Alchemy Arktos - Interbike 2015

Sep 16, 2015
by Mike Kazimer  
Alchemy Arktos

Alchemy may not be a household name in the mountain bike world, but that could change with the introduction of the Arktos, the company's new carbon fiber framed all-mountain rig that's made in the United States.

Currently based out of Denver, Colorado, Alchemy got their start creating custom carbon road frames, high end beauties that garnered multiple awards at the North American Handmade Bike Show (NAHBS). Earlier this year they launched their first carbon mountain bike, a hardtail 29er called the Oros, but the Arktos is their first 27.5" full-suspension bike, featuring a unique rear suspension design called Sine Suspension.

Details
• Intended use: trail / all-mountain
• Travel: 150mm
• 27.5" wheels
• Carbon frame
• 66.5° head angle
• 438mm chainstay length
• 12 x 148mm rear spacing
• Sizes S, M, L, XL
• Frame price w/ shock: $3750 USD
• Made in USA


Alchemy Arktos

Suspension Design

Sine Suspension was created by Dave Earle, whose impressive resume includes developing Yeti's Switch suspension system, along with stints as the Senior Engineer at both Santa Cruz and Specialized. In other words, he knows a thing or two about designing a mountain bike – this isn't his first rodeo.

The Arktos' Sine Suspension is a dual short link design, with the lower link tucked away inside the frame. According to Alchemy, this design creates a suspension curve that's regressive up to the shock's sag point, and then progressive until the last 15% of the bike's travel, where it becomes regressive again.

Arktos Interbike 2015

That last bit of regressive travel is where the design differs from a VPP design - on VPP bikes the curve remains progressive for the entirety of of the travel. Because air shocks are inherently progressive, ramping up towards the end of their stroke, having the suspension curve become regressive is meant to give the bike a bottomless feel, allowing it to remain supple even during large impacts.


Alchemy Arktos
Internal routing is in place for the Arktos' brake, deraileur, and dropper post housing.
Geometry

Alchemy geo

As far as geometry goes, the Arktos' number are slightly conservative compared to the long and slack bikes that have been coming to market lately, with a 66.5° degree head angle, 438mm chainstay length, and a reach of 431mm on the large sized frame. There will be four sizes, small to extra-large, and two stock colors will be available, along with a custom paint option that opens up a wide palette of possible of color options. The frame with shock retails for $3,750 USD, which certainly isn't cheap, but it is only $50 more than a Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper frame, or $250 more than a Yeti SB6 frame. It's also dramatically less than Alchemy's full custom road frames, which go for nearly $7,000.




92 Comments

  • 67 4
 I saw the picture and instantly thought of the SB6c. Surprise surprise in the next paragraph it's designed by the same guy. I just struggle to understand how one guy can design multiple companies platforms and for them to all claim theirs is the best. Surely this guy knows which one of his designs is best.
  • 23 3
 Clearly yeti because it's all about having a showy headtube badge to show your bike is the best right?
  • 20 6
 They are all the same.
I like this bike. Good price too. I would never buy a four grand frame made in China. It just proves their spiel about R&Dis complete bs. At least you know this cost more than $8 to actually make.

Good luck to you guys. I'd love one!
  • 1 1
 I thought the same thing when I saw the picture. I am very interested in this bike, wonder if it rides more like a 575 with the shock open with that suspension design
  • 6 4
 I'll just buy a SB6 and sticker it with Alchemy, use the remaining $250 for bike parts.
  • 8 1
 Taiwan, not China.
  • 1 1
 I was referring to Santa Cruz, not yeti. Sorry, should have said.
  • 190 1
 Dave Earle is the name,
Suspension design is his game.
Switching from brand to brand,
Dude's all about making that grand.

Truth be told he liked Morgan Hill,
Until they proved they had no chill.
Suing a man for the name of his store,
Earle went "f*ck it, I'ma quit this bore!"
His next employer was Rob Roskopp,
Tryna give the V10 a bit more pop.
Assignment turned out to be quite the task,
Earle went "boy, that's too much to ask".
Then came his time working for Yeti,
The job turned out to be quite Petty.
Switch infinity was his next grind,
Now he gon' put it all on the line,
Working for a brand that noone knows,

If it works out he'll get all them hoes.
  • 10 1
 You Sir are a legend.
  • 14 4
 $3750 for a frame /shock is a good price?? Thats about how much i spent on my entire bike.
  • 11 2
 You just made my year, @fabdemaere . I have no more suicidal thoughts after reading your poem. I love you very much.
  • 1 20
flag FabienTT (Sep 17, 2015 at 6:12) (Below Threshold)
 Santa Cruz & Juliana = similar designs .... Alchemy Arktos and Yeti SB6C = similar designs... We see here the cost reduction in design frame production.
  • 26 1
 Santa Cruz and Juliana are the same designs from the same company.
  • 27 1
 some people shouldn't post on Pinkbike
  • 6 0
 @fabdemaere I seriously hope Dave gets to see that! Rad.
  • 3 5
 As far as I'm aware Dave had nothing to do with switch infinity. Sure he was the mastermind behind the first switch (eccentric), but you can't give him credit for infinity.
  • 1 0
 Hahahah king
  • 3 6
 $3750!!! Remove the zero and that is how much I spent on my last bike. These bikes are all just eye candy for a math teacher.
  • 11 0
 @fabdemaere
I showed David your post (he's my boss) and he told me to tell you that he thought your poem was cool. And that he forgot his Pinkbike password. . .
  • 1 0
 I like how the bike colors work so well together...
  • 2 0
 It's obvious that the lovely graph in the article tells you it works splendidly!
  • 45 0
 ive lost track of what gives a bike bottomless feel...
  • 22 1
 A decent coil shock for me anyway.....
  • 3 0
 Feelin' the right vibes, bro
  • 29 1
 Placebo effect from reading to many bike reviews (im guilty)
  • 21 0
 Having a BB above your saddle.
  • 1 1
 Idk... but it has boost...
  • 36 1
 That's not a sine wave.
  • 13 0
 I suppose its similar if you take it to 2π.
  • 4 1
 Now this is good humour!!
  • 16 0
 looks like this....looks like that...looks like....looks like.... looks like nice bike to be owned...
  • 13 0
 So funny..bottomless.. If you never get your wheels off the ground its nice to be able to get full travel. But for the rest of us, progressive rate provides a bottomless feel. Beautiful bike though, and its great to see a bike made in the States!
  • 3 0
 Listen to Krispy, he knows what's up.
  • 1 0
 @Krispy-at-Go-Ride Will go-ride be dealing this sweet thing? Wink
  • 10 0
 "having the suspension curve become regressive is meant to give the bike a bottomless feel", wow read so many times progresivness is meant to do that, regresive means easier bottoming, how is that "bottomless".
  • 2 0
 if it's used with an air shock (which tend to ramp up as you go through the travel), a regressive suspension curve would actually give more a linear feel, vs. a progressive curve with an air shock, which would ramp up considerably, thus heavily resisting bottoming out- and "ruining" the "bottomless feel".
  • 12 0
 I am feeling slightly Yeti-sh.
  • 3 0
 Definitely a bit. I like it, at least talking aesthetically pleasing (frame design and colors in my opinion).
  • 4 2
 It's designed by Dave Earle, the same guy who designed the switch platform in Yeti's bikes
  • 5 0
 I don't much like playing the skeptic, but I am a little confused. This looks a lot like Yeti's original Switch platform, with a small link instead of an eccentric. Didn't Yeti move away from a short lower link (eccentric) because it was causing the bike to hang up on square-edge hits? And didn't Switch Infinity successfully solve the problem? If Mr. Earle designed Switch as well, how is this functionally different from Switch?

Regardless, no prejudice - I'll reserve judgment until I've ridden it.
  • 4 3
 It's designed by the same guy who designed the Yeti Switch platform. Dave Earle is the name
  • 3 2
 Oops posted the wrong person to reply.
  • 2 0
 Was it squared edged hits?
I thought it was the lack of sensitivity caused by the neccisary change in a (relatively) large rotational mass half way through the travel, and the friction of such a system?

In agreement with you, need to ride it first Smile
  • 3 0
 I believe Yeti moved away from this as they were sued for patent infringement by Decathlon who uses it for their "neuf" suspension bikes (B'Twin) in europe. You can google it easily.
  • 5 1
 I'm sure this guy wouldn't inherently design the same flaw into another suspension platform. This is his art, and he wouldn't want to be held accountable for another flaw
  • 1 0
 Since when is Switch a design flaw? Best platform I've ever ridden...
  • 8 0
 Looks like a nomads and an Ariels baby.
  • 3 0
 Aesthetically beautiful, most bikes ride better than any around even 2 years ago, so I can't imagine it being crap either... Bike sex!
  • 4 0
 $250 just to not deal with a pressfit bottom bracket is worth it. Death to Pressfit. All hail BSA.
  • 1 0
 That leverage curve is relying on new big-negative-air cans to make it work. I think the early regressive bit is the worst thing about VPP bikes, not worth advertising. Also with High volume cans readily available the regressive ending bit seems quite pointless. There doesn't seem to be much compelling reason for new companies not to use FSR now. Also that's pretty similar to Foes' leverage curve except for without the net progressivity. Awesome though that they're doing carbon in the states.
  • 4 0
 I'm diggin' it. Beautiful bike.
  • 2 0
 Please educate me, why steepen the head angle as you go up in size?? Isn't 65-66º where its at for AM rigs at the moment and oh almost forgot, looks like a Yeti
  • 1 0
 I'm interested as well, I don't recall ever seeing any other company do this besides maybe liteville but their whole setup has many variables.
  • 1 0
 The only reason I could think of is that it would keep the Front-Centre measurement from getting too long. It is a bit odd though.
  • 1 0
 just seems weird giving the smaller rider the slacker head angle. You would think the larger burlier riders would gain more benefit from it
  • 2 0
 Maybe they hate tall people.
  • 1 1
 It is the other way around... Small frames have slacker head and steeper seat angle to prevent pedal strike and preserve rider position. But in this case, I have no idea.
  • 2 1
 Larger frame with the same HT angle could make the wheelbase too long? Might be to maintain the WB.
  • 1 1
 I know that guy, from when I lived in Austin! When I visited his shop back in '10, he had Pepper playing as he was working- so I knew he'd be mint- which he was. It's awesome to see his stuff on Pinkbike, esp since I don't live in that town anymore.
  • 6 2
 "Stumphumper"?
  • 4 5
 A huge missed opportunity IMO. I would pay full retail for a US made CF frame if thy got the design and geo right.

They basically just need to copy a Stumpjumper 29" with a 66 degree head angle and +/- 1 degree FSA cups, a 2.6 - 2.3 falling leverage rate with a slight flattening in the last 20%.
  • 10 0
 Sounds like you should start building your own bikes my friend
  • 2 1
 Hehe Specialised Stumphumper. Is that because of the bottom bracket height?
  • 1 1
 What are you on about? A SJ BB is about the lowest in the industry.
  • 1 0
 Are you sure.......had a sj 29 evo and although it felt low I think my Spartan and Process 153 were lower. Could have been due to additional sag on these bikes as well.
  • 1 0
 I guess frame price w/o shock is comparable with yeti, $3,750..... that a lot of dough
  • 2 0
 That's a pretty steep price for a frame only, just a little less than I got my 2016 Mach 6 with fork and shock for.
  • 3 5
 Unless you're riding like a total pussy a bike that doesn't ramp up at the end is just going to bottom out all day long and break itself. And making the head angle steeper for the bigger size frames is ridiculous too. So congratulations guys. Sounds like crap.
  • 3 1
 it obviously has a DE-link
  • 1 0
 Btw is this the women specific bike? Or when are we going to see the women version?
  • 1 0
 They should spell check their suspension chart...picky I know but it's all in the details.
  • 1 2
 $5,000.00 Canadian dollars after you count the taxes and currency exchange for A FRAME made in the USA.
Not a chance in hell.
I would buy a plethora of frames that will blow this UNTESTED BY TIME ride out of the wata.
  • 1 0
 I really like this bike. Expensive, but designed and manufactured here in the U.S. I guess I would expect that.
  • 2 1
 Looks like a.....all the other boring carbon framed bikes out there.
  • 1 0
 thats really nice, never heard of Alchemy but i'll be watching now!
  • 1 0
 Looks great! hope the chain stay is more reliable than on the Yeti
  • 2 0
 My chain stay is just fine after many hits
  • 2 0
 Good to hear, she's a great looking steed
  • 1 0
 How well are Enve gonna do this year!
  • 1 0
 Almost 4K for w frame? No thanks....
  • 1 0
 Love how they decided to go with the Praxis wide range 10 speed Cassette.
  • 1 0
 is that the Nomad's Twin ??
  • 1 0
 Wake me up when it has a float x2 as standard.
  • 3 3
 looks like yeti
  • 3 3
 Cause its designed by Dave Earle the same guy who designed the newer Yeti Bikes with the Switch platform.
  • 3 1
 I feel ziggy6012 is making a reference to the infamous "looks like a session" joke, rather then not reading the article Smile
  • 2 4
 This is an eye sore... It looks like the paint was designed by roadie. A lifestyle roadie.
  • 3 1
 thanks it's good to know the current Nepalese design aesthetic it will help tremendously with global mountain bike marketing
  • 2 1
 keep typing tutti frutti... 'nuff said.
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