Dirt Roads / MTB Touring, Personal setups, Ultralight / Singletrack » Max’s Rigid Karate Monkey




I’m currently riding a Surly Karate Monkey. No idea which year it is, but it still has bosses for canti brakes. 4130 steel frame and a bulletproof paint job pair up with 36-spoke wheels, making for a solid adventure bike. I use Maxxis tires, a High Roller II in the front and a Minion DHR in the rear, both 2.3-inch.

My drivetrain is full Sram X9, and my seatpost and handlebars are aluminum. The bike is pretty light, for what it is. The Surly rigid fork weighs 1-2 pounds less than a suspension fork, and has mounts for Salsa Anything cages or traditional cages, like the Lezyne Power Cages i’m currently running.

I swapped over to Avid BB7 Mechanical disc brakes from the hydraulic ones it came with (I bought it used) for more field-serviceable parts. Cabling is currently stainless steel, but I’m upgrading to Jagwire Mountain Pro.



Here’s the full component list:

  • Frame: Surly Karate Monkey, 20″ (Large)
  • Fork: Surly Ogre 29er fork, 43mm rake
  • Crankset: TRUVATIV X9 39/26
  • Rear Derailleur: Sram X9 Long-Cage Carbon
  • Front Derailleur: Sram X9
  • Cassette: SRAM X9 12-36T
  • Chain: SRAM 10-speed
  • Pedals: Wellgo C242 Platform Pedals/Shimano XT Clipless Pedals
  • Hubs: Shimano XT 36H
  • Rims: Sun Rims Rhynolite
  • Tires: Maxxis High Roller II 2.3 front, Maxxis Minion DHR 2.3 rear
  • Stem: Salsa
  • Seatpost: Exotic 3D-Forged Aluminum
  • Seat: WTB Pure-V
  • Handlebar: Salsa Salt Flat 2
  • Shifters: SRAM X9 Paddle Shifters
  • Brakes: Avid BB7 Mountain Disc
  • Cabling: Jagwire Mountain Pro, Metallic Gold
  • Levers: Avid Speed-Dial 7
  • Grips: RaceFace



Bags are Revelate and Oveja Negra. My full pack list can be found here:

2014 Surly Karate Monkey Winter Bikepacking List

Check out MaxTheCyclist.com for trip reports and more pictures.

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