First Look: The 2024 Arc8 Extra Has Suspension Rails

Jan 30, 2024 at 6:49
by Seb Stott  
photo

Arc8 is a relatively obscure Swiss bike brand. The Extra is their long-travel 29er, but they don't push it as an enduro race bike, but rather "a bike that is enjoyable on home trails and also the optimal companion on challenging routes." They say that the new version is "racier" than the previous Extra, however, which we reviewed here.

It now sports 165 mm of rear travel, the option to run a 27.5" back wheel and downtube storage. But the big story is the use of a sliding shock mount and a two-pivot suspension system, which Arc8 debuted with the Essential, their XC& Trail bike. They say it makes even more sense in a long-travel application.
Arc8 Extra Details

• 165 mm travel rear, 160-170 mm front
• Mullet or 29" wheels
•Slider system suspension
• Storage box
• Non-headset cable routing
• Sizes: S,M,L / 440, 470, 500 mm reach
• 2,225 g claimed frame weight (without shock)
• Price: 5,999 € - 8,999 €
arc8bicycles.com



photo

Frame Details

In place of an upper rocker link with two pivots, Arc8’s solution involves a pivot connecting the seatstay to a carriage that slides along a pair of rails parallel to the top tube and the shock. This is teamed with a flex pivot at the seatstay that takes the place of a rear pivot. The linear rail taking the place of a link means the shock does not rotate around its eyelets as the suspension compresses. The main advantage, according to Arc8, is that they can achieve a gradually changing leverage curve typically seen with long rocker links while keeping things compact, stiff and lightweight like a short rocker link.

The frame is available in carbon only and has an impressive claimed weight of 2,225 grams including hardware but excluding the shock. Arc8 have moved away from headset cable routing as seen on the first Extra in favour of traditional cable ports, which no doubt make the frame harder to make. They’ve also added a storage compartment in the downtube.

photo
photo

photo
photo

There’s a threaded BB, UDH and substantial frame protection. Another interesting feature is the flip chip that moves the main pivot forwards or backwards. This adjusts the bottom bracket drop to tweak the geometry or to (partially) compensate for switching 29” for a 27.5” wheel, while simultaneously shortening the chainstay length with the latter.



photo

Suspension

The Extra 2.0 has a continuously progressive leverage curve, with none of the ups and downs of the previous bike’s kinematic. There’s a 20% drop in leverage over the shock from 0 to 100% travel. That makes it moderately progressive, but not especially so. However, most of that change happens after sag, which means it should resist bottom-outs well and play nicely with coil shocks.

photo
photo

According to Arc8, the anti-squat remains just above 100% throughout the sag window (30-35%).



photo
Geometry numbers with a 170 mm fork.

Geometry

The new Extra is significantly longer, lower and slacker than its predecessor, but still isn’t outlandish by current standards. The three-size range covers 440 to 500 mm reach, and this is combined with generous stack height in the large size, which will make it feel bigger relative to the reach. The chainstay length grows by 12 mm when going from the 27.5” to the 29” setting. It also changes by 3 mm per size or 6 mm across the size range, which is probably too small a difference to notice. But if you combine the wheel size and frame size effects, there could be up to 18 mm between the shortest and longest combination, which is significant.

The BB drop in the above chart is measured relative to the front wheel with a 170 mm fork. According to my calculations, that corresponds to a BB height of around 322 mm, whether in the high setting with a 27.5" wheel or low with a 29" rear wheel.



photo
Extra Coil SLX Performance Lanuch Editon - 5,999 €

photo
Extra Coil XT Factory - 7,499 €

photo
Extra Air GX AXS Factory - 7,699 €

Specs & price

There are two main flavours of Extra: coil or air. Aside from the obvious difference, the air-sprung builds use a 160 mm fork (instead of 170 mm) and 36 mm stanchions instead of 38 mm. All use the same carbon fibre frame. There are three air-sprung build kits, ranging from 6,499 € to 8,999 €, plus two coil-sprung options, costing 5,999 € or 7,499 €. Framesets start from 3,399 €.
photo
Full price list



photo


Author Info:
seb-stott avatar

Member since Dec 29, 2014
298 articles

125 Comments
  • 297 4
 Honestly, that's one of the best looking frames I've seen in a while. Something about the (relatively) thin tubes, (mostly) straight lines, and way the piggyback nestles into the area ahead of the rail just works. Will keep an eye out for the reviews.
  • 48 3
 I'm surprised a bike with a kinked top tube can look so good.
  • 98 3
 * Ibis frantically taking notes *
  • 2 2
 I agree
  • 40 3
 Bet it rides like it’s on Rails
  • 14 0
 That red one is just a beauty
  • 13 12
 Yeah- why does the Ripmo look so ugly while it has nearly the same features?!
  • 15 1
 @nickmorales: seems like every bike has a straight top tube these days, it's gotten boring looking in my eyes. Now I'm back to liking a bit of kink lol.
  • 14 0
 @nickmorales: i think kinks look better next to the seat tube than the head tube (hunchback vibes)
  • 7 0
 I normally am not a fan of kinked top tubes, but this one subtle, functional to work with the suspension design, and the way the shock tucks in is really clean looking... Still looks fast.. That Extra Air GX build... swoon
  • 4 0
 I think it's because the downtube is relatively straight and not a hockey stick.
  • 2 0
 @swellhunter: I was scared to say anything, as it has a rail firstly, and not electric gears, but that colour with the kashima just pops for me
  • 1 0
 @nickmorales: don't kink shame lol
  • 2 0
 @DylanH93: Don't worry, we're not into Kink Shaming here...
  • 1 0
 Hmm look at it from a different angle with a larger frame and it looks a bit different.
  • 1 0
 Thin tubes is part of the reason I still have my Santa Cruz v3 5010 instead of getting a new v5. IMO it just looks better. Really like the design of this bike.
  • 169 5
 I've seen a suspension slider idea before, Yeti can't think where....
  • 21 9
 At least they improved on it and made it easily accessible. Instead of pulling a Yeti and hiding important grease ports that can only be accessed by disassembling the frame…
  • 15 1
 @Keegansamonster: I'm not sure he's referring to what you think he is referring to.

www.pinkbike.com/news/Yeti-303R-Dh-review-2009.html
  • 9 2
 @Keegansamonster: It's one bolt out, add grease, and one bolt back in. Considering how rarely you have to grease the sliders, it's really not that big a deal.
  • 7 1
 No, not Yeti. You are definitely to young. Nicolai Trombone, aka Mongoose Amplifier. A 1996 DH World Champ bike…
  • 1 8
flag the-burd (Feb 3, 2024 at 10:58) (Below Threshold)
 They likely drew inspiration from the Trek Supercaliber.
  • 1 0
 This is a totally different application though. The Arc needs the slider because of the flex stays. Without some way to provide lateral guidance, the rear end would be able to twist left and right, because it doesn't have a conventional pivot that constrains it. Yeti has the slider because it allows the bottom pivot point to move, basically doing a similar job as the lower link on a DW-link bike
  • 124 0
 What a time to be alive when a boutique Swiss (!) manufacturer produces better priced bikes than Scott.
  • 93 1
 Better looking as well.

I love that "non-headset cable routing" is listed as a feature. Smile
  • 5 0
 …yes - thats exactely the same question that I am asking myself. How ist this possible, with all the scaling effects, that these giants have?
  • 8 0
 @KJP1230:
"better looking" is pretty low hanging fruit in this case though, really.
  • 3 0
 @KJP1230: Yeah, Arc-8 made that error and to their credit learnt from their mistake
  • 10 1
 Just hope that the BB on this one can actually remain attached to the bike...
  • 3 0
 @VerticalDynamics: because the cost to make a bicycle is a very small portion of the COGS, next to the running costs of a behemoth company like Scott, whilst leaving enough margin for their distribution network.
  • 1 0
 @KJP1230: Other than the lack of a decent riser bar, I'd love to give that Scott a go.
  • 1 0
 Its a swiss brand not manufacturer. But I guess both Scott and ARC are made in Taiwan. Scott having much larger overheads
  • 1 0
 Both Scott and Arc8 have offices in Switzerland, but the bikes are not made in Switzerland.
  • 2 0
 @nowherenear: fair. And as @professed said, also not a manufacturer. Mea culpa.
Still, if I could choose which bike I would thro 8000€ at, I wouldn't hesitate to go to the less established, smaller brand...
  • 1 0
 @Naero: there are plus and minuses for big brand vs small boutique.
The big brands can have a lot of R&D power, with very expensive stuff available like heavy duty computer simulations, labs and wintunnels available. Generally its also fair to assume that they'll be around for longer and ensure product support.
One thing that small brands surely seem to do better is how approachable and supportive they are to the consumers.
  • 53 0
 A brand named ARC pitching the advantages of going linear.
  • 2 0
 Good one haha
  • 1 2
 Sorry to spoil the dadjoke, but you forgot the last part of the brandname. Then it’s pronounced „Arcade“.
  • 3 0
 @janhappy: Arcade noun: a series of arches supporting a wall, or set along it
  • 29 0
 Went from headset routing to cable ports, threaded BB, solid frame protection, Plenty of storage and space for a water bottle, unique suspension design that actually looks somewhat easy to maintain, and it looks dope. Thats a lot of things checked on my list of asks.
  • 5 0
 The suspension looks fantastic. Consistent progressive ratio, low leverage ratio, only one set of bearings, almost no rotation at the shock eyelets or upper seatstay bushings, nothing hard to maintain about the proprietary sliders
  • 2 1
 The only concern I would have with that rail is that the part that slides on it is relatively short so, with a bit of mud/grit, might apply a bit of torsion to it? Would that accelerate wear, etc.?
I presume it's not lubricated in any way as that would increase the amount of crap sticking to it, and there doesn't seem to be (fork style) wiper seals on it?
(I assume tolerances are good to prevent this too a large degree...)
Just my thoughts if anyone can offer insight really...
  • 4 0
 @slimboyjim: The mud here in the Basel area is way worse than anything I experienced living in the UK; hopefully the R&D effort involved lots of winter riding
  • 4 0
 @slimboyjim: It looks like a Norglide bearing. They're meant to have a very tight fit between the (bearing) sleeve and stanchion, measured in hundredths of a millimetre, and have a 'self lubricating' PTFE layer. If you look closely, it does appear to have wiper sleeves on both ends.
  • 2 0
 @cmrn: Just a quick thanks for the explanation - that makes a lot of sense!
  • 2 0
 @slimboyjim: they have used this system for years. I know of two of their XC bikes being raced by hard chargers with zero issues to date
  • 24 2
 Isn’t Arc8 the brand that had a whole bb come out durning the start of Lenzerheide?
  • 16 1
 Dropper BBs haven't caught on yet, but you just wait!

Anyways, oof: www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUUZY2PuLmg
  • 4 2
 The bottom bracket's come off the freem!
  • 5 1
 Their simulation package clearly wasn't capable of computing the power of that racer's legs!
  • 18 1
 If i were to buy something like this, I'd be buying an extra set of all of the proprietary hardware to make that slider work.
  • 14 2
 I love how Non-headset cable routing is a feature now.
  • 11 0
 Those lines are absolutely stunning.
  • 11 0
 Is this officially the longest-travel bike with Flex stays?
  • 1 1
 Viral's Optimist 160 has a titanium flex stay, but it's not in production yet save for a prototype or two.
  • 7 0
 Last Tarvo Mullet has 170mm flex stays
  • 8 1
 Merida One Sixty has also flex stays
  • 4 0
 @enjoyriding: And the merida One-Sixty FR has 171mm of rear travel in the 27.5 setting, so I guess it wins by a singular degree.
  • 2 0
 Pivot proto dh bike has flex stays
  • 9 1
 Take this, Scott! That's what we want when we are talking about a carbon enduro bike! No useless fuzz, clean, normal head set. Looks even cleaner than the new Ransom and not like a caricature of a MTB.
  • 5 1
 yea, but 6k for marzo and slx stuff is pretty steep. nothing wrong with those product, but that price is a joke.
  • 1 0
 @moferenc: better than nx/sx and it's a real "boutique" brand not some mass made you see everywhere
  • 9 0
 That is one looonnnnng shock
  • 4 0
 cushn fo da pushn
  • 6 0
 long as a monday
  • 7 0
 That's a sweet lookin' machine right there. Kudos.
  • 4 0
 That is an extremely clean looking design. Weight should be respectable and prices are on point with decent kit - especially for a boutique manufacturer. Keep it up! This is the way!
  • 1 0
 Clean looking yes, but I want to see the slider system after a muddy bike park day.
  • 4 0
 @Snowytrail: will probably look just the same as any other sliding surface on your mtb: fork stanchions, shock body, dropper post
  • 3 0
 "a bike that is enjoyable on home trails and also the optimal companion on challenging routes."

As someone who lives in the same city as Arc-8; this sounds like it might be my ideal bike Smile
  • 3 0
 Sincere question to anyone who might know:
Curious if that slider will allow for good movement under braking? (Where I ride flex stays prove to be harsh under braking compared to something with a rear pivot)
  • 1 1
 Its going to brake like any single pivot bike. Not like a Horst link bike if thats what you're talking about?
  • 1 0
 Flex stays are usually single pivots with the flex pivot just changing the way the shock moves and not the path of the wheel.like any single pivot, it is probably slightly more skittish on the brakes due to some amount squat when on the brakes. I would say this isn't too much of an issue so long as the shock is firm or progressive enough for larger hits - useable travel goes down somewhat on single pivots on the brakes, the wheel return is heavily damped by the brakes, and it can pack down further with each successive impact when on the brakes. Jumps and stuff need former settings anyway, so if the setup is well rounded, its not too much of an issue. I actually like the feel in switchbacks, as it fish tails a bit and does not require as much body language.
  • 5 0
 Boulder loamster-trustafarian Yeti eat your heart out.
  • 3 0
 Looks like long reach is in for 2024. 500 on the large and 500+ on the large chilcotin.
I like the higher stack heights though.
  • 2 0
 Beautiful bike, though I don't know of anyone who ever wanted more stanchion surfaces to worry about scratching. I wonder how fussy the pressumably linear bearings are about the surface, compared to a sealed rational unit
  • 5 3
 That's gonna be a biotch to keep the mud and grit from ruining the finish on those slider rails......good thing about bearings is they're readily available, cheap, and easy to replace.....not sure I'm on board with this
  • 5 1
 You must be riding a hardtail with a rigid fork
  • 1 0
 @silvanoe: Are you riding a suspension fork that doesn't have seals that require periodic replacement? Or are those seals completely maintenance free on your fork?
  • 2 0
 @rip8569: I do, and I replace my seals but have never replaced my bushings. The gliders on those rails have bushings only, if I'm not mistaken.
  • 2 0
 @silvanoe: It has bushings and seals similar to a fork i'd assume from looking at the pictures. The website says it also has a grease port for slickhoney. Which means all you have to do is grease the port and it will push everything out and you'll have fresh grease. Pretty cool idea and low maintenance.
  • 4 0
 The most upvoted comment being about the looks of this bike says much about the pinkbike user base.
  • 1 0
 @ReformedRoadie: To be fair, the first contact one has with a product is a visual one. Before you take a deeper dive looks form your first impression.
  • 4 0
 Curse of the ghost of Mike Levy go! photo is private>
  • 4 1
 after seeing the xc version on tv at wc with broken out bb, i'm not really a fan anymore
  • 2 1
 "is teamed with a flex pivot at the seatstay that takes the place of a rear pivot"

A pivot that takes the place of a pivot? Genius! Why isn't anyone else replacing pivots with pivots?
  • 3 2
 I think this bike looks great. But I can’t help but think that something that slides on rails isn’t ideal for MTB, especially in countries that are wet and filthy (Canada, UK, etc).
  • 1 0
 Super clean looking bike. Superlight frame. The question is if the superlight frame can hold up to the beatdown of freeriding. Lots of guys will send it big with 165mm rear travel and a coil.
  • 1 0
 It would be nice to see a pivot on the sliding rail - although it looks small at zero sag, with the design, the slider does see a bending moment...
  • 1 0
 Damm that’s a good looking F/S, geo looks spot on too.. this has to be the first fS in a long time I actually like and wanna ride
  • 1 0
 Two exposed coated rails seems like something to scratch/bend when crashing. It would be a bummer to finish an enduro with no rear suspension, unless you carried a spare.
  • 2 0
 "Non-headset cable routing" is now a feature. That's awesome!
  • 3 0
 great looking bike!
  • 2 0
 Should help for railing turns.
  • 3 0
 Sweet looking machines!
  • 1 0
 Look like Cervelo MTB and Yeti merged together...not bad looking at all...but shiny stays and long travel...
  • 1 0
 Makes me want to grab the rear wheel and see how much I can flex it from side to side.
  • 2 0
 That is one sexy looking thing
  • 2 0
 Won't the slidey thing make my legs/pants greasy?
  • 1 0
 Another press release passed as "first look". Seb Stott actually never ever saw the bike in person!
  • 1 0
 I like how it looks like you could probably fit a triangle bladder in the lower front triangle area.
  • 1 0
 Sounds great..... I'd love to see it.
  • 1 0
 What’s with all the “photo is private”, lately?
  • 2 0
 switch-top-finity
  • 1 0
 Clean and simple looks never go out of style.
  • 1 0
 isn't that the truth -everything looks just so functional
  • 1 0
 Looks good, but too fragile. I have learned my lesson.
  • 2 0
 They railed it!
  • 1 0
 a bike with the actual stack that humans need
  • 1 0
 yeti 303 had a honkin big rail system
  • 1 0
 Long travel enduro bike with flex stays? Nah
  • 1 0
 I'll admit, this thing's a looker.
  • 2 1
 Does this feature the detachable BB like the XC bike?
  • 4 4
 let's hope the bb is bonded properly this time
  • 1 0
 I be strokin
  • 2 0
 Like Clarence Carter.
  • 1 0
 High stack is he way
  • 1 0
 looks like an ibis
  • 1 0
 303.
  • 1 0
 Looks fantastic
Below threshold threads are hidden







Copyright © 2000 - 2024. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.031122
Mobile Version of Website