Chromag Rootdown & Surface (and maybe Primer) Builds

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Chromag Rootdown & Surface (and maybe Primer) Builds
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Posted: Jan 13, 2018 at 14:45 Quote
I'm not a young rider by any means (turned 50 last year!) but my '15 Rootdown is so much fun, even on rougher, faster or more technical trails here in BC, that I do not own another MTB.

I had a Trek Remedy when I put the Chromag together 2 1/2 years ago but sold it within 6 months as I always wanted to take the Rootdown out, whatever trails I rode!

I recently added new wheels with wider rims and fitted 2.6" Nobby Nics which have made traction frankly ridiculous but also added comfort with the lower pressures.

Also no worries about rear shocks, bearings and linkages during the winter months!

Posted: Jan 13, 2018 at 17:41 Quote
My full squish is the Rocky Altitutde Carbon 90, it's an amazing steed on it's own. I just prefer not to ride it in winter. So the reason the specialized found it's way in to the options is for the full squish, the 29er/27.5+ combo summer/winter is how I view that, while still providing that cush!

I'm mostly scared of the primer because I can't try first. While I rode hard tails throughout my youth without issue, heck no shocks at all and life was good. Going to the tried trails this year on my cross bike, that wasn't fun, shook the hell outta me and busted a bunch of parts at the same time... clearly not a good comparassin.

The hardest part about pulling the trigger on a chromag is truly, choosing the freaking colour.

BIG GT- Your comment about rear shocks/bearings and linkages during winter is certainly a consideration, tho, I will likely chicken out in the mega minus temps. -20 C and bellow likely.
You'd s till go with the chromag tho? It's nice to hear you say that at your age you still find teh rootdown the most fun! That's really all I want in a bike in the end. For it to make
me feel that damn this is fun feels.

Still, I find myself undecided. Slap me? I'm usually pretty solid on my bike choices, I've never felt so much indecision in my life.

Posted: Jan 13, 2018 at 17:48 Quote
nilbert wrote:
My full squish is the Rocky Altitutde Carbon 90, it's an amazing steed on it's own. I just prefer not to ride it in winter. So the reason the specialized found it's way in to the options is for the full squish, the 29er/27.5+ combo summer/winter is how I view that, while still providing that cush!

I'm mostly scared of the primer because I can't try first. While I rode hard tails throughout my youth without issue, heck no shocks at all and life was good. Going to the tried trails this year on my cross bike, that wasn't fun, shook the hell outta me and busted a bunch of parts at the same time... clearly not a good comparassin.

The hardest part about pulling the trigger on a chromag is truly, choosing the freaking colour.

BIG GT- Your comment about rear shocks/bearings and linkages during winter is certainly a consideration, tho, I will likely chicken out in the mega minus temps. -20 C and bellow likely.
You'd s till go with the chromag tho? It's nice to hear you say that at your age you still find teh rootdown the most fun! That's really all I want in a bike in the end. For it to make
me feel that damn this is fun feels.

Still, I find myself undecided. Slap me? I'm usually pretty solid on my bike choices, I've never felt so much indecision in my life.

Bite the bullet and get yourself the Chromag. I’ve always been a person that swore by full suspension other then on dirt jump bikes. But I sold my fully last year to build a Chromag RootDown and I gotta say I love my Chromag then any full suspension bike I have had before. It handles everything I throw at it with ease and an absolute monster.

Posted: Jan 13, 2018 at 19:22 Quote
nilbert wrote:
I'm mostly scared of the primer because I can't try first. While I rode hard tails throughout my youth without issue, heck no shocks at all and life was good. Going to the tried trails this year on my cross bike, that wasn't fun, shook the hell outta me and busted a bunch of parts at the same time... clearly not a good comparassin.

The hardest part about pulling the trigger on a chromag is truly, choosing the freaking colour.

You can go the route of a Rootdown BA first, swap some/most parts over from your Stumpjumper. Good way to try her out without getting balls deep financially. BA's even come up for sale used from time to time. If all is gravy, then make the jump into the Primer. That's what I did, luckily I found a pre-owned Primer so I'm not in too deep a hole for the upgrade.

I find a ride a hardtail much different than a fully. I haven't found the ride to beat me up really, its a different experience/approach really. At least for me anyways

Re colour: the ONLY colour/finish that you can ONLY choose from new is the raw steel with the weld heat marks. I personally love this and wish Inhad access to this, makes the bike so industrial and rugged looking. Anytime the old paint is stripped off and the frame is cleaned amd prepped, you lose the heat marks and the raw colour of the steel. So I had to settle for a colour instead -- poor me Smile

Posted: Jan 13, 2018 at 19:41 Quote
I got a leftover frame direct from Chromag. Great to deal with. Get ahold of Seb Bunney

Posted: Jan 13, 2018 at 20:23 Quote
ronufoh wrote:
nilbert wrote:
I'm mostly scared of the primer because I can't try first. While I rode hard tails throughout my youth without issue, heck no shocks at all and life was good. Going to the tried trails this year on my cross bike, that wasn't fun, shook the hell outta me and busted a bunch of parts at the same time... clearly not a good comparassin.

The hardest part about pulling the trigger on a chromag is truly, choosing the freaking colour.

You can go the route of a Rootdown BA first, swap some/most parts over from your Stumpjumper. Good way to try her out without getting balls deep financially. BA's even come up for sale used from time to time. If all is gravy, then make the jump into the Primer. That's what I did, luckily I found a pre-owned Primer so I'm not in too deep a hole for the upgrade.

I find a ride a hardtail much different than a fully. I haven't found the ride to beat me up really, its a different experience/approach really. At least for me anyways

Re colour: the ONLY colour/finish that you can ONLY choose from new is the raw steel with the weld heat marks. I personally love this and wish Inhad access to this, makes the bike so industrial and rugged looking. Anytime the old paint is stripped off and the frame is cleaned amd prepped, you lose the heat marks and the raw colour of the steel. So I had to settle for a colour instead -- poor me Smile

Other than bling, is the Primer worth the upgrade once you already have a Rootdown BA? Will they ride very differently?

Posted: Jan 13, 2018 at 23:25 Quote
I don't expect it will at all. Really all about the bling, and knowing the bike was made basically in a guy's garage. I've found my Primer headtube to be about 1/4" longer than my Rootdown BA, lucky I always leave a bit extra steertube on my forks. Other nice touches I've noticed so far are the triple butted top tube and the machined cable guides, really just little things.

FWIW I've been told that generally speaking the Rootdown BA's construction and welds are more consistent and have less 'quirks' than the Canadian artisan built frames.

For me it was also about getting it in a colour I've always wanted, and I've never owned a bike nice enough to make repainting it worthwhile. I also took the opportunity to add a second water bottle mount to the seat tube, tight fit on my medium frame. This is one I'm taking to the grave with me

Posted: Jan 14, 2018 at 10:03 Quote
nilbert wrote:
My full squish is the Rocky Altitutde Carbon 90, it's an amazing steed on it's own. I just prefer not to ride it in winter. So the reason the specialized found it's way in to the options is for the full squish, the 29er/27.5+ combo summer/winter is how I view that, while still providing that cush!

I'm mostly scared of the primer because I can't try first. While I rode hard tails throughout my youth without issue, heck no shocks at all and life was good. Going to the tried trails this year on my cross bike, that wasn't fun, shook the hell outta me and busted a bunch of parts at the same time... clearly not a good comparassin.

The hardest part about pulling the trigger on a chromag is truly, choosing the freaking colour.

BIG GT- Your comment about rear shocks/bearings and linkages during winter is certainly a consideration, tho, I will likely chicken out in the mega minus temps. -20 C and bellow likely.
You'd s till go with the chromag tho? It's nice to hear you say that at your age you still find teh rootdown the most fun! That's really all I want in a bike in the end. For it to make
me feel that damn this is fun feels.

Still, I find myself undecided. Slap me? I'm usually pretty solid on my bike choices, I've never felt so much indecision in my life.

If you've got an altitude 100% get a hardtail. If you only had one bike for trail/am riding then I might not recommend that, but if you've got that covered you NEED a hardtail. Fun as hell and way less needy. For all my comments about them being hard on you, a good contemporary aggressive hardtail is wayyyy more forgiving than hardtails of yore. I also find them more stylish, which is stupid, but if you are gonna have mulitple bikes it's cool to have a build you can ogle like a hotrod.

Posted: Jan 14, 2018 at 12:46 Quote
JesseE wrote:
nilbert wrote:
My full squish is the Rocky Altitutde Carbon 90, it's an amazing steed on it's own. I just prefer not to ride it in winter. So the reason the specialized found it's way in to the options is for the full squish, the 29er/27.5+ combo summer/winter is how I view that, while still providing that cush!

I'm mostly scared of the primer because I can't try first. While I rode hard tails throughout my youth without issue, heck no shocks at all and life was good. Going to the tried trails this year on my cross bike, that wasn't fun, shook the hell outta me and busted a bunch of parts at the same time... clearly not a good comparassin.

The hardest part about pulling the trigger on a chromag is truly, choosing the freaking colour.

BIG GT- Your comment about rear shocks/bearings and linkages during winter is certainly a consideration, tho, I will likely chicken out in the mega minus temps. -20 C and bellow likely.
You'd s till go with the chromag tho? It's nice to hear you say that at your age you still find teh rootdown the most fun! That's really all I want in a bike in the end. For it to make
me feel that damn this is fun feels.

Still, I find myself undecided. Slap me? I'm usually pretty solid on my bike choices, I've never felt so much indecision in my life.

If you've got an altitude 100% get a hardtail. If you only had one bike for trail/am riding then I might not recommend that, but if you've got that covered you NEED a hardtail. Fun as hell and way less needy. For all my comments about them being hard on you, a good contemporary aggressive hardtail is wayyyy more forgiving than hardtails of yore. I also find them more stylish, which is stupid, but if you are gonna have mulitple bikes it's cool to have a build you can ogle like a hotrod.

I agree on the comparison of ride quality on old -> new hardtails. Over the years I've had a Diamondback Topanga (rigid), Corratec XTrail, PlanetX Armadillo, '01 Kona Kula and '05 Cove Stiffee before moving over to fullies about 10 years ago.

The most comfortable of those (at the rear anyway) was the Topanga (steel), the Stiffee was the most fun descending (150mm Marz AMs!) but none really worked all-round for me.

However the modern geo on the Rootdown (non BA, but still takes 2.6"s) means that it climbs really well with the longer ETT, is comfy out back (steel + big tires) and is an absolute blast on the way down.

It feels balanced in a way only my fullies previously had and weirdly feels much lighter than it actually is while still happily flying down my fave trails at Squamish and the Shore.

I would like another FS but would need to sell this first and there's no way I'm selling the Chromag!

Posted: Jan 14, 2018 at 15:47 Quote
nilbert wrote:
I'm mostly scared of the primer because I can't try first. While I rode hard tails throughout my youth without issue, heck no shocks at all and life was good. Going to the tried trails this year on my cross bike, that wasn't fun, shook the hell outta me and busted a bunch of parts at the same time... clearly not a good comparassin.

You might want to look into tire inserts if you're worried about rattling bones. I'm getting cushcore tire inserts for my rootdown. I can't say if they work well but all the research I did led me to that brand. They are meant to smoothen out the small bumps and take the sting out of square hits. Less air pressure, more traction, less rolling resistance, more sidewall support, and substantial rim and tire sidewall protection. These are all things tested and proven. Instead of running DH tires I went for lighter tires which makes up for the added weight and then some (one insert is around the weight of a standard inner tube).

https://m.vitalmtb.com/features/Vital-MTB-Face-Off-The-Best-Tire-Insert-Systems,1841

Posted: Jan 14, 2018 at 19:26 Quote
Thank you for the encouragement Smile I do apprecaite it.

Ronufoh, I just can't convice myself to go the rootdown way, tho, thew new paint scheme's for 2018 are far more appealing. It's gotta be hand built or bust on this puppy, tho I do like the sentiment.
The raw steel is something I've seen photographs of totally agree it looks soooo cool! What colour did you settle for? Show us!


JesseE, Thanks for all your input on this one, it's greatly apprecaited, does the primer/rooty climb well?



BIG GT "I would like another FS but would need to sell this first and there's no way I'm selling the Chromag!" These are the lines of gold, for me, if I go chromag, it'll never
leave the fleet.

JoelTGM - didn't consider wheel inserts, good call. Tho, I'm considering carbon wheels for this cycle as I've never had them and Im' curious how that rides compared to a heavier wheel I'm used too.


Everyone, I'm so close to making it the chromag choice, very close. I just need a day to sit on it and finalize that choice. The colour is still something I'm stuck on and I really wish
I could have them subsitute the rockshocks dropper /front fork for the fox transfer and fox 36. They'll gladly do it but rockshox is their vendor and therefore much cheaper.

Thank you all. I'll keep you updated with photos and all. I've seen some slick primer builds on the instagram. Trying to put one together for myself.

Posted: Jan 15, 2018 at 4:40 Quote
nilbert wrote:
It's gotta be hand built or bust on this puppy, tho I do like the sentiment.
The raw steel is something I've seen photographs of totally agree it looks soooo cool! What colour did you settle for? Show us!

Go big or go home, I like your approach! Buy nice or buy twice is another one that's been gaining traction with me of late.

The Rootdown BA is also hand built, just overseas by a team of builders as opposed to just 1 builder for the entire frame. Which would make sense in the final product being maybe more consistent overall, but lacking in a bit of soul if you know what i mean.

The way I see it with the raw steel, you'll ever only have 1 opportunity to do it. If you want some colour still, Chris Dekerf can tint the clearcoat and the raw steel finish and heat marks are still visible. Only caveat is that the clearcoat only does not adhere as well as a painted finish since no primer (no pun intended) is used. If the finish becomes haggard or you want to change things up, a repaint is relatively affordable at $350 and Dekerf does an absolutely amazing job with the finish. I'll be sure to throw up pictures of my green machine onces she's done

Posted: Jan 15, 2018 at 4:45 Quote
I have a 2017 Rootdown BA. If I were to send it to Chromag they would repaint it for $350?

Posted: Jan 15, 2018 at 6:23 Quote
nilbert wrote:
Thank you for the encouragement Smile I do apprecaite it.



JesseE, Thanks for all your input on this one, it's greatly apprecaited, does the primer/rooty climb well?


I haven't ridden the latest Rootdown or Primer, but I'm pretty sure they climb like hardtails, haha. Which is to say, satisfying out of the saddle, less so seated over lumps. A primer with big meat is gonna makes it's way up gnarl better than most hartails, but it's pretty slack, like your Altitude, so that should be familiar.

Posted: Jan 15, 2018 at 9:07 Quote
Having had both the Primer and the Rootdown BA... they do not ride differently at all. However, the Primer is just so cool... if money isn't the deciding factor then the Primer is the way to go. With that said I ride my Surface more than I rode either of them. The Surface just feels absolutely perfect. It actually has more clearance than the Primer. I have 2.5 29 tires on it with tons of space. The Primer gets a little tight with 29 inch tires against the seat tube. The Surface has been able to handle everything I have thrown at it... I have the Lyrik 2P on it 160mm/130mm I have not missed full suspension at all. I agree you ride a bit differently and in some cases a little slower but man it is fun. I am a big guy and I also don't miss getting the rear shock serviced... You will not regret going with Chromag and not to add another choice to your decision but given the choice of a Surface or a Primer I'd go Surface everytime... still aggressive geometry still capable of everything but in my opinion just a better fit... something to consider anyway... Enjoy. You can't make the wrong choice with Chromag. On a non-Chromag note... has anyone checked out Naked Bicycles on Quadra Island????


 
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