As you may recall, C-Bear is a ceramic bearing company that makes bearings for hubs, but their main business is creating solutions for bottom brackets. They’re distributed in the US by Sprocket Scientist, owned by Ard Kessels.

Kessel was going to get a bike built by Alchemy and mentioned it to some friends at Signature Cycles, who work closely with Parlee.  They jumped on the idea, too, giving birth to the idea of a Road Bike Build Off!

Each brand will work with a bike shop to do a build, and each will be built to be ridden, not just displayed. Both will use Dura-Ace 9000 and ENVE wheels, C-Bear bottom brackets and wheel bearings in DT Swiss hubs. Other than that, the shop and builder is free to do what they want with paint, spec, build and features. The only other stipulation is that the frame be PFBB30. This allows C-Bear to showcase their bottom bracket systems by adapting the bigger BB standard to Shimano’s 24mm spindle.

Kessels will be getting the Alchemy, and the owner of C-Bear will get the Parlee. Signature Cycles will be building up the Parlee, and Alchemy will work with Nie Brothers Cycles, the shop housed in their new Denver, CO, digs.

The end result should be two amazing bikes to be shown at Interbike, and YOU get to vote for the best build! And if you vote, you’ll be entered to win a C-Bear bottom bracket system of your choice – courtesy of and Sprocket Scientist!

Stay tuned for more details, PR after the break…

FROM THE PRESS RELEASE: In this competition Parlee Cycles and Alchemy Bicycles will go head to head to build the bicycle of our dreams. Both bicycles are built according to the wishes of specific riders and represent the cycling goals of each individual. Alchemy will build a bicycle for Alpine use, based on their Helios frame: a machine that is light enough for long climbs, but with the stability and brakes for fast and furious downhills. Parlee will design a light gran fondo bike based on their new Z-Zero platform.

Kessels getting a bike fit at Signature Cycles.
Kessels getting a bike fit at Signature Cycles.

We’ll be documenting the builds here as they come together, and they’ll have updates on their Facebook page.


  1. Sprocket Scientist really needs to figure out how to make a website that works properly. None of the links work as they should, it’s pretty sad.

  2. Matt,

    We are working hard to get our distribution up and running. The web site will follow soon, we are a small company and have limited resources. If you have any questions about our products, feel free to call me on my cell number 703.606.0897 at any time.

    Or for now, just sit back and enjoy two of the best carbon frame builders in the US push each other to the limits.

    Sprocket Scientist, LLC

  3. Don’t worry Sprocket Scientist….Matt has no intentions of buying anything. He just wants to complain and wank while clicking links on web site.

  4. I think if you vote and win you should be able to choose one of the bikes 🙂 I can’t wait to see these bikes. Both companies have a great reputation and their bikes always look amazing.

  5. i certainly hope alchemy and parlee are not giving away their services on this one cause the only potential “win” i see here is a couple bikes sales.

  6. Oh @Nelson, that was gold. I’d love to see what Alchemy and Parlee bring out. They’re two of the companies I’d go for on my next build. Trying to get a buddy into an Alchemy right now just so I can look at a nice bike instead of some Trek.

  7. Being the new kid on the block I’d like to see how Alchemy grows as a company. Parlee would be my pick simply for their class of innovation, customer care, and consistency in quality control. I’d be surprised if Alchemy wins this build-off; but it’s still entertaining to see how it’ll unfold.

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