Alchemy Balius custom carbon cyclocross bikes

Among US custom bike builders, you can likely count on one hand the number that make their own tubes. Alchemy’s one of them, and now they’ve released their third bike with their own tubes.

The Balius cyclocross bike follows the Arione and Helios, getting tube shapes and layups that are shaped, cut, laid up and wrapped specifically for the intended use and the end user. Actually, for now, the Balius shares the Helios’ top and down tube molds. Within 12 months, it’ll get it’s own top tube design. Compared to the round tubes used in the original Balius, the new front triangle’s tubes are bladder molded using shapes that provide the stiffness and handling you want with an easy to grab and shoulder top tube curve.

Johs Huseby, who joined Alchemy from Cannondale Sports Group to lead their sales, used to race cyclocross professionally and helped develop the ride characteristics. “I was looking for a little vertical compliance while still maintaining the torsional stiffness needed to steer through rough terrain,” Huseby said. “I also had the rear end made with a lay-up that was a little more forgiving as well to alleviate the harshness found in some bikes, and to give compliancy.”

Alchemy Balius custom carbon cyclocross bikes

To build the bike, each tube’s layup is figured out based on rider size, weight and riding preferences and style. Then they’re each handmade before being assembled into a complete frame. And the rider has plenty of options to really make it work the way they want:

  • Disc or cantilever brake mounts
  • PF86, PF30 or threaded bottom bracket
  • Gloss or matte finish in one of 9 stock colors

Alchemy Balius custom carbon cyclocross bikes

Suggested retail price is $4250 for a full custom frame or $3750 in a stock size (52cm, 54cm, 56cm, 58cm, 60cm). That includes a Chris King headset and paint-matched ENVE fork.

Alchemy Balius custom carbon cyclocross bikes

Average frame weight is estimated around 1,150g, but Huseby says they could probably get down to about 1,050 on smaller sizes.

Alchemy Balius custom carbon cyclocross bikes

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  1. Grind – Because Thru Axles would make wheel changes slower and would be entirely unnecessary on a cross bike. As you were Alchemy…

  2. @hogdog–Thru-axles are pretty awesome, fast, and necessary on any disc-equipped bike–its cool you’ve never had to change a flat at a cx race or dnf’d because of a flat(s), I know I have.

  3. The bicycle industry is so lucky to have such smart, all-knowing internet commentators to help them create the right features for bikes. Without you, they’d never be able to determine if a thru-axle was the right setup for a disc cross fork.

    Did you read the part about Johs Huseby being a former professional level cross racer? I don’t know…MAYBE he knows some stuff about cross bikes???

  4. Hotdog – False. They are very similar in change speed. Besides, why change wheels when you can have a pit bike. Also, unnecessary is a matter of perspective. I have spent this entire season on one, and it stomps QR performance. Still a hot bike.

  5. IMO disc brakes should equal thru axles. Time saved in fixing a flat is marginal at best and doesn’t outweigh gains in brake maintenance (rotor rub) and responsiveness of ride

  6. Agreed with the others. I’m not going to buy any disc bike without a front thru-axle. Rear isn’t so important, but with a QR, there will be frequent annoying disc-on-pad rubbing when cornering.

  7. The ideal QR15 is the ones on the high end (or all?) top end suntour forks. Its a non threaded axle that snaps into place, much like a quick connect coupler. I was talking to the rep and he said some of the European world tour guys were drilling their threads out of their fox forks so they could run them. Perfect for cross and IMO faster then a quick release, especially where lawyer taps are actually desirable (on disc brakes.)

  8. I believe @Collin is talking about the Q-Loc from Suntour as seen (Titanium version) here..

    The design looks promising. My issue is nobody makes a 15QR dynamo hub yet (or that I have found) for me to run on my late night gravel grinds. Really enjoy having a non-battery headlight when out in the middle of nowhere. Glad all my bikes are compatible still.

    And Whisky makes a Thru-axle fork, which I would guess Alchemy would be willing to spec the bike with if the customer so desired.

  9. Yep. It does need thru axles. Ain’t no way that bike is marketed towards pro racers anyway. I’ll take the thru axles and the 5 second penalty over disc brake rub when out of the saddle because of a lack of thru axles.

  10. @Neal, Thanks for the link! I figured they would have one, but hadn’t gotten to looking for it as everything I own I run it on is standard qr. Eventually I will probably end up taking that plunge, but for now, it works.

  11. The only possible way that a QR could be quicker than a Maxle-type (or any other type that doesn’t require you to undo 5 hex bolts, à la Marzo 888) TA is if you have filed off your lawyer lips, making your fork illegal to use in any race sanctioned by your national federation.

  12. all these comments about no through axels. wtf. not necessary on the rear of a cx bike, and as far as the front goes it’s an enve fork, not something alchemy is building.

    Its a post about alchemy frames, not enve forks.


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