Among US custom bike builders, you can likely count on one hand the number that make their own tubes. Alchemy’s one of them, and now they’ve released their third bike with their own tubes.
The Balius cyclocross bike follows the Arione and Helios, getting tube shapes and layups that are shaped, cut, laid up and wrapped specifically for the intended use and the end user. Actually, for now, the Balius shares the Helios’ top and down tube molds. Within 12 months, it’ll get it’s own top tube design. Compared to the round tubes used in the original Balius, the new front triangle’s tubes are bladder molded using shapes that provide the stiffness and handling you want with an easy to grab and shoulder top tube curve.
Johs Huseby, who joined Alchemy from Cannondale Sports Group to lead their sales, used to race cyclocross professionally and helped develop the ride characteristics. “I was looking for a little vertical compliance while still maintaining the torsional stiffness needed to steer through rough terrain,” Huseby said. “I also had the rear end made with a lay-up that was a little more forgiving as well to alleviate the harshness found in some bikes, and to give compliancy.”
To build the bike, each tube’s layup is figured out based on rider size, weight and riding preferences and style. Then they’re each handmade before being assembled into a complete frame. And the rider has plenty of options to really make it work the way they want:
- Disc or cantilever brake mounts
- PF86, PF30 or threaded bottom bracket
- Gloss or matte finish in one of 9 stock colors
Suggested retail price is $4250 for a full custom frame or $3750 in a stock size (52cm, 54cm, 56cm, 58cm, 60cm). That includes a Chris King headset and paint-matched ENVE fork.
Average frame weight is estimated around 1,150g, but Huseby says they could probably get down to about 1,050 on smaller sizes.
Check ’em out at AlchemyBicycles.com.