Bike Check: Charlie Hatton's Atherton DH 29er from Hardline

Aug 2, 2021
by Alicia Leggett  


Coming in with the #5 plate on his bike, the young Atherton Racing ripper Charlie Hatton was one to watch at Hardline. He unfortunately crashed out the day before finals and couldn't ultimately race, but he showed us what he's made of and we know he'll come back stronger.

Charlie did say in an interview last year that his main goal going forward is to be more consistent, so when he does achieve that goal, we'll know to watch out. With a 15th place at Leogang before crashing at both Les Gets and Hardline, he'll be breaking into the top 10 at the World Cup races as soon as he figures out the consistency formula on his Atherton DH bike.

Unlike Gee Atherton's quarry-hucking bike and Andreas Kolb's iXS Test Cup mullet version of the same bike, Charlie has his set up with 29" wheels front and rear. Let's check it out.

Charlie Hatton // Continental Atherton Rider
Age: 23
Instagram: @charlie_hatton1

One of the Atherton Bikes' greatest strengths is the way each rider can test and tweak a bike's geometry until it suits their needs exactly, made possible by the unique additive manufacturing process and custom tubing.

Fox, WTB, FSA, and Contintental round out the bike.
Frame: Atherton Bikes DH, 465mm reach
Shock: Fox DHX, 525lbs
Fork: Fox 40, 89psi
Wheels: Stan's Neo hubs with 29" Flow EX3 rims
Tires: Continental Kaiser F 24psi R 26psi
Shifter & derailleur: SRAM XO 7-speed
Chainring & cassettte: FSA Gradient Crank and K-Force Cassette
Chain: FSA 11-speed eMTB chain
Brakes: Trickstuff Maxima with 203mm rotors
Cockpit: FSA Gradient stem and bars
Pedals: CrankBrothers Mallet DH
Other: ODI Longneck grips, FSA K-Force seatpost, WTB Hightail saddle, MRP G2 carbon chain guide

Charlie's drivetrain is a mix of SRAM and FSA. He uses an XO derailleur and shifter paired with a chainring, cassette, and 11-speed eMTB chain from FSA, as the K-Force cassette has been reduced from 11 to 7 speeds. He's also running the O-Chain 'active spider' that's been popping up on more and more athletes' bikes this season.

Trickstuff says the Maximas are the most powerful brakes on the market. They may also be the most expensive, and perhaps the most beautiful.

200mm for this DH bike.



58 Comments

  • 16 0
 I’m curious more about those O Chains
  • 3 0
 Got one and like it. Also the customer service is amazing!
  • 1 0
 @diggerandrider: what bike have you got it on? Do you notice the extra dead zone before pedalling?
  • 15 2
 I’m struggling to work out what they do that can’t be done with a lower pickup hub
  • 2 1
 @notphaedrus: 2021 S. Enduro... I run it with Onyx hubs and with 6deg bushings in the ochain-- feels like normal ratchet hub engagement.
  • 3 12
flag bkm303 (Aug 2, 2021 at 16:55) (Below Threshold)
 @CM999: IT'S JUST DIFFERENT OK DUDE? YOU DON'T GET IT

/s
  • 1 0
 @diggerandrider: think I’m going to try one as soon as it’s back in stock! I ride flat pedals and Onyx hubs.. granted I know that my choices are what’s not helping me out with kickback and my feet all over.. I feel like some o chain might be the answer to helping out!
  • 18 0
 @CM999: I don't have one, but I would assume it's consistency. With a lower engagement hub you can have anywhere from 0 to X degrees before the chain starts pulling. The o-chain presumably always gives the same amount since it's not rotating until the chain pulls.
  • 3 3
 @CM999: lol...Interesting point!
  • 3 4
 @Simosis: lol...interesting point!
  • 9 1
 @CM999: A low pickup hub allows your suspension to operate without pedal feedback once, until the hub engages. The elastomer in the ochain allows you continual movement within the tolerance of the elastomer the whole way down the mountain. So the difference on a 5k foot descent is mitigated pedal feedback for 1 second (hub) versus 40 minutes (ochain).

I don't own one, haven't ridden it, and can't endorse it. But that's my understanding of the functional difference.
  • 1 0
 @diggerandrider: But how is the rear suspension? The biggest draw is that the O-Chain has less or no pedal kickback allowing the suspension to work better.
  • 5 0
 @CM999: They are more consistent than a low POE hun
  • 5 0
 @CM999: It is a pertinent comment! Also... don't forget that wheel is spinning.. you can hear a ratchet during downhills, right? so it means that chain is loose (no forces from chain to suspension since angular velocity of wheel is much higher than angular velocity of cassette driving by chain from suspension action). So what is point of this device? Will it work only during zero speed landings? Smile
Am I right guys? Wink
  • 8 0
 I know I can't afford one now, but someday, I hope these bikes become more available to the general public. They look so nice.
  • 3 0
 You can buy one right now if you contact them. I did, received all the details, my wallet just said 'no' at the time. Big Grin
  • 1 0
 I saw one of these out in the wild in SoCal. I had to do a double take as I also thought they were basically unavailable.
  • 3 0
 @tsn73: check out the brochure :-) there's a couple gone to SoCal ...
www.athertonbikes.com/post/build-slots

read our first customer reviews on the site..
  • 2 0
 frame only from £2833 exc tax :-)
here's the brochure in case you're tempted...https://www.athertonbikes.com/post/build-slots
  • 1 0
 @continental-atherton: thanks for the info!! I didn't see this on your site before. Guess I should've looked closer. Definitely tempting, though I'd have to take out a loan hahaha.
  • 10 1
 Nicest looking MTB's currently IMO
  • 5 0
 Out of curiosity....how much does it cost to get Atherton to build a bike? Website is pretty silent on the issue (and since I'm not in the market, I'm not going to waste my time (and theirs) calling)
  • 1 0
 They have prices on there now, looks like between 4-9k sterling depending on build etc.
  • 2 0
 @enduroNZ: I think they are comparable to any top brand. £3500 for a frame and shock puts them in the usual ballpark (more than I would ever pay for a frame unfortunately)
  • 6 0
 Man, I really like the look of the lug and tube platform and can't explain why for the life of me.
  • 3 0
 Its like new-school brazed tubes
  • 1 0
 Structurally it looks like a bolt together accessible handrail, but somehow still a very very good looking bike.
  • 5 1
 freaking everyone is on those O chains. I hear they work great when paired with low engagement hubs!
  • 1 0
 Sarcasm aside, that actually does make sense. With low engagement hubs, its not quite the same drag-free experience, as the chain is still being pulled and moving from a static chainring. In this application, the actual chain movement is being reduced.
  • 1 0
 TBF, ive actually gone back to lower engagement hubs as the pedals feels much more free'd up and less kick back for sure.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: the lower the engagement hub you have, the more freel9the suspension can move without making pedal feedback. Adding an ochain just increases this characteristic.

You can mitigate the higher response/feedback of a higher end engagement hub with the o chain and have best of both worlds
  • 1 0
 @downhiller900sl: Yes, I meant "high engagement hub" in my original comment.

But still, a low engagement hub doesn't quite give the same effect as this O ring.
  • 5 0
 I would sell my kids off for that bike!
  • 2 0
 You don't have to , frame only from £2833 exc tax :-)
here's the brochure ..https://www.athertonbikes.com/post/build-slots
  • 3 0
 @continental-atherton: Oh wow what a bargain! I'll need to sell both of my kids for it now
  • 3 0
 The rarest bike brands in the world
  • 1 0
 totally! Continental and FSA? never heard of em!!!!!!!
  • 1 0
 Stunning looking bikes but.... comes with a hefty price tag and my fingers would still squeeze my brakes too much and I would not go any faster.
  • 2 0
 Wow! What a sexy bike!
  • 1 1
 wondering if the drive side arm is farther from centre due to the ratchet? I love the idea
  • 2 0
 You just mount the spider to your existing crankarm, your q factor will stay the same
  • 1 0
 That cable management tho. Sex
  • 1 0
 Damn almost $5k USD for the frame alone..
  • 1 0
 Lovely looking bikes, you definitely have to admire the Athertons.
  • 1 0
 Is this a re-post !?
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