Chromag has been doing things very differently from most bike companies for decades now, helping to pioneer modern hardcore hardtails — and doing so in Whistler, BC, in the shadow of the legendary bike park — not exactly classic hardtail terrain.
So when Chromag launched their first production adult full-suspension bikes late last year, it wasn’t a huge surprise that the Darco and Lowdown stood out from the rest of the bike market in a number of ways, from geometry to material selection and more. We sat down with Chromag engineer Joe Swann to get the story behind their development (which stretches back more than a decade); chat about the design goals for the bikes and the ways that Chromag went about achieving them; material selection and the ways that Chromag thinks about choosing the right one for a given application; my impressions from having spent quite a bit of time on the Darco recently (full review coming soon) and a whole lot more.
TOPICS & TIMES:
Joe’s role at Chromag (3:16)
Chromag’s first full-suspension prototype (4:02)
Hitting the reset button (7:39)
The design goals for the Darco and Lowdown (9:07)
Chromag design identity, and carrying that over to the FS lineup (11:40)
Material selection (15:21)
Tuning frame stiffness (18:04)
The Darco (22:26)
The Lowdown (27:04)
Material selection, Pt.2 (29:36)
Brand identity & going FS (31:52)
The 155 prototype (34:05)
Upcoming models? (42:02)