Alchemy Arktos 140 Cornering



Words by Nic Hall | Photos by Max Rhulen

Founded in 2008, Alchemy bikes builds road, gravel, and mountain bikes out of their Colorado direct-to-consumer shop. They are bending the traditional bike shop rules to deliver a boutique product at reasonable prices, with a lifetime warranty and no questions asked 30-day refund policy. If you ever find yourself in Golden, CO, stop by their flagship store to have a coffee with the guys that design, build, and test the bikes.

Alchemy sent us their updated Arktos 140 bike to put through the paces here in Bend for the last several weeks. As the snow has melted from our record setting winter, we have been able to ride a variety of terrain from the classic flowing low elevation Bend trails to wet and rooty steep terrain in the surrounding area. Keep on reading to find out how we got on.


• 140mm Sine Wave suspension
• HTA 64.75
• STA 76
• REACH 483mm

Price: $5999 (GX) – $6999 (X01)


One of the most interesting things on the Arktos 140 is the proprietary Sine suspension which instantly made us think of Yeti’s Switch Infinity. But after looking at the details, this is a completely different beast. Alchemy’s Sine system uses two links which work together to create a regressive portion in the “negative travel” section going up to the sag point, then the bottom link takes over to create a very progressive curve up to 85% of the travel, reserving the last 15% for another regressive pattern to counteract a harsh bottom at the end of the stroke when using an air shock. This creates a unique feeling to the suspension with what seems like bottomless travel, but a very supportive ride that wants to pop off every natural trail bump.

Alchemy Arktos Review

Alchemy included a flip chip option to bring the head and seat tube angle up by ¾ of a degree, which we did not feel the need to change, riding in the low setting during our test. But if you prefer to run a 27.5” wheel out back, that flip chip allows you to keep the suspension numbers roughly the same as the 29” version in the low mode.

Where the Arktos really starts to get unique is the adjustable travel, achieved by swapping out the linkage and fork. The same frame can be set up as a 125mm rear travel downcountry machine all the way up to 150mm enduro sled. We like the middle ground 140mm bike set up with a Fox 36, that way you can grab a linkage, shock, and damper rod for whatever terrain you will be riding and change your bike accordingly. This effectively turns your single frame into three potential different bikes with similar suspension characteristics and the same fit, that you won’t have to adjust to every time you ride.

Alchemy has developed their carbon layup for the past decade, winning 5 NAHB awards while testing their product in the rough and rocky Colorado terrain. With integrated downtube and chainstay protection it would be hard to damage this frame but if you do the Arktos has a lifetime warranty.

The Arktos 140 brings modern geometry to the do-it-all trail category. A head tube angle of 65 degrees, seat tube of 76 degrees and a reach of 483mm is about the perfect setup in my opinion for a size large all mountain machine. It allows for a comfortable seated pedaling position, maintains the snappy feeling that a trail bike needs but keeps plenty in reserve for the steeps. The rear end is 437mm, the bottom bracket sits 32mm below the axles, and the wheelbase totals 1242mm.

Alchemy Arktos 140 Action


Right out of the box, the Arktos 140 was easy to set up and get rolling. Starting with a rear sag of 25% and my standard shock settings, I felt instantly comfortable in nearly all terrain. Small things like a pre-routed dropper and tubeless tires really go a long way in getting a bike from the box to the trail in minimal time. All you would need to add is a frame protector kit if that is your jam.

Fit and finish is outstanding, as you would expect from a boutique bike brand. The paint finish is tough and hasn’t scratched easily. The carbon layup is perfectly finished, with no burrs or odd sized routing holes. Just enough frame protection has been incorporated to know you are safe charging a shale pile, but not so much you are paying a huge weight penalty.

Almost every ride starts with a decent climb, so it was a relief to find that the Alchemy Arktos 140 does a superb job of putting power down. The unique regressive initial travel is more than just an engineering wonder, it aids in the free movement of the negative travel to push into the trail on the steepest and roughest of climbs. When standing up on the pedals, the bike stiffens up and really shines. I never felt the need to use the climb switch on the shock as pedal bob is nearly zero and the traction is so good as it is, but on long road climbs it may preserve your legs just a bit. It’s nice to have the option.

Alchemy Arktos 140 Action

On the way down, the Arktos 140 is the summary of all the small details. A very laterally stiff frame coupled with the above mentioned geometry allows for laser sharp handling. When that is paired with the progressive mid stroke, every double is just a pop away and every corner is an opportunity to wheelie out of. Even the bigger hits or casing a double don’t phase the Arktos like you would expect on a 140mm bike, feeling like it packs an extra little safety net of travel for the hardest hits. Cornering is an absolute dream – the Arktos will go as low as you dare in any berm with plenty of pop at the end in case you might want to jump into the next one. Long sustained high frequency hits load the suspension to just the right spot to be supportive but not pack out. Cool and composed with the ability to pop over anything are the defining aspects of the Arktos.

While you might be tempted to grab the longer shock and linkage, the Arktos 140 is so capable, it might be worth finding the limit of it before spending your hard earned cash. The Arktos gave back everything we put into it. That being said, the ideal rider may not be someone who wants a soft riding bump eating machine that holds any line. An active rider that is looking to place the bike on specific lines, pop over a root section, or keep up race pace will be rewarded time and time again. We will be getting the longer linkage to test in the near future and look forward to how that will change the bike. But for now, I’m so convinced by its performance, I may just end up selling my current rig to allow for the Arktos 140 to take its place as my personal bike.

The Wolf’s Last Word

It is hard to find a bike that makes you want to be a better rider in every aspect, and that is exactly what the Arktos 140 does. With the added ability to bring the travel up or down to your local terrain, this may be the one bike to rule every trail. Capable, efficient and fun both up and down, the Arktos is a killer ride. The fact I’m considering buying it should tell you how good this thing is.

Price: $6,499 as tested
Weight: 30.42 lbs


Frame: Alchemy Premium Carbon; 140mm
Fork: Fox 38 29 Factory Kashima 150mm Boost 15mm Grip 2
Shock: Fox DPX2 Factory Kashima EVOL LV 3-Position 210x55mm

Brakes: Shimano XT M8120 4 piston, 180mmm Rotors
Handlebar: TAG Metals T1 Carbon 35mm| 800mm| 20mm Rise
Stem: TAG Metals T1 CNC Aluminum 35mm | 45mm Length
Headset: Cane Creek 40-Series IS42/IS52
Seatpost: Fox Factory Transfer 175mm
Saddle: Selle Italia X-Base FeC Alloy

Hubs/Rims: Industry Nine 29 Enduro-S Hydra 30.5mm, 110/148
Front Tire: Maxxis Assegai 29×2.5 DC EXO TR 29×2.5
Rear Tire: Maxxis Minion DHR DC EXO TR 29×2.4

Bottom Bracket: Shimano XT BSA threaded
Cassette: Shimano XT M8100 12 speed 10-51T
Cranks: Shimano XT M8100 170mm 32T
Shifter: Shimano XT M8100 12 speed
Derailleur: Shimano M8100 12 speed

Alchemy Arktos 140 Review

We Dig

Playful, poppy, stiff
Very well tuned suspension curve
Boutique build quality at normal prices
Lifetime warranty

We Don’t

Takes an aggressive rider to get the most out of it


Want to win some free schwag? Leave a comment and vote up the most thoughtful comments and each month we’ll pick a winner. The person with the smartest and most helpful replies will earn some sweet new gear. Join the Pack and get the latest news and read the latest reviews on the top mountain and electric mountain bikes.