Review: Atherton 130.X - The Lugged Carbon Cruiser

Dec 4, 2023
by Mike Kazimer  
At this point Atherton Bikes needs little introduction – the brand is closing in on its 5th anniversary, and the lineup now includes four different models, with either 130, 150, 170, or 200mm of rear travel. All of the bikes are manufactured in North Wales, where carbon tubes are bonded to titanium lugs that are produced using additive manufacturing.

The 130.X that I've been spending time on is billed as a 'trail bike with attitude', a stout, shorter travel rig that has the same build kit as its longer travel sibling. A whopping total of 22 sizes are available, which breaks down to 11 different reach numbers with a 'regular' or 'tall' version that determines the seat tube and head tube length.

Atherton 130.X Details

• Wheel size: 29"
• Carbon frame, titanium lugs
• Travel: 130mm / 150mm fork
• 65º head angle
• 78.5º seat tube angle
• 436mm chainstays
• 11 sizes with 2 seat tube length options per size
• Weight: 33 lb / 15 kg (size L)
• Price: $7,239 USD
athertonbikes.com

There are three complete models in the AM.130 lineup. The 130.1 and 130.2 are equipped with 140mm forks and either Fox or RockShox suspension, while the 130.X reviewed here receives a 150mm Fox 36 Factory fork and a slightly burlier parts spec. The build kit includes a Float X2 shock, SRAM GX 12-speed mechanical drivetrain, and G2 RSC brakes. Stan's Flow wheels are mounted up with Continental's Kryptotal Enduro tires. For riders who want to build up their own dream bike, the 130 frame goes for $4,165 USD with a RockShox SuperDeluxe Ultimate shock.

Atherton also offers customers the ability to customize the build kit, swapping out things like dropper posts, brakes, and suspension.






bigquotesIt's the kind of bike you can hop on, pedal off into the woods, and whatever trail you end up on it'll probably deliver a good time. Mike Kazimer




Atherton 130 review

Frame Details


The 130.X's frame has what I'd call a futuristic handbuilt look, and I'm here for it. The lugged carbon frame looks great in person – the round tubes have narrower dimensions than some of the e-bike-esque proportions that some modern carbon frames are starting to adopt, giving the 130.X a very clean profile. Even without oversized tubes, the 130.X meets the EFBE class 5 certification, which means it's approved for bike park and DH usage, not something you see every day on a 130mm trail bike.

The frame design does preclude any in-frame storage, and there aren't any accessory bolts on the underside of the top tube either. There is plenty of room for holding a water bottle inside the front triangle, though.

Lately we've seen all sorts of shapes used for chainslap protection, but the 130.X simple uses a sheet of mastic tape wrapped around the chainstay. It might not be as fancy as some of the other options, but it does the trick - the 130.X was nice and quiet.

The 130.X's DW6 suspension layout does require more bearings than a simpler configuration - there are a total of 18 bearings to keep tabs on, and in addition, there are lots of little crannies where dirt can accumulate around the two short links near the bottom bracket.

Atherton 130 review
Atherton 130 review


Atherton 130 review

Geometry

The 130.X's numbers fall right in line with what we've come to expect for a modern trail bike. With a 150mm fork it has a 65-degree head angle, a 78.5-degree seat angle, and 436mm chainstays. Even though the size I was on is called the 490, the reach is 484mm, due to the longer fork compared to the standard AM.130.

The seat tube does have a kink in it part way down, potentially limiting the maximum dropper post length for some riders. That said, I was able to run a 210mm OneUp dropper post without any trouble – the bend in the tube happens far enough down that it didn't pose a problem. That may not be the case on the smaller sizes, though, so it's something to keep in mind.

I was on the 'regular' version, but given the amount of fixed seat post that ended up exposed due to the 400mm seat tube height, I would have gone with the 'tall' version, mainly due to aesthetics rather than anything performance related – it looks kind of strange to have so much seatpost sticking out.

Atherton 130 review

Suspension Design

All of the bikes in the Atherton lineup use a version of Dave Weagle's DW6 suspension design. As the name implies, it's a 6-bar layout, with two short links connecting the chainstay to the front triangle, and a rocker link between the seat stays and the shock. The goal with the design is to be able to have more control over the amount of anti-squat, tuning it to the bike's specific purpose.



Specifications
Price $7239
Travel 130
Rear Shock Fox Float X2
Fork Fox 36 Float Factory 150mm
Cassette SRAM GX
Crankarms SRAM GX
Rear Derailleur SRAM GX 12-speed
Chain SRAM GX
Shifter Pods SRAM GX
Handlebar Renthal
Stem Renthal
Grips ODI Elite Flow
Brakes SRAM G2 RSC
Wheelset Stan's Flow MK4
Tires Continental Kryptotal Enduro F + R
Seat WTB
Seatpost Fox Transfer Factory 150mm

Atherton 130 review







Test Bike Setup

After my initial shakedown ride on the 130.X, I swapped out the 150mm Fox Transfer post for a 210mm OneUp post - the 150 was much too short, and I ended up with a ridiculous amount of the post exposed in order to achieve my ideal saddle height. Later on in the test period I installed a pair of SRAM Code RSC brakes and HS2 rotors in order to confirm my suspicions that that setup would be vastly superior to the G2 brakes...and it was.

As for suspension settings, I ran 83 psi in the 36 with two volume spacers. 200 psi in the X2 shock put me at 28% sag, and my settings were as follows (all clicks from closed): HSC:7, LSC: 14, LSR: 11, HSR: 3.


2022 Trail Bike Field Test photo by Satchel Cronk.
Mike Kazimer
Location: Bellingham, WA, USA
Height: 5'11" / 180cm
Inseam: 33" / 84cm
Weight: 160 lbs / 72.6 kg
Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
Instagram: @mikekazimer

Atherton 130 review

Climbing

Bike weights seem to be all across the board these days, and there's no clearly defined average weight for a trail bike, especially when it comes to a genre-blurring option like the 130.X. That said, it's not exactly a lightweight, at least when compared to other carbon bikes with similar amounts of travel. I wouldn't say it feels sluggish, and I didn't have to think twice about taking it out for multi-hour rides with a lot of vert, but it also doesn't feel as spritely as a Specialized Stumpjumper, for example.

The DW6 suspension layout has many of the hallmarks of the more common DW-link design – it stays calm while pedaling, yet also has a good amount of grip, which I took full advantage of during the wet and greasy rides I took it on. There is some suspension movement during out of the saddle efforts, but not enough that I ever felt the need to use the climb switch. That's one of the 130.X's strong suits – it's the kind of bike you can hop on, pedal off into the woods, and whatever trail you end up on it'll probably deliver a good time.

The overall handling on technical climbs is pleasantly neutral - I never felt like I had to fight with the bike to get it around corners or up and over slippery roots, and as I mentioned, the amount of traction was impressive. The 130.X strikes a great balance of being active and efficient, a blend of traits that can be hard to achieve.

Atherton 130 review

Descending

The 130.X has a very muted feel, likely a combination of the frame construction and the use of that Float X2 shock for its 130mm of travel. Even without any volume spacers in the shock there was plenty of end-stroke ramp-up, and I didn't have any harsh bottom outs.

It's an interesting mix of plush and supportive – in some ways it does feel like a longer travel bike, but in rougher terrain it doesn't erase impacts the same way a bike with 20 or 30 millimeters of additional rear travel would. I love goofing off on shorter travel bikes, and I don't usually subscribe to the concept that "more travel is always better." However, the 130.X feels so much like a longer travel bike that more than once I found myself wondering if I'd actually choose this bike over the 150.

It also seems like a better candidate for a Float X shock rather than an X2 – along with being lighter, with the right tune I think the Float X would have created a slightly peppier ride.

With its well-damped suspension feel and fairly neutral geometry, the 130.X remains composed on a wide variety of terrain. On the mellower, more rolling trails it's supportive enough to generate speed by pumping through rollers, and on the steeper, chunkier stuff it feels surefooted, at least as long as you're not running those G2 brakes. The head angle, reach, and chainstay length all feel appropriate for the bike's intentions - it's not so slack that it feels dull or sluggish on flatter sections of trail, but it's also long enough to feel stable and controlled at higher speeds.



Atherton 130 review


Atherton 130 review
Atherton 130.X
Atherton 130 review
Scor 2030

How does it compare?

The Scor 2030 that I reviewed earlier this year falls into a similar category as the 130.X, even though it has a little less travel in its stock configuration. Both bikes pedal very well, but the Scor's handling is snappier overall; there's more pep in its step compared to the 130.X. The Scor feels like it wants to slap corners, manual, and drift at every opportunity, while the 130.X has a calmer overall presence, and doesn't feel as snappy. That's likely due to a combination of factors, including the Float X2 shock, and the longer chainstay and reach measurement.

The ideal candidate for both bikes is similar – someone that prefers the feel of a shorter travel bike, but doesn't want to feel limited when it comes time to descend. For riders with a livelier riding style the 2030 would be the one I'd choose, and the 130.X is for riders looking for that bigger bike feel in a shorter travel package.

When it comes to price, the Atherton's UK-made pedigree does put it on the higher end of the scale. It's not outlandish, but it's not going to be the place to look for the absolute lowest price. Still, the frame-only price is less expensive than a Yeti SB120, so that's something.


Which Model is the Best Value?

The other two models in the 130 lineup are a bit more trail oriented, with 140mm forks and either a RockShox SuperDeluxe or Deluxe shock. Even the base model 130.1 is priced at $6,545, so this isn't really the place to look for a screaming deal. Of course, I wouldn't expect a bargain basement price from a small company producing titanium lugged carbon frames in the UK, and the sheer number of sizes does mean it's about as close to custom sizing as you can get.

The built kit itself is reasonable, especially since Atherton offer the option to upgrade the brakes and dropper, although considering how many deep discounts on parts and accessories are currently being offered, going the frame-only route might be the best way to maximize the bang for your buck.


Atherton 130 review
Atherton 130 review

Technical Report

SRAM G2 brakes: I've hear rumors that SRAM's G2 brakes are going to be retired soon, and I'm really hoping that's true. They're underpowered for most bikes, with much less power than Codes at nearly the same weight. The 130.X deserves better brakes than these, and it'd be one of the first things I would swap out if I bought a complete bike.

Fox Transfer dropper post: I swear, I'm not trying to sound like a broken record, but bikes keep showing up with droppers posts that don't have enough drop. This time, it was a 150mm Fox Transfer post that caused me to shake my head. I was able to swap it out for a 210mm OneUp post and was much happier with the extra room on the descents (that's something a customer would be able to do at the time of purchase for a $40 charge).

The 130.X does have a kink in the seat tube that could limit how long of a post some riders can run – I have long legs, and had plenty of room, but some measuring and calculating could be required depending on the frame size and rider height. The new 170mm Atherton bike has a straight seat tube, a design that would make sense to implement across the whole range.

Continental Kryptotal Enduro casing tires: Most of my time on Continental's new tire lineup has been on the DH-casing versions with the stickiest rubber compound. There's still no enduro casing tire with that supersoft rubber, although that's supposed to change in the future. For now, the enduro casing tires and their soft rubber compound do a good job in most conditions, that is, once the very greasy, very slippery coating wears off. That waxy coating is likely the release agent used during manufacturing to get the tires out of the mold, but it's worth mentioning because it can make the tires feel downright sketchy until it goes away. After that, there was good, predictable traction, even on wet roots and slimy rocks.



Atherton 130 review



Pros

+ Very calm and composed while climbing and descending
+ Large range of sizes, plus a full custom option
+ The looks - lugged carbon stands out from the crowd

Cons

- There's not much separating it from the AM150, other than travel.
- Underpowered brakes, short dropper post on complete bike
- There are lighter, livelier options in this travel bracket



Pinkbike's Take

bigquotesThe 130.X is one of those bikes that really doesn't mind which way the trail goes. It delivers a calm, composed ride no matter the terrain, although it's not the bike to choose if you're looking for something extra light and lively. It may be splitting hairs, but in this configuration I'd slot it into the all-mountain category rather than calling it a trail bike. When it's viewed through that lens it makes a lot of sense, a solid, shorter travel option for riders looking for something a little different, a reliable adventure mobile that can handle just about anything.  Mike Kazimer







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Member since Feb 1, 2009
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272 Comments
  • 213 2
 I feel like more should be made of the fact you can get this in 11 sizes.

At 6'1 (185cm) I am permanently stuck between an L that's a bit short on reach and an XL which is too long in both reach and seat tube.

11 sizes means I can buy right in the middle. That's cool.
  • 57 2
 This cannot be understated, this is very close to custom geometry and for this price and construction it is actually a bargain (don't believe I am saying this).
  • 20 0
 Also when there's tall versions. I like a bit more stack height but don't want a longer reach and that's part of the options.
  • 17 1
 Same problem I’m 5:10 n I’m right in between M n L
  • 83 1
 Missed opportunity to say this bike goes to 11
  • 7 2
 I've wondered if all the different sizes would have a negative effect when trying to sell this bike down the road
  • 77 0
 Hey all - if you look at the sizing chart that's included it's actually 22 sizes - there is a 10mm increment between each size and tall, reg and low versions with adjusted standover and headtube - the breadth of standard sizes means you'll never be futher than 4mm from your perfect fit - but If you're the type of rider that would appreciate mm perfect fit we also offer custom -sizing ...
  • 12 37
flag flattire (Dec 4, 2023 at 9:42) (Below Threshold)
 More and more bikes now have factory installed adjustable reach headset cups that achieve the same fit tuning. Don't think you need to base the entire method of construction around 3d printed lugs and off the shelf carbon tubes chop-sawed to length around it.
  • 11 1
 6'1" rider here, and this is a huge deal.

I know it happens to tons of other riders of other heights too, so not taking things away from them. But quite literally 6'1" is "usually" the "fuzzy edge" of the sizing guide where they recommend both an L or XL.

Surprisingly, the frame only prices for Athertons (especially given the sizing stuff), is pretty reasonable. For perspective, its cheaper than Yeti the SB140 frame ($4400).
  • 14 29
flag nickfranko (Dec 4, 2023 at 10:06) (Below Threshold)
 I feel like more should be made of the fact that you’re paying $7,300 for a mechanical GX setup.
There is no excuse for that price point to not have GX AXS. Or, a superior mechanical shift set, like X01 bare minimum.
  • 9 11
 @Athertonbikesteam: yeah you say that but when I asked about getting a 170, 470 reach with the longer 440 chainstays from longer bikes I was told no... and my business was lost just like that!
  • 26 0
 @englertracing: that's very peculiar - we have actually spec'ed longer chainstays for customers before on the 170 so I can't think why we would have said no - will you drop me a line at sales@athertonbikes.com to see if we can get to the bottom of it? Gill
  • 4 0
 @Daray: possibly, but when you think people are prepared to buy a normal sized bike that is too big or too small for them why wouldn’t someone who is say a 490 reach buy a used 480 or 500 atherton, when its still probably closer than another bikes next size?
  • 4 0
 100% agree.

I’m 6’1.5” / 186cm and in exactly the same boat as you. I’ve found bikes of 480mm reach too small (most large) and 515-520mm reach too big (well I can ride them but they aren’t as fun)

Very few bikes are 500mm reach, but the ones I have found have been spot on….

Its the main reason I’m drewling over an AM170
  • 2 2
 @rich-2000: Drooling

And an Arrival 170 in XL will hit that reach number (although your preferred effective reach might be a more useful bike compare number).

happy bike hunting.
  • 2 0
 @Theysayivebeentheone: Same. Trek is trying to tempt me with their ML size though
  • 1 0
 @Daray: maybe if you've got some ridiculously out of proportion body type (sorry, those of you with ape arms!), but otherwise it seems like it's going to be "as good" as those manufacturers with fixed sizes and likely better for a significant number of riders.
  • 1 0
 but how the hell do you know your size like.... I ride a large... what size do I take that I will be happy with?????
I don't think a shoe size would be an accurate fit
  • 1 0
 @madmon: by comparing to bikes you really jived with front center and reach wise....
  • 3 0
 @englertracing: I don't think it's as simple as that, as you could be really happy on a 2012 26"bike, and try to recreate that geometry. Or have just adapted to a bike that isn't right for you. I'm happy on my current large bikes, but no idea if I'd be faster or have more fun on something with a different shape
  • 2 0
 @andrewbikeguide:
Drewling - Drooling+Dwelling
  • 2 1
 @andrewbikeguide:
Thanks for the correction, Dad.

Personally I like the geo more on the atherton,
Larger stack and slightly shorter chainstays.

I’d have an arrival 152 though happily!
  • 2 0
 still you wont buy it
  • 2 0
 @madmon: they have a calculator on their site and make an exact size recommendation based on your height and wingspan. I know that I like know a little lower stack than most, so if I were to buy one I’d go slightly against their recommendation and get the lower version, but their reach # was spot on.
  • 1 1
 @hllclmbr: I spent time searching all atherton site menus and couldn’t find the calculator. I did find their text saying ‘find out fit calculator on the product page’; but there is no calculator on the individual pages for each bike.
  • 3 0
 @frorider2: www.athertonbikes.com/am-130-x.html

There is a giant red rectangular button on the screen labelled ""STEP 3 : FRAME SIZE"

Funnily enough it brings up the fit calculator...
  • 4 2
 @Athertonbikesteam: I also had planned on buying a AM170 and taking advantage of "custom frame" upcharge but being told chainstay's longer than 440 and a slacker head tube angle was not something you can accommodate. I am disappointed and its business lost for your guys.
  • 1 0
 @Theysayivebeentheone: same, always between a M and L
  • 1 1
 @hllclmbr: I have a calculator=I take a large
  • 4 0
 @bbmj: their service isn't for people to invent their own random geometry. It's for them to recommend you a custom geometry if you fall outside of their standard sizes.

Randomly changing something like chain stay length has much wider implications than just rider fit. It effects the wheel path / wheel clearance and sometimes shock leverage ratio etc.

HA you have you have other options to adjust that without getting a custom made frame.
  • 1 1
 @ponyboy24: 440mm is a bit short though eh? Even my trail bike is 442mm now.
  • 1 0
 @chakaping: hard to say how it'll feel without them telling us something about the axle path. They declined to comment when I asked in a prior comment thread. If it's something like the old Robot bike it's longer through most of the axle path and doesn't shorten deep in the travel as much as a typical Horst link.

m.pinkbike.com/news/robot-bike-co-r160-custom-review-2016.html

But in general I agree 440mm is on the shorter side for my liking on an XL unless the axle path is substantially rearward.
  • 2 0
 @chakaping: mullet generally have a little shorter chain stays.

I also thought I always needed longer chainstays on an XL bike, but some of the ones I've tested I really didn't like the handling. For sure they plowed straight, but also lacked something in handling precision and also playfulness.

I think just depends on the bike and overall geometry and suspension design though
  • 3 0
 @ponyboy24:

I have two bikes around the 500 reach.
One has 440mm chainstays, the other had 445mm. I much prefer the 440 - its noticable better at cornering and no more stable at high speed…
  • 2 0
 @ponyboy24: sorry no ‘less’ stable at speed
  • 3 0
 @rich-2000: well theres other things that could be at play like bbh, and head angle,
but for me longer stays (note this is tested with a bike that can run 445-460 stays) remove weight from the rear and place it on the front, resulting in more front grip, and a slightly less forward neutral body position, and IMO improved cornering when pushing the limits of front grip in longer corners done at the absolute limits of traction, whereas the short stays are a bit better for intentional schralp type flicking, which is usually not done at your absolute limits.....
  • 1 0
 @mountainsofsussex: sure, but if youve been on enough variety of bikes, and know that beyond a ceartain front center you cant get the front end loaded up to do your best cornering, then you know what you are looking at....... and maybe have an idea of what would work for what trails you frequently ride as well.
  • 2 0
 @frorider2: go to buy one of the frames and the calculator comes up. Its an excellent algorithm that I sneakily used to select my Commencal AM sizing
  • 34 4
 To compare it with the recently reviewed Smuggler makes more sense imo. And would be more interesting
  • 13 3
 Should compare it with a 5010 Big Grin
  • 14 0
 This could go into a rather fascinating group test of burly boutique trail bikes like the Forbidden Druid, Smuggler, Nukeproof Reactor (if they ever emerge from bankruptcy and that's an available and supported option again), maybe a Rocky Mountain Instinct in higher spec, Arrival 130, etc.
  • 23 0
 @g-42: Banshee Prime fits the boutique label more than a Nukeproof or Rocky.
  • 16 28
flag wobblegoblin (Dec 4, 2023 at 8:35) (Below Threshold)
 I’d prefer they compare ever bike to whichever specialized has the closest travel. . . Plus an explanation of how buying a $4000 frame is worth it over the (on sale) Stumpjumper at $1750…
  • 38 12
 @wobblegoblin: Well it won't be a Specialized for a start, so that's your first bonus...
  • 4 0
 I'll add two more to this list that are quite interesting to me. The Raaw Jibb, (I know it was in the field test a year or so ago) and the Forbidden Druid V2- which is probably at the top of my list right now
  • 6 0
 Considering they used the same two shots and jumps in both the Smuggler and 130x review, both the stump jump and right hander into a booter, I'm hoping a comparison is on the way. They must have taken these photos on the same ride together lol.
  • 1 0
 @Daray: Too properly review this bike, the bike tester would have to get the bike in correct size specifically for them, as that is one of the true values of this bike. Actually having something that fits perfect!

Then also difficult to do a comparison review unless you take into account the sizing benefits against the other bikes with less sizing options.

Obviously the Atherton bikes are of greater value to people who are between sizes or have unusual body geometry and can get a full custom sizing.
  • 5 2
 @wobblegoblin: because god forbid there be smaller bicycle manufacturers to support...
  • 3 0
 @ponyboy24: except the PB testers mostly float in that sweet spot for a size L, and the numbers on the test bike are pretty standard for that. It would be neat to have people who always have to mess around with standard sized bikes to make them work for their bodies test something the Athertons recommend to them, as it would be pretty close to custom.

Or, to put that differently, there's no shortage of bikes that seem to work well for lean dudes around 5'11" with moderately longish legs for their size. For those folks, Atherton's near custom sizing offers less extra value than for everyone whose a bit further from what seems too be the default size.
  • 3 0
 @g-42: Nukeproof Reactor (if they ever emerge from bankruptcy and that's an available and supported option again)

Ouch, this hits close to home. Bought a frame 2 months ago and it was shipped without the custom bits that attach to the frame. Nukeproof said "sorry, but we can't give you parts, talk to a dealer" Frown To their credit CRC has tried to make it right but still waiting on a~ $20 proprietary brake adapter to turn my art piece into a rideable bike.
  • 1 0
 @plyawn: there's that bang for your buck
  • 5 0
 @wobblegoblin: @wobblegoblin: I agree with your thinking. It would be cool if there was sort of a "baseline" Pinkibike benchmark bike (like a Stumpjumper or Slash) that everyone's familiar with and commonly available for demos. Sort of like how Seb compares every fork to a 38. It's hard for me get a sense of what a bike is actually like when you're comparing an Atherton to a Scor. I've never even seen either of these bikes in the wild.
  • 2 1
 @gtill9000: maybe... but Seb's recent fork reviews have been very bad! He compares other forks to the Fox 38 under his own assumption that Fox is the greatest product on earth. He comes across as a Fox fan boy.
  • 1 0
 @ponyboy24: I've heard the knocks on his reviews where he compares everything to a 38, which he believes is the standard-bearer. I mean, if he's ridden/reviewed dozens of forks, it seems reasonable to me that he would have a favorite. My point is that reviews are helpful when they're all compared to the same baseline, and ideally that baseline would be something everyone's familiar with.
  • 2 2
 @gtill9000: problem is, hes not good enough to realize that a 38, or any fork with a grip 2 vvc, has NO compression damping.....
  • 1 1
 @englertracing: not sure which grip 2 vvc you've been riding, but I certainly have not had that problem...
  • 1 0
 @RBalicious: check the dyno graphs,
Your riding the spring.
  • 1 0
 @englertracing: That may be true, but my point still is that it's more helpful to the reader when a bike or a part is compared to a known baseline, even if you think that baseline sucks.
  • 1 0
 @gtill9000: a fox 38 isn't a known baseline. It's an overpriced, over hyped fork that has huge performance limitations if you are outside of its usable weight range. I.e. weight more than 85kg or less than 65kg ish.
  • 1 0
 @ponyboy24: can you name any reasonably priced forks that aren't overhyped (aka have no marketing presence) better than the 38 with no performance limitations out of the box based on rider weight, whether I'm 100lbs or 250lbs?
  • 1 0
 @pinkbert: over hyped doesn't mean it has a marketing presence. It means their is agenda driving to position it as a boutique level product. Which it clearly is it.

Rockshox ZEB has plenty of marketing. They aren't trying to price as a boutique product. It works very well, it's easy to setup, and suits a wide range of riders without needing customizations. Thus you get reliable product at a reasonable price (comparatively).
  • 2 0
 @ponyboy24: There is less than a $100 difference in MSRP between the two forks. Either they are both priced as boutique or they both aren't. Being a fan boi of either doesn't change that. It's okay to have preferences but it's clear you have a personal bias towards one over the other.

www.pinkbike.com/news/review-2023-rockshox-zeb-vs-fox-38-fork-mtb.html
  • 1 0
 @ponyboy24: How about instead of using the term "baseline" we use the term "control." My point is that in a review, isn't t more helpful to hear how a fork compares to something you obviously are familiar with (the 3Cool even when you think it sucks, vs. being compared to something you aren't familiar with?
  • 1 0
 @englertracing: *you're
Sure, you may be riding the spring on ALL suspension products. That is inherently obvious. The thing about it, is if there was NO compression damping as you claim, there would be NO control through the travel. Which is an inherently flawed technical take just by looking at a graph... I can, and maybe because I am an aggressive 150lb rider, can most certainly tell a difference when I crank down the High and Low speed compression. It firms up right quick. I highly doubt whatever dyno graph you are looking at has each individual click of HC/LC to show the difference.
  • 1 0
 @RBalicious: as a very aggressive 190lb rider who owns all 3 dampers for a 36 and 40 and having played with the damping on all three of these dampers the charts shown at 17mins in this video are Dead accurate
A grip 2 non vvc can generate massive damping, and the curve is kinda wack, an rc2 is a beauty with an extra face shim, and the vvc can't be stiffened enough even with a huge pile of shims, blows right through.... youtu.be/lS-VzI2JbrI?si=COfxjHtPfvH1iF_Q
  • 1 0
 @englertracing: cool video by vorsprung! A bit stuck in the past though at 2021…
  • 1 0
 @RBalicious: not exactly, there's been no meaningful change to the grip 2 vvc from release untll today..... there was one. The midvalve has one less shim and slightly more float.... so even less damping.. the base valve is unchanged.... and having valved them, the problem is the piston is totally flat and doesn't seal so it doesn't make much lsc compared to most othet dampers. The piston needs an 0.002" full radius dish cut to aid shim sealing for one thing....


Many fast dudes are on the previous non vvc base valve.
  • 20 1
 G2s! Thanks for pointing them out as inadequate for most things. They came stock on my Epic Evo (G2 RS), and I had to get the RSC levers and thicker rotors just to have them working OK-ish. Maybe they work for some, but to me they are inferior to many older-spec brakes. 2-pot SLX from 7 years ago are still a lot better and confidence inspiring - even with stock basic Shimano rotors.
  • 5 1
 Yeah, I concur. I had them on my 130/150 all mountain and were overwhelmed by anything other than green XC trails. Apparently Sram billed them as "mini codes"... should have been billed micro codes.
  • 6 1
 It really is astonishing how little power they have. I thought all the complaints were overblown or user error as is often the case with Mtb brakes. When they felt underwhelming I put it down to wet conditions and my less than stellar technique. But they turned out underpowered even for a featherweight buddy with excellent skill.
  • 2 0
 Totally right. My Epic Evo also came stock with G2s, which I immediately replaced with Dominions. The G2s are the most useless brakes I’ve ever encountered.
  • 1 0
 @RogerMexico: I replaced mine with TRP DH-R Evo's.... nuff said.
  • 13 0
 To all those who solely focus on reach numbers.... note for the same reach bike (lets pick 480 as example) 480 reach with the lower stack VS 480 with a higher stack.... the wheelbase is longer on the higher stack bike.
more stack = bigger bike.
  • 5 6
 Also to those who focus solely on reach numbers, spend some time thinking about ETT since that's where you spend 99% of your riding unless you're on a DH bike.
  • 11 0
 @GTscoob: Its a triangle. Focusing on ETT is imaginary as you can slide your saddle forward and backward a fair bit. You can also tweak stem length. In my mind, sizing breaks down to two fundamental things:

Steering axis and Bottom bracket

You can never change the relationship between these two without modifying other parts of the bike.
  • 12 1
 @GTscoob: 99% of the time seated? Seriously?
  • 3 1
 @vitaflo: LOL. Only 1% of the time standing? I think not.

By this guys logic you can slacken your seat angle to 65 degrees, bingo, you have a massive ETT that will fit a 7FT man.
  • 5 0
 @flattire: seated descending is the next big thing haha
  • 3 0
 @GTscoob: Even acknowledging that the majority of time might be in the saddle, 100% of the fun time on the bike is while you're standing, and that's all I really care about. After that, you can think about seat tube angles/ETT etc. to try to get something workable in between the fun times. I agree with @flattire - the most important factor in a frame (IMO) is where the BB is located relative to the top of the headtube.
  • 3 1
 @gtill9000: Right. And it's all still such a compromise. A lot of guys don't get how ETT works and end up with wonky fitting bikes when they're in the saddle, solely because they focused on some magic reach number.

Humans are adaptable creatures and most of us will adjust for 5mm here or 5mm there when talking reach, stack, stem length, etc.
  • 2 0
 @GTscoob: I feel like you’re describing a lot of tech editors on here…
  • 9 0
 The 150 frame only option seems like the one to get. Seems like all of the weight but only some of the travel with the 130.
Either way, all of those sizes (and even custom geo if you'd like) is a raging bargain for a CF/ Ti frame!
Would like to see them incorporate the EightPins dropper into the Atherton.
  • 7 0
 That's how I feel too - the 150 pedals so well and the weight difference seems very minimal maybe 200-300 grams, I have never understood the use case for the 130. If I wanted a short travel trail bike I would definitely be looking for something much lighter.

But I'm not looking for a 130 trail bike - the am.150 has been absolutely fantastic both as a trail/epic bike and hitting everything including the park. I was on a 170 bike (Ransom) the last few years and was pretty concerned about stepping down in travel but the am.150 has handled everything including a solid week of pure downhilling in the Alps.
  • 18 11
 While this is a beautiful bike, it seems like they missed the mark. Between the weight and odd spec choices, I’m a bit surprised. I would’ve been super stoked to see a 130/140 Atherton in the sub-30lb weight range.

Sizing is killer, geo is solid, but why would I buy this over a Norco Fluid or even the new YT Jeffsy?
  • 31 15
 Good luck getting modern 29”ers under 30lbs. They’re so long and built for durability now, those days are gone…
  • 10 7
 Totally agree. Love these beautiful bikes, Atherton doing great things, but the industry needs to turn back to weight watching, we've ballooned again, alloy and carbon enduro bikes weighing almost the same carbon trail bikes 30+ lbs. rather than adding a battery to everything and complicating systems with high idlers (realize this isn't happening here) , and orher weight penalties.
  • 17 3
 @Saidrick: Specialized Stumpjumper is a great example of a quite capable bike that is very lightweight. I ride my Epic Evo pretty irresponsibly and it weighs a scant 24lb, never had an issue with durability.

While it's cool that this bike is rated for DH use, it's a trail bike. I just don't see an advantage of buying this bike over a longer travel rig. It sounds like the suspension was built for stability and compromises on the snappy feeling that a 130 bike can provide.
  • 11 6
 @Chondog94:

The Stumpy is under 30lbs, but it has flex stays. I prefer links, for my suspension. The Stumpy is still the standard, but I feel like Specialized was cheating to hit that weight.

This Atherton bike is for somebody that can only afford one bike and never a wants to worry about having the wrong bike… this is a one-bike and not a trail bike, in my opinion. Your mileage may vary, but I see that categorization as having a different set of parameters than a trail bike or an XC-ish bike like your Epic Evo. I rode a super light “downcountry” bike once ( Revel Ranger), it was like trying to control a squirrel on the dh’s.
  • 6 0
 The problem I see is a lack of differentiation between the 150 and 130 since this bike has the build, geo, weight, and ride characteristics of a longer travel bike.
  • 18 0
 So two things I'd say @Chondog94 , first the 130X is one of a range of four 130 bikes builds 1 and 2 both target a lighter build and emphasise climbing attributes... also over 75% of the bikes we sell are custom build - this means customers can chose to swap for lighter or just preferred componnets, line by line - no charge except for the difference in cost of the part
  • 14 1
 @metsrangers35: we have customers who have built these at around 13kg - but tbh we prioritise strength over weight - we believe that our perfect -fit and the perfect pedalling position that comes along with that more than make up for a small increase in weight
  • 3 0
 @Saidrick: My epic evo is my only bike currently so I’ve likely just adapted to it. When I hop on bigger bikes they feel sluggish and heavy.

It seems like 130/140 or 130/150 sits squarely in the trail category but it’s all relative. I’m sure this atherton rips and if I had a chance to try one out I’d be super excited.
  • 5 0
 @Athertonbikesteam: Right on. Y’all are doing something different and it’s great to see so much custom options being offered. Cheers!
  • 5 1
 @Saidrick: my large Rocky Mountain Element is 28 lbs with a Cane Creek shock, upforked Pike to 140mm, and XT/ SLX components. Could be way lighter. There are a handful of other bikes like this.
  • 2 34
flag dododuzzi (Dec 4, 2023 at 12:32) (Below Threshold)
 This bike weights more than my ALUMINUM Turner 5-spot did in the year 2002. And it is because lugged construction IS NOT the way to build a carbon frame. Lugs buy you nothing other than the extra weight of the lugs. The result is a new high! A 130 travel trail bike that is almost 35 pounds ready to ride.
  • 39 3
 @dododuzzi, lugs are what makes it possible to have so many sizing options. And your Turner had 26" wheels, no dropper post, and much less capable suspension.
  • 2 1
 @Chondog94: I hear ya. Once you get used to light bikes its hard to ride anything else.
  • 4 5
 @KingPooPing: once you get used to a bike that is solid, reliable and capable you find it hard to ride irrelevant lightweight components.
  • 7 0
 @ponyboy24: That’s a total fallacy which lets manufacturers off the hook for skimping on proper engineering. There are tons of comparatively lightweight parts with no performance deficit whatsoever.
  • 1 0
 @Ttimer: not to be lodged into the same category as the components that sacrifice performance and durability for weight.
  • 1 0
 @fryrye:

Yeah, you’re right, XC bikes, like the Element( 120mm travel/100mm) bikes can still get under 30lbs, but not much else can these days. Where as, my old 150mm/160mm HD3, was under 30 lbs.

My new Mojo 4 was a struggle to get under 30lbs with 130mm/140mm, full XT and carbon everything…
  • 2 0
 @Chondog94: Hear me out, and it might come down to terrain and riding style, which, if you dont know/experience it, it wouldnt make sense.

I have a Spire, pedals great, absolute weapon going down, and is so capable, I have to be going warp speed to achieve the sensation of being on the edge.
I also have a ST Fugitive, which isnt as capable as the Spire, and weighs nearly the same, but I get that sensation of speed, and riding on the edge at a much slower speed, or on more mellow trails.
So I can go on rides with my wife, or coach, or explore areas that I might not otherwise on a bike that is still very capable, but is still a tonne of fun on trails that arent quite up for the Spire.

Any of that make sense?
This would be a great bike for what i'm looking for from a short travel bike
  • 1 0
 @Athertonbikesteam: If a guy wanted to mullet this bike, thoughts?
  • 1 0
 @Saidrick: The Propain Hugene is easy to build up light, and it's super capable at 150/140 or 140/140. And it's $2000 less.
  • 1 0
 @onawalk: Makes sense. I’m sure this bike is suited for plenty of folks. Just like plenty of people don’t find the bike I ride suited for them.

I really enjoy the feeling of a light, agile bike. I love the atheron line up and would’ve been really excited to see something lightweight from them but that doesn’t mean this bike won’t be a great ride for a whole bunch of people.
  • 1 0
 @Chondog94: Does the Atherton name lend itself to a lightweight bike, I dont think thats where they are best known.
Now, If Nino started a bike brand, or Pidcock, different story.
  • 1 0
 @bruvar: Thats because there isn’t an real difference. Just a reduction in travel
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: Dah! really? And what is the purpose of having all those possibilities when you cannot change things that really matter, like chainstay length, or seat tube angle, or cannot even have a mullet option. The only thing you can do is to change the two main tubes and achieve exactly the same results that you would get with five sizes and different stems or handlebars.

This is an ultra-expensive waste of fancy materials, and it results in a frame that is heavier then an aluminum one!
  • 2 0
 @Saidrick: it tells you something about the state of the industry when it's hard go below 30 pounds with a 6.0 pounds frame+shock! It is thanks to Pinkbike and the likes, obsessed with bigger is better, and calling 34/35 pounds 130 travel absurdities "light".
  • 1 0
 @dododuzzi: Quick question
Is there some sort of uber material that you can think of in the last 30 years that would facilitate a durable, mid travel bike that can safely be ridden by multiple riders, on multiple types of terrain?

Steel, Aluminium, Titanium, Carbon, those are the choices, and the development of them is really just incremental. We've had these materials, and the processes of them for decades.

Rather than "says something of the state of the industry" maybe it says "this is what these materials are capable of, and these are the current methods of manufacture"
I've been riding mountain bike since the late 90's, and the terrain that I ride has gotten ever increasing, and the bike I ride is much more durable than ever. I value that over 5-6 lbs of weight savings, and I dont think I'm the only one
  • 2 0
 @onawalk: the ubermaterial is there, it is called carbon fiber. The problem with the industry is that thanks in part to publications like Pinkbike the BIGGER IS BETTER came to dominate the industry, and bigger means heavier. Look at this absurdity: 130 mm of travel with 34-35 pounds ready to go. It is the weight of some ultra-light e-MTB!
  • 1 0
 @dododuzzi: yep yep yep.
  • 1 0
 @dododuzzi: The 130 is available in lighter builds, you see that right?
Its also available in a frame only, so you can attempt to build it as youd like?
the 130X, designed as a short travel, durable bike, for those that want the short travel platform, but more capable due to the more robust parts.
I'm not sure whats got you so fired up about this, theres bikes available if you want a lighter bike, and ones available if you want a more robust bike, that seems like a great compromise to me....And bitching about PB gravity focused content, on that platform seems a little strange to me, but you do you bruv
  • 1 0
 @onawalk: no one is b^tching, a trail bike burly AF or not does not need to weigh 34-35 lbs. period. Full stop. You can chuck plenty of 28-30 lb bikes down a cliff and be just fine. Great that everyone wants to support a small boutique business, and their bikes ARE SWEET, this isn't a knock really, just that in 2023 we should and can do better.
  • 1 0
 @dododuzzi:

To me the “bigger is better” is not Pinkbike per se. It is more a result of the industry trying to have less warranty claims, and less viral stories on the internet about that one “frame that broke.”

It also helps newer riders to ride the gnarlyier dh’s. But at the end of the day it creates a longer and heavier bike, on average.

Although, ironically, my first mountain bike weighed 30lbs, with an original rock show fork, 90’s Univega.

I do love my mojo 4 though…
  • 1 0
 @metsrangers35: I'd like to humbly disagree, theres definitely some bitching going on....
I'm not sure I can get my ST trail bike below 34lbs, and still feel confident on it to chuck it down the tings I enjoy, for any length of time.
I'd say the bulk of weight comes from my alu frame, and wheel setup, both are fairly difficult/cost prohibitive to swap out to get any real weight savings.
My enduro bike, around the 33/34 mark, its already carbon, so short of again swapping wheels and fork out, it is what it is.
and while we can in fact get closer to 30, it is always going to come with a set of compromises, some of which arent acceptable to some.
The idea that the travel number is what is adding the weight is kinda silly, its just the robust parts that make up that difference

Its exactly why this bike is available in more than guise, and why there are lots of different options available. So if you want a 28lb "trail" bike, go buy one, if you want a 34lb "trail" bike, you can have that too
  • 12 2
 An Arrival 130 review might be needed!
  • 6 0
 It's really hard o find the balance between travel and usability/playfulness. Seems like most of the really fun bikes out there (that would work for the great majority of people) are in that 125-145~ish travel range. Any less and it's "harsh and whatever downcountry is now", any more and it begins to feel sluggish and hard to manage on everyday rides... I think most people have to be honest with themselves and realize you don't need a "brawler super enduro bike" for your local flow trails, get on a short travel trail bike and you'll actually use most of the travel
  • 5 0
 These days when I buy a new bike, I want something a little new and different. For that reason, I will one day own an Atherton. Maybe not this one (prefer MOAR TRAVEL!). These are cool bikes built around a cool custom concept.
  • 8 0
 Man shoutout to Kaz for being so damn steezy in these photos. Really cool riding shots in this review
  • 23 1
 Found your alt Kaz.
  • 6 2
 As a 6'6" rider, their 22" is pretty darn small. Good reach but very short ETT, short chainstays and very short head tube/stack. Anyone big enough to ride 524mm of reach better love riding a high rise bar or lots of spacers.
  • 1 0
 That or have the body proportions of Cotton Hill... someone 6'6" with a 28" inseam.
  • 1 0
 I'm pretty used to tons of spacers and riser bars by now.
  • 2 0
 Get a Geometron. That's loooong!
  • 2 0
 @RonSauce: this is way too much money to have to accept that.
  • 2 0
 Yeah 11 sizes is sweet but their XXL is still too small. 6'5 here and I agree.
  • 2 0
 @RonSauce: all of which makes your bike much shorter than it should be. A proper head tube makes a longer wheelbase which fits better than a bike with a shrunken cockpit due to a mile of spacers and riser bars.
  • 2 0
 Agreed. It's not really a true XXL even, but it's hard to fault them as a smaller brand. I'd still want a size 25-26 if available given that I have a few more inches on top of you.
  • 5 2
 Have been (from the start) on the new Contis - Krypto, Argo, and at last Hydro - and have no idea what that greasy first ride coating is. All of mine have full grip from the start. By The way this is from dusty dry 30+ degrees down to 0 with leaves and all sort of slop.
  • 5 0
 I know what he's talking about - it was present on my set of Enduro Kryptotals. Nothing like that on DH-version though.
  • 11 0
 It could have to do with the country of origin - there might be a slight difference in manufacturing methods. The enduro casing tires on this bike were made in China, while the DH casing tires I've used before were made in Germany.
  • 3 0
 i've had about 6 pairs of krypto and 2 of argo, All have had the mold release on them, its definitely there on the first ride as they always have a bit of push in the front untill suddenly that goes away, its an odd feeling at first as you think to yourself that you've forgotten how to ride haha
  • 1 0
 @mafflin: Yep, just put a KRR enduro (China made) on wife's bike and part way into first ride she asked me to check tire pressure as she felt the bike sliding around. After the 3rd ride she loves the tire and says it sticks like glue so guessing that was the coating. I've only run the DH casings and never experienced that.
  • 1 1
 My German made Contis, both Enduro and DH, were gluey to the touch right out of the package. Not buying any of the Chinese ones, though. Not just because of the coating.
  • 1 3
 @mikekazimer: I here that the coating is unused COVID Smile
  • 1 2
 *hear
  • 3 0
 My alloy Giant Trance “X” has very similar specs and weighs the same. I do have carbon wheels, though. And 5 extra mm of suspension in the back. And it was almost half the price.

It sure as hell doesn’t look as cool, though. Those Athertons are sweet looking bikes.
  • 3 0
 I've had my 150 for a half a year now and I can't see switching down to the 130. When I ordered mine, the 130 was announced shortly after. Looked like it would be good for someone but I didn't see any advantage for the riding I like to do. So far it's been a great bike! I'm really happy with it. I'm sure the 130 is a great bike too, but I am happy with the 150.
  • 3 0
 "rather than an X2 – along with being lighter, with the right tune I think the Float X would have created a slightly peppier ride."

Why couldn't you get that "right tune" on an X2? It's got more external adjustments, should actually be easier to get the "right tune" than on a shock with less knobs.
  • 5 0
 Excellent geo on this bike for a 130mm frame, well done Atherton bikes.
  • 3 0
 Did you feel that the geo fit you better, given there are 11 sizes? I feel like that’s a main positive of this bike — essentially knowing the geo should be a perfect fit.
  • 4 0
 No, I don't think it fit me any better, but my 5'11" height is fairly typical, so I don't usually struggle too much with bike sizing. For taller and shorter riders those extra sizes could be a benefit, or for riders who have a very specific reach number they prefer.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: were you testing the bike size recommended to you by their size calculator? Or just a generic size they made available for test?
  • 3 0
 I have this rig with GX T type Hayes brakes and Chris King/ We Are One wheels and it is an incredible bike so fun and playful
  • 1 0
 All the comments about how great the available numbers of sizes is on this bike made me think about how important the difference really is. I am between M and L as well but shortly downsized from L to M and I am happy. The numbers have kept almost the same in terms of reach but that was it. A few mm difference in those 11 sizes my be cool for racers searching for the perfect fit, but for us mortals it's more about adaptation and keep honing those skills that will make us better riders. I do see the appeal though but not sure if I would just get a bike that is 95% perfect ride it a lot and spend the spare money on trips and memories that owning a bike 99% perfect, still fiddling on parts (brakes, dropper).
  • 1 0
 Agreed, if you are a generic person and have a 95% good fit on a regular bike sizing. Then the sizing options and customisation doesn't add much value for you.

Not everyone is generic in their body shape though! If your arms and/or legs are significantly out of proportion with your torso size you can rarely get a good fit on generic sized bikes.
  • 1 0
 New? New is old and in 1989 I had a reflex ALX carbon race bike (still have the frame) with carbon tubes mated to aluminum lugs. Best bike I could find in ‘89.

The carbon tubes in a traditional frame design surely softened the ride, especially with straight blade forks of the day! Retail at $1749 I think in 89. I added a rite height on the carbon fiber seatpost - an early version of dropper post.

This Atherton is a nice bike!
  • 5 3
 I wish this review was the 170, I feel like the 130 and 150 were earlier generations, the 170 has a straight seat tube where the other two don't, maybe because it's MX?
  • 6 0
 Ill offer you a review of the 170. I demo'd it at Dyfi a few weeks ago. It was fantastic. Best way I can describe it after 30 odd years of biking (and about 15 gravity oriented) is that it rides like Ive always wanted a bike to ride. It pedals fine and descends fantastically. And looks even better in the flesh than on a screen. So good I ordered one, the same day!
  • 2 0
 Enduro-mtb has a review on it
  • 2 1
 @drjohn: unfortunately they are just reviewing a generic size, not a bike sized specifically for the tester.

It also comes off as a bit of a fan boy review, so hard to take away any feedback from it.
  • 2 0
 Oh yeah and only 130mm head tube on the biggest so called extra tall. With that length of fork I’d be wanting 150+ and i’m onlt 6’3”
  • 2 0
 It is a great looking bike. I like the simplicity of the frame. But it is pricey and not as light as I thought is would be with carbon and titanium frame.
  • 4 0
 @tacklingdummy this one isn't as light - but we have customers that have spec'ed their 130s at around 13kg... its very achievable
  • 1 0
 @Athertonbikesteam: Thanks for the info.
  • 1 0
 Is there a spacer in the X2 you could take out and make it a 140 travel rear end? Looks like maybe so in the suspension vid.

Atherton bikes are lookin good. Clearly the DH bike works really well!
  • 1 1
 I like the Atherton bikes a lot and im pretty sure they are all great, buy I don't see myself buying a frameset for ~5000€-5500€... for this price you can get any other bike with a complete Fox Factory build right now. Most will cost less.
  • 1 1
 32lb for a 130mm trail bike what did they do? Fill the tubes with lead. I’m also at a loss to why a trail bike needs enduro tyres on it. Trail bikes have trail typers, enduro bikes have enduro tyres and dh bikes need dh tyres.
  • 4 1
 I would love to see a head to head review of this and the Raaw Jibb.
  • 3 0
 So, the chainstay lenght discussions are not closed...
  • 10 8
 Great review, but I have REAL concerns about the lack of advent calendar giveaway. Anyone know what's up?
  • 7 0
 Bike industry can't afford freebies I bet.
  • 3 1
 Went the way of Levy.
  • 1 0
 I've been thinking about the same thing, 4 days into December and nothing at all?
  • 11 5
 @jayacheess, there's no advent calendar this year. Sorry.
  • 2 0
 @FaahkEet: Maybe. But more than likely an issue with Outside’s legal team. They shut down all of Pinkbike’s sweepstakes-style contests this year. Or budget issues with Outside. Or a combo of both.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: any plans or hopes to bring it back in the future?
  • 2 1
 @TheR: WinIt Wednesday still pops up from time to time. Hopefully we will see the Advent calendar return in the future.
  • 2 0
 @mtmc99: oh yeah! Good point!
  • 5 6
 I can get a G2 to lock up a front wheel with a DH Supersoft Kryptotal up front. I'm really struggling to imagine needing more power than that.

Protip to anyone reading; make sure you're pressurizing your line from the caliper up. It genuinely does effect how well these brakes work.
  • 3 1
 I've tried most things to get G2s to work proper on one of my bikes. Going RS -> RSC and thicker rotors helped. But. I still need to pull the brakes really hard, after getting through freeplay and modulation, so much so I feel I lose some control of the bike. I've done lots of bleed tricks, but just can't get them any better.

Thing is - it should never be needed to have a science degree or a workshop to get bicycle brakes working proper. They should just work from the get go. Mine certainly did not. New, and rather expensive bike. Coming from 2-pot SLX on a few bikes the G2s were a big setback IMO.
  • 1 3
 @knutspeed: I can't say it requires anything more than a certificate to flip burgers at McDicks to properly bleed a Sram brake. They make it fairly clear in the instructions how they want their brakes serviced. Follow that guide, and they feel ridiculously good.

My G2s are stronger and more consistent than any SLX I've tried.
  • 2 1
 @sherbet: then we beg to differ Smile I did like the new bleed port, though.
  • 3 4
 This bike is.....an S Works Stumpjumper with more size options. Not everyone benefits from that, but it's what a high end builder SHOULD offer versus stock bikes. 3 sizes aren't enough on a value brand, let alone anything billed as "premium".
  • 3 0
 What does X mean ?
  • 30 0
 They are blowing you a kiss.
  • 4 0
 eXtreme!!!!!!
  • 1 1
 Just means top tier build it seems. 130.1 and 130.2 lower level builds.
  • 1 1
 @FaahkEet: But other models have no .X version, some end at .2, some at .3
This means that the marketing guy wanted to feel useful that particular day Smile
  • 3 0
 @lkubica: or they were slamming Mountain Dew that day which heavily inspired them.
  • 6 0
 @FaahkEet: It's because the X build has a 150mm travel fork, the 1 and 2 builds have 140mm. It's like eXtra travel...
  • 3 0
 150mm Fox 36 versus a 140mm Fox 34.

So, yeah, basically "eXtreme!"
  • 2 0
 10mm longer fork.
  • 7 0
 Ask Elon,
  • 1 0
 X-rated
  • 5 0
 Idk

XOXO
//Gossip Girl
  • 1 0
 @bigpeaches It means X-tra travel! It has a 150mm fork upfront where the other 130s in our range have a 140mm fork
  • 4 0
 It means she isnt going to call you again unless your the dad
  • 2 0
 @FaahkEet: not quite - build 1 and 2 have 140mm forks , both build 1 and X are Fox based ( with options to switch to other suspension brands) while build 2 is Rockshox based
  • 3 0
 @lkubica: marketing girl - adn see reply to FaahkEet
  • 1 0
 @Athertonbikesteam: Got it, thanks. For some reason thought a 150 could go on any build. My mistake.
  • 3 1
 Cool bike apart from the daft kinked seat tube. Just stop it!
  • 3 0
 The wheel has to go somewhere when the suspension compresses
  • 2 0
 @Genewich: *faints in Pinkbike*
  • 1 0
 @Genewich: god only knows where, if only bike designers could solve this problem and use straight seat tubes then we could have nice long dropper posts.
  • 1 0
 It's good to read anything about the Atherton bikes. The 150 is one of my "I sure wish I had that" frames.
  • 2 2
 Still at a loss why carbon that is touted as the "any shape" material is being used as straight tubes with lugs. Engineers....I don't understand you.
  • 6 0
 Atherton bikes used to be Robot Bike Co who were already using this type of design, it's what they wanted for their bikes when they acquired it. Also, "strait tubes" do fall under the category of "any shape".
  • 3 0
 Because building it this way allows them to offer the 22 different sizes without spending millions of dollars on 22 different molds.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer I am curious as to what brand of pants are you wearing in this review?
  • 4 6
 I love the idea of Mike telling the Athertons, with their own bike park and many hours of testing that they picked the wrong shock for the bike and how something else is better because the one they picked feels bottomless and makes the bike feel like it has more travel. There is something cool about not riding a lovely bike so it feels like you are well within the capabilities of the machine. Would love to see Remy thrash an Atherton bike, would be a match made in heaven.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer I think you'd get at least another 18" of boost if you smiled on those jumps.
  • 1 0
 For that price get rid of the kashima and use the money for better brakes! Everything else is spot on.
  • 2 4
 They do a rockshox specced model. So has far superior suspension, and is cheaper!
  • 3 0
 @ponyboy24: a bike like that really seems like a Mezzer would be a good fit
  • 3 1
 Where is the advent calendar?
  • 1 1
 Does anyone have experience with importing an Atherton? My understanding is there is an 11% tax (US) which would make a big difference in the cost comparisons here.
  • 1 0
 I paid $200 import duties. I wasn't charged any extra shipping after the initial purchase.
  • 2 4
 @mikekazimer Your price comparison to a yeti is false. Don’t forget to add 14-20% import tax on any Atherton bike/frame to actually get one to the US or Canada. If you pick one up in the UK that VAT is already included. These bikes are actually more expensive than any of their competitors when you consider the tax. It’s too bad, otherwise I would totally agree with you, they’re priced in the same range as a many other bikes…
  • 4 0
 I don't know if this is normal but I paid no shipping to Atherton after the initial purchase , and customs duty was around $200.
  • 1 2
 @preston67: I was quoting the tax range published on their website, I don’t know from first hand experience. $200 sounds incredible for either a frame or full bike…a 7% tax rate (my city’s tax rate) on an Atherton frame would be $326, so you scored! Well done, sir!
  • 1 0
 0% import tax to Canada - we have a certificate of origin....

USA import tax officially 11% but as Preston mentioned it doesnt seem to be consistently applied - some people are chatged 11, some like Preston nothing and others have reported 5.5% - its all very anecdotal so up to you to decide!
  • 1 0
 @Athertonbikesteam: thanks for the reply…that’s interesting!
  • 2 0
 Way too heavy and way too steep of an STA for a 130 mm trailbike.
  • 5 0
 As someone who owns a AM.130 and has ridden it all season I can say that neither of these statements is true. It's not light, that is true but I've never ridden a bike that felt so sturdy underneath me, so quiet and composed, didn't flex new and still doesn't flex 1500km later. It's the first bike I've ridden that screams at you to ride harder, stay off the brakes longer, trust the suspension more. It's not going to win any XC races but neither am I so we have that in common. I have mine built around 32lbs with proper components. I love it so much that my AM.170 frame is in production right now.
  • 1 0
 @cstone: I hear you on the weight. Often overblown. But the STA is an absolute no-go for me, personally. Beenj there, done that, hated it until I moved on.

Curious why you chose the 130 over the 150, given the very small weight penalty, and reported stellar pedaling of the 150?
  • 1 0
 @kosmowf: I guess I can't argue with your personal experience on STA but for me I've found the new geo of steeper STA game changing.

As for the 130 vs 150. I'm a two bike guy, a short travel bike for Ontario riding and a bigger travel bike for traveling with. I went from a Tallboy 3 to a SB115 to the AM.130, the AM.150 would have just been too much bike for general Ontario riding. We don't have the sustained downhills to take advantage of the 150 travel even if the weight penalty isn't that much. The weight, geo, and travel of the 130 is just better suited for the type of riding I do on a daily basis.
  • 1 0
 That's a handsome bike. If I were to draw a mountain bike it would look just like that, minus the kinked seat tube.
  • 1 0
 What pads were on the G2s? Same as the Codes? Did you try the G2s with the HS2 rotors?
  • 2 0
 HS2 rotors and metallic pads do improve the feel of the G2 brakes, but they're still inferior to the Codes.
  • 1 2
 @mikekazimer: But perhaps enough for a 130mm all-around bike? If the Codes are enough for a big ol' enduro bike or DH bike, what's enough for something smaller?

Because you don't just get more power for free. If the brakes move more fluid to drive bigger pistons to provide more force at the rotor for equal force at the lever, there will be a trade-off with needing more lever throw (to move the master piston more, or less modulation (from linkages designed to equalize lever throw against more piston throw).
  • 3 5
 "I love goofing off on shorter travel bikes, and I don't usually subscribe to the concept that "more travel is always better.""

"Cons - There's not much separating it from the AM150, other than travel."

Is that a con for this or for the AM150? If this is a good bike at this travel, why is it "bad" that it's similar to a bike with more travel? Especially since you specifically reminded us that this bike more closely fits your opinions on amount of travel than the AM150.
  • 3 0
 Because you could buy the 150 and have a bike that feels (and weighs) almost the same, while also having 20mm more travel in reserve for those 'Oh shit' moments.
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: Hmm, so that sounds like more travel is always better... given everything else the same or close to same.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: Shouldn't this also be a con in reviews like the Transition Smuggler, which can get more travel with just a shock change, or actually, the same shock with just a reducer removed. That's not even "almost the same", it's the exactly same. Shouldn't it have been a con regarding the Scor 2030 coming stock with less travel than the frame can handle? Again being the the same exact bike with different shock stroke.
  • 4 0
 @justinfoil, no, part of it comes down to how a bike feels. That aspect can be harder to convey in words, but with something like the Scor or Smuggler, both of those bikes ride like trail bikes - they're snappier and lighter than the 130.X.
  • 2 3
 @mikekazimer: why would they not benefit from having "also having Xmm more travel in reserve for those 'Oh shit' moments", especially if it can be done with exactly the same (not even "almost the same" like the AM130 to AM 150, but exactly the same) feeling and weight?

Note: you get the same feeling by keeping actual sag in mm the same as the short option, as opposed to percent of travel.
  • 1 0
 @justinfoil: other short travel bikes stick with Fox 34/Pike, for example
  • 1 0
 @tigen: what does that have to do with removing a reducer from the shock to get more rear travel on an otherwise identical bike?
  • 14 17
 No in-frame storage? Oh no! In-frame storage is such bogus marketing hype. I never use it in my Nomad and never miss it in my other bikes. Usually when a trail-side tools is needed, I already have mine out and on the job while the guys with in-frame tools are still fiddling to get theirs sorted. And, to boot, the job is often finished before the in-frame tool that was never even used is still getting fit back into the fancy glove box, or twit box, or whatever.
  • 15 2
 I wouldn't say its necessary, but it is nice to have - I like having a spot to store a windbreaker or extra supplies.
  • 18 1
 Good to see theres still a cat 1 league of by the trailside bike fixing…….who ever would have thought it was a competition
  • 11 0
 @mikekazimer: Or a place for your friends to stash their garbage when you're taking a piss. I found countless Clif wrappers jammed all the way up to my head tube when I had an Enduro. I'm sure if a Smirnoff bottle fit in there I would have been iced numerous times.
  • 3 0
 I had a slash with in frame storage, all it ever did was add weight to the bike for the things I put in there and didn't need. Personal preference, but of all the things I'd look for on a bike, that would never be one.
  • 3 0
 I always have tube, pump, spare chain lock, tire lever, mini tool in my SWAT. That tube gets puts to use a couple of times every season. So good to be able to just jump on the bike without back- or fannypacks for those shortish rides. I'd says it's a deal breaker for me if I have to carry a pack for every ride - since I've been running SWAT since 2015.
  • 1 0
 @Caddz: agreed, sort of. Id rather keep my tools on me. Riding without a bag is nice but I could feel the extra weight. That being said, you rarely "need" it but when you do, it's super nice to have.

And of course needlessly stuffing it with items you don't need isn't really the fault of the compartment lol.

Works well for both of my pumps now which do quickly take up precious real estate in my hip pack. Not a deal breaker but it could sway me toward one bike over another.

It's not inherently "bogus marketing hype". Just because you aren't into it.

I'm surprised it took this long to get it.
  • 2 1
 The chainstay lengths are too short.
  • 2 3
 Massive price tag for a market thats already smothered in brilliant trail bikes .. more sizing options than a Tailand back street
  • 2 1
 I'm taking an arrival over this any day
  • 1 0
 Luxury lugged carbon cruiser
  • 1 0
 Where can I get some white conti's?
  • 1 0
 These are OEM, you can sometimes get a set without packaging on the German online retailer sites
  • 1 4
 Pros: The looks - lugged carbon stands out from the crowd ~ What on earth are you on about? It looks like every other black bicycle with a horst link suspension and zero aesthetic appeal, it's cliché in every way really, black is like anodized parts from the 1990's ... everywhere
  • 1 0
 Very much appreciate the squish vids!!
  • 1 1
 Mable's Monkey Wrench? Best corners at Galbraith?
  • 1 0
 Looks like Bob's to me Wink
  • 1 1
 @sethbikesslow: These new bikes can catch so much air on the climbs. I always forget about the new school uphill berms.
  • 2 4
 If my Yeti is a “dentist bike” then this is a Neuro Surgeon bike.
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