Bicycles

Athos extreme quad-cycle brings four-wheeled, pedal-powered off-road mayhem

Athos extreme quad-cycle bring...
The Athos mixes a bicycle and a quad
The Athos mixes a bicycle and a quad
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You could do it on a bike, but would it look as fun and awesome?
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You could do it on a bike, but would it look as fun and awesome?
The Athos comes in several varieties including a BMX version
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The Athos comes in several varieties including a BMX version
The Athos mixes a bicycle and a quad
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The Athos mixes a bicycle and a quad
The Athos appeared at last year's Interbike show
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The Athos appeared at last year's Interbike show
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If the funky, Segway-powered Centaur, shown in our recent look at Dual Mode transportation, is still too powerful and heavy for you, it may be time to go Athos. Sort of an unnatural cross between a pedal-powered bicycle and a four-wheeled quad, this burly "extreme quad-cycle" aims to give riders a new option in off-road travel that blends BMX, motocross and downhill biking.

According to its builder Contes Engineering, the Athos combines the stability and handling of a quad with the flexibility of a bicycle. We're not sure how Contes defines "flexibility," but we really don't see a wide-track four-wheel cycle being equal to a bicycle in that department. Unlike the Sway and Veliac three-wheelers, the Athos wheels do not tilt, so the turning radius has to be somewhat large and clunky when compared to a bike. However, we can dig the combination of a quad footprint and lighter, motor-less frame.

Though the Athos appears most fitted to dirt tracks and jump parks, it comes in three different configurations, including a cross country model. All three versions have four-wheel independent suspension, with up to 10-inches (25 cm) of travel, and front and rear disc brakes. The Freestyle/BMX version is single speed, while the Downhill/Trail and Cross Country models have 11 speeds. The BMX model uses standard 20-inch BMX wheels, while the other two models have 26-inch mountain bike wheels. Buyers can also customize their chosen Athos model with options like 29-inch wheels, extra gears, air suspension and LED lighting.

Contes Engineering launched last year and displayed the Athos at the Interbike show in September 2011. It currently doesn't list pricing or availability information on its website and our emails to clarify went unanswered. However, in tracking a bit of its social media footprint, it appears like Contes is quite focused on developing the Athos. Hopefully it will have it market-ready soon.

Source: Contes Engineering

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17 comments
John Grimes
How's that thing geared? Looks like a LOT of weight to be peddling for an extended period of time.
agulesin
Air suspension on a bike? sounds like fun!
PeetEngineer
Here's a video- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOBNMMUwhFE
Looks fun, but it doesn't look like it can carve through turns, but it's not easy to design a 4-wheeler with independant suspension that can carve like a bicycle.
Here's a couple of similar oldies from the gizmag archives: http://www.gizmag.com/go/5541/ http://www.gizmag.com/the-carvx-four-wheeled-carving-recumbent-bike/10077/
StWils
First, Skip the Off Road BS, much past age thirty muscle mass decline makes a toy like this way too tiresome, fun but way too tired fast! So, lose one of the rear wheels, shift to a Slanted Recumbent position, add TWO 250 watt hub motors to 26 inch front wheels, add some light fairings, and you get a useful, fun, Pedal Elec vehicle that can kick ass on the roads in around the town commuting and cruising!
Jon A.
Get a horse!
Joe F
@StWils - Way to design a 100 percent different product for yourself! That sounds even more unnecessary than this Athos, only at least this thing is fun to check out. Just get a trendy e-bike, if that's what you want.
sk8dad
Let's see, can't pump the berms, suspension bob, probably heavier than a downhill bike, two more shocks to blow seals off, can't distribute brake force between left and right wheels, more than 2x more rolling resistance, 2x more wheels to true, a ton more moving parts, can't throw on the roof rack, can wheelie easier but won't earn any respect for it, and bump-induced steering...
On the plus, throw some ATV tires on it and call it a sand quad for towing surf boards, kayaks, and life guard equipment on the beach could be a useful role.
koere
OK so this is not for serious off road bike trails and may get tiresome but think a bit wider. I am sure there are some people with disabilities that would just love one of these to tool around something a but rougher than the local park or footpath. Thier stamina is often remarkable when they can get to do something close to fully abled people.
jerryd
You can't ride this in most states on the road as legally it's a car.
The other detail is why? downhill fast maybe but up hill just isn't going to fly because is excess weight.