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  1. #1
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    Cool-blue Rhythm Surly Karate Monkey Vs. Krampus

    Hey guys,

    I did a few searches on this and have not found a comparison between the 2 bikes yet, so i decided to start a new thread.

    Basically i would like to know if anyone has experience on the 2 bikes and can compare the differences in handling, ride comfort, versatility.
    I am looking to build one of these bikes in the near future and since the Krampus is fairly new there hasn't been much comparison between the Krampus and other similar bikes. (Well at least i have not found it yet)

    My build would probably be more towards city riding with the option of being able to ride on trails and maybe even bike packing. So basically what i am looking for is a bike that is fast in the city and can handle some light to moderate trail riding occasionally.

  2. #2
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    Having had neither and not yet ridden a Krampus, I would suggest a Karate Monkey (or even an Ogre) for your described usage...why pay the weight and price penalty (including replacement tires) for the Krampus' off road advantages when off-roading is not your main goal? I guess you could run a city wheelset and an off-road wheelset on a Krampus just fine, but you can on a KM for significantly less investment...

    I love the Krampus, so take my opinion for what its worth.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by stryder508 View Post
    My build would probably be more towards city riding with the option of being able to ride on trails and maybe even bike packing. So basically what i am looking for is a bike that is fast in the city and can handle some light to moderate trail riding occasionally.
    Get a Karate Monkey. Or better yet, a Surly Cross Check.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by phsycle View Post
    Get a Karate Monkey. Or better yet, a Surly Cross Check.
    Hmmm....just checked out the cross check and it seems like something that i would want, but how is it on like hoping on or off curbs? or going down or up on some steps? Not that i do that a lot, but i would like to have the option if it presents itself.

  5. #5
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    When it comes to curbs, you can hop off one comfortably even with a road bike if you have the right technique. Inversely, if you just ride into curbs at high speed, you will strike the rims even if you're on a full suspension DH bike.

    I have a Charge Plug Freestyler for city bashing and winter commuting, and the things you're talking about are really about the rider more than the bike.

    For city riding, curb hopping and the occasional stairs or some off road trails, a Karate Monkey is a far better candidate than the Krampus, but a Cross Check is even better, as someone already mentioned. A "hard" bike may require skill when you do weird stuff with it, but a "soft" bike will be like swimming in tar for the majority of your riding.

  6. #6
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    i have a KM and have demo-ed the krampus. the krampus is very specific to a certain kind of terrain and style of riding.
    the KM is far more versatile and in ways it can be built up.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by stryder508 View Post
    Hmmm....just checked out the cross check and it seems like something that i would want, but how is it on like hoping on or off curbs? or going down or up on some steps? Not that i do that a lot, but i would like to have the option if it presents itself.
    I ve got a Cross Check, it handles curbs and steps pretty well. I ve been thinking about switching to a Karate Monkey or Ogre just for the trail factor and because I want disc brakes.

    Surly Karate Monkey Vs. Krampus-1185709_10151688004781778_2055433575_n.jpg
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  8. #8
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    I have a Cross Check (CC) and a KM (actually a few KMs through the years).

    The CC is a sturdy cyclocross bike. Unless Surly changed it, no disc brakes.

    A KM is the most versatile frame I've owned. It is a mule of a bike and can be pressed into just about any biking duty.

    In the winter I put studded tires on it. In the Spring I put fat, touring road tires on it to ride the back road till the trails thaw. In the Summer I use it as a back up bike. Usually ride it rigid. Will probably try a 275 out back this year.

  9. #9
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    Like the others, not sure why you are even looking at Krampus. For your riding, it would be like the guy down the street with 36 inch tires on his Ford f250 that never goes off road, or hauls anything. It looks cool on the street, but rather ineffecient and a bit overkill.
    As my sig shows, I recently purchased a preowned Salsa Fargo that would fit your bill great. Check them out....or just get a karate monkey, nice bike.
    2009 Salsa Fargo
    2012 Surly Pugsley
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post

    The CC is a sturdy cyclocross bike. Unless Surly changed it, no disc brakes...
    Well, the new Surly Straggler is almost a disc CC. Some slight geo tweaks, but nothing drastic.

  11. #11
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    If you do want to run fatter tires, a KM can easily take a Knard up front, and something like a 2.4 tire on a wide rim on the rear. Of course, you can also run normal 29er tires on the Krampus.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by stryder508 View Post
    Hmmm....just checked out the cross check and it seems like something that i would want, but how is it on like hoping on or off curbs? or going down or up on some steps? Not that i do that a lot, but i would like to have the option if it presents itself.


    Any bike will handle curbs and steps if you can finese things just a little bit.

    I'd take these steps twice as fast with my Krampus though and the Krampus would ride up them a whole lot easier.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  13. #13
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    How tall are you? I'm 6'5" and felt at home for the first time ever on a Krampus I test rode last year.
    I like turtles

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ascarlarkinyar View Post
    i have a KM and have demo-ed the krampus. the krampus is very specific to a certain kind of terrain and style of riding.
    the KM is far more versatile and in ways it can be built up.
    Interesting. I think the Krampus will rock any terrain that the KM will rock (at least mine does). I'd also say that the Krampus can be built up any way the KM can be built up (similar braze ons and rear dropout config), *but* it can also, easily, accommodate a 3.0 tire in the rear. Not sure how the KM is far more versatile? You'll likely be able to find better deals on the KM, especially used, but that's a different story.

  15. #15
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    Surly Karate Monkey Vs. Krampus

    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    How tall are you? I'm 6'5" and felt at home for the first time ever on a Krampus I test rode last year.
    Yes! I am 6'6" and have the same feeling. Makes me want to try a 36er to see if that is even better.


    "The trick, and oh, what a trick it is, is to remain consciously blind to the danger that surrounds you, and simultaneously hyper-aware of every hard bit of pavement or sharp bit of metal that enters your air space. This is the Zen koan of riding your bicycle on the road." Robot, Red Kite Prayer - rkp.com - October 20, 2011

  16. #16
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    The Cross Check is pretty capable off road and is the obvious choice for city riding. Put some big tires on it. I had mine setup for with flat bars for a while, doing the same sort of riding your doing, and I had a blast. Ripping around the city and hitting quick loops on the trails after work or on lunch.

  17. #17
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    Surly Karate Monkey Vs. Krampus

    I have a Krampus, and just swapped my CrossCheck for a Straggler (the CrossCheck with disc brakes ). The Krampus rocks with the 3" knards on it. If you will do mostly street riding and won't have those tires if go with a KM, CC, or Straggler.

  18. #18
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    All Surly's make good commuter bikes. If you can only have one bike, set up the Surly that best meets your interests beyond commuting and have at it. That being said, my first year KM singlespeed gets the most miles of my stable of bikes. and it will prolly continue to do so even though I own a Krampus and plan to get a Straggler frameset soon. The cool thing about fatter than normal tires for any of the types of bikes used for commuting as they for allow alternate routes in the rough, exploring off the beaten path should curiosity prevail. The 3" tires on a Krampus are just as valid in the urban jungle as in the dirt singletrack and fire roads out of town. Your gonna have to live with the compromises of what ever you choose, that's the way it is. At least Surly gives you the latitude to stretch it out for your fancy. Check out Surly's image dump on their site for any of their bikes and you'll see what I mean.

  19. #19
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    I'm 6'-7" and love the xl krampus. Short stem and 800mm bars and it's perfect. I would go with a Krampus and buy a set of normal 29'r wheels to run the bike either style you want. The Krampus is much quicker and agile than people think. I recently placed 7th out of 43 riders in a time trial on moderatley techinical single track riding the Krampus with the Knards. I also have a Salsa Spearfish but I'm for sure quicker on the Krampus.

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