All finished and loaded for the Timber Trail shake down. Will update and review the Surly Karate Monkey 650B, I have custom fitted a Sram 2×11 groupset to the frame which has been testing my patience. The gearing will give me 24, 36T at the crank end, with the 10-42 on the rear, don’t think I will ever use the full range of gearing, but if I do then I will need superb balance as that 24 x 42 is 1.75 pedal revolutions to one revolution of the wheel. Specialized components finish the build and Apidura bike packing bags hold all my gear.
Timber trail by bicycle; After getting back from the Timber Trail last night, traveling in the tail of the cyclone, I must say that I am shattered.
87km by bike through the Pureora Forest by Cycletrail,this forest area was fantastic, difficult and wet, did I mention wet? Day one climbing and descending through the magnificent scenery on the Surly Karate Monkey was a joy. These bikes have all the traits of handling, smooth ride and position as expected from Surly bikes. Riding rigid and half loaded on these trails was what this bike was designed for. The 2×11 drive line worked flawlessly as we climbed through the first part of the trail, this range of gears kept my legs spinning along effortlessly. I must say this bike is smooth with 650B plus wheels and 15psi of pressure in the Specialized tyres. This combo was all that I needed on these trail surfaces with ample forgiveness and traction.
Day two and the trail conditions changed dramatically for bicycling. The weather had clagged in, with high wind and rain, making the trails into rivers. The Surly karate monkey handled everything that was thrown at it that day, I was on the other hand left lacking, in preparing for the conditions. The cycling was the wettest that I have been in for many years, add altitude, cold wind and we were on survival mode. We had to cover 47km, which for us was a 6 hour journey in adverse conditions. Biking in those conditions means that you need to trust your gear completely, bicycle, clothing and your own decisions.
To sum up, what a blast, on a bicycle brand that I have ridden for many years, trust in Surly bikes and my component choice from Sram, Specialized,my clothing from Endura and bike bags from Apidura.
All these products are at Missing Link Cycles Whangarei for you to test .