We design bikes that we`re
excited to ride
That’s the start and end point for every new product at Atherton Bikes.
We like simplicity and our design process is guided by engineering principles, this means the way our bikes look is directly related to how they will be strongest and perform best.
We use the most cutting-edge technologies to make sure that your dream bike is perfect for you and your riding.
Frame construction principles
Our Atherton Bikes engineers come from F1 and aerospace backgrounds and are known for being at the forefront of additive manufacturing and composite technologies. We’ve channeled their learnings to create a strong, durable and lightweight MTB frame from bespoke carbon fibre tubes joined to additive manufactured titanium lugs.
Carbon fibre reinforced composites work well when shapes and loads are simple such as a straight circular down tube. Metals work well where shapes are more complex and when loads come from different directions for example at the bottom bracket.
We use high strength to weight ratio titanium in the areas of maximum stress and connect these together with high stiffness to weight ratio carbon composite tubes. Then we move the joints away from areas of peak stress and employ an innovative double lap shear joint design made possible in titanium by the use of Additive Manufacturing.
Our technology gives us the ability to make every lug set bespoke to order.
Simply input your height, inside leg and arm span into our Fit Calculator here and we’ll output the closest stock size frame or recommend a custom build.
All our bikes are built around the DW6 platform, a new take on Dave Weagle’s world-renowned 4-bar linkage design.
Dave conceived the DW6 evolution to work in unison with our titanium lugged construction and the customised experience that offers, it adds two more pivots (6-bar) resulting in a un-rivalled level of adjustability and offers a ride with such improved traction and bump sensitivity that you’ll feel like you could reach down and touch the track.
We guarantee that our suspension platform is rugged enough to withstand a lifetime of hard use use* compact links attach via angular contact bearings at critical points for low maintenance performance wherever you ride.
Our frames are developed using the principles of infinite-life and no-growth design for metal and composite elements to ensure strength and durability.
We use a mathematical approach called Topology optimisation to refine material layout for many elements of the frame. This means that we can provide the lightest possible design for a given set of loads and boundary conditions while avoiding metal fatigue.
We offer a lifetime warranty to the original owner in full confidence that our frames will be rugged, lightweight, and great to ride for a very long time.
Carbon Fibre Tubes
We have designed our carbon tubes to be light, strong and durable with a stiffness optimised for the best balance of acceleration and cornering grip. The lay-up of each tube is specifically designed for the strength and stiffness requirement for that tube whilst also being perfectly compatible for bonding to our Titanium lugs.
We use aerospace-grade uni-directional TRH50 and MR60H Mitsubishi-Rayon carbon fibres in Newport 301 matrix pre-pregs in combination with simple geometries, to maintain the best possible fibre alignment and performance. We design our tubes using an aerospace ‘no-growth’ principle meaning that strength is maintained even with any hidden damage from minor bumps and knocks.
Additive manufactured lugs in titanium
Additive Manufacturing technology allows us the design flexibility to create custom geometry frames, and the ability to create innovative joint interfaces. Titanium (aerospace grade Ti6Al4V) gives the optimum strength/weight solution for these loaded areas of the frame and works brilliantly when it’s bonded to carbon fibre laminates.
Our lugs are produced by the Ren AM 500Q in a Metal Powder Bed Fusion process, with Ti powder particles in the 10-45um range melted together by four high power fibre lasers, heat treated for optimal mechanical performance and then CNC machined for bearing, headset and bottom bracket fit.
Double lap shear joints
The lugs join to the carbon tubes using double lap shear joints, pioneered for use in aircraft, to ensure maximum joint reliability. Additive manufacturing allows us to use longer aspect ratios and thinner walls than is achievable with machined or cast titanium.
Double-lap shear -joints also allow for the use of the ‘insertion-squeeze-flow’ method of bonding to ensure an even surface coverage of aerospace-grade two-part epoxy Henkel adhesive.
Our joints are acknowledged to be the most efficient in use in any application – including the most cutting-edge aircraft design. This ensures that we deliver the lightest weight and most reliable frame possible.
Finally, our frames are validated using a ‘test-pyramid’ approach similar to that used in aircraft design.
Firstly, materials are characterised individually in the lab before bonded assemblies are evaluated and then the whole bike is re-tested at EFBE in Germany to their Tri-Test standard. Meanwhile, the same ‘test pyramid’ is mirrored virtually using computer modelling to make sure nothing is missed… and of course we let Dan, Gee, Rachel and the Continental Atherton World Cup squad do their worst to every single prototype.