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Bikes. Parts. Chaos.

Now that I’ve got your attention.


Have you ridden a Krampus yet? If you haven’t you’re really missing out on a spectacular ride. When I had first heard about the Krampus a few years ago I’ve got to admit that I didn’t get it. Surly has had the Karate Monkey for years now so why did we need to make another 29er with a bit more tire and invent another standard, 29+? I love the Karate Monkey and I was not going to be easily convinced that the Krampus was going to be all that different. This was a pretty large project that not only involved a completely new frameset but a new rim and tire as well. The drawings I had seen weren’t too impressive to me. The Knard tire seemed to me to be gimmicky throw-back to the earlier days of mountain biking. The tire looked boring and like something I’d immediately swap out for “something better”. Then, of course, we had to create another rim for this new platform, the Rabbit Hole.


A dirt and grass field with a cyclist in the distance, riding a Surly Krampus bike across a tree line

The first sighting of the Krampus ever recorded.



Let me sidestep here for a moment. We get a lot of questions about the names of our products. Some people love them, some people hate them, and some people just get really confused by them. But the most questions we get about the names are “How did you come up with the name for the such and such?” I’d like to tell you how easy it is for us to name one of our new do-dads, but I can’t. We start discussing names when a project gets to a certain point. What that point is only god knows. EVERYONE that works for Surly participates in this process that can take up to 6 months to complete. It starts with an email being sent out from our marketing manager asking for a name for these projects. So let the battle begin. I’ve always told people that working for Surly is like having a second family. A dysfunctional, stubborn, opinionated, passionate, brilliant and inspiring family. The conversations that take place around the naming or products can really fall into that “epic” category. In the end Tyler, who is our marketing manager, picks one from a very short list that we’ve been whittling away at for the last few weeks. I don’t believe that everyone is always happy with the name but we all come together at the end and hug one another for an uncomfortably log time.



Front view of a three people sitting behind a table with a coffee cup on it, in a meeting room

Something important is being discussed.



Back to the Krampus. The day finally came when I got to ride a complete Krampus for the first time. I took the bike home and before even getting into the house I took it for a spin around the neighborhood. Big deal. I put it in my garage with the rest of my bikes, went inside and forgot about it for a few hours. After dinner I decided that I needed to get the Krampus on some dirt so I could find out what the hell the Enginerds were thinking. I also decided that not only was I going to bring my Krampus to the trail but I was also going to bring my beloved Karate Monkey. I figured that was going to be the best way for me to get an understanding about how these bikes were different. I did my first lap on my Karate Monkey, then I took out the Krampus on that same loop. Within two minutes I think I said “what the fuck” out loud. Why was I needing to reign this beast in on this flowing single track? How was it possible that I was hitting the corners harder and with more control than ever? Why did I feel like I was suddenly a better mountain biker? This bike was so fast on the slight descents that I didn’t know how fast I was going until I came into a corner, but somehow took that corner like a champ. When I got back to the parking lot I thought I should ride the Karate Monkey one more time just to make sure that it wasn’t a placebo effect I was having on the Krampus. It wasn’t. This bike was made for me and I wanted to hug Adam whose baby this was.


Head shot of a person wearing a bike helmet and sunglasses, with an orange wall and a counter in the background




The bottom line here is that to fully understand the Krampus you probably need to ride the Krampus. You may very well ride one and decide it’s not for you but I’m betting you won’t. Find a demo in your area and if there isn’t one, ask a shop to set up a demo event. We’ve got a fleet of demo bikes that are begging to be ridden and it isn’t all that hard to get them from us. We want you to ride our bikes and caress them lovingly, just like I do.


Now if I could only get the chance to ride some Dirt Wizards on my Krampus.


Keep the rubber side down,