Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Rise of The Monkey Bike

The venerable Karate Monkey has been hanging in the rafters as a frame and BB combo ever since the SS Jabberwocky replaced it for singlespeed duty.  I was pretty sure I would never use the KM as a MTB again, although I did consider making it a HT bikepacking rig.

But it is just too useful to get rid of.  So, I had a vision of sorts the other day when I realized I wanted to go cruise the bike paths and the MTBs all were a bit ponderous and the road bike...well the road bike gets no love from me.

But, the that would be a killer bike path-street cruiser-rapid deployment errand runner bike.  So I pulled it out of the rafters and opened up the box-o-parts to see what I had to build it up.  This is going to be a dirt bag build for sure and if I can hang some classic parts on it, mo'  better.

This is the vision:

1x8, drop bars, barcon shifter, Vs, go-fast 700C commuting tires (burly but smooth rollin'...just like me).  Hah!

Taking stock, I found some 175mm 5-arm XT cranks with about a million.five miles on them.  Still good.  They did not play well with the World Class Ti BB though...too narrow.  Bummer.  I am going to use that BB on something one day.  More digging led to a Phil Wood BB, maybe a 122.5mm or wider, and that went in.  Gotta' love chainline adjustability.

I pulled the stack of chainrings off the wall.  Hmmm..still have some Biopace stuff.  That will go back onto the wall! I found a 44T ring that tucked in at the chainstay very nicely with the cranks. A 27.2mm seatpost that was a bit short for most MTB frames these days, but not the stand-over challenged KM, fit just fine.

The shifter and drivetrain will come off of my old drop bar Schwinn Paramountain frame from circa 1987-88.  It has some Shimano XT 8 speed stuff on it, Bar Cons, etc.

So what do I need still?

I need a fork. I would like to run V brakes to keep it light and ensure compatibility with the drop bar/road levers I have.  I need a used KM fork for a large 20" frame.  Or, I could get any rigid fork and run some BB7s I have sitting around...not sure about the cable pull of the road brake levers though.

A stem.  Something short with a lot of rise.

A saddle.  WTB or Specialized most likely.  I love the groove. Gotta have that for the soft under-car parts.  Or I may just borrow the SS Jabber set up when I want to ride the KM.



Oh, and a new name befitting the renewed purpose of the KM.  Gotta think about that.


Doug Idaho said...

LOL...I just picked up a used monkey today. Going to try the single speed thing...also trying keep it cheap as possible as I am not sure how I will like it. There is a lot of vertical terrain here. Good luck with yours.

grannygear said...

Doug...The KM is a great starting point to dip the toe into Lake SS! Testing the waters on a budget makes sense. The KM makes a very good singlespeed, I just found its trail manners to be eclipsed by the Jabber.

And, if you don't like the SS thing, it is the Swiss Army Knife of bike frames. Have it your way.

Great pics on your blog lately!

Happy trails.


Fonk said...

Assuming you have the MTB version of the BB7s, the road brake levers probably won't have the right amount of pull. I built up a MTB w/ Ultegra brifters, and I was steered to the BB7 ROAD brakes. Otherwise the same brakes as the standard MTB version; just allows for the different pull of the road levers.

Anonymous said...

"Karoadie Monkey"