January 10, 2019
Neil dropped in a few weeks ago and took the Bitmap Pro demo bike out for a spin in the Peak. When he came back he was so buzzing we got into a full custom build process and what came out the other end is a stunning Bitmap with colour coded purple anodised parts from both Hope and Burgtec. If you're old enough to remember the mid 1990s a bike like this would have blown minds back then, but with crazy geometry from the distant future of 2019...
Neil's bike is built around a Medium Bitmap frame which has a reach of 440mm which is long but not extreme, a head angle of 65 degrees and a super low standover height from the 435mm seat tube. With a chain stay length of 420mm the Bitmap's geometry is a recipe for rowdiness.
There's something about our Raw frame finish that goes well with anodised alloy components. Each frame is brushed by hand and then has a clearcoat applied so it's bright and glossy and won't dull over time, but has a kind of depth to it and every one is a bit different.
Pretty much all our stock bike builds run Hope wheels so we offer customers the choice of 6 hub colours - black, silver, blue, orange, red or purple. That colour choice has been the starting point for many a custom build when people realise they can build a unique bike with the clever application of a few parts here and there.
If you're going for purple hubs, it'd be rude not to go for a few extra purple bits wouldn't it. Go big or go home as they say. And in the context of a full custom bike build, adding in a Hope seat clamp and headset doesn't move the price as much as you might imagine.
It's true that we don't 'use' seat clamps as much as we used to now that we have dropper posts, so we typically fit the bolt-type. But they still look sweet and you have to appreciate the workmanship that Hope put into everything they do.
We make no secret about how much we rate Burgtec stuff. British designed and (in most cases) made, a cool brand, great to work with and the quality is as good as anything else out there. Now you can get Burgtec in a sick range of anodised colours which match up well with Hope so the possibilities for combos are endless. Check out Neil's Burgtec Mk2 Enduro stem paired up with a Hope headset, top cap and purple and top-cap bolt. So good.
We fitted Hope's Space Doctor kit but since we put Neil's quote together, Burgtec have also released their own headset spacers so there are even more options. Good move to go for black on the spacers and top cap but the bolt just finishes things off perfectly. You don't get this level of attention to detail if you just buy some bike off the shelf.
The drivetrain we chose is SRAM GX Eagle 1x12 and on the demo bike it's fitted with a 32 tooth chainring. Plenty of grunt for those epic Peak District climbs. But Neil felt that his flatter local trails called for a slightly higher ratio so we went for a 34 tooth Burgtec ring.
On a build like this, there's only one pedal. OK, other good pedals are available but if you ask us for a recommendation, this is it. The Mk4 Penthouse Flat from Burgtec. And if you buy them with a bike, we do them for £80 (normally £100) so you'd struggle to get a better deal than that.
Obviously Hope brakes came into the conversation but Neil really got on with the Guides on the demo bike we lent him. He just wanted something with a bit more adjustability, so we went with the Guide RSC in silver. Maybe it was an opportunity to get that bit more purple on the bike but actually we think this was really well judged and the results speak for themselves:
The silver Guides look sick in their own right but when paired up with a Raw Bitmap frame they look even better.
The starting point for Neil's bike was the Bitmap Pro.
|Frame:||Airdrop Bitmap in Medium|
|Colour:||Raw with purple decals|
|Forks:||Rockshox Pike RC Boost 140mm with stealth decals|
|Headset:||Hope ZS44/56 in purple|
|Stem:||Burgtec Mk2 Enduro 35mm reach / 35mm clamp in purple|
|Handlebars:||Burgtec Ridewide 35mm clamp, 30mm rise, 800mm wide|
|Grips:||Burgtec Bartender in black|
|Seatpost:||Rockshox Reverb Stealth 170mm, 30.9mm with 1x remote|
|Seatclamp:||Hope Bolt Type 34.9mm purple|
|Saddle:||Burgtec The Cloud|
|Brakes:||SRAM Guide RSC in silver|
|Rotors:||SRAM Centerline 180mm front and rear|
|Wheels:||Hopetech Pro 4 Enduro with purple hubs|
|Tyres:||WTB Convict 27.5x2.5" front and Vigilante 27.5x2.4" rear|
|Rear Derailleur:||SRAM GX Eagle 1x12|
|Cassette:||SRAM GX Eagle XG-1295 10-50t|
|Shifter:||SRAM GX Eagle Trigger with Matchmaker clamp|
|Cranks:||Truvativ Descendant alloy 170mm|
|Chainring:||Burgtec Narrow/Wide 34t in black|
|Pedals:||Burgtec Mk4 Penthouse Flats in purple|
|Chain:||SRAM GX Eagle|
|Bottom Bracket:||SRAM DUB|
|Weight:||29lb ish (we forgot to weigh it)|
Drooling over your keyboard? Probably best if you drop us a line then. We can do you a custom bike just like this, or totally different. Every one is unique and built to order in our workshop. If you're after a jumpy bike you can build one around a Fade, if you're a hardcore hardtail type then look at the Bitmap or if you want something bouncy, it's the Edit. And remember - you don't have to have a full bike. We can sell you as much or as little as you need, so if you've got some nice bits on your current bike, no problem.
Ed is the owner of Airdrop Bikes. A former web and graphic designer, he sacked off his job one day and decided to start up a bike brand.
Comments will be approved before showing up.
We're always working on stuff behind the scenes, and we'd like to share some of those stories with you. Some things work out, some things don't - but it's always interesting.
Sign up to get the inside line.