Home > Bike Types > Gravel Bikes

Review: Alchemy Lycos Gravel Bike is Road & Trail-Worthy

1 Comment
Support us! Bikerumor may earn a small commission from affiliate links in this article. Learn More

Imagine showing up for a hilly century ride and being presented with a singletrack-loving gravel bike with 700×50 tires. That was the scenario for my Alchemy Lycos test ride, and it was the new, more affordable stock builds introduced just a few days prior…not the handmade-in-Colorado Ultralight model.

Always one for an adventure, bottles were filled, pedals installed, and we were off for a mostly pavement loop in the hills inland from Monterey, California.

Buy Now at AlchemyBikes.com

alchemy lycos gravel bike review with closeup details of headtube and top tube bag mounts

Quick background: Alchemy’s first gravel bike, the Ronin, is more of a race bike, with geometry closer to a road bike and a short headtube that allows aggressive body positioning. The Lycos is their sophomore effort, aimed at riders who like to mix mountain bike trails into their rides, with slacker geometry and much larger tire clearance (which we were maxing out with 700×50 Maxxis Ramblers).

Both bikes feature top tube bag mounts and three bottle mounts, one being under the downtube near the BB shell. The key difference is the geometry and layups.

alchemy lycos gravel bike review with closeup details of tire clearance

Once we rolled out, any concerns about the Lycos’ road manners quickly dissipated. Starting in a paceline full of strong riders, it held a line and behaved well riding two abreast once we reached low-traffic country roads.

The real fun began once we hit dirt, with a long, gradual climb through the hills before a ripping fast descent that had its share of stutter bumps, loose pebbly ground cover, and winding curves.

Handling was stable and predictable, allowing me to look around and enjoy the scenery a bit.

The Lycos’ fork has three mounts for extra storage, plus fender mounts for foul-weather riding. It’s not pitched as an “adventure” or bikepacking bike and lacks the extra frame mounts to support racks or fixed bags, but there’s no reason you couldn’t strap a variety of frame bags to it and head out for multi-day excursions.

alchemy lycos gravel bike review with closeup details of bottom bracket

The thin seatstays are set low, and the bottom half of the seat tube thins and flattens, adding compliance and comfort over rough roads. I’ve found that the Ronin is surprisingly comfortable for having a racy attitude, with seatstays that go straight to the top, but the Lycos improves upon this while maintaining spirited performance when you need to beat your buddies to the county line.

Alchemy offers stock colorways with your choice of stealth or standard logos, plus custom paint from their in-house studio.

I rode the GRX Di2 build ($6,499), which even with a 1x drivetrain was fine on the road sections and gravel…which is good, because the frame has no accommodation for front derailleurs. Just change the front chainring size to suit your needs, or swap to a MTB cassette and derailleur for more range.

alchemy lycos gravel bike riding action on long dirt road climb

Complete bikes start at just $4,999, and other than the GRX build, all others are SRAM with your choice of XPLR gravel or Eagle MTB cassettes and derailleurs out back. All frames use a UDH rear derailleur.

It’s something I could see riding long miles, on road or off. If you’re looking for a single drop-bar bike to pull double duty, it’s worth a look. I certainly wouldn’t mind one of these in my own stable.

Buy Now at AlchemyBikes.com

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
10 months ago

So, stock sizes made in Taiwan? Good to see them offer something more affordable.

Subscribe Now

Sign up to receive BikeRumor content direct to your inbox.

Subscribe Now

Sign up to receive BikeRumor content direct to your inbox.