Words by Brice Minnigh
Photos by Ryan Palmer
We recently swung by the headquarters of Chromag Bikes, the boutique components company based on the leafy outskirts of Whistler, British Columbia, to check out the much-vaunted new sound system in their office. We applauded the audio and the choice of tunes, but we found that their new 2014 line of bike parts still stole the show.
On any given day, the nerve center of this rider-driven company is a veritable Who’s Who of Progressive Mountain Biking, with a steady parade of iconic B.C. mountain bikers dropping in to shoot the shit and catch up on the latest trail info. All of the Chromag employees are dedicated, passionate riders, and their inspiration resonates throughout the company’s product line, where technical function and a decidedly artistic aesthetic dovetail in an uncommon union of utility and style.
Walking into the Chromag workshop for a glimpse of the giant speakers blaring an eclectic array of music that would be verboten in most corporate bike-company offices, we bumped into the likes of Whistler-based luminary Kenny Smith, who was comfortably using the shop space to cut a steerer tube. By many accounts, this is a typical day at Chromag HQ.
It probably shouldn’t be surprising that a Whistler-based outfit which has religiously dedicated every Friday to a mandatory staff shred would produce sensible and stylish products for the core mountain biker, but a visit to their office is like a breath of fresh air in a smog-choked cycling industry.
Intriguing art adorns the walls, and this aesthetic is infused into all of Chromag’s products, which exhibit a ‘branding consistency’ that only smaller, rider-driven companies seem to achieve these days. Bars, stems, pedals, saddles——some displays of which had been ‘tattooed’ by local artists (see photo below)——were splayed about, fairly begging the visitor to snap them up and slap them on their personal bike.
Here’s a glimpse of some of the new products that Chromag is lining up for 2014.