The Maserati of Bikes: We Are One Arrival 152 Review

The Maserati of Bikes: We Are One Arrival 152 Review

The We Are One Arrival 152 is a boutique enduro sled you have to ride to believe.

When I visited Sedona last fall to test some bikes for the shop, I showed up expecting to ride a Trek Slash, Santa Cruz Megatower, Rocky Mountain Instinct or similar. Instead Thunder Mountain had a brand new We Are One Arrival polished up and waiting.

Though I only knew a little bit about this bike before the trip, I was well aware of We Are One’s high-end, boutique-brand reputation built on the back of its widely praised, made-in-Canada carbon rims. So picking up the Arrival 152 felt something like showing up at Avis anticipating a Toyota and being handed the keys to a Maserati.

Hot damn! I was in for a treat!

we are one arrival 152 bike full image sedona overlook

But—say those who don’t read the bike media—what the hell is We Are One, anyway?

WAO is a niche brand that got its start six years ago crafting innovative carbon wheels in Kamloops, British Columbia. It’s the brainchild of Canadian DH champion and World Cup racer Dustin Adams, who walked away from cycling after his racing career was cut short by a car accident but rediscovered his passion when he decided to explore bike manufacturing firsthand. It’s a long and inspiring story, but basically great wheels led to success, led to a partnership that eventually produced the Arrival, a bike that Adams describes as “like a son.”

The company lives by two tenets: Make it perfect, and make it local. And 99 percent of the Arrival is built in house or sourced within 500 miles of Kamloops. A few successful North American carbon bike companies precede WAO (think: Enve, Allied, Argonaut, Alchemy). But with 99 percent of carbon bikes coming out of China, including the cost savings that go along with those economies of scale, it’s easy to see why domestic production is a challenge.

Yet WAO has produced a bike that’s as polished as the corporate competition, provides that Maserati ride—which we’re coming to—and isn’t stratospherically expensive.

“We wanted to work with as many North American partners as we could. We wanted to source as many raw North American materials as we could. And we wanted to keep as much of it in house as we could,” says Adams. “But who is going to buy a $17,000 bike that’s made in Canada? That’s not what We Are One is about.”

Priced at $8,999, the SP2 model clearly isn’t inexpensive. But it’s an incredible value for a handmade, locally sourced bike, and it’s competitive with even the large-scale, high-buying-power manufacturers.

The Arrival

we are one arrival 152 full image with sedona background

So what’s the scoop with this big-deal bike?

The Arrival 152 is billed as an enduro-ready machine: dual-linkage suspension, 152mm rear travel, 160mm fork, a long front-center, and a seemingly ridiculously low bottom bracket. It wants to ride high in the travel, with “progressive” suspension—soft over small stuff, then increasingly stiff so you don’t hit the hard edge of the bottom of the shock.

It’s built to be an enduro bike: down, hard, fast—pedal when you have to. It excels in that space. But that sells this bike far short.

From Thunder Mountain to the trails, there’s uphill pavement then a nasty little climb with a minefield of bedded rocks that I clear half the time, depending on time, company, energy, pressure, and luck. On the Arrival 152, which isn’t what I would describe as a climber, I waltzed through it. Surprised. Climbing, this feels pedaling a short-travel bike that’s many lighter than its 32-pound weight suggests.

I was impressed, but that was just the start. Immediately, I was on Airport to Bandit, a jangly, baby-head downhill that can be picky and annoying if you go slow, and better and better the faster you ride. At first, the Arrival felt harsh and halting. But the harder I pushed, the more speed I picked up, and the more fluid and in its element the bike became.

The rear suspension felt basically bottomless—longer than 152 for sure. And the bike was planted and fully confident at high speed. I not only cleared the minefield, I kept up with the group, and never struck my pedals, which was my biggest concern when I saw this bike given its disproportionately low bottom bracket. In fact, I didn’t hit my pedals once in a week of riding, which almost feels like black magic.

WAO will tell you that shock pressure and sag setting is critical for optimizing the Arrival’s ride, and the settings are stiffer and shorter than you’d imagine.

we are one arrival detailed views

“We put a lot of energy into dialing the kinematics, so it’s hyper efficient both up and downhill,” says Nate Schumacher, brand manager at We Are One. “Hitting the pressures right, and it’s not as soft as you think, is really what makes this bike come alive.”

Stiff and low are great for high speed. But at low speed, the combo can feel clunky and disjointed. I ran up against this time and again over the week of testing. When I wasn’t cranking and muscling the bike around, I felt like it was muscling me. But the more energy I put in, the harder the lines I rode, the breezier and more confident the bike felt. This is a racer’s enduro bike. And while I loved it on challenging terrain where you can really open it up (think: Hiline, Scorpion), it was a lot for me to handle when I wasn’t charging.

The looks of the bike are just as polarizing as the ride. The frame design is angular, clean, blocky, and highly engineered. The integrated stem/bar combo is super clean but also simple verging on austere. The wave form of the rim shaping is blocky and design driven. And there’s not a logo or any other adornment to be seen anywhere. I liked the spartan aesthetics a lot. But my wife, and several other women friends, called the bike, “gross looking.” It feels a little bit like the Tesla Cybertruck: you’ll either love it or hate it.

we are one arrival 152 closeup frame detail

Either way, that’s what’s so cool about TMB offering the Arrival 152. What other local bike shop anywhere is stocking the Maserati of bikes for rent? I mean, you can go ride a Trek or Santa Cruz or Rocky Mountain (all great bikes!) lots of places. But if you want niche and top-shelf and custom, you’re taking reviewers’ words for it.

And this is not a bike you should buy based on someone else’s opinion. It’s one you have to ride. Some people—especially high-caliber riders who like to push the speed and technical limits—are going to love it. For me, even though the Arrival 152 definitely upped my riding game and capability, I still wouldn’t buy it. It’s too much bike for me, not suited to the breadth of riding I do. But then, I never would have known that had it not been for Thunder Mountain Bikes.

Want to see for yourself? Visit Thunder Mountain online or give us a call at 928-282-1106 to get the keys to test a super-bike of your own.


by Aaron Gulley

Aaron has been writing about cycling, travel, and the outdoors and reviewing gear for the likes of Outside, Bicycling, Velonews, and others for over two decades.