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  1. #1
    Mmmm Rocks Good
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    Krampus as an only bike?

    Bikes are getting more and more expensive. My son is getting older, so keeping both of us on relatively newer FS bikes is not going to be possible for much longer. I currently have a Ventana El Capitan 29'r set at 5" front and back. It is my only bike. I'm considering a Krampus as my every day ride for me, and he can have the FS bike if he wants. I would retire the Ventana but keep the components for the Krampus. My son is only 14 so it's not a huge deal yet. I live in western Pa and ride everything from flowing smooth singletrack to rocky fun stuff. Will a Krampus be up to task for some steeper stuff and some rocky stuff? Seems like a nice bike to transistion to? .
    Big, strong, rock crushing, IPA drinking, big hit bike rider!

  2. #2
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    Sure, why not? Rock two sets of wheels, one with RH's, and one with a narrow rim like Flow's. Swap between the two as conditions warrant.

    Add a Fox fork into the mix and you'll get plenty of setups out of just "one" bike.

  3. #3
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    Why not? It should be a great only bike. The rabbit holes will play nice with narrower tires as well as the knards. Before suspension, people had no questions about whether a rigid bike would make a good only bike. No matter what if you only have one bike it will be a compromise in certain conditions and awesome in other conditions.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScaryJerry View Post
    Sure, why not? Rock two sets of wheels, one with RH's, and one with a narrow rim like Flow's. Swap between the two as conditions warrant.

    Add a Fox fork into the mix and you'll get plenty of setups out of just "one" bike.
    I don't understand this suggestion. I can't imagine any situation where the big wheels of the Krampus wouldn't work out fine. Plus the OP was wanting to save money, not spend it. The same goes for a Fox fork, especially given the cost and the fact that you will have very little tire clearance under the bridge.

    I think the stock Krampus would be a great bike for the conditions described but the big fat tires will not make up for the fact that it is a rigid bike. Ride it as fast as the Ventana on a rocky downhill and you will suffer for it. If you are okay with that, then I say go for it.

  5. #5
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    Instead of rabbit hole rims, I plan to use velocity p35 rims, or salsa Gordo rims, which are both wide enough to accommodate the Knard tires, but will also fit regular 29er tires, making it more versatile

    Fat tires will add a bit of cushion, but will never ride like a 5inch travel full sus bike, but that depends on your riding style

    That said, I think the reason why the krampus appeals so much to me is because I like to be able to service everything in my bikes, except suspension forks/rear shox

    Edit:
    So, to answer your question, yes, I think krampus as an only bike is doable, especially so if you want to slow down and simplify your bike as well as your riding style
    Last edited by bb1mina; 01-11-2013 at 03:00 AM.
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  6. #6
    Mmmm Rocks Good
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    Rigid, true.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thor29 View Post
    I don't understand this suggestion. I can't imagine any situation where the big wheels of the Krampus wouldn't work out fine. Plus the OP was wanting to save money, not spend it. The same goes for a Fox fork, especially given the cost and the fact that you will have very little tire clearance under the bridge.

    I think the stock Krampus would be a great bike for the conditions described but the big fat tires will not make up for the fact that it is a rigid bike. Ride it as fast as the Ventana on a rocky downhill and you will suffer for it. If you are okay with that, then I say go for it.
    I would be very cognizant of the fact that it would be a rigid bike and would have to ride accordingly in the rocky stuff. As I get older (52) I TRY to slow down in that stuff anyway. I was awakened to the fact that I am getting older when I broke my femur in March of 2011 My wife asked me to slow it down! Thaks for the feedback on the Krampus!
    Big, strong, rock crushing, IPA drinking, big hit bike rider!

  7. #7
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    I haven't ridden the krampus, but I do have a pugsley that i've ridden over the whole spectrum of western PA trails. Fat tires generally aren't a problem on the fast swoopy stuff except for lugging that extra weight uphill. In the techy rock gardens, the big tires will cruise through anything, but on the techy downhills things can get a bit bouncy. If you like riding rigid and don't mind going slow downhill, go for it. If you aren't used to riding rigid, you might want to give it a try first before going "all in" on the krampus. The pugsley is a blast to ride no matter what time of year it is, but it is also nice to reach for my lighter singlespeed hardtail with front suspension for going a little faster on both the ups and downs. If your son is only 14, let him ride a hardtail or rigid bike. Personally, I feel that my balance and skills improved the most while riding bikes with little to no suspension.

  8. #8
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    You will likely miss a suspension fork as you age. I do love the simplicity of a steel fork up front but its difficult to keep up with the guys who have a SF on a fun ride.

    I don't know if I could ride just one bike. So many choices but the Krampus has my attention.

    Happy Hunting!

  9. #9
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    I'm too old for a rigid bike for any kind of real off-road riding, and I'm only 31. Results may vary - but it's likely because I want to go fast when its bumpy, and I don't care what anyone says, you can't. Not really.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by LostBoyScout View Post
    I'm too old for a rigid bike for any kind of real off-road riding, and I'm only 31. Results may vary - but it's likely because I want to go fast when its bumpy, and I don't care what anyone says, you can't. Not really.
    Actually you can, but your vision gets really blurry, your joints hurt, and your face starts to remove itself from the front of your skull.

  11. #11
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    My hands cramping up at the biggest problem I have riding rigid (on a 26er, in VT). I'm torn between getting an El Mariachi and a Krampus, but neither seem to be available anyway (in my size)...

  12. #12
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    I can't imagine having only one bike. That'd be like eating the same thing everyday. Variety is the spice of life, even though I can only ride one at a time.
    '10 Rocky Mountain Metropolis (rigid 2x10)
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  13. #13
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    I say go for the Krampus if you understand rigid riding or can/want to learn the traits. I'm soon to be 43 and have switched to a rigid Troll and rigid Pugsley and my two duallies are collecting dust. The Troll usually rolls with super chunky Conti Trail King 2.4's. Two other things that smooth out some vibrations and such on both bikes are Ergon grips and Surly Open Bars (4130 Chromo with some flex). With the Krampus you will definitly get some passive suspesion from the tires judging from my rigid experience.

  14. #14
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    Also keep in mind that the steel frame is a lot more forgiving on the body than other materials and nice rigidity on the climbs (that FS bikes lack unless you lock out). As other's mentioned you are not going to get the level of suspension you have today, but you will get some decent float @ about 15psi in the Knards.
    You can always trade back and forth with your son... but me thinks once you have the Krampus, he will have a heck of a time pulling you away from it.

  15. #15
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    You'd be going from a 5" travel FS 29er to a rigid 29er with bigger than normal tires. Those are two totally different beasts. I ride a FS MTB [6" travel 26er] and I ride my Pugsley with fat tires on the same trails I do my FS bike. I am slower on the Pugs and after a ride I feel much more beat up. By contrast I can ride my FS bike on rough trails 5-7 days a week with nothing, but muscle soreness for turning the pedals.

    That's not to say the Krampus won't work for you. It's just to point out the two bikes have very little in common. If you can get access to a rigid 29er that will give you a much closer idea of how the Krampus will ride without buying one. The 3" tires will provide a tad more push ride, but be realistic it's still a fully rigid bike and you will not be able to avoid getting pounded on rocky terrain. With the 4" wide tires on my Pugs [diameter of a 29er wheel] I would estimate I get 0.5" of effective suspension from them. The 3" tires on the Krampus have a lot less volume.
    Safe riding,

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  16. #16
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    [QUOTE=vikb;10126510]You'd be going from a 5" travel FS 29er to a rigid 29er with bigger than normal tires. Those are two totally different beasts. I ride a FS MTB [6" travel 26er] and I ride my Pugsley with fat tires on the same trails I do my FS bike. I am slower on the Pugs and after a ride I feel much more beat up. By contrast I can ride my FS bike on rough trails 5-7 days a week with nothing, but muscle soreness for turning the pedals.


    I have a couple rigid 29'ers, and I'd argue they don't feel a whole lot like a krampus
    with 3" wide tires. At least not enough to make an informed decision
    . And only 1/2" "effective suspension" on a pugs? Are you serious? What do you run your tires at? 60psi?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justinbunyon View Post
    Are you serious? What do you run your tires at? 60psi?
    Usually 7-10 psi. I'm 175lbs. I've ridden my Pugs in a wide variety of conditions the last 4yrs. I've owned rigid, hardtail and FS bikes of most varieties smaller than DH.

    My rims are just over 3" off the deck without me on the bike so once I am aboard thats in the 2"+ range before the rims hit the deck.

    Compared to my rigid MTB with 2.1" tires were the rims are just over 2" from the deck unloaded - maybe 1.5" once I'm onboard.

    The difference in ride quality between them feels like about 0.5" of suspension fork/shock. Which is to say it takes care of the small high frequency stuff and a bit off the medium stuff, but next to nothing on the bigger hits.

    That's a subjective appraisal, but there is no getting away from the fact these are rigid bikes. The big tires help a little bit, but if you can't imagine riding a rigid MTB bike on your trails than I'd be realistic about how plush a fat bike is going to be.

    Keep in mind the OP is coming from a 5" travel FS bike.

    Here is a Krampus review worth reading that captures the suspension effect of fat tires well:

    Only at speed the bigger obstacles can throw you off as the wheels float then rebound so abruptly that the rider can be catapulted off the trail if not ridden accordingly (No mistaking, you are riding a rigid bike but it feels almost full suspension soft on small obstacles).
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  18. #18
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    Yes, and keep in mind the OP asked if the krampus could handle SOME steeper stuff and SOME rocky stuff. Not if it would be a perfect replacement for a 5" FS bike. I'm sorry, it's just that your statement of fat bikes having 1/2" of suspension sounds completely redic as well as your method of judging "effective suspension." I've had lots of bikes too. I've also ridden my pugs in every condition. I've ridden rigid 29 in almost every (feasable) condition. The difference between the two is huge. To answer the original question, I think the krampus would be a great compromise. No, it won't handle everything like a 5" VS bike...but you probably don't expect it to. If I get mine built before you I'll let you know

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justinbunyon View Post
    Yes, and keep in mind the OP asked if the krampus could handle SOME steeper stuff and SOME rocky stuff. Not if it would be a perfect replacement for a 5" FS bike. I'm sorry, it's just that your statement of fat bikes having 1/2" of suspension sounds completely redic
    Any mountain bike can handle some steeper stuff and some rocky stuff - including rigid bikes so that isn't saying anything.

    My assessment of 0.5" suspension isn't an uncommon opinion of fat bikes. If you want to say there is 0.75" or even 1" I can chalk that up to differences in perception, but there aren't inches of equivalent suspension available on a Pugs and as the review I linked to about the Krampus notes fat tires are great on the small stuff, but beyond that these bikes are rigid.

    If you are coming off a 5" FS bike that's important to understand before you spend the $$$.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  20. #20
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    A major asterisk with the 0.5 to 1" of suspension is that it's undampened - a very important thing to note. It's air suspension without the hydraulic control, so it will take the edge off sharp impacts but will be bouncy and hard to control when hitting bumps at speed.

    It really comes down to your priorities and how quickly and comfortably you want to be able to get through technical and rough sections. No matter what internet-tough-guys tell you, you CANNOT go as fast through rough and technical terrain on a rigid bike as a 5" FS bike, and if you try you'll end up either crashing, or at the very least punishing your body. Now there's no reason you NEED to go that fast through these sections - it's all up to whether or not you WANT to.

    I used to be a hardtail diehard, but I switched over when I realized what I had been missing out on. Now I have a rigid touring MTB, 5" trail bike, and 7" freeride bike and I'm extremely happy with the trio. If I could only have one it might be a hardtail, but it would have at least 120mm of travel up front. But that's because I want to be able to go pretty fast on technical trails.

    I think the Krampus is an awesome one-bike for someone who wants to ride year-round and is willing to slow down when things get rough.
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  21. #21
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    I want to chime in on the suspension benefits of fat tires.

    I have a krampus with knards on rabbit holes. I also have a fat front setup with a 4.8" bud on a rolling darryl. Not surprisingly I also have a regular 29er with a front shock.

    The krampus is a rigid bike! 29x2.4" tires with a 4" travel fork is far more plush on big hits than the knard or Bud. One thing about using tires for suspension is that you can't run a pressure that would allow them to bottom out. If your fork bottoms out, no big deal; if your knards bottom out, you get a pinch flat, a cut tire, a dented rim (i've got 3 cuts in my 2 tires and at least one dent in my rear rabbit hole rim!!!! ....all sorts of bad stuff can happen when you bottom out your tire suspension. So if you ride fast rocky stuff, you'll probably end up adding pressure to prevent tire and wheel damage. These higher pressures make riding other sections of the trail more jarring. I'd rather be jarred than have severe tire and wheel damage, so I run fairly high pressure in my knards. My pump isn't accurate at these low pressures, but I'm guessing its in the high teens.

    If you know you won't be hitting fast rocky, pinch-flatty stuff or if you're willing to slow down a bit and be more careful, you can run the lower pressures and experience the awesome floaty feeling as you zip around the smoother trails. I can't trust myself to do this; if I see a big rock on the trail, I'll either try to use it as a lip or a landing if I've got enough speed, increasing the risk of a pinch....vestiges of many years riding bmx....

    Knards do have excellent traction! They'll still slip on wet roots, but on muddy climbs, I've been amazed by what I can get up. The high bb and high center of gravity(makes for slower falling) of the krampus combined with the knards makes for really fun turning; when the tires break loose on fast turns, it's a lot easier to avoid falling down or to get clipped out fast enough to kick off of the ground and recover the turn. I'm amazed at how many times on my krampus I've managed to lose traction in a 20mph turn, start to fall over, clip out, and take a big fast step where I kick myself back upright and continue the turn with barely a loss of speed. I also have a big bruise on my knee from a couple of days ago when that didn't work out and I crashed in the turn and nailed my knee on the stem.

    I really like my krampus and also don't like having a fork that requries rebuilding. nonetheless, a suspension fork is starting to sound like a ton of fun.
    Last edited by PretendGentleman; 03-25-2013 at 07:05 AM.

  22. #22
    Mmmm Rocks Good
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    Well, I made the plunge after my 5" Ventana El Capitan broke after 4 years of awesome use! I bought a Krampus and took it out for 2 days at Big Bear Lakes in WV which has a nice variety of terrain and.............. I LOVED it! I had an absolute blast! I was as beat up as expected from 2 days of riding but I didn't feel any worse that I have in the past on my full suspension? Main difference was slowing down on some of the rockier sections and being a bit more picky about my lines. Overall, I could not be happier!! Such a fun machine! Simple too! And THAT I really value!!
    Big, strong, rock crushing, IPA drinking, big hit bike rider!

  23. #23
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    Glad you resurrected this thread PaMthKkr (btw, nice signature... hopheads unite!). I was thinking about my Krampus as my only bike option just the other day. After a few months with the bike, I can say it is my go to piece for a ride. I still love my fat bike and 9'er single speed, but this thing is just so much fun to ride. It handles everything I throw at it very well. I love the 1x10 set-up... simple, effective.
    My only real gripe was the heavy front end that was pretty jarring on rooty single track. That has since been remedied with the White Brother Carbon fork. She sits just under 30lbs. and the lighter front end makes it very balanced and compliant. Steel and carbon is a marriage made in heaven.
    Glad to hear you like your choice. The more and more you ride it, the more you'll love it.
    Cheers!

  24. #24
    Mmmm Rocks Good
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    Mmmmmm! Hops!!! I am totally fine w/the weight of my large Krampus (Appx 30 Lbs) I really enjoyed picking out fun, tight lines and nailing them w/little body English adjustments! I never felt THAT much slower on the rockier DH sections and my friends always heard me coming! I simplified even further by eliminating my front shifter/Derailleur! Totally fun bike! Can't wait to ride again!!
    Big, strong, rock crushing, IPA drinking, big hit bike rider!

  25. #25
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    PaMtnBkr, I was in a similar situation with you. I retired my 2008 Turner 5Spot, bought two Surly Trolls. One Troll had the parts, wheels, etc transferred over from the Turner. The other Troll built up new. No regrets because I have a riding partner in my son, albeit working to build up his skill. No more jumps and gung-ho all mountain riding, but I am enjoying mountain biking the way it was 20 odd years ago - steel is real and rigid. The rigid fork didn't last long though, using 100mm suspension forks. Saved some money by internally adjusting the travel of the Fox Float from the Turner and bought a shop soiled Rockshox SID. Love the feel of steel!

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