The Samurai is based on the versatile TRL geometry but in a lighter format for the rider who isn’t doing the big drops but likes to ride hard. This frame is “raceable” light but designed to be ridden anywhere save the six footers.
versatile “trail” oriented geometry
cnc machined stay junctions for maximum tire clearance (up to 2.7)
Two piece machined seattube with reinforced extension for max. standover clearance
a Cross Country Rider
from White Rock, Canada
Date Reviewed: December 11, 2008
Strengths: I have not one complaint...I am a real clydesdale at approx. 225lbs., I'm in my 50's, ride hard and often and I don't have one complaint about this bike frame, the setup etc.
Weaknesses: The "Sea Foam" paint I picked is kind of an aquired taste but I can pick my bike out in a crowd from space!
I have always found this particular hard tail to be a thoroughbred..someone used the term "flicky" in an earlier review and I agree..especially if your a big rider as myself, it would be easy to overstear. That said I love it for everyday riding, hill climbs and technical "stuff" oh and it accelarates like a Farrari..fast off of the line.
Similar Products Used: Dozens over the past 35 years..
Bike Setup: Full XTR, Saint cranks, Crossmax SLR wheels, Hayes Stroker brakes, King headset, Thompson Elitex4 stem and Thompson, Minute One fork/suspension (I know many have complained about this fork but I have not had one problem except for replacing one leaky seal long ago and that is it!!)Masterpiece seat post and so on and so forth.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: August 12, 2008
Strengths: Stable. Not bone jarring. Damn fun to ride.
I built this one to around 28 pounds which is lighter than most builds I have seen. Pure joy to ride down and up. Very flicky. Excellent on tight switch backs and slow tecky trails. Stable at speed. Easy to climb over logs and pull the front up. Friends think I am nuts, but they keep their crappy suspension bikes. Head tube badge is pure bling. Having the option of almost hundred colours was very cool. Still went with white, but it was nice to have the option.
Bike Setup: Fox Vanilia 130 RLC. Mavic 717 XTR wheel set. XT drive drain
Date Reviewed: February 3, 2008
Strengths: - Built with cr-mo - Built in Canada - Beautiful - Strong - Versatile
Weaknesses: - Nothing
This is a great frame/bike in all situations. Ideal for XC, Hard XC, All Mountain, etc ... This frame is very well made and is beautiful, the welds are fine. It's a pleasure to ride. I've bought mine used but I've planed before to buy a new one and have had contact with Ian, the boss of Chromag and he was very nice and answered at all my e-mails very friendly and he knows what he says as he's a pro rider. The man who make the frames, Mike Truelove is an artist : just go to his website. I had a Santa Cruz Chameleon before and I was very happy with it, but I was searching a same kind of frame, but with Cr-mo or Reynolds made (I'm an old school bmxer and mtbiker) and I've found my happiness with the Samuraï. I recommend it for those who want a polyvalent and strong frame to do all styles of MTB, like it was supposed to be in the beginning. I'm 6'1 and I've an M size, so it's a little bit small for me. I recommend L size for 6 and much sized people. For good comfort, I use all the lenght of my RFace XY post.
Bike Setup: Magura Phaon fork, Profile Racing crank with titanium spindle, DT Swiss EX 5.1 wheels, Hope stem, clamp and quick release, Race Face seatpost and a-headset, Avid BB7 brakes, Shimano XTR shifters, levers, deraillers and cassette
a Weekend Warrior
from Vancouver, B.C.
Date Reviewed: December 9, 2007
Strengths: Beautiful construction and aesthetics, excellent north shore geometry, great strength to weight ration, great company to deal with.
Weaknesses: front derailleur gets in the way of large rear tires. . . not sure if there's way to get around this when building a short wheelbase hardtail frame without messing up the chain line, and i don't think i need more than 2.3" in the rear.
i'd been riding a friend's dually before i built this up, so it took me a while to readjust to riding a hardtail. but since i have it i've loved this bike like a brother.
its hot as $H!T, with a stove top black paintjob and no decals - chromag was more than willing to accommodate me on the aesthetics. ian ritz, chromag's owner, also supplied me with a ridiculous amount of information, answering several emails packed full of questions and checking in after i'd had the bike for a few months.
long-travel hardtails seem like a pretty hard bike to design properly - head tube angle has to be just right for climbing and descending, the bike has to perform where most people would have a dually and stand up to the abuse, bb can't be too high or the wheelbase too short but you need to be able to clear rocks and roots and maintain stability in the schnarb. this bike has excelled almost everywhere in coastal bc i've taken it - the one terrain i haven't enjoyed it in is straight up xc, but its designed to complement both 3" and 5" forks so you can take it from all mountain to xc with a simple fork swap.
if you've got the $ and want to be a hardtail hero this is your frame. riding a hardtail will make you a better rider, period, and while i'm not throwing it at 8 foot drops this frame has held up without complaint to 3 years of north shore riding, which is about as hairy as you can get. over the next 10 years, while your buddies are upgrading their single pivot frames, paying out to get their bushings replaced or warrantying their linkages, you'll be happily blasting down trails that hardtails have no right to be on. again, if you've got the bank, the chromag is, its been said many times, "the ultimate hardtail".
Similar Products Used: other bikes, hardtails and duallies, trying to find that perfect balance. after my brodie sovereign was stolen, i was in a funk, trying to figure out what i wanted to replace it with. one day I walked into Dizzy cycles in Vancouver and saw these frames hanging on a display bearing an uncanny resemblance to my brodie. i asked the folks at the shop about them and then looked them up on the interweb - turns out my frame and the chromags were welded by the same guy (mike truelove from squamish - don't ask me how i could tell i just could). i used my insurance money to buy a hardtail frame for over $1000 (never would have spent that much of my own money) and built it up and have been riding it for 3+ seasons so i figure i've got enough miles on it to offer up a review.
Bike Setup: vanilla rlc, mix of new and old xt bits, tioga factory dh tires.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: April 29, 2007
Strengths: it's pretty to look at, the craftsmanship is second to none, small things like the headtube reinforcement and the seattube extension gusset are well thought out.
when you are cruising down mellow singletrack, this bike sings.
Weaknesses: the geometry didn't suit me very well - the HA felt too steep and squirrelly on the steeps and rough. the seat angle felt too slack for snappy climbing.
you can fit mondo tires in the frame, but they will rub the front derailleur if you don't shave the side knobs.
The bottom line is this - it's a great bike, but I'm way too picky about my hardtails and was left wanting.
at the risk of telling the designer "what to do," i would suggest: 1) design the frame around a 140mm or 160mm fork - those are the new standards for all-mountain riding, and should hold the bike's sweet spot. 2) slack the HA by 1 - 2 degrees - almost all all-mtn forks now have some sort of travel adjust, so if you need to steepen up for the climbs, you can, and still have the benefit of cruisey descents. 3) make the seat angle 1 - 2 degrees steeper - the seat angle is too mellow with any but the shortest fork, and the transition from sitting to standing (an important factor on a hardtail!) becomes slow and labourious. this will also increase the wheelbase a bit, increasing the stability.
i've since sold this bike to my bro, and he loves it, so it has a happy home at least.
I really respect what this bike is trying to do and I'm not hating - it just missed the mark for me and I offer my suggestions for improvement.
Value is high for the craftsmanship and good parts package. Overall is three because this bike rips on the smoother, mellower tracks.
Similar Products Used: 2006 Norco Torrent, Norco 4hun, lots of different XC bikes in the last 10 years.
Bike Setup: pimped. pike. snazzy wheels. Hone cranks.
from Squamish, British Columbia
Date Reviewed: April 23, 2007
Strengths: The great deal of thought put into the design of this frame is evident from the moment you first hop on. The cables are sensibly routed under the top-tube. The slot in the seat tube faces forward, away from all the mud and crud that comes up from the back wheel. The rear clearance will allow a 2.7" tire. The dropouts and rear disc mount are simply a work of art. The seat tube allows great extension for climbs (I'm 6'3" and have the large frame) with room to drop the whole post for descents. Now, here's the good stuff. This bike is just so well balanced. The compact cockpit results in a very fast bonding with the bike, by that I mean it's very easy to find your balance point making wheelies, manuals and trackstands feel easy. This also helps with climbing. The weight of the frame and the flex keep it very true through fast gnarly terrain. The geometry really kicks in when pointing the bike downhill. I was quite cautious with this bike at first but have now ridden a whole bunch of steep rubble and root strewn chutes that I'd usually take my Bullit down. It's not as squish as the Bullit but the head-rush is worth it. Choosing your line for a change is also refreshing. If you order direct you get to choose your colour, which given the range of choice is a little daunting, but cool. After you've changed your mind about colour for the fifth time stop telling your partner, that way you may get to keep your partner and your new bike.
Weaknesses: There are only so many times you can say to your riding buddies, "Have I told you how much I love this bike" before they push you sideways, clipped in to your bike, into a nasty looking bush full of sharpness on the edge of an awkward precipice. If you're wondering, with good friends the number is about 30.
Killer bike. It's just a sheer pleasure to ride. Dealing with the company too was great, very responsive with some excellent feedback on bike spec (I got a complete bike direct).
Who should buy this? If you're looking for an all day backcountry trail bike with capability to handle steep lines, tight balancey switchbacks, elevated sections of trail and moderate drops, this is a great choice.
I'm not sure this bike should be in the XC section of this website, I'd put it somewhere between all-mountain and freeride, that should give you a better idea of what this bike is all about.
Similar Products Used: Never had a steel hard tail before. Wish I had.
Bike Setup: Pike 426 coil fork; SRAM X0 shifters and derailleur; Juicy 7 brakes (8" front 6" back); Truvativ Holzfeller cranks; Chromag Stem, bars, seat post and saddle; Mavic 721 rims w Maxxis Minion 2.35 on the front (ran a 2.50 in the winter) and UST High Roller 2.35 at back; King headset.
Definitely looks interesting, just saw posted on Chromag's FB page.
[IMG]https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/456506_10150788395286901_506681900_9703774_465004148_o.jpg[/IMG]Read More »
Just Kidding, but we do have a fun new city loop ride some of you epic rider types might be interested in. There is a Sedona Fat Tire Festival going on April 23-24 (Easter Weekend) that you might want to put on your vacation calander, if you are looking for some warm weather riding.
Hope to see y ... Read More »
There was some talk about the XS Chromags a while back, so I thought I'd post up the finished product:
This build came in at 32 lbs, but it has DH tires and massive Syncros p ... Read More »