We’ve been making bikes for almost 20 years, and all of this knowledge and expertise has trickled down into creating The Darco. As you might have expected, this bike draws strongly on our steel hardtail roots.
The Darco rolls on 29” wheels and has 150mm of travel up front paired with a stout 120mm in the rear, a hardtailers full-suser if you will. Our geometry philosophy has carried right over onto this bike, pairing slack head tube angles (64°) and steep seat tube angles (78°), with ample room up front (490mm reach on M/L). Perfect for the type of terrain we have in the Sea to Sky, steep climbs and steeper descents.
Given what we know is achievable on a hardtail, it seemed appropriate to spec this bike with a reservoir shock. A shock intended for more aggressive riding and much less likely to be overwhelmed when in the thick of it.
This bike has been a labour of love for us, and a project with such scope deserves a name near and dear to our hearts. Our dear friend and Chromag mechanic D’Arcy Burke passed away after a courageous battle with cancer in 2020. We affectionately referred to him as “The Dark One”. The Darco is a tip of the hat to our friend.
Darco Ti Geometry
|Frame Size||STypical Rider Height: 155cm - 165cm||MTypical Rider Height: 163cm - 174cm||M/LTypical Rider Height: 172cm - 183cm||LTypical Rider Height: 181cm - 192cm||XLTypical Rider Height: 190cm - 200cm|
* Max. post insertion based on Rockshox Reverb
WHEEL SIZE // 29"
REAR TRAVEL // 120mm
RECOMMENDED FORK TRAVEL // 150mm (±10mm)
MATERIAL // 3AL 2.5V Titanium / 4130 Chromoly Steel / 6066 Aluminum
WEIGHT (M/L) // Frame: 9.34lbs // Complete: 33.3lbs
HUB SPACING // Boost 148mm
HEADSET // 44-56 Semi Integrated
SEAT CLAMP SIZE // 35mm
SEAT POST SIZE // 31.6mm
BB // 73mm Threaded
HANGER// SRAM UDH
SHOCK SIZE // 165 X 45mm Trunnion
LOWER SHOCK SIZE // 20 x 8mm
BRAKE MOUNT // 180mm Post
FRAME ORIGIN // Taiwan
Darco Ti Sizing
Note: This is an approximate guide, some people have longer legs than others! Feel free to contact us to discuss.
Darco ti G1 Build
FORK // Rockshox Lyrik Ultimate 150mm
SHOCK // Rockshox Super Deluxe Ultimate Air
STEM // Chromag HiFi BSX 40mm
HANDLEBAR // Chromag OSX 25mm Rise, 800mm
HEADSET // Cane Creek Forty ZS
CRANK // SRAM X0 170mm
BRAKES // SRAM Code Ultimate Stealth
ROTORS // SRAM HS2 200mm
SHIFTER // SRAM AXS Pod Controller
CASSETTE // SRAM X0 Eagle Transmission
DERAILLEUR // SRAM X0 Eagle Transmission
RIMS // Chromag 29" Phase30
HUBS // Chromag R4
TIRES // Maxxis Minion DHF/DHR
SEATPOST // RockShox Reverb AXS
SADDLE // Chromag Trailmaster DT
GRIPS // Chromag Format
CHAIN // SRAM X01 Eagle
Devil's in the details
We left no stone unturned when designing our new suspension fleet.
Whether its our injection-moulded chain stay protector to help keep the paint fresh and the noise low, or the accessory mount and ample room for a water bottle even on the size small.
We've thought about the small details, because every single person who works at Chromag, is a rider too.
The Darco Ti takes all the lessons learned in creating the Darco and adds the boutique and class of titanium. The mechanical properties of titanium allow us to reduce the weight of the frame whilst maintaining the fantastic ride quality and compliance. Titanium is a beautiful material that is incredibly tactile and the raw finish highlights its natural beauty.
We opted for 6066 aluminum chainstays, primarily for weight saving and stiffness, but the chainstay also houses bearings which is more difficult to do in steel. Building the chainstay out of aluminum helps strike the right balance of compliance and rigidity. The largest weight gains/unit cost are made in the front triangle tubing, which is why we opted for steel and aluminum rear end.
The rocker is made from forged aluminum due to its strength/weight ratio and ability to be machined.
Like all our products, the Darco was designed with durability and serviceability in mind. The main pivot uses an expanding collet axle system, designed to avoid over-preload and over-constraint of bearings. This results in a main pivot that spins smoother, for longer.
All pivots spin on Enduro MAX bearings that are well-sealed, long-lasting, and commonly available through most local bike shops or as kits on our website. The pivot hardware is machined from high-strength 7075 aluminum, and the custom-drawn tubing is made from the same 4130 chromoly steel you’ve come to know on our hardtails.
Frames are assembled with plenty of grease, and each one is checked over by one of our mechanics before leaving Chromag HQ. The Darco is a no-nonsense frame that is built to last.
Head Tube Badge
Your bike is special. The head tube badge is the finishing touch so we’ve always made a point of taking the time to do something interesting with it. Our head tube badges have changed over the years and are an indication of the time each bike was made. Whether it’s a cast bronze, or polished stainless steel, water cut aluminum or a 3D CNC carving, each one represents our commitment to detail.
The UDH is designed to optimize shift performance across all bikes as well as create a sensible solution for replacing damaged hangers. The UDH has been widely adopted throughout the cycling industry with hundreds of models already featuring it.
We chose to use a 4-bar suspension layout for the Darco, with a main pivot located just above the bottom bracket, a seattube-mounted rocker link, and a vertically oriented, trunnion-mounted shock. We found this layout to strike a good balance of tuneability, ride quality, and elegant simplicity. A 4-bar layout offered enough tuning parameters for us to design the suspension characteristics the way we wanted them, simultaneously achieving our targets for leverage ratio, progression, anti-squat, and anti-rise.
At the same time, it keeps things simple and intuitive. With no hidden hardware, sliders, or concentric multi-link pivots, every pivot can be accessed, bolt-checked, and worked on without taking the whole bike apart.
We’ve pored over the kinematics of this bike, balancing the trade-offs into what we believe is a truly great mountain bike.
Our overall design principles were to create a very consistent kinematic (no notable or fast changes in the leverage ratio that would make the bike unpredictable), have reasonable progression (the bike ramps up due to consistent change in leverage ratio), and have a supportive pedaling platform (an antisquat
of approximately 110% at expected sag height).
Anti-squat is approximately 110% at sag height. This will give a supportive platform but still allow some suspension activity aiding traction.
The amount of anti-squat is fairly consistent over the full travel, as such it will pedal in a similar way throughout the stroke.
We designed the leverage curve to be both consistent, and progressive which equates to a predictable ride both in terms of travel used and suspension damping.
There is 29% progression over the full travel of the Darco which strikes a great balance of usable suspension travel, small bump compliance, mid support and bottom out resistance.
The anti-rise is consistent throughout the travel, with only a 6% variation across the travel range. This means that the bike will behave as consistently as possible on the brakes regardless of the size and speed of the impact.
The percentage value will mean the bike is on the more active side of supported.