Is the riding in LA the best in the country, or did a group of my close friends make it that way and present me with a great time, every time I’m in town? Who knows. I enjoy riding in LA, be it MTB, road or cross and while I love to ride road here, I’ve only begun to scratch the surface of the real dirty Los Angeles.
Oh and Ty can really boost his Surly Pugsley!
While I love custom frames and supporting local frame builders, the honest truth is, I also really admire brands like Surly, Raleigh, Fairdale and All-City. Why? It’s obvious. They make bikes that are accessible, fun and that’s what matters most: getting people onto bikes.
Of course, with a frame retail considerably lower than a custom one, you can do some pretty special paint or powder. Blue Lug’s custom Surly builds always pique my interest. Bright, clean and a lot more character than the standard, production bike.
This Krampus and Pugsley have me thinking of stripping and painting my Pugs something! See more radness at the Blue Lug Flickr!
I have no idea what’s going on here, but I love it! Thanks for this, Surly.
I don’t need a special day to remind me to be thankful because it never leaves my mind. Now this goes without saying but I cannot thank you enough for being such rad readers. Yes, even the ones who ruin the comments… Also I’d like to thank the supporters and sponsors of this site, to whom which I’m eternally grateful for everything they’ve done.
Now get out and ride this morning before your family and friends invade!
Before I begin this whole review, let me just say that this bike has been an absolute blast. If you have no interest in riding a fatbike, you should really try one out, they’re a lot of fun. In fact, it’s hard to convince me to ride my other bikes. No lie…
Ever since riding the Krampus back in Minneapolis, I wanted to get my hands on a full fat. Then, when Surly announced that sick limited edition Pugsley, I pulled a few fingers (backwards), sold my soul and got on the list for one.
So how’s it ride? Is it heavy? What are my thoughts? Surely, I have some critiques. Check out more below!
But it’s almost winter, so I guess it’s ok. Last week, Surly sent me one of their limited edition Pugsley fatbikes and I’ve been having a blast on it! Don’t worry, a full write-up is on the way.
Ever since riding a Krampus back in Minneapolis, I’ve had this little notion stuck in my head: go full fat. Say what you will about Surly (be nice) but they’ve helped establish a new sub-genre in dirt riding (see this thread for some history). Their fat bikes are taking the industry by storm and it’s not often you see something “special edition” coming out of their doors.
Save for this special brute:
“We ordered a very small number of these (around 500 world wide). The bike has an Surly OD crankset, SLX shifters, front derailleur and hydraulic brakes, with an LX rear derailleur. Also it’s got polished silver Holy Darryl rims and shiny bits all over the place. Plus those snazzy two-tone 60tpi Nates (baby!). ”
Uhhh, sign me up? See more at Surly!
Since first seeing the PR on this bike, I had to get my hands on one. Preferably, on my home turf in Austin for some comparison to my IF 29′r. I wanted to know if the extra “fat” would really make that much of a difference.
Before getting into the details, let’s talk about the concept of the bike. While it’s no Moonlander or Pugsley, the Krampus is still fatter than most 29′rs on the market. Its stance is aggressively increased by the 29 x 3˝ Knard tires, mounted 50mm Rabbit Hole rims. The general positioning of the bike looks more aggressive than Surly’s other offerings with that rear end too.
Surly isn’t really a company known for “racing bikes”, so don’t be confused. The Krampus handles singletrack, rock gardens, somewhat technical conditions like most rigids out there but the extra beef of the tires absorbs more of the jarring moments you’ll find on the above conditions.
I’ve been riding the absolute shit out of my IF 29′r, which is also rigid, on 2.25″ tires and I could tell a difference the extra beef made. It’s still a rigid bike, so you’ll be taking different lines than if you were on a full susp but don’t downplay the fun you can have. Or the workout…
The weight of this thing, stock, is not light. Surly doesn’t list the weight and if I recall correctly, a large weighed in close to 30 pounds. Eeeesh. But, as I said, it’s a rare bird and that weight can be drastically reduced by converting it to tubeless (it can be done with Gorilla tape), swapping the saddle, seatpost and bar / stem. If you’re smart, you can easily bring it down 5 lbs or so.
Not that a weight weenie will buy one of these bikes. After a quick spin at Lebanon in Minneapolis, both Kyle and I were feeling the weight. The bike descended amazingly, cornered and floated around turns and actually hopped up and over obstacles quite easily. On berms it was a beast and most rock gardens were mere appetizers. But the second you started climbing. Oh boy… you felt it.
So what? It’s a fun bike, that tends to get a bit heavy when you’re sticking it to a lot of short, punchy climbs but that’s not where the Krampus reigns supreme. We had a blast tearing through the River Bottoms in Minneapolis. It wheelies very easily, zips through sand, mud and whatever else you can toss at it. I didn’t even notice the weight of the bike, until I got it up to speed. It’s like a bush bowling ball.
Would I buy one? Sure thing! But if I did, I feel like my IF would be obsolete. I don’t really need another rigid 29′r right now… right? N+1?
My advice would be, if you’ve never ridden a MTB and want something for your local trails, I dare you to try out a Krampus. You might just be happy with it. Check out all the tech info you want to know at Surly.
Check out more photos and thoughts in the Gallery and decide for yourself.
Look, I love the ‘wood and I love dirt. I’d rather spend six hours in the woods than three on sealed road. Why? It’s more fun. Especially when you find yourself on a 29+ MTB like a Surly Krampus (don’t worry, there’s a review coming). On one of my last days in Minneapolis, Jeff, Kyle and I rode the “River Bottoms” with Baroo, Jeff’s dog.
We took it at a chill pace, messed around on obstacles and stopped for the photo opps… Then, Kyle sprained his ankle and Baroo got overheated (90 degrees in Minneapolis is HOT).
I have to admit, in the 25 miles we rode, I had so much fun riding in the ‘wood with my mates. See for yourself in the narrated Gallery!
The world is going bonkers for disc brakes on drop-bar bikes and Surly is leading the way. While I’m not sold on the fad, I will say this bike looks sick. Here’s the word from Surly:
“…the Straggler, Surly’s long overdue disc brake equipped cross bike. The first thing you’ll probably notice is that it’s got disc brakes. Good, now that we got that out of the way let me point out a couple more things that make it stand apart from our venerable CrossCheck. The rear dropouts have been totally redesigned with a couple things in mind – Disc brakes, rear derailleur, single speed, and ease of wheel removal. The Straggler frame & fork is also ED coated to help to improve the life of your frame. The Straggler fork is using the Long Haul Trucker dropouts, mid blade & crown eyelets to accommodate a wide verity of fenders and racks. A complete build spec will be available on our website soonish.”
Throw some Bruce Gordon Rock n Road tires on that thing and rip away! Keep an eye on Surly for more updates.