Thursday, 27 August 2015

The Karate Monkey Must Die

Yep, its true. The time has come for me to dismantle my Karate Monkey. It has been a great bike and very adaptable. It has had every set up option under the sun thrown at it since 2010 going from a skinny tyre road bike with flat bars and V brakes to a drop handle bar balloon tyre shod monstercross bike before finally ending up as a heavy duty hybrid/ winter training bike complete with riser bars and bar ends (oh the horror). You can thank/ blame the late great Sheldon Brown for my endless experimenting with the bike as I was inspired by an early Karate Monkey he once built up with two sets of handle bars, brakes and gears (hub and derailleur) just because he could and the frame would allow it. 

Cleaning it would be cheaper than building a new bike but I feel it is time for a change

It has been a fun bike but I need to move on and experiment with a new, lighter and more responsive frame. I've gotten to the point where lugging the heavy old girl up and down the local hills is no longer offering me a training opportunity and, if I'm being honest I want to try something newer and shiny just for a change. If I'm being honest getting back into the garage and swearing at tools again will also have a motivational aspect to it as the pressure of working for myself has taken some of the joy out of cycling.

To this end I've bought a cut price frame from those Northern purveyors of cheapness Planet X; a disc brake compatible road bike frame that will hopefully build up into a versatile all weather machine that can stand in for the Uncle John on some of the harsher hill climbs ahead (the disc brakes will certainly help on some of the climbs). Its a frame with a bad reputation for poor manufacturing tolerances (guesses for the model on the back of a fiver to the usual address) and I may need some help from my LBS in getting it ship shape but that just adds to the fun. To find out what manner of freak machine I build next you'll have to stay tuned as it is still in its box ( I really have been that busy with work recently). The only clue I'll give away is that it will be geared for the steep stuff, probably not too pretty to look at (like most of my bikes) and generally a bit of a mongrel.

Very soon I'll be swearing at the contents of this box in the garage

And yes, the fact I'm heading back into the garage is a sign that I will shortly be heading back into the hills. Normal service, complete with dodgy camera work, will be resumed shortly...

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