Atherton Bikes Celebrates its 5th Birthday

Jan 25, 2024 at 13:09
by Atherton Racing  



Photography and Words by Dan Griffiths & Gill Harris.

Four new products, Five World Cup wins and a World Title... not bad for the first five years in business!

Atherton Bikes are five years old today! The start-up venture has never made a secret of their big ambitions; nevertheless, the speed with which they have achieved some of those goals has caused the industry to take notice, especially after an astounding 2023, which saw Women's and Men's Elite victories on the World Cup circuit and that electrifying Gold, Silver for Charlie Hatton and Andi Kolb at Fort William World Champs. We look back on that roller coaster five years and celebrate a small British success story as they gear up for the next stage in their journey.

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Launch day... a closely guarded secret.

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The Atherton Bikes company shares a birthday with co-founder and visionary Dan, who built his first bike aged around ten.

During Ft William UCI MTB World Cup DH Round 2
June 2019, Rachel takes the fledgling company's first World Cup win aboard the prototype AM.200 – still a full 29er and unavailable outside of the race team at this stage … "Winning at Fort William on our own bike was something that I hardly dared dream of … but I dreamt of it every day!" - Rachel Atherton.

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July 2019, Rach digs deep to take another World Cup victory (her 39th) on board the AM.200 on a savage track in Vallnord, Andorra.


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August 2019, Millie Johnset makes it a hat-trick for the brand as she wins the Junior Women's World Cup in Val di Sole - Mille's first World Cup win.

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Feb 2020, the AM.150 and AM.200 are available to buy for our first fifty customers… several of whom have bought second or even third bikes from us since then - "that's the best endorsement there is "- Gee Atherton. The AM.200 here in its original 29 format.

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Dec 2020, Crowdcube raise. Overfunds in 24 hours - "a measure of the brand's popularity and the support and belief that have helped us so much along the way" - Dan Brown.

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July 2022, the launch of Mullet AM.200M. The culmination of three season's feedback from some of the most legendary downhill racers, preference for "the mullet" is unanimous… and customers agree.

The lugs on the 130 are optimised for saving weight - any excess titanium that doesn t directly add to the stength of the lug has been stripped out giving a lighter ride and fantastic handling on thje climbs. Even I don t mind pedalling this bike up hills and I hate pedalling - Rachel Atherton
October 2022, the launch of the AM.130. "A trail bike you can officially take to the Bike Park. 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." - Mike Kazimer, Pinkbike.

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Dec 2022, Enduro Mag best trail bike. “The comfortable pedalling position ensures top climbing performance despite the soft rubber compound. Downhill, the bike inspires huge amounts of confidence, combining intuitive handling, excellent composure and superb manoeuvrability. The AM150 is undoubtedly the best trail bike of 2022!” - Enduro Mag.

Gee Atherton s Atherton Bikes AM.170 as seen in Ridgeline IV The Dolomites.
April 2023, the launch of AM.170 - Dan Atherton’s favourite bike ever! Designed by Dan in the Dyfi, the 170 quickly took the industry by storm. "For riding DH tracks, Morzine steeps and a blend of natural enduro trails, I struggle to think of any other bike I’d rather ride” - Mick Kirkman, MBR.

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June 2023, Rachel becomes the world’s fastest mum with her 40th World Cup win at Lenzerheide - then nips back to the pits to feed baby Arna - the “confidence-inspiring” ride of the AM.200M coming to the fore.

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June 2023, Andi Kolb puts in "the run of his life” to take the World Cup victory in Leogang in front of an ecstatic home crowd. It's his first World Cup win and the first Men’s Elite gold for the brand.

Atherton for life. 2023 World Champs over and out.
Aug 2023, "A World Champs victory has always been the ambition, but to take Gold and Silver so early in the company’s journey was mind-blowing. Ridiculously proud of the team and to be the first British bike Manufacturers to take the World Champs win.“ - Dan Brown.

Ridgeline IV The Dolomites
Dec 2023, AM.170 win’s Singletrack Most Desirable Bike Award as voted for by the readers – this one says a lot about how far we have come in so short a time.

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“Looking back at the sheer amount of work that has gone into these last 5 years is staggering. Our learning curve has been steep, and we’re hugely grateful to everyone who has helped us over the last 5 years, from partners like Renishaw, Angel and Crowdcube investors and customers; that support has meant everything. I’m super proud that we’ve made the bikes that make these wonderful moments possible and of the part that we’re playing in bringing employment to Machynlleth, this community welcomed us with open arms so it’s fantastic to be able to put something back – especially in the current economic climate. We are 100% ready for the next stage in our journey.” - Dan Brown.

Version 2 of the Atherton Bikes Mid Market Prototype.
Coming soon: the team are working hard on a new Aluminium product for release early this year.

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Atherton New HQ - The new facility will allow the company to build and scale in line with its ambitions

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89 Comments
  • 59 4
 How far they've come in such a short-time... it's remarkable really. To go from nothing to winning races, Worlds etc.. Wow..

The one thing they seem to be missing is a demo-circus.... Even at Dyfi i'm often surprised at their lack of 'presence' in terms of "demo a bike for the day" type stuff... they may actually do it... but i'm not aware of it.
  • 8 2
 Yeah, let's hope they will survive these uneasy times, fortunately they do not have to order frames 2 yeas in advance. They have achieved a lot and deserve success.
  • 40 2
 You can book a demo with them. They even have a member of their staff ride with you to answer questions on the bike. All you have to do is book an uplift and email them and you can use it for two hours. I got to ride the 170 Gee used in the Dolomites vid which was cool. Unsurprisingly I now have a 170 in the build queue, really is a fantastic bike.
  • 15 15
 Yeah staggering really. It's like all it takes is a completely unique trio of siblings and a wealthy backer. I mean anyone could do it really Smile
  • 29 1
 Not strictly true - they were going under a different guise long before they became Atherton bikes.

www.pinkbike.com/news/robot-bike-co-r160-custom-review-2016.html
  • 38 2
 We do offer demos at Dyfi - the fleet is quite limited but we can usually find something that will work - why not book on by writing to sales@athertonbikes.com? But be warned ... once ridden you'll find it hard ti resist!!
  • 3 1
 @athertonracing: Great stuff, thanks for the reply. It's tempting to get the lad to try one next month but i do worry he may like it too much and then i'm having to buy one for this season Big Grin
  • 15 0
 @athertonracing: only someone who has written 'ti' more than 'to' would autocorrect to that - Ti bike confirmed
  • 7 3
 @IllestT such a lame comment.Thet have zero to be ashamed of. Many things on The cutting edge of technology take financial resources to get off the ground.
  • 2 1
 @justanotherusername: who gave you the minus? This is cool, so was robot bikes a brain child of Atherton's or they just purchased it?
  • 8 1
 @IllestT: Yeah, theres no hard work, long hours, financial risk, other employees or anything elsei involved in the success, just money and profile (rolls eyes)
  • 2 0
 @bombdabass: Step 3 - profit
  • 1 0
 @IllestT: Whats the story on the wealthy backer ?
  • 45 2
 Gee that’s an impressive milestone
  • 10 4
 Dan, it special for sure!
  • 19 2
 TBF they do Atherton of experience in product testing and development
  • 15 1
 Rachel.
  • 13 1
 I AM 170 % sure, these bikes are fantastic to ride.
  • 5 1
 @sewer-rat: No surprise then that they do so well when they show up to Rach.
  • 3 1
 @mi-bike: exactly, apparently they always show up ready in the AM
  • 12 7
 Sure, they bought into the tech, but they've done a lot more work that just slapping their name onto a (niche) OEM frame.
Their product lineup had been 200, 130, 200M, 150, 170, none of which are the 160 of the former robot bike co.
  • 7 1
 @ROOTminus1: I think both things are true. It's a really good thing what they've done, brave and incredible. But equally the part Robot played in this does seem to be erased from history slightly.
  • 8 6
 @ROOTminus1: bit more than ‘buying in the tech’ don’t you think?

The whole unique way of building the frames was production ready alongside the suspension design. The most difficult work was absolutely already done.

This isn’t taking away from them making it a success and developing the product line which is of course an aspect of its own.
  • 5 2
 @justanotherusername: to run a succesful business, it takes more than a good product. robot bikes was already 5 years old when they joined...
  • 6 0
 @johnny2shoes: I agree with you whole-heartedly. The legacy of RBC is missing, but they did commence wind-up for insolvency in Dec 2018 so had the tech but clearly not the business.

Atherton did relocate production from Monmouthshire to Machynlleth, and whilst Atherton bikes are still not a large scale manufacturer, they've significantly increased the capability and product range up from 2 bikes.
What they've done to build the brand, and a selection of bikes that have proved themselves again and again in word cups and the 1-2 at the world champs, and review equally well in the hands of mere mortals over 5 years is a stunning achievement which this press release is all about.

Edit to my previous post: I did forget that RBC announced a 130 a few months before they started to wind up, but the 160 has never appeared in the Atherton line up
  • 3 2
 None can be undervalued. Robot with the IP, Athertons with the vision/drive/pedigree, engineering teams which have pumped out WC killers and universally appreciated trail bikes, and the brand’s pedigree properly cemented beyond the Atherton name by Andi & Charlie. Remarkable products, remarkable people, and surely a bright future.
  • 4 6
 @nullzwo: Yea you clearly deliberately missed the bit were I essentially said that, but thanks.
  • 2 6
flag valrock (Jan 26, 2024 at 7:57) (Below Threshold)
 @NickMT: the only reason these bikes are famous cuz Gee goes there and films mind-blowing sends, then breaks himself in half and it makes news everywhere. His and his family name is literary 50% of this bike company's success. There is also a lot of people who pay money for Ti parts like crazy, why not to have Ti\Cr bike? I know a few who would sell a kidney just to be different.

That being said I wish Atherton's success so one day I can get this bike for reasonable amount of money, ot maybe other big brands pick up this tech, surly Trek or SPesh can make something like this with 100s of millions they have for R&D
  • 2 0
 @justanotherusername: i replied to the general thread topic, your comment just happened to be the last one at that time so i hit reply Smile
  • 9 2
 Robot bike were just standing on the shoulders of giants, so don't give them any credit. In turn, Renishaw were just building upon the work of academic scholars, so dont credit them either. Those academics were likely inspired by another technology, so definitely dont give them any praise either. What a sad world you paint.
  • 3 3
 I mean, we all know they bought Robot Bike Co... but it was literally just a starting point. The amount of testing and feedback and geo changing that came from real world cup riding perspectives is undeniable. I don't own one, but I've seen one up close and they really are beautiful bikes that stand out in a sea of "looks like a Session"s.
  • 1 0
 @L0rdTom: there's lots of gratitude in the press release towards investors, renshaw. They've done an amazing job. So i think we all get everybody stands on the shoulders of giants, it's just the ones you choose to thank.
  • 1 1
 @L0rdTom: welcome to the bike industry where pr spin is up there with political bollocks
  • 11 1
 Well deserved! The whole team have pushed the boundaries of MTB in so many positive ways. ALSO... straight tubes FTW. That boundary doesn't need pushing
  • 1 0
 Or... and hear me out... tubes with 360 degree bends.
  • 6 0
 I love seeing crazy artistry in frames like the Gamux DH bike, but something like the Atherton or Frameworks frames just show how the classic double triangle frame design is still top of the line.
  • 8 0
 Where's the 3D printed titanium birthday cake?
  • 6 0
 That HQ building looks pretty small, but being nimble / not over-reaching is a smart decision probably.
  • 11 6
 I'm sure this will encourage a flurry of downvotes, but.... are e-bikes going to be made?
Yours, Shittyknee McDuffleg.
  • 4 1
 what stops you from slamming Bafang middrive and zip tie battery to the frame lol Big Grin
  • 1 1
 Equally uncool but I was ready to buy the DH bike but they wouldn't adapt it to fit water bottle mounts, which I find really useful in the bike park. Shame as they tout customisation...
  • 2 0
 @rojo-1: If it's any help, I just got a velcro on bottle cage mount from amazon to go on my DH bike and it works perfectly. But yes, I totally agree that bottles on dh bikes should be a thing, turns out I still need to drink water when hitting laps all day at the bike park.... Who knew!
  • 1 0
 @bigtim: I got the fidlock bottle that straps to frame without mounts, and replaced their flimsy straps with heavy duty cable ties. Threw an Enduro strap over the bottle for extra measure.
Uncool, but better than a backpack or dying of thirst, but not as good as two mounting holes built into the frame by the manufacturer
  • 1 0
 @bigtim: it's cuz DH is not real biking lol. Get a beer can shoulder swing, RF makes one, 5 beers should last you one lap, then refill Big Grin
  • 6 0
 When Pinkbike gonna review the Am170?
  • 3 0
 Excited to see what the aluminium product will be - will it be aluminium Lugs given the recent developments in Al 3D printing?
  • 3 4
 The lugs are CNC.
  • 5 1
 Is that referencing the new bike? The lugs on the current bikes are printed.
  • 5 0
 @Kiltymac: I was wondering about the upcoming Aluminium bike they teased in a half sentence in the article
  • 3 0
 Check Gees latest instagram post... there are some prototype shots of it.
  • 2 0
 @Kiltymac: yes. No 3d printing on the new bike as far as i saw

Surprised no "spy shots" around of them as they are rolling round openly at dyfi.
  • 1 0
 @The-Spirit-of-Jazz: If it was a weld deposition process of additive manufacturing, that would be *a* form of CNC, but the term CNC is typically reserved for computer controlled machines that remove material in the traditional sense.
Renishaw machines use a laser sintering process anyway.
  • 1 0
 @ROOTminus1: it they were cnc parts in the traditional sense.

Aluminum additive printed parts always look shite (due to thermal conductivity of aluminium).

Atherton bikes are good because of the design not because of how they are made.

Moving away from 3d printing for this model is a smart commercial move and makes complete sense IMHO.
  • 4 0
 Development and award milestones are great. Questions is whether they're selling bikes?
  • 3 0
 Well the lead time right now is 20 weeks, up from 16 last year. Either they're getting slower or selling more bikes.
  • 3 0
 The change from the 2022 AM150 to the 2023 AM170... kinked seat tube to straight made the bike look 1000% better!
  • 4 0
 If you ever make a trail hardtail, you can name your price @athertonracing
  • 3 1
 World champs, couple of WC wins. Heaps of podiums. Survived Gee’s riding. Well done Atherton!
  • 4 1
 Great to see some non-negative bike industry news! Congrats to the team!
  • 2 0
 Gee probably has more Titanium in his body than on his bike these days, dude has such horrible crashes.
  • 3 0
 Wait a minute…is Dan actually smiling in that first photo?
  • 2 1
 Congratulations; well done! Enjoying every ride with my 150. Thank you, @athertonracing
  • 2 0
 Are they actually building frames now
  • 2 0
 Makes me feel old
  • 3 1
 Good work crew!
  • 2 1
 Love those bikes, not surprised they're good.
  • 1 0
 I’d really like to buy one of these bikes someday.
  • 1 0
 Aluminum models in the works is cool.
  • 1 1
 Already??? Time sure has flown by!!!
  • 2 1
 its been 5 YEARS??!!!
  • 2 2
 I've seen a few of these at Dyfi if I could I'd definitely get one.
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