The Surly Krampus wears many hats, from sand-duning, to snow-traipsing, to mountain traversing, and beyond; however, one hat that I was finding particularly hard to fit on the Krampus lately was an adequate front rack. Now before anyone goes all purist about putting a rack on a Krampus, let me spare you the trouble: Yes, a rack will make the bike slightly heavier; and yes, it also looks slightly dorkier; but for the Krampus to be my truly do-anything bike (as mentioned above), it needs to adequately hold all my gear; and to fit my more cumbersome multi-day riding gear, i.e. a tent and sleeping pad, I needed a rack that was lightweight and small. So I followed my nose through the various scents left by bloggers, shoppers, and B.S.ers on the interwebs to try and find the right one.
I’ll spare the details of the search. Just know that it was long. Painfully long. I did some pretty ridiculous google searches, which led me pretty much nowhere. There was a company in Taiwan making lightweight aluminum front racks, but they were not fat-bike compatible as far as I could tell (I don’t speak Taiwanese). There was also a nice looking rack from a company called Nitto, from Great Britain, but again, I couldn’t tell whether their rack was going to work with my Krampus. The only rack that seemed truly made for a Krampus was the discontinued Salsa Minimalist rack, which is no longer sold. I’d already been to the bike shops in Salem a month ago, but I decided to give them one more shot before making the trek to Portland to get things settled.
And that’s when I found it: the Sunlite Gold Tec Front Rack.
Okay, time for a little honesty. I had to look up the name of this rack. It’s a cheap no-name model that only costs $15, but it’s super light, has a 40 pound capacity (or so it claims), and doesn’t look as tacky as some of the full-length front racks made by the more popular brands, i.e. Tubus, Blackburn, and Old Man Mountain.
As you might notice from some of the pictures, this rack does take a bit of jerry-rigging. It just won’t work with the metal connectors provided in the kit. My local bike shop lent me some metal connectors, which bent their way onto the various eyelets and braze-ons on the front fork.