Chromag Rootdown & Surface (and maybe Primer) Builds

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Chromag Rootdown & Surface (and maybe Primer) Builds
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Posted: Jun 20, 2019 at 10:44 Quote
6 months without proper BC steel between my legs is about 5 months too long! I went from this:


to this:

I initially moved away from my Primer as there was too much overlap with my Range 29. I really enjoyed my Specialized Fuse as it was a much better all around trail bike, though I did find I was really fighting it on the downhills to the point that it was taking away from the fun. I'm optimistic that the Surface should be the balance I'm looking for with the Fox 34 at 140mm.

Posted: Jun 25, 2019 at 9:57 Quote
ronufoh wrote:
6 months without proper BC steel between my legs is about 5 months too long! I went from this:


to this:

I initially moved away from my Primer as there was too much overlap with my Range 29. I really enjoyed my Specialized Fuse as it was a much better all around trail bike, though I did find I was really fighting it on the downhills to the point that it was taking away from the fun. I'm optimistic that the Surface should be the balance I'm looking for with the Fox 34 at 140mm.

Having owned a Rootdown and a Surface, I think the Surface will be exactly what you’re looking for. I had a 160 on the RD and a 140 on the Surface. Amazing all around bike that can do everything well.

I’m now on an RSD Middle Child and it is killer. 64.5 HTA but it’s the best climbing bike I have ridden in a long time.. weirdness.

Posted: Jun 25, 2019 at 10:11 Quote
oakvillan wrote:
ronufoh wrote:
6 months without proper BC steel between my legs is about 5 months too long! I went from this:


to this:

I initially moved away from my Primer as there was too much overlap with my Range 29. I really enjoyed my Specialized Fuse as it was a much better all around trail bike, though I did find I was really fighting it on the downhills to the point that it was taking away from the fun. I'm optimistic that the Surface should be the balance I'm looking for with the Fox 34 at 140mm.

Having owned a Rootdown and a Surface, I think the Surface will be exactly what you’re looking for. I had a 160 on the RD and a 140 on the Surface. Amazing all around bike that can do everything well.

I’m now on an RSD Middle Child and it is killer. 64.5 HTA but it’s the best climbing bike I have ridden in a long time.. weirdness.


Is that a 27.5+ rear, and a 29x2.5 front?
I rode that set up for a couple rides while my rear wheel was getting re-laced. It was ok, for what I ride, I don't think it did me any favors. I'm guessing that if I lived somewhere where it was super super steep all the time, it would descend better, and I would have wanted a stiffer sidewall on my rear tire. It had some weird balance turning, like the two wheels wanted to move in different arcs, very surprising. I might have needed to change up some other things to get the balance right.

Posted: Jun 25, 2019 at 10:16 Quote
Ru-tang wrote:
Is that a 27.5+ rear, and a 29x2.5 front?
I rode that set up for a couple rides while my rear wheel was getting re-laced. It was ok, for what I ride, I don't think it did me any favors. I'm guessing that if I lived somewhere where it was super super steep all the time, it would descend better, and I would have wanted a stiffer sidewall on my rear tire. It had some weird balance turning, like the two wheels wanted to move in different arcs, very surprising. I might have needed to change up some other things to get the balance right.

That's exactly the advantage of the mixer set up - the rear wheel travels in a tighter arc than the front wheel - regains some of the cornering that you lose with long wheel bases and 29" wheels.

Posted: Jun 25, 2019 at 11:48 Quote
nouseforaname wrote:
Ru-tang wrote:
Is that a 27.5+ rear, and a 29x2.5 front?
I rode that set up for a couple rides while my rear wheel was getting re-laced. It was ok, for what I ride, I don't think it did me any favors. I'm guessing that if I lived somewhere where it was super super steep all the time, it would descend better, and I would have wanted a stiffer sidewall on my rear tire. It had some weird balance turning, like the two wheels wanted to move in different arcs, very surprising. I might have needed to change up some other things to get the balance right.

That's exactly the advantage of the mixer set up - the rear wheel travels in a tighter arc than the front wheel - regains some of the cornering that you lose with long wheel bases and 29" wheels.

Yeah, for me, it didn't seem as much an advantage. Its hard to describe, but the bike would want to pivot and jack-knife at the headset. It felt like the rear wheel was pushing a larger radius while the front was tighter. It was strange, very different from when I borrowed a friends Trek 69er many moons ago. Again, not a long term test, its definitely slower (except maybe for the downs) and I didn't change a bunch of stuff to try and make it work.

Posted: Jun 25, 2019 at 12:15 Quote
Ru-tang wrote:
Yeah, for me, it didn't seem as much an advantage. Its hard to describe, but the bike would want to pivot and jack-knife at the headset. It felt like the rear wheel was pushing a larger radius while the front was tighter. It was strange, very different from when I borrowed a friends Trek 69er many moons ago. Again, not a long term test, its definitely slower (except maybe for the downs) and I didn't change a bunch of stuff to try and make it work.

Your flag says America, but your experience is upside down - are you a closet Australian? That's literally the opposite effect a mixer wheel has.
Maybe the rear wheel wasn't gripping as much?

Posted: Jun 25, 2019 at 16:39 Quote
Ru-tang wrote:
Is that a 27.5+ rear, and a 29x2.5 front?
I rode that set up for a couple rides while my rear wheel was getting re-laced. It was ok, for what I ride, I don't think it did me any favors. I'm guessing that if I lived somewhere where it was super super steep all the time, it would descend better, and I would have wanted a stiffer sidewall on my rear tire.

Yes, I do run a 27.5x2.8 in the back. I've done so for the last 2.5 years, from my Rootdown BA to the Primer, then both my Fuse and the Surface now; it's my setup of choice.

It started with running both wheels as 27.5x2.8. I loved the climbing traction and bit of extra rear end give, but didn't like the lower BB with more clipped pedals on my steeper climbs and I also found the front end lacked precision. Moving to a normal 29 front wheel fixed both of those things without giving up anything I liked.

I probably don't ride hard enough to notice the decreased rear sidewall support, though it is trickier to find the sweetspot with a carbon rim now. And I'm not perceptive or fast enough to notice what your reported about wheel arcs in turns

Posted: Jun 26, 2019 at 10:03 Quote
i recall an article in MBAction that showed a double page image, the profile of a mountain bike, with a text box for each component estimating the component's expected life expectancy.
obviously this depends on how the bike is ridden, where, etc., but i am wondering...how long do you all expect to get out of a high quality steel HT frame?

Posted: Jun 26, 2019 at 10:46 Quote
vonP wrote:
i recall an article in MBAction that showed a double page image, the profile of a mountain bike, with a text box for each component estimating the component's expected life expectancy.
obviously this depends on how the bike is ridden, where, etc., but i am wondering...how long do you all expect to get out of a high quality steel HT frame?

Probably longer than I will ride it. The thing that kills frames are bad welds.

At least with a Primer/Surface etc it's an artisan experienced builder. And even the 'off shore' bikes have a tonne of work put into them - it's a tight relationship between Chromag and the Asian factory. I've heard of some brands having an attitude of "as long as we're under 10% warranty returns (for cracking) we're still in the positive". Chromag doesn't have that attitude and never had - and it shows through their bikes.

I just did a 5 hour ride in Whistler on my Primer (literally from Chromags office to Ians place in the North of Whistler) and those trails take no prisoners. up or down. And that reflects in the bikes that Chromag make - there's little respite on the trails and components that aren't up to the task show it quickly. The bikes they make are made for folks that ride those trails - not the 'occasionally technical trails' of "wherever" but the full on balls to the wall techgnar of Whistler. I rode Howler (was raced in the EWS) and it took me THIRTEEN MINUTES - yeah i was pretty tired by that point but still - 13 minutes of rocky gnarly descending with no mellow spots for recovery. Those are the trails Chromags are built to handle.

I lived in Whistler for a couple of years, 10 years ago, and it's incredible how much those trails eat tires, rims, forks, brakes, frames. I bet my Samurai frame from 2007 is still going strong. I definitely wish I'd hung on to that even if it would ride like a circus bike by todays standards.

Posted: Jul 16, 2019 at 23:08 Quote
Picked up my Rootdown a few weeks ago while back home in BC; GX build with OneUp dropper/stem/bars and a 29er Assegai Exo+/Agressor DD tire combo. HOLY this thing shreds!

Maiden voyage was the Seven Summits trail followed by Nelson, Revy, Kelowna, and then a week of chasing mates down the slabs and steeps of the Sea to Sky. Legs are shot but i'm amazed by what the bike can handle. From all day pedals to the steepest, stupidest stuff i've ever chucked myself into on any bike it never felt out of place. It's not going to smooth out the root and rock gardens the same as a full sus does, but it makes you think a lot more about line choice and really rewards you when you nail it. V happy for sure, would highly recommend!

The buying experience with Chromag was also brilliant, from letting me swap in parts i was bringing to being seriously helpful answering the million questions i had beforehand, they were legends throughout.





Posted: Aug 1, 2019 at 8:04 Quote
What are the thoughts on sizing on the 2019 Rootdown?

I was riding a size M 2016 Rootdown BA and I’m 5’8”. Compared to the 2016, the 2019s have a steeper seat tube, which results in the top tube being about 10 mm shorter. I wouldn’t have wanted my 2016 M to be any more cramped while seated than it was, which makes me think I should go for the M/L in the 2019 frame. The reach is also 25 mm longer than my old bike.

Another issue is that M/L is currently available whereas M is sold out.

Think the 2019 M/L would work for me at 5’8”?

Posted: Aug 1, 2019 at 9:51 Quote
DMal wrote:
What are the thoughts on sizing on the 2019 Rootdown?

I was riding a size M 2016 Rootdown BA and I’m 5’8”. Compared to the 2016, the 2019s have a steeper seat tube, which results in the top tube being about 10 mm shorter. I wouldn’t have wanted my 2016 M to be any more cramped while seated than it was, which makes me think I should go for the M/L in the 2019 frame. The reach is also 25 mm longer than my old bike.

Another issue is that M/L is currently available whereas M is sold out.

Think the 2019 M/L would work for me at 5’8”?

At 5'10" is was super happy on a Large, so I think a M/L would be perfect for you.

Bear in mind you can reduce the reach easily by running a couple of extra spacers under your stem.

Posted: Aug 1, 2019 at 9:59 Quote
[Quote="nouseforaname"]
DMal wrote:

Bear in mind you can reduce the reach easily by running a couple of extra spacers under your stem.

True. I'm running Race Face Atlas 12 mm rise bars, so it will be easy to get some spacers under there. The headtube on the new frame is also 10 mm shorter than my 2016 had, so that's an extra spacer there to achieve the same bar height.

Posted: Aug 1, 2019 at 10:01 Quote
[Quote="DMal"]
nouseforaname wrote:
DMal wrote:

Bear in mind you can reduce the reach easily by running a couple of extra spacers under your stem.

True. I'm running Race Face Atlas 12 mm rise bars, so it will be easy to get some spacers under there. The headtube on the new frame is also 10 mm shorter than my 2016 had, so that's an extra spacer there to achieve the same bar height.

Plus - you get a new bike!


 
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