The cool thing about custom bicycle builds is that every one of them is different. We all have an idea, a vision or an influence to plant in the build that makes it uniquely ours. Nothing shouts unique more this latest build from Bellé Cycles and The Service Course. It may look like an extra from a Mad Max movie, but it was designed specifically for the Atlas Mountain Race.
A one-of-a-kind beast, hungry for scratches and scars.Enrico “Kico” Bellé
A.T.E.R. / All Terrain Exploration Rig
We built this fully custom Belle Cycles with the demands of the Atlas Mountain Race in mind. It’s a steel frame with carbon Integrated Seat Post (and custom seat-post topper by Bastion) built on 29″ wheels. The rigid ENVE.with clearance for mountain bike tyres and a rigid ENVE MTB fork, turning on a CeramicSpeed headset.
The Shimano GRX Di2 groupset is complimented with Ingrid cranks, a 40 tooth chainring and 10/46 cassette. The drivetrain is complete with CeramicSpeed titanium jockey wheels and coated bottom bracket. The wheels are ENVE M630 rims laced to a Son dynamo front hub and DT Swiss 240 rear hub.
Final details include ENVE compact road bars plus clip-on aero bars, King Cage steel bottle cages, Vittoria Terreno Dry 2.25 tyres, Fabric Scoop Flat saddle and Son headlight. The bags are custom made for the bike by Cordel, including frame bag, bar bag, food pouches and saddle bag.
The beaten up, “rat bike” paintwork (and skull head badge) were inspired by “The War Rig” as seen in Mad Max. Expertly created by Barcelona-based painter Kilian Ramirez Caballero.
Ready for the Mountains. Ready for battle!
A few words from Christian Meier, founder of The Service Course, ahead of the inaugural Atlas Mountain Race:
“The A.T.E.R. is something I had been thinking about for a while, and the Atlas Mountain Race was the perfect excuse to go for it. The concept was to build a truly “All Terrain Exploration Rig”, to handle a wide variety of off-road terrain. The project was also inspired by Mad Max and the idea of being chased through the wild, remote desert…
At The Service Course, we are lucky to have an amazing group of partners that we work very closely with, many of whom have helped bring this vision to life. These include CeramicSpeed, Bastion, Ingrid, ENVE and of course our friend Kico, aka Belle Cycles. It’s humbling and inspiring that everyone was so keen to come on board and support this unique project with their trademark enthusiasm and teamwork.
The Atlas Mountain Race will be a special experience and I expect it to be very demanding. Has my preparation been perfect? No... life is busy, and I ain’t pro anymore! But I’m not too bothered, I’m happy to clip in on the day and push myself to the limit.
To me this project epitomises what we do, what custom building is all about. Bringing our incredibly talented partners together to create something unique and exciting in response to a very particular challenge. And making no compromises along the way.”
The Dream Maker
A few words from Enrico “Kico” Bellé, of Belle Cycles:
“As always with Christian, not a lot of words are needed. During a ride we had a chat about the idea, and eventually it became the A.T.E.R. A drop bar 29er, with the objective to participate in the Atlas Mountain Race. We discussed big tyre clearance, and a rigid MTB fork was needed. So we had to draw the fit (riding portion) with the “limits” imposed by the high axel-to-crown length. Christian felt good on the GRAR (Belle Cycles Gravel frame) I had made for him, so I wanted to respect that riding position.
The frame features an ultra-short head tube intended to be used with a -21° stem, and enough front-centre to avoid toe overlap on big tyres. I also had to think about frame bag and bottle space. Then I had to create the “handling” of the bike. I have my own ideas that I try and adapt to the rider. Especially if I have the chance to listen to their preferences and experiences. When I ride or meet with Christian, I naturally keep my ears open.
On this bike, I thought about the natural stability added by the big wheels, so went for a lower than average trail valor. In order to keep the bike alive, even when the front is loaded. I also drew a higher than average BB, as I wanted no issues with pedal strike. I was thinking about racing a multi-day, multi-terrain event, maybe at night, maybe very tired… so I kept the real triangle length balanced for proper weight distribution and big tyre clearance.
With any project where I have a good amount of freedom, I took some “risks” with the geometry. Ah, and it is my first Carbon ISP frame, the very first. I did a lot of research about the process. I knew the “theory” perfectly, so we both agreed: let’s do it! It will be a proper test! We have an awesome carbon Seat Tube made by ENVE, with an OD that could add compliance to the bike and make it lighter, paired to an amazing Seat Mast made by Bastion Advanced in 3D printed titanium.
Mad Max meets Morocco
Then the paintwork: Christian wanted a “Mad Max” look. He sent some pictures, and I loved the idea. I had fun doing the research and I also discovered interesting things about that movie. A couple of sketches and a chat with Kilian Ramirez Caballero, who also loves that movie. We had fun creating the look! The bike is not fancy or beautiful, it is a one-of-a- kind beast, hungry for scratches and scars. Christian had the perfect name for it: A.T.E.R. All Terrain Expedition Rig. Good times!”
Last modified: 12th February 2020