Reader Bike Check: Number 49 of The First 50 Atherton Bikes

One of our readers recently reached out to share the story of his 150mm Atherton bike that was one of the first 50 frames the family made for customers. Moritz Raschbichler (Mo) is a recent high school grad living in Whistler BC, and he purchased the Atherton all-mountain frame for its smart DW six-bar suspension platform and ever-replaceable 3D-printed parts. Mo is about to start an engineering program in Victoria, and has a keen appreciation for the unique design elements of the Atherton triangles. We recently chatted with him to collect all of the details about his beautiful build.

Where do you ride 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 area. I ride mostly tech trails. Whistler trails are quite unique in a way that they are more rocky, more rooty, and more rough than trails that I have ridden anywhere else. I also ride bike park quite a bit. Probably around 50 days every season, and again I prefer the tech trails but for some reason you always end up on A Line and Dirt Merchant anyways.

How does this bike suit those trails? 

I only own one bike, so I had to get a bike that does it all. I know it’s kind of cliché but thats the way it is. The bike has 150mm of rear travel. Not the most, but I put on an EXT coil shock to get the most out of it and it really feels more like a 170 bike, purely 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 repeated bigger impacts it doesn’t just stay low in its travel. I can only really compare it to the Trek Slash that I rode previously, and the Atherton is so much better. [There is] no noticeable pedal bob and yet very good traction and feedback from the trails. So the bike suits the trails I ride perfectly. It feels super balanced and the harder I push it the more it wants to be pushed and move forward. 

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

Really quite easy. Tom at Atherton Bikes was amazing to work with. He sorted me out quickly and whatever question I had he was able to answer. At the time I got in contact with them I didn’t really intend to buy one of their bikes, it was more to find out more about the prices and process. But the price at the time wasn’t too bad and then I cracked my Trek Slash frame and Tom sorted me out quickly to get me a new frame on the way. Now they have a web calculator for the sizing and all, but when I ordered it was all back and fourth through email which at times made it quite tricky with time difference and all. So once you have submitted your body measurements they will give you a couple sizes to choose from that work best according to their calculator. Or you can opt for custom geometry, and they will work together with you to get exactly the geo and ride feel you’re looking for. 

Is the geometry customized to you? If so, how is the customization configured? Riding 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, and also your riding preferences and setup preferences. 

  • Wheelbase: 1251mm
  • Reach: 485mm
  • Effective Top Tube: 640mm
  • Seat Tube Length: 451mm 
  • Chainstay Length: 443mm
  • Stack Height: 619mm 
  • Head Tube Length: 110mm
  • Head Tube Angle: 65°
  • Effective Seat Tube Angle: 77°

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

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

So we’ve got the EXT Era shock, and I’m pretty stoked on that one. Feels amazing and the hydraulic bottom out is amazing for the bike park. A Fox 38 up front, burlier for the rough stuff and a bit more subtle off the top. Full SRAM GX shifting, so nothing special here. You occasionally break a derailleur so it’s cheaper to replace GX than XO. But it also works really really well. Magura MT1893 brakes. They’re an anniversary edition of their MT7 Pro. Polished silver calipers look amazing! 223mm rotor up front and 203 in the rear. Clearance won’t allow for a 223 rear unfortunately. And I always run Trickstuff brake pads. They’re incredible and cost a fraction of the price of stock Magura ones. OneUp dropper. Reliable. Not much else to say. It works flawlessly. DT Swiss front wheel laced to a silver Hope Pro4 hub. 

My previous bike, a Trek Slash RSL custom build had Spank wheels on it and when I crashed I cracked the frame, bent the Fox 36, and ripped apart the front wheel. So for the new build I went with a DT Swiss EX511 front. A bit wider than the 471. In the rear I’m still rocking my Spank wheel. Not even sure what model it is. It was dirt cheap but it’s been surprisingly good. Still straight as an arrow and the hub has been OK as well. 

I’m always on Continental tires, and I really love the Baron. So I run a Baron up front and Der Kaiser in the rear most of the year unless the weather is truly crappy then I’ll go with a Baron front and rear. I also run CushCore Pro front and rear that allow me to run lower tire pressures which is great! I run an oval chainring which does really work, felt a bit weird at first but it’s great. 

I definitely think the brakes are just as special as the frame, for me personally anyways. I bought them in Germany before I moved to Canada in 2018 to attend high school. And they have been on every bike since. 

What’s unique about your setup? 

I really like my brake levers as far out as possible so I can actually use my finger tips and don’t curl my finger around the lever. It feels like I can get a bit more control and I don’t cramp up my hands as much. Also Rev Grips are amazing. Apart from the “suspension” they feel really solid and have never failed me. 

What upgrades or changes do you have planned for the bike?

Definitely a new rear wheel, DT Swiss 511 rims with some Onyx hubs would be amazing. Also looking forward to trying one of those Switchgrades. And a Vorsprung Secus for the 38s. Also some more silver accents would be great. 

Do you have any MTB vacations or camping trips planned with the Atherton this season? 

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

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