Tuesday, January 24, 2012

2012 Karate Monkey Build (aka Muffin)

I built a new bike...

Yes, I know, another bike.  But she has a good purpose!  She's a commuter, hard tail mountain bike, bike packing chameleon of a bike. And she's pretty.

She showed up in a box after Black Friday.


I got lucky for parts - Matt was looking to upgrade his super awesome Gary Fisher Cobia hardtail frame that was spec'd with some way less than stellar parts.  Perfect for an urban commuter, including mechanical disk brakes! 

So I got to work.  Mighty Riders provided the headset/installation as well as cables and full(!!!) housing. She was starting to take shape...

photo (1)

For interests sake: 

Headset: some cheap 30$ model.  Wanted black and got silver, but turns out I really wanted silver afterall
Brakes: Avid BB5's (185 front, 160 back).  I didn't have any trouble with caliper rub like a lot of builds I've read about.  I also don't have to loosen the caliper to remove the rear wheel.  And I love how easy they adjust.  Kinda refreshing.
Shifters: Sram X5.  Love the indicators for a commuting bike for some reason.  Never even look at them on my full suspension bike, go figure.
Crank: Unknown Shimano octalink crank / bottom bracket.  
Front D: Shimano Acera X.  Super cheap, got it used, it was the only cheap one the bike store had that worked with that clamp size/pull.
Rear D: Sram X5. Long cage.
Cassette: 11-34, Sram
Grips: Nice, new Ergon's!  I love love love them.  First pair and they are great for this application.
Bar: Crank Brothers Cobalt 3.  Flat bar
Stem: Expensive BBB.  But it works?
Pedals: Shimano M520's.  Standard on all my mountain bikes.
Tires: Well there is an interesting story...

She started out with some Hutchinson Urban Tour tires.  Pretty nice, a little heavy, but they also have at least 3000km on them with basically no signs of wear and (knock on wood) no flats.  They did look a little skinny in that fat fork up there but the fenders helped a little to make it look like a solid commuting rig.  Then we got some really, really cold weather in Vancouver.  And it lasted for more than a week.  Faced with either taking the Skytrain every day, or riding my bike, I of course, chose the bike.  In the interest of keeping the rubber side down I picked up some studded tires.  Schwalbe touring tires of some sort.  They are actually a pretty sweet design for city riding in the winter - at full pressure the carbide studs barely contact the pavement but at lowered pressure they grip into the pavement.  And they crackle really nicely.  Have I mentioned how much I like the sound of crackling studs on pavement?  I, for one, can't wait to move back to the land of the winter - bring it on!

Anyways, that's where Stud Muffin gets her name.  I had originally called "him" Studdly, but for some reason it didn't stick.  I was riding along one day and had a change of heart and renamed "her" Stud Muffin, or Muffin for short, or "the Surly" when I feel like sounding less silly than calling a bike Muffin.  I've already gotten a couple of comments on her you know : D


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