There’s been rumours floating about where Atherton Racing would land for 2019, but this was unexpected.
The trio of siblings announced today they were forming their own bike brand, Atherton Bikes.
After a season that saw Rachel Atherton return to the top of the World Cup standings and add another world championship title to her name, Atherton Racing announced it would be ending its three year stay Trek Bicycles at the end of the year.
While the trio of siblings are new to the manufacturing side of mountain biking, they’re pretty well shored up on the experience side. Whatever comes out of Atherton Bikes is sure to be a very race-oriented, pure bred World Cup machine.
“It’s always been a dream of mine for us to ride for our own bike company,” says Dan Atherton. “We’ve ridden for some great brands and we’re proud of the part we’ve played in the development of DH bikes from the Commencal to the Trek Session and trail bikes like the GT Sanction. We’ve always really enjoyed the process, from working with the designers on the early stages through to testing and refining prototypes on the World Cup circuit. But because of the way that the sponsorship system works we’d soon be starting over with a new brand.”
Instead, the trio decided to take control of that development process and set out on their own. The new company will be much more than an Atherton sticker slapped on an existing frame, too. They’ve partnered with renowned suspension designer Dave Weagle, the man behind an impressive number of winning suspension designs over the years, to make the Atherton bike brand live up to their racing reputation.
Adding experience to the business side will be Dragons’ Den entrepreneur Piers Linny, who joins as a co-founder of the newly formed company.
Also on board are some of the staff from Robot Bike Co, a U.K. based brand that has been pushing additive manufacturing (3-D Printing) for several years now. The process allows for easy customization of frames, which will surely be a benefit to the Atherton’s they try sort out the new line of bikes over the course of 2019.
“We will start with what we know best, focusing on high level product designed to be ridden aggressively!” Gee Atherton says of where the company will put it’s initial focus. “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”
Atherton Bikes look like they will use additive manufacturing to make frames with carbon tubes bonded to printed metal lugs. While the brand has only just been announced, Atherton Bikes hopes to have its first range of bikes for sale in 2019.