First look: Antidote’s Darkmatter 29 is still the ATV pagani

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Formula 1 and supercar enthusiast Mike Levy has called the original Darkmatter the Pagani of Polish mountain bikes and the revamped version doesn’t stray far from that metaphor with its striking raw carbon look. Every part of production takes place under the watchful eye of Antidote’s builders at their factory in southern Poland, but the exclusivity of these handcrafted bikes is not all that sets them apart.

Already ahead of the high-pivot trend, Antidote has stayed true to its original design with a minor axle pivot modification and, of course, updated geometry with larger 29 “wheels. Faster handling. The 29 “rear wheel has clearance for 190mm of travel, while the 27.5” will produce the standard 200mm of travel, most of which has rear axle travel.

Dark matter details

• Wheel size: 29 “(27.5” rear option)
• Rear travel: 190 mm – 29 “/ 200 mm – 27.5”
• Monocoque carbon and Vectran composite
• Noster Kinetics (high pivot swingarm with concentric axle pivot)
• 63º head angle
• Sizes: M, L, XL
• Weight: 3.35 kg (size L with all protections)
• Price: 9,999 – 10,049 euros
• Frame kits: 4,999 – 5,999 euros
• antidotebikes.com

In addition to the shop building, Antidote offers several options for building kits with luxurious suspension, premium parts, and custom paint jobs – be sure to check out some of the builds in the gallery here. Suspension brands that are experts in coil spring shocks like EXT and Ohlins are staples in the specs of their teams and prototypes, as is their equally jaw-dropping Carbonjack enduro bike.


Frame details

First, the sight of the 29 “wheels takes the revised Darkmatter to modern downhill racing metrics, continuing with Antidote’s special blend of monocoque carbon and Vectran composite materials. Although the suspension layout looks Being the same as before, the seat swivel has Speaking of axles, the hub spacing moves away from the long-standing standard downhill and fits enduro bikes at 148mm.

Other areas that have been tidied up are the deflection pulley, which does not rest directly on the pivot and now has an integrated guide. Noster Kinetics’ kinematics are tuned to produce a high anti-squat from 110% which is less common for a DH racing bike. Antidote claims that the suspension performance remains exceptional in any terrain without compromise, but still offers low pedal rebound.

As mentioned, the 27.5 “linkage will give 10mm of extra travel and regardless of wheel size, but Antidote recommends using a coil damper due to the built-in ramp to control dips at the end of the ride. The specific leverage curve Like most high pivot designs the main advantage is the rear axle trajectory which has the magical ability to clear bumps and the Darkmatter provides 20mm of rear wheel travel with the rear wheel larger and 26 mm with the mule configuration.

Adjusting all of these kinematics is simple with the yoke that extends from the rotating link around the bottom bracket shell and contains a standard 250 x 75mm damper. The damper is also at 90 ° to the traditional orientation, which is especially useful for the EXT Arma which requires a hex socket to adjust its compression dials.

And how to talk about a DH racing bike without mentioning the anti-rise? The Darkmatter’s anti-rise also starts above 100%, encouraging the bike to sit evenly in the debate – a trait some criticize for making the suspension tough, while others argue that the balance and geometry are retained and have a greater advantage.


Geometry

Released in 2016, the first version of the Darkmatter was ahead of the game with the suspension design, but the geometry unfortunately fell behind. You know how this story unfolds; longer, lower, softer. Just looking at the side profile of this futuristic bike, you can tell the geometry is up to the task as the reach of the mid-size bike is now 445mm, the shortest of the three size options. That number climbs in 30mm intervals to 505 on the XL and pushes the wheelbase well above 1,300mm – 1,321.5, to be exact. Although the chainstays oscillate between 449 and 442 mm depending on the rear wheel chosen, they remain constant on all sizes. Resting at a common 63º angle, the head angle is best paired with the shortest possible fork offset, according to Antidote.


Models and prices

This frame is less than ordinary and so you can expect more than ordinary prices – the crème de la crème artisan carbon-mache. If you are just looking for a frame kit (frame, seat clamp, rear axle) without any paint job, it will cost you € 4,999. Additionally, there are suspension packages with EXT and Ohlins shocks for € 5,899 and € 5,999, respectively, as well as frame, fork and shock options. These would include a Fox 40 paired with the EXT Arma V3 for € 6,999 and Ohlins’ Swedish gold package with their DH38 M.1 fork and TTX 22 shock at € 7,299.

There are also full prices for bikes using the same fork and shock combinations listed above, but one trim kit. These parts would include SRAM Code RSC brakes and an XO1 DH system, Industry Nine Grade 300 aluminum wheels, a Maxxis Minion DHF and DHR II pair and Antidote’s 35mm clamp handlebars.

For those who opt for the 27.5 “rear wheel option, the additional link will cost 199 € and the price of the custom paint will need to be discussed with Antidote.




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