Media First Ride Reviews: S.170

April 4th, 2024

“What might just be one of the finest aluminium mountain bikes there has ever been...”

“You can push hard from your first ride!” has been a constant theme with our A-Range bikes and, unsurprisingly, it looks like our new aluminium S.170 is following firmly in the tracks of the additive-manufactured bikes that inspired and informed its development.

Rachel had her first day on the finalised production bike at Dyfi Bike Park this weekend, it’s a few weeks since she rode the prototype and she was “blown away” by the new refinements.

But don’t take our word for it – three independent media reviewers shared their first thoughts…



Pinkbike’s Mike Kazimer’s first ride over in Bellingham USA racked up 5,000 vertical feet of climbing over 28 miles, with mainly logging road climbs and a few singletrack climbs in the mix followed by steep, rough descents.

He also declared himself “a big fan” of the S.170's looks and can vouch for the S.170’s performance on those climbs “It's responsive under power, and doesn't bob or wallow wildly, even with the shock in the fully open mode. The seat angle is quite steep, which works great when you're climbing”. On the downhills, Mike chooses the word “Smashy” saying “It's the sort of bike that encourages letting off the brakes and ploughing through whatever's in the way... Even though crushing everything feels like its main modus operandi, hitting jumps and natural doubles doesn't feel like a chore, the overall wheelbase is long without being outlandish, and the suspension design provides a good platform to push off of from any part of the travel.”



Hopefully, Mick Kirkman of MBR won’t mind being called a long-time friend of the brand.

Mick is a huge fan of the A.170 and has always been highly perceptive and upfront about his observations which has been super-valuable for us in perfecting some of our models. A few hitches on the day meant Mick had the shortest time of all on the bike (just 5 laps at Dyfi) but it was enough for him to say…

“The S.170 still has the same ‘trucking on’ speedy ride and balanced geometry (as the A.170) to keep the rider calm, but you can feel what’s going on underneath at the wheels. (Mick agrees with Dan Atherton that the key difference is in the small bump absorption - once deeper into the travel, it’s hard to tell the pair apart.) It holds a good pace across the ground and never feels like a heavy old dog pedalling, riding dynamically or when climbing. It should also be super strong with those solid 7000-series tubes."



Singletrack’s Rhys Wainwright has never ridden an Atherton before. He spent a gloriously dry day at Dyfi Bike Park putting the S.170 through its paces and he loved it… 

The S.170 is a striking silver machine” and the ride quality. Rhys said “It’s been a while since I rode an aluminium ‘big bike’ and there was a level of compliance and composure that is often missing from the stiff carbon machines I’ve found myself owning the past few years and one that I enjoyed a lot. (The DW4 ensured that ) a few flat landings here and there were absorbed without question or bottom out. I strongly suspect this bike could take downhill levels of abuse and come out unfazed."

He sums up by saying “Atherton’s ‘budget aluminium bike’ is somewhat of an oxymoron…It’s a bit like comparing your aluminium private jet to that of a carbon fibre and titanium fifth-generation fighter aircraft. You might not be getting the ultimate in stiffness and performance but it’s still exceptionally high quality and rapid to boot…The S170 is no budget aluminium look-a-like offering like some other brands. They’ve applied the same excellent engineering skill to a different material and delivered what might just be one of the finest aluminium mountain bikes there has ever been."