Surly Krampus

Surly Krampus summer buyers guide best mountain bikes

Surly Krampus     Photo: Inga Hendrickson

BEST FOR: Midfat biking.

THE TEST: We love the flotation and grip of fat bikes but not the attendant equipment trade-offs like special-size hubs and added weight. This steel hardtail’s “midsize” three-inch tires, which are built around standard 29-inch wheels, are the perfect balance: super grabby, but still fast on moderate climbs. A few testers wanted more gears—there’s just a single chainring up front (a necessity to accommodate the bigger tires)—but subbing in something smaller than the 34-tooth ring is an easy fix.

THE VERDICT: “All the high-tech stuff we tried,” one tester concluded, “and I like this simple bike the best.” 29.3 lbs.

CLIMBING: 3.5 
DESCENDING: 4.5

Brand: Surly $1,950

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