Being a small, hand crafted, and Direct-to-Consumer bike brand, Alchemy prides themselves in quality manufacturing, customer service, and competitively priced build options. Regardless of the travel option selected, the Arktos is produced with their premium carbon fiber frame. The Arktos 150 comes with 29” wheels, but the rear can be interchanged with a 27.5” for those into mullet mashing. As the name suggests, there is 150mm of rear travel that’s delivered by Alchemy’s Sine suspension platform. This is paired with a stout 170mm up front to take on big hits and bike park plowing. All build options for the 150 Arktos feature full Fox Factory level kit: a 38 Grip2 fork and Float X2 suspension package and a Transfer dropper post, all sporting full Kashima coatings to please the crowds.
The bike has a conversion kit available, where Alchemy offers an additional fork and shock option with a shock linkage swap. The kit would lessen the travel to 135mm Rear / 150mm Front, which would change the bikes intentions considerably. If you are someone who does a few bike trips every year, this could be a cool option given the nature of different terrain across the country and the ability to swap out the travel using the exact same frame.
Looking at the X01 build we have on hand, the SRAM Eagle drivetrain with the 10-52t Cassette allows for an easy gear to spin your way up the hill. Code RSC brakes combined with beefy 203mm front and 180mm rear rotors make for stable and dependable braking when the trail points down. The cockpit includes TAG Metals carbon bars at 800mm wide with a 20mm rise, paired with a TAG Metals Aluminum stem at 45mm long. Looking at the wheels, the Arktos is equipped with the reliable Industry Nine Enduro S Alloy Rims, and class leading Hydra hubs. Maxxis rubber gives the grip on the ground, with an Assegai 2.5 in the front, and DHR 2.4 in the rear to round out this enduro steed. All of this together brings the bike to about 33 lbs on a size Large, with a retail price of $7,999. I hate to say something at 8 grand is affordable, but that’s a real competitive price point when looking at industry standards for the level of build at hand.
Alchemy has kept the options rather simple when it comes to the Arktos. They offer three subdued colorways, three builds, and three sizes for the 150 – the same for the 135mm and 120mm. The builds available are SRAM GX, Shimano XT, and SRAM X01 Eagle with prices from $6,999 to $7,999. The Arktos is available in sizes Medium through to XL to fit riders from 5’5” to 6’5”, and the good news is Alchemy has bikes ready to ship in various size/build/color options! If you are in the market for a new rig this Spring, an Arktos could very well be in your future given the stock availability and incredibly versatile options.
Now let’s talk numbers. The size Large Arktos is in-line with everything we have come to expect from big burly bikes. A downhill-ready 63.25 head tube angle does the job in keeping the front planted in steep terrain and confident at speed, and a 26mm bottom bracket drop gives you an “in the bike” feeling. The reach of 475mm and 628mm stack is on par for the cockpit, combined with a seat tube angle of 76° that is comfortable when climbing up your favorite fire road. The chainstays are 437mm throughout the size range, giving our large test rig a 1250mm wheelbase.
Two notable features for the internet trolls include internally routed cables, and room for TWO water bottles, although one facing out on the lower down tube. The rear hub utilizes the SuperBoost+ 157mm standard to increase spoke bracing angles and tire clearance. There’s a flip chip on the rear end of the shock to tweak the geometry and allow for the MX wheel setup.
Dave Earle, the founder of Alchemy’s Sine Suspension, has a stout history in bicycle kinematics. With history in helping both Santa Cruz’s VPP and Yeti’s Switch Infinity, he has some high profile and proven suspension design on his resume. The Dual Short Link is the heart of the Sine suspension. As the bike moves through its travel, the leverage rate resembles a Sine wave. Not familiar with a sine wave chart? Think of what an elevation chart would look like after a few enduro laps climbing and descending, same idea for a sine wave. Kind of ironic isn’t it? At the start of the travel and into the initial sag, the suspension regresses to give small bump compliance. Moving through the middle of the stroke the suspension moves into a progressive rate which translates to a lively and stable ride for the most used portion of the travel. As you enter the final 15-20% of the travel, the suspension becomes regressive again to allow full use of the rear wheel travel and counter ramp up in the air shock. This design is to fit air shocks only and won’t be applicable for those looking to run a coil, sorry bro. Let’s dive in to how that translates on the dirt.