Do I want a Krampus? -> Or should I get wide tyres for a Solaris?

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  • Do I want a Krampus? -> Or should I get wide tyres for a Solaris?
  • coastkid

    I do not own a Krampus but have the 29+ wheelset ie the SURLY Rabbit Hole 29 x 50mm rims and Knard 3″ tyres, called a KramPug πŸ™‚

    KramPug NB Law 016 by coastkid71, on Flickr

    Can only comment on the wheels but my mate has a Krampus and its a hoot! πŸ˜€
    A bike that you could make full suspension bikes look very silly with at Trail Centres..
    The Knards are indeed useless in mud, being a dry tyre, but not to worry as the SURLY Dirt Wizard 29 x 3″ get released in Autumn πŸ˜‰
    And look the biz.

    Having ridden over 10,000 miles now on Fatbikes in nearly 6 years i have watched a lot of increased interest here in the UK on them.
    However here in the UK there has not been as much interest in the 29+ of the Krampus as fatbikes, and there should be more,

    Some things i have found with Fatbikes riding them everywhere are;
    They are not replacements for MTB`s, but something differant,
    They have uncontrolable rebound from the 4″ (worse with 5″) tyres at high speed – try riding one flat out doen Caddon Bank at Innerliethen.
    They weigh more yet it is not really noticable until riding long climbs..

    The 29+ wheels as the Krampus has started is a differnt sort of fatbike, i still term 29+ as a fatbike as you can run the tyre pressures at half of a regular 29er, 15psi instead of 30 psi.

    My first Karate Monkey had Kris Holm 47mm rims with 2.55 WTB tyres, it was more comfortable and got more grip out the tyres climbing. nearly a half way house, it was close to what i was wanting.
    The Knards though are faster rolling with less rebound than a regular 4″ fatbike, no matter what weigh a fatbike is, or its type of tyres. Also there is no weird squirmy steering with the 29+, it just rides like a 29er but more comfortable and more grip.

    3″ is indeed half way between a 29er and a Fatbike (thats obvious!)
    And way more fun and faster and more comfortable than both fatbike and 29ers. both of course are better at other things, only you can decide if it would be ideal for where you live and what you like to ride, i know i would have one in the gang, but the ability to offset the Rabbit Holes means i can have 2 in 1 bikes with the Pugsley πŸ˜‰

    Hope this helps πŸ™‚

    Aargh stop going on about the Krampus. I can’t justify buying two bike in the same year!


    Krampus is not a medical term for calve cramps but a Surly with 29×3.0 tyres.

    OK, now, thinking of getting one as simplified (rigid forks, singlechainring) bad weather bike. It sounds fun and the wider tyres might make the absence of suspension forks more bearable.

    I like mainstream trail riding with a special enthusiasm for twisty singletracks. There’s no beach anywhere near and snow is not the reason to want to have one either.

    So, you Krampus riders out there: tell me about! Tell me how bad you like it and why. And show me some pics please! πŸ˜‰

    EDIT: And are there suitably wide tyres available which work in the mud? Read somewhere that Knarfs are useless in the goo.



    Widest Tyres for Solaris question posted in separate post. Hope that’s helpful.

    Do I want a Krampus? / Widest tyres for Solaris?

    Premier Icon oxym0r0n

    Not much more than 2.25rr room in the back of my Solaris but looking at going 29+ on the front of my el Mariachi as soon as funds allow


    Many thanks, Coastkid – very inspiring!

    I guess rebound and squirmy steering were the things I was worried about without really knowing. So it’s good to hear that these things arn’t a major issue with the “29Plus” format.

    I went from 2.0/2.1 tyres to 2.35/2.4 tyres on my 26″ hardtail about a year ago and never looked back: love the float over rough stuff, love the confidence that comes from the added “suspension” while still riding a hardtail in that – you mentioned it – “make full suspension bikes look a bit silly”-way.

    On a nostalgic note: I assume that to a certain degree riding a Krampus could feel like riding a Mountain Bike for the first time in the late 80s. If you know what I mean.


    what 2.25 tyres are you running?
    “2.25rr” = Racing Ralphs?



    There’s quite a growing trend for people buying a krampus and selling them straight away!

    So you should be able to get a bargain!!


    Solaris –

    Maxxis Ardent 2.4 is fine

    Hans Dampf 2.35 too wide / tall

    Premier Icon BigDummy

    Given what Surly is doing with the Instigator, I wonder what’s the biggest 650b tyre that would go in the back of the Solaris…


    To me the Krampus is a bit like a 650b….kind of a half way house neither a 29er nor a fat bike……it suites some but not others …that’s prob why they are for sale quick ..people expecting a fat bike or a 29er


    To me the Krampus is a bit like a 650b…

    Only that is more like a 32er πŸ˜‰
    …but I know what you mean!

    I can see that people get enthusiastic about the Krampus (agile, fun, float, but not fat bike fat) only to find out that it is still a relative barge. Maybe.

    That’s why I am tinkering with fat-tyred Solaris in parallel.



    Coastkid – just emailed you about the Krampug. I had a Krampus but didn’t get on with it. I also have a Pugsley Ops (2014) and am thinking of building up a set of Krampus wheels to save me from buying an ECR! Thoughts?

    Premier Icon oxym0r0n

    rr= racing Ralph, yes πŸ˜€


    You have mail cupra πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon stevemakin

    I have both a Krampus and a Solaris, different but the same, love the feel of the Krampus on dry trails, its amazingly sprightly for a 30lb bike but I wouldn’t want to use it in the wet and mud with the Knards on.

    Solaris is a bit lighter (26lbs) and unsurprisingly feels quicker uphill, I’m running it with a Krampus fork just now and with a 2.25 Smorgasbord out back and 2.4 Chunky Monkey up front (the chunky monkey “just” fits in the back with about 3mm of clearance)

    If I had to choose then it’d be the Krampus that I’d keep, luckily I dont have to

    Premier Icon bedmaker

    I’m one of the guys who bought a Krampus then immediately sold. As soon as I popped off the first kerb out on the street I knew it wasn’t for me.
    It felt way too long and not chuckable. Great for head down storming about but I prefer something I can throw about more.
    The tyres are also hopeless in gloop, which ain’t much use around here in winter.

    That said, I will almost certainlly build some wheels with rabbit holes and the new grippier 29+ tyres when available and stick them on my new custom fatbike come autumn time.

    Premier Icon takisawa2

    I run 2.35 Ralphs on my SIR.9.
    (used to be 2.4 until recently).
    I run them about 22psi. I’m fairly hefty but don’t suffer pinch flats, but then I don’t exactly ride too hard.
    I think a full on Krampus might be a bit of a gate, but I’m very happy with my Niner. It rides really well.

    IMAG0130 by pten2106, on Flickr


    @stevemakin: oh, wow, thanks for your reply! Sounds relevant for my case. πŸ˜‰

    Can you explain in a little more detail why you would keep the Krampus and in which way they are same-ish and yet different.

    See, I think of this bike as a simplistic bad weather alternative to my 26 hardtail with fewer things to go wrong, e.g. no suspension fork. So one reason for going 29 and possibly 29+ is to provide some float and comfort despite rigid forks. Another reason is traction in corners and up hills. I understand that Knards are useless in the wet.

    So my question is probably: how much float does a fat-tyred Solaris provide in comparison to a Krampus?

    By the way: why do you run Krampus forks but “only ” 2.4 tyres?

    Premier Icon stevemakin

    Krampus induces grins and is some way towards being a fat bike

    Solaris is a light (ish) modern 29er

    They are very different bikes, when I said the same I wasn’t clear that I meant the set up was much the same i;e rigid forks, gears, etc

    I’d keep the Krampus because I have also a ten year old IF 29er that is almost as good as the Solaris

    The Knard tyres will be crap in winter, however the 2.75 mud tyres that Surly will anounce any day soon will work great πŸ˜‰

    I’m using Krampus forks because I cant bring myself to pay the price for a decent 29er sus fork (although I have a Fox fork courtesy of STW to fit soon) also the Krampus fork AC suits the geometry of the Soaris and it has bottle mounts for extra water carrying when bikepacking.

    I’m using 2.4’s because I want the Solaris to be a 29er, not a 29er+ πŸ™‚


    I understand that Knards are useless in the wet.

    Thing is people say this, but I’ve been running my Krampus since January and have had some really wet days out in the Quantocks and Haldon. The Knards have coped as well as, if not better than, any of the other tyres my riding companions were using.

    The bike is a great combination of stable, lively, fun, and surprisingly chuckable. It’s *probably* my favourite bike at the moment. It can feel a little out of it’s depth on really rutted/rooty downhils, but you’d have died on any other rigid bike by that point, and on the Krampus you normally come out the other side, slightly bemused that you’re still on the bike.


    “makes full suspension bikes look very silly”
    “induces grins”
    “slightly bemused”

    Whatever this bike is – it must be fun! πŸ™‚

    And “slightly bemused” is probably one of the most charming ways to describe a bike.
    I like! A lot!

    Yes you want one

    It’s not for sand, it’s not a fat bike, it’s a trail bike.

    Reviewed in this issue of singletrack

    29×2.75 dirt wizard tyres will be coming soon for the mud, and no doubt other tyres after that

    Got a demo bike down here if you want to try it.

    I have not used any other MTB since getting the krampus, It does everything really well. And my other bikes are probably to be sold off.

    “It makes me feel like the rider I wish I was”

    Premier Icon Chainline

    I used to ride my Jones half fat with a super wide rim and 2.55 on the rear and a fat front wheel which was a great compromise of speed and some added squish/grip on the front, you could always do that to your Solaris. In fact I rode TransProvence race with it, which is notably long, with lots of climbing and mucho descending in gnarr, it was fine.

    If I had the Jones now, which could be possible it seems, I would try a 29+ on the front as was mentioned you do have to deal with some squish feeling from the front of a fat tyre! although with careful experimentation a sweet spot of grip/squish can be found. 29+ seems like a good compromise.

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