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I tucked Chloe into bed at midnight, snuck out with the bike and hit the road.  My giant 48tooth chainring combined with my new 2.1″ tires almost won the battle.  It was a boring but very long slow fight to the top, I cant say I won but I made it.  My jacked old knee had a conversation with me the whole time reminding me I’m not 18 anymore.

Surly Karate Monkey bike touring single speed

I have on order a 32 tooth front chain ring and a 19 tooth freewheel which sounds as redicules as it looks but with a bike loaded to 50 pounds I have a feeling this setup will work.  While I patiently await my new bike jewelry to arrive I threw this ghetto 32 ring on with my old 18 rear, you gotta start somewhere.  The bike while gimped together is ready to start experimenting with gear ratios.  32×19 will give me the shortest effective chain stay lenght which is where this bike takes the single track at its best.  I may be building a touring bike but her first and foremost duty is ripping the hard earned single track I hope to discover along the way.  I’ve spent the last year riding primarily on a 42×17 so its funny to granny up like this but my knee’s will thank me.  For now I’m using a 2400 liter backpack with my summer bag strapped to my bars.  Riding with a fully laded pack is an atrocious way to go but will work while I settle up on what type of bags to run.


This is pretty close to the setup I’m looking at but might use a different seat bag.  All bike luggage will be purchased one piece at a time or home made if I can scrounge up a sewing machine.  I have been digging through my lockers trying to piece together a bicycle galley and have found some pretty cool stuff.  Once again simplicity will rule the day, ounces add up to pounds fast so my less is more mentality will be taken to new levels.  Now if I could just make time for a good trip.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
~ Leonardo da Vinci