Reader Bike Check: Number 49 of the top 50 Atherton bikes

One of our readers reached out recently to share the story of his 150mm Atherton bike which was one of the first 50 frames the family made for customers. Moritz Raschbichler (MB) is a recent high school graduate living in Whistler, BC, and he bought the Atherton off-road frame for its clever DW six-bar suspension platform and ever-replaceable 3D printed parts. Mo is about to start an engineering program in Victoria and has a great appreciation for the unique design elements of the Atherton Triangles. We recently spoke with him to gather all the details on his handsome build.

Where do you ride the most, and what flavor or trails do you prefer?

I live in Whistler, BC, so most of my riding is in the Sea to Sky region. I ride mainly on technical trails. Whistler’s trails are quite unique in that they are rockier, more rooted, and rougher than trails I’ve hiked elsewhere. I also do a lot of bike parks. Probably about 50 days each season, and again, I prefer technical trails, but for some reason you always end up on A Line and Dirt Merchant anyway.

How does this bike fit those trails?

I only own one bike, so I had to buy a bike that does it all. I know it’s a bit cliché but that’s the way it is. The bike has 150mm of rear travel. Not the most, but I put an EXT coil shock on to get the most out of it and it definitely feels more like a 170 bike, just because the bike uses its travel so efficiently. It also provides a ton of mid-stroke support, which is really good in the bike park with the higher repeat impacts, it doesn’t just stay low in its stroke. I can only really compare it to the Trek Slash I’ve ridden before, and the Atherton is so much better. [There is] no noticeable pedal bob and yet very good trail traction and feedback. So the bike is perfect for the trails I ride. He feels super balanced and the harder I push him the more he wants to be pushed and move forward.

How was the process of ordering one of the first 50 Atherton bikes?

Really quite easy. It was amazing working with Tom at Atherton Bikes. He sorted me quickly and whatever question I had he was able to answer. At the time I got in touch with them I had no real intention of buying one of their bikes, it was more to find out more about pricing and the process. But the price at the time wasn’t too bad, then I broke my Trek Slash frame and Tom quickly sorted me out to get me a new frame on the way. Now they have a web calculator for sizing and stuff, but when I ordered it was all back and forth over email which made it pretty tricky at times with jet lag and stuff. So once you submit your measurements, they will give you a few sizes to choose from that work best according to their calculator. Or you can go for custom geometry, and they’ll work with you to get exactly the geo and ride feel you’re looking for.

Is the geometry customized for you? If so, how is personalization configured? Driving style and body geometry, or something else?

Yes, the frame is customized to my preferences/needs. They take your body measurements: height, weight, arm span and inseam, as well as your ride preferences and setup preferences.

  • Wheelbase: 1251mm
  • Reach: 485mm
  • Effective top tube: 640 mm
  • Seat tube length: 451mm
  • Base length: 443mm
  • Stack Height: 619mm
  • Head tube length: 110mm
  • Head Tube Angle: 65°
  • Effective seat tube angle: 77°

For reference, I am about 1m80 tall. Six foot one inch on a good day. Since I mostly ride technical trails, I was aiming for balance and control for those tough descents. But at the same time not too long so it’s not too demanding halfway through. The bases are kept moderately short to keep it a bit more active and lively.

With which components did you choose to build it? Are any of them as unique as the frame?

So we have the EXT Era clash, and I’m pretty happy with that one. It’s amazing and the hydraulic bottom is amazing for the bike park. A Fox 38 up front, beefier for the rough stuff and a little more subtle on top. Full SRAM GX shifting, so nothing special here. You sometimes break a derailleur, so it’s cheaper to replace GX than XO. But it also works really well. Magura MT1893 brakes. This is an anniversary edition of their MT7 Pro. The polished silver calipers are amazing! 223 mm rotor at the front and 203 at the rear. Clearance will unfortunately not allow a 223 rear. And I still use Trickstuff brake pads. They are amazing and cost a fraction of the price of Magura stock. OneUp dropper. Reliable. Not much else to say. It works perfectly. DT Swiss front wheel linked to a silver Hope Pro4 hub.

My previous bike, a custom build Trek Slash RSL, had Spank wheels on it and when I crashed I cracked the frame, bent the Fox 36 and ripped the front wheel. So for the new build I went with a DT Swiss EX511 front. A little wider than the 471. In the rear I always rock my Spank wheel. I don’t even know what model it is. It was very cheap but it was surprisingly good. Still straight as an arrow and the hub has also been OK.

I’m still on Continental tires and really like the Baron. So I run a Baron front and Der Kaiser aft most of the year unless the weather is really crappy then I’ll go with a Baron front and rear . I also use CushCore Pro front and rear which allows me to reduce tire pressure which is great! I use an oval chainring which really works, felt a bit weird at first but it’s great.

I really think the brakes are just as special as the frame, for me personally anyway. I bought them in Germany before moving to Canada in 2018 to go to high school. And they’ve been on every bike since.

What is unique about your setup?

I really like my brake levers as far back as possible so I can actually use my fingertips and not wrap my finger around the lever. I feel like I have a little more control and I don’t have as much cramping in my hands. The Rev grips are also amazing. Apart from the “suspension”, they feel really solid and have never failed me.

What improvements or modifications do you have planned for the bike?

Definitely a new rear wheel, DT Swiss 511 rims with Onyx hubs would be amazing. I can’t wait to try one of these Switchgrades as well. And a Vorsprung Secus for the 38s. Also a few more silver accents would be perfect.

Do you have any mountain biking holidays or camping trips planned with the Atherton this season?

Yeah absolutely. I really hope. Hoping to take a trip to BC and go to Silver Star, Kamloops Bike Ranch, Big White. Maybe even get to Fernie! I also hope to finally do some races this season. EWS is coming back to Whistler so I’m up for that!

Thanks for sharing the enthusiasm for your sweet ride, Mo!

Wiley C. Thompson