Product Spotlight – 2017 Surly Krampus – By Spinner Ryerson

I’ve been a fan of Surly bikes ever since I threw a leg over the Purple Pugsley.  I came to love the feel of steel while everyone else was trying everything else.  A memory that will stick with me forever is when someone was explaining the benefits of a belt drive to Sov and asked him when Surly was going to come out with a bike that was belt drive compatible.  Sov’s answer was short, to the point, and for me makes a lot of sense.  It was this: “Yeah, belt drives are cool.  But do you know what works really good?  A f*&#ing chain.”  What was funny at the time had a deeper meaning for me.  That was years ago and I don’t see a whole lot (if any) belt drives on the trail today.

My Single Speed Pugsley was my go to year ’round trail bike for years.  I didn’t want belt drive, full suspension isn’t necessary where I ride, titanium, aluminum, carbon, the color orange blah blah blah… there wasn’t anything in the marketplace that I thought was worth pulling the trigger for.  That changed when the Krampus was introduced.  The 29+ idea sounds and just looks so cool.  I like big bikes and I cannot lie.  It was a little lighter and easier to handle.  I was able to ride faster but still didn’t need to be concerned about the rocks and roots in my line.

While I love my Krampus I do understand that as time goes on, new versions emerge.  Sometimes the new incarnation is cooler, and sometimes it isn’t.  Just ask my dad.

While belt drive may not have caught on, times have changed, standards have become inconsistent, and somethings gotta give. The new Krampus flaunts Surly’s “Gnot-Boost” spacing allows the seat and chain stays to give just a little and fit a variety of these new BS “standards”.

What’s new:

Moonlit Swamp Green is now Andy’s Apple Red

Surly Rabbit Hole Rims are replaced with Alex MD40s

Surly Knards are replaced with Surly Dirt Wizards

Gnot-Boost spacing

Cable Discs are now Hydraulic

Geometry changes

Thru Axle vs. Quick Release

Frame is beefed up to run suspension forks up to 120mm of travel.

There’s a comprehensive post over at the Surly Blog that covers all of the changes that have been engineered into the new Krampus here.

Right out of the box, this is one pretty bike.  I plan to race the new red Krampus. I’ll spend some time on it, with gears and without. We might swap the rubber for a set of Knards just so we’re comparing a green apple to a red apple.

I’ll be looking to see how the new progressive geometry of this Krampus compares to my current Krampus.  While the name is the same, there are definitely a number of differences from the old guard.  Our set up has a SRAM 1X11 drive train and SRAM Level Hydraulic brakes.  And as always, the frame is composed of Surly’s tried and true 4130 Cro-Moly steel.

SS -Modified Krampus – Deep in the bowels of the FBC Test Bunker

Should be a good ride.  Check back in a couple of weeks for a full review.

If you want to listen to Spinner, Leia and Gomez talk to Surly’s, Andy Skoglund, about the new Krampus click here – the conversation starts at the 26:15 point in the podcast.

For more information about the new Surly Krampus visit –


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