Saw these reviewed, and as I had been thinking about dipping my toes in the 29er or fat world for a while the Krampus ticked both boxes.
I have no need for a full fat bike, but I like the idea of larger tyres at lower pressures and the larger wheel size for comfort. Round here with lots of grit and sand rigid bikes make a lot of sense maintenance wise!
I decided to order one from Charlie the Bikemonger, and was about to place an order when a deal came up on the horizon that wouldn't mean waiting until April.
So I bought this as a frame package last week. 2nd hand, but only ridden for a few miles....tbh it looks brand new.
Paid the same price as the frame/fork/tyres/rims deal, but included wheels built on Hope Pro II hubs/DT spokes, and a headset
Built up using mostly stock parts. I had to buy a cassette and chain, also bought a new short stem.
Took it up Haldon for it's first ride this morning. My usual riding buddies were impressed, and dare I say a bit jealous. Much car park testing and prodding ensued!
Now the ride.....I wasn't sure what to expect as I've never properly ridden a 29er.
First impressions were oodles of grip and a good climber. Felt really planted and fast on gravelled singletrack. Tyre pressure felt a little high so I let a couple of psi out.
Next up was a very rooty and sloppy trail, again unbelievable amounts of grip in the corners. I really tried to make it slide out, and it went on one corner, but immediately gripped again.
We took in a proper rutted downhill trail, which includes gravel shutes, 1-2ft dropoffs and a tabletop (one of the runs on the recent Haldon Enduro) Felt as fast down it as I do on my Dialled Alpine with 140mm forks on it.
The next trail was very muddy and slippy. It did here meet it's match, as the tyres just floated on top of the mud and couldn't find grip. My mate behind me said that it was odd as in some corners he'd see me lose grip and slide, but then I'd find grip and pull away. According to him he felt like he was on ice the whole way down on 2.3 tyres, and kept having to put his feet down.
The one comment that sticks is my friend who was riding a rigid 29er with 2.2 tyres and followed me into a downhill section. He said I took it at full speed and he had to really slow down, as he was getting bucked off, so I just pulled away. He also said that it was nice to follow me as my big tyres were emptying out the puddles, so when he came to them he didn't get as wet
To be honest the bike rides like it has 1-2" of suspension at each end and just seems to float over the little stuff. Big stuff can still be felt, but the big wheels and tyres just roll over everything.
What can I say, I am honestly smitten. Great bike
Before the ride - still nice and shiny:
Cool new stem
Afterwards - a bit mucky!
Too many bikes, not enough time!