Atomic Laboratories or "Atomlab" was founded by Mike Flaherty in November of 1996. Mike is a former BMX pro who has worked as a designer in the bicycle industry for years. He raced from 1979•1985 and was the number 2 ABA East Coast pro behind Tim Judge in '85. Back then dirt jumping was just something you did to have fun when you weren't racing. Mike was one of the few pros who put more energy into dirt jumping and riding quarter pipes I than racing.
Atomlab look off quickly with the success of the Flatboy pedal. Atomlab was originally launched as a BMX only line, but within months of the first products being released most of the top names in downhilling were using Flat boy's. Everyone from John Tomac. Myles Rockwell, Missy Giove, Dave Cullinan, Brian Lopes and Shawn Palmer had begun using the Flatboy pedals from then on Atomlab was as much an MTB company as a BMX company,
Here's Atomlab's mission statement from 1996 - " I started this company for one reason • to make the best products ever made. These aren’t generic parts or parts that are supposed to be better because they're lighter. These are parts for people who actually ride; parts that work on hard-core bikes and are built to survive months of big hits at the trails and on the track, not just 40 seconds of racing. Everything we make is designed specifically for pro level riding and I'm not just talking about racing or doing tricks. I'm ta liking about getting up every morning with one thing on your mind • riding. These are the parts I always wanted. Pads for people who love to ride. Give them a try. I think you'll see what I mean. ” - Mike Flaherty
It's a little simplistic, but it communicates the purpose that still drives the company. Every effort is made to create products that have a real benefit to the hard-core rider. This is pushed even further with the 'tough as hell' slogan which brought forth the 'shedevil'. Everything breaks. But Atomlab's goal is to create products that won't catastrophically fail when they do.
The companies commitment to core riders has been driven by involvement and sponsorship of lop pros and up and comers. Most of the top pros we've been associated with over the years have come to us • not for a paycheck, but for the product’s •riders like Shawn Palmer, Darren Barredoth. Kyle Strait, Marvin Loetterle, Chris Doyle, and Fabian Barrel.
The commitment to core riders has also driven our efforts to create events for riders. Rather than spectators. From our original jump jam back in '02 to the Iatest Atomlab Supersession, our focus has been on creating events that riders really want to be a part of and that the media can enjoy.
Atomlab is now entering its 16th year and is still hard at work creating products for people who love to ride.