Dirt Rag Magazine

How we roll: Maurice’s Monkey stories


Surly Karate Monkey1

Ahhhh Surly’s Karate Monkey. Released at the Interbike trade show in 2002, it was the first 29er to come through the doors of Dirt Rag. I reviewed it for issue #103 and later purchased it for my own use and abuse. I’ve had many life-changing experiences on this bike, and some near-death ones as well. My Monkey has done it all. It’s been geared and singlespeed. It’s been a hardtail and it’s been rigid. Today it is my go-to urban assault vehicle—ready to take on the post-apocalyptic urban jungle, as well as any dirt I find along the way.

I was looking ar ‘er on the train platform the other day and thought I’d mention a few things you may or may not find interesting. And in the process maybe call out a few folks who have help make this bike what it is.

My original idea was to write about Ergon’s new GC-1 grips, which I was given recently, so I will do that first. Thanks Ergon! They are designed specifically for swept-back handlebars. Yes, I like swept bars in the 20-25 degrees range and I like Ergon grips cuz they keep my hands happy. If you have not tried either you might consider.

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Speaking of bars, these are the second-newest part on the bike. The Spacebar Carbon OR which I purchased from Origin8. Ok, maybe the carbon is overkill but what the heck. I bought them because I like the sweep.  My sweet spot. Not too much, not too little. Just right.

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You’ll probably notice the brakes as well. Avid Juicy Carbon’s they are. Shwag given to yours-truly some time ago, and proof of occasional—I say occasional—rock-star treatment received for being in the media. Anyway they are killer, as they stop the bike and I have not had a problem with them, and they’ve been around a while. When they do go away, I will replace them with the original road-pull Avid BB7’s that used to be on there.

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Paul Component’s Thumbies provide shifting prowess. Can’t go wrong there. These will work forever.

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The Chris King headset has been there since birth, while the Surly head badge has seen better days.

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The Big Kitty sticker was made just for me by Courtney Papke. Some people think I am a cat.

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The “Get Rad” Sticker was installed by Hurl over at Cars R Coffins when I was in Minneapolis one time. Top tube cover thanks to Green Guru.

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And that Schwalbe Big Apple 2.35″ monster truck tire has provided good shock absorption and long life.

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The front wheel is a Sun/Ringle Rhyno Lite-rimmed monster that’s been around since around the time Geoff sold the company to Sun around 1996. It has been the bomb. I have only had to press in new cartridge bearings once. It’s taken everything I could throw at it. The back wheel is another story. It was taken out by a curb in Seattle, that was one of the near-death experiences I remember well.

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Pedals by VP are big and flat and sticky. The Truvative Stylo cranks have fresh bearings so they work like new.

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Hydration handling thanks to my good friend Robert over at Two Fish Unlimited. They make strap-on bottle cages to fit a wide variety of bottles, even full-size growlers.

So there you have it my friends. Thanks for looking!

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We’ve published a lot of stuff in 25 years of Dirt Rag. Find all our Blast From the Past stories here.

 

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