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  1. #1
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    El Mariachi vs Krampus vs ECR

    I did a seach and couldn't find a good comparison. First post So hope I put this in the right place. The wife agreed to let me invest in a new ride this spring/summer. I have narrowed down my choices to the three listed, based on what I want to to do. Athough I have never bike packed I am obsessed and working on my first trip. That being said thats my driving motivation for the three choices. They all seem to be solid bikes. My other bikes include a SS rigid karate monkey (which i do the majority of my mtb riding), and a novara ponderosa 29er hard tail (mainly for cruising around town). So this new addition would need to be fun to ride, as capable loaded as it is with just a water bottle, dependable, and availability to add an internal rear hub (daydreaming about rohloff). I love the idea of simplisity! I was sold on the el mariachi until I met the 29+ Krampus. I was futher torn when I read about the 29+ ECR. I have time to decide but test rides are tough in St. Louis when the Krampus is the only stocked bike Ive seen. I have seen countless reviews of each bike, but a comparison or owners opinions are hard to come by.

    I apprecite all the input!

    sorry if I missed an identical prevous thread

  2. #2
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    FWIW (and I confess I never follow this advice, but I always wish that I had . . .), at least do an S24O before you decide. The Karate Monkey is a very capable bikepacking rig. Get out there and do a trip or two. I guarantee it will change your perspective more than any test ride.

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    Sounds lame, but...It's not about the bike. You already have a great one to use. Use it. Too many people spend too much time thinking about bikes and gear and never really make it out the door.

    Go ride one of your bikes on a trip first. I bet you love it.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by owlish View Post
    fwiw (and i confess i never follow this advice, but i always wish that i had . . .), at least do an s24o before you decide. The karate monkey is a very capable bikepacking rig. Get out there and do a trip or two. I guarantee it will change your perspective more than any test ride.
    s240?

  5. #5
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    sub 24 hour overnight. go ride your karate monkey into the woods and stay there. when you come out of the woods, you'll realize your KM is a fine steed and the money can be spent on new camping gear and bags and tires and such.

  6. #6
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    Gotcha that's actually my plan before it gets cold. Possibly even have somebody shuttle me out and ride back on our epic local. This is one of those budget issues that if I don't use it I'll loose it. I love my KM and use it regularly, but I would like to have a suspension or 3" tire to eat up some bumps. Plus I would like the bike to be geared. I want the KM to stay rigid and ss but over 30 miles of singletrack might not be... Well comfortable. One reason I bought the KM was the versatility but I choose to keep it ss and rigid. Great suggestions I do appreciate it but I hope that makes sense why I'm looking for the geared bikepacking bike.

  7. #7
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    Check out the Surly and Salsa forums for some specific info on each bike. Each bike (including what you currently own) is plenty capable, but I understand wanting something new, especially if your wife is ok with it
    Mountain bikers who don't road ride have no legs...
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  8. #8
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    I wouldn't get an El Mariachi unless I was planning on getting rid of the Karate Monkey, they are too similar. A Krampus and an ECR have the same geometry but are set up differently as completes. The ECR is going to be better for bikepacking, but there's nothing stopping you from throwing a normal riser or flat bar on it and shredding like it was a Krampus. Ultimately though I would consider getting an Ogre fork or a Fargo fork for your Karate Monkey, maybe build a 29+ front wheel ( it will fit) and spending the money you would spend on the new bike on a wicked sweet bike packing gear set-up. The lighter your gear, the more fun you will have doing this.

    You could also get a suspension fork for your KM, a threadless fork is very easy to swap out if you can align a brake caliper.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by sasquatch rides a SS View Post
    Check out the Surly and Salsa forums for some specific info on each bike. Each bike (including what you currently own) is plenty capable, but I understand wanting something new, especially if your wife is ok with it
    Thanks great advise! I did look on both surly and salsa forums. I also looked on YouTube and other forums that's how I found ECR. I was hoping for some practical application. I'd love to get an opinion from some one who has used the mariachi and krampus (ECR will be tough cause heard it's not out yet) in a BPing application. The other problem is, correct me if I'm wrong but the 29+ class is a new niche. Not a ton of info.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iamrockandroll13 View Post
    I wouldn't get an El Mariachi unless I was planning on getting rid of the Karate Monkey, they are too similar. A Krampus and an ECR have the same geometry but are set up differently as completes. The ECR is going to be better for bikepacking, but there's nothing stopping you from throwing a normal riser or flat bar on it and shredding like it was a Krampus. Ultimately though I would consider getting an Ogre fork or a Fargo fork for your Karate Monkey, maybe build a 29+ front wheel ( it will fit) and spending the money you would spend on the new bike on a wicked sweet bike packing gear set-up. The lighter your gear, the more fun you will have doing this.

    You could also get a suspension fork for your KM, a threadless fork is very easy to swap out if you can align a brake caliper.
    Wanted to keep the KM rigid/ss pure it's my training bike. but I thought about the ogre fork. But was under the impression that it would have to be a 26" pugsly type setup. For that matter I'd consider a Mukluk frame with 29+ wheel set. As far as the ECR that almost sounds like the most versatile. With the availability fenders and racks or frame bags. Another question what's more durable el mar front sus fork or a 29x 3" knard I heard the sidewalls are bittersweet. Soft to allow for flex/traction/float but puncture easy.

  11. #11
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    Since you've got some time, be sure to do a lot research on the different bikes. The Krampus and ECR do NOT have the same geometry, so make sure to really consider how you'll be riding the bike for the majority of the time. Talk to vikb about bike packing on a Krampus, he is a wealth of knowledge on the topic. There is a ton of info on MTBR on the Krampus (I mean a TON), and I would assume the same for the El Mariachi, more will come rushing in on the ECR with time. There is already a lot of info on that bike outside of MTBR. Good luck in your search I do suggest trying 29+, my Krampus is a fantastic bike, definitely my favorite!
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  12. #12
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    I stand corrected, just checked out the actual geo charts and they are quite different. I was just eyeballed them and they looked the same, much like the KM/Ogre.

  13. #13
    ECR
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    I believe the 29" Rabbit Hole with Knard fits on the front of the Karate Monkey. Why don't you try that first?

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    This is completely unhelpful, but I've got an El Mariachi and it's awesome. But I really wish I had a Krampus as well.
    While it's an awesome looking bike, I don't really get the point of the ECR. To me, it seems like a laid back Krampus with the ability to haul more ****. Personally, I try to carry as little stuff as possible, so I would definitely choose the Krampus over the ECR. However, I've ridden neither of them...

  15. #15
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    I've enjoyed bikepacking with my Krampus this last year. It has a Rohloff since you mentioned that was of interest to you.

    It's a very capable bike you can setup a lot of different ways.

    Having said that if you own a Karate Monkey I would just start riding on that. There is no place I've gone on my Krampus that I couldn't go on a KM.

    You can set it up with a 1 x 10 for some gears a lot cheaper than buying a new bike. Swapping between 1 x 10 and SS isn't a huge chore if you want to keep it simple for trail riding.

    Once you have some bikepacking experience under your belt you will be in a much better position to determine what bike would be ideal for your needs.

    Comparison reviews are a bit tough - especially given the ECR is still just starting to trickle out. You could leave a comment for Cass over at While Out Riding Blog. He has toured on an Ogre and a Krampus so at least you'd get some idea of the difference between the bike you have and one of the 29+ options.

    I've never ridden an El Mar and unlikely to ever ride an ECR.
    Last edited by vikb; 11-20-2013 at 09:21 AM.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by willapajames View Post
    While it's an awesome looking bike, I don't really get the point of the ECR. To me, it seems like a laid back Krampus with the ability to haul more ****. Personally, I try to carry as little stuff as possible, so I would definitely choose the Krampus over the ECR. However, I've ridden neither of them...


    Just to clarify there is nothing you are going to haul with an ECR you can't haul with a Krampus.

    You can put water bottle cages on the Krampus DT [see pic in post above] on the fork legs and on the stem. You can haul dual racks and panniers if you like. You can haul a trailer with the Krampus.

    The important difference between the two is the geometry and BB height.

    That's how I would select between the Krampus and the ECR not based on a few brazeons that you don't need to mount stuff.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    Comparison reviews are a bit tough - especially given the ECR is still just starting to trickle out. You could leave a comment for Cass over at While Out Riding Blog. He has toured on a KM and a Krampus so at least you'd get some idea of the difference between the bike you have and one of the 29+ options.
    Cass rides an Ogre actually, almost identical to the KM, just missing a few braze-ons.

    Reviews on the ECR are starting to trickle out. All have been positive about the bike and ride. Obviously, since the Krampus has been out for a while there are many more reviews to read. The one note I would make is that the Krampus BB drop is even higher than the KM or Ogre so with the designed 3" tires you will sit another ~ inch higher. I'm one of those who like lower BB so the ECR makes more sense to me, but the guys on Krampus's don't seem to notice any issues so you'd have decide for yourself.

    So my recommendation would be for an ECR or Krampus as they are more adaptable. 3" tires one day off road and a 2.2 or 2.3 tire ( like the Scwalbe Big Apple) for more mixed terrain.

    mike

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post


    I've enjoyed bikepacking with my Krampus this last year. It has a Rohloff since you mentioned that was of interest to you.

    It's a very capable bike you can setup a lot of different ways.

    Having said that if you own a Karate Monkey I would just start riding on that. There is no place I've gone on my Krampus that I couldn't go on a KM.

    You can set it up with a 1 x 10 for some gears a lot cheaper than buying a new bike. Swapping between 1 x 10 and SS isn't a huge chore if you want to keep it simple for trail riding.

    Once you have some bikepacking experience under your belt you will be in a much better position to determine what bike would be ideal for your needs.

    Comparison reviews are a bit tough - especially given the ECR is still just starting to trickle out. You could leave a comment for Cass over at While Out Riding Blog. He has toured on an Ogre and a Krampus so at least you'd get some idea of the difference between the bike you have and one of the 29+ options.

    I've never ridden an El Mar and unlikely to ever ride an ECR.
    Can you elaborate as to whether or not the knards are durable? Do people run them tubless? How many spare tires are people bringing? I liked the idea of the Krampus serving two purposes, fun/BPing. If the Krampus can carry everything the ECR can, then whats cheaper?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philthyssvirgin View Post
    Can you elaborate as to whether or not the knards are durable? Do people run them tubless? How many spare tires are people bringing? I liked the idea of the Krampus serving two purposes, fun/BPing. If the Krampus can carry everything the ECR can, then whats cheaper?
    Knards are not particularly durable. I don't carry a spare tire on tour. I figure I can kludge something together good enough to get me back to the trailhead. So far I have had one pinch flat [my fault for running too low pressure] and one legit flat [sliver of rock or wood]. This is all BC riding.

    I run my Knards tubed, but other people run them tubeless successfully.

    I have no idea what the retail cost of a Krampus vs. an ECR would be, but I think it's a mistake to buy on price given neither will be cheap. Look at the geometry and BB height as well as the sizing. Possibly the parts spec. I would pick based on those factors.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by willapajames View Post
    While it's an awesome looking bike, I don't really get the point of the ECR.
    You and me both.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    Knards are not particularly durable. I don't carry a spare tire on tour. I figure I can kludge something together good enough to get me back to the trailhead. So far I have had one pinch flat [my fault for running too low pressure] and one legit flat [sliver of rock or wood]. This is all BC riding.

    I run my Knards tubed, but other people run them tubeless successfully.

    I have no idea what the retail cost of a Krampus vs. an ECR would be, but I think it's a mistake to buy on price given neither will be cheap. Look at the geometry and BB height as well as the sizing. Possibly the parts spec. I would pick based on those factors.
    From what I read:
    ECR bottom bracket height is lower than Krampus (dont know exact numbers) and the ECR chainstays are longer than krampus. I believe (dont quote me) the price is $2000 ECR vs $1700 Krampus. So whats your preference lowered BB stretcher bike loaded with brazeons or its brother taller BB shorter and ready for technical trails. Sounds like both are heavy, but who cares.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by willapajames View Post
    ...I don't really get the point of the ECR...
    Why not? It's the first time Surly has truly designated a trail from a touring mountain bike for a given wheel size based on geometry. The Troll vs. 1x1 and Ogre vs. KM have almost, if not completely identical geometry. That means that really the only difference between a Troll and 1x1 or Ogre and KM are the braze-ons and color. The ECR actually is a completely different bike from the Krampus, which I think serves a great purpose. Now you truly have 2 choices from Surly with a 29+ wheel, not just two identical bikes, one with braze-ons and one without, like you get with their other bikes. This pleases both trail riders and touring riders, without having to make them use the same bike for both purposes. ECR is a great choice from Surly IMO.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philthyssvirgin View Post
    From what I read:
    ECR bottom bracket height is lower than Krampus (dont know exact numbers) and the ECR chainstays are longer than krampus. I believe (dont quote me) the price is $2000 ECR vs $1700 Krampus. So whats your preference lowered BB stretcher bike loaded with brazeons or its brother taller BB shorter and ready for technical trails. Sounds like both are heavy, but who cares.
    I bought the Krampus in a medium vs. a large to get a shorter more manoeuvrable bike. I also live in very rocky & rooty terrain so I like the higher BB. I wanted a mountain bike to tour on which is what the Krampus is. The big wheels/tires add a ton of stability when the bike is moving so I've had no issues on that front.

    I should note that the Krampus' BB height with RHs and Knards is ~12" with me on the bike. That's not particularly high compared to the other MTBs I ride.

    I bought my Krampus as a frame/fork so the parts spec on the complete and overall cost played no part in my decision.
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  24. #24
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    Folks who have never ridden the ECR not getting it, I wonder why? ...lol

    Folks I talk with that have actually ridden both Krampus and ECR say overall they preferred the handling of the ECR especially if they were going to be traveling any distance, but hey what do they know? Do you think perhaps the folks at Surly just might be getting it? The BB on the ECR is already taller than both the Troll and Ogre and nearly same height as the Karate Monkey. Now why do you think they didn't make it any taller?

    YMMV (after you have ridden one)

  25. #25
    ECR
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    Just to clarify there is nothing you are going to haul with an ECR you can't haul with a Krampus.
    that's a bold statement!


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