Atelier Medium: Colorful All Terrain for the People
Atelier Medium is a colorful component and all terrain bike brand hailing from Paris, France. During our interview with co-founder Julien, we discussed the brand's emphasis on versatility, expression, color, and how all terrain bikes are becoming the new 'fixed gear' for adventurous riders. Let's go.
I was immediately drawn to the colorful components from Atelier Medium. Learning that they were from Paris only increased my intrigue. I am yet to come across any other All-Terrain focused bike companies from Paris, but feel free to leave a comment if I am missing someone obvious. What impressed me, though, was the company's willingness to embrace color and expression. It seems like the traditional black-on-black gravel aesthetic is prevalent in cycling, but I love companies that aren't afraid to be bold. For me, cycling isn't just about fitness and performance – it's about having fun and exploring the world around me. Atelier Medium made me question my own choices when it comes to bike setup. Why stick to dark colors when my bike could be a form of expression? It's something I've never really considered before.
With the release of their first ATB, it's clear that Atelier Medium has a bigger vision in mind. Atelier Medium's latest creation has been designed to offer versatility and easy maintenance for all riders, setting it apart from big manufacturers who prioritize locking consumers into expensive formats with non-compatible components. We spoke with co-founder Julien about versatility, their use of color, and grinding dirt in France.
How did Medium enter the Universe?
Hey Barry, thanks for letting us chat about our brand and what we're all about. Medium officially became a brand in 2020, smack dab in the middle of the Covid craziness. My buddy Michael and I had a shed where we stored a bunch of bikes that we found on the street and that were left over from Cyclope Bikes (a sweet shop Michael started in 2008). After our friends started asking us for bikes, we figured we might as well start our brand and put out some sweet gear of our own. And that's how Medium was born.
What kind of company is Medium?
Medium ain't your regular old bike company. We don't care about your fancy Strava scores, your titanium parts, or if you spent a fortune on a bike just to grab croissants on a Sunday morning. Medium is part of something bigger—a movement that is for everyday people and street culture. Similar to fixed gear, which started on the track and was later adopted by bike messengers and is now used by anyone and everyone.
Riding a bike should be all about fun and freedom taking you wherever you want to go. That's why we're about offering parts to help you pimp out that old mountain bike and give it a second life.
Medium is the perfect middle ground. We are a brand made for the average Joe or Jane out there. We want to see more everyday people pushing past their limits and getting out of their comfort zones. We think the key to making that happen is by getting on a bike that's just right for you, no matter your age, and learning how to build it up, fix it, and upgrade it.
Then the real adventure begins! Maybe it's a chill weekend trip, some bikepacking, or just cruising around 50 km from home. Or hey, maybe you're feeling wild and wanna cross a whole dang continent. The point is, the sky's the limit, and we wanna help you get there.
How does being from Paris affect Medium as a brand?
Paris is an amazing city - it's right at the center of all these different cultures, and it's got a unique vibe that you can't find anywhere else. When we started Medium, we knew we wanted to take advantage of being in this hub of European activity. We make a point of working with local manufacturers whenever possible, which helps us keep our prices down and accessible to everyone.
Some of our parts are made right here in France, as well as in Poland and the UK. But when it came to making frames, we had to cast our net a bit wider. We ended up reaching out to factories in Taiwan for a couple of reasons. First, we needed a manufacturer that could handle some serious production volumes. Secondly, we wanted a partner with a ton of experience in frame-building, and the factories in Taiwan fit the bill. We're proud to work with them, and we think our frames are a testament to their expertise.
We love the color of your products...
We think that life should be lived in color, not just limited to the drab world of black and white. And that's not just limited to how you express yourself, but it's also about how you approach the world around you. We want to help people break free from the monotony of sameness and embrace the full spectrum of life's experiences.
Most factories anodize a few basic colors in large quantities, and that means small brands like ours don't get a lot of options to play with. But we're not the type to just sit back and accept the status quo! We've been hard at work trying to come up with a solution, and we're stoked to say that we've got something in the works that should be dropping soon. It's gonna let us offer a whole bunch of new colorways that you're not gonna find anywhere else.
Can you tell us about your new ATB?
We wanted to create an incredibly versatile bike, so that anyone could easily assemble and maintain it, regardless of their level of knowledge. We wanted to make sure that the bike was also built to last so that it could be easily repaired in the middle of nowhere, if necessary. To achieve this, we had to make some difficult decisions, such as figuring out whether we wanted to use QR or Thru Axle for our fork/dropouts. This was a challenging process, and we still haven't fully decided which option is best for our bike.
We understand the importance of creating a bike that can handle any adventure or challenge, and we're constantly exploring new ways to make our bikes even more versatile and user-friendly. We believe that a great bike should be accessible to everyone, regardless of their skill level or experience, and that's why we're so passionate about creating bikes that are easy to assemble, maintain, and repair.
What are the best off-road routes in France?
If you're around Paris, then definitely check out Vallée de Chevreuse. This valley, located south of Paris, is a popular spot for mountain biking. The trails range from easy to difficult and wind through scenic countryside. Also the Forêt de Fontainebleau is easily accessible by train (two trains stop there on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays. The stop is not listed on the line map but is a popular place for mountain biking.
However if you have more time and can go a bit further from Paris stop by Les Gorges du Verdon. This canyon in the south of France has a variety of trails that offer views of the turquoise waters of the Verdon River. And of course there is the Transpyrénéenne. This legendary route (and race) runs the entire length of the Pyrénées Mountains, from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic. It's a challenging and long-distance ride, taking around two weeks to complete.
What's in the future for Medium?
We are always thinking about how we can best help our customers achieve their cycling goals. Our goal is to expand our product line and offer more customizable and affordable bike options, so you can create a ride that truly fits your needs and style. We also want to continue building our brand and connecting with cycling communities and events, so you can feel like a part of something bigger than just a bike purchase. But above all, we believe in promoting a unique cycling culture that prioritizes adventure, sustainability, and self-sufficiency. We want you to be the hero of your own adventure story, whether you're commuting to work or exploring local trails. So, join us on this journey and start your own adventure with Medium.