Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Surly Bastard!

You may recall that I spent some time on a Surly Troll awhile back. That was a really great bike, but I'm compelled by the standards of my chosen profession to keep up with new products. Therefore, the Troll was sent to a new home, and replaced with the Disc Trucker that I rode in my recent adventure in California.

Anyway, the Troll's 29er big brother, the Surly Ogre has intrigued me since I first heard about it. But a person of normal means can only buy so many bikes, so I procrastinated. Then Surly presented us with the fat-tire 29er Krampus and the corresponding 50mm wide Rabbit Hole rim. Unfortunately for me, the Krampus is fun to ride, like a fast fat bike, but lacks braze-ons for racks and other accoutrements. In my twisted mind, outfitting an Ogre with Rabbit Hole rims and "normal" 29x2.4" tires was the best of both worlds. As the project was coming together, I discovered that Surly had created, but not publicized, a Krampus fork with the same braze-ons that are included on an Ogre fork. It's 15 mm taller but has a few mm more offset, so it seems like a reasonable substitute, in terms of that mysterious concept known as steering geometry. Without cantilever braze-ons, the Krampus fork is actually 50g lighter than the Ogre fork, even with the canti posts removed. We started with a 29x2.2 Schwalbe Racing Ralph in back and a 29x3 Surly Knard in front. I present the Krogre:



Those are Natril Gear panniers on a Tubus Duo rack. We sell all these items, by the way. Side note: the world needs more camouflage bike accessories.

I just received some Maxxis Ardent 2.4" tires to tie it all together. Here's the result:
Once I settle on a tire I like, this will probably get a home-brewed tubeless conversion, like my Pugsley.

Tire clearance is considerable in front, as you'd expect:
It should be noted that a standard Ogre fork has enough room for a 29x3 Knard, ya know, if you're into pushing the limits of your equipment. Or you can just get one of these Krampus forks.

The 2.4" Maxxis Ardent on the wide Rabbit Hole rim is no problem in back. Clearance in the frame is fine, and there is enough chain clearance to run a triple and a standard unmodified cassette. Measured tire width on this rim is approximately 64 mm, about 1 cm skinnier than a Knard 29x3 on a Krampus. That 1 cm may or may not sound significant, but it does constrain the number of chainrings a person can use on a Krampus - most Krampi have a 1x9 or 1x10 set-up to deal with the chain clearance issue.


The red rim strips lend a touch of class, which is really what this is all about.

13 comments:

Shaun said...

I like this idea. Of course I got the Ogre to do the occasional "Gravel Grinder" and this might not be the ideal set-up for that. I suppose I could use the Trucker for the Gravel Grinders. Maybe getting a 24" Moonlander would be the way to go. You see? I'm starting to sound like Weisgram now.

Jim Thill said...

Weisgram might be on to something. Since this Ogre is supposedly replacing my Cross-check, I think a skinny wheelset is in order for running skinny 700x40 road tires and such.

Nick said...

Can't beat those Alfine Generator hubs. I have 3 already, and another with a rabbit hole rim would sure be nice on my Fargo. Sorta fat 29x3 front might be nice on the gravels.

Anonymous said...

Nothing wrong with sounding like Weisgram, I think he is a genius really :)

Mark W.

Anonymous said...

Jim - two questions followed by an observation. You note that you were able to save substantial weight by trading the Ogre fork with the Krampus fork that did not incorporate the canti braze-ons. It was a net-net 50 gram savings. Given that you were attempting to optimize weight, what is the total weight of the Krogre? I am also curious to know what tubing it uses (and their respective diameters and/or tube shapes)

thank you Jim

Anonymous said...

Ah! Just got back into riding, bought an Ogre, and want to get my middle aged bones back into shape with some offroad without the singletrack racing imperative.

Now I know what gravel grinding is. Thanks!

cass said...

Great post. I'm in the fortunate position of having an Ogre and a Krampus... And, the Krampus is built up with a Rohloff.

Right now, it's tubeless. I'd like to experiment with other tyres on the RHs. I have some 2,25 Smart Sams which look to be great for dirt touring, but I'm worried they'll come up a bit narrow, and the outer tread will get pulled up and in.

Before I pull of my tubeless Knards, any thoughts? Thanks!

Maxwell said...

would there be any issues with running fenders with 28mm rims with 2.4 tires on the front or back.

OtherFolk said...

I've been thinking of doing this on my Troll, getting some RH rims with maxxis hooxworms or big apples. Nice to see your work!

Anonymous said...

I've got an Ogre with stock 2.1 WTBs on it. I'm entertaing a Knard up front. I'll need something else in the rear - no bigger than a 2.5. Any suggestions on a good rear selection to go with a knard?

anyone put an ECR fork on an Ogre?

Anonymous said...

Could you please list your component build, especially chainrings, fd, shifters, brakes and brake levers?

Unknown said...

Great thread! I'm coming in late to the conversation, but am on the edge of pulling the trigger on a Krampus conversion from an Ogre, mid tour, to allow for bigger tires and better aggressive trail geometry for single track. One of the reasons is that I was using WTB Kodiak tires (super wide tread for an official 2.5) on blunt 35 rims. clearance at the chainstays was very very tight but was my cheap solution to wishing I'd started on a Krampus. I considered throwing a Krampus fork on the Ogre and running 2.5" rear, 3" front, but wasn't sure how that'd be. Sounds like it didn't last long as you switched to the Ardents. So a year and change later, what's the current status?

Scott said...

Great thread! I'm coming in late to the conversation, but am on the edge of pulling the trigger on a Krampus conversion from an Ogre, mid tour, to allow for bigger tires and better aggressive trail geometry for single track. One of the reasons is that I was using WTB Kodiak tires (super wide tread for an official 2.5) on blunt 35 rims. clearance at the chainstays was very very tight but was my cheap solution to wishing I'd started on a Krampus. I considered throwing a Krampus fork on the Ogre and running 2.5" rear, 3" front, but wasn't sure how that'd be. Sounds like it didn't last long as you switched to the Ardents. So a year and change later, what's the current status?