Today I took the Krampus out again on a 30-mile, 2800 foot ride. Yesterday I was left wondering whether the bike was really as slow as it felt. Today I would have to say it is. The thing is a big, fat pig. I asked myself a couple times during the ride why the hell I keep riding the damn thing.
Everything started off fine because the beginning of every ride from my house is mostly downhill. Even the first big climb was fine because I was still fresh and feeling strong.
When I hit the dirt the bike was mostly good. On one stretch of tight, twisty singletrack I actually thought the bike handled really well. I felt like I was going pretty fast. Just as I was feeling good about the bike, I hit another section where I bounced around like superball.
I have read a number of complaints online about the same bouncing issue with the Maxis Chronicle tires. Apparently there is a very narrow tire pressure range where the tires are effective. I have yet to find this mythical pressure.
The climb home was rough. I was a bit tired from all the riding this week, and it felt like I was towing an anchor behind me. When I finally rolled up the driveway, my legs definitely felt like I had dragged a really heavy bike over almost 3000 feet of hills.
After a number of rides on the Krampus, I feel like I have enough information to form an opinion: I'm not sold on the 29+ platform. I realize I have only been on one bike and used one tire, so I will move forward with an open mind. For me, I think the sweet spot would be a tire in the 2.7" range with a fast tread. Nothing like that currently exists, but maybe as the platform matures more size options will appear.
For now I definitely need to make some adjustments to make this bike more useful for how I ride. As currently built, the Krampus really isn't good at anything. First, the tires need to go. Switching to something like a Panaracer Fat B Nimble (765 grams) would shed almost 1.5 pounds. Going tubeless would help with the weight, too.
Where's that credit card . . .