Conceived , designed and made in Great Britain, Empire Cycles' AP-1 is the accumulation of both its creator's passion for precision engineering, and deep-seated love of downhill mountain biking.
Featuring a three-piece, sand cast frame that uses the finest aerospace aluminium the finished, heat-treated, super-stiff AP-1 chassis is x-rayed to ensure it exceeds Empire Cycles' strict quality control guidelines before being precision machined to extremely tight tolerances, and given a shot-peened, anodised stealth grey finish. Make no mistake, in its raw form the AP-1 is a work of art. A masterpiece worthy of residency at the Tate Modern.
But while its hard-edged design and top-spec manufacture is stunning, the AP-1 is no precious artifact. It has no place in a gallery. For it has been made with one fundamental purpose: to be the best downhill mountain bike on the planet.
Well balanced and slick, the handcrafted AP-1 is not an evolution of what's gone before. It's a revolution. And proof, if it were needed, is in the detail…
Cast Aluminium Construction
Empire Cycles' unique, three-piece precision sand cast construction is no gimmick, it's the future of mountain biking. The hollow aluminium swingarm and one piece main frame is stiff, increasing the unsprung mass ratio and, critically, it relies on no welds. Therefore there are no weak points, and as the very last process is the machining – done to incredibly accurate tolerances – every component fits together perfectly.
Sealed Needle Bearing
The high single pivot, which affords a square-bump-swallowing rearward axle path, utilises a matrix sealed full-complement needle bearing rather than your run-of-the-mill cartridge jobbie. This assembly is more complicated and weighs slightly more than a cartridge setup, but it absorbs five-times the load and offers an incredibly slick action. Trust us, you'll thank us for our obsessive detail.
Adjustable Axle / Dropouts
Empire Cycles has kept the AP-1 simple. There is just one thing to fiddle with: the axle. Why? Well, most riders get lost in a world of head angles and BB heights, which can mean very little when you're bouncing off rocks at 40mph (with a 14-inch BB height and 65-degree head angle the AP-1 is perfectly balanced anyway), but the wheelbase does make a difference. Run it short and it keeps things sharp for technical, twisty courses. Run it long and it affords greater stability at speed. The CNC-machined, motocross-style brake mount moves with the dropouts. It's poetry in motion. Beautiful . .