The Arktos 29 was the perfect platform for our build due to its quality craftsmanship and attention to detail. Alchemy designed this frame with downhill toughness while retaining a peppy attitude for climbing back up.

Frame: We began our build with Alchemy’s Arktos 29, a carbon frame with 140mm of travel and 29-inch wheels. At the heart of the Arktos is a patented dual-linkage platform called Sine Suspension. Best of all, this carbon frame is handmade in the USA.

To make our build truly unique we ran Wren’s Inverted MTB fork with Hope wheels and brakes. The fork uses a Twin Air system for fine-tune adjustments and has carbon bash guards to protect its lower tubes.

Fork: Wanting to stay away from a traditional-style fork, we went with a more eye-catching option. Wren’s inverted fork did the trick, offering 150mm of travel, along with Boost hub spacing and carbon bash guards for an additional wow factor.

One of the most exciting parts of our build is TRP’s new 12-speed drivetrain. After seeing TRP’s 7-speed downhill drivetrain on none other than Aaron Gwin’s race bike, we were eager to see a more trail-friendly option hit the market. Expect a full review soon.

Drivetrain: Making sure to keep our build truly custom, we ran TRP’s all-new, 12-speed derailleur paired with a Shimano XT, 10-45t cassette and a Hope EVO crankset. Stay tuned as we plan to bring you a full-ride report on this setup in an upcoming issue.

Wheels: Hope provided us with a pair of 29-inch Fortus aluminum wheels with red Pro-4 hubs and matching rotors. Our bike required Boost+ 157mm rear spacing and Boost 110mm spacing up front. The wheels are tubeless-ready and feature 26mm inner widths.

Tires: When it came to rubber, we went straight to Bontrager and grabbed a pair of 2.6-inch-wide tires to ensure plenty of traction out on the trails. In front, we placed a 29-inch SE4 tire and then a 29-inch SE5 tire in the rear. We wanted a durable yet fast-rolling tire for the rear, and a grippy and lightweight tire for the front end.

Sealant: Maxima Oils has kept our bikes fresh and running smoothly for years, so when Maxima launched its new tire sealant, we jumped at the opportunity to give it a try.

Brakes: To ensure our bike had plenty of stopping power, we ran Hope’s Tech 3 E4 brakes, which are specifically designed for enduro racing. The Tech 3 levers allow riders to tune in the bite point and adjust reach, while the E4 calipers offer four pistons inside a CNC-machined, one-piece caliper.

Cockpit: Every rider knows the importance of a quality handlebar and stem combo, so for our build we used a complete setup from Hope. Our carbon handlebar featured a 780mm width and a 20mm rise. We then paired our bar with Hope’s AM/Freeride stem. Our stem featured a 31.8mm clamping diameter and a 50mm length.

Grips: Reverse Components offers a wide variety of grip sizes, from 28mm in diameter up to 34mm. To help with your buying decision, Reverse offers a sizing chart on its website that recommends grip diameter based on the length of your hand. We placed the 32mm grip on our bike, which features a silicon material with dual lock rings and a sturdy end cap.

Dropper post: We test dozens of dropper posts, and SDG’s Tellis is still near the top of our list. It’s a breeze to set up, easy to service and has an ergonomic lever with a light touch. To ensure all of our testers could have a turn riding this machine, we picked a 150mm drop; however, taller riders can get a full 170mm of travel.

Saddle: SDG has over 20 years of experience with saddles, so we put our trust in SDG’s Bel-Air 2.0 saddle. The Bel-Air 2.0 features a raised rear to aid in climbing and a curved-down nose to prevent baggy shorts from snagging.

Pedals: For pedals, we went with Reverse Components Black One platform pedals that feature CNC-machined construction and 20 aluminum pins per pedal. Reverse sells additional pin colors for riders who want to add a little extra flair to their ride.