Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • Chromag Samurai or Cotic Bfe?
  • Premier Icon IvanDobski
    Free Member

    The Zesty is on fleabay and I'm torn between these 2 frames to build up my uber-hardtail. I want the Samurai tbh but I'm finding it hard to justify the cost when the Bfe uses a better tubeset, should be tougher and takes 160mm as opposed to 150mm. (10mm being a massive difference obviously!)

    Other frames which have been discounted are

    DB Alpine – too short
    Evil Sov – 140mm not being enough (in my head)
    Transition Trans-Am – weird dropouts
    Ragley Ti – looks a bit funny in 20in
    456Ti – new one coming out and don't know what they've changed
    Horror taxi – not sure about the 650b wheel thing
    P7 – dropout issues

    Any suggestions or comments much appreciated…

    Premier Icon GlennG
    Free Member

    Samurai is nice and looked at getting one a few months ago but was quoted about £900 which I thought a bit steep, Cotic BFe at £370 sounds a bargin compared.

    Premier Icon househusband
    Full Member

    Who's selling Chromag in the UK these days? Rolfs Pukka Parts seems to be no more.

    Heart would say Samurai, head would say (I've had one) BFe…

    Premier Icon frepster
    Full Member

    I have a Chromag samurai and love it.

    Not sure these models are a fair comparisson though. BFe is more like the chromag stylus as that can be used with 160mm forks and has ISCG tabs.

    Samurai is nearly a pound lighter too.

    As for price, the samurai is hand built in limited numbers in Canada and this is reflected in the price. I knew I was going to keep this bike forever so I didnt mind paying the extra.

    As for toughness, the chromag guys used to race the red bull phsycosis on their samurai's and I dont think there can be any more of a test of strength for a bike. I have also seen people run 66's and totems on them in Whistler.

    Premier Icon Denis99
    Free Member

    what about contacting Curtis, discuss custom frame options.

    Premier Icon JohnnyB
    Free Member

    Hi all,

    I look after the distribution for Chromag in the UK now.
    Only been doing it for around 6 months so still trying to get new dealers on board (CRC currently has the full range).

    Regarding frames, the Samurai, TRL and Stylus all share the same basic geometry but have different tubesets and slightly different build details.
    The Samurai is designed as a hardcore XC frame – what the guys at Chromag call a "mid weight" – designed for riders who predominantly want an XC bike that is capable of running a long travel fork (up to 150mm) and that can handle some gnarly descents and some drops and jumps.
    The Samurai is hand built in British Columbia – the retail price is Canada is around CAN$1450 (so around £850 excluding shipping, duty and VAT which make sit £950). I've kept UK pricing in line but the exchange rate is pretty bad right now which is why the prices have gone up.

    I'm the exclusive dealer for the handmade frames (Sakura, Samurai and TRL) and can normally do a pretty good deal on a frame and component package (and complete builds if you'd like).

    The Stylus is basically a Taiwanese produced version of the TRL (the TRL is still made hand made in BC) – it's aimed more at Freeride and all mountain riding so can take bigger hits and will run a up to a 165mm fork. CRC has Stylus frames in stock. It features Sanko Japanese butted tubing as opposed to the the True Temper and 4130 chromoly of the Samurai.


    Premier Icon nixon_fiend
    Free Member

    "Horror taxi – not sure about the 650b wheel thing"

    If you're worried about tyres/rims etc. I have started to import 650B products (check my profile) so it should be a more common sight on these shores before very long.

    Handling is similar to 26" wheels (i.e much nicer than wrestling a 29er around) but with more speed, grip and smoother over rough ground.

    Premier Icon epicsteve
    Free Member

    The mag review of the horror taxi said it'd be fine with 26" wheels and fat tyres instead of 650b.

    I'd still go with the BFe myself though.

    Premier Icon mboy
    Free Member

    Question number 1 (which I'm amazed nobody has actually asked yet!)… What kind of riding do you plan on using it for?

    Seems to me that you're considering some vastly different frames here, and though I'm sure they're all very nice in their own way, you're not really comparing like for like.

    For instance, the Spooky Horror Taxi is a very lightweight XC machine with thin tubes is it not? Compare that with say the Cotic BFe with its massively oversized main tubes and stays, or the Evil Sovereign and Transition Trans Am coming in at the 6lb mark, and well… TOTALLY different bikes!

    Do you even NEED 160mm forks on a hardtail anyway? If the answer to this is yes, then my vote would be Cotic BFe out of those you suggest. There are other (cheaper) options too if it's primarily the 160mm fork thing you want… Otherwise, to be fair a 140mm fork will probably be more than enough on any hardtail, especially as the rear wheel isn't getting any assistance from any suspension!

    Premier Icon nickc
    Full Member


    Will take 160mm fork. Just to add to the list

    Premier Icon IvanDobski
    Free Member

    The chameleon was on the original shortlist but I realised they're ugly as sin. Sorry to all Chameleon owners!

    I want a strong trail hardtail which is happy going down rocky lakes descents with a clumsy yet fastish 15st rider but which feels good on singletrack. Hence the bfe – similar geo as a soul just stronger. Having had a think about finances and useage etc I will probably end up going for the Chromag but with my existing 140mm float 15mms to keep the costs down a bit. The horror taxi was in there from a partially remembered STW review – when I looked back I never read further than the wheels to be honest

    However – there is a part of me that thinks the slacker angles as well as extra travel of a 160mm fork would be worth it for when things get a bit frisky. On the other hand one of the reasons for selling the Zesty was so I wasn't constantly second guessing suspension setup so a fixed 140mm fork probably isn't a bad idea in order to stop me thinking – "is this a 160mm descent or a 130mm, hang on this is a steep climb maybe it's time for 100mm?"

    And the Chromag can be bright green which is having more influence on the decision than it should…

    (Yes I realise an mmmbop can be bright green, cheap & take 160mm forks but they look like they don't have much standover in 20in and I can't find a 20in demo bike to prove me wrong)

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Full Member

    If you want silly strong and stiff, but ride all day : BFe, but with 140mm forks not 160mm ones. It's very much a downhill only machine at 160mm I'd suspect.

    Premier Icon hora
    Free Member

    £900? 😆

    Are you serious? £900 for steel? That is utterly ridiculous. Sure it'll be a nice frame. Is it 853 or higher?! £900? At that price it'll be a rare sight on the trails.

    Handmade in limited numbers in Canada? How much does the frame retail for in Canada?

    Premier Icon IvanDobski
    Free Member

    I'd go for talas or similar to adjust from 100 – 160…

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