Sine Suspension was penned by Dave Earle, who is one of the minds behind some of the most influential mountain bike suspension designs on the market today. His background includes Engineering Director at Santa Cruz Bicycles, where he pioneered VPP suspension design and it’s continual refinement into what it is today. He’s also had a hand in developing the Yeti Switch Infinity suspension design, as well as a stint as a senior engineer at Specialized.
Sine Suspension takes its name from it’s suspension curve. When graphed, the curve reflects a sine wave. It’s regressive through the first part of the travel to absorb small bumps and provide climbing traction, progressive in the middle of the stroke to avoid wallowing on big hits or in hard, fast corners, then regressive again in the last 15 percent of the stroke to enable the bike to use all 6 inches of its rear-wheel travel and to give it a more playful feel.
While this easily offers strong small bump compliance like other suspension designs, the difference lies in the last part of the travel, which ramps up it’s shock ratio again. Sine is also designed to minimize chainstay growth when the bike is moving, which is intended to help with pedaling efficiency and keep the suspension active under braking. As important as kinematics are to the basics of suspension design, what is most important is how it transfers to the trails. Needless to say, it does a fantastic job.
There’s a certain trope that a good mountain bike “climbs like a mountain goat, and descends like a pro downhiller.” The Alchemy Arktos, which features their exclusive Sine Suspension, fulfills that, and then some. Most trail mountain bikes today do a great job of climbing, but the Arktos is one of the best climbing full suspension mountain bikes on the market. It’s almost like the bike is saying, “I get it, you want to get to the fun part of the ride as much as I would. Let me help you.”
And at the fun part, or the descent? The Sine Suspension offers a grounded, solid ride feel through washboard sections and over awkward rutted lines cutting across the trail. While the bike is designed to be supple over smaller hits, the sine curve of the suspension means the rear shock actually softens up slightly at the end of it’s curve to use it’s full travel. Translation: it’s plush over small stuff, supportive mid-stroke, and plush again through the biggest hits.
There’s plenty of tech that’s gone into Alchemy’s full suspension mountain bikes, and it’s centered around their patented Sine Suspension System. Few suspension designs are as well-rounded as this, and combined with the Alchemy Arktos, makes it one of the best long travel mountain bikes on the market today.