Atherton AM.150.1 first ride review

by 27

Does the 150mm travel Atherton AM.150 mountain bike offer something that’s unachievable via more traditional construction methods? Benji has a ponder…

It’s a stick up
  • Brand: Atherton
  • Product: AM.150.1
  • From: athertonbikes.com
  • Price: £7,750
  • Tested by: Benji for 1 day

Three things I liked

  • Calm
  • Quiet
  • Fun

Three things I’d change

  • Expensive
  • More mud clearance
  • I’d like to try the 6-bar DW Link in a cheaper-to-produce frame format!
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Atherton AM.150.1 Specification

  • Frame // Additive Titanium and Carbon Fibre, 150mm
  • Shock // Fox Float X2, Trunnion, 205x60mm
  • Fork // Fox 36 Factory GRIP2, 160mm
  • Wheels // Stan’s Flow MK3
  • Front Tyre // Continental Kryptotal F
  • Rear Tyre // Continental Kryptotal R
  • Chainset // SRAM X01, 170mm
  • Drivetrain // SRAM X01
  • Brakes // Trick Stuff Diretissimma
  • Stem // Renthal Apex 35mm, 50mm
  • Bars // Renthal V2 Fatbar Carbon, 800x30mm
  • Grips // Renthal Traction UltraTacky Lock-On
  • Seatpost // Fox Transfer
  • Saddle // WTB SL8 Team
  • BB // SRAM DUB, threaded
  • Size Tested // 480 Regular
  • Sizes Available // Loads! From ‘410 – Low’ up to ‘530 – XX Tall’
  • Weight // N/A

Geometry for our ‘480 Regular’ test bike:

  • Head angle // 65°
  • Effective seat angle // 78°
  • Seat tube length // 415mm
  • Head tube length // 125mm
  • Chainstay // 438mm
  • Wheelbase // 1,246mm
  • Effective top tube // N/A
  • BB height // 343mm (30mm BB drop)
  • Reach // 480mm

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Review Info

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  • This topic has 27 replies, 24 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by Del.
Viewing 27 posts - 1 through 27 (of 27 total)
  • Atherton AM.150.1 first ride review
  • Premier Icon footflaps
    Full Member

    Looks steeper than 65 deg in the photo….

    Premier Icon gritstone
    Full Member

    What wheel size ?

    Premier Icon DB
    Free Member

    I like the Athertons and I like smaller brands and unusual bikes but there is nothing there that makes me really want one, even at half the price.

    Perhaps a test ride would change my mind (not that I have £7.7k to spare)

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    Yeah, pics seem misleading.

    ‘Calm’ is a very good thing on a mountain bike.
    Fair play for making this, and to those who buy it, but too rich for my taste.

    Premier Icon honourablegeorge
    Free Member

    footflaps

    Looks steeper than 65 deg in the photo….

    Yeah, thought the same. Even 65 is relatively conservative, I’d have thought.

    Premier Icon Thepurist
    Full Member

    Very nice but looks like it’ll be an interesting ownership experience with so many bearings in the linkages. Are they all easy to press in and out, or are they all nasty blind bearings with each pivot needing a different size?

    Premier Icon teethgrinder
    Full Member

    I suppose I could crowbar in some sort of phrase like ‘it’s a downhill racer’s trail bike’. Which would be a legitimate claim actually.

    Banshee said exactly that about their Spitfire. My V2 snapped.

    Premier Icon tracer1
    Full Member

    With regard to the cost, a look at frame only prices would suggest its in the ballpark for a boutique high-end bike, for example:

    SantaCruz Hightower frame only £3499
    Atherton £3999
    Yeti SB 150 T series £4299

    all eye-watering of course and very hard to justify, but since when did that have anything to do with common sense 🙂

    Premier Icon honourablegeorge
    Free Member

    Makes that 6.5k full build pretty good value, even if the Trickstuff brakes are just a tease 🙂

    Premier Icon nickc
    Full Member

    You’d pay similar money for a Geomentron G1 with a similar spec, or the Hope HB916 full build kits ‘start from’ £7K. I think the price of these sorts of “once in a liftime” purchase bikes is somewhat beside the point of them, isn’t it?

    Premier Icon gbozo49
    Full Member

    Stop me if I’m being an idiot here but I’m not sure how you can arrive at a “6 bar linkage”? Back in the day Specialized had the classic 4 bar design as they held the patent for the pivot being on the seat stays (modern equivalent would be Transition’s giddy up suspension) whereas bikes with the pivots on the chainstays were known as “faux bar” designs. If I understood it correctly the 4 bar design allowed the wheel to track the ground whereas the faux bar was effectively a variation on the single pivot (the classic Orange 5 design that hasn’t changed in millenia).
    Because shock technology was nowhere near as good as it is now this made quite a difference to the feel of the bike and the way that it rode especially in terms of the wheel path. Modern shocks have resolved this problem (thankfully for Orange bikes).
    I always thought the “bar” in 4 bar linkage referred to the frame of the bike (so the seatstays & chainstays) that connected the linkages. Did I completely misunderstand it?

    Premier Icon nickc
    Full Member

    Stop me if I’m being an idiot here but I’m not sure how you can arrive at a “6 bar linkage”?

    i think one arrives there via the power of branding. 😊

    Premier Icon gunz
    Full Member

    Love the looks. It seems to me that most carbon full sus bikes nowadays look really blocky, especially round the BB, almost e-bike without being one.

    Premier Icon H1ghland3r
    Free Member

    Stop me if I’m being an idiot here but I’m not sure how you can arrive at a “6 bar linkage”?

    It’s a 6 bar linkage system.  Essentially the same as the Specialized FSR you mentioned but instead of the main pivot attaching to the frame above the BB there are an extra 2 short linkages that connect the swingarm to the mainframe.

    It might have been more correct to call it a traditional DW link (ala Pivot) with an added Horst link.

    Premier Icon chrismac
    Full Member

    What’s it like as a trail bike. So far all the reviews I have seen have been done at their bike park. What’s is like when you set out on a 20+miler with over 1000m of climbing under you own steam?

    Premier Icon jimplops
    Free Member

    Plus the “faux bar” had the link on the seat stay not the chainstay

    Premier Icon grahamt1980
    Full Member

    Looks nice, but i really want the brakes

    Premier Icon anne
    Free Member

    Interesting that you want faster rolling tyres, I assume that it’s the super soft heavier carcass DH spec Kryptotal as these seem to be what everyone was reviewing at the Dyfi launch. What do you think the lighter harder Enduro and Trail versions would ride like? As this is a ‘trail’ bike.

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    Wow, the whole review reeks of ennui. I gather the bike is ‘normal’, which seems to be a more socially acceptable alternative to ‘dull’, but also good. I guess it was supposed to be extraordinary?

    It’s a bike that rides in no way how I thought it would do from my prior on-paper assessments.

    How was it supposed to ride?

    Is there a thing going on here where as medium travel trail bikes have become more and more able and closer to what would have been an enduro bike a few years ago and have hit a sort of performance ceiling? Or is it that character in one bike would be something that would objectively be classed as a ‘flaw’? Build a flawless bike and you build a characterless one?

    I can’t imagine spending that much on a bike anyway, but is it a victim of its own competence?

    Premier Icon I_Am_Sparticus
    Free Member

    Looks short and steep.

    Premier Icon nickjb
    Free Member

    Would make a good pub bike. I think that’s how these two lads I saw in Machynlleth were using them.

    Premier Icon chrismac
    Full Member

    Another question. If the bike is designed to ride how the Athertons like to ride then fair enough, its their company. However Im going to speculate that 99% of their customers dont ride anything like they do. Which begs the question does the average trail rider want/need a trail bike as still and strong (and therefore heavier as admitted in a podcast) than it needs to be for their customers?

    Premier Icon James
    Full Member

    5 bar isn’t it? ST, CS, SS and 2 links. Where’s the 6th bar?

    Premier Icon Van Halen
    Free Member

    5 bar isn’t it? ST, CS, SS and 2 links. Where’s the 6th bar?

    the shock

    4/faux bar has cs, ss, linkage (rocker), shock.

    Atherton/DW6 has shock, link (rocker), ss, cs, linkx2 (main pivot) – 6 bar

    Premier Icon James
    Full Member

    Atherton/DW6 has shock, link (rocker), ss, cs, linkx2 (main pivot) – 6 bar

    Ah – there’s 2 small links by the BB controlling the CS rotation. Hard to see in the pics, looked like only. It’s called DW6 and I assumed Dave can count : )

    It was this that confused me

    At first glance, the suspension design looks like ‘just’ a regular DW Link bike with a pair of shortish links mounted astride the seat tube. But look a bit longer and you’ll spot a pivot placed on the chainstays. That’s a Horst link that is. I’m pretty sure that makes this bike a 6-bar design.

    Had me thinking of a DW link that has 2 links of the ST or ST and BB area, plus the Horst – but thinking about it if it had a single link between CS and BB the CS wouldn’t be controlled/constrained.

    A 4 bar linkage has the CS, SS, ST and the rear section of the rocker as the 4 bars or the 4 sections that create a loop. The shock isn’t a bar? But anyway…

    Interestingly I only threw out a very old Astro frame the other week that has a similar double short link at the BB end of the CS, to change the CS arc. That frame must be 15+ years old. So what Dave Weagle’s done here is a similar design, just with a Horst link – which would have been covered by the patent when Astro made that frame. Nothing truly new out there.

    Premier Icon FunkyDunc
    Free Member

    So the review says it looks good, and is expensive and rides a bike park well.

    Has anyone done a truly independent review of the bikes yet?

    Premier Icon Del
    Full Member

    Im going to speculate that 99% of their customers dont ride anything like they do

    It’s near certain you’re correct on that but the majority of brands out there have sponsored riders or just tame riders who’re bat shit mental fast that test their prototypes. Do you think the Atherton’s would be sensible to build slightly on the more burly side and run a much lower risk of failure in the hands of Joe Public or not?
    How about Commencal? The meta is known to be a pretty heavy bike. Should they just make it lighter?
    Choice is a wonderful thing

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