Is this the world's most extreme BMX?
When we were a lad, the most extreme BMX in the world was the crimson-spoked Raleigh Burner that fat Dave from up the road used to roll about on. Sadly it died in a tragic incident involving a steep downhill slope, a gammy brake cable, a small wall, a sudden stop and a 360-degree head-first flip.
That wouldn't have happened had Dave been riding an Athos - the world's most extreme BMX, probably. The innovative four-wheeled pushbike "marries the intense stability and handling characteristics of a quad with the flexibility of a bicycle," according to its maker, Contes Engineering.
It also, apparently, "encourages defiance of gravity," although we're pretty certain it can't fly. Only Supergran's bike could do that.
It does have a whopping eight inches of suspension travel, however, with a four-wheel independent setup that allows it to traverse the sort of terrain a regular bike simply could not.
The hand-built bike comes in three versions: a Freestyle, with a simple single-speed setup and smaller frame; the bigger, beefier Trail; and an all-singing, all-dancing Cross Country, built to withstand all kinds of off-road nonsense. The latter pair have 11 gears.
Options include rapper-spec 29-inch wheels, carbon fibre fenders and LED lights.
It should have gone on sale by now - Californian company Contes has been hawking the Athos around bike shows for months, and had consistently promised an April 2012 release. However, the company is yet to announce prices and has ostensibly delayed it. We expect an announcement imminently, though.
Get in touch with the company if you're interested in importing one.