By: Vinay Menon
Also featured in Issue #20 | March 2014
Big wheels are storming over the mountain bike world lately. With 650B, 27.5”, 29”, 24” and the trusty old 26” there is a wheel size for all your terrain needs. And the Fat bikes add another dimension all together. Earlier in February we got our hands on the Surly Krampus 29+. The legendary brand has now made its way into the Indian market and is available through leading bike shops across the country. With a cult following, the Surly bikes are known for their simplistic frame designs in CroMoly steel. The Krampus is a good example of Surly’sreputation.
Frame/Fork: Krampuscomes stock with a rigid CroMoly fork that is 100mm-120mm suspension corrected. So switching onto a 100mm squishy if needed, wouldn’t change the frame geometry. It’s also compatible with an 8” Rotor setup. The 4130 CroMolyKrampus frame sports simple butterfly gussets near the headtube and runs Horizontal dropouts with a Rear D hanger. Since the frame is made with 3” Tyres in mind it has enough stays clearance for a rainy day.
Bar/Stem: A Salsa ‘Wammy’ 780mm Flatbarclamped on a Kalloy OS Stem steers the Krampus. This wide bar combo gave us a strong hold on the bike while tweaking over jittery trails.
Wheels& Brakes: Surly packed the Krampus with their ultra wide 50mm Rabbit Hole Rims laced onto a Shimano M529 for the rear and an in house hub for the front. The 3” Surly Knard made by Innova Tires is a decent set of rubber for this fun bike. A better tread pattern would definitely boost the performance though. The BB7 Cable actuated brakes from Avid are a simple low maintenance mix in Krampus’s sublime build.
The Ride: Slack head angle of the Krampus paired with a wide bar and its 17.6” Chainstay, allowed us to throw the bike around on turns and ruts. Hopping over trail jumps was easier than expected from a 29er. The 3” Knard acted like a good trail tamer giving us a smooth ride over rocks in spite of Krampus’srigid build.The MRP Chainguide lived up to its name keeping the chain in check even on the roughest patches of the trail. The 34T Chainring tied to the 10Spd Cassette gave us trail friendly climbing gears. The low BB height on the Surly Krampus added stability to the ride.
Overall Impression: A “Fun Bike” is what the Krampus came across as. The massive 29” wheels with the 3” rubber, rigid fork, wide flat bars and a single chainring gave us a much needed hassle free trail day! Definitely not a replacement for our main trail rigs, the Surly Krampus is a good add on into the bike stable for a fun laid back ride with buddies. Priced at around INR.1,45,000/- the Surly Krampus is not light on the pockets though. But if you are looking for a simple CroMolyfat bike with the ability to roll over Sand/Snow with ease and are a die-hard Surly fan then go in for the Krampus.
Keep an eye out for more trail oriented Surlys coming out soon.
Complete Bike Specs:
Frame: 4130 CroMoly steel, custom butted (Medium – Tested)
Fork: Surly Krampus, TIG-welded custom tapered butted 4130 CroMoly, 100–120mm suspension corrected
BB/Cranks: Shimano ZEE, 175mm
Rear Derailleur: Shimano SLX/Shadow+
Chain Guide: MRP 1x guide. BB mount
Cassette: SRAM 10spd (11-36T)
Handlebar: Salsa Wammy, flat bar w/780mm width, 11° bend
Brakes: Avid BB7 w/7” Fr& 6” Rr
Shifters: Shimano SLX 10Spd
Rims: Surly Rabbit Hole 29+, 700c x 50mm w/holes
Hubs: Surly Ultra New Disc, 32h, 6-bolt disc (Front), Shimano FH-M529, 32h, Disc
Tyres: Surly Knard 29 x 3˝.