Clean lines, a premium carbon look and all of it done by hand: Polish bike brand, Antidote, don’t disappoint with the 2022 Woodsprite, introducing the latest head-turner in their portfolio. We put the 135 mm travel trail bike to the test to find out what it’s capable of on the trails.
For most bike brands, development, frame production, and final assembly are outsourced to countless locations around the world. This doesn’t just result in a lot of transport costs, but also in tons of CO2 emissions. Nevertheless, manufacturers who do everything locally are becoming increasingly rare. One of the few survivors are the Polish bike manufacturers Antidote, who will soon be celebrating their 20th anniversary. The bikes don’t just get developed in their factory in Cracow, Poland, but that’s also where they handcraft the carbon frames, mount all the components, and ship the final product to the customer. And all that without charging ridiculous prices. In the case of our test bike featuring Shimano XT components and FOX Factory suspension, you’ll have to hand over € 7,999. You can buy the bikes either from a dealer or directly from the manufacturer’s website.
The new Antidote Woodsprite relies on a new iteration of the specially developed FDS rear linkage, which now goes by the name of Smart FDS. The 135 mm travel is actuated by a linkage-driven single-pivot design, which, in signature Antidote style, relies on a floating shock mount. However, the shock isn’t mounted to an additional link like on its big brother, the Carbonjack, but mounted directly to the chainstays at the bottom and a machined aluminium rocker at the top. Up front, you can choose between 140 and 150 mm travel, and the trail bike rolls on 29″ wheels exclusively.
The 2022 Antidote Woodsprite in detail
All cables are routed internally of the beautiful Woodsprite frame, and while they seem to fit quite tightly, they’re not clamped in place and tend to rattle in some situations. The cables reappear underneath the bottom bracket before finding their way into the rear end. Unfortunately, the frame doesn’t come with a downtube protector, leaving it fully exposed to the dirt being flung at it, though this didn’t cause any problems during our tests.
The seat and chainstays are covered with well-positioned plastic protectors, keeping the chain quiet. There’s a large carbon splash guard to protect the shock, which is positioned right behind the rear tire – excellent! You will also find more than enough space for a water bottle inside the front triangle, though Antidote opted against a tool mount or storage compartment.
The build options and prices of the 2022 Antidote Woodsprite
For the purchase of the Woodsprite, you can choose from seven complete builds or a frame kit. The latter goes for € 3,799 without a shock. The prices of the preconfigured builds range from € 7,799 to € 8,699. The small price difference arises from the fact that most of the components of the different builds remain the same, only giving you a choice in the suspension, drivetrain, and brakes. By indicating your weight when you order online, the bike will come with the correct coil weight should you decide to go with a coil shock, which is great. In addition, you can choose between the raw carbon look – as in our case – or a range of colours for a small additional charge. You can also get a complete custom paint job on request.
The components of the Antidote Woodsprite on test
Our test bike came equipped with a FOX 34 Factory fork providing 140 mm travel up front and featuring the finely tuneable GRIP2 damper, this is partnered with a FOX FLOAT X Factory air shock at the rear. Both the drivetrain and four-piston brakes come from Shimano’s XT range and do an excellent job. The brakes rely on 200 mm rotors front and rear, giving you ample braking power.
The BikeYoke revive dropper post and matching remote are a good choice, too. It offers a whopping 213 mm travel on the size L frame and can be inserted all the way. Matching the beautiful clear-coated carbon frame is an 810 mm wide carbon handlebar, supplied in-house. Unfortunately, they opted against the use of I-SPEC brake clamps, using individual clamps to mount the brake levers, shifter, and dropper remote to the handlebar.
When choosing the wheels, Antidote rely on the Industry Nine Hydra Enduro S wheelset and combine it with MAXXIS tires. In the case of our test bike, they were fitted with a 2.5″ wide Minion DHF and a 2.4″ Minion DHR II. Both featuring the robust Doubledown casing and soft MaxxGrip rubber compound. They also had CushCore XC tire inserts installed. This suits the bike’s hard-hitting capabilities while still tipping the scales at just 14.2 kg. However, the production bike will come fitted with EXO+ casings as standard, which we recommend upgrading if you’re a heavier rider or you’ve got an aggressive riding style and you want to protect the carbon rims.
Antidote Woodsprite 2022
Fork FOX 34 Factory GRIP2 140 mm
Rear Shock FOX Float X Factory 135 mm
Seatpost BikeYoke Revive 2.0 185/213/213 mm
Brakes Shimano XT 203 mm
Drivetrain Shimano XT 1x12
Stem Industry Nine
Handlebar Antidote 35 810 mm
Wheelset Industry Nine Enduro S Hydra 29"
Tires MAXXIS Minion DHF/Minion DHR II EXO+ 2.5/2.4
Size M L XL
The geometry of the Antidote Woodsprite
When buying the Antidote Woodsprite you can choose from three frame sizes, M–XL. This should accommodate riders from 169 to 198 cm tall. Our size L test bike has a reach of 485 mm and a relatively short seat tube of 440 mm. The cool thing is that the seat tube is kept across the board, so you can choose the frame size based on the length. However, the chainstay length remains static on all frame sizes, which comes in at a considerable 450 mm due to the Smart FDS linkage design.
|Seat tube||420 mm||440 mm||470 mm|
|Top tube||588 mm||618 mm||648 mm|
|Head tube||110 mm||120 mm||130 mm|
|Chainstays||450 mm||450 mm||450 mm|
|BB Height||344 mm||344 mm||344 mm|
|BB Drop||35 mm||35 mm||35 mm|
|Wheelbase||1,219 mm||1,253 mm||1,287 mm|
|Reach||455 mm||485 mm||515 mm|
|Stack||617 mm||626 mm||636 mm|
The 2022 Antidote Woodsprite on the trail
As you’d expect from a modern trail bike, the Antidote Woodsprite can be pedalled to the trailhead without much effort. The riding position is balanced, placing some weight on your hands, so you don’t have to worry about the front wheel lifting on steep inclines. In addition, the rear end generates sufficient traction with the shock open, allowing you to master technical climbs without spinning out or bouncing off obstacles. Thanks to the efficient pedalling platform, there’s no need to reach for the climb switch on long forest-road climbs either.
On the descents, the Woodsprite positions you securely and centrally on the bike and it immediately feels like you’ve got more travel than specified. It generates plenty of traction through open corners and when braking on loose terrain. The Woodsprite strikes a good balance between agility and composure and, thanks to its firm rear end, it’s easy to boost off jumps. However, when things get really fast and rough, the FOX 34 fork reaches its limits, flexing noticeably when hitting compressions and coming under strain.
Our conclusion on the 2022 Antidote Woodsprite
The Antidote Woodsprite ticks a lot of the right boxes. The fact that everything is done by hand at the headquarters Poland alone is enough to make it stand out from the crowd, from the development right up to the final assembly. The spec of our test bike is flawless, though it’s not standard – aggressive riders will have to upgrade the tires themselves. The Woodsprite delivers on the trail, whether you’re going up or coming down, offering an excellent balance between agility and composure.
- handmade in Poland
- almost perfect build spec
- excellent balance between agility and composure
- standard tires don’t do justice to the bike’s potential
- cables rattle occasionally
For more information, visit antidotebikes.com
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Words & Photos: Peter Walker