Written by Wally Wallace Tuesday, 22 January 2013 12:11
The Surly Krampus fork landed on the docks here at Bikeman HQ recently and it has our wheels a turnin' (pun intended). As you may or may not know there is yet another wheel size in town, 29+, as conceived by the evil geniuses over at Surly Bikes. 29+ wheels are more than just another "hey, why not?" wheel size and we expect these beefy wheels to gain traction (last pun, promise) over the next few years. Back to the fork. Bikeman is always looking for ways to help fellow bike enthusiasts out and we have had a few requests for rigid replacement forks for all mountain 29er hardtails as a recently. The Kona Honzo and Carver Ti 420, among a growing number of others, are two popular choices for which this fork would work perfectly.
So lets take a look at what this fork has going on under the hood. Right of the bat we noticed it's a clean, sturdy looking fork, much as we have come to expect from Surly products. It's straight bladed beefy steel legs, come up in a classic unicrown bend to meet the 1-1/8", 260mm long, steel steerer at an angle that gives you a nice 47mm of rake. It's axle to crown length is a unique 483mm and will allow you to fit some big meat in there as it's designed to handle Surly's 50mm wide 29+ sized Rabbit Hole Rims and Knard 29x3.0 tires. Of course you van use a regular 29er rim and tire too. There are no cantilever bosses giving the fork a nice clean look. On the back of left leg there are not just one, but two, disc hose guides. The one towards the top is on the curve of the upper leg near the junction with the steerer. This is nice in that it will help route the cable/hose cleanly from the front/left brake lever, around the right side of the steerer, and down the back of the left leg...smoothness. The 51mm I.S. disc tabs is located in it's usual spot, right above some standard looking dropouts with threaded fender mounts. Speaking of fenders, there is also the necessary hole for mounting some right at the junction of the legs and steerer below the crown race zone. Pictured in this review is the black color but it is also available in a sweet metallic green color dubbed "Moonlit Swamp". All that in a 2lb 8oz package (uncut) for $82 in black or $91 in the fancy green you ask? Yes.
So what does all that mean for you? You don't have a Krampus...yet. Maybe you have an all mountain 29er, maybe not. Just how the heck are you supposed to use this fork? Well lets talk it out people. If you're buying this to replace the OEM one on your brand new Krampus, congratulations on being the first person to break one and we wish you a speedy recovery and short hospital stay. But lets say you have one of these new fancy All Mountain trail type bike cycles in your stable and you either (A) want to go rigid (B) have a busted suspension fork and just want to ride while it's getting fixed or replaced or (C) want to go rigid AND try the new 50mm wide 29+ sized Rabbit Hole Rim and Knard 29x3.0 tire up front for reasons of splitting the difference between suspended and rigid or to augment you steed for more snow type adventures. On all counts you should go for it with confidence with this fork. The 483mm axle to crown will suit all three scenarios, especially on bikes that are designed around 120mm travel forks, and maybe even 140mm if you don't mind steepening up the headtube angle.
Lets see, what else can we throw at you on this. Oh yeah, since many All Mountain frames have either a tapered or 44mm head tube the Krampus fork might require a step down headset to fit it's 1-1/8" steerer. There are so many options and configurations out there that to go into it all we would be more than Bikeman can write before lunch. Lets say the line of Chris King InSet headsets has just about every contingency covered and there are a some options from Cane Creek and FSA out there too if you want a less expensive option. How about we all just rest assured that we can help you get it all together when the time comes for you to make room in you heart and frame for this awesome fork. Give us a call, we'll be there for ya!
|< Prev||Next >|