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"Responsive trail weapon"

Darco

Darco Chromag Bikes Full Suspension Mountain Bike Steel MTB
Darco
Darco Chromag Bikes Full Suspension Mountain Bike Steel MTB
Darco Chromag Bikes Full Suspension Mountain Bike Steel MTB
Darco Chromag Bikes Full Suspension Mountain Bike Steel MTB
Darco
Darco Chromag Bikes Full Suspension Mountain Bike Steel MTB
Darco Chromag Bikes Full Suspension Mountain Bike Steel MTB
$5,068.00 Sale Save
COLOUR DARK GREY
SIZE S
BUILD COMPLETE - G2

Item is in stock Only 0 left in stock Item is out of stock Item is unavailable

We wanted to create a bike that has a quick and responsive feel in a short travel package, yet designed for rugged all mountain riding with geometry aimed at challenging terrain. Not an X/C bike, but a burly ripper that is built to handle it all!

☛ All Mountain Geometry oriented to rugged, varied terrain
☛ 120mm rear suspension paired with 150-160mm fork
☛ 4130 heat-treated Chromoly and 6066 T-6 alloy tubing
☛ 29" wheels
☛ Precision hardware and bearings throughout
☛ Rockshox super deluxe reservoir shock

If you ordered a full bike, you'll have everything you need to get rolling right away, prior to some minimal setup. Please note that complete bikes do not come with pedals.
Frames come with a hanger, chain stay protector and rear axle.

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The Darco

From soul crushing climbs to steep, technical descents the Darco features geometry optimized for a variety of rugged terrain. Dont let 120mm of rear travel fool you. The Darco is balanced to pair with a 150-160mm fork and is designed to perform on advanced trails. Its an agile all-mountain shredder that is quick and responsive and ready to tackle a broad variety of terrain. The Darco provides an active, predictable suspension platform that handles the rough stuff while retaining a precise connection to the ground!

MATERIAL SELECTION

As you might expect from any Chromag, The Darco relies firmly on a 4130 chromoly steel foundation. We believe that the ride characteristics and aesthetics for which our hardtails are known, absolutely translates to a full suspension platform.

However, a dual suspension rig provides different challenges, which is why 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 rocker is made from forged aluminum due to its strength/weight ratio and ability to be machined.

We’ve pored over the design of this bike.

key features

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.

CRAFTSMANSHIP

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.

Bearings & Hardware

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.

Designed for life

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.

assembly & care

Frames are assembled with plenty of grease, and each one is checked over by one of our mechanics before leaving Chromag HQ.

UDH

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.

Available here

Suspension designed, tuned and honed in the Sea to Sky.

suspension kinematics

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.

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.

Aggressive and rewarding.

geometry

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.

The Darco rewards accuracy and precision, yet delivers much more punch than the 120mm rear end would suggest.

Show: |
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
Stack617617622631640
Reach450472490514530
Effective Top Tube581603622648666
Head Tube100100105115125
Wheel base12141236125612841305
BB Drop3939393939
BB Height335335335335335
Stand Over677707736765795
chain stay435435435435435
Seat Tube350380410440470
Max Post Insertion*193224254284315
Head Angle64°
Seat Angle78°
Wheel Size29.0''

* Max. post insertion based on Rockshox Reverb

THIS IS AN APPROXIMATE GUIDE, SOME PEOPLE HAVE LONGER LEGS THAN OTHERS!

Sizing

If you're between sizes, it's a good idea to try to ride them both, either by hopping on a demo or stealing from a close friend. If that isn't an option, examine reach, stack and ETT numbers on your current bike and compare. If in any doubt, please get in touch and we'd be happy to chat about it with you.

You could also check out the review section, to see how this bike fits other people.

Feast your eyes.

gallery

Builds & Specs

• Fork // Rockshox Lyrik Select+ 150mm, 0 Tokens
• Shock // Rockshox Super Deluxe Air Ultimate, 2 Tokens
• Stem // Chromag HiFi BSX 40mm
• Bar// Chromag OSX 25mm Rise, 800mm
• Headset // Cane Creek Forty ZS
• Crank // SRAM GX 170mm
• Brakes // SRAM Code RSC
• Rotors // SRAM 180mm
• Shifter // SRAM GX Eagle
• Cassette // SRAM GX Eagle 10-52t
• Derailleur // SRAM GX Eagle
• Rims // Chromag 29" Phase30
• Hubs // Chromag R4
• Tires // Maxxis Minion DHF/DHR
• Seatpost// RockShox Reverb (125mm - S)
(150mm - M) (175mm - M/L) (200mm - L, XL)
• Saddle // Chromag Trailmaster DT
• Grips // Chromag Format
• Chain // SRAM GX Eagle

Build options are subject to availability and liable to change without notice. 

• Wheel Size // 29"
• Rear Travel // 120mm
• Recommended Fork
• Travel 
// 150mm (±10mm)
• Material // 4130 Chromoly Steel / 6066 Aluminum
• Weight (M/L) // Frame: 10.53bs // Complete: 34.75lbs
• Hub Spacing // Boost 148mm
• Headset // 44-56 Semi Integrated
• Seat Clamp Size // 35mm
• Seat  // 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

Questions?

Buying a bike is a big deal.
Don't hesitate to reach out with any and all questions!

Contact Us

Worldwide shipping

We ship bikes anywhere in the world with competitive rates from UPS and FedEx. Alternatively you can pickup right here at Chromag HQ.

Service Guide

Need more info on suspension setup, service and spare parts?

Download the Darco tech pack here

Warranty

All of our bikes are backed by a 1 year warranty.
After that we still have your back with our crash replacement program.

Register your bike

FAQ's

It would be possible (as it technically is with all 29” bikes) however it would drastically change the geometry and behaviour of the bike. The bottom
bracket would be low enough to be annoying for pedal strikes, and the head angle and seat tube angle would be slacker. This would make the
bike less nimble and more of a plow, which is quite far removed from how we designed it.

In general, expect that most coil shocks will not fit the Darco. The kinematic was designed around an air shock, and a coil shock does not suit this
bike’s attitude very well given the small amount of rear travel.

This means fitting a shock that has a longer eye to eye or stroke to get more travel out of a frame. This is not possible on the Darco – there would be
clearance issues in several areas at bottom-out. It would also adversely affect the kinematics and geo.

The Darco will fit most tires up to 2.5” wide. Note that most tires do not measure exactly as stated by the manufacturer, and tires from one
manufacturer vary greatly to the next.

There are no ISCG mounts on the Darco. The bike was designed without a chain guide option, to leave more room for the main pivot and thus more
bearing stability.

A collet axle means there is no pull up to remove any free space in the main pivot bolted joint. This eliminates binding as it goes through its travel, improving suspension performance.

All bearings are surrounded, where possible, by large flat surfaces making removal and refitting far easier. There is access to the outer race of all bearings so if a bearing inner race comes out leaving the outer behind it is still possible to remove the outer with simple tools. See exploded diagrams in the tech pack for more info.

If you’re not comfortable removing/installing your own bearings, we strongly recommend bringing your bike to a local bike shop. It’s possible to damage your bike beyond repair if you improperly remove/install your bearings. Such damage would not be covered under our warranty policy.

The Darco can accommodate a change in fork travel of up to +/- 10mm. Using a 160mm fork will slacken the headtube and seattube angles by
about 0.5° and raise the BB. A 140mm fork will do the opposite. Keeping it simple, a longer fork will make the bike more stable at speed, and a
shorter one will make it more responsive. That being said, we designed the bike around a 150mm fork as we think it is well-suited to the character of
the bike, striking a good balance of agility and stability.

The Darco uses a boost rear end (148mm). As such, the chain line should reflect this, typically 51-54mm or a 3mm offset on the chain ring if running
SRAM.

With a 52mm chainline (SRAM boost standard), the Darco can fit up to a 34-tooth chainring.

For context, most of us here are running a 30t, with a 10/52 cassette.

Download the tech pack here for all the juicy details.

Not much! You can read in depth about it here, but in short:

• Inflate tires to desired pressure. (Sealant is already installed)
• Install brake rotors, tightening bolts to 6.2Nm.
• Attach derailleur to frame, tightening to 9Nm making sure that the B-tension tab rests properly against the derailleur hanger stop.
• Grease headset bearings, install fork and handlebar, positioning the headset spacers above or below the stem according to rider fit.
• Align handlebar stem, preload headset and tighten stem pinch bolts to 8Nm.
• Install wheels, tighten axles.
• Install chain with quick link.
• Grease pedal threads and install pedals using pedal washers supplied.
• Adjust brakes, shifters, saddle position and height for personal preference.
• Set up suspension.
• Bed-in brakes. (Roll down a gentle gradient dragging one brake at a time. Avoid locking them up.)
• Go ride!

Note: If you had to Google "Nm", or you don't know which way to install your rotors, you should probably get a qualified mechanic to build your bike!

• Chain length adjusted.
• Gears adjusted.
• Brakes set up and bled.
• Handlebar tightened to 6Nm.
• Grips tight on handlebar.
• Crankset tight, bottom bracket tight/adjusted.
• Saddle and seatpost tight.
• Seatpost greased *make sure to re-grease every 6 months!
• Tire sealant installed.
• Cassette tight.

It’s a good question because this simply isn’t a common offering in the bike market. Most bikes in the 120mm travel class are aimed at light duty XC riding and assumes the rider wants a bike that resembles an XC race machine for buffed singletrack and skinny tires.

At Chromag, we’ve spent a lot of time discovering how to design hardtails to handle rough, steep terrain, and when we designed the Darco, it needed to be just as capable. But why not more travel? The answer follows the philosophy of our love for hardtails.

Feeling the trail is rewarding, and when a bike has pop, accelerates quickly, and comes off the ground quickly, there are moments of ninja magic to be had.

The Darco isn’t built for light duty use. We wanted reliability and longevity out of this bike. It’s built to last, be easily maintainable, while delivering clean quiet performance.

We used Chromoly tubing because we know it so well. We’ve spent years fine tuning our own custom chromoly tubes to withstand the rigors a trail bike sees, and we know what to use for the application. Aluminum is a great material, but so is Steel!

Trunion shocks could be susceptible to situations where frame alignment isn’t good, or there is undue lateral flex between the points where the shock is connected to the frame.

These situations don’t exist in our frames. We manufacture our frames to a high tolerance and ensure that alignment and precision exists at all assembly points including shock mounting.

Customer Reviews

Based on 14 reviews
93%
(13)
7%
(1)
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T
Tim D.
Best. Bike. Ever.

For years, I've been the guy in my gang on a hardtail. But when I read about the Darco, it was a matter of time. A hardtailer's suspension bike? Rides like a Chromag? Stable in the slabs and easy to flick around? Tried and true Horst Link suspension, engineered to be easy to maintain? Hello!

When it came I was so stoked - it looks great, it's not remotely heavy for its intended use, and the kit is so dialed.

The ride delivered on the promise. It climbs and descends better than my Rootdown - which is saying something! The rear wheel tracks over and through places it might have gotten hung up, and the tire stays planted where it might have skipped. That makes sense - it's a suspension bike - but it still loves to pop off little bumps and wheelie drop off ledges... all the stuff I worried would be harder just isn't. And I'm loving the confidence to carry more speed into the spicy bits. But I'm a long way from finding the bike's limits!

I used to rent bikes on trips to Moab with the boys. Those trails are easier on the body on a big 160mm enduro bike - and I had a ton of fun on them. But some were hard work on the climbs, and others only woke up when the trail was 10/10. The Darco is more fun on more terrain, and still has chops for the spicy stuff!

I am loving the Darco on my local trails around Ottawa. Lots of rock, roots, more tech than flow (though more and more of both these days!). And I think I'm done renting 'big' bikes on trips. Now I'll be bringing the Darco.

S
Spencer W.
This bike nice, I like much!

Initially hearing that Chromag was coming out with a full sus bike I was stoked because everything they make is awesome! I was skeptical however about how smooth the transition from years of hardtail only fanatics to its more plush cousin would be.
After 10 minutes on this bike my skepticism turned to optimism. I quickly realized there was a lot that this freedom machine could tackle including plowing through my very questionable line choice with ease. The 150mm up front gives you the confidence to handle some of the Sea to Skys gnarliest terrain and although it only has 120 in the back it more than makes up for it by the way it rides, never once feeling that I wished I had more.
I was thoroughly impressed with this bikes playfulness as well as its stability through rough terrain. Weight was not a noticeable factor at all.
If you like to party on the trails 10/10 would buy this bike.

G
George
An awesome new Chapter for Chromag

I have been a Chromag fanatic since I was in college. I first bought a used Rootdown on Pinkbike back in 2014. I have since owned a handful of their other hardtails and most recently was lucky enough to be one of the first people in the US to get my hands on a Darco. Don't let this bike's 120mm back end fool you. I was immediately blown away by the capability of this bike. To top it off it also has excellent pedaling manners and a damp, planted feel to it. It might not be for you if you're someone who cares about the weight of their bike, but if you care about craftsmanship and ride quality, this could be the bike for you.

A
Andreas
Fun, playful and responsive!

I have been owning mainstream full suspension bikes now for a good chunk of years, and when I saw Chromag introducing their own take on a bike with rear suspension I was anxious to give it a try.

Initially I wasn't sure what to expect... was this going to feel heavy or perhaps not have enough travel compared to what Ia have been riding for the past many years...

Any of my reservations about the bike were blown away after just one ride on the bike - I haven't felt this kind of playfulness and response in a bike in a long time and despite the "shorter" travel (150/120), I have still not found the need for more.
Everything from pedalling, handling, body position to bunny hops, side hits and jumps, this bike handles like a champ.

My previous bikes have been long suspension and been more of a "point and shoot" approach, but the Darco has given me back the feel of actually riding a bike and feel more in tune with the trail I'm riding. Thank you for producing yet another bomber of a bike, Chromag!

k
kevin p.
Forest Ripper

Early on, I heard one of the engineers say that the Darco would be the perfect bike for a hardtailer transitioning towards full suspension. So I tried one of the first locally made samples.
It took me a while to get the most out of the new ride. I kept hitting my pedals and had to remember to preload. The second locally made sample held up pretty well. Then sometime in mid summer I received another. This Taiwanese one was pretty much what to expect from production. I haven’t had an issue since and am still riding this version.
The Darco rides as promised. Its low centre of gravity and balanced length yearns to go faster no matter the terrain, up or down. The rear travel is perfectly suited for mashing through flat bumpy terrain. It's slight enough to allow for surgical precision on the techest of climbs. That 120mm of travel is impressively plush on downhills. The fact that it’s designed to be paired with a substantialy longer travel fork makes this bike a proficient descender. I run the suspension as soft as I can get away with. Unlike the fork, the shock never gives any clear indication of bottoming out, so I run the sag at a heavy 30%.

The Darco’s call for speed can be ignored and still behave nicely when going out for a spin with the kids or checking out a new trail. However, when you answer that call and are ripping through the forest, it sure is comforting to look down at those familiar steel tubes.

B
Brian B.
Bombproof

I’ve been waiting for Chromag to come out with this bike for a few years, heard a few details early on and was super keen. Got a call asking if I was interested and as I was doing the BCBR this bike was perfect for my riding style.
Geometry is spot on for any trail bike but at 120mm travel it is spot on, though being an XL it is very long. It has been absolutely bombproof for the 8 months that I’ve had it and during the BCBR it was flawless. During the race the bike was kind of a super model as it got a lot of attention, leave it in a rack next to other bikes and it got noticed.

I
Ibuki I.
Fit:
Runs Small
Runs Large
This is my absolute favorite MTB.

I'm 176cm tall, so I chose the ML size, and as the Chromag size chart recommends, I'm glad I chose this size. I didn't mind the reach, which is generally considered long. Rather, I now understand why this reach is necessary. The Darco has excellent stability on steep downhills. Compared to other bikes in the downcountry category, the speed range increases even more. I highly recommend the Darco to those who want to blast down steep downhills. What's more, the Darco is also good at climbing.

K
Ken A.
Fit:
Runs Small
Runs Large
What a great bike

I am usually a hard fit to a bike, and I really appreciate the M/L sizing option that Chromag has in their lineup. Out of the box and built up my first ride on it blew me away. This bike is extremely smooth and stable, and once I got the suspensions settings dialed in it rode like a dream. I am really impressed at how well it climbs, definitely an all around great trail bike, and nothing but smiles from me. Most of my other bikes are steel as well so it fits right in with the feel of the others and I really felt at home. My only issue out of the box was the saddle, but those are such a personal fit choice and not every saddle fits everyone the same. Easy fix for anyone.

The downside... I've only ridden it a few times due to weather/trail conditions here and work travel, but that is all about to change.