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 Monkey...ahhh...now 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.