Chromag Stylus Builds, Reviews and Reports-
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  1. #1
    Your bike sucks
    Reputation: Carl Mega's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    Chromag Stylus Builds, Reviews and Reports

    The old Stylus Build thread's last post was from 2015 so I'm rebooting it here with hopes more of the recent builds and versions will land. I'll kick it off with my 2020 Stylus in Large and Black Fire.


    I'm no stranger to hardtails and envisioned this build last year when I was riding my Patrol and switched back to my Wozo... really missed the skinny tire agility of the Patrol but loved the hard tail feedback and reaction of the Wozo and figured it was time to get a proper AM hardtail with progressive long, low geometry.


    Frame 2020 Stylus Large - BlackFire
    Fork: 160mm CaneCreek Helm
    Drivetrain: Shimano 11sp XT
    Cranks: Carbon Descendant 170mm / 168Qfactor
    Pedal: Spank Spike
    Stem: 35mm Spank Race
    Handlebar: Spank Vibro 800mm
    Dropper: 2020 Fox Transfer 175mm Performance IR
    Brakes: Shimano XT / 180
    Wheels: I built 32H Stans Barons laced 14/15 to black Hope hubs
    Tires: Maxxis DHF 2.6 3C 120TPI
    Saddle: WTB Silverado

    Build Impressions:

    Chromag Stylus Builds, Reviews and Reports-img_0062.jpg

    Frame came nicely prepped and assembly was easy - peasy. Paint is glossy. Be mindful of lacing the housing thru the rubber stop for the internal router before you put on ferrule or you won't be able to add it afterward (I'm doing without for now).

    My 2.6 tires cleared but not unlimited space. My 168Qfactor cranks fit and I don't think there will be any rub. I left a lot of steerer tube of the Helm as I'm never sure if this is where its staying and the HT/stack of this bike is short.

    Chromag Stylus Builds, Reviews and Reports-img_0069.jpg

    Chromag Stylus Builds, Reviews and Reports-img_0070.jpg

    Oh - frame doesn't come with a seat post clamp (or 180mm brake adapter) so have them ready; I'm waiting on a red wolftooth seat clamp.

    Fox Transfer is DOA. I own several and this one is crap. Working on a warranty. Will be replacing lever w/ Paul's or my Wolftooth.

    Almost forgot: weight with pedals: 31.5 lbs.

    Ride / Fit Impressions:

    I need a longer bike and try to get my sizing with a 35mm stem and the lowest stack I can achieve. I'm close on this build but a few things I'm working through: the lowest I can get the stem is with about 17mm of spacers - lower and my shifter pod will hit the top tube which is a no-no. So I'm experimenting there. Also - a normal person would look at my fit and think 'nice' and I'm real close - but my other bikes are more stretched out so I'd take another 1cm if I can get it. Basically, even with 487mm reach, the steep seat tube angle prevents me getting the saddle back further; if I was picking, I'd take 1 degree off the STA for a longer ETT. I have some ideas on working this out but right now my saddle is about as far back as the seatpost will allow. I knew this would be a potential compromise as I wanted the wheelbase shorter than Patrol for agility which is my focus here. If it matters - I'm 187cm tall w/ a longer torso.

    I've ridden the bike a few times - but only one trail ride as its Feb and not much is rideable. Coming off the fat bike means my regular mtb skills are all wonky - everything feels so reactive so it's been a process to recalibrate. Seems to happen to me as I've gotten older and it takes me a few weeks to forget my old habits. Anyway - in a nutshell - the bike is rad. Very nimble. Solid feeling bike - it's not a compliant ride but when you get to business things get sorted. Love the feeling of the short stays - like the front center feel. I think it's going to suit me well as I figure it out and mint my fit/preferences. More to come.

    I had the Helm pressure @ recommended but it was way too high. I dropped the pressure and running more negative pressure and it feels closer - almost no compression in low/high settings. It's an aggressive fork but it feels great when you challenge it; threw me off on the first ride tho - it was too much of a change vs. my 170 Lyrik coil or my Mastodon. I think I'll try it @ 170mm eventually.

    So tl;dr - great bike. Stoked to be on it. If you are looking for a 27.5 aggressive hardtail, put it on your list to check out. I got my frame from LostCo who were solid to work with.
    Working to stomp out redundancy, I repeat, working to stomp out redundancy.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Again, Congrats! Looking awesome!

    What chainline are you running and how's the clearance (chain to tire, chainring to frame)?
    Chainring size?

    How about a 50mm stem to get a little more stretch?
    I was torn about stem length. I have settled on a 50mm for the moment but may change after riding it.

    I still have a while until I put mine together but I did receive the frame yesterday. So stoked.

  3. #3
    Your bike sucks
    Reputation: Carl Mega's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Thanks man. You'll have to put up some pics of yours when you're ready - curious to see some of the other colors outside of the mfgr shots.

    All excellent questions:

    Prob just a 45mm stem would get my hands in the right spot but what is my preferred on the fit would be to slide the seat back 1cm more. I have an idea to make the Fox work but otherwise, I'd consider getting a new dropper w/ some setback as an eventual upgrade and fine tune. Stem is soooo much cheaper tho; I'm just finicky.

    On the chainline: technically the cranks are "non-boost" but I swapped to a boost ring for this build. It's only a 30T. I was just thinking about this and decided to eyeball the chainline and tbh w/ the 419 stays and in the lowest cog (42T) - the chain angle is more than I'm used to seeing. I need to compare tho. It shifts fine, pedals fine but if you spend a lot of time in the lowest gear, I could see some premature wear. If you didn't look, you wouldn't notice by pedalling / shifting it tho. If you want a picture, I'd be happy to post one. Of course, standard is 6mm offset (vs. boost 3mm) so I may reinstall that original 32T ring next and compare results. I just assumed that 52mm was recommended but maybe 49 is where its at. Not a big deal for me.

    Edit: I just saw the chainline dims you were looking for: Chain to Tire, Chainring to frame. I def don't rub chain on tire but I'll measure tomorrow on room. I think there was ample clearance for bigger rings and more inward (of course maybe that would rub tire). It looks like a lot of room there because they made it accept chain-guides. People w/ 12 sp and big low cog 50T+ might have a different experience.
    Working to stomp out redundancy, I repeat, working to stomp out redundancy.

  4. #4
    Your bike sucks
    Reputation: Carl Mega's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    So I just swapped my boost CR for the non-boost 32T one. Respective of the biggest rear cog, I think the CL looks better. The 32T front is prob more appropriate here too - I get those 30T so I have easy swaps between my other full squish bikes. I'll report back after today's ride.

    Edit: I think this set-up is better for me. Sticking with it. Also: plenty of chain to tire clearance. Really digging the bike - even more now. Pretty soon that Fox dropper replacement will arrive and I'll stop fussing.
    Last edited by Carl Mega; 1 Week Ago at 06:31 PM.
    Working to stomp out redundancy, I repeat, working to stomp out redundancy.

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