Swiss bike brand ARC8 has launched into the Australian market, after signing with Adelaide-based distributor EightyOneSpices.
A small brand with a hefty pedigree, ARC8 was the perfect opportunity for EightyOneSpices to transition into complete bike brands, according to the distributor’s founder and director, Krischan Spranz.
“We’ve been looking for a complete bike brand that suited us well and this one just ticked all the boxes,” he said.
“There’s one bike in each category: a road bike, a gravel bike, a cross country, a race bike, a trail bike and enduro bike. Complete bikes come in various spec levels and each model is also available as a frame kit.
“We’re also small and importing complete bikes is a large investment and commitment, as opposed to components. This allows us to start small and grow organically.”
Although focused largely on supplying components, EightOneSpices has distributed other frame kits and custom builds.
“With this brand, we’re doing frame and custom builds as well, but a large part of this brand for us will be complete bikes,” Krischan said.
ARC8 was established in 2016 by cofounder Jonas Mueller, who previously worked as an engineer for Santa Cruz, DT Swiss and BMC.
He created the brand with long-time friend Serafin Pazdera, a former classmate, fellow bike messenger and snowboard instructor.
While Jonas went on to study mechanical engineering, Serafin became a graphic designer and web developer and was a perfect ally when Jonas decided to start his own bike company.
Jonas also heads BETA bicycle.engineering, which he created in 2017 to design and manufacture bikes and components for other brands.
He says bicycle.engineering offers him the freedom to design the best design frames and parts, without any restrictions from marketing or company policy.
In its relatively short lifespan, the company has developed bikes that have won the Tour de France and MTB world championships in cross country and 4X.
ARC8’s first model, the Essential, is an aggressive trail bike but was so light, it became very popular for cross country competition.
The second-generation Essential was released last year, to join the brand’s lightweight Evolve FS cross country race bike and the Extra Enduro, Krischan said.
He said the carbon-frame specialist is building a strong following in German-speaking countries and already has a healthy level of demand in Australia.