Gather ’round, fellow trail-blazers, and let me spin you a yarn about the legendary beast known as the Surly Krampus. Remember when we thought chunky tires were just for show? Oh, how naive we were! The Krampus was the pioneer, bursting onto the scene and showing us the magic of high-volume, large-diameter tires. Think of it as the espresso shot to your morning brew – potent, exhilarating, and debunking the myth that size slows you down. Whether you’re a novice explorer or a seasoned trail warrior, let Krampus guide you to new horizons. It’s not just a bike; it’s a legend reborn.
With the Surly Krampus SUS, you’re not just riding; you’re embarking on an odyssey. Load up those bikepacking bags, and let this beast be your compass to the world’s farthest reaches. Whether you’re setting up camp under a blanket of desert stars or nestled deep within the whispering woods, the Krampus ensures your journey is as smooth as your grandma’s apple pie. Its design tackles rugged terrains with the finesse of a ballroom dancer. So, ready for an epic? The world awaits! 🌍🌲🌵
Geometry & Ride Characteristics
The Surly Krampus SUS geometry design seamlessly blends the attributes of traditional mountain and plus-sized bike geometries, creating a versatile framework that’s comfortable for extended rides yet nimble on challenging terrains. The frame’s geometry encourages an upright riding stance, minimizing rider fatigue during prolonged excursions. Moreover, the bike’s shorter top tube and elongated head tube amplify stability and precision, ensuring it’s a trustworthy ally for your off-road escapades. Paired with a 120 mm suspension fork, the Krampus SUS’s geometry promises a harmonious blend of stability and precision, making it a reliable companion for diverse terrains.
The Surly Krampus SUS delivers a riding experience that is both robust and nimble. Its large 29+ tires, paired with the RockShox 35 Gold RL fork, ensure that riders experience a plush, cushioned ride even on rugged trails or challenging terrains. The bike’s unique geometry, combined with its tire size, allows it to roll over obstacles with ease, while still maintaining the agility needed for tight turns and technical sections. Whether you’re navigating rocky descents or cruising on singletracks, the Krampus SUS’s riding characteristics promise a blend of comfort and precision, making every ride an adventure.
- 29+ Tire Design: The Surly Krampus SUS’s geometry is specifically tailored to accommodate 29+ tires, a departure from traditional mountain bikes which often feature narrower profiles. This design allows for a more substantial tire base, enhancing grip, stability, and versatility on varied terrains.
- Tire Clearance: Unlike many mountain bikes that might accommodate standard tire sizes, the Krampus SUS is designed for larger 29+ tires. This generous clearance offers enhanced cushioning and traction, especially on challenging trails and terrains.
- Head Tube Angle: With a consistent head tube angle of 68.4° across all sizes, the Krampus SUS provides a balance between nimbleness and stability. While some aggressive trail bikes might have steeper angles for quick handling, the Krampus SUS ensures a stable ride on both climbs and descents.
- BB Drop: A uniform BB drop of 60mm across all sizes ensures a low and centered rider position. This contrasts with some bikes that might have varied BB drops, providing the Krampus SUS with a grounded feel, especially on technical sections.
- Wheelbase: The wheelbase, ranging from 1096mm to 1173mm, is longer than many standard mountain bikes. A more extended wheelbase offers enhanced stability, especially at high speeds, making it apt for both trail riding and bikepacking adventures.
- Chainstay Length: A consistent chainstay length of 435mm across all sizes ensures predictable and balanced handling. This is slightly longer than some race-oriented mountain bikes, offering stability and a smooth ride, especially on rough terrains.
- Top Tube Length: Both the actual and effective top tube lengths are designed to ensure riders have a comfortable reach and posture. Unlike some bikes that might have elongated or shortened top tubes, the Krampus SUS provides lengths that cater to a balanced riding position.
- Seat Tube Angle: With angles consistently at 72.4° across sizes, these angles ensure an efficient pedaling position. While some aggressive trail bikes might have varied seat tube angles, the Krampus SUS maintains a consistent angle for a blend of comfort and performance.
- Standover Height: The varying standover heights across sizes ensure that riders of different statures can comfortably mount and dismount the bike, crucial for trail scenarios and technical sections.
vs. the Surly Krampus Rigid
The Surly Krampus Rigid featuring a rigid fork, is a more economical alternative to the Surly Krampus SUS, which comes equipped with a suspension fork. While both models share a similar frame design, they primarily differ in their componentry.
- Krampus Rigid: 100% Surly Chromoly Steel, Natch tubing, double-butted tapered fork blades, TIG welded, E.D. coated.
- Krampus SUS: RockShox 35 Gold RL, 15 x 110mm, 120mm Travel.
- Brakes & Rotors:
- Krampus Rigid: Avid BB5 mechanical, 180F/160R.
- Krampus SUS: Tektro Gemini HD-M520, 180F/160R.
- Krampus Rigid: Shimano Deore SL-M6100.
- Krampus SUS: Shimano Deore XT SL-M8100.
- Krampus Rigid: Kalloy 31.8.
- Krampus SUS: ProMax 31.8.
- Krampus Rigid: Selle Italia.
- Krampus SUS: WTB Volt.
- Krampus Rigid: Kalloy, 30.9, 400.
- Krampus SUS: TranzX JD-YSP15.
- Krampus Rigid: Shimano Deore MT510.
- Krampus SUS: Shimano Deore M6100.
- Rear Derailleur:
- Krampus Rigid: Shimano Deore RD-M6100.
- Krampus SUS: Shimano Deore XT RD-M8100.
- Krampus Rigid: Surly Dirt Wizard 29 x 3″, 60tpi, Tubeless Ready.
- Krampus SUS: Surly Dirt Wizard 29 x 2.6″, 60tpi, Tubeless Ready.
vs. the Surly Karate Monkey SUS
The Surly Karate Monkey SUS is crafted with an emphasis on aggressive trail riding, delivering a responsive and agile experience on challenging terrains. In contrast, the Surly Krampus SUS is designed to conquer a variety of trails with its larger 29+ wheels, ensuring a stable and confident ride. While the Karate Monkey boasts a nimble and playful character, the Krampus offers a more planted feel, especially on rough terrains. Both bikes, however, promise top-notch performance, but their distinct ride characteristics cater to different rider preferences.
- Terrain Versatility:
- Surly Karate Monkey SUS: Highly adaptable, excelling on both singletrack trails and urban settings, making it a go-to for varied terrains.
- Surly Krampus SUS: More trail-centric, designed primarily for challenging terrains and rugged trails.
- Ride Feel:
- Surly Karate Monkey SUS: Offers a balanced ride with a mix of agility and stability, suitable for diverse off-road adventures.
- Surly Krampus SUS: Delivers a plush, cushioned ride, especially on rough terrains, due to its larger 29″ x 2.6″ tires.
- Surly Karate Monkey SUS: Quick and responsive, allowing for nimble maneuvers on tight trails and switchbacks.
- Surly Krampus SUS: While still agile, it leans more towards stability, especially on descents and technical sections.
- Climbing Ability:
- Surly Karate Monkey SUS: Efficient on climbs, with its geometry ensuring a good balance of power transfer and comfort.
- Surly Krampus SUS: The larger tires provide enhanced grip on steep and loose climbs, making ascents feel more controlled.
- Suspension Performance:
- Surly Karate Monkey SUS: Mid-range suspension provides a good balance of comfort and control on varied terrains.
- Surly Krampus SUS: Features the RockShox 35 Gold RL, offering superior shock absorption on rugged trails.
- Tire Performance:
- Surly Karate Monkey SUS: Flexible in tire choice, accommodating a range of sizes for varied terrains.
- Surly Krampus SUS: Specifically tailored for 29″ x 2.6″ tires, emphasizing maximum grip and stability on challenging trails.
vs. the Kona Unit X
The Kona Unit X, with its steel frame and single-speed setup, offers a purist’s approach to mountain biking, emphasizing simplicity and direct connection to the trail. Its geometry and design cater to riders seeking a straightforward, no-frills experience. In contrast, the Surly Krampus SUS, equipped with its plush front suspension and larger 29+ tires, provides a more cushioned and versatile ride, especially on rugged terrains. While both bikes are trail-ready, the Krampus SUS leans towards enhanced comfort and adaptability.
- Kona Unit X: Single-speed setup, offering a straightforward and direct riding experience without the need for gear shifting.
- Surly Krampus SUS: Features a multi-speed drivetrain, providing versatility for varied terrains and gradients.
- Frame Material:
- Kona Unit X: Typically constructed from steel, ensuring durability and a classic ride feel.
- Surly Krampus SUS: Made from 100% Surly Chromoly Steel with Natch tubing, emphasizing strength and trail performance.
- Ride Feel:
- Kona Unit X: Offers a raw and connected ride, allowing riders to feel every nuance of the trail.
- Surly Krampus SUS: Delivers a more cushioned and controlled experience, especially on rough terrains, due to its suspension and larger tires.
- Tire Size:
- Kona Unit X: Often equipped with standard mountain bike tire sizes, suitable for a range of terrains.
- Surly Krampus SUS: Tailored for 29″ x 2.6″ tires, emphasizing enhanced grip and stability on challenging trails.
- Kona Unit X: Rigid setup, providing a direct and unfiltered connection to the trail.
- Surly Krampus SUS: Features the RockShox 35 Gold RL front suspension, offering superior shock absorption on rugged trails.
- Kona Unit X: Its single-speed nature makes it ideal for riders seeking simplicity and a consistent challenge across terrains.
- Surly Krampus SUS: More adaptable, designed for a range of trail conditions and suitable for bikepacking adventures.
29″ x 2.6″ Tire Compatibility: The Surly Krampus SUS is tailored for 29+ tires, ensuring enhanced grip and cushioning on challenging terrains.
Trail-Focused Geometry: The specific geometry of the Surly Krampus SUS provides a balance between stability on rough trails and agile handling, making it ideal for diverse trail conditions.
Responsive Suspension: The bike’s RockShox 35 Gold RL front suspension offers superior shock absorption, delivering a controlled ride on rugged trails.
Grounded Ride Feel: The bike’s design, especially with its 29+ tire size, provides a grounded and cushioned ride experience, particularly on challenging trails.
Bag, Rack and Fender Mounting Points
The Surly Krampus SUS is equipped with the following mounting points to cater to all your bikepacking needs:
Rear Rack Mounts: The rear of the bike has mounts for attaching a standard rear rack for panniers or other gear.
Down Tube Mounts: The down tube has mounts for a water bottle cage or for attaching additional gear.
Under Downtube Mount: There’s a mount under the downtube, which is a common place to carry an extra water bottle or tool keg.
Fender Mounts: The bike has mounts for full coverage fenders, which are essential for wet weather bikepacking.
Surly Krampus SUS Featured in the Wild
Helena Kotala from Singletracks had the opportunity to test ride the revamped Surly Krampus SUS. She notes that while the Krampus has been a trailblazer in the plus bike market for over five years, its recent modifications have made it more playful and accessible, especially for smaller riders. The geometry changes, including a slackened head tube angle and shortened chainstays, have enhanced its handling. Helena mentions, “The 29+ tires still keep things rolling fast… while being a little more maneuverable and less cumbersome than the previous model.” The Krampus continues to be a robust 29+ platform, but with modern tweaks that cater to evolving rider preferences.
In his review on BestBikeSelect, Thomas Rayleign delves into the revamped 2023 Surly Krampus. He praises the bike for its rugged and durable steel frame, combined with reliable components, making it a versatile choice for riders. However, he also points out that the steel frame adds weight, which might deter some riders. The Krampus stands out for its well-balanced riding capabilities, especially when tested on challenging terrains like the Appalachian Trail. Rayleign states, “For me, it is a reliable bike that meets all of my needs without fail.” The review underscores the Krampus’s blend of performance and durability, making it a top contender in its class.
The Surly Krampus SUS drivetrain features high-quality components like the Shimano Deore XT rear derailleur and a 12-speed cassette. Braking is handled by Tektro Gemini HD-M520 brakes with 180mm front and 160mm rear rotors. Riders will appreciate the ergonomic Salsa Rustler handlebar and the WTB Volt saddle. The tubeless-ready Surly Dirt Wizard 29x 2.6″ tires round out this impressive build.
- Frame: 100% Surly Chromoly Steel, Natch tubing, double-butted main triangle, trumpet flared tubes, TIG welded, E.D. coated
- Fork: RockShox 35 Gold RL, 15 x 110mm, 120mm Travel
- Rear Derailleur: Shimano Deore XT RD-M8100
- Cassette: OE 12-spd, 11-51t
- Chain: KMC X12 Anti-Rust
- Crankset: Shimano Deore M6100
- Shifter: Shimano Deore XT SL-M8100
- Brakes: Tektro Gemini HD-M520
- Rotors: 180mm front & 160mm rear
- Headset: Cane Creek
- Stem: ProMax, 31.8
- Handlebar: Salsa Rustler
- Grips / Bar Tape: Velo Black
- Seatpost: TranzX JD-YSP15, 30.9, 120mm travel
- Saddle: WTB Volt
- Seatclamp: Surly stainless, 33.1mm
- Front Wheel: Novatec 15×110, 32h, 6-bolt, WTB ST i30 TCS 2.0
- Rear Wheel: Novatec 15×110, 32h, 6-bolt, WTB ST i30 TCS 2.0
- Tires: Surly Dirt Wizard 29 x 2.6″, 60tpi, Tubeless Ready,
The Surly Krampus SUS’s frame is designed with Gnot-Boost 12mm x 145mm rear dropout spacing, ensuring compatibility with various wheel and hub options. Furthermore, the frame incorporates internal cable routing for shifter, brake, and a dropper post. The precision TIG welding technique employed ensures the frame’s robustness, enabling it to tackle diverse terrains without compromising its structural integrity. The main triangle of the frame is double-butted, a process that reduces weight without compromising strength.
|Head Tube Angle||68.4°||68.4°||68.4°||68.4°|
|Head Tube Length||90||100||110||120|
|Seat Tube Length||368||419||470||521|
|Top Tube Length, Actual||556.8||573||595.1||621.8|
|Top Tube Length, Effective||587||612||637||662|
|Seat Tube Angle||72.4°||72.4°||72.4°||72.4°|
Register your purchase at Surly’s Warranty Registration.
LIMITED WARRANTY FOR THE SURLY KRAMPUS SUS
This Surly product is warranted against defects in materials and workmanship for three years from the date of retail purchase of the product, subject to the limitations detailed below. Save your dated receipt for proof of purchase.
This warranty does NOT cover the following:
- Damage due to improper assembly or follow-up maintenance or lack of skill, competence or experience of the user or assembler
- Products that have been modified, neglected, used in competition or for commercial purposes, misused or abused, involved in accidents or anything other than normal use
- Installation of components, parts or accessories not originally intended for or compatible with bicycle as sold
- Damage or deterioration to the paint, surface finish, aesthetics or appearance of the product
- Normal wear and tear
- Labor required to remove and/or refit and re-adjust the product within the bicycle assembly
This limited warranty is expressly limited to the repair or replacement of a defective product, at the option of Surly, and is the sole remedy of the warranty. This limited warranty applies only to the original purchaser of the Surly product and is not transferrable. This warranty applies only to products purchased through an authorized dealer or distributor. In no event shall Surly be liable for any loss, inconvenience or damage, whether direct, incidental, consequential, or otherwise resulting from breach of any express or implied warranty or condition, of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or otherwise with respect to our products except as set forth herein.
This limited warranty gives the consumer specific legal rights, and those rights and other rights may vary from place to place. This limited warranty does not affect your statutory rights.
TO THE EXTENT NOT PROHIBITED BY LAW, THESE WARRANTIES ARE EXCLUSIVE AND THERE ARE NO OTHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS INCLUDING WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.