We spotted a couple of these striking looking carbon prototypes cruising around the EWS pits at Finale Ligure and had to find out more! We met designer Robert Barr and got the low down on the frame.

Designer Robert Barr with the prototype frame.
Designer Robert Barr with the prototype frame.

ARBR is based in Surrey with the frame manufactured in West Sussex in the UK. The frame has been two and a half years in development with the pre-production prototypes being tested since January.

At first glance the frame reminded us of the infamous Honda RN01!
At first glance the frame reminded us of the infamous Honda RN01!

The bike packs 160mm of travel front and rear giving the bike a ‘do it all’ attitude. The rear suspension layout consists of a high single pivot into a rocker which according to the designer, gives great control over the motion ratio and and a nice progressive rate on the shock. They have added and idler to eliminatea any chain feedback and also help the pedaling efficiency of the bike.

Closer look at that idler.
Closer look at that idler.

“The aim was to try and minimise the compromises and use some fundamentally sound principles to get a rear suspension that really works incredibly well for descending but minimises the compromises in pedalling, so the pedalling efficiency is very good from that bike.”

The bike features 160mm of travel both front and rear.
The bike features 160mm of travel both front and rear.

The wheelbase is long at 1220 mm, which combined with a head angle of 65 degrees and reach of 465 mm should give the bike a very stable and confidence inspiring ride. The weight comes in at around 13 kg (29 lbs) depending on the specification.

The swing arm is also carbon.
The swing arm is also carbon.

The bike is expected to go into production in 2016, the production model is yet to be finalized with a few final tweaks to be made. The frames will be manufactured in a low volume as they are hand laminated in the UK so the frame will be a “high end niche bike”. The price for the frame alone is roughly £3500 (approximately 4750€) with high end full builds coming in above £7000 (approximately 9450€).

Words and Photos: Ross Bell