Via Taeblog:

As further evidence that Surly live in a parallel universe in which suspension never evolved to its current (really quite good) state, aluminum is suitable only for containing beer, hydraulic disc brakes are something to be viewed with suspicion, and neither skis nor snowshoes were ever invented, we have the Krampus.  A steel frame built around the brand’s new 29×3.0 “29+” wheel size, the Krampus is apparently the “logical progression of the 29er.”  (Never mind that most of the industry sees 650b as the logical progression of the 29er.)  Much like a bowling ball at the top of the stairs can claim “high potential energy,” the 820g (plus 699g rim) Knard tire’s claim of “fast rolling inertia” neatly sidesteps the issue of how that inertia is achieved.  To be fair, it does look to be “like nothing [I’ve] ever ridden” and could be exactly what I’m looking for.  Only some saddle time will tell.  Heave yourselves over the break for Surly’s cut sheet and a closeup of what looks to be a tapered steerer in a 44mm head tube…


  1. Trizzle,

    Freeride bikes are fun too. Like fatbikes, they’re bouncy, heavy, don’t like to climb, are a pain to get shifting right, and can make you smile on downhills. The difference is that freeriders don’t insist on taking them out of their element, smugly imply they’re the only bike you need, or that they’re somehow more “roots” than a good old-fashioned XC or trail bike. That crap is lame. Don’t get me started on flannel and trucker caps.

  2. Tim O – fun is in the eye of the beholder, no? It’s very anti-bike to imply that people who have fun and promote their particular slice of the bike world (regardless of their headwear or shirt fabric choice) is fairly narrow minded.

    I take offense at the author’s implication that Surly is somehow weird for not offering suspension and using steel – plenty of folks ride steel, plenty ride rigid. To each his own.

  3. TimO,
    and what perchance is the ‘element’ of fatbikes? They’re a mountain bike just like the rest of this fragmented industry. Are we only supposed to ride them on beaches or snow? Takes all of the fun out of it if I can’t ride my mountain bike every/anywhere.

  4. trizzle & tim,

    Time to chill out a bit. Surly, of all companies, can take a bit of gentle ribbing. As evidenced by the Krampus’ positive reception here and on, they’ll have no trouble moving these by the container load. Ride whatever you want, wearing whatever you want- as long as it makes you happy (and doesn’t chafe too much)…


  5. The thing that impresses me most is the ton of work it takes to bring a new tire to market. Surly seems to jump this hurdle w/ease. Nice work boys!

    I am building one ASAP.

  6. It’s all demographics and marketing. This bike is for males who have a ‘stable’ of bikes at home and like cool, niche products.

    If this bike were made of aluminum, would anyone want one over their current fat bike?

  7. I’m kind of impressed that they managed to keep the 135mm hub spacing with room for a 3″ tire, cassette, and disc brake. Want to try one for sure.

  8. its likely ill be testriding one tomorrow @ Snowbasin in Utah.
    its also likely that ill hate it. imma justa sayin….

  9. Krampus is a mythical creature recognized in Alpine countries. According to legend, Krampus accompanies Saint Nicholas during the Christmas season, warning and punishing bad children, in contrast to St. Nicholas, who gives gifts to good children. When the Krampus finds a particularly naughty child, it stuffs the child in its sack and carries the frightened child away to its lair, presumably to devour for its Christmas dinner.

    I guess the trail will be the naughty child… very good to see limits being pushed in many directions.

  10. I don’t quite understand why some people brand anything outside their 1.95″-2.40″ tunnel vision as weird, extreme or nothing other than just a cool niche product for people with many bikes.
    It’s like roadies living in their 23-25mm matrix.

    You can’t know if the existing popular tyre sizes are really “the best” if you haven’t tried anything else, can you?

    I run 29″ 2.40 tyres (Ardents and Racing Ralphs for events) on 47mm wide rims (12-18PSI) which to many people is an “extreme, heavy and slow” OTT setup but they have a huge grip and traction, offer plenty of comfort and among people who I ride with there’s no faster rolling bike. I’d never go back to narrower tyres.

    The fact that 3″ tyres are wider than something that you may be familiar with doesn’t mean that they are extreme, fat or weird or have to be used on snow or sand. They simply make perfect sense for allround riding at least on a fully rigid bike.

    The reason why it’s a niche market is because people who THINK rather than follow are a minority.

  11. Fadbikers ATTACK!

    It’s good to know that the house brand of the US’s biggest bike parts distributor has so many independent spirits to defend them.

    For all that, I do think that the bike looks fun- will it take a front derailleur?

  12. I just finished riding a Krampus and I have to say I had an absolute blast. I really didn’t want to give it back. It is a totally different bike than a Puglsy. It’s fast and wants to be pushed hard, especially in the corners. Honestly, I could see crazies out there saying it could be their only bike, maybe not me but i could understand it. I would happily do a 2-3 hour ride on it. I only noticed the rotational weight on some steep sections but general trail blasting the weight wasn’t noticed.

    Will I be getting one? Very likely so but I have a quiver of bikes and it would fit in well. It was just way too much fun.

  13. Of the four bikes I rode today at Snowbasin, the Krampus was by far my favorite. More nimble and capable than a fat bike, more aggresive amd forgiving than a rigid 29er. It climbed surprisingly well for sucha heavy bike and it descended really confidently through rutted berms and over the (admittedly few) rocks. Looking forward to round two tomorrow.

  14. BB shell is 73mm. Highly unlikely the dropouts are offset. I would guess that it’s not front derailleur compatible, or maybe just middle+big ring compatible.

  15. I am thinking the 3.0 tire would be great on My Rigid 29er with White Bros Carbon Rigid fork. I have 2.4 Ardents on there now. Could this tire work on Crest rims, would rather not have to get new wheels. But could.

  16. my experience was that in the intended surfaces of fat bikes, this will excell beyond current 26 varieties… but the bike is a beast. i corner really well, and can roost a corner no brakes on my xc or dh bike and this bike was hard to manage. the other fat bikes were lighter and changed direction quicker (no surprise). tire clearance at the stays were maxed out and should you break a spoke it could be a real liability.
    i got really low over the stem and fought the bike at speed in tight corners but never got the correct direction as the tire would yield up front before it dug in and gave me the right line. granted, this is not a trail bike per se, but comparing the bikes this was the least friendly at speed and in tight stuff.

  17. What I see is 3″ of friction friction friction that requires a chain-ring at the crank like a Biafran’s bangle.Unless you are gravity assisted and in cycling that equals at best only 50% of the equation, this creation is going to be harder work than it need be to keep rolling and should be called a “Kramp up” but there is one born every minute and in reading through the comments more than one.
    Reinventing the wheel again and coming closer to a square with every sojourn. Surley also sell Hip flasks, for the “DownHiller” that likes to do it as tight as a cat jammed into a litre bottle on his ride to the Still, and have a cigarette packet pocket in their riding jerseys…. God love em.
    But that said, they do make the most practical, useful and applicable to its criteria and finest riding bicycle known to man; the unbeatable LHT and DTs (DTs…is that a co-incidence?) a bicycle “everyone” should own at least on of.

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