IB13: Alchemist’s Enduro Stealth Carbon Wheels, Intricately Curved Hubs & More!

2014-Alchemist-Stealth-Enduro-carbon-mountain-bike-wheels

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…

2014-Alchemist-Stealth-Enduro-carbon-mountain-bike-wheels

Plenty wide and tubeless ready. The Stealth wheels are built with 24 straight pull Sapim Leader spokes front and rear.

2014-Alchemist-Stealth-Enduro-carbon-mountain-bike-wheels-and-hubs

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.

2014-Alchemist-Stealth-Enduro-carbon-mountain-bike-wheels-and-hubs

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.

2014-Alchemist-29er-carbon-clincher-rim

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.

2014-Alchemist-29er-Wave-Wheel and hubs

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.

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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.

2014-Alchemist-prototype-carbon-29er-rim

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.

2014-Alchemist-carbon-fiber-ergo-flat-handlebars

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:

2014-Alchemist-carbon-fiber-ergo-flat-handlebars

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).

2014-Alchemist-carbon-fiber-flex-seatpost

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

Comments

ant1 - 09/23/13 - 5:19pm

those things look damn good.

Zap? - 09/23/13 - 5:28pm

This is some stunning and very creative engineering. Wow.

tajiri - 09/23/13 - 5:29pm

only word: suberb!

nice design.. waiting for reviews from superplastics composities

Engineer - 09/23/13 - 5:31pm

That is badass all the way. I love to see out of the box thinking like this with the design.

Dr. Monkeypants - 09/23/13 - 5:34pm

Wow. Their stuff has been vaporware since forever. So glad to see actual, physical examples. And gottttdayum, are they sexy!

Chris - 09/23/13 - 5:43pm

Not a fan of the look but certainly appreciate the work behind them.

Mindless - 09/23/13 - 5:50pm

They should use the marketing name for this feature “Mud Magnet ™”

Greg @ dsw - 09/23/13 - 6:05pm

Nice looking hubs, they remind me of various cars and props in recent batman movies. On to the seatpost–call me dense, but how exactly will flipping the seatpost cradle change anything significant? The real limiters are the cylinder-shaped clamps on both the front and back of the post, they’re the ones that limit seat post fore-aft movement along the straight section of saddle rail. And they don’t move when you flip the seatpost cradle. So how does this “+5/-20mm offset” happen ?

Antipodean_G - 09/23/13 - 6:14pm

Those rims are fantastic! The engineering is really very smart. But…

As an industrial designer, I understand one can do anything given enough money. While I really like the wheels, admire the engineering and smarts of them, the price tag puts them into the realm of silliness for most riders.

One has to then ask two questions:

1: For the given price, are they really a great design, where end design is a combination of different factors, some semblance of affordability usually being one of them?

2: Given the price, are they really *that* much better than other, less expensive, high end wheels on the market?

Anything can be designed, given enough cash and or a very high asking price. F1 cars anyone?

Topmounter - 09/23/13 - 6:25pm

Those Stealth rims are going to improve the effectiveness of my V-brakes tremendously.

crazyeddie - 09/23/13 - 6:29pm

does it make any sense to build the cradle like that? the yokes limit the possible horizontal movement of the saddle, not the cradle. so you can choose the same saddle positions in both cradle positions.

reubenmc - 09/23/13 - 9:20pm

I’m thinking the +5 setting comes from spinning the post around 180 deg like a forward offset Tri post and then reversing the cradle bias back to the rear to support the rails…

reubenmc - 09/23/13 - 9:25pm

of course… that should be giving you +20 I guess? since, as others have said the clamps will be what limits the movement… I don’t know…

saupak - 09/23/13 - 11:28pm

Made in Italy carbon?
http://blogs.wsj.com/drivers-seat/2010/09/06/ferrari-recalls-new-458-italia-after-some-catch-fire/
Um…yeah…no.

WK - 09/24/13 - 1:41am

Take my Money Now!

nsp234 - 09/24/13 - 3:37am

Of course they look good.
Maybe the stealth bomber looks isn’t for everyone, but expect them to be on some cool show bikes.

But almost 2 1/2 grand for wheels that are neither especially light nor wide… I don’t know.

Walter - 09/24/13 - 7:34am

Increased aerodynamic drag FTW!

1Pro - 09/24/13 - 8:47am

what is with these rims? more detail please. they are not the normal bladder molded jobs but look to be true compression molded or even short fiber injection?

sark - 09/24/13 - 9:02am

These rims.. they are polarising.. even for me as a person..

On the one hand the “practical cyclist with a slim budget”..
The part of me says.. Nah.. nonsense.. too expensive.. “mudmagnet” somebody called them.. I agree. And they dont fit with the rest of the bike.

On the other hand.. the design engineer…
buaahhh.. the shapes.. just techno lovely.. the milling…AbFab!
How the hell did they make the rims? The amount of fibre and resin? How?
What about stiffness? I want to see the productionplant..
The post and the bar… polymers? HOW?

So.. but since the design engineer part of me also has a slim budget none of the stuff above is ever going to be on my bike.

HA!

Jeff - 09/24/13 - 9:49am

If Darth Vader were to race enduro…those are his wheels.

Max - 09/24/13 - 12:02pm

I’m amazed, the product designers and marketing guys ignored most of the proven rules of engineering and added some chitchat. So they made the products worse and the crowd is going crazy and wants to buy this crap.

Gosh, crazy world!

hollywood - 09/24/13 - 12:38pm

Rims: cheeseball.

Out for a Ride - 09/24/13 - 8:48pm

I’ve been looking for some rims to match my OAKLEY ELITE C SIX™ premium eyewear.

Heffe - 11/13/13 - 5:19pm

I like the bars and the seatpost.

Franz - 12/03/13 - 8:55am

“I’m amazed, the product designers and marketing guys ignored most of the proven rules of engineering and added some chitchat.”

Dude. go study a little, go learn what structural optimization is, and then comment.
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