Unique styling. Custom carbon. And a high-pivot idler. Antidote’s Darkmatter combines all three.

Antidote is a Polish boutique brand that doesn’t outsource production.

By fabricating its own carbon-fibre structures, Antidote’s designs aren’t constrained by external suppliers.

An in-house approach allows the company to produce some unique frame shapes – with terrific kinematics. An example of this is Antidote’s Carbonjack – a 150mm enduro bike with stunning form – and function.

Read more: the best enduro bikes

A boutique DH bike – with trick suspension

Antidote’s latest product development is a great option for those who want to combine the benefits of a high-pivot idler, with some terrific styling and a lightweight composite platform.

The brand’s Darkmatter downhill bike has 190mm of rear suspension and rolls 29er wheels. The shapely carbon-fibre frame is light, too, at only 3.35kg.

Should ride – as good as it looks

Beyond its striking appearance, the Darkmatter 29er is not merely an example of unconstrained industrial design. There is real purpose, behind its design.

The frame uses a high pivot swingarm and concentric axle pivot to reducefriction in the rear suspension.

Evaluate the test charts, and this Darkmatter 29er should deliver excellent small-bump absorption. The high-pivot design enables a 20mm rearward axle path through the Darkmatter’s range of travel. Other benefits of the design are 110% anti-squat and 100% anti-rise.

Geometry is what one would expect from a 29er downhill bike, with a 63-degree head angle and reach on a size large, is 475mm.

Narrower at the rear

An interesting frame specification detail is the Darkmatter 29er’s rear axle spacing.

Most downhill and freeride bikes use the Superboost 157x12mm standard. But Antidote has settled for a conventional Boost 148x12mm axle for its Darkmatter, giving owners who also have an enduro bike, the option to use one wheelset between both.

Italian and Swedish shock options

Boutique bikes usually beget boutique build options. And with Antidote’s Darkmatter 29er, riders can specify a weight-appropriate EXT Arma V3 coil shock, paired with a Fox 40 fork. The other build option combines an Ohlins DH38 M.1 and TTX 22 SHOCK.

Finishing kits for the Darkmatter 29er tally SRAM Code RSC brakes and a matching XO1 drivetrain. Wheels are aluminium Industry Nine 300-series, shod with Maxxis Minion DHF and DHR 11 tyres.

If you want the option of running your new Darkmatter as a mullet, there is a linkage upgrade available, increasing rear travel to 200mm, with a 27.5″ wheel at the back.