Alchemy Bicycles is entering the international racing scene with a bang in 2018, announcing this week that it will contest the entire Enduro World Series calendar with pro riders Anneke Beerten and Cody Kelley. The duo will ride Alchemy’s 150mm rear travel 27.5 full suspension bike the Arktos, a bike that’s received numerous accolades from riders and media alike since it was introduced two years ago.
Read the Mtbr first ride review of the Alchemy Arktos here.
The team will be led by Netherlands born Beerten, who has been hooked on riding bikes since she started racing BMX at 4 years old. After winning two World Championship titles in BMX, she moved to racing downhill and four-cross. She is one of the most winning female riders of all time, which includes taking the top step of the World Championship podium three times in four-cross.
Last year, Beerten, 35, was 15th overall in the EWS while riding for the GT Factory Team. The Dutch rider is currently based in Southern California, and with a warm winter of hard training behind her, plans to be one of the top women on the circuit this year.
Joining Beerten on the Alchemy team is Kelley, who was born and raised near the Wasatch Mountain Range in Salt Lake City, Utah. There are few riders that stand out on the race circuit like he does — and it’s not just the long blond hair flowing from his Giro helmet that differentiates him as a rider.
Kelley’s flowing and seemingly effortless riding-style is easy to spot, as he manuals, scrubs jump faces, and pumps to generate speed. Kelley’s roots lie in BMX, and that BMX flair in still a big part of riding style today. Last year while riding for Yeti, the 23-year-old was 37th in the final EWS series rankings and won the Scott Enduro Cup Series.
The Arktos features a dual-linkage platform called Sine Suspension. The “Sine” comes from the shock rate, which resembles a sine wave when graphed. It’s regressive through the first part of the travel to absorb small bumps and provide climbing traction. In the middle of the stroke, it’s progressive to avoid wallowing on big hits or in hard, fast corners. Then it’s slightly regressive again in the last 15 percent of the stroke to enable the bike to use all of its rear-wheel travel. The Alchemy Factory Racing Team will debut at the Chile round of the EWS in late March 2018. Suffice to say both riders are stoked on the bikes.
“From my first ride, I was completely comfortable on the Arktos,” said Kelley. “It’s stiff, stable yet nimble, and really allows me to ride at my limit. The suspension system really impresses me as well. The Arktos pedals so well, but at the same time can absorb a monster impact. It’s really the best of both worlds.”
“When I first started talking with Alchemy, my biggest question was, ‘What about the bike,’” explained Beerten. “At this point in my career, I need a bike I can win on, and in the mind, the Arktos is that bike. It does everything so well. It is good on small chatter, a solid feel in the middle and allows me to smash almost anything. It’s hard for me to imagine a bike that is better suited for my riding style.”
Joining Alchemy in its 2018 Enduro World Series effort are team co-sponors ENVE, Shimano, crankbrothers, Fizik, Maxxis, Fox, Chris King, BikeCo, Peaty’s, Enduro Bites, 7Mesh, and OneUp.