Writer’s Ride(s) ~ Thilver the house Krampus

We started hearing rumors about Surly’s new 29+ bike about this time last year and by the time Interbike rolled around we were all frothing at the mouths in anticipation of getting a chance to throw a leg over one and take it for a ride. If you haven’t heard…..Twenty-Nine Plus is an expansion of your standard 29r, in both, the width of the rim (50mm) and the width of the tire (3″). Our amigos at Surly named the first 29+ bicycle ‘the Krampus’ after a Scandinavian yule-tide character that plays antagonist vs. jolly old St. Nick (Santa Claus).

The first thing that I did when I got to the Outdoor Dirt Demo at Interbike last year, was to find the Surly tent, and test ride a Krampus. I handed over my drivers license and took it out on the test loop. The size large frame seemed to fit me like a glove and once I entered onto the singletrack, I was thrilled by the handling! The bike wanted to go fast and inspired confidence at speed. When I returned the bike, Eric Soven asked me what I thought and I muttered something about how it felt like riding a live panther! The memory of that test ride remained vivid in my mind for the next 9 months of waiting for my very own Krampus to arrive.

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Fresh Virgin Krampus

About six weeks ago, silver Rabbit Hole rims came into stock along with Knards. The shiny silver rims sort of set the tone and gave birth to both the color scheme and the name we’ve given this bike. Thilver… Thparkles thkinnier, kid brother. So it only seemed natural when I spec’d a pair of White Industries silver polished M16 hubs, to complete the blingiest set of wheels on the block. Once the wheel parts were set, we waited for a few more weeks for the frame and fork to come into stock and shopped for all the other bits to complete the build. The last component to come in was the Raceface Atlas crank. The frame and the boxes of components sat at the shop and mocked me for a week, while Dr. Huber built-up one shiny-ass set of wheels. Last Thursday all of the stars aligned and Thilver was assembled at the Schlick Cycles world headquarters in Milwaukee Wisconsin.

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Krampus Build List 

  • Frame: Surly Krampus
  • Fork: Surly Krampus
  • Bars: CroMag OSX
  • Stem: Thompson X4 Silver
  • Headset: Cane Creek 110 Silver
  • Grips: Ergon GP1
  • Brake Levers: Avid FR-5
  • Front Brake: Avid BB7
  • Rear Brake: Avid BB7
  • Shifter: Sram X9 Trigger
  • Cables: Jagwire
  • Rear Der: Sram X9 – type 2 – med cage
  • Crankset: Raceface Atlas 175mm Raw
  • Chain Rings: Raceface 32 tooth & Bashring – (Green 30 tooth Narrow Wide)
  • Chain: Sram – 10 speed
  • Cassette: Sram 12-36
  • Pedals: Shimano M747*
  • Seat: Brooks Swift* (Brooks C17)
  • Seat Post: Thompson Elite Silver
  • Seat Post Clamp: Surly Silver
  • Rims: Rabbit Hole Silver
  • Hubs: White Industries M-16 Silver
  • Spokes: Sapim Double Butted
  • Nipples: Sapim Brass
  • Tyres: Knard – 120 TPI Folding
  • Tubes: 29 x 2.4
  • Skewers: Salsa Silver

June 2013 002

One of the really cool things I discovered about Thilver, is all of my Moonlander sized bags work on the new ride! It looks like I’ll be taking some 29+ bikepacking trips soon!

I’ve ridden Thilver for the last week, solid, and I firmly stand behind my original assesment, that this thing rides like a live (fücking) panther! I really feel like I’m riding in the bike, as opposed to, on the bike. The rider position feels perfectly centered, fore and aft. Standing climbing is superb. The bike wants to go fast and corners like a cat. We’ll be conducting a long-term test of the Krampus so stay tuned to for further analysis of how Thilver performs.

For more information about Krampus visit –

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5 Responses to Writer’s Ride(s) ~ Thilver the house Krampus

  1. Mark B June 7, 2013 at 1:55 am #

    That hurt seeing it muddy!!!!!!

  2. Angry Andy June 10, 2013 at 11:10 am #

    Muddy??? Wait til I’m done with it!!!! (Insert evil genius laugh here)

  3. Ernesto from Wisconsin June 13, 2013 at 11:20 am #

    me guuuusta!

    • Spencer June 16, 2013 at 7:45 am #

      That hurt seeing it clean!

  4. oscar August 17, 2013 at 6:00 pm #

    hello. Krampus beautiful! that was the final weight?