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  1. #1
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    First MTB! Krampus or Karate Monkey Ops? Long distance bikepacking.

    Hi everyone!

    I'm an experienced cyclist with a background in long distance hiking and a love for Surly who wants to start bringing those 3 things together.

    I'm on my second Surly, the Snotrocket. Its a Crosscheck turned tourer doing commuting duty. I've taken it on gravel, forest roads, and some mellow singletrack but I've never done any "real" mountain biking.

    I want to get a mountain bike so I can cover more ground more easily when I'm in the woods. I plan on riding the Continental Divide trail by 2017 and need something that will be capable, simple, and reliable. At the same time I want something that's going to be fun to rip around on, on the weekends.

    I'm thinking Krampus or Karate Monkey Ops. The 29+ has the advantage on the fine sugar sand we have all over the place out here from the beaches to the upland sand-hills. When I hit the gnarlier back-country stuff it will be nice to have that little extra squish without extra moving parts. I also like that the stock build is pretty close to what I'm looking for and a good platform to modify from. Also its a sexy green that would look great next to my Snotrocket.

    The Karate Monkey Ops would be a pretty sweet bike too. The MDS would make for an easy belt drive mod for the eventual Rohloff Gates setup but at the same time would be ready to rip some singletrack right out of the box. The see through orange is pretty damn sick too.

    I'm pretty sure the Krampus is my bike but what do you all think?

  2. #2
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    The Krampus is an amazing bikebacking rig. It tours dirt roads to techy singletrack with aplomb. It can handle days of pavement if need be.

    You can install racks if you want to and attach stuff to the fork legs - although I prefer it skinny and light.



    The new Krampus comes with MDS dropouts although I prefer the older dropouts, but I have zero interest in a carbon belt.

    I like the super tall 29+ tires. They roll through rough terrain amazingly well. And the BB is high enough you can run "normal" 29er tires as well.



    You can add a suspension fork for more aggressive riding and swap back to the rigid fork for lower maintenance when you don't need it.

    It's surprisingly nimble at slow speeds and when the big wheels spin up it is very stable bombing trails and fire roads and warp velocities.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post


    The Krampus is an amazing bikebacking rig. It tours dirt roads to techy singletrack with aplomb. It can handle days of pavement if need be.

    You can install racks if you want to and attach stuff to the fork legs - although I prefer it skinny and light.



    The new Krampus comes with MDS dropouts although I prefer the older dropouts, but I have zero interest in a carbon belt.

    I like the super tall 29+ tires. They roll through rough terrain amazingly well. And the BB is high enough you can run "normal" 29er tires as well.



    You can add a suspension fork for more aggressive riding and swap back to the rigid fork for lower maintenance when you don't need it.

    It's surprisingly nimble at slow speeds and when the big wheels spin up it is very stable bombing trails and fire roads and warp velocities.
    Your posts and ride reports are a big part of the reason I'm thinking of going Krampus. That's the kind of riding that I want to be geared up for!

    I plan on using a rackless pack setup similar to yours for back-country trips, but would like to mount lowriders up front for trips around town. Does the fork that comes with the complete build have the needed braze ons? I heard there's a fork with braze ons and a bare one.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by NickandBruce View Post
    I plan on using a rackless pack setup similar to yours for back-country trips, but would like to mount lowriders up front for trips around town. Does the fork that comes with the complete build have the needed braze ons? I heard there's a fork with braze ons and a bare one.
    I've considered getting a custom ti 29+ rig built, but the Krampus rides so well for me on tour I'm worried I'll spend all that $$ and not be as happy. So I'm sticking with the sparkly green machine.

    If you want the Krampus fork with all the braze-ons it's ~$100 aftermarket. The stock fork has a single set of eyelets at the bottom.

    Keep in mind the Krampus runs a disc caliper up front so you'll need make your rack work while maintaining clearance around it.

    I use Old Man Mountain racks and they work fine on the Krampus front or rear.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  5. #5
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    Between those two, I would go KM. Especially if you're considering doing the TD. Most run skinnier 29er tires with minimal tread, as most of the riding is on dirt roads. You can still stuff fat 2.4's in the KM that should do ok in the sandy stuff. Krampus is fun, but in my view, the KM should work out better. Plus, there are limited tire choices for 29+ currently. That said, I definitely wouldn't mind a Krampus, especially after seeing a guy rail through a trail yesterday on his 29+ Blacksheep.

    Another option to consider is going full fat, like the Pug or ICT. Have a fat wheelset for sandy rides and build up a 29er wheelset for fast MTB rides. Pretty versatile bikes. This guy does lots of tours on a fat:

    Pedaling in Place

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