The Surly Krampus has finally arrived and that definitely warrants an explanation and a few pics posted to this site.
What is the Krampus? Surly calls it a 29er+, which we suppose is as good a description as any. Essentially it has newly minted 50mm Rabbit Hole 29er rims (made by Surly as well) that are considerably wider than your average cross country rim, and they’re mated with new 3″ 29er Knard tires (also a Surly product). So essentially the frameset is made to accommodate crazy big 29er wheels and role over just about any rough terrain.
This is not to be confused with Surly’s FatBikes (Pugsley, Moonlander) that have ultra fat rubber. The Krampus’ tires are far more nimble, and the frame has been built with that in mind – it has geometry that we dare call racy. It’s even made without a front derailleur cable housing stop so there can still be good mud clearance behind the seat tube in spite of the short chain stays (as a result the bike requires a direct mount front derailleur).
Also unlike Surly’s FatBike fare the Krampus does not have an offset rear triangle or extremely dished rims, and uses ‘regular’ 100mm (front) and 135mm (rear) hubs. It is however recommended that you use a 1x or 2x drivetrain set up because a 3 chainring set up will likely cause some chain/tire rub in your lowest gears.
The Krampus can of course also be ridden with conventional, narrower 29er rims and tires. We don’t know why you’d buy the bike expressly for that purpose (though you may have your reasons) but you might consider a 2nd, narrower wheelset to make the bike even more versatile, though we think it’s going to be plenty versatile as is.
Oh, and for those of you who are on your 4th or 5th Surly frameset, who love to swap parts between bikes, we should point out that the Krampus uses a 44mm headset. As far as we can recall this is the 1st time a Surly hasn’t used a 1 1/8″ headset since that became the standard, so note that you’ll be on the hook for a new headset if you build this frameset up yourself. The seat tube still accommodates the usual 27.2mm post.
Please also note that at the moment we can only order in framesets, tires, and rims as a complete package (that is, just those 3 components, and just as a ‘set’). After April we should be able to get the framesets, rims, and tires separately, as well as complete bikes.