Interview: The Athertons - "If People Want Gee’s Fort William Race Bike, We Can Make it for Them"

Jan 25, 2019 at 7:27
by James Smurthwaite  

In the biggest surprise move of the winter, the Athertons have started their own bike company and will be racing World Cups on bikes they have designed and built themselves. The Athertons have some big plans, with talk of e-bikes, additive manufacturing, and disrupting the industry in their press release.

We quizzed Gee, Dan and Rach on some of the finer details:




How long have you been working on the development of the bikes you will be racing this season?


GEE: Over the years, we've been involved with developing quite a few DH bikes for companies, so we've been learning that process for a long time. Affy has always had this dream in the back of his mind and has had many conversations with longtime friend Ed Haythornthwaite. The work on the Atherton DH bike has been an intense process. Over the last few months, we’ve worked with Ed and suspension designer Dave Weagle to develop our prototype as quickly as possible. From talking about what we want the bike to be and feel like, to going over CAD drawings and data, it’s been a whirlwind of everyone’s best work to get the bike to the trails.


How many bikes will be in the initial product line?


DAN: We’re still finalizing that initial offering, but we’re planning to release the DH bike and we’re already testing and developing a few different trail bikes. The important thing for us is that they’re fast, fun and something we’d be excited to ride. Once we’re at that stage, we’ll get them out there.

Rachel, will we see you on a 29" DH bike this year? Or maybe a 29" front / 27.5" rear wheel?


RACH: I've been spending a lot of time on the 29er this winter and I’m loving it. I think it’s a wheel size you'll need a lot of time on to adjust your riding to be able to race, but it feels ace!

There is certainly the option now to run a 27.5 in the rear for racing, but it needs more testing, and testing is something we’re going to be doing a lot of with the new bikes.


Are you worried about using a bike that has no World Cup pedigree?


GEE: Of course it’s always a concern getting on a new bike for the first time, especially one that’s unproven on the World Cup circuit. But, the guys who have designed this have a pretty impressive track record. Dave Weagle probably has more World Cup wins to his name than any other designer out there. Couple that with engineers and technology from Formula One and the aerospace sectors, and you have a pretty awesome package - and we aren’t inexperienced ourselves. World Cup pedigree is definitely something that we can bring to the table. We know what we want from a bike, and how to translate that into design adaptations. We’ve done it so many times with a lot less flexibility than we have now. With this team around us, we’re confident and excited for the challenge, even more so with the advantages of additive manufacturing – if we do need to make changes, we can do it quickly.

Tell us more about the bike that Dan built back in 1992…


RACH: We'll have to just show a picture. It was a race between all the different schools in the country. You had to build a bike with four wheels and race it. Dan and his team won, but they got disqualified because it was supposed to be a four-wheeled vehicle. His was basically an awesome two-wheel bike with stabilizers that didn’t quite touch the ground - he’s come a long way since then.


Will the bikes you're racing be the same as the bikes available to the public?


GEE: That’s the plan. We’ve always been a bit confused by brands that don’t offer the same bike to consumers as to racers. We’re aiming to offer a wide range of stock sizes and also the option to go full custom. One of the most impressive things about additive manufacturing is that every bike can be customized, so, if people want Gee’s Fort William race bike, or their own version of Rachel’s race bike with a slightly steeper head angle, we can make it for them.


How did you meet Piers Linney and how did he become a co-founder?


GEE: We knew that Piers was into his mountain biking and we knew all about his achievements, especially with respect to helping and guiding start-ups. I got in touch with him and asked if he wanted to hear more about a plan we had. Straight from the off, he loved the idea and had some really impressive ideas about how it could work. A startup like this is a difficult thing to do, and you need people who are the best at what they do in their respective areas. In our eyes, Piers was exactly this.

What will Piers Linney's role with the company be?


DAN: Piers will chair the board and help us to spot opportunities to develop the business. There are going to be a lot of challenges getting this off the ground and the financial aspect to a startup like this is very unique. Piers has a lot of experience with this area and can help us realize it.

What is the business model? Direct to consumer, retailers, etc?


GEE: We’ll be selling direct to consumer. With high-end technology and the potential for customization. We feel we’re best suited to an online direct to market platform. There’ll be an option for anyone who wants it to design their own bike on the website. It’s also a way of making sure that everyone gets the best possible price and the best possible service.


What markets will the bikes be available in?


Worldwide! We are looking forward to taking the brand to places that the World Cup circuit doesn't always take us to.

You mentioned e-bikes. Are you developing an e-bike? If so, what markets will it be available in?


DAN: Yes. Down the line, we are definitely keen and It’s firmly up there in the development plan. We need to do a lot of testing first. We want to fully understand their strengths and weaknesses before we commit to bringing one into the range, but we think that custom geometry will be a strong attraction in the e-bike market.

What other projects are you working on these days besides the bikes?


DAN: We’re still working on our Dyfi Bike Park project which we are getting very close to realizing and, of course, preparing for the World Cup circuit which is a huge focus.

How will you three be involved in the day to day running of the business?


GEE: We will definitely be very involved in all the key decisions, from design and direction of the brand, the priority of products for launch, to graphics and colors, to the events we attend. We each have bikes we are passionate to see to market. For example, Rach is passionate about the kids’ bikes. This is not us badging someone else's vision. This is our dream, and we are all going to be making it happen.

Is the plan to focus on running the business once you retire from racing?


RACH: I’m sure we’ll all grow into roles that are relevant and suited to our skills when the time is right. For now though, its all about the racing and getting the bike out there.



How will you "disrupt the industry and shake-up the large corporates”?


DAN: It’s the technology that will do that. Additive manufacturing (which is basically 3D printing with titanium powder) enables 100% customization, the ability to be reactive and a quick production process that sees no need to be sitting on stock is a new approach for bikes. We’ve got some serious brains on board too, and they aren't afraid to look outside the standard bike industry box.

What is the most exciting part of this new venture?


RACH: I think for me it's seeing people riding an Atherton bike. I meet so many people - kids and adults, year after year at the races. You see them grow up and hear their stories of how their riding is progressing. To see them doing that on an Atherton bike would just be incredible.

GEE: It's the chance to use years and years of World Cup experience to develop bikes that people can ride themselves and to show them what you can do with a frame when you have such versatile technology.


What is the part that makes you the most nervous about this new venture?


GEE: This is a genuine startup and the challenges that come with that are going to be tough to navigate. Whether its the financial side, developing the technology, or just working with a whole new crew of people, it's a daunting thought. But, we believe in what we’re doing and, as it has always been the case through our careers, that is the main motivation.

Can you foresee a time when there will be an Atherton Bikes World Cup DH team that doesn't have any Athertons as riders?


DAN: That’s a big reason for us starting a bike brand. Mountain biking has given us so much and we want to continue to give back to the sport and be involved. We started the Atherton Academy to bring on new talent and over the last few years, we have helped riders like Martin Maes, Taylor Vernon, Kade Edwards, Mille Johnset and Luke Williamson and that’s really important to me. We have also started Dyfi Bike Park and combined with the Bike Company, I am hoping we can create a strong base for young talent in the UK.


251 Comments

  • 237 3
 This is gonna be so sweet, can't wait for more info on this and the bikes!! Best of luck to all in launching it
  • 154 3
 @lozzerbiker thanks man, yeah more info on the bikes coming soon, its all been a bit flat out - Dan
  • 33 0
 @athertonbikes: you guys must’ve found the rumour mill on Pinkbike and VitalMTB hilarious! Amazed you’ve managed to get anything done between laughing at all the mad speculation... Good luck with it all :-)
  • 7 3
 @aps62: The rumours are partly true, they'll be 3D printing using ground up YT Tues's Big Grin
  • 5 1
 This is pretty rad. The genius mountain bike family making bikes.
  • 8 0
 Pretty decent reveal at the end of this video from their Dragon

www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8u5URJVEfo
  • 3 0
 Hi pivot dh and trail bikes..longer chainstays, reach adjust headset compatible, f1 colorways.
  • 1 0
 @ross005: nice find. That thing looks pretty mint. I am imagining the price tag is going to be pretty high for these things but who knows.
  • 1 0
 Best of luck team, I hope it works out well for you. Are you planning on having a jnr development squad? Like you did with Trek?
  • 13 2
 It is great but Athertons please have enduro bike on 27,5" for people who don't want to ride 29ers.
  • 6 0
 @ross005: video gone :/
  • 2 0
 @jrocksdh: no problem, you got it
10k for frame & shock
How would you like to pay for this?
  • 2 0
 @mtic: the pics are on Vital rumours thread
  • 4 1
 Waiting for the people that say they won't buy from a company that makes e-bikes..... nothing but crickets..
  • 3 1
 @mtic: It appears like the video may have been a bit of a marketing fail so they took it down
  • 2 0
 @dobermon:I wonder if you can customise the bike so it looks more like a session
  • 1 0
 @athertonbikes: You guys pretty much just blew our minds. I don't think we saw this coming. And this is a cooler outcome than all the other options. I'll buy one.
  • 107 1
 "There’ll be an option for anyone who wants it to design their own bike on the website" - Ooh, exciting, time for all the PB comments section 'geometry experts' to actually put their money where their mouth is and get their designs out there to prove just how much more they know than anyone involved in the design or review of the bike they've just read about...


Or not.
  • 51 5
 It's literarally Robot Bike Co. Which was already doing this. It's the same people, same process, and likely, same unattainable price.
  • 11 2
 @ratedgg13: yes we know
  • 8 1
 @ratedgg13: Yup the box with Renishaw tape all over gave the game finally away. I guess it's good for Robot Bike Co though, a new lease of life with a load of expert, experienced and thoroughly well respected icons of the bike world on board can only be a good thing.

A great concept but the only one I've seen in the flesh was on the wall at an HQ somewhere... Let's hope the Athertons/Robot/Dragon's Den can make this venture fly!
  • 3 0
 @ratedgg13: Hoping larger production and some mass component wholesale purchasing will make the price slightly more affordable.
  • 1 0
 @athertonbikes is robot bikes still doing there own thing (eg own bikes and geometry) or will you guys be as part of a full team? Thinking of what nicolai and mojo joint venture
  • 6 0
 @ratedgg13: Robot Bike's website is "down for maintenance" haha
  • 3 9
flag LNWeth (Jan 25, 2019 at 12:02) (Below Threshold)
 @ratedgg13: Just a name change and they will sell more bikes, its so lame!
  • 20 0
 @ratedgg13: *Reboot Bike Co. =)
  • 6 1
 @veero: I think they're press release where they talk all about Robot and the team consisting of Ed Haythornthwaite, Ben Farmer, Andy Hawkinsn as well as "additive manufacturing" actually "gave it away". But since it doesn't seem like they were trying to hide anything, don't think there was anything to give away.

www.pinkbike.com/news/athertons-launch-atherton-bikes-with-robot-bikes-founders-and-dragons-den-investor.html
  • 3 18
flag veero (Jan 25, 2019 at 12:58) (Below Threshold)
 @islandforlife: Well I don't live on PB so hadn't seen that. Pat yourself on the back and get your Deer Stalker and magnifying glass out then.
  • 4 0
 @LNWeth: it seems like more than just a name change it seems like a pretty big restructuring
  • 4 1
 @veero: Haha, me either, but the Press Release was hard to miss...not to worry, happens to everyone, take care!
  • 1 1
 @dobermon: keep your eyes on Ebay, I got my Mk1 Furious, frame was Atherton surplus when they moved to GT
  • 2 1
 @dobermon: I suspect piers gets the biggest slice
  • 3 1
 @mattvanders: Robot Bikes went bust before Christmas, left a few debts behind. Hope there's still support for any folk who bought from them.

No sign of any new company registrations for either the Athertons or the Robot directors, and looks like Atherton Bikes/Bicycles are still available as company names atm by the look of it- opportunity there for someone!
  • 1 1
 I could design a bike with modern reach but also steepen the seat tube angle enough that I can reach the bars. One thing I do know better than those bike designers is that while my bike can get longer, the actual distance from my ass to my palms can't.
  • 1 0
 @oobie38: I didn’t that, that was a shame but good to here the new lease of life in the frame manufacturing
  • 1 1
 Without an everyman, accessible trail-bike I don't see how it can fly. Selling high price DH bikes is hardly a business pan.
  • 1 0
 @GDPipsqueak: Quote from the article:

"PB: How many bikes will be in the initial product line?

DAN: We’re still finalizing that initial offering, but we’re planning to release the DH bike and we’re already testing and developing a few different trail bikes. The important thing for us is that they’re fast, fun and something we’d be excited to ride. Once we’re at that stage, we’ll get them out there."
  • 39 1
 What a powerhouse the Athertons have been to mountain biking, constantly giving and helping the bikes and sport evolve. Stoked to see this and really hope it goes as well as I think it will!
  • 22 1
 @sewer-rat respect man - Dan
  • 9 18
flag WAKIdesigns (Jan 25, 2019 at 12:46) (Below Threshold)
 @athertonbikes: if Gee and Rachel won’t be sporting wheelbases longer than the road Gap on hardline, the world will burn Big Grin
  • 31 2
 Thanks for all the support and positive comments guys, this is a HUGE step for us only made possible by the solid crew we have around us, to see you guys giving support means a lot to us all - Dan Athy
  • 19 1
 It is good that the riders are getting more pull in the market, and able to make the transition from riders to owners (also Aaron Gwin). Good for them. It is cool that pros can springboard from riding to ownership in creating more Rider-driven companies.
  • 17 1
 @jkwilliamz cheers man, its a big move and definatly not the easy route, but hopefully it will be worth it!
  • 16 1
 You can look like them. You can dress like them. You can even ride the same bike they ride BUT you will never be as fast as them.
  • 8 0
 FACT! I rode the double black at Revs an shit my pants down a rutted super steep. Dragging the brakes an pedals in the rut.
At the bottom, my friend says
"yeah, Gee Atherton pedals down that......"
:/
  • 13 2
 So wait...with the modular approach and 3d printing, the Athertons can basically customize a frame geometry for a particular World Cup track. This is going to be a huge advantage over everyone else who can only fiddle with suspension settings. I predict a new rule in next years UCI rulebook requiring the same frame geometry for the whole season.
  • 15 0
 Dropouts, stems, custom links, etc. Most people can already do this. But at the same time I dont see it as being very practicle to learn a new bike every race and expect to get any decent results. Even pro riders need time to gel with a new bike.
  • 2 0
 @Boardlife69: totally agree the amount of modifications on the world cup level is pretty crazy
  • 2 0
 Possibly, I think the cost might get a bit out of hang though if you're doing that for multiple riders every race.
  • 1 0
 The design makes prototypes faster & cheaper to build test ride vs just talking numbers and making a decision
  • 15 1
 Intense Process... Pinkbike knows their puns.
  • 1 0
 i saw that as well almost immediately
  • 4 0
 Also, strong base for young talent in the UK ...
  • 2 0
 When it's finished they can have a Giant Session to celebrate.
  • 12 2
 I mean Gee is no man to show every single emotion. But I wouldn't call him a ROBOT.
  • 3 1
 Like Gee, I too have "resting bitch face". When Im in thought or even just spacing out, I generally pull a very serious face, even though Im in a great mood. People look at you very differently when you do this.

And colincolin it was a good pun, I caught that you were being funny =)
  • 10 0
 Just show us the bike please
  • 3 0
 bike(s)
  • 3 1
 www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8u5URJVEfo
go to the last minute or so
  • 8 1
 An alu DJ frame, with tapered head tube, perhaps some internal routing, and a 12mm rear axle would be amazing, at some point. Good luck with it all.
  • 13 4
 I was with you right up to 'internal routing'... Frown
  • 4 0
 For a rear mech, through the stay, if you want to run one. Choice of dropouts.
  • 4 3
 @sunnshine: Yup. All my internally routed bikes end up externally routed too. Nothing like easy 10 minute cable/housing swaps to keep the shifting slick.
  • 3 3
 I've not changed the outer on my Propain hardtail, since i built it, well over a year ago. Shifting is not affected at all. It goes through the seat stay, and looks sweet. Saint shifter, and mech. If i change the inner, i just lube each end of the outer, somewhat, and it stays fine. I'm sure Dan has already got ideas for something anyway.
  • 3 2
 @rollingdip: @sunnshine: Internal routing is awesome. Bike looks so clean. Doesn't take much more extra time if you know the tricks.
  • 4 1
 @tacklingdummy: it does with brakes
  • 4 1
 @flogme: Agee, I'm happy with internal shifter cables, but brakes should be external so you can take the brakes off the frame for a bi-annual bleed
  • 2 1
 @tacklingdummy: "Doesn't take much more extra time if you know the tricks."

I understand, but I'd rather be spending that extra time actually riding the thing than buggering about threading needles, I dropped needlework at the end of third year secondary school because I was rubbish at it Wink External cables and hoses makes it dead quick and easy to swap frames if you fancy a quick change too Big Grin
  • 3 1
 Yeah, i think "Threading needles" is definitely quicker than stripping, and rebuilding a bike to swap a f****** frame.
  • 1 0
 Noooo, what I meant was *if* you want to swap frames *then* running stuff on the outside is quicker and easier than on the inside. Not "I'd rather swap frames than route stuff internally", that'd be daft. I think you misread what I'd written.
  • 1 0
 "Dead quick and easy to swap frames if you fancy a quick change" You even wrote quick twice, so reckon its much more hassle to route a cable or hose through a frame! I'm out.
  • 2 1
 @sunnshine: To me, it more about the time keeping the bike clean several times a week after rides. That takes a lot of time and is annoying. I like my bike looking good. So difficult to clean under all those cables. Bikes without cables all over the place looks so much better.

Plus, you generally only run new cables once or twice a year for derailleurs, rarely for dropper and brake cables.
  • 1 1
 @tacklingdummy: Fair enough. I CBA to wash my bike and I DGAF about how it looks... You can't see it when you're sat on it Wink Insta-what?
  • 5 0
 As someone who built and raced FSAE chassis' w/bonded chromoly space frame & carbon hexcell panels - I would not hesitate to ride a bonded Ti/Carbon bike. That green epoxy ain't your poppa's JB weld.

Anyway, best of luck to you guys! Sounds like a fun project.
  • 2 0
 I’m working on designing the aero kit for my school’s FSAE car right now!

As someone who has worked with composites my whole life and professionally at internships, I can’t agree more... the last thing that will cause these bikes to break is the joining resin
  • 5 0
 Love this - great job Dan, Rach and Gee! Was at Uni with Ed way back in the day and he knew his stuff back then, so fast forward too many years to mention and am sure he'll do a cracking job!
  • 3 0
 Cool. I always loved Ed's tech articles in Dirt magazine. His knowledge as well as his friendly tone. Steve Jones could be a bit WAKI when he disagreed with manufacturer choices whereas Ed was more mellow but still got his point across.
  • 5 0
 Athertons Starting a bike brand is probably the best thing that happened to the whole DH sceene in years.
I will keep my fingers crossed for the success Wink

And start saving cash for the bike tho Wink
  • 8 1
 Here's the Atherton DH proto from their workshop: cl.ly/a09dfa/Atherton%20DH.jpg
  • 6 2
 Plumbing pipes and the worst logo-font I’ve seen for a while. Great start.
  • 3 0
 Not so sure, look at the lug between the top and down tubes. Clearly says R160, which was already available from Robot Bikes.
  • 1 1
 @metaam: I guess they're reusing some leftover Robot lugs for the prototypes...
Don't recall any R160s coming with Fox 49 up front Smile
  • 1 0
 @sergeyeremin: True, but that doesn't mean you couldn't fit one. Either way I'm very interested to see the finished bike.
  • 1 0
 If you pull up images of the R160 the rocker is identical, I'd have thought it would be different for a longer travel bike. Also the rendered images at the start of the video showed coil shocks fitted, time will tell.
  • 2 1
 @metaam: I don't see what you're arguing for... Smile
I just guessed that getting a Fox 49 and making a 29er rear end on the existing platform is the easiest way to start off with a 29DH prototype. It will also give it more travel with the same rocker and will be compatible with both coils and air shocks, as most DH bikes are.
  • 2 0
 @sergeyeremin: If you go on the Vital racing rumours thread, there's now a photo of Gee riding a bike which clearly has a different rocker. Sorry if you don't like me having a different opinion to yours, no offence meant.
  • 1 1
 @metaam: Good, next stage is to fine-tune the geometry with more and more custom parts.
I still didn't get what your opinion is – these are just prototypes, so they have all types of rockers and parts, yes. None of that means anything at the moment)
  • 1 0
 @sergeyeremin: I don't know if you watched the video that the screen grab your link refers to was taken from (it has since been removed from youtube). It was predominantly about graphics for the Atherton brand. At the end of the video they were looking at how the graphics would look on a bike. Because of them being coy about prototypes at this point, it's possible they put a triple crown fork on an R160 frame for a mock up, so none of us know if the screen grab shows a prototype DH bike or not. It's all just speculation at the moment, as I said in an earlier post, time will tell.
  • 1 1
 @metaam: Them being coy about prototypes? Well yes, they're riding them.
And this bike does not look like somebody just slapped a "triple crown" on (no such thing BTW, 49 is a dual crown fork) – look at the details. It's a 29/27.5 proto to test the new configuration recently allowed by UCI.
  • 1 0
 @sergeyeremin: Make your mind up mate, two posts ago you claimed they'd put a 29 rear end on it. Anyhoo, whatever.
  • 1 1
 @metaam: Double checked, as should you regarding the build details of something you think is a "mock up". Athough who am I kidding, it's got "triple crown forks" on...
  • 1 0
 @sergeyeremin: Yes, I mistyped and meant triple clamp, as I think you well know. Your right, I'm wrong, move on.
  • 3 0
 Best of luck! Was waiting to see what frames the Atherton's would be on this season....Best of luck to you guys! excited to see this company grow as watching companies like DVO grow coming from within the industry from scratch! Look forward to seeing what you guys come up with!
  • 4 0
 Ad the pleasure do meet Dan Gee and Rachel true the years going to NSA races so happy for then best of luck on this adventure Congratulations to you all can wait to see the bikes
  • 4 0
 @ivoleandro cheers man - Dan
  • 1 0
 @athertonbikes: Big fan of your riding style Dan, your style is so distinctive riding, can spot it a mile away.

Would you think about getting a slopestyle event going at Dyfi? Get the Claw and you together and I think it would be insane, the possibilities are endless.

I hope you guys come up with bikes that hit the sweet spot with pricing and you will sell a shed load of them. Really excited to see the bikes!!

Cheers to all three of you guys, much respect from across the pond!
  • 3 0
 It's about time! What's biking for most of us? For me, it's a way to get away from the day to day routine, hobby and expresses of my passion. In the last 10 years, I have seen brands being sucked into the "business engine". Producing a me-too product, controlling distribution, manufacturing and costs. It sucks the life and passion out of what I love so much. Seein guys like Gwin and now Athertons to go a create their own way re-energizes me as a biker but mostly as a human. Nice work and keep on inspiring us with your riding, vision and leadership!
  • 3 0
 It's awesome to see The Athertons take this one, it's a big step for them and done at a great time in their careers. I can't wait to see what they are brewing in the trail bike area, are the bikes going to be super high end like Robot was or are you going to try to hit a more approachable price point?
  • 4 1
 Good luck to everyone in this new venture - but I will say that the branding is lacking, from the logo to the typeface and team colours it's all pretty bland and forgetful, The kit looks like something a Facebook group puts together for its members, where the admin takes on the role of graphics designer. Now, I am sure they hired all the right people to do this but even the pros get it wrong and in this case its bland, outdated and forgetful. But I stress, I wish them all the luck and this is a great move for them as they have to think about their futures beyond racing - this, plus the bike park, is all good stuff .. just .. maybe take a second look at the branding .... for me .. please .... pretty please. .. then again I guarantee I wont be buying a bike from them so, really, what the fuck has it do do with me .... dont worry, I am slapping myself around the face for being an ass ... carry on people, design away ...
  • 3 0
 Haha my post was deleted. Suppose I had that coming. In all seriousness this is very cool and I'm excited to see the finished products. Any word on if they will be available here in North America (particularly Canada)?
  • 8 1
 They said their bikes would be available "worldwide". It said in the interview...the one you just read.
  • 2 0
 I had to laugh when I saw your post. Well done
  • 2 1
 @gdawg: so did yt.. Still was an issue with stock and frame options
  • 2 0
 @bohns1: Not sure what YT has to do with this.
  • 1 0
 @gdawg: How did I miss this!? That's awesome, well done Dan and the crew!
  • 1 0
 @gdawg because they said the same thing at the beginning.. Meaning don't believe everything u hear. There will be hiccups.
  • 1 0
 ....it's still viewable if you know where to look Smile
  • 1 0
 @endlessblockades: Is it? I definitely don't know where to look.
  • 2 0
 @gnarnaimo: It’s still on the list of your comments in your profile. I thought it was funny too.
  • 2 0
 If I look at these 3D castings I can see a longer lower Iron horse Sunday DW Link layout with the seat tube upper linkage mount in the right corner next to the box in the photo. I loved my Sunday, My favorite race bike and I a big fan of the DW link and how its evolved. I still hold out for Ibis to make a DH bike based around my Ripmo design. Very cool they are doing this. Bravo to them for taking the next step.
  • 2 0
 Really interesting direction they're going in with customisable frames, and being able to tailor the bike to each track will give them a huge advantage on the world cup circuit. However metal 3D printing, particularly in titanium, is such an astronomically expensive process that I fear their bikes may be far out of reach for the average consumer... Great to see some proper innovation in a frame for once though!
  • 2 0
 So they resurrect Robotbike. This is really great news. I really do think that their idea of building bikes is revolutionary. Customization is nice. But this is not the most important change here. The most important are price and quality.

Quality. Current carbon frames are done by hand. This introduces very big differences between individual frames and the quality isn't consistent. This process uses 3D printer for connections. It's 100% accurate every time. And as far as I know, straight carbon pipes manufacturing may also be automated. Amazing.

Cost. I hope that they will find a way to lower not to increase the cost like Robotbike did. Automated process means lower price. The problem is that you MUST do the initial investment and buy machines. If they didn't buy those machines the price will be horrendous and the company will fail once again just like Robotbike did.
  • 2 0
 It´s likely that the price won´t be any worse, however I don´t think it will be better enough to make any real difference for most customers.
  • 1 0
 @Mondbiker: I don't know. They mention customization many times. This is a buzzword that usually means higher price. The problem is that many people brag about angles and lengths, but in the end they will be petrified to push the buy button on the frame with the numbers they want.

Like I said before. The technology is amazing. I just wouldn't go the "customize" path. Rather: we made 20 prototypes - this is the one that works the best, our quality is THE best, the price reasonable.
  • 3 0
 Excited to see the bikes and please, please make some aluminum models once the geo is sorted so they are affordable (so not $10k like a Robot).
  • 5 0
 $20 says it will end up looking like a Session...
  • 5 0
 Did someone call a plumber?
  • 1 0
 Wow! And there was everyone thinking that a big house like Merida had likely made a bike and stuck an Atherton sticker on it! Absolutely stoked they are not jumping on all the big contacts that would fall at their feet and doing this THEIR way!
Congratulations guys, and really hope this goes the distance for them - they deserve it for actually being original!
Im looking forward to Fort Bill just that little bit more now! Can we come and have a nosey in June??
  • 3 0
 Well I didn't see this coming but should have expected it during silly season. First Gwin as a team owner and now this! Crazy.
  • 3 0
 So glad to see this happen so damn cool already waiting
To see some big smiles when those bikes put you “guys” on WC podiums on your own frames!!!!!
  • 1 0
 This move could be much bigger than it seems and just plain bad ass....I was watching Zinks crash clip and thinking his name needs to be on a frame...and today this, even better! I’d take the bet Gee stands atop a podium on one, I’d bet on Rachel top of course but c’mon ain’t gonna make no money off that bet....haha
  • 1 0
 It’s about dam time! If your at this level of racing it’s a perfect chance to put your self/product out there. You are the tester for all these big bike brands why not start testing you own shit. Hubs, rims, cranks and so on
  • 1 0
 This is actually a pretty clever way to produce bikes. The factor of being able to print different designs is a bonus. Once they have all their 3d models and programs done it should just be a matter of tweaking a dimension here or there to change some angles obviously once it gets extreme different bracing/thicknesses/designs may need changed for strength reasons but in theory it should be fairly easy. Those standard carbon tubes are very affordable to produce, no custom mold being made especially for each bike for each bike size. Main cost id say is the actual printing material and the machining of the printed parts. This is exciting for sure!
  • 1 0
 Thanks for the true comittment to the sport and the community. The support for the young guns through the academy had great impact (Maes, Vernon, Edwards...) - I hope your bikes can follow up on this! Furthermore I do hope that after the first dust settles (yeah I'm speaking of massive clouds here.. So the rather distant future) , there is an opportunity for optimizing production to deliver a less individually designed range of bikes to support the average bike-park rider ('s wallet).
  • 3 0
 The market / customers will decide if Atherton is a success or not, more pressure on race results as results mean sales, to some.
  • 1 0
 3D ,yes it is going to amazing ,the potential it’s just mind blowing,like you want what just wait a phew minutes while I receive the schematic,BLING her is your frame or everything else you need no more warehouses ,it is going to be wonderful but at the same time so robotic,good luck
  • 4 1
 Why come right out with developing E-Bikes?!? There's enough mopeds already : (
Stick to pedal bikes and tearing up the DH scene... pretty please!
  • 1 0
 i‘d like to get some expert insights about the frame concept. Ist the strength of carbon that you can form it specifically to absorb the forces of any direction? How does this compare to classic round tubes? And they look quite skinny too. The 3D printing of titan seems really genius, but i‘m not sure about the rest.
Thanks for some help from the experts.
  • 1 0
 @athertonbikes
wow, I couldn't be happier for you guys. I wish you all the success with this new adventure. such a humble and dedicated family. you all deserve this so much. it is amazing that you are able to pull something off like this. i am so curious how the bikes will perform and look like. with dave weagle on board i don't doubt that they won't be superb. I myself ride the pivot dh and enduro bike and love them. definitely consider riding one of your bikes in the future. hoping for a enduro rig like the firebird. just capable of doing everything. I love the idea being able to customize almost the whole bike.
I wish you guys best of luck, a hell of a time and success for the future, whether its racing, building tracks or bikes.
bes regards
  • 1 0
 Is anybody getting how brilliant these people are? This will have repercussions far from the biking industry. Laying your career and life on the line by debuting new technology on the World Cup stage is completely badass in a way only the Brits can do and an absolutely brilliant piece of business marketing displaying a new technology in this way.
  • 2 1
 "How do you feel about racing a bike without a pedigree?"

Front runner for what will be the dumbest question of the year and its still January.

Rachel Atherton is the only pro DH rider in history with a perfect racing season and this is what this idiot asks her? What a moron. As if the history and experience of the family and their team means nothing. Does this moron actually think they are going to embarass themselves by creating and riding bikes not up to the task? Think before you speak.
  • 2 0
 Let us know if you have any strong opinions either way on the subject...
  • 1 0
 Humm 3D printed titanium just hope the price isn't titanic... And why not a full 3D printed frame since the most prone to crack parts are already made this way, and that way we could just download the frame and print it at a LBS and pay 20k just for it.
  • 4 0
 Are they looking for an “Ambassador”?
  • 5 5
 I think you need to pitch that to a Dragon...
  • 1 0
 Typing out my Pitch on a Atherton Dropper post @WAKIdesigns:
  • 1 0
 Yeah, I would proudly be an “Ambassador” in Portugal, from Lousã to Lisbon and anything in between, like Sintra, downhill and enduro/trail bikes.
  • 1 1
 @FCX250: brand ambassador... how many pics from behind the bars, or your bike leaning against a tree you need to post on your insta before you realize that you are staring into the void? If you ever need inspirational quotes for your followers, tell me! “Money can’t buy happyness, but they can buy Atherton bike and that’s almost the same” ooooooooh... Just remember to suck balls of repost accounts (yeah that is low, but what wouldn’t you do for 30% off their frame) , will get you many followers. Comment on accounts of top athletes, should give you a few clicks. Oh! And get your bike for the Vital bike of the day! All da hoes in da house, all da hoes in da house!
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Too damn fast for the cameras to catch...
  • 4 0
 This is awesome! Love it Way more excited tor WCDH to start now
  • 3 0
 Still riding my Atherton Racing V2... Time to trade for a Atherton Bike.
tup
  • 1 0
 I'm pretty interested to see what the design, geo and dimensions of your personal race bikes turn out like, now that you'll be able to build them literally exactly to your preferences.
  • 2 0
 and the bikes would be named...Rache -as there DH wC model.. Gee as also there DH WC model only in alternate color..and the all arounder DAN - Enduro/Bikepark/Slopestyle.
  • 1 0
 Not surprised to see the picture of a Renishaw box. They have some experience here: www.renishaw.com/en/blog-post-a-3d-printed-mountain-bike-that-you-can-buy-today--38917
  • 1 0
 Yes and it’s a great bike although I am entirely biased
  • 1 0
 @sewer-rat: Interesting.. I still want to try an Empire
  • 2 0
 @Shiny-side-up: you are always welcome to try when you’re south bound dude
  • 1 1
 Sounds completely awesome to be able to take a bike design and then ask them to steepen this, slacken that, etc. Things that concern me about that right off the bat would be warranty issues, spending huge money on a bike from a startup that could be gone a year later and then what? But cautiously optimistic!
  • 1 0
 Is claiming technology from formula one and the arospace industry the street cred required in the mtb business? Because they all seem to say that without going into specifics.
  • 5 0
 It's a marketing tactic... it makes people think it's super high-tech and top-of-the-line. I've been a design engineer in aerospace and while the technology can certainly be pretty incredible, it's not necessarily any different than seen in other industries. Aerospace has incredibly stringent design, testing, and documentation requirements, but I doubt that part of it translates to bikes.
  • 2 0
 I love the Athertons first class people. I hope this venture works out for them. Best of luck. I’ll be rooting for them this season.
  • 1 0
 WELCOME TO THE FUTURE!... Athertons ruling the bike industry and 3D printing the World of trails with the help of AI and Cyborg Gee by then... even more at the top at the Galactic Interplanetary Cup Series...
  • 3 0
 The Athertons are creating an e-bikes in the future. Will Pink Bikers still denounce e-bikes as the end of the world? Lol.
  • 2 0
 I came here to say the same thing!
  • 1 0
 Actually they have been around for a bit 2016-ish was the Renishaw case study.

www.renishaw.com/en/metal-additive-manufacturing-technology-used-for-customised-mountain-bikes--39741
  • 2 0
 I think Nick Anderson, as chief engineer of many generations of the Santa Cruz V10, might have more World Cup wins than Dave Weagle.
  • 2 1
 No picture or info on the bike? Seems like they are not ready for the scrutiny that putting up a picture would bring, they haven't decided on a initial design or they are really ugly.
  • 1 0
 They did and pb pulled the post down within a matter of hours. Everyone was ragging on the awful branding and cringe worthy video they shared of the logo designer selling them a shit sandwich. Since it wasnt a circle jerk of positivity, they pulled it.
  • 1 0
 Bike looks great. The idea reminds me of the GT LTS, bonding etc.
Maybe they’ll call it a “hardline”. Too much of a clichè? All the best to them on their new venture????
  • 1 0
 Find a a way to recycle the "ocean filler" and use it to make the composite material maybe " a la pole" way: glueing frames sporting some extreme angles frames and you're set to go.You're welcome.
  • 1 0
 So sick! Does this mean Affy is going to design Rach and Gee’s World Champs custom paint jobs, going to be hard to keep it a surprise for them but I’m sure it’ll be so special! See you on the circuit @athertonracing
  • 1 0
 I’ll be honest the robot bike co not very inspiring and price point to steep vs high quality brands.
I do hope this reformed project under the Atherton name sets a lower price point aiming for bigger sales?
  • 2 0
 Stoked for you guys. You are all down to earth and deserve every success you work towards. Keep it up!
  • 3 0
 That BB looks like a low pivot, was hoping for a high pivot.
  • 3 0
 Let's hope it is the start for the Brits to rule downhill again
  • 2 0
 I’m interested to see what the trail bikes and (as a dad to 2 little rippers) the kids bikes are like!
  • 1 1
 Yeah I feel like by the time they come out with something (it'll be a while unfortunately) it won't be much better or worse than the FS Lil Shredder, Commencal Clash-Sick bike, Spawn (whatever maybe on their Horizon this year). Even Rockies FS 26" isn't bad. But who knows, having a DWeagle suspension with a kids specific fork or shock would be awesome (the ladies tune most everything else comes with, sucks).
  • 3 0
 Basic/entry/non-customized model starting at only £9.999 !?
  • 1 0
 @athertonbikes You guys need to look at a company named TITOMIC out of Australia. This is the future of 3d printing that has major benefits in cost and speed of production.
  • 1 0
 TITOMIC is cold spray technology. The technology has been around for quite awhile. Typically that is not as accurate as DMLS and requires more post processing to get the surface finish acceptable. Most cold spray machines are used for repair and to make near-net shapes that are then machined. The bike shown on their website is tube-lugged also. It makes no sense to additively make tubes.
  • 1 0
 @rpl3000:
I am sure that you will see Kinetic fusion used in the bike industry to produce complete frame in the near future.
  • 1 0
 @rpl3000: I Was under the impression Titomic has signed ten major bike brands to use this tech in the next few years. I was also not aware that this tech has been used all that much in the past.
  • 1 0
 @lance-h: saw Titomic in a press release today and after a few clicks found this. I stand corrected about AM manufacturing of tubes. Page 28.
www.asminternational.org/documents/10192/26746001/20+-+Gulizia.pdf/b8edc449-2333-427d-a05b-84bd980eb1f4
  • 1 0
 @rpl3000: Thanks for the info! Im not an engineer but I love dorking out.
  • 3 1
 Best way to make $1 Million in the bike industry - start with $2 Million. Ask John Tomac how this went for him.
  • 1 0
 Customisation is interesting! Being 6'6" getting a perfect fit can be difficult. Looking forward to seeing the finished models.
  • 2 0
 More than 100 comments and nobody has complained about that pressfit BB yet? Smile
  • 1 0
 the amount of times I've had people argue that pro bikes and customer bikes were the same and at last a top rider says it clear lol
  • 1 0
 Lots of fuzz. But it'll be just another bike out there in the sea, no an ocean of good bikes.But more choices the better, I hope it wont cost 12000 dollars.
  • 1 0
 Great to work on kids bikes, currently kids bikes are around half the weight of the rider. makes it tough to ride... you try riding a bike thats half your body weight
  • 2 0
 if that DH bike looks anything like past robot co bikes my money is that bikes gunna look like a Sunday
  • 7 7
 Please include a "one bike" option in your eventual product line.

Travel; 180mm
63/64 degree HTA
76/77 degree STA
Dual crown approved
31-33lbs builds

Thank you!!!
  • 2 0
 hahaha i got a chuckle out of this. not sure why these ppl downvoted
  • 2 0
 The best of luck to you guys!
  • 1 0
 Call me back the day they print a full frame without welding ! that will be sick.
  • 2 0
 Does this mean we'll see a DH version of that linkage fork soon???
  • 1 0
 This is really awesome hope everything works out with their new company/team!
  • 2 0
 Yeeesss, this is gonna be awesome. Hope u guys smash it
  • 3 0
 Price point?
  • 1 0
 Close to $10k complete, $5k frame only.
  • 1 0
 I genuinely wonder if they'll be quicker on this than they were on Sessions
  • 3 1
 Yeah yeah, blah blah... where are the Friday Fails!?!
  • 1 0
 Wonder if we’ll see Weagle’s Orion linkage in these bikes. Unless Esker has an exclusive on it?
  • 2 0
 A new Iron Horse Sunday! Yes please ????
  • 3 1
 Maybe they could build some alloy bikes for turner
  • 1 0
 Very excited for ye all,best bike related news in quite some time.all the best with it
  • 1 0
 Very excited for ye all,best bike related news in quite some time.all the best with it
  • 1 0
 @athertonbikes
Please for the love of all that's holy, please consider making a Race BMX too...
  • 1 0
 So is it just frames? Or is it suspension as well? Either way way it’s fooking awesome
  • 1 0
 What an exciting concept and who better to make this happen than the Atherton crew
  • 1 0
 I just really wanna see them make this work. They got something special, here.
  • 1 0
 Good luck to them. Entering the MTB market AND being competitive will not be easy.
  • 1 0
 I wonder what bike they'll be racing on this year
  • 12 0
 @radman13 we are already riding the first prototype that Gee and Rach will be racing this year! - Dan
  • 1 0
 This is sick. I just hope I can afford one.
  • 2 2
 Athertons on robot bikes... after all the years people called Gee a robot its all starting to add up.
  • 1 0
 Really wow. So stoked for you guys. You made my day.
  • 1 0
 Already want their 130mm 29er
  • 2 1
 Robot Bike
Looks like & sounds like similar concept
  • 4 0
 Ed Haythornthwaite is/was Robot bikes.Renishaw did the 3d printing.Weagle supplied the Dw6 linkage.
Basically they've bought Robot.
Also.....not on Hope anymore.
  • 2 0
 @watchmen: This appears to be the case. Robot Bike web site down as of this post.
  • 2 0
 @rpl3000: It's been 'down for maintenance' since christmas.Was saddened when I thought they'd gone as I really like the bikes.Great to see them get the financial support and attention they deserve.
  • 1 0
 I can't think of better people to "launch" a new bike.
  • 1 0
 This is awesome. Hope to work for you someday. Love this. Goodluck!
  • 1 0
 Looking forward to gee's naked wheelie on the new rig.
  • 1 0
 Just buzzing about this, so stoked!
  • 1 0
 Well, we know that one of the bikes will have a vertical shock design.
  • 1 0
 you can see the bike at the end of the video. youtu.be/_tM9i2aGML8
  • 1 0
 This is awesome! Way to go guys Big Grin
  • 1 0
 "we have helped riders like Martin Maes" Yeah!
  • 1 0
 Biggest news of the off season !
  • 1 0
 Such a tease @athertonbikes, show us the frame already Smile
  • 1 0
 Dan Atherton, the Jony Ive of mountain bikes.
  • 1 0
 Incredible season this Year.
  • 1 0
 Rly good news!
Cant wait... Good luck for new Bikes Razz
  • 1 0
 Bold Move but it just feels like the right move too for some reason.
  • 1 1
 The photo of the BB section looks like a pressfit! It was all looking so good until then. Im out
  • 1 0
 Full carbon custom iron horse sunday
  • 1 0
 Wow! So glad You guys are doing this! This is the future!!! 3
  • 1 0
 The frontal logo is similar to that of armybikes
  • 2 1
 Again.... WOW!!!
  • 1 0
 Made Up Well Done! : )
  • 11 12
 Why would you want Gee’s bike, it’s Rachel’s wins that keep their name relevant!
  • 4 1
 LoL
  • 1 1
 The only thing I want from gee is his contract negotiation skills
  • 1 0
 This is so cool!
  • 2 2
 She would kill you
  • 1 3
 Trek is going to order one and turn it into their production bike And escape another Weagle lawsuit ????
  • 1 2
 I'm very dissapointed you're not going to Cube! Frown
  • 1 0
 not really. guys, best of luck this year, that's an awesome plan you have. Gee, I hope to see you back in the podium making some people nervous!
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