Mixed wheel sizes have come and gone over the years, but seem to be having a moment lately. And the new Alchemy nine7five claims to be one of the first production full suspension bikes to pair a 27.5″ rear wheel with a 29er front. The design was done as a one-off race bike for sponsored rider Cody Kelley, but after he took the top podium spot in his first EWS race on the bike, they decided to make it a production item.
Fortunately, that was pretty easy to do, it’s just a new rear linkage for the existing Arktos 29er mountain bike. Which means if you already own one, you can just get the link and update your bike to run a smaller rear wheel.
OK, but why mix a 29er front & 27.5″ rear?
Kelley says it make the bike quicker off the line and out of corners thanks to the smaller wheel’s lower rotational mass. That means quicker acceleration, and seconds gained throughout the course. Enough seconds for a win if you’re Kelley.
It also gives the bike snappier handling in the rear, and helps you keep your weight biased toward the rear on really fast technical sections where you want that front wheel to just float over the chunder.
Alchemy will have four different price-point completes, with the GX Eagle-equipped models starting at $5,399. All models will use Industry 9 Enduro S wheels.
The new link/model has a 1º slacker head angle than the full 29er version.