Alchemy Bikes's new carbon Arktos is designed to allow for three travel configurations and two wheel sizes (29” and mixed-wheel 29”/27.5” compatibility) all with one frame. That means you can purchase the Arktos with a 120mm, a 135mm or a 150mm rear end paired with a 130mm, a 150mm or a 170mm fork. The shortest travel version only comes in a 29er option, but you can get a mullet version of the longer travel 135mm or the 150mm bike.
There are five wheel and travel configurations in total and Alchemy Bikes founder, Ryan Cannizzaro said that this bike, which has been in development for over 2 years, "Is truly one of the most versatile mountain bikes ever produced.”
Alchemy Arktos Details
• Wheel size: 29 and mixed-wheel 29/27.5 compatibility
• Travel: 120/130, 135/150, 150/170
• Sine Full-Suspension System
• Carbon frame
• Dual water bottle mount
• 63.5 to 66-degree head tube angle
• 75.5 to 78-degree seat tube angle
• 437mm chainstays
• MSRP: $5,499 - $6,899 USD
To achieve the different travels using the same frame, Alchemy switches the shock and uses a shock extender. The 120mm travel Arktos uses a 210x50 shock with long extender, the 135mm travel Arktos uses a 210x55 shock with long extender, and the 150mm travel uses a 230x60 shock with a short extender. The mixed wheel bikes can only be used in the 135 and 150 rear travel specs with a specific main link.
Each configuration comes in three colour options and three spec choices, with GX Eagle 12 Speed, XT 12 Speed, or X01 Eagle 12 Speed build kits. The Arktos 29 130F/120R comes with a Fox 34 29 Factory Kashima fork and a Fox DPX2 Factory Kashima rear shock, the Arktos 29 170F/150R, comes with a Fox 38 Factory Kashima fork and Fox X2 Factory Kashima rear shock, and the Arktos 29/27.5 150F/135R comes with a Fox 36 29 Factory Kashima fork and a Fox DPX2 Factory Kashima rear shock.
Prices range from $5,499 USD to $6,899 USD. Whether you've got the short travel 29er version with a 66-degree head tube angle and a 78-degree seat tube angle, or the longer travel version with a mullet configuration, 63.5 degree head tube angle and a 75.75 seat tube angle, you'll have ample hydration with dual water-bottle mounts. The frame includes a lifetime warranty.
Alchemy Bikes is taking pre-orders for the Arktos now, with bikes available in May. Alchemy’s Sine Full-Suspension System
The new Arktos features David Earle’s patented dual-linkage suspension platform called “Sine”. The name comes from the shock rate, which resembles a sine wave when graphed. Alchemy says that the design creates suspension that is regressive through the first part of the travel to absorb small bumps and provide climbing traction. It is progressive in the middle to avoid wallowing on big hits or in hard, fast corners, and is regressive again in the last 15 percent of the stroke so the bike can use all of its rear-wheel travel.Geometry
With three different travel options and two different wheel configurations, the Arktos can be everything from a short-travel 29er to an enduro race bike. The short travel 29er version comes with a 66-degree head tube angle and a 78mm seat tube angle, while the longer travel version with a mullet configuration will have a significantly more aggressive 63.5-degree head tube angle and a 75.75 seat tube angle.
Sitting pretty in the middle, I've got the Goldilocks version of the Arktos 150F/135R in a 29er wheel configuration with XT 12 Speed in for testing. It has a 65-degree head tube angle, a 76 degree seat tube angle and a 1216mm wheelbase. Ride Impressions
Between a period of cold weather in Squamish that covered the trails in snow and ice and a trip to the Sunshine Coast to test value bikes, I've only had a couple of rides on the Alchemy Arktos 150F/135R but initial impressions are positive in that the Arktos 150F/135R strikes that middle ground of being an efficient climber while still being fun (and not the scary-fun kind of fun) on the descents. It's not an XC bike and it's not an enduro sled, meaning it should suit a wide range of riders off of the race course.
Climbing, there's little to complain about. The bike holds its line well through rough sections, and while it might not feel like a speedy XC race rocket ship, it's light and efficient enough that I'd feel comfortable taking on all-day missions. On the descents, the bike feels like it has some of the traits of the longer-travel enduro sled and carries speed well, while still being maneuverable and being easy to pop into the air.
I'm looking forward to dialling in the Arktos 150F/135R and spending more time with it in the coming months.