Alchemy Arktos 29 Review: Best High-End Mountain Bike?

Alchemy Arktos 29
alchemist-logo
9.6/10

With summer around the corner, the need for a solid, efficient, and aesthetically pleasing bicycle is on the mind of every bike enthusiast. Over the past several years, changes in building materials have improved how bikes are built, and Alchemy bikes have taken full advantage of the technology!

Alchemy bicycles is an American made. Alchemy bicycles is a leader in the quality of their builds, aesthetic choices, and unique feature inclusions compared to other mountain bikes on the market today. They are solid and efficient builds that offer a ton of customization and tailoring options to fit your budget and your needs.

Alchemy bicycles offers bikes for all occasions, from electric bicycles to all-road and mountain bikes. One bike in the Alchemy lineup stands out: the Alchemy Arktos. While this range of choices can make it hard to choose just one, the purpose of this review is to help you make an informed choice. Let’s start shopping!

Things to Consider When Buying a Mountain Bike

Mountain Bike
mountain bikes with flip chip

There are a ton of factors that go into the perfect bicycle purchase, and these go far beyond just price. Certain features might prove to be essential to your biking experience, while others are just extra bells and whistles depending on how you want to use your bike.

The size and height of the bike in comparison to your body, the size of the front and rear tire, the material the bike is made of, and more can make all the difference when buying a new bike. These factors also drastically change the functionality and smoothness of your bike ride!

Your height and the size of the bike are only half of the challenge when you’re determining what type of bike you’ll buy. Each bike is designed with different road conditions, features, and destinations in mind. Alchemy helps you filter through each of these choices by letting you input your height, intended use, and even level of riding expertise so you can find the perfect bike just for you!

Features and Benefits

Here, we break down a few key features of the Alchemy Arktos 29 bike model and what it offers.

Frame

Frame
trail bikes with solid frame construction

Alchemy’s bicycles are currently best known for their carbon frames, though an occasional titanium frame has made its way to Alchemy’s lineup. Alchemy bikes have been in huge demand throughout recent years, and the company has expanded to meet the growing need! Due to this demand, the Colorado bike makers have reached out to Asia to produce the latest product in their line, the Arktos 29.

The general design and construction of the Arktos features a strong and sturdy carbon front piece, and users rave about its rear suspension system. Internal cable routing – can be changed to 120mm or 135mm rear travel with a conversion kit. In addition to being an easy to use bike that keeps you suspended with the frame, the Arktos has a sleek look that may make your friends do a double take!

The overall design of the Arktos offers a reasonable top tube clearance, and the seat tube featured in the basic design leaves plenty of room for long stroke riding posts. The frame also features a dual water bottle mount, making for easy hydration out on the trail.

A solid frame is what makes or breaks a good trail bike, and by relying on the regular carbon frames that made Alchemy famous, the Arktos 29 stands out. Functionality and quality design set Alchemy bikes apart in the market and the Arktos is no exception!

Suspension System

The Alchemy Arktos 29 model features a Sine suspension named after the sine wave in geometry. The sine suspension is essentially a double link design that includes an arced link inside the seat tube. The overall design of this suspension system is different than many other bikes on the market! By replacing the original 0.4 volume spacer with a 0.86 spacer, and reducing sag to 28 percent will bring you closer to the Sine suspension’s sweet spot.

Experts describe the shock rate as initially regressive which offers traction and bump absorption, followed by a progressive shock rate for turning and wallow avoidance. While other bikes will “ramp up” to keep up with the suspension, the Arktos 29 only ramps up when the air shock progresses.

This means that you might feel small bumps more acutely within the frame and suspension design due to the air shocks, but when it hitting those bigger obstacles, you’ll find the suspension keeps you comfy! You end up trading in small bumps for the ability to pump and pop more efficiently throughout your ride with this system.

More: Alchemy Atlas Review: Professional Grade Road Bike

Wheels

Wheels
all rounder enduro bikes

The wheels for the Arktos vary by which model in the lineup you choose. In general, a 29 inch frame allows for a wider axle to be installed. This makes for a much stronger support system for larger and heavier wheels, chains, and other fixtures.

Each of the model options for the Alchemy Arktos 29 product line provides space and availability for features that can be added to their simple carbon frame. Though frame sizing and wheel size might differ depending on its intended use, the frame for the Alchemy Arktos 29 bicycles have a ton of versatility that enthusiasts are sure to love.

The wheels on this model are made with Maxxis rubber which is an excellent choice for anyone ready to head out and hit the trails. You may need to do some simple switching and maintenance to get the most out of your wheels, but with just a few simple changes, you’ll have wheels that will last for a long time!

Gears

Gears
rear end and bottom bracket of mountain bikes

The drivetrain on the Alchemy bikes specify 175mm cranks, while most other types of bikes in this class and on this market utilize 170 mm cranks. While this is a bit unconventional, it plays out well on the Arktos 29! Because they emerge above the bottom bracket rather than below, cables and hoses are kept further away from potential hazards. It also features a flip chip so that you can quickly change the geometry of this mountain bike for a smooth ride.

The SRAM GX Eagle kit, which is a step above the basic model and build, is focused on the size large GX Eagle drivetrain as its central component. The entire thing isn’t as durable as other drivetrains on the market, but it’s serviceable and offers plenty of good opportunities for anyone who wants to mix things up on the trail.

More: Alchemy Chiron Review: One Of the Best Road Bike?

Brake

Brake
size large

The brakes offered in this lineup are most often the Shimano Deore XT M8000 with 180mm rotors. With the compact and versatile design of the Arktos 29 frame, these Shimano XT brakes can be put into any of its models. It’s important to recognize that larger or thicker wheels might take a different gauge in brakes and to adjust accordingly for repairs later down the line. Standard issue does come with the Shimano Deore XT M8000 and the 180mm rotors.

More: Alchemy Ronin: A Review

Bike Model Sizing Frame Type Suspension Color Availability
Arktos 29 130F / 120 R Carbon Fox-Factory 3 colors
Arktos 29 150F / 135 R Carbon Fox-Factory 3 colors
Arktos 29 170F / 150 R Carbon Fox-Factory 3 colors
Arktos 27.5/29 150F / 135 R Carbon Fox-Factory 3 colors
Arktos 27.5/29 170F / 150 R Carbon Fox-Factory 3 colors

Pros and Cons of the Alchemy 29

Pros

  • Aggressive 29er trail bike
  • Options to upgrade the package and change out different features
  • Sine suspension system
  • Two water bottle holders included in the package

Cons

  • Expensive ($5000 for the base model)
  • Sine suspension may take some getting used to
  • Water bottles aren’t protected from dirt and debris when attached

Social Proof

Customer reviews are one of the best, hands-on ways to gain insight into the bike itself! This is a great way to see how the bike will perform out on the trails without taking it out for days on your own. Before you settle on a bike of your own, crowdsource your purchase and see what others have done and are saying about the Arktos 29!

Social Proof 1
Social Proof 2

Alternatives

If you’re not ready to head out and purchase the Arktos 29, some other options on the market may strike your fancy! The most comparable option is the Santa Cruz Tallboy. Both bikes come in at the same price range, $5000 for the base model, and offer a wide range of attractive features for the avid biker.

Alchemy Arktos 29 vs Santa Cruz Tallboy

The Arktos stands out from the crowd in a number of ways, but when you’re looking for something with a similar feel and standard, the Tallboy fits the bill. Both bikes are the aggressive, short-travel style 29er trail bike with a 120 mm rear-wheel travel. This is then paired with a vaguely shorter 130mm fork!

The suspension on both bikes is raved about by biking enthusiasts, and the rear suspension in particular exceeds expectations! For components, Alchemy comes out ahead with a Factory brand fork and reservoir shock taking center stage. They both have the same drivetrains, so the systems function in an almost identical manner.

The Tallboy does come out ahead when you’re looking at the seat tube angle with a 76.6 degree lean over the Arktos 75.5 degree. The reach on both bikes is virtually identical with the Tallboy having a millimeter of length on the Arktos 29. When it comes to unique features that make the bikes stand out, the Tallboy has a better water bottle placement that protects it from dirt and dust while out on the trails.

When it comes to price, both fall at about the $5000 level. The Alchemy and Santa Cruz bikes are a serious investment, but if you want to hit the trails in style, with as much control as possible, this is the way to go.

More: Best Hardtail Mountain Bike Under $1500 On the Market

Conclusion

The lineup for the Arktos 29 varies by weight, use, size, and more, but the core of the bikes, including the carbon frames and stellar design are unanimous across the board. Alchemy’s Arktos 29 is a great option for anyone wanting to hit the trails, stay in control, and have a great ride!

The Sine suspension system is a unique design that gives you maximum climb without weighing you down. The downside to this design is that the system won’t ramp up as quickly as other types of bikes, leaving you feeling each small bump but excelling at the larger ones.

A high-end bike like this one is an investment! The Arktos 29 is about $5000 for the base model and the comparison bike, the Santa Cruz Tallboy, comes in at the same price. If you’re serious about hitting the trails though, this is an excellent choice and well worth the investment.

With so many incredible features to choose from, the Arktos 29 units from Alchemy serve as a high-quality product with a wide range of versatility and use. The larger price might be a sticking point for some, but the quality and durability of these bikes truly speak for themselves.

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