Surly Krampus

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Endpoint
Endpoint's picture
Surly Krampus

Full disclosure... bike as tested is about 6 or so pounds lighter than stock.

Stock tubes are 15oz each. Trash.
Stock bar is heavy and dumb. Trash. Replaced with an Answer protaper I had in parts bin.
Stock post and saddle turdly. Saved to resell bike. Replaced with a Thomson Elite and Gobi XM off old bike.
Stock brakes are BB7. Parts bin. Put some old servo wave XT stoppers on there.
Stock fork is cool looking but replaced with Whiskey #9 cause crabon and thru axle to wrangle that big wheel.
Stock rims and hubs are also pigs. Saved for reselling bike. Replaced with the new 29er+ rim from Velocity and Sun Ringle hubs.
Stock tires don't want to seal up tubeless so 3" tires are shelved for now. Running some 2.4 Ardents tubeless. Measure out to about 2.5.
Stock ring and chain guard removed and replaced with Race Face 32t narrow wide ring.
SLX derailleur saved for reselling bike. Put old XT shadow plus on there.

First ride today.

First impressions. This shit is heavy and I miss my suspension fork.

Initial setup issues. Had to use a small washer attaching the XT shadow plus dangler to the bike. Between the tolerance between freehub body, cassette, and width of where the direct mount part of the jobber is the chain would actually hang up on the direct mount portion when in the 11. A 2mm spacer solved that though.

Maxxis tires setup tubeless to the Velocity rims with little hassle.

After I settled into riding things got better. The 2.4 Ardents hooked up great and could probably stand a bit less air in them. Not sure what I had in them but less than 20 for sure. Front end stopped being so harsh once I got over not riding a mountain bike in weeks and loosened up a bit.

The steering on this bike is surprisingly fast. It's been a while since I sold my Flash 29er but the Krampus certainly felt like it turned faster and more precisely. Probably more the fork than the geometry but it's still good. Left the super short (70mm?) stem on there and it feels good man. Might actually go to even wider bars as well. Back end is surprisingly OK considering longish stays. I used the supplied monkeynuts to move the axle about 10mm out of shortest point in dropout. Will try taking those jobbers out and see what's what. Those big rims and tires don't want to speed up like my 650b wheels with light ass schwalbe tires do but I didn't ever feel handicapped by the weight.

This was my first time riding on Velocity tubeless rims and I didn't once think about the bead interface. No burpage under hard cornering or banging over roots. In retrospect I'm kindof surprised how well they worked.

A few hours later and I feel a little more beat up than I normally would after a trail ride from the ridged fork but that's what Advil and htfu is for right?

All in all it's a fun bike. Fully plan on making this my go to trail bike until racing starts in the hopes that riding a 27lb rigid tank gets my ass in shape faster than a crabon space bike that's 5lbs lighter with some squishy parts and a super light wheels/tires.

Related notes:

The Race Face narrow wide ring was flawless. Combined with the clutch derailleur there was never even the threat of dropping a chain. There were some nice rooty sections that bounced me all over the bike but the chain stayed in place. No skipping or even any chain slap. I think the ring is less than $50 msrp so it's a pretty idiot proof way to quickly go 1x on your bike. I have had a few guys that have run it without a clutch style dangler and have reported positive feels as well.

I think that's it for now... pretty stoked on this bike. It's a complete change of pace from what I normally ride and I'm enjoying the different direction.

Sun, 01/19/2014 - 17:44
VT regularbike
VT regularbike's picture

No pic? WTF man

Miguel wrote:
i mean as long as we're spending money, lets just set the wallet on fire ok

Sun, 01/19/2014 - 19:07
Blakey
Blakey's picture

CBC insta:

Sun, 01/19/2014 - 19:13
ckd
ckd's picture

Seems like this isn't really a true review of the Krampus, when you consider the fact that you're running narrow tires (relatively speaking) and a substantially lighter setup.

I mean, I get it. But I don't really get it. Did you ever ride it in stock form?

-is a sandwich
-is a REAL doctor

Sun, 01/19/2014 - 22:38
JUGE FREDD
JUGE FREDD's picture

^ that

also is the Whisky MTB fork as much of a turd as the CX version?

It's a struggle, but you cut out his tongue, and his last words are "atmo atmo Atmo ATMO ATMOOOOOGORIHGGHRSHGGRLMGGMMGMgrrglegurglegrr....."
– akasnowmaaan

Sun, 01/19/2014 - 23:38
that guy
that guy's picture

I have a Whisky mtb fork (the QR version) and I like it a lot. Seems high quality. Stiff as all fuck. Almost too stiff.

Anyway, I mostly concur with Endpoint's first ride impressions. I just remember thinking I could be going so much faster on my normal hardtail 29er with a suspension fork. The Krampus rides like a rigid 29er that's one size too big for you and has sand in the tires.

Bikes suck. Don't ride one.

Sun, 01/19/2014 - 23:46
Endpoint
Endpoint's picture
(Reply to #6)

ckd wrote:
Seems like this isn't really a true review of the Krampus, when you consider the fact that you're running narrow tires (relatively speaking) and a substantially lighter setup.

I mean, I get it. But I don't really get it. Did you ever ride it in stock form?

You're not wrong.

I'm really disappointed that I was unable to get the 3" tires rolling tubeless before first ride. Still working on a proper solution. That being said, the 2.5" Ardents are still hella fatter than what I normally run and with the silly wide rim the air volume is way higher and pressure i can run is certainly much lower.

I'm getting about 75% of the experience now atmo. Once I can get the Knard tirest running sans tubes I'll put several rides on them and report back. I'm optimistic that I can get it working.

The fork is rock solid. Probably too stiff for a 2.1 tire at 20+ psi but good in this application. I'm sure it's going to be better than the stock fork with keeping those big tires a rims from flexing around too much.

Besides internet chatter what first hand experience do you have on the thru axle craws fork?

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 07:48
johnasavoia
johnasavoia's picture

I stumbled on this the other day, coincidentally its the third result on google for tubeless knard, but in the off chance you didn't see this, here it is.
https://gypsybytrade.wordpress.com/2014/01/13/tubeless-knardrabbit-hole-explorations/
Also I can't figure out if he's running tubeless or not but this guy seems to be having good luck with knard and blunt setup
http://www.pedalingnowhere.com/gear/bike-touring-surly-ecr-1000-km-impressions-build-specs/#.Ut0hWtIo6BY

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 08:18
Endpoint
Endpoint's picture

Saw that. Reluctant to do ghettotubeless though. Waiting to hear back on the kevlar bead design on 120tpi tires before I go that route. Might not have a choice though.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 10:32
JUGE FREDD
JUGE FREDD's picture
(Reply to #9)

Endpoint wrote:
Besides internet chatter what first hand experience do you have on the thru axle craws fork?

have not seen one in person yet, doesn't seem like there's much of a market

only people I see hankering for them are the "can't stop jackin it about thru-axles" people

been a bunch of complaints about them being overweight, only actual review I've found was http://www.peterverdone.com/?p=4075

 
the price is completely ridiculous for a ja badge-engineered product, why wouldn't you get a Niner or ENVE fork instead?

It's a struggle, but you cut out his tongue, and his last words are "atmo atmo Atmo ATMO ATMOOOOOGORIHGGHRSHGGRLMGGMMGMgrrglegurglegrr....."
– akasnowmaaan

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 12:37
JUGE FREDD
JUGE FREDD's picture
(Reply to #10)

Endpoint wrote:
Saw that. Reluctant to do ghettotubeless though. Waiting to hear back on the kevlar bead design on 120tpi tires before I go that route. Might not have a choice though.

have you ever done ghettotubeless before? it's less ghetto than a lot of OEM-approved setups

the 120tpi Knards have really thin sidewalls, they make a Racing Ralph Evo feel durable

It's a struggle, but you cut out his tongue, and his last words are "atmo atmo Atmo ATMO ATMOOOOOGORIHGGHRSHGGRLMGGMMGMgrrglegurglegrr....."
– akasnowmaaan

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 12:42