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  1. #1
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    Chromag Sakura vs. Cotic Soul

    First post, so big hello to everybody!

    I`m looking for input concerning the two bikes mentioned in the title. Searched the net but haven`t made up my mind yet, other, then it boils down to Sakura or Soul. Anybody got experience with both frames? There isn`t a chance to testride these bikes for me, so any comments are appreciated.
    I`m riding since the early 90s and got a feeling, it`s time for a new bike.

    Thank you so much,
    oldman

  2. #2
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    Isn't that the truth? I too was looking into the Sakura but wanted to throw a leg over one before I bought it. Wasn't able to but I did ride an On-One and I liked it a lot. So I pulled the trigger and bought a 456. Progress is slow but coming along,I might not have been very helpful but this was my solution

  3. #3
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    Thanks htnswches,

    this sounds like a sensible solution. Great looking bike so far!

    But my next bike will be the only "real" one for quite some time, so I want to get it right. And my mind is set for the moment at the two frames mentioned. Might be able to test ride a cotic soul in a few weeks, but chromags are very rare in these parts

    So I hope anybody has experience with one or the other or maybe both?
    Any comments appreciated!

  4. #4
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    Hi Oldman,

    I know and own only one of the two mentioned bikes, but a close friend of mine is thinking about the other one. I think both bikes are really great all-ride machines. And both are high level hardtails that are quite uncommon.

    I own, ride and love a Chromag Sakura for nearly 2 years. I still fell in love with the ride. Iīd call most of my favourite riding agressive xc. I ride a medium frame with a fox vanilla at 130mm, relativly light wheels but burly tires, wide (chromag) bars and a 2x9 drivetrain (1x9 for the future). The complete bike weights around 25lbs

    It is a wonderful frame. Sure it is some serious money for a stock frame but on the other hand it was perfectly prepared, the paint is really solid (and you can pick nearly any colour), the welding and attention to the details is amazing, the claimed weight is exact and the geometry is spot on. And last but not least - I was on a race and someone with an old brodie expresso showed up. I was aware that Mike Truelove (MT Metalworks) builds the actual chromag handbuild frames and that this exact Mike truelove was the coworker of Paul Brodie back in the days, but it was really funny to compare the sakura and the old expresso. Even the cable stops are equal. Believe me, the Sakura is the modern Brodie Expresso with a modern geometry adjusted to longer suspension forks and disc brakes perfectly.

    The ride is a little dificult to describe, because to me it seems like a bike with two faces. Saddle up it is a very neutral ride. A rider position that is just balanced and especially coming from old hardtail geometrys feels familiar immediatly. The moderate tob tube lenght and the slightly slacker seat ankle give a very comfortable ride for longer rides. It climbes really good and shines on technical singletracks. The frame is stiff yet noticable less harsh than most alloy frames.
    But when you lower the saddle by only 2-4 inches the same bike shows its gnarly whister heritage. It feels like the slighly lower center of gravity and the extra room to move on the bike transform this bike into a downhill bike. Really. I like riding steep and technical section anyway, but the Sakura opened a new perspective to these sections. It is more fun, it feels alot saver and mre stable and Iīm riding this stuff much faster now.

    Bottomline is, you canīt go wrong with the Sakura. Itīs got tons of potential, quality is top notch, it is a pleasure to deal with Ian @ Chromag. You definitly get what you pay for. Iīld love to order a Stash (the singlespeederbased on the Sakura) from Ian, but right now there are some other priorities in life when it comes to invest 1 grand and more ;-)

    I think despite the country of origin one of the biggest differences between the Cotic and the Chromag is their SA. I personally like the slacker SA of the Sakura. But some people are sensitive to this. The SA of the Cotic is somewhat steeper. Some people prefer this way.

    cheers
    b.asti

  5. #5
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    Hi b.asti,

    thank you so much for your detailed answer, a great read and a big help to me!
    This sounds quite like the stuff I`m looking forward to intend to do with my next bike. As my skill grows, I see the occasional small drop or jump coming along my way and the frame should handle this also. But after seeing this fantastic video , i don`t have any worries.

    Another thing I noticed about the geo of the two frames is the 2 degrees slacker headangle of the sakura. Would like to have a fork between 120mm and 140mm, so the soul would be at something around 69 degrees, hmm.

    Not having a chance to ride these bikes side by side, your opinion is much appreciated.

    cheers,
    oldman

  6. #6
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    Before you can compare geometry you need to verify if Chromag takes their numbers sagged or static.

    The Cotic is listed as 70/73 with 100mm fork sagged about 25%.

    Static numbers for the Cotic would then be around 68.75/71.75 with an axle to crown of 478mm.

    Also note as the fork length gets longer the ETT/VTT also gets longer. So longer fork = longer ETT.

  7. #7
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    You īre welcome. May the chromag family grow ;-)

    Pauls riding is really a joy to watch.

    here is a pic of me and my chromag somewhere in switzerland:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/5356859...n/photostream/


    Donīt hesitate ībout the slcker HA. Even with the 68° HA the chromag is on the agile side, although the wheelbase isnīt really short. Keep in mind you need a slacker HA to compensate the longer travel at front. It will easily change to 70° and steeper under brakeload/comression.It just gives you a more stable feeling in the highspeed passages.Once I was rolling down a road with a speed trap and had the feeling of riding like 35-40 kmh. Surprisingly it was much closer to 60kmh ;-)

    But Iīld guess Cy at Cotic measures the HA with a 100mm fork sagged. If this is the case, the Sakura and the Soul would have the very same HA.

    In the end it is a matter of taste, trust and aesthetics wich one to choose. I rode an old rocky mountain hardtail before the chromag and I always liked the images that came to my mind about BC-riding. And last but not least, I was very sure, that a whistler company that is highly rated over there couldnīt be that wrong. In fact the riding was overwhelming and only after a couple of weeks I realised, trusting chromag was the only way to get a bike like that, because I couldnīt have had asked for a custom frame with this ride characteristics. I simply had no ideas what geo is needed for a ride like this. But the people at Chromag know exactly what is necessary.

    cheers and good luck
    basti

  8. #8
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    Dear gte819s,

    you are right. From the Chromag website: "*Angles measured with respect to typical fork travel at 4" / 100mm" not sure if this means with or without sag.
    Cotic measurements are with sag, as you said.

    basti,

    funny you mention BC riding and rocky mountain. My first bike was a Blizzard from `93 and I`m riding it still nearly every day.
    Iīm sure the Chromag people now their stuff.

    I get a chance to test out a Soul next week, but right now I`m leaning heavily towards the Sakura, thanks to you!

    Cheers,
    oldman
    Last edited by oldmangrumpy; 09-22-2010 at 01:35 PM.

  9. #9
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    in my experience with Chromag (Stylus, so I cannot speak to the two bikes in question) the geo is measured unsagged.

    With that said, the Cotic is sagged 25mm, so it should be static at about 69*, so still about a degree steeper than the Chromag

  10. #10
    local trails rider
    Reputation: perttime's Avatar
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    Previously, Chromag gave their angles for different fork lengths, unsagged. Some sources still list them that way. When I had a question about the Stylus, I got a very quick answer from Ian at Chromag.

    The Stylus is the "cheap and heavy" one in the range and it is still very well made. Strong and stiff enough for a heavier guy like me...

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  11. #11
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    I remember the old way the listed the fork specs. For the Sakura this sounded like this:

    Frame is build around 3 to 5inch forks

    3inch = HA 70 SA 73
    5inch = HA 68 SA 71

    I think, they generally measure unsagged.

  12. #12
    local trails rider
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    We are rapidly building a lot of Chromag stoke here
    They are good. But Cotic is clearly good too. I just think they are a bit plain in comparison.

    Sizing is a little different in the Smalls and Mediums. Like the Small Chromag is clearly shorter and the Medium Chromag is about half way between Small and Medium Cotic.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  13. #13
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    Thanks everyone for your insight/thoughts!

    Chromag stoke is high, time for a bit of Cotic stoke, anyone?

  14. #14
    local trails rider
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    You may find more opinions on Cotic on a British site. Bikeradar or Singletrack maybe.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

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