Gallery: Trent’s Karate Monkey Xtracycle

Kudos on the site, I am a fan. I thought I’d share a pic of my trusty Xtra-Monkey for consideration for the bike gallery. Shown here carrying a 60cm Hillborne frame, freshly delivered and on it’s way home for the build-up. The Karate Monkey Xtracycle is my grocery getter, instrument hauler, wife carrier on occasion, and all around super-duty bike. I love it. It’s setup as a 1×9 (42t chainring with 11-34 cassette), this gearing is perfect for 99% of the commuting I do in Austin, TX. The Schwalbe Big Apple tire makes the front cushy and smooth. Disc in the front, V-brake in the rear. Albatross bars and Brooks saddle. Lots of fun to ride and super stable.


6 Responses to “Gallery: Trent’s Karate Monkey Xtracycle”

  • Neil says:

    Cool bike. Who makes the front rack? Cheers Guys. Neil. UK.

  • Trent says:

    Hi Neil, that front rack is a Nashbar rack – cheap and simple. A perfect size for a 6-pack.

  • Tim says:

    Nice bike! Hey I thought I’d ask a piggyback question after reading about this bike.I want to go with larger tires for a more comfortable ride. Schwalbe Big Apple tires maybe it,but of course with not much experience in this area how would I determine how large I can go without any modifications or new forks? Of course measurements are in order but how and what else? Thanks.

    PS-Speed reduction from wider wheels not a concern.

  • Trent says:

    Hey, thanks Tim!

    This bike frame is built for 29″ (700C) wheels, so big tires can fit on the front with ease. I think the Big Apples are some of the widest out there (2.35″). This Xtracycle frame is for 700C wheels as well, but it can only fit tires up to 35cm wide in the rear.

    So, the question for you is what type of frame do you have? If it’s a newer model, you can probably figure out from the manufacturer specs how wide you can go. If it’s older, you may have to do some experimenting.

    By the way, I just outfitted the Xtracycle with an optional skateboard attachment so that I can clip on the board if/when I feel like doing some slow cruising. I’ll probably start packing a tow rope as well. Fun!

  • Joseph E says:

    So, you have 35 to 107 gear-inches.
    When do you use the 11 tooth cog? Sheldon Brown’s calculator says that you can reach 32 mph while pedaling at 100 rpm; that seems faster than I would ever be able to go on a bike like this.
    Do you ever find yourself wishing for a low gear while going up hills? It looks like you can go a slow as 5 mph at a reasonable cadence.

    I’m trying to decide if I should change the rear cog on the Breezer Uptown 8 which I recently ordered; it appears to be set up for a range of 28 to 88 gear-inches (with 26″ wheels and 170 mm cranks). Gain ratios are from 2.2 to 6.6
    Will I really miss out on those higher gears?

  • Trent says:

    Hi Joseph,

    I do use the 11 tooth cog, I actually use all from low to high pretty frequently. I’ve never had a computer on my bike to track speed, so I don’t know what my top speed is. That sounds like a fun project to figure out.

    I have wished for a lower gear while going up hills, but honestly I have been surprised on several occasions by this bike – it climbs very very well. That said, I purchased a 12-36 cassette from RivBike because I think I would like to have a lower gear. (Haven’t installed it yet).

    As for your Breezer: if I were you, I would ride it for a while and test the high and the low. The best way to get a sense for your needs are to experiment in your own environment on the hills, with/without load, etc.

    Let me know how it goes, and good luck!

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