Alchemy's New Short-Travel 29er - Sea Otter 2019


Alchemy has added another member to the Arktos family, with the 29ST being, you guessed it, a short-travel version of their Arktos 29 platform. The Colorado brand says that the 120mm-travel 29ST is designed to be ''Shorter, quicker and more playful than its elder,'' and that it's intended to run a 140mm-travel fork.

By changing the links and running a shorter-stroke shock, the 29ST gets 120mm of travel versus the standard bike's 140mm.
If you're thinking that the Arktos 29ST looks a helluva lot like the Arktos 29, it's because they share the same front and rear triangles. Think of the ST as a variant of the standard Arktos 29 rather than a completely new bike. What is new, though, are the 29ST's aluminum links and its shorter-stroke shock that delete 20mm of suspension travel compared to its older brother.
The 29ST sits closer to the ground (41mm of drop VS 34mm) and is also a touch steeper (66.1 head angle VS 65.5), but the reach and seat tube lengths are essentially identical across the board. At 5' 10''-ish, I'd be on a large with a 454mm front and a long-for-2019 483mm seat tube. The extra-large sees another 31mm up front.
The ARK Ti is a burly hardtail with a $3,499 USD price tag. For the frame.

It's funny how the riders who drool over titanium hardtails the most usually also have a carbon bike or three in their garage.

And now for something completely different. Alchemy has been doing titanium for ages, but the ARK Ti is an all-new model that's meant to be a rough-and-tumble hardtail, and run either 29'' or 27.5-plus wheels. The US-made frame goes for $3,499 USD and completes start at $7,199 USD.

The bike's geometry is designed around a 120mm or 130mm-travel fork, with the former delivering a 68-degree head angle and 74.5-degree seat angle. It has all the things you'd expect to see on a fancy carbon frame, including 148mm hub spacing, internal dropper routing, and the fact that you'll never get a front derailleur to work on it. The bottom bracket is threaded, too. Weight? It probably weighs some. Angles? I bet it has those, too... I can't say that I'd spend a ton of time riding it (or any?), but that doesn't change the fact that I want one.