Any carbon frame not constructed somewhere in Asia is a rarity. A carbon frame that's designed, tested and built in the UK, with a high pivot-point and idler pulley that also looks like a spaceship is like a finding hen's teeth in a needlestack. This Arbr Saker has been poking up its head here and there for a couple of years, but the wait is finally over and you can place an order today. Its high price tag puts it directly in Robot Bike Co's, Unno Bikes' and Antidote's firing line. A contemporary gun slinging competition of Koenigsegg-esque exclusiveness. We'll hopefully have one between our legs to put through its paces soon. Until then, here's the low down from Arbr. - Paul Aston
UK company Arbr Limited, today officially launches and presents its first product, the Arbr Saker. Designed and developed over the last three years with a focus to define and integrate critical features, to maximize descending performance while maintaining pedal efficiency for sprints and ascents. A high-performance benchmark to exceed customer expectations and push forward the boundaries of what is achievable with a 160mm bike.
Manufactured from carbon fiber and aerospace core materials the Saker is handcrafted in the UK, with individual frames laminated by the same operator from start to finish. The entire process has been developed in-house, engineered for performance by a team with over 25 years of combined experience in Formula 1.
The result is a unique bicycle which will be made to order in limited volumes.
Carbon fiber monocoque construction, 160mm travel, 27.5 wheels
Arbr was founded in 2013 by Robert Barr, who is an engineer and designer with a background that covers over ten years of suspension design in Formula 1, as well as projects for MotoGP and World Superbikes. A combination of broad professional experience and a passion for cycling has given Rob the inspiration and knowledge to create such a unique bicycle, transforming his initial concept into reality.
To realize the vision a collaborative team was assembled, fusing expertise from friends and industry leading contacts. Each of them drawn to the project through a lifelong passion for cycling, along with the opportunity to develop and launch a next generation product from scratch. The journey has been a chance to think differently and collaborate with a diverse group, that collectively hold similar ideals and vision.
We have taken our time going to market. That is what it takes when you are as obsessive about details as we are. Our vision is clearly defined – producing the ultimate bike in its class. No compromises.
The design started with no constraints and a desire to achieve the following attributes:
• A rearward rear axle path to absorb impacts from rough terrain and increase ability to carry speed
• 100% anti squat characteristic for pedal efficiency
• Removal of chain tension feedback and interference
• Progressive rear shock rate, to maximize grip and maintain composure through big hits
• Stable geometry and balanced weight distribution
• Optimized lateral and torsional chassis stiffness
The Saker suspension design is defined by the term ‘HIPR’ which refers to the combination of design elements working in unison: high single pivot, idler, progressive rate rocker mechanism. It’s a development that dramatically improves performance and is instantly recognizable on the trail.
The rear kinematics were designed to give a progressive shock rate, keeping the bike supple to find grip early in the stroke. Before ramping up to provide mid-travel support and bottom out resistance against large impacts.
7075 T6 components, titanium shafts for pivots and shock mounting, Boost 148 rear axle.
Handcrafted in the UK, each frame laminated by the same operator.
Metallic interfaces for all bearings, highly toleranced inserts for press fit BB92. Enduro bearings used throughout.
Each frame, logo, and highlight are painted by hand, maintaining the personally handcrafted approach to the way our bikes are made. Applying paint in this way is a painstaking process that delivers a stunning finish. The talents of those in the paint booths also adds flexibility for custom schemes befitting a bike of this level of craftsmanship.
Combined with the Saker’s suspension characteristics and construction, our aim was to produce a responsive bike with huge stability. The final geometry is race inspired and modern with a long front center, sensibly low bottom bracket and a slack head angle. It has been set to cope with high-speed technical descents on steep terrain while providing an efficient seated position for climbing.
Chainstay and front center lengths have been set to achieve a series of weight distribution targets. Across a variety of terrain and gradients, this creates a bike in which the rider feels centered and balanced, with no extreme shifts of body position needed to achieve traction and grip through the tires.
Each design feature has been combined and developed to work in harmony. The Saker delivers on descents and can be ridden all day. It delivers performance you can feel.
For more information about Arbr, the bikes and the team behind them please explore our website at www.arbr.bike
Price: £4,390 inc. VAT (approx $5490 USD)
, frame with Fox Float X and custom color scheme with hand painted decals. Custom builds are also available.
Availability: First deliveries in March 2017. Each frame is made to order; please contact us through the website.
After purchase, we will support with our component upgrade, service, and maintenance program. These versatile packages can provide rolling component updates with pricing benefits for original owners. If you want the latest components or if components are getting worn we can swap them out with new items. If you want a change of color we can do that too.