Chromag are mainly known for their fine components, clothing and steel hardtail MTBs. With the Lowdown, the Canadian manufacturer has introduced their first full-suspension enduro bike. We tested one for you to see how it fares on the trail.

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: North America’s Finest – 7 models in review

Chromag Lowdown 158 G2-Build | 170/158 mm (f/r)
17.1 kg in size M/L | € 7,950 | Manufacturer’s website

Welcome to Whistler, British Columbia, undisputed trail Mecca and home to countless mountain bike obsessives in lumberjack shirts. If you dig deeper than the cliches, you’ll realise that the Canadian mountain resort is also home to several cool little businesses, including component and bike manufacturer Chromag. Well, Chromag aren’t that little anymore – they’re celebrating their 20th anniversary in 2023. They’re known mainly for their exotic machined components, along with handlebars, pedals and saddles. They also produce hardtail MTBs and clothing, and all their products share the same distinctive logo, the iconic emblazoned bear. After 20 successful years, Chromag decided to dig deeper into their bag of tricks and focus more on their bikes, taking care of the whole process, from development to marketing. For the 2023 season, they’ve complemented their hardtail range with three new full-sussers. The Chromag Lowdown we tested is the big-hitting model in the full-suspension lineup, combining 170/158 mm of travel at the front and rear, with a steel frame. Just below sits the Darco trail bike, with 150/120 mm of travel, with either a steel or a titanium frame. Our test bike in the G2 spec variant and size M/L tips the scales at 17.1 kg and retails for € 5,788.95. Like Chromag’s components and clothing, the bikes can be purchased directly from their webstore, although you might have to add customs fees and taxes to the RRP when ordering outside of Canada.

The Chromag Lowdown 158 in Detail

Like most Chromag bikes, the Lowdown relies on good old steel for the frameset, although only in the main triangle in this case – the swingarm is made from aluminium. The frame oozes attention to detail, with neat shock mount welds, and Chromag’s iconic bear sitting proudly on the head tube, letting the wind blow through its hair, adding a touch of class. A small rubber fender between the main frame and swingarm protects the frame from flying debris and dirt, while a generously sized TPU plate shields the down tube from stray rocks. Furthermore, an extensive chainstay protector prevents chain slap, ensuring a quiet ride on the trail. Internal cable routing? Not a chance! All cables are routed externally, straight to the components where they’re needed: Chromag clearly focus on ease of maintenance, because the time you save in the workshop, you can spend on the trail! To underline the industrial look, Chromag secure the cabling to the frame with bog-standard zip ties – a wonderfully pragmatic choice in our opinion! The tool mount on the underside of the top tube allows you to carry all the basics for essential trailside repairs, like a multitool or an inner tube, and there’s also a cage mount for a water bottle.

Chromag put a lot of attention to detail into the Lowdown 158, which is a real head turner with its elegant frame.

The spec of the Chromag Lowdown 158 G2 build

The Chromag Lowdown is available in two spec variants, G1 and G2. The G1 flagship model comes equipped with a brand-new SRAM X0 Transmission wireless drivetrain. The G2 variant drops down to a slightly more basic drivetrain spec and a few other, slightly less exciting components. Rockshox supply the ZEB Ultimate Charger 3 170mm fork and a matching Super Deluxe Ultimate air shock, which, as usual, deliver a tremendous performance on the trail, while offering simple, intuitive setup and adjustment. RockShox also provide the Reverb Stealth dropper post, which is easy and intuitive to use, and can be fully inserted into the frame. Unfortunately, it only offers 175 mm of travel, restricting freedom of movement on the bike somewhat. Shifting is taken care of by a SRAM GX 12-speed drivetrain, while SRAM Code RSC four-piston brakes with 200 mm rotors front and rear do stopping duties. Needless to say, Chromag rely on many of their own, fine components for the rest of the spec, including the grips, saddle and cockpit, which consists of a HiFi 35 BSX stem and 800 mm OSX 35 alloy handlebars. The Canadian manufacturer also uses an in-house 29″ BA30 alloy wheelset, paired with MAXXIS tires, with a 29 x 2.5″ Minion DHF at the front and 29 x 2.4″ Minion DHR II at the rear. Both tires come in the robust Doubledown casing and soft MaxxGrip rubber compound. At the rear, we usually prefer the slightly harder MaxxTerra compound, which reduces rolling resistance and wear, but then the additional traction of the MaxxGrip compound is a true god-send on the countless slippery slabs strewn across Whistler.

Chromag make use of their own catalogue for many of the components, including the BA30 alloy wheelset.
Top grip.
The combination of MAXXIS’ robust DoubleDown casing and soft MaxxGrip compound is one of our top favourites.
Simply simple!
The cables are routed externally, making it easier to service the bike, and the concept also suits the look of the Lowdown extremely well.
Short-lived fun!
The RockShox Reverb dropper post can be slammed all the way into the frame, but only offers 175 mm of travel.
The small rubber flap between the front triangle and swingarm prevents dirt and rocks from chipping the frame.

Chromag Lowdown 158 G2-Build



Fork: RockShox ZEB Ultimate 170 mm
Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate 158 mm
Seatpost: RockShox Reverb Stealth 175 mm
Brakes: SRAM CODE RSC 200/200 mm
Drivetrain: SRAM GX Eagle 1x12
Stem: Chromag HiFi 35 BSX 40 mm
Bar:Chromag OSX35 800 mm
Wheels:Chromag BA30 29"
Tires:MAXXIS Minion DHF MaxxGrip DD/Minion DHR ll MaxxGrip DD 2,5"/2,4"

Technical Data

Size: S M M/L L XL
Weight: 17.1 kg

Specific features


The geometry of the Chromag Lowdown 158

The Chromag Lowdown is available in five sizes, S, M, M/L, L and XL. The reach is very long across the board, with a whopping 490 mm on our test bike in size M/L, which corresponds to a size L or even XL with most other manufacturers. In comparison, the 410 mm seat tube is super short, but unfortunately, the short-travel dropper post defeats its purpose. Chainstays are 440 mm across the board and don’t grow with the frame size.

Size S M M/L L XL
Seat tube 350 mm 380 mm 410 mm 440 mm 440 mm
Top tube 570 mm 592 mm 612,5 mm 637 mm 656 mm
Head tube 100 mm 100 mm 105 mm 115 mm 125 mm
Head angle 63.5° 63.5° 63.5° 63.5° 63.5°
Seat angle 79° 79° 79° 79° 79°
Chainstay 440 mm 440 mm 440 mm 440 mm 440 mm
BB Drop 30 mm 30 mm 30 mm 30 mm 30 mm
Wheelbase 1.232 mm 1.254 mm 1.280 mm 1.302 mm 1.324 mm
Reach 449 mm 471 mm 490 mm 513 mm 530 mm
Stack 623 mm 623 mm 625 mm 637 mm 646mm
Helmet FOX Proframe RS | Goggle FOX Vue Syz | Jersey T-Shirt Black | Pants FOX Flexair PRO | Shoes GIRO Tracer

The Chromag Lowdown 158 G2 build on the trail

When you turn its nose downhill, the Lowdown integrates you centrally between its wheels, treading a fine line between composure and agility. This makes it easy to negotiate slow, narrow trail sections and at the same time it allows you to implement fast, spontaneous direction changes. The Lowdown doesn’t shy away from rough sections either, inspiring huge amounts of confidence in nasty rock gardens. The rear suspension keeps enough in reserve to bail you out of sticky situations, while at the same time offering enough support to pop off ledges and natural kickers. A nice advantage of the slim steel frame? Extra knee room, preventing them from knocking against the frame during some more creative riding manoeuvres!

Tuning Tip: Tires with harder MaxxTerra compound at the rear to improve rolling resistance

The rear suspension provides plenty of support, making it easy to pop off ledges, and at the same time offers enough reserves to bail you out of botched landings.
Uniting opposites
The Chromag Lowdown 158 strikes an excellent balance between composure and agility.

The swingarm is a little on the wider side especially around the chainstays, meaning that your ankles will rub against it from time to time. All in all, the Chromag Lowdown is a discreet trail companion that works quietly and reliably in the background. No matter where you take it, the Lowdown has your back, remaining nonplussed no matter how hairy your line choice. In the lift queue, however, it’s a different story altogether – it really stands out, and the visitors to Whistler couldn’t get enough of it!

The Chromag Lowdown 158 strikes a great balance between composure and agility. As a result, it implements fast direction changes with great eagerness, while making it easy to negotiate tight trail sections.

Our conclusions on the Chromag Lowdown 158 G2 build

The Chromag Lowdown is a discreet, reliable trail companion. For the spec, the Canadian manufacturer relies on many in-house components, without splurging on unnecessary bling. The Lowdown comes to life downhill, where it strikes an excellent balance between composure and agility, topped off with excellent rear suspension performance! Despite its discreet character on the trail, it knows how to impress with its stylish steel frame and beautiful details, which make it a true head-turner.


  • Strong all-rounder
  • Strikes an excellent balance between composure and agility
  • Stylish steel frame


  • Short-travel dropper post restricts freedom of movement
  • Significant pedal bob uphill

You can find more about at

The test field

For an overview of the test fleet head to North America’s Finest – 7 models in review

All bikes in test: Alchemy Arktos 150 (Click for review) | Chromag Lowdown 158 G2-Build | Devinci Chainsaw GX Enduro (Click for review) | Kona Process X CR (Click for review) | Norco Sight C2 (Click for review) | Transition Carbon Patrol X0 AXS (Click for review) | We are One Arrival 170 GX AXS (Click for review)

Did you enjoy this article? If so, we would be stoked if you decide to support us with a monthly contribution. By becoming a supporter of ENDURO, you will help secure a sustainable future for high-quality mountain bike journalism. Click here to learn more.

Words: Mike Hunger Photos: Peter Walker

About the author

Mike Hunger

From slopestyle and landscape photography to enduro and action shots. Mike enjoys trying new things and loves action. He also loves craftsmanship, regularly going on road trips with his VW Syncro van, which he restored and converted himself. Of course, his bike and his camera are always with him so that he can ride the finest trails from Italy to the Alps and capture the most beautiful moments. Thanks to his training as an industrial mechanic, his experience in cycling and his photographic skills, he can apply his know-how perfectly as a bike journalist, testing the latest bikes and components and documenting his findings. As a photography nerd, he also captures the reviews with his camera and ensures that the magazine features only the best images.