After a long stint with their last major sponsor, it was anyone’s guess where the Atherton clan would end up for 2019. Of all the bike companies out there though, we weren’t expecting the Athertons to choose, well, none of them. Instead, Dan, Gee and Rachel have started their own bike company, Atherton Bikes.
Perhaps once all things are considered, this shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. The Athertons have a habit of being power-houses and have always pushed the expectations of the sport. Founding Atherton Racing in 2003, the siblings have been behind iconic projects like the “Atherton Project” video series and world-renown events like Red Bull Hardline. Behind the scenes, they’ve been driving forces in product development for brands they’ve ridden for like Commencal, GT and Trek.
The Atherton Bikes brand has been a lifetime in the making with Dan building his first bike in 1992 when he was just 10 years old. “Now feels like the right time to put our hearts and soul into a range of bikes designed and built our way," says Dan. Gee continues "We will start with what we know best, focusing on high-level product designed to be ridden aggressively! For 2019 we'll race our own prototype bike and we're planning to bring that DH bike to market, along with a range of trail bikes.”
Partnering with none other than legendary suspension designer Dave Weagle, and co-founding with Dragons' Den entrepreneur Piers Linney, Atherton Bikes will kick off later this year with a range of bikes that, wait for it, utilize additive manufacturing technologies combined with carbon fiber tubing. If that sounds familiar, it should, because the Athertons will be working with Ed Haythornthwaite, who was formerly a part of Robot Bike Co.
The additive manufacturing process is essentially 3D printing with metal, and opens up many creative and customization options. Ed, one of Robot Bike Co.’s founders, was Dan's World Cup mechanic in 2006 and their ongoing friendship was the catalyst for this venture.
Gee says, "The additive manufacturing process is so responsive that we've been able to test and adapt a series of prototypes that ride like the finished bike; this constant cycle of innovation means that we can get our race bikes dialed much more quickly and that every purchase of a production bike will be at the very forefront of this development."
There isn’t much information out yet as to what the new bikes will be exactly, but Rachel gave us a few clues of what the line-up might include in the future.
“We all believe that having the right bike for you and the stage you are at with your riding can transform your experience,” says Rachel. “Our big goal is to see kids, all mountain explorers, bike park shredders, racers and e-bikers enjoying our bikes – just saying that sounds mind-blowing!”
More information, including a race team, bike line-up and key partnerships will be accounted in the coming weeks, so stay tuned. In the meantime, follow Atherton Bikes on Instagram with @athertonbikes and visit their website at athertonbikes.com.