Chromag Rootdown VS. RSD Middlechild

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Chromag Rootdown VS. RSD Middlechild
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Posted: Nov 25, 2019 at 20:51 Quote
Looking to buy a new all mountain hardtail. I've done a bunch of research over the past nine months or so, and it's down to these two bikes.

I'm curious if anyone around here has ridden both of these frames or has particular experience to share about either one in particular ... They're both solid choices but some opinions and real world experiences may help tip the scales one way or another.

Currently, I ride in high desert with a mix of terrain... plenty of flow along with chunky stuff further up the mountain.

Thanks in advance all!

Posted: Nov 30, 2019 at 9:01 Quote
I’m going to be a little biased towards chromag just because I’ve owned a bunch of them over the years. I’d definitely go towards that direction because it’s a solid company on the west coast and they know what a bike needs to stand up to. They are super nice quality and very capable bikes. Very few issues with them and if you ever did run into any problems they would help you. Overall I’d say the rootdown will be a higher quality bike and the steel frame will give you a way better ride.
As for the other bike I don’t know very much about it but I’d just say chromag makes the best hardtails and end it there.

Posted: Dec 1, 2019 at 7:01 Quote
Anyone else ride a rootdown, I’m curious about its climbing ability

Posted: Dec 1, 2019 at 21:04 Quote
I've been on my rootdown for almost 3 years now and it's been one of favorite bikes. I've been eyeing the Middlechild lately, but I think I may just end up swapping to a 2020 rootdown frame.

The rootdown climbs really well. It's pretty heavy, but does great on technical climbing.

Here is the latest iteration:


Posted: Dec 1, 2019 at 21:28 Quote
I like the geo of the rootdown a bit better. Designed around a longer fork with a little more modern geo. It will also do better at speed which I assume is a lot of the riding there?

Posted: Dec 2, 2019 at 12:40 Quote
rahrider wrote:
I like the geo of the rootdown a bit better. Designed around a longer fork with a little more modern geo. It will also do better at speed which I assume is a lot of the riding there?

I run a 160 29er fork on my Middlechild. Sure the seat post angle isn’t as steep, but I run my bike as a single speed so I’m almost never sitting on it. Main reason I bought the Middlechild is the adjustable dropouts for singlespeed. I will say the bike is harsher through the pedals (29er 2.4 tires) than I was expecting. Similar sting to a burly bmx bike.

Fresh single speed 29er build
Fresh single speed 29er build

Posted: Dec 2, 2019 at 20:16 Quote
yzedf wrote:
rahrider wrote:
I like the geo of the rootdown a bit better. Designed around a longer fork with a little more modern geo. It will also do better at speed which I assume is a lot of the riding there?

I run a 160 29er fork on my Middlechild. Sure the seat post angle isn’t as steep, but I run my bike as a single speed so I’m almost never sitting on it. Main reason I bought the Middlechild is the adjustable dropouts for singlespeed. I will say the bike is harsher through the pedals (29er 2.4 tires) than I was expecting. Similar sting to a burly bmx bike.

Fresh single speed 29er build
Fresh single speed 29er build
Thanks for the input everyone. To answer rahrider's question; there's definitely some flowy bits here in the Franklin mountains, but lots of chunk and ledge too. In the case of either bike I'll be running 27.5+ with cushcore front and rear.

Posted: Dec 2, 2019 at 22:18 Quote
BSheldon wrote:
yzedf wrote:
rahrider wrote:
I like the geo of the rootdown a bit better. Designed around a longer fork with a little more modern geo. It will also do better at speed which I assume is a lot of the riding there?

I run a 160 29er fork on my Middlechild. Sure the seat post angle isn’t as steep, but I run my bike as a single speed so I’m almost never sitting on it. Main reason I bought the Middlechild is the adjustable dropouts for singlespeed. I will say the bike is harsher through the pedals (29er 2.4 tires) than I was expecting. Similar sting to a burly bmx bike.

Fresh single speed 29er build
Fresh single speed 29er build
Thanks for the input everyone. To answer rahrider's question; there's definitely some flowy bits here in the Franklin mountains, but lots of chunk and ledge too. In the case of either bike I'll be running 27.5+ with cushcore front and rear.

I wouldn't say the chromag is for flowy trails more so than anything else, just that it would be better at speed. For that matter, I think it would be better for just about everything except really tight/twisty/janky stuff.

That single speed does look nice though, but i'd still choose the chromag for myself.

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