The Arrival by We Are One is about as exclusive a bike as you’ll ever see. Buy one and you can pretty much rest assured you’ll never see another out on the trails.
Designed and handbuilt by a boutique rim and component brand from Kamloops, British Columbia, The Arrival by We Are One is a 150mm-travel 29in enduro bike with a carbon frame and absolutely standout looks.
And here lies the problem: We Are One is fabricating 400 Arrivals this year but most will never leave North America. Luckily for us, Creation Cycles – the one lone UK bike shop acting as distributor– is selling the bike as a frame-only or rolling chassis from November, meaning a lucky few Brits can be those standout riders. Ride one or not though, we think the Arrival represents how the best enduro mountain bikes should be made, with short supply chains, low-impact manufacturing processes and local employment.
More on that in a minute though, the Arrival’s frame needs some time to explain. It’s handmade from carbon- fibre in Canada, with some very unusual tube shapes and profiles that make it look pretty unique. There’s an oversized brace where the seat tube meets the top tube, while the bottom of the seat tube itself has a wobbly kinked look to it, in order to make room for the twin-link suspension. Whether it’s weird or wonderful, we’ve yet to make up our minds.
The shock sits vertically and mounts to the bottom of the down tube, and it’s driven by a twin-link design with a rocker link up top and a swing link sitting just above the BB. Naturally, the frame has all the modern trappings going on – internal cable routing, space for a waterbottle, and moulded chainstay and down tube protectors. The whole thing is then finished in ceramic paint from Oregon-based Cerakote that saves a hefty 400g over traditional powder coating.
We Are One has mixed up its standards on the Arrival (on purpose of course), opting for a 157mm back end and a narrower 148mm crankset with a 168mm Q-factor. It says this dishes out a more direct chainline for 12-speed drivetrains. There are also titanium fixings galore, from the pivot bolts and brake-adaptor mounting bolts, to the lower-shock bolt, case cover, and dropout bolts.
Keeping it local
The bike delivers 150mm travel and has been designed for a 160mm-travel fork. The Arrival’s geometry looks good, with three sizes on offer featuring a 338mm BB height, 64° head angle and a 77° effective seat-tube angle. Sizing is also comparable with the competition – the SZ2 has a reach of 475mm. Those of us who like to scour the geometry charts at the back of the bike test will have realised this makes the Arrival very similar to the Stumpjumper Evo… which is probably a good thing.
We Are One is about as far away as you can get from Specialized though. It began life as a wheel brand just under five years ago, and boasted just four employees. “The wheels have grown in popularity since then, they’re a high-end product with value, we’re not charging $3,000 for them,” explains Tyler Maine from We Are One. “It’s that that’s enabled us to pursue projects like the Arrival, and we now have 70 employees to make it happen.”
Almost everything needed to make the Arrival comes from within 500 miles of the HQ in Kamloops. “We want to have as much local employment, and that comes down to supporting local business,” Tyler says. “So when looking for the rubber, there’s a place in Vancouver we get it from. Maybe it costs a little more, but we’re not talking about inexpensive products to begin with.”
We Are One makes its own carbon rims and frames, with the raw carbon coming from local Canadian suppliers and the aluminium for moulds mined in BC and milled in Washington state. “We want to find as much domestic product as possible, the titanium is really the only part we have to source on the frames,” Tyler says. “We also wrap up the finished product in recycled paper and ship it in recycled boxes.”
The Arrival will be available in the UK from February 2022, initially as a frame-only or frame and rolling chassis to overcome the global shortage of parts. Frame with Fox Float X2 shock is £3,650, rising to £4,250 for the Push Elevensix coil shock. If you want the brand’s I9 1/1 Union wheelset and bar stem combo it’s £5,350 with the X2 shock.
We Are One could well be a glimpse into the future for how mountain bike brands should be run. Sourcing raw materials from home turf, making what it can in house with a local workforce, then importing what it can’t from its neighbours. No high-end product is ever going to be without its carbon footprint, but We Are One is making its as small as possible.