Funny thing about the Karate Monkey. I’ll let Surly describe it – from their most excellent BLOG POST:
When we first designed the Karate Monkey frameset in 2002, there was an array of front ders on the market that worked great and allowed adequate rear tire clearance. Since then, Shimano has come up with a new “dual pull” derailleur that is both “top pull” and “bottom pull” all in one derailleur. While this may be good for bike shops because they only have to stock one derailleur that fits the use of many, these “dual pull” front ders are hideously large and don’t give you proper rear tire clearance. Now it seems Shimano wants to flood the market with this “dual” der. Changing the design of the KM to accomodate this bulky derailleur, however, would make the KM’s handling suffer, so that simply isn’t an option.
In response, Surly built the above pictured “Monkey Nuts” to bring your rear wheel back like 15mm or so.\
|Without Monkey Nuts||With Monkey Nuts|
So wasn’t I surprised when I strapped a pair of 2.35 inch Scwalbe Big Apples to my bike without Monkey Nuts and still had half an inch clearance! Woot. Then on Tuesday before our ride someone looks at my bike and says, is your rear tire smaller than your front tire? Nope! I reply – both 2.35 Big Apples. No it turns out, I took a 2.0 Big Apple off to put the 2.35 on, and turned right around and put that very tire back on the bike. Way to go winner. Fortunately everyone applauded the decision as being very forward thinking and logical “…an old hard-tail rigid frame mountain bike trick” someone even said. And I sorta rolled with it as if it were intentional. But in my heart I knew it was just a bonehead mistake and suddenly understood why I had clearance on that rear derailleur after all. It made me laugh inside.
So, not that it rode badly at all, just to prove the theory I swapped the tire out with the appropriate 2.35 and low and behold – yeah. Need Monkey Nuts if I’m going to roll 2.25s or bigger it would seem.
Now here’s where it gets truly awesome. Because as I’m pumping up the 2.35 with my floor pump to mount it for the first time, I think I also forgot to check to see that the bead was set properly because around 60psi the fucking thing detonates.
Let me tell you – when a tube that big explodes it WILL ring your bell. It was also good I went to my downstairs neighbor afterwards because they thought a shotgun went off. The tire was fine but the tube was shredded. Eesh. Oh and funny story – it also knocked my brand new 3 cross hand built wheel out of true. Not kidding.
So last night was a night of successes and awesomeness on many fronts. I learned that a fat front tire up front and smaller tire in back is not only an old mountain bike trick, it’s the only thing I can do until I get a pair of Monkey Nuts, or am limited to < 2.25 tires. Not really the end of the world for the summer months. I also learned to ensure the bead on these tires is set before inflating them to full capacity – I knew that but didn’t do it. And I learned I should learn how to true wheels because I now have to take it to someone, which is pretty annoying.
Some days I hate bikes.
This weekend there is camping and exploring to be had. Can’t wait.