Which one would you build?
Please share your experience with me so that I may better choose which Surly frame to build up. The desire for this build stems from my severe want for a geared mountain bike. I realize that this bike needs to fit many categories and will not excel at one thing because it has to do so many things.
I can get by with a rigid bike most of the time, but the local mountain bike trail I ride has some limestone rock erosion and encounters with baseball sized loose rock at speed is all too common. Though I have ridden this trail 26" rigid and it is doo-able, it just isn't as fun without some front squish. (I have had a pug on this trail and front squish is not required for fat tires)
These are my requirements in order of importance:
Local mountain bike trail riding - I need to keep up with the pack which I have no problem with on my 1x1.
Bikepacking - This bike will see the west Texas Desert and needs to hold a TON of water and frame bags.
Local mountain bike races - I am not that competitive and do this mainly for fun. The bike I haved raced is a 29lb 1x1 so I don't need an ultra light whizzy-whig mountain bike. This is the least important because the 1x1 has been built lighter and can be my race bike since I really like to race single speed.
Trailer - A Bill/Ted hitch might be in my future.
Troll - owned one but it was too small for me, LOVED IT. I like 650B (my 1x1 is 650B) better than 29er for what I do but maybe I don't have enough 29er exposure
Ogre - Troll with 29er sounds good, I know folks with smaller legs than myself that love theirs. Possibly better riding rigid than 26er or 650b?
Pugsley - Nothing beats fat tires in the fun department. I took a 2013 complete to big bend and it was awesome but very heavy and very slow. I did the racks/panniers which added to the weight and my build will be lighter than the complete. My girlfriend has one, and it is fun on the local trails I have ridden. No easy suspension options for the front but I don't think this is required.
Krampus - Supposed to be much faster feeling and loads of fun. Front suspension may not be required.
Experience to share?
Thanks in advance.
My only experience is with the pugs. I have a Necro. It is hard to find a trailer stock build that will work correctly with the offset frame & rear wheel, I had tons of rub on one side(okay, STOPPAGE) and tons of room on the other with a Bob Ibex 29er. I called Surly and the Bill & Ted hitch will not work without mods as well. Bikes at Work however could make you one custom for a small fee.
I love my pugs otherwise and yes, front forks aren't cheap or easy for suspension options. Hopefully, the trailer and shock thing will change as more bikes become mainstream & common. I leftified mine, total upgrade but was close to a g in cost by the time all was done.
The Krampus catches my eye and if I didn't have a pugs, that would be my ride instead, as is I think it crosses the fattie to 29er bridge quite solidly in the middle ground. The best of both worlds, in my mind.
Other than a FIXIE, I think I have spent time on every configuration of mountain bike and my Single Speed KRAMPUS is one of the most FUN bikes I have ever had.
So mechanically simple and FAST ( compared to my geared FATBACK)
It certainly doesn't accellerate like my 19lb Niner One9 , but for ripping up singletrack with your friends it's an awsome ride.
If weight is a concern, my KRAMPUS has no carbon parts (not that I have aything against carbon) and weighs in at 26.5 lbs
I second Scyule's recommendation. I own a single speed 29er, a fat bike and a Krampus. The Krampus is my go-to as it does most everything well... not skinny, not fat, just right. It sounds like the perfect bike for your needs. And you can move from multi-to-single speed set-up very easily.
Mine's a large frame... I am at 31lbs. with some carbon bars, post and lightweight hydros (XO's), lightweight tubes. My only gripe is the weight of the front end... which will be addressed with the fork... I have a White Brothers Carbon fork on order.
The Krampus is looking like the win here. Too bad there are no frames available from my shop.
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