NAHBS 2013: Alchemy Shows Killer Prototype Road Bike, Brings More Carbon Tube Production In House
Alchemy’s new road race bike is a yet to be named prototype that’s halfway between the aero Arion and the round tube Xanthus. It borrows the Arion’s top tube and the Xanthus’ seat tube with an all new downtube.
It, along with an updated Arion, uses new tubes that are now made in house using their own 70 ton heated press. On the bike we tested, the tubes were made by ENVE. By bringing the tube production in house, Alchemy’s Matt Maczuzak said it cuts their production time by up to 90%, and gives them more customization opportunities since they can layup each tube specifically to match the customer’s needs.
This one has race geometry, but it’s full custom if you want it. Maczuzak said a lot of bike shops are starting to request their own “shop tuned” geometry that they can show on the floor. They’ll offer have two stock geometries, one for race and one for endurance, both likely to land around $4,500 for a frameset with 1.25 tapered steerer ENVE 2.0 fork and Cane Creek headset. Add $500 for custom size and geometry.
Click on through for more details on this and the new Arion and more…
The downtube is a quasi-ovalized tube that becomes sort of diamond shaped at the headtube, with the outside corners significantly wider than the headtube. To fit it, it’s mitered to shape, then the overwrap at that joint and bonding agents fill in the holes.
Like the Arion, the wrapped carbon is visible in patterns under the clear coat, adding a lot of visual interest.
The internal cable routing pops out just in front of the bottom bracket.
Target weight is 900g for a 56. They’re painted by their new in house paint shop called ChromaFab, which is in their Cherry Creek store in Denver. Should be available in about three months.
UPDATED ARION & OTHER TRENDS
The Arion’s tube shapes have been tweaked to both improve aerodynamics and drop a few grams. The downtube no longer arches across the top, which provides a more consistent airflow pattern. Top tube is a bit wider, too, which distributes forces a bit better.
Shift cables now enter behind the stem and run through a thin stainless steel tube just into the downtube, then run free to the exit port under the BB.
The logo is laid into the mold with the rest of the layers of carbon, just at an offset angle, so they’re completely flush.
Across the range, disc brakes are finding homes on more of their bikes. Their Xanthus road bike claims to come in right at 15lbs with Shimano mechanical calipers and full Dura-Ace. They could put discs on the Arion, but aerodynamics would suffer.
Their cyclocross bike.
They still do about 10% of their bikes in steel, mostly stainless, but that percentage is shrinking as carbon becomes their main business.