There’s a new mountain bike making the rounds, and it’s starting to turn heads on the trails. Drawing a crowd wherever it goes, this four-wheeler is made for rock-hopping and defying gravity.
Contes Engineering, a company founded by two brothers in Oregon just last year, debuted Athos to the cycling world at Interbike 2011. The design is inspired by BMX, Freestyle, Downhill, and Motocross, a
nd it combines the intense stability and handling characteristics of a quad with the flexibility of a bicycle. You can attack the trails with over eight inches of suspension travel. And with all hand-welded and assembled parts, it’s made specifically to fit the riders’ needs. Contes even uses standardized cycling hardware allowing the bike to be further customized.
Athos also has BMX/freestyle and cross-country configurations. Technical aspects vary slightly, but the main difference is that the BMX style has only one speed, while the other two have 11. All models have the weight distribution of a BMX bike, and are able to handle just about everything off-road courses can throw at them. With four wheel independent suspension, the Athos is like an eco-friendly, slower moving ATV, though without reaching the speeds of it’s motorized cousin, it seems less dangerous. Landing on four wheels gives the rider more balance. Even though it weights in at 56 lbs, as the pictures show, the extra weight doesn’t keep this beast grounded!
Front and rear disc brakes, traction-enhancing differential, nylon suspension brushings… Everything about this bike makes it exciting to ride.
The brains behind the bike have two loves: cycling and engineering. One brother focused his career on the auto industry, durability testing, and project management. The other was an extreme racer and went to get a masters degree in mechanical engineering. And together, they create bikes that can’t be found anywhere else. Between one’s need for competition and the other’s desire for leisurely rides and comfort, their creations appeal to a wide audience.
The Athos model is not on the market yet, but Contes has been showing off prototypes at various bike shows. Everything points to them putting it into production soon, so cross your fingers it will go on sale this summer!