It’s fair to say there have been some very inventive designs originating in the UK. ‘The Mule’ downhill bike from Tim Graves, Allen Millyard’s single sided hermetically sealed drivetrain bike, Craig Robertson and the Empire downhill bike or the K9 from Luis Arraiz. A recent meeting proves that something special is coming from the south too.
It’s easy to see Honda RN01 and V Process inspiration in the design you see here, with its flowing lines and single high pivot with idler. What’s less easy to see at first glance is the beautifully worked linkage that drives the rear damper or the inspired geometry that is almost impossible to fault.
Maybe all you might see is carbon, after all there is a lot of it, but remember this is a first prototype without any lick of paint. And that as much as this material dominates the high-end bikes in particular there is huge inconsistency in the feeling that each bike achieves, many offer too much stiffness and some too little.
With its 160mm travel the ARBR is not shy of wanting to be a bike built for every occasion. Which it will be. It will drop in under the 30lb marker, offer a progressive suspension design that’s easy to ride, settling well in corners, generating good drive out of the terrain and giving a stable ride when booting it into deep breakers. After having the opportunity to ride this bike its surprising how bang on the numbers are on this bike geometry wise as a first out of the mould bike, how well the suspension works and how ‘just right’ the carbon content and feel is. Even though the owners have huge suspension expertise and riding knowledge behind them to get this close on first proto’ is impressive. Yes there is still work to do to get to production but this is good.
It’s idler design is not new however, but the advent of eleven speed has now allowed such a design to be applied to trail and enduro bikes for the first time. More than this, they have the look right, for image will always be a player. These photo’s clearly give an idea of this significant bike which will be open for orders from October from around the £3000 mark. It will offer a truly graceful design that has every detail covered, and it already has that ‘something’ that nobody else is offering, a high end, unique piece of engineering that never sets out to be pumped off the production line in high numbers or given a lurid lick of paint to hide an ordinary performance. An exclusive bike, a distinctive bike for sure.
This could well be a bike for the outside lane, a first carbon 160mm for a British company.