These days, bikes are all about what’s latest and greatest. Whether its a long travel 29er, slacker head-tube angles, steeper seat-tube angles, lower fork offset, etc. There’s something great about getting back to the roots of mountain biking while still having all the goodness brands are talking about. The Chromag Stylus does just that.
The stylus on paper is an impressive bike for sure. 65º head angle, 75º seat angle, ready for 160mm of travel, boost rear end, internal dropper routing, 418mm chainstays, etc, but in the end none of that really matters. What matters is the way this bike makes you feel. With the rear wheel tucked and little wheels this bike is really agile and rips through flow trails. With no rear suspension, it jumps very easily and predictably. With 160mm of front travel however, it’s ready to rip down whatever you point it at. It’s like an enduro dirt jumper on steroids.
All this said, I’ve got a Stylus right now and it’s my second one. Sendy, steel hardtails will always have a soft spot in my heart but this one in particular has kept my attention since the minute I saw one. My build goes as follows.
Chromag Stylus size M frame - Cognac
Cane Creek Helm 160 air fork
Cane Creek 40 series zs headset
eThirteen 30mm bottom bracket
White Industries M30 Crankset
White Industries 32t Chainring
Sram 900 Hubs
Nextie Carbon Hoops
Sram x01 eagle cassette
Sram gx eagle derailleur
Sram gx eagle shifter
Sram xx1 eagle chain
Sram Guide RSC brakes
Diety 50mm stem
Surly 780mm Cheater Bar
PNW Components Bachelor 150mm dropper post
PNW Components Loam Lever
Brooks c17 carved saddle
Maxxis Minion SS 27.5x2.3 rear tire with cushcore
Maxxis Minion 27.5x2.5wt front tire
ODI TLD grips
Riding the Stylus is like skiing long fat skis, you point them where you want to go and hold on for dear life. Jumping on a hardtail is next level fun. No longer do you have to think about loading up through the transition to get just the right pop, instead just haul ass and send it. In the end the smile the bike brings you is huge and you’ll be surprised as to how much a little ol’ hardtail can really do!