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  1. #1
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    chromag bikes/frames

    I am looking to build up a chromag surface ti hardail and was looking to see what everyone else out there has to say about chromag's frames-likes or dislikes.

    thanks in adavance for your imput.

  2. #2
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    They are by all accounts great frames. Not for weight weanie XCers, but bikes that are up for anything.
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  3. #3
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    I never rode one, but they're nice. Been to the Chromag shop in Whistler.

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    I ride the Stylus mostly in winter but I have taken it on trails and pump track in summer. In winter I swap the tires for studs. The frame is steel so it is heavier than my FS but it's just as good climbing. For me, the weight is not critical. I don't race and I don't regard myself as an xc rider (I'm more enduro). Standover is good. I'm 5'4" and my frame is a size small. If you are considering the Stylus, go with the 650b +plus size and I'd recommend 140 to 160 mm fork. Dropper post is also nice if you're riding mostly trail. I miss my dropper which is on my FS.

    Steel will feel heavier but it's indestructible and will last forever. I have a friend who raced his Stylus in an enduro series (on platforms) last summer and he won overall

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by natas1321 View Post
    I am looking to build up a chromag surface ti hardail and was looking to see what everyone else out there has to say about chromag's frames-likes or dislikes.

    thanks in adavance for your imput.
    2 guys at my LBS have Surface Tis. Incredible bikes. I will ask them for specific pros/cons. I suspect that the only con may be cost. They each spent 10k building theirs (I know - that can happen with any frame, but they ain't giving away the Surface Ti frames).

    A bunch of others have Rootdowns. The purists love the Mike Truelove Primer. I don't know anyone with an ultra-rad Doctahawk yet (then again, it's brand new).

    The working manís Chromag seems to be the Honzo. There are plenty of Honzos in the garages of the LBS guys as well - the flavour of choice being steel and the now discontinued ti frames.

  6. #6
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    I have a steel Surface I got in 2017. The bike has been amazing; I bought as the last hardtail I'll every buy. The quality and attention to detail are as high quality as you'd expect. It also has that sweet spot geometry that isn't crazy slack and low and isn't upright XC. Its perfect for just hard trail riding and comfortable for long, epic rides.

    I have mine set up with a 140 mm Pike, 29ers and Race Face's lighter Turbine bar, stem, cranks, etc. and it weighs it at around 28 lbs.

    Another cool feature is the sizing. The offer a M/L size in addition to S, M, L and XL. I'm 6ft and like slightly smaller frames so the M/L is perfect.

    I just rebuilt it with some newer parts - another reason to buy it because it has regular standards (threaded bb, Boost spacing, 44m headtube, dropper routing, etc.) so you can build it any way you please.
    Vermonter - bikes, beers and skis.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    2 guys at my LBS have Surface Tis. Incredible bikes. I will ask them for specific pros/cons. I suspect that the only con may be cost. They each spent 10k building theirs (I know - that can happen with any frame, but they ain't giving away the Surface Ti frames).

    A bunch of others have Rootdowns. The purists love the Mike Truelove Primer. I don't know anyone with an ultra-rad Doctahawk yet (then again, it's brand new).

    The working manís Chromag seems to be the Honzo. There are plenty of Honzos in the garages of the LBS guys as well - the flavour of choice being steel and the now discontinued ti frames.

    the cost does not bother me, wish it would be cheaper but it is what it is, also looked at a rootdown but pretty set on the surface ti but other than the cost I cannot see any cons for the bike.

  8. #8
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    It's been weird watching chromag geometry start out as 'contemporary,' lapse in to 'horribly dated' and abruptly come full circle to 'super progressive.' As a tall guy i don't really like that they use 415mm chainstays for almost everything. I feel like most of their current stuff is pretty sweet for the average expert-ish hardtailer in the mountains, but the doctahawk is a one trick pony that a couple people will adapt to and claim it's completely superior.

    I can't get behind a progressive ti hardtail. A hardtail is a snapshot of what works TODAY (cuz they're cheap and not always appropriate), and for me a ti frame is something where you get the best possible iteration because it's an investment and you're gonna use it a lot. I aspire to have a TOTL titanium endurance road bike, once i know everything about road bikes. An abused progressive steel frame will do everything the ti frame can, and for much less money. I'd have more fun not caring about ruining my fancy gear.

    Ti is sweet, progressive hardtails are sweet, but the combination doesn't work for me. But you do you; i'd be psyched to see your ti chromag on the trail.
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
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  9. #9
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    I really considered a Rootdown before I built my Nimble 9. I probably would have bought one if it had different dropouts. I can't understand the logic of building a hardtail without the option to single speed it.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleSpeedSteven View Post
    I really considered a Rootdown before I built my Nimble 9. I probably would have bought one if it had different dropouts. I can't understand the logic of building a hardtail without the option to single speed it.
    Well, SingleSpeedSteven, here's my take.

    I have a SS, but the drivetrain imposes some restrictions. The trails in the local mountains have a lot of steep climbing for several thousand feet. There's no way for me to have reasonable gearing for flatter trails and for those climbs (and the heavy wheels and tires that i like there suck to winch uphill). I also want a stable, long wheelbase bike for the descents. Long-low-slack geared hardtail ftw.

    The flatter trails in the valley are a blast on my SS, and i don't want the long wheelbase, slow steering, and pedal-strikey low that's awesome in the mountains.

    The hardtailness is a footnote. The geometry of the bikes i have is VERY different, and it speaks to each being appropriate in a different environment.




    IMO no sliding chainstay adjustment is code for 'don't SS this beast.' Also adding that mechanism introduces unnecessary complexity, potential inconvenience and/or expense. Ultimately the frame designer will do what he thinks will maximize his profits, i guess.


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  11. #11
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    I will respectfully disagree. There are a ton of different dropout styles, and a good majority of them give you more versatility than a standard thru bolt with a hanger like on the Chromag frames. Not everyone rides high alpine trails that require gears to climb 3000' before descending, and even then some people like riding SS. It's not so much a question of what kind of trails the bikes are meant to be ridden on, and more an issue of overlooking something that gives customers a lot of versatility.

  12. #12
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    I'll bet Chromag would make SS dropouts if you simply asked. You're prob not the first to want to run a SS on their frames.
    Vermonter - bikes, beers and skis.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by VTSession View Post
    I'll bet Chromag would make SS dropouts if you simply asked. You're prob not the first to want to run a SS on their frames.
    I'm sure they would, they seem like a cool company. The Rootdown is at a solid price point though, and asking them to do something custom like different dropouts would likely drive the price way up. It would defeat the purpose when there are other hardtails out there that already have sliders off the shelf.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleSpeedSteven View Post
    I will respectfully disagree. There are a ton of different dropout styles, and a good majority of them give you more versatility than a standard thru bolt with a hanger like on the Chromag frames. Not everyone rides high alpine trails that require gears to climb 3000' before descending, and even then some people like riding SS. It's not so much a question of what kind of trails the bikes are meant to be ridden on, and more an issue of overlooking something that gives customers a lot of versatility.
    It's been several years since i've seen someone riding a SS in the mountains, and sliding dropouts add about 100$ in materials cost to the frame builder (and weight and complexity to the frame). I think chromag has decided to build hardtails for mountainous regions that hit a price point, and their dropout choice was a consequence of that.


    Personally, i agree with you. Even on a geared bike i like being able to adjust my chainstay length, and have used sliders on most of the mtb frames i've built.

    ...besides, there's always the singleator type stuff for the weirdos.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    2 guys at my LBS have Surface Tis. Incredible bikes. I will ask them for specific pros/cons. I suspect that the only con may be cost. They each spent 10k building theirs (I know - that can happen with any frame, but they ain't giving away the Surface Ti frames).

    A bunch of others have Rootdowns. The purists love the Mike Truelove Primer. I don't know anyone with an ultra-rad Doctahawk yet (then again, it's brand new).

    The working manís Chromag seems to be the Honzo. There are plenty of Honzos in the garages of the LBS guys as well - the flavour of choice being steel and the now discontinued ti frames.
    Whoa Mike, well met again if in any way possible, would it be possible to get a peek on some pics of those Surface Ti's you mentioned? They sound like the holy grail

    And I fully second what you wrote about the Honzo (you are in the know...). How are you enjoying your new rig?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by natas1321 View Post
    I am looking to build up a chromag surface ti hardail and was looking to see what everyone else out there has to say about chromag's frames-likes or dislikes.

    thanks in adavance for your imput.
    Subscribed to the thread - looking forward to pics and build reports

  17. #17
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    PS a 29+ frame has hatched in chromag's den: Chromag Bikes - Chromag Bikes | Bikes | Arcturian 29++

    Wow that looks awesome...

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rynee View Post
    PS a 29+ frame has hatched in chromag's den: Chromag Bikes - Chromag Bikes | Bikes | Arcturian 29++

    Wow that looks awesome...
    Holy crap, that Arcturus looks awesome. It must be close to brand new.

    Chromag has been dropping lots of new frames lately. Lots of revised frames as well. They have been busy.
    2019 Forbidden Druid
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