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” The Sine suspension works as billed, though, making for much more efficient pedaling than expected from a 150mm-travel bike. The suspension is so good, in fact, that it climbs at its best with the Fox Float X shock wide open, a boon since you never really need to toggle positions. And what feels slightly ungainly in flat terrain turns immediately confident and locked-in when the trails get steep. This bike is made to carve up steep, tight, chunky, brutal terrain, and so far it’s diced through everything I’ve put it on with the ease of a well-honed sushi knife.”
“After swinging a leg over the top tube, the first thing I noticed about the Arktos was its choppered out front end. Although the head tube angle is right in the sweet spot for modern trail bikes at 66 degrees, the short 55mm stem and wide bars made the Arktos feel a little slow-witted for cornering these more cross-country oriented trails. However, once we found some steeper trails with a couple short rowdy, rocky sections, the Arktos found its comfort zone. This is a bike that shines in steeper terrain and encourages the rider to let off the brakes and send it. The faster you go, the better the Arktos handles.
The other very noticeable characteristic of the Arktos was the Sine Suspension. It works very well. This was especially evident when I discovered that the Arktos rode best when I kept the Fox Float X in full open mode. The bike pedaled uphill with zero noticeable pedal-induced bob and rocketed forward with surprising motivation when attacking climbs out of the saddle. I figured if it was this good of a climber in open mode, it might be even better in closed mode, however, that was not the case.”
“What gives this incredibly responsive and lightweight carbon-frame bike its buttery ride? A game-changing suspension system that offers 6 inches of shock absorption front and rear yet goes uphill without dissipating the energy you put in. As you ascend, the suspension stays soft when you gently roll over small bumps (so they don’t throw off your cadence) but stiffens up in response to the jolts of your pedaling, which helps give the bike its stellar uphill performance. As you descend and hit rocks and roots with greater force and speed, the suspension goes soft again for a plush, fun ride—all without requiring you to make any adjustments to the suspension. $8,900 as shown,”
“Colorado’s Alchemy Bicycles was already part of that US-made custom carbon list, but it now joins Trek in making a stock-sized, no-options carbon frame here. Its new all-around road bike, the Alchemy Atlas, is made in Denver and weighs less than 900 grams. It is offered in 52cm, 54cm, 56cm, 58cm, and 60cm sizes only; custom geometry is not available. It comes one way—no frame options, no frame upgrades—but Alchemy can custom-paint it in its Ethic Paint Works Shop.”
“The Alchemy Pegasus is a custom steel offering from the Colorado-based builder mated to a carbon Enve fork. Allen’s bike features a quote from hiphop group Atmosphere on the seatstay that reads, “Not every pony grows up to be a pegasus.” In Allen’s case, he was flying. The Pegasus is actually just a variation on Alchemy’s $2599 Konis frameset, just without derailleur cable stops or Di2 holes. The company offers custom geometry for $500.”
“…every once in a while a bike comes along that is as noteworthy for its ride as it is for its appearance. From the translucent root-beer-brown clear coat that literally radiated in the sun and caught everyone’s eye who saw the bike to the handling and compliance both on and off the road, the Alchemy Aithon was a superb bike to ride.”
“Alchemy’s meticulous carbon wrapping at the tube junctions means each frame is not only hand tuned to the rider but aesthetically unique.”
“…chances are you can appreciate a custom-painted bike. The company will paint up a whole frame (it can recreate original logos), or just a parts to give your stock bike a personal touch.”
“In terms of ride, the Helios was delightful, and clearly it has been created with Colorado riding in mind. Gravel roads are common here, so it boasts superb comfort. Indeed, few bikes at this level roll over disturbances in the road quite so seamlessly. The Helios is agreeably light, making the journey to the summit that fraction easier, and it’s stiff enough to surge up the 20% ramps of the inclines of the Peak.”
“First, it’s steel. Second, it’s handmade here in the USA. Third, it features quick release wheels. Fourth, it’s got a classy, single color, relatively understated paint scheme.”
“Built in Denver, Colorado, the Alchemy Helios is just as comfortable climbing and descending the Rockies as it is on the open plains. The Helios uses partially aero-shaped tubing, which adds stiffness where you want it, giving it sharp steering and power transfer, while the tube-to-tube construction gives it the desired damping properties that many of its metal predecessors are known for.”
“The guys at Alchemy Bicycles are redefining what a custom bike can be. Why not carbon? Why not aero? Why not sub 900 grams? Their approach has delivered a custom carbon aero road bike as sexy as anything popped out of a monocoque mold.”