by Jeff on April 23, 2015
I don’t know much about it other than it was commissioned by a husband-wife team, and uses a Ventana rear end.
I can’t imagine it’s easy to build a tandem with normal frame building fixtures, which is probably why most builders won’t attempt it. Much less a dual suspension version.
by Jeff on April 23, 2015
by Jeff on April 22, 2015
A classic Rick Howard part for your Wednesday.
by Jeff on April 21, 2015
In that review I derogatorily referred to the Krampus as a “fat bike” in that I didn’t use it for regular trail work, only for exploration. Since that time my views have shifted a bit as this bike has become my go to whenever I’m headed out on a mtb ride from the house. It has gears to get across town on, and is just plain more interesting to ride than my cross country racer. On trails that you ride often, a bike like this with horizon expanding capabilities can really renew your interest and let you see the trail with new eyes. See some weird root that looks like you could pop off of? Hit it. Check that side cut that kind of makes a shitty berm? Shred it.
This thing wants to play and get you in trouble. Not to mention that you also get the ability to bushwhack whatever bandit single track you care to with confidence.
Surly has really built themselves a fun playful platform.
Part of my new found admiration is rooted in some upgrades to the running gear. This Spring I lucked into some proto Surly Dirt Wizards 29X2.75 and built up a slick wheel set of Velocity Dually’s laced to DT Swiss 350′s. I also mounted a Whisky No. 9 carbon fork. Notable in that it’s their standard mtb 29′er offering and just so happens to fit a very fat tire. Additionally I threw on a set of Stylo cranks that I had lying around the shop with a narrow wide ring, which allowed me to get rid of the chain keeper.
At this point the only remaining stock parts are the saddle, grips, rear derailleur, and cassette.
Whisky No. 9 fork
DT Swiss 350 hubs, Velocity Dually rims, Truvativ Stylo cranks, Answer bars and stem, Hayes Prime brakes, SLX shifter and derailleur, Surly Dirt Wizard 29×2.75 tires
Surly Dirt Wizards – I’ve probably got 20 rides on these things at this point and they are super awesome and highly recommended. I usually run them with around 20 psi in the tires and they roll faster than any tire with this much knob has a right to.
As you’d imagine, they corner and brake swimmingly and were a huge piece in changing this bike from an exploration only rig to something that I’d ride every day. While the smaller tire (the stock tires are 3.0) definitely took away some of the bike’s bashing-through-shit super power, they allow you to corner harder, have less rolling bulk, and are way better in winter than their predecessors. It simply feels more like a regular bike, which of course makes sense. The great part is that you really don’t give up any traction, or braking response.
Helping the cause are the Velocity Dually rims which are a bit lighter than the stock Surly Rabbit Holes and have the huge upside of being tubeless ready (which I have not yet taken advantage of). They are also 5mm narrow, which combined with the smaller tire means I am no longer rubbing my chain stays under hard effort and can run the wheel slammed. +bonus
For most people a carbon fork is a no brainer. However in my belief system, the only thing a carbon fork does better than a steel one is weight, and in the case of the Krampus, the stock steel Surly fork is actually astonishingly light. With the bonus being that mentally at least, I find a steel fork to be much more confidence inspiring when catching air and crashing through the woods.
So yeah, I’m skeptical, but it’s waning. The fork is really light and stiff, and looks good. That stiffness is a bit of a double edged sword as I’m unsure if there’s a tracking benefit or if it only serves to make the ride more harsh. Though I’ve only got three rides on it, with every ride I find myself liking it more and more.
I plan on swapping between the two a few times to really sus it out, and see if I’m just getting used to the harshness or if it’s not really such a big deal. So we’ll see what stays on the bike and what goes. Which is why DT Swiss hubs are the shit, the ability to easily swap between through axle and 9mm is the best.
I also want to point out that while the internal routing can be a pain, once it’s setup it looks boss as hell, and Whisky really did it right by putting the through axle lever on the non-drive side like a regular fork. Nice touches!
You’ll be seeing more of this bike in the future. Stay tuned.
by Jeff on April 20, 2015
See you soon.
And stay tuned to see more of this bike tomorrow.
Also, don’t worry about the blog while I’m in California, I’ve got some most excellent scheduled content, including another edition in the Peacock Groove series. Be back with you live in a few days.
by Jeff on April 19, 2015
Yesterday I spent the afternoon shooting the 2015 Team Dilly jam. I was super stoked because I never shoot bmx, and have always wanted to attend. (If you haven’t seen any of their videos, make sure you check out Team Dilly Is The Man)
Hanging out with a bunch of young kids, which I would typically avoid like the plague, became super affirming as the day went along. The youngsters killied it, and were super polite and well mannered. Which goes to show that the elders of the local scene have brought them up right. Which isn’t surprising since the core local dudes are all some of the kindest people on earth. It’s impossible not be positive when you’re in the midst of the example and tone that Seth, Cody, Erik, and Jesse have clearly set. (apologies to those who’s names I don’t know)
I spent the afternoon trying to stay out of the way, and despite not being aggressive with the angles, I’m really happy with the photos from the day.
More photos on my Flickr
by Jeff on April 17, 2015
by Jeff on April 16, 2015
New drop from our homie down in Puerto Rico!
by Jeff on April 15, 2015
by Jeff on April 15, 2015
Heading out for a mini-tour in California next week. Stoked to load up the Space Horse and get out there.
Follow along on the bikejerks instagram.