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Alchemy Bicycles was founded in 2008 in Austin, Texas. Making custom bikes using steel, titanium and carbon and although still relatively young in comparison to other builders, Alchemy have a reputation for making handmade bicycles with superlative design and engineering standards. The company, now based in Denver, Colorado, was recently commissioned to build a frame for the Rapha Continental.
What does the Continental project mean to you?
The Continental has always been on our radar. I think initially what attracted us to it was the sense of adventure and willingness to ride anywhere at any time, regardless of how impossible it seemed. Alchemy is cut from the same cloth, with the same willingness to fight through adversity together to reach our goals.
What has been the biggest inspiration for Alchemy?
We appreciate those who create a helpful or superior product through innovation. We've recently reengineered our entire carbon line based on very high manufacturing standards and our ability to make our own carbon tubing in-house. Now we're creating a complete bicycle frame from start to finish in our Denver, CO workshop.
Does Alchemy have its own particular style?
Alchemy is composed of a solid team all with individual skill sets, styles and beliefs. We're all very different, but together, create a clean and straightforward identity. Because of our diversity, we tend not to alienate any particular customer.
How do you approach frame building?
You've got to have the right tool for the job. For this reason, while we're pushing towards carbon fibre frames, we still proudly offer our stainless steel and titanium frames. Not everyone benefits from a carbon fibre frame. We create quite a few awesome metal bikes all serving their purpose and satisfying their customer's needs.
Why did you choose to build bikes?
Passion for cycling has driven the team towards the industry of building frames. We were all bike aficionados before setting foot in a workshop. Our continued passion for the sport continues to motivate us to build beautiful, one-of-a-kind custom metal and carbon frames.
How do you interact and advise customers on how they should have a frame created?
Guidance is important. We don't disregard what our customers have to say, but we've learned a lot about what makes a bike perform and feel right. We love to fit our customers in the shop because it gives us an opportunity to rationalize the fit and explain all of the options to them.
What do you want to your customers to experience?
We just want our customers to be excited about their new Alchemy and to be overjoyed with the overall experience. Of course, we want the quality of the ride to be better than any bike they've ever ridden, but we're also intent on sharing an experience. People love to be involved, tour the shop, watch their frame being cut. It's their bike after all and they should be involved in the process from start to finish.
What have you done differently for this particular Continental build?
Every custom frame is built to suit its rider's particular needs. For the Continental bike, we built in additional tire clearance, improved the overall comfort of the ride by tweaking geometry and tube types. What was produced is a comfortable, vertically compliant, but responsive stainless steel machine, ready to tackle nearly any conditions thrown in the rider's direction.