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So Dude, How’s that Krampus Ride?

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It’s been a month since we built our test Krampus that I named Thilver. I’m legally changing the bike’s name to Silver from this day forward. This bike is just too much of a bad ass to carry a comedic name.

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The Ride

Big tires + wide bars + short stem = fast, confidence inspiring, fun! Silver strikes a nice balance between the fast rolling properties of a 29r and the ‘I can roll up and over anything’ feeling of confidence, that fat-bike tires inspire. The Sram, 1×10 drive-train shifts flawlessly and the X-9, type 2 derailleur, has yet to drop the chain. This is a solid feeling ride that begs to be ridden fast and hard. The first few rides that I took on Silver, I found myself right on the outside edge of singletrack curves going hella-fast and grabbing a fistful of panic brake (and screaming like a little girl)……but since we’ve dialed in the tire pressures, I’ve gotten more accustomed to the way this big boy rides. I’m still finding new ways to scare myself while riding Silver and that frankly, makes me pretty damn happy. Last week I was riding a familiar spot that goes by a viewing platform that overlooks a marsh. There’s a set of railroad tie stairs that lead down to the blind that I’ve never ridden on my 29r. I’ve watched friends ride those stairs but have always passed on them (like a scare-d-cat). When I rolled up on the Krampus, I thought ‘what the hell!’ and rolled down the stairs, without incident. Wide bars, short stem, big tires (WBSSBT) will enlarge your huevos…. and your smile! Another example of how Silver has influenced my cross-country riding on my home trails (Kettle Moraine) occurred on a section of the Blue Loop called Bermuda. This particular section of flow trail has a few rock ramps that I usually bypass on my Niner. Since I’ve been riding the Krampus, I just hit them without thinking. This thing rides like a boss!

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Some Changes

After a month of rides there are a few things that I want to change on Silver. The 1×10 drivetrain with a 32 tooth chain ring and a 12-34 cassette, is just enough gear to grunt my fat tookis around most of kettle. However, the new singletrack at Emma-Carlin had me hanging over the bars wheezing for air in a few spots, so either a 30 tooth chain ring or a 2×10 set up would fit my (in)abilities a little better. I’m also going to throw a pair of platform pedals on Silver. Look for an upcoming review of some VP Components pedals soon. I’ve also noticed that when things get slick out on the trails, Silver’s higher center of gravity coupled with the large square knobs of the Knard tires, make traction elusive at times. Lowering the tire pressure helps the situation and hopefully some new, more aggressive, 29+ tires will be introduced, in the near future, that will increase wet traction. Keep in my that on dry or loamy trail, the Knards hook up really well and make Silver corner like a big cat. One of the best attributes of this bike is the incredible traction in both climbing and cornering under all but the most greasy of conditions. Both seated and standing climbing are excellent on our Krampus.

So that’s my one month Krampus progress report. I’ll be checking back with more Krampus tales, as well as, we’ll be lending out Silver to our Bike Black Ribbon Test Pilots and getting their thoughts. Stay tuned for everything you ever wanted to know about fat-bikes, but were afraid to ask – right here on Fat-Bike!

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8 Responses to So Dude, How’s that Krampus Ride?

  1. djonnymac July 15, 2013 at 10:10 am #

    can’t wait for mine to arrive and then get that sucker built up!

  2. Crank July 15, 2013 at 10:13 am #

    I can attest to the needed gear change. I installed the Surly OD crank front, changed it to 34/26, and left the rear at 12-34. Feels great for both hill work, and still has enough go for the flats.

  3. johnnyd158 July 15, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

    Ugh. What I wouldn’t give to saddle up one of those sexy steeds… like anything! I need to save me some ca$h and somehow get me a fatty. You guys giving away any more frames?

  4. JS July 16, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

    I have been riding mine 1×10 with a 28 x 11-36 setup, using a SRAM crank and a MRP 28T spiderless ring. It works reasonably well, even for high altitude stuff (above 10,000 ft). Occasionally I want something even lower, but it’s not lacking on the high end even with the small ring.

  5. OtG July 16, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

    Mine’s still stock, but the big fat smile on my face ISN’T!!!

  6. dea 1276 July 18, 2013 at 10:48 am #

    So how does this ride compared to say a pugs built with rabbit hole/knard combo?

    • Gomez July 18, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

      silkier

  7. RobB September 9, 2014 at 3:24 am #

    Just finished up building a set of 29+ Rabbit Hole Rims and Hope Fatsno Hubs and can’t wait to try them out on the FatBack. Gonna change the whole attitude of the bike and I already LOVE IT the way it is currently. This may not be a good idea! LOL!