Kniner 050

Recently, we got a message from Jason at Back Alley Bikes, with a link that simply said “So many warranties voided.” Intrigued, we followed the link and found this Niner Jet 9 RDO – Krampus hack(?). Basically, Jason had built the front wheel for his new Surly Krampus but didn’t have the frame yet.

The next steps are what make us file this in the don’t try this at home section: Jason set the wheel up tubeless, and then proceeded to stuff it into the Fox Float 29 fork on his Niner Jet 9 RDO. Here’s why it’s a bad idea – while it looks like the tire will clear the fork arch, on full compression (bottom out) of the fork the tire contacts the fork crown. Got that? It’s cool, but don’t try it. With the introduction of the new tire sizes, people will inevitably wonder if this is a possibility so we’re happy to see Jason do some testing.

Setting up the Krampus wheel tubeless on the other hand – while it may also void some warranties, it doesn’t have the potential for as bad of consequences as the Krampus wheel in a regular fork. If you have a lot of Stan’s fluid, tape, and a 24 inch tube lying around you might be able to hit Jason up for instructions.

Check out the photo after the break for the tire/fork interference.

If you were to stuff a Krampus wheel in your Float 29 fork, it would be easy to think you’re in the clear with the amount of clearance around the fork arch. However….

…the first time you bottom it out, you could be in for a little surprise. This all begs the questions though – with Surly leading the way with giant 29ering (did Stevil invent that word?) tires, will manufacturers adapt suspension forks for them to fit?

Thanks to Jason for the pics.



  1. @a – I probably will do just that when I next overhaul the fork, but I’ve never bottomed this fork out in the real world, so I’m not really too worried about it. I mentioned it primarily so that folks would be aware. As much as anything, I would just hate for someone else to follow something that they saw me doing (that’s admittedly stupid) and end up injured.

    @jay – I wasn’t happy with the amount of shifting resistance in the x9 type 2 rear derailleur I installed, so I switched back to the short cage rear derailleur I had and added the chainguide. FWIW, I trickled all the parts down from the Niner to the now complete Krampus (, and installed new XT bits (including Shadow Plus derailleur) on the Niner. Shifting issues, chainguide, and chain slap are gone!

    @dan – Touche.

  2. A Lefty will work.

    Head over to MTReview and scope out the fatbike forums. Mendoncyclesmith, the resident Lefty/fat tyre combo guru has tested it and works.

  3. reverend dick while I can’t confirm if dan is a fun nazi, he is calling out something that has no advantage on the trail. I mean I suppose if one has little to nill technical skills and enjoy’s simply plowing through a trail never lifting the front end, sure it might have some appeal over other front tyres. But for anyone that wants to lift the front or would like to do anything from jumps to manuals to wheelies to having nice flow to…well you understand I hope.

  4. @Really? – Dang! You know how sensitive I am about my weak technical skills, why would you embarrass me like that in front of all these nice people?!

    @reverend dick – Amen. Good to know that there’s still some folks out there who ride cuz it’s fun!

  5. I don’t know if anyone has noticed but on some of the pictures in the Surly Blog entries over the last couple weeks have what appears to be a Krampus with a suspension fork up front with a Knard tire. Not sure how they did it, maybe put the Knard on a wide rim like the Velocity’s?

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