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


May 2, 2012

The Athos mixes a bicycle and a quad

The Athos mixes a bicycle and a quad

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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

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work. All articles by C.C. Weiss

How's that thing geared? Looks like a LOT of weight to be peddling for an extended period of time.

John Grimes

Air suspension on a bike? sounds like fun!


A "bike" that you can't ride on most mountain biking trails as they are single track. A "bike" that would take up an entire rack if you could find a spot to lock it up. Just what is this thing really for? I agree with Chris (article author) that it is probably best and almost exclusively suited for tracks and parks.


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/


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!


Get a horse!

Jon A.

@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.

Joe F

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.


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.


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.


The only good thing is its not electric... LOL

That said I don't really see the benefit of this over a 2 wheeled mountain bike.

It might be really fun, but so is a MT Bike.. This is more complex, more expensive and you couldn't ride it on most single tracks.

I would LOVE to see this in a gas version, maybe a large 2 stroke lawnmower motor, would also be nice if it had a spot to put a basket or maybe even a dog.. How cool would that be.

One nice thing is if you stop you won't fall over.. I would definitely have to change the seat

Michael Mantion

I like the design, It's back to basic design.


Definitely NOT efficient or practical, but looks like a GREAT novelty toy for someone w a TON of $$$ to blow! Maybe an electric motor assist to help "pedal" the extra 50 lbs around and help you from a heart attack trying to battle the shock bob!

John Grimes

I know in viginia this would be illegal due to having 4 wheels. If it had 3 wheels though (Simplifying the rear) it would be acceptable

Bryant Drake

Can't see a use but it is a clean build.

The Hoff

First off Quads with motors suck. Why in the world you spend the hundreds of hours designing and building a peddled quad. Retarded.

Eric Eisinger
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