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I am thinking of selling my DH bike (Banshee Scythe) and replacing it with a Surly. Now I know that now will have the full DH capabilities of the Scythe, but I don't really need that for the type of riding I do. I am still intending to use it as a DH bike, but more for technical descents than full out "bomb down the mountain" style of riding. I also want to use it for single track. To be honest this is the more frequent riding that I do.

I have narrowed my choices down to:

  • 27.5+ Lowside
  • Krampus
  • Karate Monkey

Buying a rigid bike doesn't phase me as I feel buying a non OEM fork gives me more options and the ability to upgrade without the initial hit of paying for a suspension fork that I don't need.

So which Surly would you recommend?

Cheers,

M

BTW I also have a 2003 vintage Kona Unit that I ride single speed and rigid on single track currently.
 

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Karate Monkey can do everything the Lowside can do, and so much more. Between the Krampus and KM, well, Krampus has higher clearance over rocks. Karate a monkey more nimble.
 

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Bikesexual
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Bias Krampus vote here. I don't have tons of miles on mine but it's a solid ride. KM probably more versatile because of the wheel swap? But I don't need that.

My Kona Unit is rigid as well but geared.
 

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I am thinking of selling my DH bike (Banshee Scythe) and replacing it with a Surly. Now I know that now will have the full DH capabilities of the Scythe, but I don't really need that for the type of riding I do. I am still intending to use it as a DH bike, but more for technical descents than full out "bomb down the mountain" style of riding. I also want to use it for single track. To be honest this is the more frequent riding that I do.

I have narrowed my choices down to:

  • 27.5+ Lowside
  • Krampus
  • Karate Monkey

Buying a rigid bike doesn't phase me as I feel buying a non OEM fork gives me more options and the ability to upgrade without the initial hit of paying for a suspension fork that I don't need.

So which Surly would you recommend?

Cheers,

M

BTW I also have a 2003 vintage Kona Unit that I ride single speed and rigid on single track currently.
If you still want to bomb technical sections I would personally rule out the Lowside. If you are 6' or taller get the Krampus. Under 6' get the KM. Better tire options for the Karate monkey in my opinion. Plus tires have gotten better, but durable tires are HEAVY.
 

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I would say if you are 6’5” definitely get the Krampus (based on reviews here) but that some of those guys prefer the smaller wheels. The bigger wheels require fewer rotations to propel the bike, but take more power to achieve. If your legs are very short possibly stay away from 29+, but not necessarily. I can definitely handle 29+ and i’m 170 cm, but with a very long inseam.

I love my Karate Monkey, I run with 29” wheels single speed. I’m looking at a Wednesday for my next bike, perhaps, and I can see having a Krampus, too. The Krampus will certainly roll over things more easily than the KM. But the KM is such a great bike in so many ways.
 

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I was at a Surly demo day a month ago and I liked the Lowside the best, really reminded me of my 1x1. The Lowside felt quicker and nimbler than the other 2. It was full rigid and had faster rolling tires then the other 2, so there is that.
 

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Wanna ride bikes?
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No wrong choice between the Krampus and KM for trail riding. Both fun and versatile bikes.

I already have a 29er so the Krampus with 3" Minions gives me something a little different and fun. Actually it's more than fun, it's hilarious!
 

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I was at a Surly demo day a month ago and I liked the Lowside the best, really reminded me of my 1x1. The Lowside felt quicker and nimbler than the other 2. It was full rigid and had faster rolling tires then the other 2, so there is that.
Did it have 26" or 27.5" wheels?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I'm biased towards my krampus. Haven't tried a KM but my previous hardtail was a 27.5+ and I much prefer 29+ (I'm also 6'3"). Most of my mtb riding now is local singletrack with some rocks, steeps, and wet roots in the winter, and the Krampus (with a 120mm suspension fork) just plows over everything. I can keep up with full suspension friends no problem. The only three slight negatives are 1) it's not a light bike (however, my legs are now noticeably stronger haha), 2) No second bottle mount in the main triangle (even on the XL) and 3) I also want this bike to double as a rigid bikepacking rig for maybe something like the TD in the future. The BB is lower than my previous bike, and I'm not sure about the ability to run less than a 2.6/2.8" tire without a lot of pedal strikes. Maybe on something like the TD with mostly dirt roads that wouldn't matter too much. With that said, I really dig the 3" tires for nearly everything else! Lastly, I'm not much of a purple guy but the bruised ego purple color looks way cooler in person than I expected.
 

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I'm biased towards my krampus. Haven't tried a KM but my previous hardtail was a 27.5+ and I much prefer 29+ (I'm also 6'3"). Most of my mtb riding now is local singletrack with some rocks, steeps, and wet roots in the winter, and the Krampus (with a 120mm suspension fork) just plows over everything. I can keep up with full suspension friends no problem. The only three slight negatives are 1) it's not a light bike (however, my legs are now noticeably stronger haha), 2) No second bottle mount in the main triangle (even on the XL) and 3) I also want this bike to double as a rigid bikepacking rig for maybe something like the TD in the future. The BB is lower than my previous bike, and I'm not sure about the ability to run less than a 2.6/2.8" tire without a lot of pedal strikes. Maybe on something like the TD with mostly dirt roads that wouldn't matter too much. With that said, I really dig the 3" tires for nearly everything else! Lastly, I'm not much of a purple guy but the bruised ego purple color looks way cooler in person than I expected.
I had a 2015 Krampus in a size too small (so size small), built with Velocity Blunt 29", 35 mm rims. Maxxis Ardent 2,4" front, 2.25 rear. Didn't have one pedal strike in 3 years. But we don't have rock gardens here at sea level. And of course, that was OG geometry. I use 170 mm cranks for my knees, but it was the smallest Krampus as XS just won't work for that bike.
 

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I had a 2015 Krampus in a size too small (so size small), built with Velocity Blunt 29", 35 mm rims. Maxxis Ardent 2,4" front, 2.25 rear. Didn't have one pedal strike in 3 years. But we don't have rock gardens here at sea level. And of course, that was OG geometry. I use 170 mm cranks for my knees, but it was the smallest Krampus as XS just won't work for that bike.
True, it looks like the original Krampus has 60mm bb drop compared to 65mm currently (and I stick with 175m cranks).
 

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I'm biased towards my krampus. Haven't tried a KM but my previous hardtail was a 27.5+ and I much prefer 29+ (I'm also 6'3"). Most of my mtb riding now is local singletrack with some rocks, steeps, and wet roots in the winter, and the Krampus (with a 120mm suspension fork) just plows over everything. I can keep up with full suspension friends no problem. The only three slight negatives are 1) it's not a light bike (however, my legs are now noticeably stronger haha), 2) No second bottle mount in the main triangle (even on the XL) and 3) I also want this bike to double as a rigid bikepacking rig for maybe something like the TD in the future. The BB is lower than my previous bike, and I'm not sure about the ability to run less than a 2.6/2.8" tire without a lot of pedal strikes. Maybe on something like the TD with mostly dirt roads that wouldn't matter too much. With that said, I really dig the 3" tires for nearly everything else! Lastly, I'm not much of a purple guy but the bruised ego purple color looks way cooler in person than I expected.
True, it looks like the original Krampus has 60mm bb drop compared to 65mm currently (and I stick with 175m cranks).
So, bb is 5 mm lower, and cranks 5mm longer. Should be about 1 mm less clearance, then.
 
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