Alchemy Arktos becomes their first bike made overseas…due to customer demand

2017 Alchemy Arktos full suspension mountain bike in stock frame construction

When the Alchemy Arktos debuted at last year’s Interbike, it notched quite a few firsts. It was their first full suspension mountain bike, it was among the first full carbon full suspension mountain bikes made in the USA, and it was the first to use David Earle’s new Sine suspension design.

The frame was 100% made inside Alchemy’s Denver, CO, headquarters and custom painted to the customer’s designs at their Ethic paint shop. People liked it, and they wanted it, but the made-in-the-USA feature put it out of reach of many riders. Now, they’re offering a way to get the same bike for a little less coin…

2017 Alchemy Arktos full suspension mountain bike in stock frame construction

The original Arktos is now called the Arktos Custom and will continue to have it’s front triangle hand made in Denver. The rear triangle, however, will be produced under Earle’s supervision in Taiwan. Also on offer is the new “standard” Arktos, which will be entirely made in Taiwan, a first for Alchemy.

Why? “We’re well aware that price can be a barrier to entry for premium designs and builds,” said Alchemy President Ryan Cannizarro. “We received a flood of comments expressing that potential customers cared less about where the bike was produced and more about the price tag.”

alchemy-arktos-full-suspension-bike-2017-pricing

That switch in production will let them offer an Arktos frame with the premium Sine suspension for $2,999 in stock form with the blue or yellow paint scheme shown here.

2017 Alchemy Arktos full suspension mountain bike in stock frame construction

The Arktos Custom will continue to be offered in the customer’s choice of paint schemes, or a full custom paint scheme for a small upcharge.

AlchemyBicycles.com

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Simon
Simon
5 years ago

And cue the flood of comments of unhappy people who were expecting this bike to be “cheap” now that there’s an overseas option.

Roughly $800 is quite a significant drop overall, but at this price point and with the customers they were targeting, I don’t think it’s going to be as significant a draw as the internet would expect. Regardless of origin, this is still a fairly low production volume bicycle, price points were never going to reach Giant or Commencal levels. Be reasonable, folks.

Heffe
Heffe
5 years ago

I’m still waiting for the Hyas gravel & Dione cyclocross bikes, which seem to have vanished without a trace.

myke2241
myke2241
5 years ago

The demand is simple. Custom fs mtb frames are a limited bunch. There are tons of stock carbon fs frames which would make this move null. Also Alchemy main marketing draw is high end us made custom carbon frames. I think their customer base wants usa made. Maybe people will think this signals a change they don’t want to be part of. Regardless it’s a bad move.

contrarian
contrarian
5 years ago
Reply to  myke2241

I’d agree. Those of us who want a cheaper carbon frame don’t really care where its made as long as the warranty and weight are competitive. A $3000 frame is still out of reach for most, hence why Pivots, Santa Cruz and Specialized are still relatively boutique. Heck, even the new Giant Trance Advanced is a pricey option frame only. While the technology is getting better, the industry is hesitant to give us cheaper carbon frames, meanwhile alloy options are staying relatively flat (or gaining) weight wise. I like to use the Santa Cruz Tallboy V3 as example. Previous version only differed about a half pound between alloy and carbon models, now its closer to 1.5lbs. SC isn’t the only one to blame, as Trek, Specialized, and Devinci all have new expensive ($2800+ frame only) carbon models with alloy versions that weight considerably more. It seems like the days of a reliable, affordable, alloy 25lb 120mm full suspension 29er are gone.

Antipodean_eleven
5 years ago
Reply to  contrarian

Aye. And it’s not that they can’t, they will go out of their way not to in order to push carbon harder. It would make no marketing sense to have a carbon frame, at only .5lb difference, be vastly more expensive. So, end result, we end up with Al frames designed to be heavier on purpose. Sad.

gringo
gringo
5 years ago

This is so true. read and learn children, read and learn.

Lionel Richie
Lionel Richie
5 years ago
Reply to  contrarian

There were days of a reliable, affordable, alloy 25 lb 120mm full suspension 29er? Which days were those? I can’t think of a single bike that would fit this bill.

Patrick
Patrick
5 years ago

…thus, another soul, too, was outsourced…

Johann
Johann
5 years ago

You forgot one “first”: it’s the first time a bike is an almost 1:1 copy of another bike (Yeti SB66 anyone?), not made by a chinese brand (though made in China or Taiwan)

traildog
traildog
5 years ago
Reply to  Johann

may look just like a yeti but the geometry was bang-on V1 bronson

Lionel Richie
Lionel Richie
5 years ago
Reply to  Johann

Not really a coincidence. The kinematics are designed by the same guy – Sotto Group / David Earle is referenced in this article, and he did the SB66 as well.

Antipodean_eleven
5 years ago

My mind boggles when I read stuff like this, it’s like people miss everything about their own brand that brings customer in the first place. I understand wanting to grow (though endless growth is 1. unsustainable and 2. comes at a cost) but logic would state that if you can’t compete with with like items in a market segment doing it *your* way, then you probably should not be playing in it in the first place.

Doing what everyone else does, hence diluting your brand, is not competing, it’s doing what everyone else does; and suddenly, I as the customer, put your offering up against everyone else’s in the same market/price segment. In this case, I’d go a Yeti or Santa Cruz

As said above, people looking for cheaper would not think of Alchemy in the first place… and without the reach of the bigger, ‘cheaper’ brands, probably never will. What’s more, if my budget is tapped, many of these customers would wait for the more boutique ‘big’ brands to do an end of season sale, where again Alchemy couldn’t compete on price.

Loose loose in my eyes.

Ernst
Ernst
5 years ago

If I recall correctly, the rear triangle has always been made in Asia, hence I do not fully get the “give me a made in the US frame” argument. In addition, moving the whole production to Asia is a fairly small step then and it might also explain the relatively small price drop.

Henry Turner-Julier
Henry Turner-Julier
5 years ago

I wonder what led them to this particular paint job and graphic approach… offering something in essentially Yeti color way and branding the frame in a similar fashion (the ARKTOS inside the color block on the swing arm is straight outta the Yeti SB branding book) is going to raise eyebrows. There are so many great colors out there for mountain bikes… why these two? and why is ARKTOS spaced out so it reads ARK TOS? So many questions.

Trevor
Trevor
5 years ago

Although I understand the business desire to meet demand I disagree with diluting the brand by going off-shore. The whole appeal of Alchemy is made in America carbon, which they have proven to do very well. I would not be surprised if Alchemy continues to off shore production to capitalize on sales by changes their proposition to “engineered and designed in America”. At that point they will be competing with the big brands who make some very good, very well engineered bikes with a strong national support system. I doubt they will survive. A pity because there is not much more desirable than a custom carbon Alchemy, ENVE cockpit and wheels and SRAM drivetrain.

Trevor
Trevor
5 years ago
Reply to  Trevor

I should add that I own an Alchemy but would not consider one that is built offshore as there are better choices available at the price point.

Ol'shel'
Ol'shel'
5 years ago

The 1990s called. They want their seat tube back.