The new Alchemy Ronin expands their drop bar category’s reach onto the gravel. The brand started with pure road bikes, then added a couple of “all road” models that could clear larger skinny tires. And they have a cyclocross bike. But this one is all-new from the ground up, not sharing any of the tubes or parts from the others. The goal? Create a pure gravel race machine that’s still comfortable and able to carry all the normal stuff you’d want for a 100-miler or more. And it’ll come in carbon and titanium versions. Let’s start with carbon…
The Ronin Carbon gets three water bottle mounts and Bento Box mounts on the top tube, plus fender mounts. They used thin seatstays to make it more comfortable, and it’s the first bike they’ve done with a 27.2 seatpost.
Note the exterior layers of carbon, which is a signature feature for Alchemy’s carbon bikes. It’s a nice touch that shows well through matte or gloss clear coats and adds a nice design touch without adding weight.
The bottom bracket is PF86, and there’s room around the chainstays for a 48-tooth 1x chainring without going to a severely dropped chainstay design. It’s also front derailleur compatible, so you can run a compact double if that’s your preference. And you get all that with room for 700×45 or 650×2.1” wheels and tires:
Other details include flat mount brake mounts, 12mm thru axles front and rear, and a tapered head tube for inset headsets. Ronin Carbon frames start at $3,999 and complete bikes at $9,499. Yes, that’s a big jump, but the base level build is Ultregra Di2. Custom paint starts at $1,000 and goes up from there.
Alchemy Ronin Ti Gravel Bike
The Ronin Ti shares the same geometry and overall features as the carbon model with the obvious difference in frame material…and it switches to an English threaded bottom bracket. It uses US-made seamless 3/2.5 titanium tubing, with down- and top-tubes tapered to keep the center of the bike stiff for solid power transfer. The seat- and chain-stays both get S-bend curves to add compliance and add tire clearance over their CX models. It’ll fit the same 700×45 or 650×2.1” wheels and tires. Frameset starts at $3,999 and completes at $8,999.
Both Ronins are available in stock and custom geometries, all handmade in Denver, CO. For the carbon bikes, they’re not just doing the design and layup there, they also make a lot of their own tooling for the molds, too.
Alchemy Arktos 29ST Trail Bike
Arktos started out as a big trail bike with 140m rear travel, 160mm front travel and EWS racing aspirations. And that’s what Cody Kelly does with it. Now, they’re reigning it in a bit with a new short-travel version called Arktos 29 ST with 120mm rear travel. It’s still aimed at the aggressive trail rider, though, and comes spec’d with a 140mm travel Fox 36 fork.
It uses their Sine Suspension System, which is regressive at the beginning of travel to really keep that rear tire into the ground for more traction, moving to progressive in the mid stroke to offer good support when you’re pushing it through big berms, then going back to regressive at the end stroke to prevent a harsh ramp. It’s designed around an air shock, and they say a coil shock won’t add anything…and actually probably blow through the end of travel too quickly because the coil is linear. So, they use a Fox Float DPX2 rear shock on all builds.
Linkage hardware is keyed and uses an expanding collet design on one side, keeping everything moving in unison to reduce rear end flex. They say it’s one of the laterally stiffest bikes on the market.
It’s designed to fit 29×2.5” tires, runs a standard threaded bottom bracket and fits up to a 38-tooth chainring. There are no front derailleur mounts, so it’s 1x only. Underneath are ISCG05 mounts. The rear end uses Super Boost 12×157 axle spacing.
A decent build will come in around 28.5lbs for the complete bike. Frame weight is the same as the long travel original version, and that’s because it uses the same front and rear triangle as the original longer travel bike, only the linkage parts have changed, and they’re using a shorter shock length and stroke. Which means that at some point, you could probably just order the other linkage parts and shock (and a fork) and have the option to convert it to a longer travel bike (or vice versa).
Bikes will start at $4,899 with NX Eagle groups, and all models will use Fox Factory level suspension, which helps set it apart at the price points. Frames are made overseas, and complete bike builds are spec’d through those assembly plants, too, which has helped them bring the prices down a bit from when they first launched this model. They’re still making the Arktos 27.5 both in Denver and overseas, but they’re basically at capacity at their own factory. Also, the domestic model was originally made because they wanted to test different layups, which are then transferred to the Asian factory, so there’s less difference between the two than you might think. It comes in gray or green, but they will probably add a custom paint program for this model, and that will be done here in the states.
Starts shipping in May 2019.
Alchemy Ark Ti Hardtail Mountain Bike
Perhaps surprisingly, Alchemy says demand for titanium hardtail mountain bikes is growing, and they offer the new Ark Ti in both stock and custom geometries.
Like the Arktos, there are internal cable tunnels to keep everything easy to use, install and service. Well, internal through the front triangle anyway, then it runs externally down the seatstays.
It’s designed around a 120-130mm fork and will fit 29×2.5″ or 27.5×2.8″ tires.
It gets that tire clearance thanks to heavily shaped chainstays and seatstays, mimicking some of the shapes found on the Ronin Ti gravel bike. Rear axle spacing sticks to normal 12×142 Boost. Frameset starts at $3,499 and complete bikes at $7,199.