably straddle the bike. This is crucial for stop-and-go situations.
  • Tire Clearance: The frame can accommodate a range of tire sizes, offering flexibility in ride feel and terrain adaptability. This is unlike specialized bikes that are limited to specific tire sizes.

vs. the Surly Karate Monkey SUS

The Surly Karate Monkey SUS, is a more premium version of the Surly Karate Monkey Rigid and has a suspension fork, While both models share a similar frame, the other primary differences lie in the componentry as follows:

  • Fork:
    • Karate Monkey Rigid: 100% Surly Chromoly Steel.
    • Karate Monkey SUS: RockShox 35 Gold RL with 140mm travel.
  • Brakes:
    • Karate Monkey Rigid: SRAM Avid BB5 Mechanical.
    • Karate Monkey SUS: Tektro Gemini HD-M520.
  • Shifter:
    • Karate Monkey Rigid: Shimano Deore 12-spd.
    • Karate Monkey SUS: Shimano Deore XT, 12-spd.
  • Stem:
    • Karate Monkey Rigid: Kalloy 31.8.
    • Karate Monkey SUS: ProMax 31.8.
  • Saddle:
    • Karate Monkey Rigid: Selle Italia.
    • Karate Monkey SUS: WTB Volt.
  • Seatpost:
    • Karate Monkey Rigid: Kalloy 30.9.
    • Karate Monkey SUS: TranzX YSP15, 30.9 (with varying travel based on size: XS: 100mm, SM-XL: 120mm).
  • Crankset:
    • Karate Monkey Rigid: Shimano Deore MT510, 30t.
    • Karate Monkey SUS: Shimano Deore M-6100, 30t.
  • Rear Derailleur:
    • Karate Monkey Rigid: Shimano Deore 6100 SGS.
    • Karate Monkey SUS: Shimano Deore XT M-8100.
  • Rims:
    • Karate Monkey Rigid: WTB ST i40 TCS 2.0.
    • Karate Monkey SUS: WTB ST i35 TCS 2.0.
  • Tires:
    • Karate Monkey Rigid: Surly Dirt Wizard 27.5 x 3″, 60tpi, Tubeless Ready.
    • Karate Monkey SUS: Surly Dirt Wizard 27.5 x 2.8″, 60tpi, Tubeless Ready.

vs. the Kona Unit-X

The Kona Unit-X delivers a smooth and stable ride, courtesy of its 29×2.6″ tires, which provide ample cushioning and grip on varied terrains, making it particularly suited for mixed-surface adventures. Its geometry leans towards comfort, ensuring longer rides are more enjoyable. On the other hand, the Surly Karate Monkey Rigid, with its adaptable geometry for both 29er and 27.5+ wheel sizes, offers a more responsive and agile feel on trails. Its design allows riders to switch between nimble handling on tight singletracks and confident stability on descents, making it a versatile choice for diverse mountain biking experiences.

  • Frame Material:
    • Kona Unit-X: Reynolds 520 Butted Cromoly, known for its resilience and durability.
    • Surly Karate Monkey Rigid: 100% Surly Chromoly Steel, offering a balance of strength and flexibility.
  • Fork:
    • Kona Unit-X: Kona Plus Fork with 110mm spacing.
    • Surly Karate Monkey Rigid: 100% Surly Chromoly Steel, ensuring consistency in material with the frame.
  • Wheel Size:
    • Kona Unit-X: Designed for 29″ wheels, providing a stable and cushioned ride.
    • Surly Karate Monkey Rigid: Adaptable for both 29er and 27.5+ wheel sizes, offering versatility in terrain choices.
  • Groupsets:
    • Kona Unit-X: Features Shimano Deore 12spd components, known for reliability and smooth shifting.
    • Surly Karate Monkey Rigid: Equipped with a mix of Shimano Deore and SRAM components, ensuring a blend of performance and durability.
  • Tire Width:
    • Kona Unit-X: 29×2.6″ tires, offering a broader contact patch for grip and cushioning.
    • Surly Karate Monkey Rigid: Designed for 27.5 x 3″ tires, providing a voluminous profile for traction and comfort on rugged terrains.
  • Ride Feel:
    • Kona Unit-X: Smooth and stable, with its larger tires ensuring comfort on mixed surfaces.
    • Surly Karate Monkey Rigid: Responsive and agile, with its geometry allowing for nimbleness on trails and stability on descents.
  • Geometry:
    • Kona Unit-X: Geared towards comfort, making it suitable for longer rides and mixed terrains.
    • Surly Karate Monkey Rigid: Versatile geometry tailored for both tight singletracks and open trails, offering a balance between agility and stability.

vs. the Bombtrack Beyond+

The Bombtrack Beyond+ is tailored for endurance and rugged terrains, providing a steady and cushioned ride, especially with its wider 27.5″ x 2.8″ tires. Its geometry ensures a comfortable posture, making it ideal for long-haul bikepacking or off-road touring, where the rider’s comfort over extended periods is paramount. On the other hand, the Surly Karate Monkey Rigid exudes versatility. Its geometry, adaptable for both 29er and 27.5+ wheel sizes, allows for a dynamic ride experience. Riders can expect a responsive feel on winding singletracks and a confident, stable demeanor when descending rough trails, making it a go-to for diverse mountain biking adventures.

  • Frame Material:
    • Bombtrack Beyond+: 4130 double butted crmo, known for its durability and resilience.
    • Surly Karate Monkey Rigid: 100% Surly Chromoly Steel, offering a balance of strength and flexibility.
  • Fork:
    • Bombtrack Beyond+: BOMBTRACK BPS 4130 crmo with fender, rack, and triple cage mounts.
    • Surly Karate Monkey Rigid: 100% Surly Chromoly Steel, ensuring consistency in material with the frame.
  • Wheel Size:
    • Bombtrack Beyond+: Designed for 27.5″ wheels with a wider profile for off-road conditions.
    • Surly Karate Monkey Rigid: Adaptable for both 29er and 27.5+ wheel sizes, offering versatility in terrain choices.
  • Groupsets:
    • Bombtrack Beyond+: Features SRAM components, including the SX-EAGLE 12-speed shifter and derailleur, known for reliability.
    • Surly Karate Monkey Rigid: Equipped with a mix of Shimano Deore and SRAM components, ensuring a blend of performance and durability.
  • Tire Width:
    • Bombtrack Beyond+: 27.5″ x 2.8″ tires, offering a voluminous profile for superior traction and comfort on rugged terrains.
    • Surly Karate Monkey Rigid: Designed for 27.5 x 3″ tires, providing a broad contact patch for grip and cushioning on varied terrains.
  • Ride Feel:
    • Bombtrack Beyond+: Steady and cushioned, tailored for endurance and rugged terrains, ideal for long-haul bikepacking.
    • Surly Karate Monkey Rigid: Dynamic and versatile, with a responsive feel on winding trails and stability on descents.
  • Geometry:
    • Bombtrack Beyond+: Geared towards comfort over long distances, ensuring a relaxed posture for extended rides.
    • Surly Karate Monkey Rigid: Versatile geometry tailored for both tight singletracks and open trails, offering a balance between agility and stability.

Features

Wide Tire Clearance: The bike can accommodate up to 27.5 x 3.0″ or 29 x 2.5″ tires, offering more versatility in tire choice compared to other bikes in its category.

Mechanical Disc Brakes: While hydraulic brakes are more common in this price range, the SRAM Avid BB5 Mechanical brakes offer easier maintenance and repair, making it ideal for long expeditions where servicing might be a challenge.

Dependable Drivetrain: The inclusion of a high-quality 12-speed Shimano Deore drivetrain offers a dependable range of gears for various terrains, setting it apart from competitors.

Single-Speed Compatibility: The bike’s horizontal slotted rear dropout configuration allows for single-speed use, a feature not commonly found in bikes designed for multiple terrains.

Bag, Rack and Fender Mounting Points

The Surly Karate Monkey Rigid is equipped with the following mounting points to cater to all your bikepacking needs:

Front Fork Mounts: There are multiple mounts on both sides of the front fork for water bottles, cargo cages, or front racks.

Rear Rack Mounts: The rear of the bike has mounts for attaching a standard rear rack for panniers or other gear.

Down Tube Mounts: The down tube has mounts for a water bottle cage or for attaching additional gear.

Seat Tube Mounts: The seat tube also has mounts for a water bottle cage.

Under Downtube Mount: There’s a mount under the downtube, which is a common place to carry an extra water bottle or tool keg.

Fender Mounts: The bike has mounts for full coverage fenders, which are essential for wet weather bikepacking.

Surly Karate Monkey Rigid Featured in the Wild

Surly Karate Monkey 27.5+ Test Ride Review

The Surly Karate Monkey, affectionately known as the “K-Monk,” has undergone a significant revamp, enhancing its versatility to cater to a broader range of riding styles. Now compatible with 27.5+ tires, the bike also features internal routing for a dropper seatpost and can accommodate a 140mm suspension fork. Helena Kotala, after test riding the revamped K-Monk, was particularly impressed with its performance on descents, noting that while the 3″ tires couldn’t replace suspension, they significantly softened the ride. She mentions, “Just ’cause it’s rigid doesn’t mean it doesn’t rip,” highlighting the bike’s ability to hold its own against more specialized models.

First Ride: Surly Karate Monkey 27plus – One Of The Most Versatile Bikes

The Surly Karate Monkey, once a pioneering 29er, has evolved into a versatile bike that can adapt to various riding styles. Susan Miller’s review on Bike Hacks highlights the bike’s adaptability, noting its compatibility with 27.5+ tires and its ability to accommodate up to a 140mm suspension fork. The bike’s geometry has been tweaked to be slacker and longer, enhancing its stability. Miller found the bike to be exceptionally stable, especially during climbs, but felt it was slightly sluggish on flat terrains. She encapsulates her experience by stating, “The Monkey is a blast,” emphasizing its fun factor on descents.

Surly Karate Monkey: Reviewed

The Surly Karate Monkey, a versatile bike crafted from 4130 CroMoly Steel, offers a ride quality that stands out, especially on rough terrains like technical singletrack, gravel roads, and Jeep trails. The author, who has experience with various bike materials, emphasizes their preference for the “plush ride of quality steel” that the Karate Monkey provides. Despite its weight, which might not make it the fastest uphill, its versatility is its strength, with the ability to be set up in numerous configurations. The author concludes, “If you want a rig that can handle singletrack, touring, bikepacking, gravel roads or Jeep trails, the Karate Monkey is your next bike!”

 

Specs

Build Kit

The Surly Karate Monkey Rigid is equipped with a Shimano Deore 12-speed drivetrain, featuring a 30t crankset and a 12-speed, 11-51t cogset, ensuring versatility across different terrains. For dependable braking, it uses SRAM Avid BB5 Mechanical brakes complemented by 180F/160R rotors. The bike rolls on WTB ST i40 TCS 2.0 tubeless-ready rims, matched with Surly Dirt Wizard 27.5 x 3″ tires, delivering both grip and stability. For rider comfort, it incorporates a Selle Italia saddle and a Salsa Rustler handlebar.

Frameset

  • Frame: 100% Surly Chromoly Steel
  • Fork:100% Surly Chromoly Steel

Drivetrain

  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano Deore 6100 SGS
  • Cassette: OE 12-spd, 11-51t
  • Chain: KMC X12 Anti-Rust
  • Crankset: Shimano Deore MT510, 30t
  • Shifter: Shimano Deore, 12-spd
  • Brakes: SRAM Avid BB5 Mechanical
  • Rotors: 180F/160R

Components

  • Headset: Cane Creek
  • Stem: Kalloy 31.8
  • Handlebar: Salsa Rustler
  • Grips / Bar Tape: Velo Black
  • Seatpost: Kalloy 30.9
  • Saddle: Selle Italia
  • Seatclamp: Surly stainless, 33.1mm

Wheels

  • Front Wheel: Novatec 15×110, 32h, 6-bolt, WTB ST i35 TCS 2.0
  • Rear Wheel: Novatec 15×110, 32h, 6-bolt, WTB ST i35 TCS 2.0
  • Tires: Surly Dirt Wizard 27.5 x 3″, 60tpi, Tubeless Ready,

Frame Construction

The Surly Karate Monkey Rigid is constructed from 100% 4130 Chromoly steel, utilizing Natch tubing for a blend of lightness and strength. The frame’s main triangle is double-butted, enhancing durability without unnecessary weight, and is TIG welded for precision. It features a horizontal slotted rear dropout with an optional vertical dumpout, and a unique “Gnot-Boost” 145mm rear hub spacing adaptable to various configurations. The front hub spacing is 15 x 110mm. The bike is designed for disc brakes and has a threaded bottom bracket of 73mm. It offers tire clearances up to 27.5 x 3.0” for the frame and 29 x 3.0” for the rigid fork.

Geometry

MY21 Karate Monkey Front Suspension - Geo

SIZE XS SM MD LG XL
Reach 377 402 427 450 472
Stack 597 597 597 606 615
Head Tube Angle 69.0° 69.0° 69.0° 69.0° 69.0°
Head Tube Length 100 100 100 110 120
Seat Tube Length 330 368 419 470 521
BB Drop 55 55 55 55 55
Wheelbase 1053 1078 1103 1129 1155
Chainstay Length 423 423 423 423 423
Top Tube Length, Actual 549.7 560.4 575 597.5 624.5
Top Tube Length, Effective 560 585 610 635 660
Seat Tube Angle 73.0° 73.0° 73.0° 73.0° 73.0°
Standover Height 743 759 783 812 827
Stem Length 60 70 70 70 80
Stem Angle
Handlebar Width 750 750 800 800 800
Crank Length 170 170 175 175 175
Fork Length 483 483 483 483 483
Fork Rake 47 47 47 47 47
*Standover is measured from the top of the TT, at the center, with a tire measuring approximately Ø749mm

Warranty

Register your purchase at Surly’s Warranty Registration.

LIMITED WARRANTY FOR THE SURLY KARATE MONKEY RIGID

This Surly product is warranted against defects in materials and workmanship for three years from the date of retail purchase of the product, subject to the limitations detailed below. Save your dated receipt for proof of purchase.

This warranty does NOT cover the following:

  • Damage due to improper assembly or follow-up maintenance or lack of skill, competence or experience of the user or assembler
  • Products that have been modified, neglected, used in competition or for commercial purposes, misused or abused, involved in accidents or anything other than normal use
  • Installation of components, parts or accessories not originally intended for or compatible with bicycle as sold
  • Damage or deterioration to the paint, surface finish, aesthetics or appearance of the product
  • Normal wear and tear
  • Labor required to remove and/or refit and re-adjust the product within the bicycle assembly

This limited warranty is expressly limited to the repair or replacement of a defective product, at the option of Surly, and is the sole remedy of the warranty. This limited warranty applies only to the original purchaser of the Surly product and is not transferrable. This warranty applies only to products purchased through an authorized dealer or distributor. In no event shall Surly be liable for any loss, inconvenience or damage, whether direct, incidental, consequential, or otherwise resulting from breach of any express or implied warranty or condition, of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or otherwise with respect to our products except as set forth herein.

This limited warranty gives the consumer specific legal rights, and those rights and other rights may vary from place to place. This limited warranty does not affect your statutory rights.

TO THE EXTENT NOT PROHIBITED BY LAW, THESE WARRANTIES ARE EXCLUSIVE AND THERE ARE NO OTHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS INCLUDING WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.


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GO
02/03/2024
Gene O.
United States United States

Ecstatic!!

I am, literally, tickled pink, as the saying goes, at discovering Campfire Cycling!! I'm a bicycle nut, a bikepacking nut, and a Wild Nature nut, so this is the perfect bike shop for me 🥰 These folks REALLY know they're s**t, they're super friendly and knowledgeable, and they love BIKES at least as much as I do. You just can't go wrong here for all your biking needs!