This has been our flagship frame since we introduced it in 1999. It's an all-'rounder, originally designed for almost anything you'll need or want to do on a bicycle: loaded touring, trails, commutes, and day rides. The current Atlantis defines our approach to bikes and our ride and fit and aesthetics as well as any bike can.
Compared to earlier Atlantis frames, which seemed unimprovable at the time, the current ones have a dozen or more refinements that make them the best ones yet:
• More tire clearance. You can fit a 2.3
• Longer chainstays and wheelbase, for a better ride.
• a new seat lug and seat stay connection that eliminates all shear stresses at the joint, and has a wonderfully non-classic look that suggests we're thinking.
• an ovalized seat tube bottom, from a round 28.6, to a lateral 31.8 x 25.4 oval (starts as inch-and-an-eigth, gets squished to an inch by inch and a quarter). Since there's no bottom bracket shell for the oval tube, the joint is tig-welded with a fillet braze laid over the upper portion. We do something similar on the Hillibikes, and it's probably the strongest way to make this highly stressed joint.
There's some confusion over the difference between the Atlantis and the Appaloosa. The Atlantis came first, and when it was made in America, we wanted an equally good Taiwan version—that bike became the Appaloosa. Now they're both made in the same shop in Taiwan, and they are not just "as good as ever," but better.
Geometry, Tires that fit, Ride, Handlebar recommendations...
The Atlantis wheelbase is about three to four percent longer. In theory, the Atlantis will feel smoother, less reactive. In practice, any difference you might feel in a side-by-side test is far more likely to come from the bar, stem, and wheels.
Both fit tires up to 2.3 inches fairly comfortably.
The Atlantis top tube is about a centimeter or two longer than the top tube on the closest-sized Appaloosa. That makes it marginally better for swept-back handlebars. I have both bikes, set up similarly, and I can't tell ANY difference.
COLOR is the big diff. The Atlantis comes only in Atlantis greenish blue, a Testors model paint color copying the inside of Russian submarines, a color to keep them calm. In the past we've offered some custom options, but we think the Atlantis color is the way it should be on this bike.
Quirk: The 59cm and 62cm have "rainbow" tubes that add style and structure by triangulation, and a better lifting tube than a standard top tube. The tube begins at 25.4mm, and is squashed to an oval 22.2mmx 28.6mm. Both ends are lusciously fillet-brazed, making these two sizes more expensive for us, but not for you. In the past three years, the 59cm Atlantis has been our top-selling 59 of any model.
Minimum PBH by size: