First Look: Antidote's Darkmatter 29 is Still the Pagani of Mountain Bikes

Jan 6, 2022 at 20:30
by Matt Beer  


Formula 1 and supercar buff Mike Levy called the original Darkmatter, the Pagani of Polish mountain bikes and the revamped version doesn't stray far from that metaphor with its striking looks of raw carbon. Every bit of the production takes place under the watchful eye of Antidote's builders in their factory located in southern Poland, but the exclusivity of these artisan bikes isn't all that makes them standout.

Already ahead of the high pivot trend, Antidote has stuck to their original design with a minor tweak to the axle pivot, and of course updated geometry with larger 29" wheels. There is an MX link available for those that need the extra clearance or wish for quicker handling. The 29" rear wheel has clearance for 190 mm of travel, whereas the 27.5" will produce the standard 200mm of travel, most of which has a rearward axle path.

Darkmatter Details

• Wheel size: 29" (27.5" rear option)
• Rear travel: 190 mm - 29" / 200 mm - 27.5"
• Monocoque Carbon & Vectran Composite
• Noster Kinetics (high pivot swingarm with concentric axle pivot)
• 63º head angle
• Sizes: M, L, XL
• Weight: 3.35 kg (size L with all protectors)
• Price: 9,999 - 10,049 Euro
• Frame kits: 4,999 - 5,999 Euro
antidotebikes.com
Adding to the boutique build, Antidote offers multiple options for build kits with luxurious suspension, premium parts, and custom paint work - be sure to check out the some of the builds in the gallery here. Suspension brands that are experts in coil sprung shocks like EXT and Ohlins are staples in their team and prototype parts specifications, much like their equally stunning Carbonjack enduro bike.

Antidote teased us with this shot of a prototype out in the field back in August when the ski hills still had brown pow on them.





Frame Details



First and foremost, the sight of the 29" wheels bring the revised Darkmatter up to modern downhill racing metrics continuing with Antidote's special blend of monocoque carbon and Vectran composite materials. Although the suspension layout appears to be the same as before, the seatstay pivot has been moved to a concentric location around the axle. Speaking of axles, the hub spacing steps away from the long standing downhill standard and follows suit to enduro bikes at 148 mm.

Other areas that have been tidied up are the idler pulley, which doesn't sit directly on the pivot and now has an integrated guide. The Noster Kinetics kinematics are tuned to yield a high anti-squat starting at 110%, something less common for a DH race bike. Antidote states that the suspension performance remains stellar in any terrain with no compromise, but still offers low pedal kick back.


As mentioned, the 27.5" link will give an extra 10 mm of travel and regardless of the wheel size, but Antidote advises the use of a coil shock due to the built-in ramp to control bottom outs at the end of the specific leverage curve. Like most high pivot designs, the main benefit is the rearward axle path that has a magical ability to erase bumps and the Darkmatter boasts 20 mm of rearward wheel travel with the larger rear wheel and 26 mm with the mullet setup.

Tuning all of those kinematics is simple thanks to the yoke that extends from the link rotating around the bottom bracket and holds a standard 250 x 75 mm length shock. The shock also sits at 90º to the traditional orientation, which is particularly useful for the EXT Arma that requires a hex socket to adjust its compression dials

And how can you talk about a DH race bike without mentioning anti-rise? The Darkmatter's anti-rise also starts above 100%, encouraging the bike to sit equally in the travel - a trait that some criticize for making the suspension feeling harsh, while others argue the balance and geometry are retained and pose a larger benefit.






Geometry



Debuting in 2016, the first version of the Darkmatter was ahead of the game with suspension design, but the geometry unfortunately fell behind. You know how this story plays out; longer, lower, slacker. Just looking at the side profile of this futuristic bike, you can tell the geometry is up to scratch as the reach of the medium sized bike now measures 445 mm, the shortest of the three sizing options. That number jumps up in 30 mm gaps to 505 on the XL and pushes the wheelbase well over 1300 mm - 1321.5, to be exact. Even though the chainstays jostle between 449 and 442 mm depending on what rear wheel you opt for, they remain constant over all sizes. Resting at a common 63º, the head angle is best paired with the shortest fork offset possible, according to Antidote.





Models and Pricing



This frame is less than ordinary and so you can expect more than ordinary pricing - cream of the crop artisan carbon-mache. If you're searching for just a frame kit (frame, seat clamp, rear axle) without any paint work, that'll set you back €4,999. Additionally, there are suspension packages on tap with shocks from EXT and Ohlins for €5,899 and €5,999, respectfully, as well as frame, fork, shock options. Those would included a Fox 40 paired with the EXT Arma V3 for €6,999 and the Swedish gold package from Ohlins with their DH38 M.1 fork and TTX 22 shock at €7,299.

There are complete bike prices listed as well utilizing the same fork and shock combos listed above, but just one finishing kit. Those parts would include SRAM Code RSC brakes and an XO1 DH system, Industry Nine Grade 300 aluminum wheels, a Maxxis Minion DHF and DHR II pair, and Antidote's own 35 mm clamp handlebar.

For those who opt for the 27.5" rear wheel option, the extra link will come at a cost of €199 and custom paint pricing will have to be discussed with Antidote.






180 Comments

  • 248 2
 But how does it compare to the Spur?
  • 267 0
 Probably climbs like a fucking goat on meth.
  • 79 1
 @chillrider199: I eff'n love this website's comment section...
  • 73 0
 Stop giving your goat meth @chillrider199:
  • 18 2
 @Durtwrx: BRRRRAAAAAAAP
  • 20 0
 @chillrider199: climbs like a Henry on mushrooms *
  • 9 0
 @Larkey1: I don't think I want my bike to pass out on the side of a road on climbs thank you very much. That's my job.
  • 5 1
 @Jaib06: Get a e-bike and it might just do that to you.
  • 2 8
flag Don23 (Jan 9, 2022 at 16:17) (Below Threshold)
 @chillrider199: dh bikes don’t need to climb lmao
  • 1 2
 @Don23: agreed. That much antisquat can cause suspension rise when you mash on the pedal down a hill and upset the dynamics. But the figures assume a CoG which may not represent where the rider actually is.
  • 114 3
 So gorgeous. Problem is, its much too nice to go bashing down rocky hillsides on. I just imagine having an anxiety attack every time there's a rock strike or I take a questionable line, which is pretty frequent. Thats the upside of riding an alloy beater lol
  • 32 0
 i second this. same exact issue with unno bikes not that i ever need to worry about owning an unno or antidote lmfao
  • 21 0
 Trek needs to make the Session look like this so we can afford to ride a poor man’s Antidote
  • 4 0
 Ride it like you stole it!
  • 4 0
 Is it porn bike definition? Ho yeah
  • 24 45
flag danstonQ (Jan 7, 2022 at 9:39) (Below Threshold)
 @GBlanco: then we don't like the same kind of porn...
This bike looks like a silicon-made shaved blond bimbo whereas a steel DH bike like Vulcain does for instance looks like a hairy natural steam-punk goddess Smile
  • 1 0
 This bike avoids rock strikes and floats over rock gardens. I think they have an option paint coating that not only makes it faster but also keeps dirt and mud from sticking to it.
  • 1 0
 @danstonQ: ho yes, there are for everyone!.
I imagine those top, middle and down tube give a vertical flex and horizontal stiff. Don't know if it works but that's porn.
  • 11 1
 @powderhoundbrr: if I'm riding one of these, I have stole it.
  • 7 6
 @danstonQ: I'm typically a "To each their own, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, up for anything once, live and let live" kind of guy, but damn something about that comment made me puke in my mouth.
  • 8 0
 @danstonQ: wow raw sexual joke doesn't work here mon gars! I like it (the joke/reference) your are not alone haha, pbiker is a sensible species!
  • 3 0
 the first time I hit a stone with the BB area in my new carbon bike was like OMG I kill the bike...hahahaha
  • 4 0
 @powderhoundbrr: *searches in Alexander Bikes FB
  • 2 0
 Man, if pinkbike would allow me to upload pics as comments...the meltdowns people would have at the sight of my well used antidotes would be otherworldly.
  • 1 0
 same thought I had.
  • 3 0
 Not interested, no water bottle mount.
  • 2 0
 My thoughts exactly
  • 58 0
 Me looking at leverage ratio curves pretending I understand what any of it means : "mmmmm yes, great performance indeed"
  • 5 1
 It’s actually different from their DM27, which is surprising. I liked the DM27 because it was linear in the top and mid stroke, and sharp progressive on the end. So it made it ground huggy while having a sharp ramp for huck to flat. The leverage ratio on this DM29 is more poppy. It doesn’t look like it’ll be as reactive.

Really hard to explain this in words, unless you’ve actually ridden their frames.
  • 12 0
 I started on hardtail leverage ratio curves and built my way up to the advanced stuff. I still do not get it.
  • 13 0
 @kroozctrl: .....................mmm yes yes indeed I see.
  • 1 0
 mmm yes very distinguished
  • 1 0
 @kroozctrl: when I saw the ramp towards FT; that's when I knew they don't know what they're doing
  • 1 1
 @Tambo: it pretty much exactly like their carbonjack. I thought their DM27 was perfect. But kinetically? It’s like they are trying to make a race bike more Free ride like.

Idk I’ll probably still get it, for the collection. I’ll be the weird one that puts a single speed drivetrain.
  • 26 1
 "Embargo 07.01 15:00 (Europe, Warsaw) or 6:00 (USA, NewYork)"

might want to edit that bit out. Full review tomorrow?
  • 21 4
 Isn't this Waki's favorite bike?
  • 8 0
 carbon jack I believe
  • 20 0
 I miss his crackhead reviews on why stuff he’s never even seen or used is trash. Plus he can’t even whip
  • 7 0
 Waki sold that CJ. He doesn’t own a single dark matter. And he won’t be buying this DM for the shear fact that the wheel spacing isn’t 142mm.

Got into a argument about it on IG.
  • 6 3
 @kroozctrl: someone bring back waki, please! That sounds entertaining!
  • 8 0
 @Tambo: he got soft banned because he and 2 other people weren’t being PC friendly. People complained back in 2019.
He’s active on IG, and just as opinionated as ever on that platform.

Waki is basically a true Redditor. You couldn’t tell if he is legit or just trolling or both.
  • 13 5
 @kroozctrl: Both, dudes pretty legit regardless that's why so many wish he was still around. Bunch of soft ass babies on here can't handle strong opinions and crazy but fun ideas. Trolls are internet comedians, not sure why more people can't notice that...have a laugh and enjoy. It's pretty amazing how many intelligent and creative people are on here but get shit on by those who haven't yet understood that words are just words. If your feelings are hurt by words then I'd hate to see how you act when you're actually in pain....Words aren't violence!
  • 4 0
 @MikeGruhler: right on
  • 2 0
 @MikeGruhler: I love shitting on intelligent and creative people for their words which are just words
  • 1 3
 He’s not smart or a talented rider. Just someone who spends more time on Pinkbike than with his kids @browner:
  • 3 1
 @freeridejerk888: I do indeed spend way too long not hanging out with my imaginary kids
  • 14 3
 I agree, this is a great bike but...they need to do something to make the brand more visible. I understand that Antidote is a boutique brand but they need a team to represent them, a factory team. Get this beast on the race track. ASAP! When Cesar Rojo launched UNNO he created a team. Greg Williamson and Taylor Vernon raced the bikes for 2 seasons. I remember seeing the UNNO in Maribor at the world cup raced by Greg I spent 10 minutes just watching that frame which is a great piece of engineering. I'm sure that they spent a lot of time on R&D and they paid attention to all those small details...but this bike is not race proven. If someone from Antidote reads this: get this bike on the world cup scene.
  • 14 0
 This is not going to happen, they probably cannot afford that. Guess they are few guys who make for living creating those frames. Paying a good racer's salary and supporting a WC team would probably increase their operational costs by a factor of 2 ...
  • 18 0
 I suspect they're already selling every bike they can make. Their potential customers know who they are.
  • 23 0
 " make the brand more visible"
Somewhat ironic that the bike is named after something that's never been directly observed.
  • 5 0
 Once you start looking at how the industry works in terms of sponsorship deals and ride costs, you start to better understand why racers really dont give a crap about what bike they ride as long as its given to them for free, and when they have to spend their own money on stuff, they sure as hell aren't going to buy ultra boutique stuff. Neko Mullaly's custom frame is a good example. Many athletes also aren't going to give free credit to brands either, so even if they really liked the Darkmatter enough to podium at a few races, they likely wouldn't talk up the bike until Antidote paid up.
  • 4 0
 @juanny: Darkmatter has been observed! Its observable via its interaction with gravity (gravitational lensing, galactic orbital paths, etc).
  • 2 2
 @gtill9000: you mean dentists?
  • 2 0
 If they did that they would become a corporation that only cared about the bottom line. This company is focused on making a unique and flawless bike for the few that can afford it. Once they start sponsorships, the quantities go up and they will need to go to China and have some sweat shop make the bikes. The quality will suffer.
  • 3 1
 @bhoodlum: Gravity Dentists
  • 4 0
 @hamncheez: "directly" is the operative word here.
  • 3 1
 @HankDamage: How is "gravity" not a direct observation?

Observation of stars in other galaxies is from measuring photon emission, usually photons that first emitted tens of millions of years ago. How is that "direct" while emitted gravity (I realize gravitons are still theoretical) is "indirect"?
  • 3 1
 @hamncheez: gravity is a direct observation but all you have observed is gravity. If you observe something only by its effect on something else then that is an indirect observation. You could however then suggest that we can't observe anything directly.
  • 1 0
 You forgot Reece Potter was their main sponsored rider. They really don’t need a globalized team. They have sponsored riders in Poland. And they do ride World Cup DH.

People know who this brand is, but just like Unno, not many are willing to fork over the money. The USA distributor FluidFocus removes the price tag because Ryan knows people get discouraged when people see a $6000 premium on the frame. As most people are only willing to spend that much on a full kit.
  • 1 0
 @kevinturner12: you only observed it with your eyes--it was not Direct
  • 1 0
 @ceecee: that's what I meant by my last sentence.
  • 1 0
 @kevinturner12: if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes I'd affirm it again. Damn these instruments
  • 15 1
 Surely that axle path will be rewarded with a podium!
  • 50 1
 rearwarded
  • 1 0
 @mammal: precisely
  • 10 1
 Antidote is the Pagani of mtb? Maybe. Unno is a strong contender for that title too, imo. No disrespect to Antidote.
  • 24 1
 I would call Unno the Koenigsegg of bikes,if we're going that route.
  • 8 0
 I’m surprised no one has mentioned how much that first pic looks like a modern incarnation of the legendary Sunn Radical of the 90s. But maybe I’m just old.
  • 1 0
 Exactly my thoughts!
  • 12 6
 If you can’t afford it, just buy a norco range which is basically a mass produced cheap copy. Personally I would like the original not the copy.
  • 7 5
 Dude, I don't know who's downing you. If you can't tell that the range Norco "based" the Range on the Dark Matter you are blind, dumb or fool. Pick at least two.
  • 2 0
 @Chrisbolish: I know, right? Fanbois refuse to accept the truth.
  • 1 0
 @Chrisbolish: you do know why the 'looks like a session' comment exists, right? Other than to annoy the majority of the commenters here, that is.
  • 7 0
 As someone who works for the Company that is the manufacturer of the Vectran fibers, I'd love to have one ...
  • 1 0
 The same Vectran material used in the Continental GP5000 and 4Seasons tires?
  • 5 0
 @kilgore-trout: Yes and the parachute of one of the Mars rovers. Lots of applications, for me its just awesome its in the frame.
  • 6 0
 ....... 6k Euros for 3kg of dark matter is actually a steal .......

www.popsci.com/article/science/inside-hunt-dark-matter
  • 5 0
 Seems like Poland must have a decent riding scene. It'd be good to see more of that, and slightly less of the usual suspects (PNW.....). It's a big world out there!
  • 8 0
 I don’t know how is the scene in Poland but considering there’s so many brands such as NS Bikes, Dartmoor, Octane One, Antidote, Kross, etc that are from Poland, and so many good riders such as the Godzieks, it would be really nice to see something from there, similar to the post about Streetetz in Ukraine and Russia
  • 1 0
 @theoskar57: Correct me if I'm wrong, but NS, Octane One, and Dartmoor are all more or less the same bikes?
  • 4 0
 @Jaib06: Not quite, Octane One and NS Bikes (as well as rondo) are brands of the same mother company 7Anna, Dartmoor however is a brand of a completely another company named Velo. Hence, Dartmoor and NS/O1 are two completely different groups of engineers and designers.
  • 6 0
 I like my bikes like I like my women. Expensive, edgy, and with proper amount of anti-squat....
  • 6 0
 Surely they could make this more expensive... it's like they aren't even trying.
  • 6 0
 Gorgeous, really is.... Will sadly never be able to afford that...
  • 10 2
 I kinda actually don't want one even though I love the looks of the bike. It's a masterpiece of design, but I don't want one because I'd always be stressed out about breaking the delicate carbon structure of the frame. That's why I'll keep riding a Commencal, which I can beat on day in day out.
  • 3 0
 That thing looks like it can crush anything in it's path. Imagine what amazing and light trail/enduro bikes they could design if they worked around a smaller more compact frame and had no consideration for a water bottle. Wink
  • 5 0
 if that's not a pin-up poster bike, i don't know what is.
  • 3 0
 yeah man, exactly, just send me a poster for the shop
  • 8 5
 People lost their shit at the weareone cost and then nothing but praise for a frame starting at $7200 canadian. Strange bunch.
  • 10 24
flag vanillarice19 (Jan 7, 2022 at 7:16) (Below Threshold)
 We are one isn’t that special, it’s just a better looking Giant Trance with Maestro suspension and made in Canada.
  • 27 4
 @vanillarice19: Antidote isn't that special. Its just a better looking Commencal made of carbon.





See how silly that sounds.
  • 8 2
 @freestyIAM: it's actually a a better looking Devinci Wilson.
  • 1 0
 He’s right you know @vanillarice19:
  • 2 0
 So actually diving into the geo - not convinced by a 449mm CS length without ability to reduce with a flip chip. That’s a number that’ll only suit certain tracks, and not one I’d want to be stuck with by default.
  • 2 0
 Yes. A flippable chain stay length is useful. My bike, the Specialized Enduro, has a 442mm chain stay. I think it’s pretty much the perfect compromise, but if I could choose I would like to have a flip chip that could give me 435 or 450mm stays.
  • 2 0
 Add the 'rewarded' axle path onto that, too...
  • 1 0
 @jaame: The 435 to 445 chip on the megatower is awesome. Have played around with it for different tracks / fork heights / bb drop. It’s really useful.
  • 1 0
 yeah this rig came up in a conversation I had in the waiting room of my periodontist.(think expensive dentists).
and yup, he is ordering a darkmatter mullet complete! bummer is that he’s a good deal taller than me…so I won’t get to really check it out properly.
  • 4 0
 I need to change my pants ...
  • 1 0
 Not U , only…
  • 4 0
 How Seasonal! It has an impressive festive bulge.
  • 6 0
 It's a very good looking bike, caused me to also have a bulge too.
  • 4 0
 “Rewarded” axle path!?
  • 2 0
 Rearwarded.
  • 2 0
 Hmmm I can see this bike being rewarding to own if I robbed banks for a living but I think they meant "rearward" axle path in that diagram, not "rewarded."
  • 1 0
 lol, thats a good catch
  • 3 0
 Rearwarded.... It's something else entirely!
  • 3 0
 I know it's out of my budget when the X01 cranks are the bottom component on the bike.
  • 3 0
 that is a good looking bike!!
  • 3 0
 I'll just wait to buy one til it pops up in the pb classifieds.
  • 3 0
 Take my money now!!!! oh wait i dont have any
  • 3 0
 3.35kg!? It MUST be made of dark matter...
  • 1 0
 There's something about beautiful carbon frames that cost more than my car being dragged down a huge granite slab that really gets my heart pumping
  • 1 0
 This is a very giod remaje of the Sunn Chipie bikes from the 90s. Vouilloz and Gracia rod on sonething like this. Minus the giod engeniering. Suspensions are the same
  • 2 0
 Hey, we could fit a water bottle in there !
  • 1 0
 Wòw. I mean dam that thing is way sexy for actuall use. Would make a great coffee table piece though.
  • 2 1
 I think the 2013 Devinci Wilson has finally been surpassed as the most beautiful DH bike of all time. Man this is hot.
  • 2 0
 Im going to get one and hang it on my living room wall....its art.
  • 1 0
 Had a friend do that to a spesh P1. Utter sacrilege!
  • 1 0
 If only i could afford one of these. But then I feel like I would never take any risk with it.
  • 2 0
 Didnt't Lewis Hamilton just sell his pagani because it handled like sh*t
  • 1 0
 Well... Yes. But.... Shush.
  • 1 0
 I think it had more to do with the €8.6million profit... publicly for environmental reasons, which is fair - don't think it'll ever be driven again!
  • 2 1
 @DaveRobinson81: it’s not like he needs the money, but if the face he gains by pretending to care about the environment helps him to make many more hundred millions it’s got to be a good move at any price
  • 1 0
 Looking at it the first thing that came to mind is it looks similar to the Divinci Wilson.
  • 1 0
 Antidote, send a Darkmatter frameset to astonMTB, for extended review, please!
  • 2 0
 You know what, it doesn't look like a Session.
  • 1 0
 "The Pagani of Polish mountain bikes" wow, what a tag. We need a list of all the world countries " Pagani" bikes.
  • 1 0
 chainring guard included... you rather kill the link then a cheap chainring...
  • 1 0
 This prices in the bike world has become ridiculous . Bukes are totally Overpriced
  • 1 0
 I like everything but that lower link. I’d be worried hitting it in slow rough corners.
  • 1 0
 Who else thinks this formula cura brakes look just insanly amazing on the prototype?
  • 1 0
 iso/wtb antidote darkmatter. will trade my soul. HMU
  • 2 0
 The Sh!t
  • 1 0
 Wish they would of never gotten rid of the Lifeline.
  • 1 0
 Time to add to my collection
  • 1 0
 The single speed one is dead sexy.
  • 1 0
 That seat tube design kills it for me
  • 1 0
 OK Mr. Beer when do you get to abuse this thing?
  • 1 0
 If only I had your money!
  • 1 0
 Looks like a.....modern MTB.
  • 1 0
 The kinematics looks unimpressive
  • 1 2
 So much money spent on developing something that doesn't look like will ever be available to consumers? Some rich guys pet project?
  • 1 0
 Now I can learn what a pagani is.
  • 1 0
 That thing is beautiful but way out of my budget
  • 1 0
 Great looking bike. Love the RAW Gray.
  • 1 0
 The suspension works like Sunn or it is a different design?
  • 1 0
 @philthyphill a mia nonn me piascce
  • 1 0
 Meh... I do like the paint though!
  • 1 0
 yep, it's would
  • 7 7
 How do you get 3 polacks off a couch ?
  • 2 4
 How do you get “3 polacks” off the couch?
  • 10 2
 You stand in front of them and insult all Polish people?
  • 3 1
 @mpowers: when you jerk 1 , the other 2 come .
  • 1 0
 @Middnight: haha! Ya got me!
  • 1 0
 @BenPea: a bit overly sensitive?
  • 1 0
 @mpowers: it's just a joke man
  • 1 0
 I like it.
  • 2 3
 Besides being carbon and nice looking, what make this bike pagani of the MTB ?
  • 1 0
 Looks like a Tues
  • 1 1
 I really love Polish people but sorry that is just too ugly.
  • 1 0
 Looks like a great bike!
  • 1 0
 Pretty Intense look...
  • 1 0
 Gorgeous bike Drool
  • 1 0
 Poland stronk!
  • 1 1
 ZZzzzzZzzzZZZzz....
  • 1 1
 [Unzipps fly]
  • 1 1
 Awful sizing.
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