A quick refresher: C-Bear makes ceramic bearings and bottom brackets. They wanted a bike that could showcase those items, but it quickly turned into two bikes the opportunity to pit two amazing builders and shops against one another. This Alchemy is for C-Bear owner Bart Schouten, and the Parlee is for Ard Kessels, owner of their US distributor Sprocket Scientist.
The rules were simple: Build a bike around each person’s fit data and the Dura-Ace 9000 mechanical group, with paint and design that reflected the C-Bear brand. Alchemy chose to keep the paint scheme a secret until the bike was finished and brought to Vegas, but I don’t think it disappointed…
While C-Bear’s logo is green, they’re a Belgian company, so they used that motif instead. The Helios frame’s tubes are all made in house in Alchemy’s Denver, CO, facility save for the seat tube (for now). Each one’s lay up is custom designed along with the length and angle, then wrapped around their own molds for a true, 100% custom bike.
The paint carried over to the ENVE cockpit.
With the client spec’ing the Dura-Ace mechanical group (and the fact that their Di2 hydraulic set up won’t be available until late this year), Nie Brothers went with the TRP HyRD hybrid mechanical/hydraulic brake calipers.
One of the highlights of Alchemy’s frames is the detailed over wraps around the joints. The layers are placed to do their job, but the ends are angled and stepped to create a beautiful pattern.
Shift cables pop out of the downtube just in time to wrap around the bottom bracket. Like the Parlee, Alchemy used C-Bear’s ceramic bottom bracket system to adapt the PFBB30 frame to Shimano’s 24mm spindle.
More pretty layup.
White Industries disc brake road hubs finish off the build. Here’s the full list:
|frame||Helios disc, custom sized|
|fork||Enve road disc|
|brake/shift levers||Shimano Dura Ace 9000|
|front derailleur||Shimano Dura Ace 9000|
|rear derailleur||Shimano Dura Ace 9000|
|brake calipers||TRP HY/RD with 160mm discs|
|bottom bracket||C-Bear PF30 to 24mm bottom bracket with road bearings|
|crank set||Shimano Dura Ace 9000|
|chain rings||Shimano Dura Ace 9000 34/50T|
|cassette||Shimano Dura Ace 9000 11-28|
|chain||Shimano Dura Ace 9000|
|rims||Enve 45 carbon tubular|
|hubs||White industries Mi6/CX11-135 disc|
|wheel bearings||C-Bear ceramic road|
|spokes||sapim CX-RAY 24F/28R|
|handlebar||Enve Road Bar|
|head set||Cane Creek 110|
|tires||Continental Competition tubular, 22mm|
The whole package comes in at 16.42lbs (7.45kg), being held on the scale by Alchemy’s designer Matt Maczuzak. Total cost: $12,250.
With Schouten in Belgium, he sent over his fit data electronically with nothing about that process included in this build story. But, here’s there video of the night-of-leaving-for-Interbike assembly: