New brand ARBR takes British garden shed engineering to the next level

New British start-up bike brand ARBR (pronounced “Arber”) and their extremely interesting 160mm carbon fibre enduro bike – the ARBR Saker.

Need to know

  • Made in Britain: designed in Surrey, formed and painted in Goodwood, Sussex, and branded in Hampshire
  • 160mm-travel front and rear and 27.5in wheels
  • Full carbon frame with the swingarm formed from two pieces
  • 100 per cent customised spec — anything from frame only to full build

Only brands with decades of experience and legions of engineers can build in carbon fibre, right? Seems nobody told ARBR, which is about to launch this stunning debut bike, designed by a team of just one.

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Fresh from the moulds and ready to rip, the ARBR Saker is the brainchild of engineer Robert Barr, who started the project in his spare time. Now there are five people working on the project around their full-time jobs, and ARBR has even bigger ambitions, hoping to take on the likes of Santa Cruz and build, in Rob’s words, the “ultimate descending bike”.


Check out the idler on that!

Single pivot with idler

It certainly looks stunning. With 160mm travel, a full carbon frame and single-pivot suspension design with a rocker-actuated shock, it’s not your average collection of welded tubes.

The idler is there for three reasons, Rob says: “To keep the chain on, to stop the chain inhibiting the suspension and to deliver 100 per cent anti-squat.”

What this means is the bike should pedal without bobbing, but move freely of the chain when descending… but you’ll have to wait for our first ride to see if they’ve managed it.

Unique sizing

The sizing feels generous too, with a 1,220mm wheelbase, a 465mm reach and a 65° head angle — longer and roomier than last month’s enduro bike winner, the size Large Giant Reign 27.5. The Saker won’t have conventional sizing though, going by reach instead of seat tube measurement.

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The Saker started life as a CAD drawing in 2013, and since then the project has taken over Rob’s life, a passion that’s consumed every spare moment outside his regular day job.

“The best part, though, was cracking open the first mould and finding the bike,” he says. “Then riding it. I spent so much time turning the 3D bike around in CAD, so many hours working on it, to look down when I sat on it and see it exist was an amazing thing.”

ARBR will launch this summer, with the first batch of bikes heading to customers at the end of 2016. They won’t be cheap though. The price is yet to be confirmed, but expect something like £4,000 for the frame and shock