Rachel Atherton Teases the New Atherton Trail Bike

Apr 8, 2019
by James Smurthwaite  

The Atherton Bikes project seems to be cantering along nicely as we already seen nine prototypes of their downhill bikes and now Rachel is showing off the trail bike too. We got a glimpse of the frame part way through manufacturing recently but it seems that the bike has since been deemed trail worthy and is being put through the wringer by one of downhill's greatest ever racers.

The frame part way through manufacture.

Rachel snapped one very dark picture from the top of Cadair Idris and one of the bike lying down in the snow so there's not a huge amount we can tell at the moment but the bike seems to be very similar to the downhill bike, with additive manufacturing and a DW6 suspension system forming its core.

With Rachel staying tight lipped on Instagram, we have very few other hard facts but the photo above suggests it's a 160mm travel platform and we suspect it will be a 29er too.

With the rate the team are pumping out new bikes, it may not be long before we have some more info on their enduro platform. We'll update you as and when we get it.


Thanks to @EuanLyons for these screenshots from Rachel's Instagram stories:


  • 275 19
 They're acting like we haven't seen what a robot bike co bike looks like before. I'm sure it'll be the same/similar but in black and with the avengers logo on it.
  • 42 8
 Right? this was all covered in 2016
  • 36 6
 Looks like a Se... Robot Bike.
  • 95 3
 Looks like they're prototyping a hardtail as well.

  • 10 1
 Did you say robot chicken?
  • 21 1
 Haha- Avengers logo - once seen cannot unsee.
  • 3 2
 @toast2266: hahaha yes!
  • 21 64
flag Zuman (Apr 8, 2019 at 18:57) (Below Threshold)
 Look at you having all the up votes on your snarky comment, your parents must be very proud of your contribution to the mtb community. Keep it up! Maybe someday you will take a risk and do something in the industry and every one in the world will appreciate what ever you do. Have a great day
  • 11 1
 Heard their bikes going to get featured in Endgame. Thanos will be riding it.
  • 1 2
 @toast2266: hahahaha. Best commentaar of the day?
  • 1 0
 Dan was also riding the 160mm bike on the Vital Raw they done a few weeks back, which if you haven't watched yet, you should.
  • 1 2
 @chyu: Their first model out will be called "the snap."

Get it before it disappears.
  • 1 0
 Wow where did all your negativity stem from I wonder...
  • 101 9
 man yall cannot please the comments, when its a slow season they moan and b*tch about no articles, when its a busy season they moan and b*tch about the lack of coverage and when they add all the articles they moan and b*tch because theyre over covering...
  • 11 5
 I wish someone would/could ‘pin’ great comments like these as one can on YouTube.
  • 4 0
 Welcome, Pandora, to the internet.
  • 48 3
 I wonder if it looks like this one?
  • 14 3
 Of Course!!! it will be the exact same one, Atherton's decals on it! Good call
  • 18 10
 Wow... I knew they basically bought Robot Bike Co., but didn't realize the bikes are basically identical. They haven't changed anything except some geometry tweaks and maybe altered the linkage ratio a bit. The Robot bikes even had the same DW6 layout! All the interviews make it sound like they just got Dave Weagle on board after Atherton bikes was started!
  • 17 3
 @srjacobs: what's the difference to other bike companies releasing 'new' bikes every year?
  • 18 21
 @Muckal: Mostly the fact that they re-named the brand and then pretended like they built this company from the ground up, which is clearly not the case. Other bike companies release "new" or "updated" models every two years to generate more sales, but this seems a little more deceptive than that.
  • 15 1
 @srjacobs: Which is precisely not what they "pretended". If you followed their story over the off-season just a little, you'd know and not try to call bs on them
  • 16 4
 @srjacobs: They've not pretended any such thing. They've been clear from the start who they got on-board to design the bikes / process.
It is a new company as well, rather than a rebrand.
  • 5 1
 @srjacobs:m. What changes matter more than geometry and linkage changes?
  • 5 2
 @srjacobs: theyve added some branded kool aid . in this modern era of ignorant consumers this has sure fire hit written all over it. Hence he plethora of advertorials.
  • 1 0
 @elliottpjs: the sticky tape on the headtube agrees with you.
  • 1 0
 Pretty sure, pretty similar.
  • 2 0
 @Marcencinitas: "What changes matter more than geometry and linkage changes?"

Totally true! BUT the geometry was already custom. That was the point of Robot and the technology behind how these bikes are constructed. And the linkage was already DW. For sure they will be "tweaking" it to taste. And the Athertons know how to ride. But there are probably other riders/racers just as accomplished that would "tweak it" differently. Plus lets be honest, your average "trail" rider would probably not want their suspension "tweaked" by a lot of racers...?

It will be interesting if they do a line of bikes that are "not" custom. Mass produce the parts all the same so they can reduce cost and attract more buyers. (I've read about much larger printers/sinters/etc now, perhaps they can print a whole batch of frames at the same time and lower costs??) OR perhaps they will just go on the way Robot did and cater to the custom/high end rider.
  • 1 0
 As a Weagle fan boy, I'm not mad about that.
  • 18 3
 I wonder if any of these complainers have any content to contribute? Any content to contribute for free I might add.
  • 6 1
 Wait, you can get paid for complaining?!? o_O
  • 5 1
 @jollyXroger: The way people whine on here, I hope they're getting paid.
  • 7 0
 apparently "industry insider" now means refreshing instagram. I do that for free all day.
  • 1 3
 @grnmachine02: the way people whine on here, I hope Kraft Cheese takes out paid ad’s.

“More cheese with your whine young sir’s?”
  • 23 12
 Ahh, the 160mm "trail" bike. Welcome to 2019 where every "trail" has 1000ft descents.
  • 33 0
 It's called downtrail. Ever heard of it?
  • 13 2
 Agreed. A 160mm 29'r is squarely in the enduro bracket. Doesn;t matter how well it pedals.
  • 3 3
 depends where you ride. did 5 trails last year with over 2500ft descents
  • 1 1
 @Bflutz625: Upcountry?
  • 7 1
 I live in NZ most of the 'good' trails have over 400m of decent. 160mm+ suits the terrain well.
  • 9 1
 Two east coast people saying bikes that are 160mm are not trail bikes. One of which is riding a cyclocross bike in their profile pic. Just because you don't live on the west coast doesn't mean that other people's riding is well suited for a 160mm bike. Truth be told, most of our trail descents have over 1000'.

Heck, Downieville has over 5k of decent in a single "trail".
  • 7 5
 @pistol2ne: not saying that 160mm bikes are trash. Were saying that at 160mm for a 29er it is better dubbed as an Enduro bike not trail. XC is 0-100 Trail is 100-150 Enduro is 160-180 DH/FR 180-200+
  • 7 1
 I'm hesitant to label a bike based strictly on its travel. A 140mm bike in Nebraska could be considered an enduro bike by some. Where as a nomad(V4) in BC could be considered a trail bike.

Trail bikes should be a product of where you ride. Similarly an all mountain ski should be a product of where you ski.
  • 3 1
 @Bflutz625: Where did you come up with these numbers??? Freeride used to be 140mm.
  • 2 1
 @SeanC1: Cube Hanzz, Scott Voltage FR and Canyon Torque. All FR/Park bikes with around 180mm travel.
  • 2 1
 Well, in reality almost everything is a "trail" right? Unless you're riding down the road. So we've had these loose categorizations for years and "trail" has generally been mid-travel bikes. A 160mm 29er is a beast of a "trail" bike thats all. I think my frustration with it comes from jealousy that people are riding trails with huge gnarly descents. I can only get to a trail like that once or twice a week if I'm lucky and I have to drive an hour.
  • 1 0
 @Bflutz625: Down trail is just a precursor All-Country-Do
  • 15 4
 Looks like the plumbing under my sink
  • 12 5
 Who cares if it’s a “robot”. If they can take that tech and mass produce it at reasonable (albeit high end) prices then that’s a win for the industry; it will eventually begin to trickle down and that pretty cool.
  • 5 1
 They aren't being mass produced. every order is custom. That's one of their main selling points...
  • 2 2
 @makripper: it will be mass produced relative to what volume custom geometry bikes are usually sold in.
  • 3 0
 @letsgoridebikes18: um no. That's not the business model. Mass produced means companies like specialized build x amounts of bike of each model and size. Atherton builds bikes one by one per customer. Night and day difference.
  • 1 0
 @makripper: Are you sure every single one will be custom? I imagined they would have a template for say, a small, medium and large in each model (e.g. DH29, Trail160, Trail130) which you can choose or you can go one step deeper and get custom on the tube lengths and angles.
  • 3 1
 @DirtyDee: The whole model for Robotbike (now Atherton) is that you give your geometry (or they'll derive your geometry off your body dimensions and preferences) and the software will dimension the lugs (both in terms of geometry and strength) within restrictions and prepare a CAM (computer aided manufacturing) file to be printed. So it isn't really a template, instead it is an automated process. It really is quite clever for a relatively complex product like a full suspension bicycle frame. I once felt quite clever when I had Matlab programmed to output a dimension sketch for a coupler when you input loads and air pressure. But I still had to turn that product on lathe. This is on a whole different level. (Yes I realize any CNC machinist would have been able to feed that dimension data straight into a CNC lathe too...)
  • 1 0
 @vinay: it must be quite difficult honing in the parameters to work for possibly endless configurations. I'm really hoping they are leading a change in the industry especially for boutique companies like santa cruz
  • 1 3
 @makripper: my point wasn’t to discuss the semantics of what mass production is or isn’t. My point is that this technology brings custom geometry to the masses and makes it more mainstream, which is really cool!
  • 1 1
 @letsgoridebikes18: you were wrong. You said mass produced in your first comment. Admit it and move on man. Sheesh
  • 1 1
 @makripper: lol, okay bud. I used a word incorrectly, you’re right. Hopefully the clarification I’ve made will allow you to get past that and understand what I meant Wink
  • 1 1
 Sorry guys but it appears you are wrong as there will be stock geometry offered on the bikes, see Pinkbike article below when this was first announced and Gee's quote: "We’re aiming to offer a wide range of stock sizes and also the option to go full custom."

  • 2 0
 @DirtyDee: Alright, fair enough. Going back to the OP, of course you can always get custom geometry from a good number of frame builders like BTR and Stanton, but rear wheel suspension design (hence stuff like chainstay length etc) was limited. Atherton/Robotbike allow you to play with that too. But that also means that you need to know what you're doing, not sure how many end consumers have the funds and experience to go down that route. Even the manufacturers and pro-tinkerers (Chris Porter comes to mind) need to go through some test mules to get where they want to go. On my BTR hardtail I trusted them that their size large as recommended for my size would be spot on. The only thing I changed was that I lowered my top tube because I knew I wanted my entire knee above the top tube with the cranks level. But as for geometry that relates to ride dynamics etc (head tube angle, chainstay length etc) it would be hard to know better than the builders/designers. Even more so on a full suspension design.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: Yeah agreed, I think a lot of riders and armchair engineers think they could pull a bunch of numbers out of the air that would create their perfect custom bike but, as you say, even bike designers, test riders, WC riders etc will go through a number of protoypes before they settle. It would be hard for a relative novice to do this and it be 'ideal'.

However if you have gone to the expense and effort of requesting custom geo then most would probably be too proud to admit if it didn't feel and ride great, the prestige of having something custom would be more important!
  • 1 0
 @DirtyDee: Yeah, I've got to say the balance of my bike feels great. Yet I'm also really glad I went a bit further to get the frame exactly the way I wanted it. From something simple as getting a non-standard powdercoat (RAL6001-mat) as well as the lower top tube. As I do most of my riding standing, I really wanted to be able to shift my body around even with the cranks level so I wanted to have the top tube this low. But it did require some design time from them as well as a stronger seattube (Reynolds 853 instead of 631). It was all worth it for me. But yeah, that's the kind of stuff you as a rider can figure out. But how the suspension is going to work, how it is going to corner... If I'm riding a bike that's already close I may be able discuss which direction I want to go. But indeed to get it spot on first try on a new bike... If the Athertons can't get that right away, no way I could do that as a simple end user. I guess you're right though. Someone stubborn enough to really get custom geometry isn't going to admit failure.
  • 8 0
 Personally, the bikes look amazing to me. I could care less that these were once Robot Bike Co bikes. The Robot bikes looked amazing too.
  • 6 1
 ITT: people whinging about a smaller company using preexisting technology to bring an actually unique design and approach to a saturated market full of CNC driven carbon frames getting big mad about the fact that they didnt follow the athertons in the off season and are also big mad because that same small company did the same marketing as everyone else, except with the big of an actually genuinely unique product.

id hate to work in the bicycle industry in anything like a design capacity if this is the kind of welcome that "one of our own" gets when they actually try to do something really cool and its not like rachel isnt doing great things in the community or womens progress and shes clearly not doing this to get shit rich overnight...
  • 1 1
 Genuinely unique product? Smile
  • 6 2
 I am still wondering about the epoxy that was used. Have you all done any test on it to see how long it lasts in different weather conditions? Just wondering because welds have been tested over many many years. I also was wondering if you have a breakdown of the Epoxy that was used like the chemical make up so I could do some research on it? I’m not hating I’m just really interested. I work a lot with different Epoxy for rebar with building buildings and was just wondering how this one worked.
  • 5 2
 It looks like they are using Hysol EA9466 epoxy. I know that these are heavily used in the composites and aerospace industries. Definitely wondering the same thing, it is one thing to know they are used in other industries but it is another to know how they test / decided what is a good fit.
  • 1 0
 These are the comments i came for! I just normal person but i was wondering the same thing! love the concept and im going to start saving my pennies because i want one so much
  • 5 0
 I'm really hoping they introduce some cool designs on these instead of just flat black.
  • 5 3
 Luddites and xenobikephobes are crawling out from their hibernation. Why are people so scared of new things. If you don't like it, then it is provably not for you. Look somewhere else, the bike market is awash with bike you will provably like. Personally, i like the idea behind the bike, i will not be buying a dh bike, so this trail bike intrigues me. The possibility of a bike custom fit to my size is great. No need to compromise on the stem and saddle position. Also no need to worry of another hub or headset or bottom bracket standard. I just hope i could afford the price when it comes out, and if not, that's fine, i just have to save up for it or find a better paying job.
  • 1 1
  • 2 0
 I'm not sure why everyone is so down on the fact that it was previously Robot Bike Co. I always enjoy reading about new companies starting up there own take on things and using different idea/ technology. I'd like to think with the Atherton brand behind it, it would become a successful venture. Certainly Pinkbike's own Paul Aston had very positive things to say when he rode the 160.
  • 5 0
 I would love to see a short travel 29 option. I think the look is sexy AF.
  • 3 0
 They made one before
  • 3 0
 Interested to see where the final prices on these come in. Robot 130mm was £3,895 / $5,092.
  • 9 1
 My guess is considerably higher to pay for the marketing budget.
  • 4 1
 the new company will have a " lifestyle pricing" markup to satisfy the principals. Its what any upscale designer/retailer uses to maintain the finer things in their lives. pure and simple.
  • 1 0
 Wouldn’t it be a more progressive media to launch initial pricing to drive up pre sales or is this the glitz glam into yeah it’s more expensive then established boutique brands but you need it?
  • 2 2
 As Gee was nearly 8s off the pace of Pierron and Hart on his first race on the Dh bike I am not holding my breath for Atherton bikes just now.
Race bike are proven at races, who is gonna race the Enduro bike to the top of Enduro.... Wink
  • 5 2
 Ah Rachel, you little tease you.
  • 3 0
 It's definitely going to hold a water bottle
  • 3 2
 Has anyone ever seen a Robot bike on tbe trail or even going to admit to having one?
From what i can see the only thing that matters is whether its any good?
  • 1 0
 Good point, how many Robot bikes were actually sold before the athertons “took over”, any pinkbikers own one??
  • 9 6
 Unpopular opinion: I don’t like Atherton Bikes.
  • 7 4
 i think thats the popular opinion.
  • 3 0
 @Jcolis1904: seems like a lot of people love their bikes
  • 5 6
 Ten internet points to everyone that can guess what company these bikes used to be .. ah shit .. you have all done it already - you clever little people .. OK, we will wait for the next Atherton bikes articles, maybe you can all be FIRST to shout ROBOT on that one .. sheesh!!!
  • 4 1
 I'm going to relabel my Canfield One It will be EPIC !!!
  • 5 0
 Your bike will be EPIC? Specialized lawyers contacting you in 3... 2... 1...
  • 2 0
 Revel bikes beat you to it
  • 2 0
 semonbalistic carbonnano super paste bonded with pixie dust and a hair dryer all on a sesame seed bun Smile
  • 3 1
 So.... the Athertons did a summer job for a scaffolding company to get their design down?
  • 1 0
 Just what I was thinking. Too expensive and too little benefit for mere mortals in exchange for a not so hot looking bike
  • 1 0
 Whenever I see one of these bikes, I can't help but be reminded of those metal, slot together type railings, that you see outside of doctors surgeries and supermarkets.
  • 1 0
 I am sure these unusual looking bikes have a market, but to me, they don't look good, to be honest. Something like plumbing tubes put together.
  • 1 0
 Looks like there's a helicopter in the background for pick up / drop off...
  • 2 0
 With Brexit this friday, their prices might go up...
  • 1 0
 Nope, delayed again
  • 1 0
 their was a post on Atherton bikes instagram story with a proper picture of the bike
  • 4 3
 Looks like some oddball plumbing. Or is it just enduro..
  • 2 1
 Are they gonna make some 36er fat bikes for turner soon, maybe for soc
  • 1 1
 Did the Athertons buy out Robot Bikes? They’re cool bikes but I wonder how they’ll hold up over time
  • 1 0
 ... was it the frame? her femur?
  • 1 0
 Someone gon be pissed they got thier Chain-link fence Jacked.
  • 2 1
 This is ridiculous. I'd rather stick with Trek.
  • 1 0
 who cares. What's with all the pumping for just another bike manufacturer.
  • 1 0
 The WALMART Bike is looking better and better!
  • 1 1
 The 2016 Robotbike R160?
  • 1 3
 I read "Rachel snapped ... " and had to sit down.
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