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  1. #1
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    Looking for opinions on a do it all MTB

    My road bike was recently stolen and I'm sick of my FS 26", so I wanted to buy/build a new bike for bikepacking/touring and ride to the trails mountainbiking. I live in Florida so the conditions are rough, rooty, and sandy in the summer with no real descents. I prefer a more aggressive riding style, I air every little bump and log, and do small drops.

    The bikes I am looking at are

    The Pugsley, comfy tires, cool, go anywhere, some people say they aren't that bad on the road. The necro has those awesome bag mounts on the fork. Capable of running 29er wheels with the new Knard. I don't normally buy parts for my bikes after they are built though.

    The Karate Monkey, awesome 29er, with room for a relatively large tire, new fork is supposed to be lighter and more supple, clean looks ( no canti bosses). capable of running the new Knard in the front.

    The Ogre, same as above sacrificing looks for cool mounts, but the fork is super stiff? I don't know if the Knard will clear the canti bosses, l will never use them either.

    The Krampus, not available yet, but seems like a good mix of the KM and Pugs, with more aggressive geometry.

    I don't know much about bikepacking, but it is something I want to start doing soon. Should I focus on the bikes with dedicated mounts? Or would Freeload racks suit me? I don't own any gear yet, so this doesn't factor into my decision.

  2. #2
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    Would you be running a suspension fork? If no, I'd say the Krampus is the only Surly that really suits aggressive, playful riding like you describe (same type of riding I like!). The KM/Ogre have 'classic' MTB geometry which is more suited to low speed endeavors when it comes to technical/rough stuff. However with a suspension fork in the 100 - 120mm range you'd slacken the bike a little bit and make it a bit more playful (and easier on the wrists). You could also run any number of 'all mountain' hardtails like the Transition Trans Am, Kona Honzo, any Chromag, etc.

    As for bikepacking - frame mounts aren't necessary, but handy if you want to run fenders and panniers for asphalt tours. For off-road use, the array of soft-bags that attach to your frame, bars, and saddle are the way to go - they don't rattle and they stay out of the way. Personally, I went Ogre because I like that I can go either way on it. I don't expect to do a lot of playful off-road jumping on it though.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lostboyscout | www.beerscout.ca
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  3. #3
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    I don't think I'll be able to afford a suspension fork, but I was considering building the pug with a Krampus fork to get that extra rake. I have seen a picture of an Endomorph on a rhynolite in a KM fork, so I assume a similar setup would work with the krampus fork.

  4. #4
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    If cost is a factor, pick up an older KM. They're pretty common. With the Krampus and Pugs, you'll spend hundreds of dollars on just the wheel and tire setup. With the KM, pretty much anything works. The older frames have more braze ons than the newer, and you can always hose clamp Anything cages to the forks if you want to go that way.
    WTB: Specialized AWOL frameset, XL

  5. #5
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    My son currently has a surly ogre equipped with surly racks front and back, with deuter pannier bags front and back, plus a deuter saddle bag at the back and a Topeak handlebar bag in front, weighs a ton fully loaded, but handling is so nice and stable even offroad, you won't even notice the weight

    I also have an older version karate monkey currently setup as a fixed gear, and it's a blast to ride, you won't get disappointed with it, I'm sure

    That said, I think it's worth waiting for the new krampus 29+, due to its ability to accept the rabbit hole rim/ Knard wheel set as well as a regular 29er wheel set with regular tires

    When i get a krampus built up, I will probably use a velocity p35 rim (or just use my son's current wheel set, salsa Gordon 35mm rims/ xt hubs) which will accommodate the Knard tires too, hopefully...

    As for jumping, I'm not so sure, but I've seen someone doing wheelies on the krampus

    ;-)
    biker boy

  6. #6
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    I have basically used my KM for the type of riding you describe for over a year. It works great as a do-it-all, go anywhere bike. I have set it up a number of different ways and it continues to evolve as my needs/wants change. It's a highly customize-able bike. I suggest setting one up with gears, the stock fork and fast XC tires and you'll probably be very happy.

  7. #7
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    +1 for the Karate Monkey. I use mine for about the same kind of riding you describe and it hasn't let me down yet. The new fork is very nice, but I would recommend going used and picking up a nicer wheelset with the extra money - the rims that mine came with are very narrow, and wider rims allowed me to put more tire on the ground and enjoy it alot more.
    Yeah I only carry cans cause I'm a weight weenie.

  8. #8
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    I would recommend the Pugs for what you describe. It is quite playful, I'd argue it's more fun to manhandle than a KM

  9. #9
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    Most bike shops in my area are now stocking at least one necro pugs, never ridden one but I think they look so good and like so much fun! That said Ive also been pretty interested in a karate monkey although I dont know about jumping or bunnyhopping on a 29er.

  10. #10
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    I have an All-City Def Wish built with 47c tires on 36h 29er Rhino Lites with 4x lacing. I jump stair sets, I have run into multiple fixed objects at speed, and I screwed up a ton of 180's before I figured them out. The most the wheels have needed was a little bit of truing. I weigh 150 lbs, so you can trust 29er wheels if your anywhere near my weight.

    That said, I am pretty sure I am going to go with the Pugsley. I recently rode a friends Pugsley, and I built a Neck Romancer for a customer. I couldn't believe how good my friends Pugs felt. I almost looped out the first time I aired a little bump because I didn't expect the front end to be so light.

    I was extremely surprised when the Necro's front end felt completely different. I could barely pull the front end off the ground. My friend's is built up with a thompson stem, monkeylite carbon bar, and an old stock pugsley wheelset. The Necro was a 2012 stock.

    The Necro wheelset should be lighter. Do the weights of the handlebars and stem really make that much of a difference? Is it the Moonlander fork?

  11. #11
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    You should definitely wait for the Krampus.

  12. #12
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    I'm pretty sure my decision will be the pugsley. I've been waffling about the ogre/pug choice as well, as my cross check is out of comission following an altercation with a stopsign blowing volkswagen. I think I'm going to do pugsley and throw some 2.35 big apples or 2.5 hookworms on as daily riding tyres with the fatties ready for the right mood or dirt days.

    Now, I say that I'm leaning towards the pugsley, but the new mukluk 3 is very tempting as well with the shortened chainstays and wider rear end. If I did that I'd probably pick up some black floyds as it's stocked with wide rims that I couldnt put 2.35-2.5s on. Unless I could get a 29" wheel set to swap in eventually.

    Good luck with the decision. I'm interested to know how you decide.

  13. #13
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    Be sure and demo a fat tire bike before you commit. I thought they would be pretty cool, but when I demo'd a Moonlander at our club's Halloween fest, it was pretty awful: slow, and ponderous, like dragging a heavy anchor behind me. It was the only truly bad bike I've ridden in a long time.

    I cut my test loop short and was happy to give it back. Maybe the Pugs would be better with smaller tires, but I wouldn't risk it without a thorough test ride.
    Last edited by seat_boy; 11-29-2012 at 05:32 PM.
    WTB: Specialized AWOL frameset, XL

  14. #14
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    Keep in mind that many people keep their fat tires at lower pressure than they need to be for normal mtb duties. That makes them feel sluggish and heavire then they really are.
    Also, a fatbike like the Pugs will take both a fat and a normal wheelset, something a Ogre/KM cannot

  15. #15
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    Karate Monkey vote here. If your hands go numb with all the bumps buy a suspension fork. Fork plus a KM 1x9 is still cheaper than a pug. I built a KM 1x9 for $765. E-bay parts and Nashbar sales made it happen. Add a Reba for 425 and your still ahead with a nimble ride. I love that bike. The monkey has so many possibilities.

    Good hunting

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by CBUL View Post
    Karate Monkey vote here. If your hands go numb with all the bumps buy a suspension fork. Fork plus a KM 1x9 is still cheaper than a pug. I built a KM 1x9 for $765. E-bay parts and Nashbar sales made it happen. Add a Reba for 425 and your still ahead with a nimble ride. I love that bike. The monkey has so many possibilities.

    Good hunting
    Great bike, how about some pics?
    1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1992 Stumpjumpers. 1995 Waterford 1200, 1999 Waterford RSE, plus a garage full of steel frames.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by CBUL View Post
    The monkey has so many possibilities.
    Nothing that the Ogre would not do

  18. #18
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    http://forums.mtbr.com/picture.php?a...pictureid=5149


    This image was when i was building it. But its pretty much the same. I hope this works.

    Zaskar - Your right on about the all the stuff the Ogre can do. Just a little more for the frame but I really didn't want brake options. I wanted just disc's. The clean simplistic lines drew me to the KM.
    Last edited by CBUL; 12-02-2012 at 10:35 PM.

  19. #19
    CS2
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    Quote Originally Posted by CBUL View Post
    The clean simplistic lines drew me to the KM.
    I agree on the lines. I wish the KM complete had gears.
    1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1992 Stumpjumpers. 1995 Waterford 1200, 1999 Waterford RSE, plus a garage full of steel frames.

  20. #20
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    CS2-

    Chain 24-$27
    Sprocket 9 speed 24-$30
    Rear derailleur 30-$50
    Shifters 20-$100
    Cable housing chunk 5-$10 Need a long one for the KM
    This would be a 1X9. KM
    Like most things you can spend a bunch with the flashiest new hipster parts or you can build a machine and ride the piss out of it. The KM is kinda an empty canvas for customization. You probably already know this.
    Plus it’s steel……. to me that’s a true virtue. Point is if you want gears trick it out with some gears.

  21. #21
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    I have a Troll and a Pugsley, and plan on using them both for the same purposes. Both are great bikepackers, commuters, urban assault rigs, and off road beasts. But they ride totally different, which justifies having both. If I had to choose one though, Pugsley all the way. It makes me smile every time I ride it. That novelty has not worn off in the 2 years I've had it. However I'd really miss the Troll, it's a great all rounder with soapy build possibilties. So with that I'll suggest this...if you can afford a $300 pair of tires every 2 years, go Pugsley/Krampus. If money is a factor, go Ogre/Troll.
    Jason
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  22. #22
    CS2
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    Quote Originally Posted by CBUL View Post
    CS2-

    Chain 24-$27
    Sprocket 9 speed 24-$30
    Rear derailleur 30-$50
    Shifters 20-$100
    Cable housing chunk 5-$10 Need a long one for the KM
    This would be a 1X9. KM
    Like most things you can spend a bunch with the flashiest new hipster parts or you can build a machine and ride the piss out of it. The KM is kinda an empty canvas for customization. You probably already know this.
    Plus it’s steel……. to me that’s a true virtue. Point is if you want gears trick it out with some gears.
    I thought the rear hub was a threaded SS/fixed specific hub. If it's a cassette with spacers then you're right.
    1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1992 Stumpjumpers. 1995 Waterford 1200, 1999 Waterford RSE, plus a garage full of steel frames.

  23. #23
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    ... and if we just ...

    Quote Originally Posted by CBUL View Post
    CS2-

    Chain 24-$27
    Sprocket 9 speed 24-$30
    Rear derailleur 30-$50
    Shifters 20-$100
    Cable housing chunk 5-$10 Need a long one for the KM
    This would be a 1X9. KM
    Like most things you can spend a bunch with the flashiest new hipster parts or you can build a machine and ride the piss out of it. The KM is kinda an empty canvas for customization. You probably already know this.
    Plus it’s steel……. to me that’s a true virtue. Point is if you want gears trick it out with some gears.
    Afraid the KM Complete has a single speed freewheel hub. You can't even try to kludge on a cassette without three smallest sprockets or whatever people do to squeeze gears on a SS cassette hub. To go 1x9, you'll need a new wheel or at least rebuild the wheel with a geared hub.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by bolandjd View Post
    Afraid the KM Complete has a single speed freewheel hub. You can't even try to kludge on a cassette without three smallest sprockets or whatever people do to squeeze gears on a SS cassette hub. To go 1x9, you'll need a new wheel or at least rebuild the wheel with a geared hub.


    Well crap! Thats painful. Maybe all the more reason to build one from the frame up.

  25. #25
    CS2
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    Quote Originally Posted by bolandjd View Post
    Afraid the KM Complete has a single speed freewheel hub. You can't even try to kludge on a cassette without three smallest sprockets or whatever people do to squeeze gears on a SS cassette hub. To go 1x9, you'll need a new wheel or at least rebuild the wheel with a geared hub.
    That's what I thought.
    1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1992 Stumpjumpers. 1995 Waterford 1200, 1999 Waterford RSE, plus a garage full of steel frames.

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