Antidote Darkmatter 29 is a high-idling race-focused downhill bike

Antidote Darkmatter 29
(Image credit: Antidote)

Antidote is one of those European brands that craft gorgeous gravity bikes. The rider-owned Polish company debuted with a stunning alloy downhill bike back in 2010, called the Lifeline. It featured a unique suspension linkage and beautifully machined chainstays.

Antidote’s latest offering is the Darkmatter 29er, a carbon-fiber downhill bike with some very clever suspension kinematics. Designers at Antidote have embraced the high-pivot trend with its new best downhill mountain bike. It uses Noster Kinetics, which combines the high-pivot swingarm with a concentric axle pivot.

Antidote Darkmatter

(Image credit: Antidote Bikes)

Benefits of the Darkmatter suspension set-up? There is much freer rear triangle movement throughout the suspension stroke with better small-bump sensitivity. The rearward axle path is an impressive 20mm to help absorb squared edge impacts that are common in downhill mountain biking.

Antidote is offering two rear wheel options. Configured as a conventional 29er downhill bike, the Darkmatter has 190mm of frame travel. As a mullet bike, suspension travel grows to 200mm.

Antidote Darkmatter

(Image credit: Antidote Bikes)

Geometry is a blend of a super low front end, with a 63-degree head angle, and roomy reach numbers. Antidote will produce the Darkmatter in three frames sizes (medium, large and extra-large), with corresponding reach numbers tallying 445-, 475- and 505mm.

Using a lay-up that combines carbon-fiber and Vectran composites, Antidote claims a 7.38lb (3.35kg) frame weight, for a size large Darkmatter 29er frame.

An unusual frame specification detail of the Darkmatter downhill frame is its rear axle spacing. Instead of the conventional 157x12mm SuperBoost standard, Antidote has used the narrower 148x12mm Boost axle.

Antidote will be offering shocks from boutique suspension brands, EXT and Ohlins. Complete bikes see a combination of SRAM Code RSC brakes and XO1 drivetrain, with wheels from Industry Nine. The Grade 300 alloy hoops roll proven Maxxis Minion DHF and DHR 11 tires.

Finishing the Darkmatter build is Antidote’s own 35mm bore handlebar. If you are in the market for a lightweight high-pivot downhill bike, the Darkmatter makes a compelling case for itself.

Lance Branquinho
Freelance writer

Lance Branquinho is a Namibian-born journalist who graduated to mountain biking after injuries curtailed his trail running. He has a weakness for British steel hardtails, especially those which only run a single gear. As well as Bike Perfect, Lance has written for, and Cycling News.