November 24, 2020 7 min read

We give you the lowdown on the new Edit v4; what we've changed, why and how we made it all happen.

We love the Edit v3 (and so do plenty of you) but we can't stand still for too long; Mountain Biking is too progressive for that. The new Edit v4 represents an evolution of the Edit. The same tried and trusted kinematics and layout with a handful of carefully considered updates to ensure the Edit remains the best it can be. 

This wasn't a ground-up redesign in the way the v3 was. As a small, homegrown bike brand producing everything in small batches, we can bring updates in as and when we choose or when we feel that we can change things up for the better. We don't have to worry about model-years or competitive advantage; for us it's purely about making the best bikes we possibly can.

Airdrop Edit v4 

So What's New?

We'll deep-dive into each point below but the short version is:

  • A new one-piece CNC machined rocker
  • Increased clearance for the latest generation of shocks
  • An externally butted seat-tube
  • New geometry aimed at refining the sizing
  • Lighter alloy pivot hardware throughout

In addition to the technical changes to the Edit v4 frame, we've also made a bunch of improvements to the range, the specs on the Edit v4 bikes and the way we're doing custom build options:

 

Geometry and Sizing

It's been almost two years since we launched the Edit v3 and in that time we've learned a lot both from our own day-to-day riding and from customer feedback. Whilst we're not afraid to go our own way when we need to, we're also ready to listen and learn, and to use that to improve.

One of the key trends was for customers to choose to upsize, particularly in the overlap between Medium and Large. It's not so much a question of the dimensions of either bike and more a question of where we chose to split those two groups, so we were keen for the Edit v4 Medium and Large to be sized more definitively and make that choice easier for customers.

Airdrop Edit v4 Frame

We also listened to a number of customers whose concern was around the 'Effective Top-tube' dimension which when published originally gave the impression that the bikes were shorter than they are. In truth that was driven by the (for the time) extremely steep seat-angle and was not a reflection on the reach of each bike at all. Nevertheless, it was clear that there was a preference for bikes to be a little longer and so we have added 5mm to Small, 10mm to Medium, 5mm to Large and 5mm to X-Large. As a result the Edit v4 is longer across the board and the sizing is more evenly distributed. You should now be able to follow our sizing advice with more confidence.

We also chose to drop the seat-tube lengths to get absolutely maximum standover clearance on all sizes. With the advent of longer drop seat posts there's really no longer a need for tall bikes - even for tall riders.

The key performance elements of the Edit's geometry remain the same. We love the way the Edit rides so if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Edit v4 Geometry
Airdrop Edit v4 Geometry Chart
Size S M L XL
A Reach 430 460 480 505
B Seat Tube 400 425 450 480
C Head Tube 115 120 125 130
D Stack 598.1 602.6 607.1 611.6
E Wheelbase 1187 1219.1 1241.3 1268.4
F Head Angle 64.5°
G Seat Angle 74.5°
Seat Angle at 600mm 78.7°
Seat Angle at 700mm 78.1°
Seat Angle at 800mm 77.7°
H Chainstay 435
I Bottom Bracket Drop -12
J Fork Length 552
K Fork Offset 37
Edit v4 Frame Spec
Frame Airdrop Edit v4
Material 6061 T-6 Alloy
Travel 160mm front / 155mm rear
Wheel Size 27.5"
Bottle Cage Mount Yes
Front Mech Mount No
Rear Shock Size 205x60mm Metric
Rear Shock Mount Trunnion upper / M8x25mm lower
Bottom Bracket 73mm BSA30 threaded
Chain Guide Mount ISCG05
Headset Top 1 1/8" / 44mm inset (ZS44)
Headset Bottom 1 1/2" / 56mm inset (ZS56)
Seatpost Diameter 30.9mm
Seat Clamp Diameter 35mm
Rear Axle Boost 148x12mm Maxle compatible
Rear Brake Mount Post
Minimum Rotor Size 180mm
Maximum Rotor Size 203mm
Maximum Tyre Size 27.5" x 2.6"
Cable Routing External with Stealth Dropper
Edit v4 Sizing
S 155cm - 167cm (5'2" - 5'6")                  
M       165cm - 178cm (5'5" - 5'10")            
L             175cm - 188cm (5'9" - 6'2")      
XL                   185cm - 198cm (6'1" - 6'6")

 

One Piece Rocker

The new rocker design is CNC machined from one solid block of 6061 billet. Going from two separate rocker plates to the new one-piece design increases stiffness in this area and reduces the amount of lateral force the shock gets exposed to. The result is improved suspension performance, better bearing life and a more reactive ride. It also looks badass.

Airdrop Edit v4 - New Rocker

Developing the one-piece rocker was a major project in its own right. We started by working on a series of variations to the existing two-piece design, using different material thicknesses, different pocketing and three or four different kinds of alloy. It was all about tuning the strength and stiffness characteristics and balancing those against weight. It became apparent quite quickly that to make significant gains we would also need to redesign the rocker pivot housing and seat tube, resulting in a much heavier solution.

Designing the one-piece rocker

At that point we concluded that a one-piece design would be better suited to the application. We had originally steered away from that idea because we were concerned about cost; machining a piece of this size and complexity takes time. Big brands could approach this problem by forging two separate pieces and welding them together but producing frames in small batches as we do means CNC is the better option. Ultimately we concluded that we wanted to improve performance and so we'd have to suck up the extra cost.

Prototype one-piece rockers

We worked through a series of iterations to the one-piece design before we arrived at the stiffness, strength and weight characteristics we were happy with. The result you see in the finished Edit v4 gives us those lateral stiffness gains with the same seat-tube layout and pivot housing as before, without needing to compromise on weight.

 

Increased Shock Clearance

As with any vertically-mounted shock layout, the clearance between piggy-back shocks and the down-tube is a challenge. When we were developing the Edit v3 kinematics (the first stage of the frame design) trunnion mounted shocks were yet to be announced and the only drawings available were from Rockshox and Fox. Since then, more manufacturers have joined the party and some of their designs are a bit more space-hungry than others. With that in mind we've altered the down-tube bend profile on the v4 to create more space in the front triangle, enough to clear the latest generation of shocks. That means more shock options for Edit v4 riders, especially if you're taking the frame only option.

Plenty of shock clearance

 

Externally Butted Seat Tube

Just a small change and one that's very hard to see unless you're looking for it. The Edit v4 now has an externally butted seat tube which means it tapers out from 35mm at the seat clamp to 36mm at the widest point. That's a 2.5mm wall thickness in an area with a lot of welding, providing even more fatigue resistance and extra reassurance for riders.

 

Alloy Pivot Hardware

With the exception of the lower shock mount, all pivot hardware for the Edit v4 is now alloy; that's all-new bolts, axles and spacers. We've put a lot of rider testing time in to ensure that the alloy hardware will stand up to the rigours of real world riding. The new hardware is a lot lighter and more than offsets the slight increase in weight from the one-piece rocker.

Edit v4 Pivot Hardware

 

New Edit v4 Build Kits

As ever the Edit v4 will be available as a Frame Only option for anyone wanting to build their own bike ground-up, plus there's a frame with Rockshox Super Deluxe Air and of course a Rockshox Super Deluxe Coil option. The real icing on the cake is the top-of-the-range EXT Storia Lok v3. But for those of you looking to have a full bike built to order, the new range has something for everyone:

 

Hand Built Wheels

When you can't buy the wheels that tick all the right boxes, what do you do? Build them yourself!

Wheel Building done in-house

Wheels are hands-down the trickiest item to get right on a bike. The WTB Proterra wheelset we fit on the Luxe and Deluxe bikes are the result of a years-long quest to get a wheelset that's just right for a hard-hitting bike that's also conscious of price. And before we committed, we tested them. A lot. But when it comes to the Works bike, we needed something extra.

To our minds there are very few pre-built wheelsets that really hit the mark in terms of performance, and even fewer (actually, none) that are available at the right price. So we decided to look at it the other way round and ask what would our ideal wheelset be, if we could have it? A well-sealed and reliable hub with spare parts readily available, something capable of withstanding a grimy British winter. A tough 30mm rim that can stand up to being bounced of gritstone baby-heads all day long. Well built and ideally hand-finished to ensure a long-lasting build.

Hand Built Wheels

All things considered the right parts and the means to do it became obvious. Hope Pro 4 hubs, DT Swiss EX511 rims, Wheelsmith spokes, brass nipples and prep. All built in-house by ourselves in Sheffield.

 

 

Ed Brazier
Ed Brazier

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.


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