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Krampus vs Fatback

(updated: Jul 28, 2013)

The following is a guest post by Michael, originally posted on Facebook:

This morning I had the chance to test out my friend's new Krampus with the tall 29" x 3" tires on Wrightsville Beach. I didn't think that I would like it as much as my Fatback with 4" tires but it rolled over the sand very well and it was a lot of fun to ride. I'm sure that it will be even more fun on technical trails with it's ability to roll over obstacles with ease. The Fatback still edges it out in the deeper, softer stuff.

Fatback vs Krampus

Here are some of my observations on Krampus vs. Fatback:

It was about 2 hours past low tide so Mac and I had some packed sand to ride on but we had many human obstacles to negotiate. We were both eager to test out the other person’s bike so we swapped once we got on the beach. Mac was running about 20 psi both front and rear on Krampus which was fine on the asphalt but once we hopped on the sand it started to sink in. We dropped the pressure to about half of what he had in there and that proved to be way too low as the ride became too bouncy and I didn’t want to risk getting a pinch flat. I added some air and without having a gauge, I brought the pressure up to an estimated 15 psi. After this adjustment, the bike transformed into a sand eating animal! We rode north from Johnnie Mercer’s Pier to Shell Island, turned back south into the wind and trekked down to the Coast Guard Station. We then proceeded north again back to Mercer’s Pier. This is a fun bike to ride but may struggle a bit more on the loose stuff.

Fatback vs Krampus

The Krampus comes with 29” x 3” Knard tires with 27 TPI casings. I rode another 5 miles on the road without adjusting tire pressure and the tires rolled fine. The key to this bike’s capabilities is centered on the tall, wide tires and well thought out geometry typical of Surly.

The Fatback on the other hand doesn’t care whether the sand is firm or loose, the 4” tires will eat sand up and spit it out. I run the pressure so low that it doesn’t even measure on my floor pump gauge but the huge, high volume tires hold enough air to avoid excessive bouncing. I can’t speak for Mac but judging by the smile on his face throughout the ride, I think he was thrilled with the performance of the Fatback. He had no trouble maintaining a faster pace once we got back on the road and like with the Krampus, we didn’t need to increase the tire pressure for the asphalt.

I’m running the Surly Endomorph tire on the rear of the Fatback and a more aggressive Surly Larry tire up front. They are mounted to 80mm wide Graceful Fat Sheba rims from Vicious Cycles.

I put about 20 miles or so on the Krampus, most of it on sand and then maybe 5 miles on the road. The key to getting the Krampus to excel in various conditions came down to tire pressure.

I need to test ride Krampus in the woods because from what I’ve been told, it is a very capable beast on the trails of Pisgah. It is probably a much better all-arounder when compared to bikes like the Fatback or Pugsley but all three bikes will take you places others can’t go and leave you with a big ole’ grin!

Fatback vs Krampus

Information about the origin of the name Krampus.

Fatback vs Krampus

Filed Under: Ride Reports > North Carolina > Wrightsville Beach


1. Pete said...

What do you think about Wal+Marts $200 dollar fatty?


Aug 20, 2013 @ 8:42 AM


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