Surly Karate Monkey Organic Eggplant Rigid Fork Review
- Price: $2,599
- Frame: Steel
- Tires: 27.5″Aluminum
- Gear: 1×12
What we like about it: The rugged appearance and sturdy steel frame.
What we don’t like about it: The steel frame is quite heavy, which may not be suitable for some riders.
The Surly Karate Monkey Organic Eggplant Rigid Fork features a steel frame and reliable components, enhancing both the comfort of the ride and the bike’s durability.
In the following sections, we will analyze the riding experience, key features, components, specifications, and other versions of the Surly Karate Monkey Organic Eggplant Rigid Fork. In the second half of this article, we will also compare it with several other top bicycle models. If you want to read more bike reviews, stay tuned with us.
The Surly Karate Monkey Organic Eggplant Rigid Fork is a well-rounded bike in terms of riding capabilities. For me, it’s a bike that won’t disappoint, as it meets all my requirements to a certain degree.
To test this, I decided to take this bike for a ride on the Appalachian Trail. I booked my destination hotel through IHG, packed up the bike, and set off. The route had relatively flat inclines, with some sections featuring gravel surfaces, grassy dirt paths, and rocky descents.
I appreciate the climbing capabilities of the Surly Karate Monkey Organic Eggplant Rigid Fork. The hardtail mountain bike frame ensures efficient pedaling. When I lock the suspension fork, the bike’s climbing power becomes even stronger, with no loss of power.
Moreover, when encountering steeper inclines, the Shimano Deore M-6100 crankset and OE 12-speed freewheel offer a wide range of speeds. By using larger rear gears, pedaling instantly becomes easier, making my uphill rides more effortless.
Lastly, the excellent geometry of the bike allows for stable weight distribution. My weight can be evenly distributed between the two ends of the bike, keeping the front wheel firmly planted on the ground, making uphill riding easier.
As a hardtail mountain bike, the Surly Karate Monkey Organic Eggplant Rigid Fork performs admirably on descents. The steel frame offers a certain degree of flex, providing a smoother ride on rocky descents. The 140mm RockShox 35 Gold RL suspension fork absorbs more impact, ensuring a smoother and safer ride on more challenging terrains.
Furthermore, when entering narrower trails, the 27.5-inch wheelset paired with Surly Dirt Wizard 27.5 x 2.8-inch large-grain tires provide agile handling and excellent traction. I feel particularly nimble on narrow trails and can maintain a higher riding speed.
Lastly, the Tektro Gemini HD-M520 hydraulic brakes, with a 180mm front and 160mm rear rotor, offer reliable braking power. This configuration allows me to quickly reduce speed, providing added safety during fast descents.
In conclusion, the Surly Karate Monkey Organic Eggplant Rigid Fork is a well-balanced steel-framed bike with impressive overall performance. Its aesthetic paint job is also something I appreciate.
The Surly Karate Monkey Organic Eggplant Rigid Fork is available in 5 sizes (XS-XL) with externally routed steel frames. The steel frame absorbs some road vibrations, providing a more comfortable ride. The range of frame sizes caters to riders with heights ranging from 5’1″ to 6’5″, offering greater versatility and suitability. The external routing design gives it a rugged appearance and makes it convenient and easy to replace aging cables.
With its excellent geometry and 27.5-inch wheelset, this bike offers impressive handling and agility. It performs exceptionally well on narrow trails, allowing for smooth and effortless maneuvering.
The dropper post design ensures rider stability between climbs and descents, maintaining continuity in the ride. Additionally, the frame’s numerous mounting points enhance the bike’s load-carrying capacity, making it suitable for long-distance rides.
What do we like about it?
- Multiple mounting points throughout the bike increase load-carrying capacity, enabling longer rides.
- The externally routed design makes cable maintenance more convenient.
- The 27.5-inch wheelset provides lightweight and agile handling, allowing for easy navigation on narrow trails.
- Reliable Tektro hydraulic disc brakes offer smooth and stable braking.
- The dropper post design ensures stability in weight distribution between climbs and descents.
- Shimano Deore 1×12-speed components deliver smooth and seamless shifting performance.
What don’t we like about it?
- The steel frame is relatively heavy, which may not be suitable for some riders.
- What wheelset does this bike use?
The front wheelset is Novatec 15×110, 32h, 6-bolt and the rear wheelset is Novatec 12×148, 32h, 6-bolt.
- How much does this bike weigh?
It weighs approximately 11.4 kg (25.13 lbs).
- How to choose the right size?
Here we have a size chart for you. Of course, it doesn’t have to be according to this standard, and the best way to find the most suitable size is to try it out.
|5’1″ – 5’6″
|5’4″ – 5’9″
|5’7″ – 6’0″
|5’10” – 6’3″
|6’0″ – 6’5″
|100% Surly Chromoly Steel. natch tubing, double-butted main triangle, trumpet flared tubes, TIG welded, E.D. coated
Colors: Peach Salmon Sundae; Organic Eggplant; Hi-Viz Black
|100% Surly Chromoly Steel, Natch tubing, double-butted tapered fork blades, TIG welded, E.D. coated
|Shimano Deore 6100 SGS
|Shimano Deore MT510, 30t
|Shimano Deore 12-spd
|OE 12-spd, 11-51t
|KMC X12, Anti-Rust
|SRAM Avid BB5 Mechanical
|SRAM Avid FR5
|WTB ST i40 TCS 2.0
|Novatec 15×110, 32h, 6-bolt
|Novatec 12×148, 32h, 6-bolt
|Surly Dirt Wizard 27.5 x 3″, 60tpi, Tubeless Ready
|Canyon Stoic 3
|SRAM Guide T
|1 × 12
|Kona Big Honzo DL
|1 × 12
|Cannondale Habit HT 2
|1 × 10
|Vitus Sentier 27 VRW Womens
|Shimano Deore MT410
|1 × 11
Surly Karate Monkey Organic Eggplant Rigid Fork vs Canyon Stoic 3
These two bikes have frames made of different materials. The first one has a steel frame that can absorb some road vibrations, providing a more comfortable ride. The second one has an aluminum alloy frame, which offers a lighter overall weight.
In terms of drivetrain components, the first one is equipped with Shimano M6100 components, delivering a smoother shifting experience. On the other hand, the second one features SRAM SX drivetrain components, which provide crisp and precise shifting.
When it comes to braking components, the first one is equipped with Tektro Gemini HD-M520 brakes, while the second one features SRAM Guide T brakes. Both options offer powerful and reliable braking performance.
In conclusion, when comparing these two bikes, if you prioritize a more comfortable ride, the first one would be more suitable. However, if you prefer a lighter riding experience, the second one would be a better choice.
Surly Karate Monkey Organic Eggplant Rigid Fork vs Kona Big Honzo DL
These two bikes have excellent frames, geometry, and well-crafted components.
Firstly, they both feature RockShox suspension forks. However, the first bike has a longer suspension travel, providing better support upon landing and handling more intense descents.
In terms of drivetrain components, both bikes utilize the Shimano Deore 6100 drivetrain, offering efficient power transfer and a smooth shifting experience.
As for the braking components, the first bike is equipped with Tektro Gemini HD-M520 brakes, while the second bike features Shimano MT410 brakes. Both options provide reliable performance and can be trusted.
Ultimately, I believe both bikes are good choices. You can select the one that best suits your specific needs and preferences.
Surly Karate Monkey Organic Eggplant Rigid Fork vs Cannondale Habit HT 2
These two bikes are excellent rigid mountain bikes with steel frames.
Firstly, they both feature RockShox suspension forks, which provide excellent initial sensitivity and absorb more vibrations during descents.
In terms of drivetrain components, the first one utilizes a 1×12-speed drivetrain, offering more speed options compared to the second one’s 1×10-speed drivetrain. This gives it an advantage on steeper riding routes.
As for the braking components, the first one is equipped with Tektro Gemini HD-M520 brakes, which provide a lighter feel. The second one features SRAM Level brakes, offering a more aggressive and direct feel.
Overall, between these two mountain bikes, I would prefer the Surly Karate Monkey Organic Eggplant Rigid Fork. Its wider range of speeds helps me conquer steep uphill climbs more effectively.
Surly Karate Monkey Organic Eggplant Rigid Fork vs Vitus Sentier 27 VRW Womens
These two bikes have the same suspension travel in their front forks. However, the first one equipped with the RockShox suspension fork has better sensitivity, allowing it to handle continuous bumps more smoothly. On the other hand, the second one with the Marzocchi fork provides better support, making it suitable for landing after big drops.
In terms of drivetrain components, both bikes use Shimano components, but the first one has a higher component level, which translates to more powerful performance. As for the braking components, both bikes feature hydraulic disc brakes, ensuring reliable performance even in harsh riding conditions.
Overall, the Surly Karate Monkey Organic Eggplant Rigid Fork offers better overall performance, and I would recommend it more.
Above is my review of the Surly Karate Monkey Organic Eggplant Rigid Fork. In our opinion, it is a sturdy and durable steel-framed mountain bike. That’s why we gave it a rating of 4.8.
Of course, if you’re interested in other steel-framed mountain bikes, we also review a wide range of bikes with various price points, and they are equally interesting. Feel free to check out our other reviews.
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