Hands down, Alchemist had the most unique wheels, hubs and rims. And not just the Stealth version shown above…there’s Wave and ultralight prototype 29er rims, too. Oh, and an ergonomic flat handlebar and very light flex seatpost with a clever flippable rail mount. And all the carbon parts are handmade in Italy.
The Stealth wheels are 27.5″ only and built (of course) for Enduro. The rim design is called Ridge Reinforcement (RR) and is said to provide reinforcement where needed to keep it laterally stiff and strongly built without otherwise adding additional thickness and weight. The shape is also said to help deflect rocks and other impacts more efficiently and minimize actual impact contact area, reducing the likelihood of damage. Furthering that cause is the use of “Impact-Proof” resin containing plastic polymers to increase the absorption of impact stresses.
Spoke holes are offset 3mm and angled 5º to help keep dish and tension more equal from side to side. The rim alone is 405g and measures 26-30mm tall and 24mm wide inside. Check the complete wheel weights and much more below…
Plenty wide and tubeless ready. The Stealth wheels are built with 24 straight pull Sapim Leader spokes front and rear.
They’re laced to equally angular Stealth hubs. They’re CNC’d with a process called “Ultra Milling” then given a Dura hard anodization to improve stiffness and abrasion resistance. The overall design is made to maximize torsional rigidity, and it looks absolutely bad ass.
They’re available separately as well, weighing in at 140g for the front (15mm thru axle only) and 280g for the rear (12×142 only, standard or XD freehubs). 24 hole drilling only. Complete wheel weights are 730g front and 830g rear (1560g combined). Retail? Sit down please: Wheels are €2,400 and the rims alone are €750.
For XC racing, there’s the RR 29er rim and wheelset with a pared down ridge design. Weigh is just 345g for the rim and it shares the same spoke offset and angles but in a 20mm wide (inside) design. It also shares the Impact-Resin and 90kg (198lb) rider weight limit as the Stealth rims. Retail is €680 per rim.
You can also get them built up tot he gorgeous Wave hubs. The ridges flow through from one side of the hub to the other, swaying to offset the spokes slightly. The design supposedly maximizes torsional stiffness, creating a wheel that’s as stiff as a 28 spoke build but using only 24 spokes per wheel. Front hub weighs in at 130g (15mm thru axle only on it’s own) and rear is 270g (10mm QR or 12×142, standard or XD driver body for XX1).
As a complete wheel, you gain the option of a Lefty from hub. Front wheel weights are 595g (Lefty) and 625g (15mm TA) and rear is 725g for all options. They’re laced with Sapim CX-Ray spokes. Wheelsets are €2,300.
Another feature shared across all their hubs is the Ti-Ring. It threads into the freehub body and holds the bearings, helping to separate the loading forces of the hub shell from the bearings. They say this not only helps them roll smoother but also prolongs bearing life by discouraging ovalization and further protecting seal integrity.
The other rim in their lineup is the standard clincher and tubular. It’s available in the following sizes:
- 26″ Tubular – 24mm external width – 245g
- 27.5″ Tubular – 24mm external width – 310g
- 27.5″ Clincher – 18.6mm internal width – 345g
- 29er Tubular – 24mm external width – 278g
- 29er Clincher – 20mm internal width – 365g
Prices range from €530-570.
The mid-modulus carbon handlebar provides a balance between rigidity and vibration damping in a respectably-wide-for-a-flat-bar 710mm package. It also uses the plastic polymers in the resin to improve impact resistance. Weight is just 145g while allowing for bar ends and providing an ergonomic mid section:
The shaped bumps just outside the 31.8 stem clamp section give you a palm shaped perch for getting aero on the long fire road stretches. Backsweep is 9º, and there’s also a 620mm size with 5º backsweep and the same claimed weight. Both can be cut down by up to 40mm per side. Rider weight limit of 90kg (198lbs).
The seatpost comes in all four common diameters (27.2 / 30.9 / 31.6 / 34.9), all 400mm long and all with a claimed weight of 145g and 90kg rider weight limit. The upper section is shaped to provide a tiny bit of flex and better absorb vibrations. The 7075 T6 alloy saddle rail cradle can be flipped to provide a +5/-20mm offset.
Check them out at AlchemistBikes.com