In over 20 years of riding mountain bikes this was surprisingly only my third bike. The first was a Giant Escaper on which I started racing, then in 1993 I bought a Team Marin and fitted some state of the art Pace RC35 AB forks (more on the Team Marin in a future post) and that’s been that for nearly 20 years. I’ve never felt the need to upgrade to anything newer until I did Mayhem for the first time in 2008 when I suffered like a dog and didn’t ride for 3 months afterwards.
I decided I deserved a new full-sus bike and the obvious choice was a Marin Alchemist. They never appeared and after a long chat and a coffee, my LBS got Stu King, the Yeti importer, to stop by with his test bike one sunny Friday morning and there was never going to be anything else joining the stable.
The test bike had been built in a ‘race’ build with mainly XT bits but a Chris king rear hub and headset but I decided on the classic turquoise frame and the Yeti supplied Enduro build to keep costs down a bit. The token gesture to bling (apart from the frame) are a pair of XTR pedals and the the gesture to fashion are white crud guards.
My LBS (John Atkins Cycles) did the assembly (15th May) and I wanted to be there to see every stage and record it. I went armed with biscuits and my camera and spent a most enjoyable morning in the workshop.
There are a few striking things about the frame that need mentioning. It’s rather light and can be built to around 21lbs helped in part by the rear carbon triangle. This is a work of art, with the seat stays being sculpted on the sides with a thinned section on the seat stay designed to flex and avoid the weight and maintenance of a traditional pivot. The chain stays are asymmetric for additional rigidity and bonded into a cast aluminium dropout.
The top tube is angled with a machined section to reduce weight, from which a machined dogbone hangs to determine the path of the rear travel. Rear shock is a FOX RP23 with pro pedal, while the downtube has a figure of 8 style profile.
The small details are what you get from a niche boutique builder I guess (well they were niche but have since become more mainstream with recent models) and I’ve not seen many others around. This in part is due to the current fashion of long travel bikes and Evolution (the importers) have said they sell far more 575’s. I really don’t see how you need that much travel on the vast majority of UK trails but I’ll save that for another post.
It’s all I wanted, nothing too bling that I’d worry about the cost of replacing broken bits, not too light that I’d worry about throwing it off jumps. Just need to keep quiet about the cost shhhhh.