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Surly Karate Monkey | Will's Custom Build

It's a load-totin', road-eatin', trail-shreddin' machine

Home / Custom Builds / Will's Surly Karate Monkey

The brief

Will wanted a bike to go touring on, as well as something that would be capable of having fun on the trails. He had fallen in love with Surly Karate Monkey, but was looking for a couple of upgrades in key areas.

Rather than modifying a factory-spec bike (which have also been very hard to get hold of), we took the opportunity to do a full custom build.

Hey, if you can, why not?

The bike

We started with a Shimano XT groupset -- as it always offers a great mix of performance, reliability and price -- and swapped out the cassette and chain ring for Garbaruk models. (Garbaruk is also lighter than XT -- bonus!)

Spank Oozy rims offered the strength that we were looking for, so we laced up a pair of 'em with DT Swiss 350 hubs for a bombproof wheelset. To top them off: Teravail tyres for excellent offroad grip combined with low rolling resistance, 'cause it's not much fun having one without the other.

As Will was looking to do some touring, matching Surly racks were the go, allowing him to load up the bike front and rear.

He also requested a Brooks saddle, the B17 Classic being a classic (ba-da-bing!) in terms of comfort and unbeatable long-term durability. (Also, how good does that Honey colour look against the frame? So good.)

A KS Lev dropper post also made sure that this Karate Monkey will be ready for any kind of terrain at a moment's notice.

For the other contact points, we opted for pure comfort with a set of SQLab handlebars, stem and grips, so Will can ride for hours without any aches and pains.

As a final touch, we added a Garbaruk top cap and some matching purple valves. It's the little things that make it, after all.

The end result is a stunning custom-built bike with a much higher quality build than the factory spec, and for not much more money.

Want your own full custom build? We can help with that.

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What You Say

Just wanted to let you know how much I love my Bossi. I’ve had the best summer messing about on it - what a machine! You absolutely nailed it. All your help choosing the size really paid off, it fits like a glove. All-day epic rides are a pleasure with no comfort issues whatsoever. I’ve conquered…Philip Needs
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