Written by Wally Wallace Monday, 04 February 2013 15:41
So you think you might want to go for the Surly Krampus Frame and Fork, eh? Oh, and you need some Surly Rabbit Hole rims and Surly Knard tires too? Roger that, Bikeman has you covered. A whole bunch of these bass boat green beauties landed on the dock recently along with all the specialty bits needed to bring one of these beasts to life. The 29+ wheel size is the latest arrival to the fat bike party, and boy is it ready to rip!
Let's take a tour. First stop: paint job. Surly is calling it "Moonlit Swamp", which is simply a nice deep green with some large metallic flakes in it. Very nice in person, these images only hint at its awesomeness. On to the frame structure. As per usual for Surly product, the frame is pretty burly and built to be beat upon. It has a 44mm headtube, so ZS44 or EC44 lower cups and a zero stack top will work in headset land. That size also leaves the door open for a shock when 29+ goes big time. There are some nice gussets right behind the head tube and the bottom of the down tube, and there is a reinforcing strut connecting the seat tube extension to the top tube. In a word, burly. Another nice touch is the sweet looking chainstay yoke, obviously designed for optimal clearance, short stays, and overall beefosity. Well done, Surly!
Next, let's take a look at the dropouts and braze-ons, among other minutia. If you know Surly frames, you'll recognize the dropouts from the 1X1, Karate Monkey, and Pugsley. It has a derailleur hanger on it if you want to run gears, which Bikeman recommends on a bike with this much rolling meat to push. The dropouts also have integrated disc tabs that allow you to slide the caliper into the best spot possible based on your wheel position. For cable routing, the Krampus is designed for use with full length cable housing on both derailleurs. You'll notice a lack of a cable stop for the front derailleur. Why? The Krampus isn't going to work with a triple, that is unless you want to run regular 29er tires and rims, but why would you? This bike is better suited to a 1X or 2X drivetrain. To go 2X, you'll need to use a high direct mount front derailleur which mounts to the adapter Surly provides. Those types of front derailleurs invariably have an attached cable stop. Bikeman's two cents: save yourself some money and hassle and just run a single ring up front. Heck, that's what Surly does on their complete bike. Surly also does a nice job of FAQing your FAQ's here with their typical wit and vigor if you have more questions...or just want a chuckle!
Surly designed this bike with a longish top tube (597.4mm on the Lg) and as short a chainstay as possible (446mm on all sizes). That's a pretty short chain stay when you consider that 420mm is considered short on a regular 29er. Can you say wheelies? The head tube angle is somewhere between "race" and "trail" at 69.5deg and the seat tube is pretty normal at 72.5deg. All in all, a well thought design for a never-before-seen wheel size. More on how it rides at a later date after we get some feedback from team riders, staff, and even you if you get one and care to chime in!
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