ARBR's RB2 Carbon 29er Protoype - Bespoked Show 2019

May 3, 2019
by James Smurthwaite  

ARBR are no strangers to the pages of Pinkbike with their space-age looking Saker sparking one of the most heated comment sections the website has ever seen, and that's saying something.

Rob Barr has not let that deter him though and has returned with a new prototype 29er, the RB2. The RB2 is not an evolution of the Saker but a whole new model with a different purpose in mind. While the Saker focussed almost entirely on descending ability, the RB2 is aimed at an all-day ride - up hill and down dale. Don't be fooled into thinking his bike will feel out of its depth anywhere though, with 160mm of travel and 29inch wheels, it should be a trucker in its own right.

The linkage is similar to the Saker but lower down in the frame.


No idler this time, instead a conventional chain line that Rob is hoping will be easier to pedal on all-day rides.

The RB2 follows the same suspension ethos as the Saker with a drop link and a rocker, but it has been lowered on this bike. There's one big difference though and that comes from the fact there's no idler pulley. Despite certain parts of the industry moving back towards that design, Rob has a more conventional chain line on this bike. He believes that the extra weight, noise and drag would make all day rides a chore so has dropped it from this model.

A matte black finish replaces the weave of the Saker.

This is a 160mm platform with a 64° head angle and 78° seat tube angle. This size large(ish) frame has a 1275mm wheelbase and 485mm reach.

A carbon downtube protector to keep this very valuable frame safe from rock strikes.

A low-slung swing arm is part of a unique looking bike.

Rob wants to do a bit more testing before the bike is production ready but expects to have a final version ready for the 'Ard Rock enduro race in August. The bike will be made in West Sussex so pricing is expected to be in line with the Saker (£4,390) but maybe slightly cheaper as there is no foam core in the frame and the design is a bit simpler.

More info.


135 Comments

  • 76 2
 Give the man some credit, the first bike was way over engineered, far too expensive, whereas this has a lot of promise, interested to see the finished article but price is key.
  • 22 23
 as cruel and unfair it's been, the first article with ARBR was the funniest comment section on Pinkbike ever. I was having stomach cramps from laughing. My abs were sore the whole next day. I haven't laughed so hard since I discovered FB group "Toilets with threatening Auras"
  • 7 33
flag taurausmountain (May 3, 2019 at 11:39) (Below Threshold)
 I dont know.... Kinda looks like a Session!
  • 4 5
 @WAKIdesigns: at least its not a clitoris bike.
  • 7 1
 But its not a high pivot with idler anymore. Its just another single pivot now which doesn't really tickle my pickle. Looks nice though.
  • 5 1
 So nice. If it had premium quality rims it would be amazing.
  • 10 7
 @drjonnywonderboy: Every time I see a bike with Enve rims now I just think "Next!"
  • 3 1
 Looks like a Chumba
  • 3 3
 @Boardlife69: I thought to myself. Oh I remember Chumba DH bike to bes sexiest thing ever. Googled it. And it was like browsing Facebook for my high school crush. After going through 25 different accounts with same name I find her! There she is... Ooooh Gooooooood! Noooooo!
  • 2 1
 isnt this one 4k?
  • 3 2
 @WAKIdesigns: Dont lie. You'd still hit it.
  • 35 1
 Bike looks bloody fine. Aesthetically it looks nice too. It will pedal great with that pivot location, and even with a larger chainring. The downtube protector seems to almost act as bashguard. Depending on its strenght, that can be a good or bad thing. If it's strong enough, maybe it could be a tad bigger to really take on that function. Also by the specs, this could be a descending beast, not just an all-mountain ride.
  • 14 0
 It looks like an old Rotec had a baby with a new Demo, and the offspring hasn't grown it's double crown fork yet.
  • 6 3
 @Flowcheckers: Whatever. Rotec was a BB pivot bike, so no connection there. But the swingarm does look like it's coming from the BB, which is cool.
  • 19 0
 Sorry, I assumed it was a bb pivot. Thanks for correcting me and not entertaining my attempts at humor.
  • 6 0
 l am seeing a modern Rocky Mtn RM6. Very cool concept.
  • 3 1
 I get knocked down, but I get up again
You are never gonna keep me down

He drinks a Whiskey drink, he drinks a Vodka drink
He drinks a Lager drink, he drinks a Cider drink
He sings the songs that remind him of the good times
He sings the songs that remind him of the best times
(Oh Danny Boy, Danny Boy, Danny Boy)

One of my favorite songs and I always wanted a Chumba. Looks great
  • 23 1
 wtf is with the shit pictures, honestly who the bageebuz takes linkage photo's from the drive side.... shiiiit.
  • 8 0
 A surprising number of people, unfortunately.
  • 4 0
 Agreed. Totally pointless.
  • 9 0
 Here's more details on the suspension linkage.

www.pinkbike.com/news/ancillotti-scarab-evo-prototype-2017.html

The ARBR is the same. I am about 75% done building a steel version of it. Bottom of the swingarm has a short link that pulls the rocker that actuates the shock.
  • 13 1
 Chainslap in the lower half of that cog will be unbearable. Ask Evil owners.
  • 21 0
 "Evil owner here. It's cool. Totally don't even notice." he said in complete denial as he replaces the chain stay protector again.
  • 1 0
 first thing I thought of when I saw the tall chain stay.
  • 2 0
 Run a fork bumper on your chain stay, problem solved.

scontent.fakl2-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/57604343_2251908464862897_5139191591029702656_o.jpg?_nc_cat=102&_nc_ht=scontent.fakl2-1.fna&oh=0e0d900213d9add07d56c9c312a9a987&oe=5D70A58C

Chris Kovarik is making an specific version that accomidates the 50t atm.
  • 2 0
 @Clarkeh: Nice $1.00 BMX chain on that $7000 bike!
  • 2 0
 @Clarkeh: This bike doesn't have room for mastic tape, nevermind a fork bumper.
  • 9 0
 Looks killer- one issue: if you're in the lowest cog will the chain be literally riding on the chainstay? Like, in a CAD model with 100% tension on the chain it never touches, but in the real world it'll be riding on the chainstay almost all the time? Is that why it has a chainstay protector that looks to be about two layers of electrical tape thick, because anything more than that will DEFINITELY rub?

Other than that potential issue, I love it. Like a xenomorph that has a Fox 36 for a toothed tongue.
  • 2 0
 My stumpy did the same thing when just chilling. But with any sag it goes away pretty quick.
  • 8 0
 I think this bike looks really nice and would love to rip one
  • 8 0
 Thicc! I'd hit it... I mean I'd ride it.
  • 6 0
 Rocky Mountain bikes should probably go ahead and buy the rights to this frame design and begin the rebirth of the RM7. DO IT ROCKY!!! DOOOOO IIIIIT!!
  • 2 0
 Would b so sick ... u hav my vote
  • 6 0
 Looks better than most big mfg frames. I wonder what the leverage ratio looks like?
  • 1 0
 It's pretty progressive. Not quite as progressive as the Saker but certainly more progressive than most production 29ers!
  • 3 0
 Great looking bike!!! ARBR hit a home run with this design. The Saker was fugly but it had a purpose. Unfortunately fashion stood before function and that’s what killed it......plus the price Eek Hopefully the price on this is new model will be much lower! It’s a real head turner now Drool
  • 7 0
 Beautiful steed
  • 3 1
 Saddened to not see an idler on the bike. I get the points made against it, but they are solvable in my opinion. Weight is the biggest issue, but cmon, this is a carbon everything bike, it must weigh what, 15 kilograms? You can put two drivetrains on it and still have a light bike!
  • 4 0
 That slacked out front end and low top tube make it look slightly like a bike that's in the middle of a really hard landing! Gotta say I really like it.
  • 20 0
 My wife is starting to look like that, too.
  • 1 0
 @woody25 looks a bit pre-broken, doesn't it?
  • 2 0
 @endlessblockades: e-wives are coming, be patient.
  • 1 0
 @Milko3D: Looks like an Ebike.
  • 1 0
 bike looks pregnant
  • 2 0
 @endlessblockades: have you told her or is this just between us?
  • 5 0
 Wow this might be the best looking bike I've ever laid my eyes upon. I'm loving the moto style no seat stay swing arm.
  • 5 0
 Someone eventually kissed the frog (saker) and it transformed into this prince (RB2). Hero.
  • 6 1
 Enve wheels... in out! Lol
  • 6 3
 'the RB2 is aimed at an all-day ride - up hill and down dale. '........' a 160mm platform with a 64° head angle. a 1275mm wheelbase and 485mm reach.'....Okey dokey
  • 5 3
 So you mean nice and stable geometry so when you're tried after riding for 4 hours with another 2 to go you won't be over correcting and twitching around every rock on the trail? Touring road bikes are longer and slacker than road racing bikes, why would an all day MTB be as short and steep as one you're going to ride for 2 hours and put away?
  • 11 0
 @nouseforaname: That's a good point.I am wrong.Many thanks.
  • 10 1
 @watchmen: Too civil for Pinkbike, are you OK?
  • 4 0
 "Pedal all day"..."78 degree seat tube angle"....Not for me to pedal all day.
  • 1 0
 I get knocked down, but I get up again
You are never gonna keep me down

He drinks a Whiskey drink, he drinks a Vodka drink
He drinks a Lager drink, he drinks a Cider drink
He sings the songs that remind him of the good times
He sings the songs that remind him of the best times
(Oh Danny Boy, Danny Boy, Danny Boy)

One of my favorite songs and I always wanted a Chumba. Looks great
  • 6 1
 she purrty
  • 4 0
 Its kinda sweet, but I kinda hate it too
  • 4 0
 It looks like an old Morpheus
  • 4 0
 That thing is hot AF ! Take my money
  • 4 0
 Perfect geo. I'd give her a go.
  • 12 6
 i'd give your mom a go.
  • 6 0
 @getsomesy: swap your mums...
  • 1 0
 @getsomesy: like a cold grilled cheese sandwich bud!
  • 3 0
 check out terrain control on IG. legit www.instagram.com/p/BwV4J4Pg-1S
  • 2 0
 For real that proto is bitchin
  • 1 0
 @Bikerguy13: the carbon version is speaking to me.
  • 2 0
 I see the potential design issues, but it's a dam good looking start and I'd love to rock it for a couple days to see how it rides. PB test ride coming right up........
  • 2 0
 I honestly think that is one of the best looking bikes I have seen... I think in 10yrs, most bikes will have a swing arm like this.
  • 6 4
 I could only imagine the amount of stress thos short tiny links put on the bearings and frame
  • 15 1
 Forces in the bearings or the frame are not driven by how small/tiny a link is. The system is minimally constrained so link stiffness plays no role in load distribution assuming you don't have so much deflection that linear assumptions can not be made. Link length is also not a driver as the loads are really derived from the angles and the ratios they are to each other. If you took this exact system but scaled everything by x1000000000000000000000 and applied the same load at the wheel you would get the same out put load at the shock. Not saying the bearing or frame stresses are low in this configuration I have no idea what they are and is really hard to tell since you cant even really see where all the link pick up points are but its not driven by how small or short a link is.
  • 7 0
 Ask Evil
  • 3 1
 its a single pivot. the linkages look like they are only used to control the leverage ratio on the shock. You would be correct to assume there would be high stress if it had something like a mini horst link setup at the end of that long swing arm.
  • 1 0
 @radrider: doesn't the high pivot make a horst link unnecessary?
  • 1 0
 I like the bike, even the previous version that heard so much negative crap-conmments, but, this one has some small mainpivot. What diameter pivot axle does it have?
  • 6 4
 Why 29er when 36ers will be the new standard?
  • 2 1
 Different for sure. Almost very beautiful but finally not really. Give him a good point for trying hard!
  • 2 0
 It really is. Keep looking at it.
  • 1 1
 I really like how the photos allow the drivetrain to completely obscure anything worth looking at. Try turning the bike around next time...
  • 1 0
 Wtf is the difference? Same shit as the sakr, just no idler. Wack. Like the apple of bikes????
  • 1 0
 dont apple sell a bazillion,more like santa cruz surely this is more beta max video
  • 1 0
 I feel like the chain must literally sit on top of the chainstay when in the lower gears
  • 2 0
 Swing arm...
  • 1 0
 Reminds me of the RMX and RM7, both didn’t track due to a bunch of flex in the rear...
  • 1 0
 @mangler: Yamaha with showa fork
  • 5 5
 Fantastic bike - sad that the no-bottlecage-design makes it unridebale. Very sad.
  • 2 1
 Look at the underside of the top tube.
  • 1 1
 @DavidGuerra: upside-down-bottlecage? Brilliant!
  • 1 0
 Looks like a fox36 fork with minimal offset...
  • 1 0
 I’m sure it’s not flexy
  • 1 0
 Looks like they finally hired an industrial designer! Awesome!
  • 1 0
 i want to go jump off a bridge
  • 4 0
 I know, it’s early May and the Bend loam is already Bend duff.
  • 1 0
 weird, whats a single crown doing on that DH bike
  • 1 0
 Looks like a Lenz from back in the day!
  • 2 0
 Hot Fire!
  • 2 0
 Sexy!!
  • 1 0
 Great job there. Looking forward to seeing it at Ard Rock!
  • 1 1
 Looks like it ate too much barbecue and needs a lay down for a while until the meat sweats subside
  • 1 0
 does the bike come with custom tools needed to replace frame bearings?
  • 1 0
 I just want to have black and white fox lower legs back????
  • 1 0
 Interesting of a phillips head for the shock mount.
  • 2 0
 Torx
  • 1 0
 Looks great - looking forward to trying one if I get the chance!
  • 2 3
 If carbon needs protection against impacts, then why protect the carbon downtube with a piece of carbon?
It's not cheap to replace either.
  • 1 0
 There's a linkage under there too.
  • 1 1
 @alexsin: ok, then they should change the caption. But the question remains: why use carbon, a material not known for its impact resistance, to protect against impacts?
  • 2 0
 Just buy a carbon protector for the piece of carbon and you'll be fine.
  • 1 1
 Carbon you can always repair easy...
  • 1 0
 At least it's not a clitoris bike
  • 1 0
 Missing my RMX right about now.
  • 1 0
 Moto industry meet bike industry. Great looking bike!
  • 1 0
 Picking a tear wheel with a pair of chopsticks
  • 1 0
 Coolest looking bike I've ever seen! Beautiful!
  • 1 0
 Are they going to start building bikes for turner
  • 1 0
 I wish somebody would. Gosh bummer.
  • 1 0
 lookin nice and playful, despite its just single pivot,
  • 1 0
 una ancillotti in carbonio
  • 3 2
 Bottle mount?
  • 2 0
 Looks like it has one on the underside of the top tube.
  • 2 1
 Cool, a carbon RM6...?
  • 2 1
 Heart emoji.
  • 2 1
 YT??
  • 1 2
 Chain stay looks like it will need some re-design, but hey that's a hell good looking machine
  • 1 1
 This will be another expensive SINGLE PIVOT!
  • 1 0
 I´m in love!
  • 1 0
 whoa i like
  • 1 1
 The linkage is very similar to a Commencal dh
  • 1 0
 Jamis Diablo
  • 1 0
 handsome!
  • 1 0
 enve sucks
  • 1 1
 Similar bikes built NASA BIKES at the end of the 90's

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