The long travel 29er mountain bike scene is more crowded than ever, with competition from brands both big and small. Alchemy Bicycles, forever the underdog, has taken their carbon expertise in road bikes and applied it to their first-ever full-suspension mountain bike. The Alchemy Arktos 29 SRAM GX Eagle offers a combination of superior build quality and a unique Sine Suspension setup that makes for one of the best complete long travel 29er mountain bikes on the market today.
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 140mm of its rear-wheel travel (compared to the 160mm fork) 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.”
The Alchemy Arktos comes in two versions: the Alchemy Arktos 27.5”, and the Alchemy Arktos 29”. Both offer the same frame design and similar geometry, and similarly predictable handling. Overall geo is contemporary and firmly in the long/low/slack category, but overall stack and reach numbers are fairly standard. However, the Arktos 29” benefits from Super Boost rear spacing, which makes for an even stronger wheel. Other neat features include a threaded bottom bracket and tidy internal cable routing.
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