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Bikes. Parts. Chaos.

So our newest bike, the Krampus, started shipping a few weeks ago. We just couldn’t be happier or more proud of our new baby.  It has, however, come to light that there are a few hiccups with the complete bikes - it’s causing some questions and headaches.

The first thing is that as delivered, the wheel was pulled back in the dropouts. Nope, we want that all the way forward for good handling and to shift right. Once moved to the full-forward position, the chain is too long – way too long!  The bike I got had a chain with 118 pins in it.  That’s long enough that the mid cage derailleur was back against its stops and the chain was sagging onto the chainstay.  No good.  We want to spec a chain that’s short enough to work well, but long enough for people to pull their wheel back a bit if they want to.  I pulled out 4 links (or 8 pins), so the correct length chain for a Krampus with the stock gearing (!!!) is 110 pins.

Pulling the wheel back in the dropouts works OK, but brings up another problem.  Shimano Shadow-Plus derailleurs (like the SLX spec’d on the Krampus completes) are awesome, but are sensitive to axle placement.  What some people have found is that if you pull your wheel back too far in the dropout, your chain hits the knuckle of the derailleur and makes shifting into the smaller cogs, er… difficult. 

This problem is compounded by the fact that the bikes were mistakenly shipped with V.2 Monkey Nuts.  Monkey Nuts hold the wheel back 14mm in the dropout and ARE NOT COMPATIBLE WITH SHIMANO SHADOW PLUS DERAILLEURS.  (I’ve found you can pull your wheel back up to 8mm in the dropout and everything is still gravy, so if you want to shorten those monkey nuts up to 8mm or less somehow, that will work.)

Next up is the chain guide.  Is yours rubbing on the tire? It wasn’t on the bike I built, but we’ve heard complaints of that happening.  If you’re seeing that issue, I would check to see if three (3) spacers are in place between the guide and mount.  If they are there and the guide is too close for your comfort, the guide can be clocked forward to clear the tire.  This will require removing the crankset and loosening up the driveside BB cup – sorry, but nothing worthwhile is easy.

*This discussion demands an agreement on the definition of tire rub.  My definition of tire rub is the tire rubbing something.  Sprues just don’t count.  If you think that the mold sprues rubbing something is the same as the tire rubbing something, I can’t help you.  Sprues go away with riding – if you want them gone, just lean your bike over and gas it.  They will be gone faster than Coors at a Sunday barbeque!

Lastly, the B-tension adjustment was WAY out on the bike I built.  Way out. B-Tension is that oddball screw setting on the der. You know, the one that isn’t a limit screw.

In summary, or for you who wisely skipped the above outpouring – if you are building a Krampus, here’s the deal:


  2. Throw the Monkey Nuts that are included with the bike in your parts bin.
  3. Slide the wheel fully forward.
  4. Shorten the chain to 110 pins long (55 links).
  5. Adjust your B-tension screw to spec.
  6. If your tire is rubbing your chain guide, loosen up the BB, shift into the smallest cog, and clock the guide forward until its back clears the tire, but still clears the chain.  You’ll know what I’m talking about when you’re there.

We love all of you and are sorry about this, but shit happens - let's try to get over all of this and down with proper setup.


Surly Intergalactic