Walking the hall at this year’s Interbike trade show in Las Vegas, something I’d never seen before stopped me in my tracks — a pedal-powered “racing quad” from Portland-based Contes Engineering. The four-wheel Athos was “inspired by BMX, freestyle, downhill and motocross,” the company touts, and it is said to marry the “intense stability” and handling characteristics of a four-wheel vehicle with the flexibility of a bike. In a nutshell? It was designed for pure fun!
This odd human-powered vehicle uses more than 8 inches of travel spread between its four-wheel setup. Both rear wheels receive power from a differential for traction, and disc brakes all around guarantee a quick stop.
Company literature encourages the “defiance of gravity” and states that the Athos “enjoys drifting, rock hopping and passing.” Need more attention at the local dirt jumps? We suggest rolling up on one of these suckers.
Beginning in spring of 2012, the Athos will be for sale in BMX, downhill, or cross-country models. Weight of the four-wheel bikes ranges from 48 to 56 pounds. The BMX model will be single-speed; the other two will offer gearing choices.
Pricing to be announced in November. As a nice bonus, all Athos bikes are designed, tested and produced in the USA.
Though certainly not as versatile as your standard mountain bike, I’d be fibbing if I told you I didn’t want to hoist a leg over this thing and throw down at the nearest pump track. Sign me up to ride!