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.
• 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
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.
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.
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.