Atherton Bikes was launched in January by the Atherton siblings, Gee, Rachel and Dan and co-founded by Piers Linney of Dragons’ Den fame. The Atherton family are World Championship-winning mountain bikers who will race their own downhill mountain bikes during competitions as well as sell a range of bikes all over the world. Also partnering in the project is Dave Weagle, the renowned suspension designer, along with Ed Haythornthwaite and other members of the former Robot Bike Company.
The family is introducing a new bike that will be manufactured from carbon fibre tubing and lugs produced on a Renishaw multi-laser high productivity RenAM 500Q metal additive manufacturing (AM) system.
Initial production will be at Renishaw’s Additive Manufacturing Solutions Centre located in Staffordshire, UK, followed by a transition towards in-house manufacture by Atherton Bikes.
Renishaw had previously worked with the Robot Bike Company by manufacturing the titanium lugs for its R160 bike frame. The lugs for Atherton Bikes are the first bike components to be built on the four-laser RenAM 500Q system, which enables increased productivity, without compromising on quality.
“Manufacturing the lugs on the RenAM 500Q enables rapid production time,” says Jono Munday, Additive Manufacturing Applications Manager at Renishaw. “This means that the bike frame development can be turned around quickly and customized to the exact requirements of the rider, whether that is the Atherton Racing team on the World Cup circuit or an individual retail customer. Whereas traditionally a lot of tooling is required, additive manufacturing is an entirely digital process, meaning that the lugs can be modified in CAD and reproduced more efficiently.”
During the development of the new Atherton Bikes, Renishaw has been giving feedback and modifying the lugs so that they can be built accurately and successfully. The AM build process, machining, and post processing are managed by Renishaw at its Solutions Centre.