Spotted: Prototype Antidote Darkmatter 29er Downhill Bike

Aug 23, 2021
by James Smurthwaite  

Antidote's Darkmatter is one of the most distinctive and, let's face it, best-looking downhill bikes on the market right now. First revealed in 2016, the bike was an early forerunner in the resurgence in high pivot designs and it's also pretty unique thanks to its carbon fiber reinforced with Kevlar and Vectran construction.

One eagle-eyed Pinkbike reader has sent us over some social media posts of an updated version of the bike that looks as good as ever but it also appears to have undergone some tech updates as well.

The biggest change appears to be the move to 29-inch wheels. The previous Darkmatter frame ran 27.5" wheels only, a wheelsize combination that has lost its place in the world of downhill racing, but this new bike is currently set up to run 29" wheels front and rear. We understand that a mullet version will also be available when the bike launches.

At the heart of the bike the coil-optimized 'Noster Kinetics' high pivot linkage looks to be similar to the current version of the bike to us, but we don't doubt some kinematic tinkering has taken place to bring the bike up to date. The frame around the linkage has changed, however, and a strut now sits above the shock between the down tube and the seat tube to increase the stiffness of the bike. Antidote also said that the frame is an "entirely new construction" that has been designed from scratch and is said to be lighter, stiffer and stronger than the current frame.

The seat brace now also features a cut-out section similar to the Polish brand's Carbonjack enduro bike. This design feature is set to be carried on through the whole Antidote range in the future.

The current Darkmatter frame (left) vs the new prototype (right).

Information on geometry, sizing or pricing are not yet available but we've been told by Antidote that the full details will be available at the end of September or the beginning of October.


130 Comments

  • 106 7
 OMFG that’s f*cking love at first sight!!! I haven’t fell in love so bad since I first saw the Evil Undead!! I mean mY bEAuTiFuL wIfE
  • 7 1
 I can relate. When the Evil uprising came out, it was love at first sight in my case so I got one. Then the same for the Antidote Carbonjack. Now the new Darkmatter. Amazing creations
  • 13 1
 Looks like a lambo
  • 2 0
 Indeed very nice bike - what I would probably see a bit awkward is the shock mounting having the shock expansion tank facing on side
  • 2 0
 All of their bikes look amazing.
  • 1 0
 Legit one of the prettiest bikes out there. Antidote NAILED it, and I bet it rides amazing too
  • 2 1
 Agreed, this is one sweet looking rig, still prefer the Unno Ever
  • 81 7
 Not sure what to comment, but the bike doesn't have water bottle mounts.
  • 22 24
 not sure where everyone falls on this but I think that can be excused for a pure DH bike
  • 12 19
flag SATN-XC (Aug 23, 2021 at 10:51) (Below Threshold)
 @ibishreddin: fair enough...but don't most frames built specifically for duel crown forks not have bottle mounts? I thought that was kind of a thing. I say this as someone who has never owned a DH bike with a DCF
  • 28 3
 @SATN-XC: r/whoosh
  • 10 0
 @SATN-XC: Good lord hahaha you are better than this lol
  • 33 0
 @dwtsk2: ...I walked into it...I'll take the hits, lol
  • 10 1
 @SATN-XC: Honestly i wish there was a dh bike with a bottle mount for long days in the bike park. I wish specialized would throw in a SWAT box and bottle cage on the demo.
  • 3 1
 How well does it climb?
  • 1 0
 @InstantBreakfast: my 2007 Tattoo Demo 7 frame had bottle mounts. Look for those years close that of the Demos. You’ll find bottle mounts.
  • 1 0
 @InstantBreakfast: i did, too. So i used a hip bag in the bike park sometimes. If there's room just mount one of these universal cages that come with straps of some kind.
  • 2 0
 @Muckal: SWAT bibs and a soft flask or two. Don't fill them completely.
  • 1 1
 There is more than enough room for a bottle inside the top part of the front triangle. I think there are those straps with the mounts which you can wrap around a frame tube. You'll probably need a side-loading cage though. Alternatively, Fidlock has these straps with their system, so you can use their own bottle with it.

Whichever option you choose, if you drop your bottle along the ride: stop and retrieve your bottle. Don't litter. It will only hurt the image of the bottle.
  • 3 0
 @InstantBreakfast: I honestly don't understand why DH bikes don't have bottle mounts (where they can be made to fit). FF and armour is pretty hot and sweaty. Lift, shuttle or push up are a great time to take a drink, and having a bottle on the bike is the easiest way to do that. And an inbuilt multi tool would be really useful, as there's a good chance of a tumble and needing to straighten levers, seat post etc. And crashing on the tool in your pocket ain't fun
  • 1 0
 @mountainsofsussex: maybe because there's enough places to get hydrated around lifts and no one wants to drink a beer after shaking it on track
  • 1 0
 @bok-CZ: sure there are for some bikeparks. Me as someone who's always short on time wants to hydrate during the uplift Wink
  • 3 0
 @Muckal: Seriously. I never use a bottle on my enduro rig but bought a fidlock so I can have a bottle for at the park. Definitely like being able to grab a sip of water at the end of every run.
  • 1 0
 @friendlyfoe: how do you find the fidlock? Ever fall out? I've got a bodged on side entry cage on my Mega, and I've lost a couple of bottles when I've dropped the bike with the entry facing down (on grass, tired at the end of a run, never fallen out while crashing). But normal bottles are cheap, so not the end of the world.
  • 1 0
 @mountainsofsussex: I realize my previous comment has been downvoted but losing a plastic bottle isn't just an issue for you only. Plastic in the environment sucks and especially with the typical plastic cycling bottles it is pretty clear (to the general public) that is has been a mountainbiker littering the place. It isn't good for the image of the sport either. But yeah, I'd rather see you lose a stainless steel bottle than a plastic one. But better even, as you aren't in such a rush to drink (compared to say riders who want to be able to grab the bottle while riding), maybe try a strap or something to secure the bottle in the bottle holder. Just like the velcro straps you get with a mini pump (to keep them inside their clamps while riding). You'll likely never lose it if you secure it properly (like clamp it between bottle holder and frame, for instance).

As for Fidlock, I haven't used it for a bottle but I do have a small container for tools and a hip flask when going out for a really short ride (evening tech practice). The container is about the same width as a bottle, secured with Fidlock and indeed I have never lost it. I definitely think it is more secure than the way bottle holders hold these plastic bottles. But yea again, as for your purpose you don't need to be able to grab the bottle in a hurry, a strap may be a more secure and cheaper solution considering you can keep the bottle holder and bottle you already have.
  • 2 0
 @mountainsofsussex: I don't notice it and it hasn't fallen off yet. It has to rotate to come off so highly unlikely.
  • 38 1
 Should come standard with any Lamborghini Aventador.
  • 3 1
 With the batmobile?
  • 34 3
 Be quiet about antidote,you’ll wake waki up.
  • 46 25
 Would be a good thing.
  • 25 32
flag peterfoley5 (Aug 23, 2021 at 11:28) (Below Threshold)
 @squarewheel: it most definitely would not
  • 16 2
 @peterfoley5: PB's too quiet without him
  • 15 2
 I love it, but I don't... it's an absolutely stunning bike! But it almost seems over the top. Might be like the first time I tried Kombucha. First sip "WTF is this shit" second sip" okay, maybe it's not terrible", third sip "I want more!!".
  • 20 4
 That bike is the antidote to the enduro plague
  • 6 0
 It’s refreshing to see Antidote coverage. They arguably make the best carbon bikes in the world. And their designs are truly unique and not cookie cutter. They are expensive, but it is par for the course if you want an exotic creation, much like a Pagani HyperCar. Speaking of which, Antidote works carbon just as masterfully as Pagani. Truly gorgeous MTB machinery.
  • 5 1
 @pinkbike... Can you do a test of a couple of full 27.5 bikes, but just throw on a 29er fork and front wheel and tell us honestly how it handles? So for example the old dark matter frame with a 29er thrown on the front mullet set up vs this current bike.
  • 1 0
 With dual crowns, you have a lot more flexibility to try and keep the axle to crown close to what it would be with a 27.5....
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: Especially with an USD fork like the Dorado.
  • 5 1
 This is a sick looking bike. In the context of DH riding though, I would be a bit worried about how low that bottom link sits. It appears to be far lower than the chainring. That bottom link would need to be pretty bomber otherwise it'll get smashed to smitherines.
  • 3 0
 Suspension kinematics noob here but my guess is it moves up (relative to the bottom bracket) through travel
  • 2 0
 the previous version had the lower link/chainstay metal protector, so I doubt they forgot to put it here.
  • 2 0
 It also rotates upward as the wheel goes into its travel, so at sag/bottom out it'll be more out of the way
  • 1 0
 @aharms: This is true, my question is how much does it swing out of the way once the rider is sagged into the suspension. If it sagged so far as to be higher than the chainring/chain guide then its a good design. If not, it'll need or hopefully it has protection. Nothing should be lower than the chainring/chain guide aside from a wheel/tire.
  • 2 0
 @SuperHighBeam: Yeah, agreed. I'd love to see a movement clip to see it work. That's a good point too, *ahem* Niner *ahem*
  • 2 0
 cannot tell but does the carbon weave still show through the clear coat or does the bike in the spy shot have a black paint ? Loooove the carbon/clear coat look on the 27.5 revealed in 2016. Hopefully they kept that.
  • 4 0
 Yes it does, on all their frame. You choose the design / paint job. Both my frames dark matter and carbon jack 29 are clear coated so you just see the raw carbon weave.
  • 2 0
 Clearly visible and worth it. They weave is symmetrical and join perfectly in the middle halves just like a Pagani.
  • 1 0
 I did not notice this, that makes this bike even cooler.
  • 3 0
 The attention to detail on Antidote bikes is second to none. down to the screws every thing is maxxed out. Cant wait to see one painted up.
  • 1 0
 100%. And they will work with you to apply any custom paint you desire.
  • 2 0
 Sizing was the only thing that held me back from getting the current dark matter. Hopefully this will be a much better fit for me.
  • 3 0
 Does anyone else read these with “antidote quote by Swedish House mafia playing in their head?
  • 2 0
 I love my Carbonjack, would definitely grab one of these if I needed a park bike. The craftsmanship and detail by Antidote is incredible. Amazing machines in person
  • 2 0
 100%
  • 2 0
 only issues i had with the previous was the price and sizing. super small sizing if they got a 470-490 reach model that would be amazing
  • 3 1
 That thing looks mean! That is, until you notice the VW bug style front fender Smile
  • 3 0
 Why is the shock on sideways
  • 4 0
 It's sideways because it's easier to deal with the piggyback to make any shock fit the frame. On the sides you have empty space, top and bottom sot so much space to have the piggyback not hitting the frame
  • 1 0
 It is for ease of control/adjustment access. It’s a trademark of Antidote design even on their Carbonjack.
  • 1 0
 The previous Darkmatter frame ran 27.5" wheels only, a wheelsize that has lost its place in the world of downhill racing - hello to new and improved PB M/F!
  • 3 0
 "Daaaammmmnnn" - Smokey & Craig
  • 1 0
 read my mind! lol
  • 4 4
 Its amazing how similar it looks to the new Norco Range. Its definitely good looking.

(and yes, I know the Darkmatter existed first, just saying the bikes are similar in design/look imo)
  • 3 0
 I’m not sure you’ve ever seen a Norco Range.
  • 1 0
 Hilarious how the DH bikes get 29er front and back, but the damn all-mountain and Enduros are getting the stupid mullet treatment. Sigh.
  • 1 0
 Gorgeous, lovely lines, sharp for sure! Looks like it would last for one high speed cartwheel in the rock gardens in the Northeast.
  • 1 0
 We're going to build a sick looking bike, then fuck it up by putting a mudguard on for the photo shoot.
  • 1 0
 Looks more like the Idler is connected to another part of the rear frame doesnt it?
  • 2 1
 Is this the age of over styled dh bikes - me prefers the more agricultural design
  • 1 1
 All those sharp edges seem like stress risers to me.
  • 4 2
 Def not the best looking DH bike. GT fury is pretty hard to beat IMO
  • 2 0
 Well, it definitely DOESN'T look like a session at least.....
  • 2 1
 By Vectrans golden wings. This bike is a thing of beauty. Praise be to Vectran.

youtu.be/icTrzUuWlHI
  • 2 0
 some concern for the bottom pivot smashing into stuff
  • 2 0
 Still shred on my Lifeline!!!
  • 1 0
 Looks nice but its really a Vouilloz Vprocess x Radical+ mix 20 years later
  • 2 0
 It looks futuristic AF.
  • 3 1
 That bike is gorgeous
  • 1 1
 As a owner of the "old" darkmatter, I'm yet sad to see, that they forgot the goddamn fork bumpers AGAIN. Antidote: WHY?
  • 1 1
 How is it "spotted". Whoever was riding it clearly set the bike up for a picture
  • 1 0
 Downhill bike with a Monty belly plate
  • 3 1
 Absolutely fantastic
  • 1 1
 Saw one in the flesh at Fort bill 4 years ago, jaw dropping beauty. It's the supermodel of downhill bikes.
  • 2 1
 Where's Waki, should have more details I hope
  • 1 0
 Waki won’t know. He doesn’t work for them. He only lives in Poland. The frame is releasing Q4 2021. How do I know? I asked the owners directly.
  • 1 0
 @kroozctrl: he lives in Sweden tho.
  • 1 0
 @kroozctrl: as far as I know he's in touch with them but maybe I'm wrong
  • 1 0
 @bok-CZ: he really isn’t. The info I get will be the same as him. Pretty much as long as there proof you are an original owner of an antidote frame. The guys are willing to tell you more info than the general public.
  • 1 0
 @kroozctrl: aah I got it now
  • 1 0
 all this is necessary for make a simple single pivot bike?
  • 1 0
 Looks like an up dated GT RTS?
  • 1 0
 2/10, no bottle cage and no front derailleur
  • 2 2
 I think I just made a sticky mess in my pants
  • 1 1
 Does it ship with Ohlins? It ought to, eh!
  • 1 1
 Are you sure about the "Spotted" ?
  • 2 2
 Looks like a Demo and Unno have a baby :-)
  • 1 1
 dont you open up that window
  • 1 1
 Is Tony Ellsworth involved in this project? that would be great!!!
  • 4 3
 ew
  • 2 1
 JUST LOOK AT THAT!! WOW
  • 2 1
 Soooo sick looking!!
  • 1 1
 So nice I almost didn't spot the hand holding it up in the first picture
  • 1 3
 Kinda seems like the new jekyll except the shock isn’t covered by n the downtube
  • 1 2
 Where do I put my water bottle?
  • 1 0
 In your camelback essay
  • 1 2
 wiLl thIs onE BreAk deRAilleurZ?
  • 1 0
 I've talked to designer of the first DM27 and he told they took into account the chain growth and they have no issues with that in contrast to other bikes Razz
  • 1 0
 @lachur: mine hasn’t broken. I’ve been in enough crashes. Reece Potter, before he transition off antidote pushed the DM27 the hardest. And his bikes are fine.
  • 1 1
 Wowzas
  • 1 2
 Norco range style
  • 2 0
 Norco Range is antidote style.
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