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  1. #1
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    Trans Am vs. Stylus

    Looking to finally build a steel 26 ht and just wanted some opinions on differences in the frames and they way they ride from those that are riding them. I know both have loyal followings and I will mostly be trail/am/training/fun and would like to option to switch the style of riding. I'm wanting prob a '12 or newer (44 mm headtube) probably size medium and still undecided on fork length (150mm at very most) and using my Crossmax St's w/15mm.

    Thanks
    Peace from Hell...

    '13 Chromag Stylus
    '11 Specialized 29r EVO ht
    '11 DB Mission 2 w/Fox 36

    bab74 on GORC

  2. #2
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    The Chromag is for 160mm fork, right? It may not climb as well as the TransAM. Other than those possible factors, you're going to have a killer hardtail.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitewerks View Post
    The Chromag is for 160mm fork, right? It may not climb as well as the TransAM. Other than those possible factors, you're going to have a killer hardtail.
    You can run 140 150 or 160 on a Stylus. That frame can do anything. I have a 150 on mine. Plus they look way sicker than Trans AM

  4. #4
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    Ok, I just looked that the Chromag site & it says geo is based on 6"/150mm. I was thinking it said 160mm. Definitely agree, it's a great looking frame! I went with an Evil Sovereign a couple years ago over the TransAM & On-One 456.

  5. #5
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    Go for looks or flip a coin, basically...

  6. #6
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    Something to keep in mind is the Trans Am has a steeper head angle. I just bought a Works components 2 degree slackset for mine to slacken it to around 67. One plus about the Trans Am is the frame has swap able dropouts and comes standard with a 142 x 12mm rear end. Chromag definitely wins in the looks department.

  7. #7
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    Agreed the grey/green Stylus looks sick all these ht's vids are poppin up and have inspired me to want to build a good 26r. For my area I think 140mm is plenty since I only see mountains when I watch PB!
    Peace from Hell...

    '13 Chromag Stylus
    '11 Specialized 29r EVO ht
    '11 DB Mission 2 w/Fox 36

    bab74 on GORC

  8. #8
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    STylus is styling... the trans am you can run SS and a taper fork 142 x12 rear is also banging just like your stumpy. The only problem is the AM is a pig close to 7lbs. That being said I get a Chromag because looks is 90% of the game.

  9. #9
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    Just another redneck with a bike

  10. #10
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    As long as you look fast and cool:-)
    Peace from Hell...

    '13 Chromag Stylus
    '11 Specialized 29r EVO ht
    '11 DB Mission 2 w/Fox 36

    bab74 on GORC

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shiba Inu's Rock View Post
    Looking to finally build a steel 26 ht and just wanted some opinions on differences in the frames and they way they ride from those that are riding them. I know both have loyal followings and I will mostly be trail/am/training/fun and would like to option to switch the style of riding. I'm wanting prob a '12 or newer (44 mm headtube) probably size medium and still undecided on fork length (150mm at very most) and using my Crossmax St's w/15mm.

    Thanks
    What type of riding do you plan on doing? Both will take a serious beating, but I think the TransAM crosses into the XC category a little more with the angles it has. I run my TransAM as SS and some of my riding buddies with slacker angles have a hard time keeping up with me when the trails get twisty. However, its plenty stable on the DH and jumps like a dream. I love the look of the stylus, but I think the TransAM climbs as well as it descends, and the Stylus looks as though it descends a little better than it climbs (Never ridden one, just speaking on the looks of the angles - so don't quote me on that). However, you really can't go wrong with either. I think the Cromag is a little more pricey eh?

  12. #12
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    "...For my area I think 140mm is plenty since I only see mountains when I watch PB! "

    Same here. I run a 140mm fork on my Evil Sovereign for riding on rolling hills.

    The NS Surge looks good & the price is nice. Pretty slack; out of all the frames mentioned, the TA is the steepest in the seat/head- angles so it'd climb a little better. I don't mind giving up a little for my Evil (look into the Sov, Chain Reaction had a really good price on'em a few months back).

  13. #13
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    both are made in taiwan and about the same quality. i have a medium trans am and now have a chromag tlr waiting to get built up. the samurai and tlr are hand made in canada and are some very nice frames. i was looking for a samurai but stumbled upon a good deal on the tlr instead.

    the newer trans ams solved a few issues the old ones had, the dropi n headset and the goofy rear dropouts. the new ones are a little more refined, still not light but it is an am frame not an xc one. basically you are looking at personal preference here. buy whichever one suits you geometry and looks wise. i don't think you could go wrong either way. to me the trans am is overpriced as is the stylus really, compared to say an on one 456.

  14. #14
    i'm schralping yer thread
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    Pricier than the TA or Stylus; but I love my samurai. Running a 160 talas 36 on it and one of the only bikes where I've ever really used the talas -- the frame geo makes the most of all three settings. 140 most of the time, but it turns into a sick descender in 160 when the terrain is really steep.

    Also a rock-solid, confidence-inspiring frame. I'm hitting stuff on it that I never would have considered HT-friendly. It's absolutely perfect for BC/PacNW shredding.

    And if you're lucky, you might find a used one in pristine condition like I did...

    (Check out FM's custom curtlo in the classifieds, though. Say it ain't so, Flash! )

  15. #15
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeePhroh View Post
    (Check out FM's custom curtlo in the classifieds, though. Say it ain't so, Flash! )
    It's true. Was thinking you might like the seat post....

    While Iím here Iíll throw in my .02c. - You do get what you pay for. The first thing a frame builder will do to cut cost is to downgrade the materials (i.e. tubeset). Fancy tubing like Reynolds 853 or Truetemper platinum air-hardens when heated, and offers the builder more size & butting options to lighten the frame without sacrificing strength (since the tubes are still thicker at the joints). Good steel tubing is expensive...An inexpensive 6+lb frame isnít necessarily going to be stronger than a 4.5-5lb frame made from higher-end tubing, in fact it could be weaker. The lighter tubesets also offer a more compliant/flexy ride, which can be a benefit if the tubing is right for the riderís weight and style. Up beyond 5.5lbs I donít believe youíll get any ďrideĒ benefit from a steel frame, it will ride like aluminum, but it will still be quieter and easier to repair.

    I really dig chromagís stuff, they do so many nice touches with their forged parts and chainstay yoke, which allows them to have huge tire clearance with short stays. I believe you get much of that on the stylus even though itís made overseas. The stylus also has a dropper-friendly 31.6 seatpost, not sure if transition has upped the transam, used to be 30.0.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM View Post
    Inot sure if transition has upped the transam, used to be 30.0.
    Current TransAM is 30.9, but still limited to their branded seat post clamp being 33mm. No Chromag QR for the TransAM lol.

  17. #17
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    I've been gassing for a sweet HT since I got my enduro which is to me the perfect AM FS bike. I've been looking at the transam and it seems to be the "goto" AM HT. Plus theres a fully built one around my parts for only $1200.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by eurospek View Post
    Current TransAM is 30.9, but still limited to their branded seat post clamp being 33mm. No Chromag QR for the TransAM lol.
    100% Chromag build for me

  19. #19
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    You might want to look into an NS Surge. Probably my favorite of the AM hardtails.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by arkon11 View Post
    You might want to look into an NS Surge. Probably my favorite of the AM hardtails.
    Here here!!!

    I've run mine with an older 150mm zoke 66 (same a2c as my new 180mm 66). Right now its got a surly instigator rigid fork on it. This bike is awesome, and was a lot easier to buy a complete bike than an equivalent trans am or chromag
    Just another redneck with a bike

  21. #21
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    For those who have purchased a chromag frame? Where are you guys buying them from? Direct from chromag? I'm most interested a samurai frame, but would prefer to buy a used frame, but they are difficult to find.

  22. #22
    i'm schralping yer thread
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhynohead View Post
    For those who have purchased a chromag frame? Where are you guys buying them from? Direct from chromag? I'm most interested a samurai frame, but would prefer to buy a used frame, but they are difficult to find.
    I found my samurai in the mtbr classifieds...hard to believe. Got a wicked deal, too.

    I've never had a reason to contact them; but from what I've heard (and you can ask FM) you can just call the chromag dudes in Whistler directly. They are really responsive and can build something to your spec.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhynohead View Post
    For those who have purchased a chromag frame? Where are you guys buying them from? Direct from chromag? I'm most interested a samurai frame, but would prefer to buy a used frame, but they are difficult to find.
    they pop up used the odd time but you can call ian at chromag direct and he'll hook you up. they are easy to deal with.

  24. #24
    Justin Vander Pol
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM View Post
    Up beyond 5.5lbs I donít believe youíll get any ďrideĒ benefit from a steel frame, it will ride like aluminum, but it will still be quieter and easier to repair.
    Hey FM, I agree with everything except this ^^^. My TransAM has that nice steel feel compared to the alum hardtail I demoed this summer.

    I have one of the first TransAMs. Love the durability, the lines, the ability to run SS or geared easily. SS for the win! Not sure why, but there's just something that feels great about riding a singlespeed. I wish it was a wee bit slacker (running Fox 36 at 140mm).

    If I replace it I'll get a 29er with the shortest chainstays available and a slack head angle (Diamondback Mason or Kona Honzo).
    Issaquah & Seattle real estate agent. Buy or sell a home with me and I donate $500 to Evergreen MTB Alliance
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  25. #25
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by juice View Post
    Hey FM, I agree with everything except this ^^^. My TransAM has that nice steel feel compared to the alum hardtail I demoed this summer.
    Fair enough, you are probably right. I was thinking more compared to lighter XC handbuilt steel frames, like the first DeKerf I owned (~4lbs), or my old school davidson I had- those definitely have some flex.

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