First Ride Review : Pete’s Atherton A150.

Atherton Bikes have taken their time bringing this horse to market and Pete has been finding out if it has indeed been worth the wait.

Sporting its unique additive-manufactured titanium lugs and carbon fibre tubes, the Atherton Bikes A150 stands out even before you’ve swung a leg over it. That its made in Wales makes it stand out that little bit more.

Pete spent a day in the Dyfi getting the measure of the enduro machine fine-tuned by the fastest family going.

Photos by Pete Scullion.

Key features:

  • Fox Float 36 Factory 160mm fork
  • Fox Float X2 Factory shock
  • SRAM XO1 Eagle 12-speed drive
  • Trickstuff Maxima 4-piston brakes
  • Stan’s Flow MK3 Boost wheels
  • Fox Transfer Factory dropper
  • £7,000.00 RRP
  • AthertonBikes.com

On a dark day in the depths of winter, I got a chance to swing my leg over the latest iteration of the Atherton Bikes’ A150 and bag some laps of Dyfi Bike Park to see what the beast can do. I say latest iteration as at the time of writing, there is a new frame inbound with a steeper seat angle.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that the Atherton Bikes are built with their additive manufactered Ti lug, carbon tube frame. The A150 sporting 150mm travel via a DW6 link and a Horst pivot on the seat stay. This is a far cry from the bike Jamie rode back in 2019, with the bike looking every bit more the right tool for the job than those early offerings.

I’m hoping to get one of these beasts to ride at home to see what it can really do, but for now, here’s my impressions of a short day of uplift at Dyfi Bike Park.

Based around the £7,000 ‘Build 1’ spec, the bike I rode only had a few minor differences. Namely in brakes and dropper. While the Build 1 comes with a Rockshox Reverb dropper and SRAM G2 brakes, this bike came with a Fox Transfer and Trickstuff Maxima brakes. The latter would be the most noticeable difference as I’m sure I have had weaker brakes on my car than the Trickstuff offerings… an eThirteen crank and finishing kit swapped out the stock XO1 crank and Renthal finishing kit.

Otherwise, you get a SRAM XO1 Eagle drivetrain, Fox Factory dampers in the 36 and X2 air units, Stans Flow MK3 wheels, Renthal finishing kit and Continental Der Kaiser tyres. Nothing you’d turn your nose up at and certainly high on anyone’s list for a custom build.

Geometry

Sizing on the A150 is nothing short of comprehensive. They now offer 22 sizes, a feat they can manage by building every frame to order. Pick your seat tube length and attach a suitable top tube. Boom. Should you be too discerning for your own good, then you can also go all in with custom geometry.

Since I rode this bike, a new A150 has been released, with updates to cable routing, downtube protection, seat angle and seatpost insertion. Size-wise, the steeper seat angle is the only change, but as we were riding shuttles, I didn’t get to test either the outgoing or incoming seat tube angle for climbing.

I would be riding what would now be a size 7. Reach on this size is 460mm with a suitably short seat tube of 395mm. Head angle is 65 degrees, combined with that steeper seat tube angle of 71 degrees (78 degrees effective). Wheelbase is 1226mm with a chainstay of 438mm.

Bike parks are not my forte. Since I started riding bikes, I get to my terminal velocity on a bike far too quickly. The upper reaches of Dyfi Bike Park, therefore, arguably weren’t the best place for me to see what the A150 could do. Anyone who’s tested Dan Atherton & Co.’s handiwork knows, however, that towards the bottom of the hill, instead of the jump line, you can enjoy some suitably spicy natural nonsense before you’re spat out at the car park again.

While on the faster, “easier” 50 Hits, the bike felt calm and composed, I was cruising. Jumps of this calibre terrify me and the sheer walls of slate offered by Mr. Atherton’s kickers didn’t have me gunning for airtime. When things got blown out, rutted and tricky, however, the A150 sings.

Push the A150 harder and it’ll reward you for it. Asking for more. This was without diving into the Fox Factory dials on low and high speed damping either. More just a set the sag and go affair. Daylight wasn’t on our side sadly.

On trails I felt more comfortable on, namely the mad, natural stuff, the A150 was a delight. Light, nimble and with suspension that consumes large hits like a humpback whale eats herring, it’s a real joy when things get messy.

On the chatter, it was hard to tell whether I was running too much low speed compression, had the tyres too firm or those Trickstuff brakes were just overwhelming both the tyres and the dampers. They really are an acquired taste, so utterly brutal in their delivery of power. I am a big fan of grip and I didn’t have the time to get the dampers and tyres dialled in. Hopefully a home lap on the A150 will give me an opportunity to really get it singing.

You can check out the Atherton Bikes A150 on their website here.

Keep your eyes peeled for a full review of the Atherton Bikes A150 soon.