The story for Surly this year at Eurobike was evolution rather than revolution, but with a few major things introduced for one of their main audiences: bikepackers!
This is the 2017 Karate Monkey:
Among the main revisions were a new tubeset and slightly slacker geometry, both of which Surly have carried over to the 2018 Karate Monkey. Here it is:
The fork is corrected to match a 120mm travel suspension fork, though they’ve tested the frame with up to 140mm of travel. The new Krampus is tiny bit slacker than in years past, with a 69º head angle, a slightly longer top tube designed to match up with shorter stems, and chainstays around half an inch shorter than before. The rigid fork also has enough bosses on it that you could fit just about any conceivable piece of bike luggage on them.
Unlike previous editions of the Krampus and Karate Monkey, which came with Knard tyres, both now come with Surly Dirt Wizards. The Krampus frame will happily home tyres up to 29×3.0″, and the Dirt Wizards certainly don’t mess around with file tread, featuring aggressive knobs all over (if you plan to do something like the Highland 550 or Tour Divide on them, best get training… ).
The dropouts on the newest revisions of the Karate Monkey and Krampus are Gnot-Boost, which is Surly’s own 145mm standard. That doesn’t need yet another hub though, it’s designed to work with nearly anything. The chain- and seatstays flex outward or inward 1.5mm on each side, allowing you to use 142mm, 148mm Boost, or 135mm QR hubs in the back of the frame. In the latter case, a 135mm hub needs some extra adapters to beef it up to the dimensions of a 142mm thru axle. If this doesn’t quite make sense, here’s Adam from Surly with a quick demonstration:
(No video? Here’s a link).
As well as that, Surly had a couple of other bits to show us. Firstly, their new Moloko Handlebar is shipping with a few of their bikes as standard (not the Krampus or Karate Monkey, but the Troll, Ogre and ECR), and is available separately too. For the sake of comfort, it’s designed to give riders who are racking up the miles a bunch of different hand positions.
Designed to go with the Moloko bar is this handlebar bag:
If you’d like to know more, you can find out at surlybikes.com.