The Karate Monkey is getting close to being a final build with the addition of some MTB wheels - brand new, complete with new Racing Ralphs for $285 off tardme!
Some Avid BB7s disc brakes (mtb version) complete the package. All of this has bumped the weight up by about 3 pounds to about 27.5 pounds over the v-braked road-wheeled iteration I was using at the CX's. The CX tires will be back on for this weekend hopefully.
It got a good hammering at Wainui Trail Park last weekend. The drop bars were great, but the rear brake was almost unusable they were skidding so much. I know that the Racing Ralphs roll incredibley well on the road, so a bit of the skidding could be caused by them, but I think I basically had the Avid BB7's set up too well. I backed off the inside pad a few turns when I got home. Hopefully it will make them less vicious as the outside pad will have to drag the disc over to the inside which should knock back the efficiency a bit.
I am really liking the Woodchipper drop-bars. I cut 2 inches off each side last week so now I can at least get them into the shed without snagging bottles of turps and paint brushes all over the show.
The position of your hands when riding these off-road is such that its like hanging onto a big set of bar-ends. You can get massive amounts of power through them, which is handy, because with bar-end shifters, I am not going to be changing gears as often as I would if I had an STI road shifter on the front right.
There are several reasons for this choice of shifters. You need a different set of BB7s for road pull levers (mine are special ones that pull the normal MTB amount) and I am using them in friction mode as I would be surprised if STI would work with my circuitous cable routing : )