Four years ago we launched Airdrop Bikes with an edit we made with some mates in the local woods. A lot has changed since then but Clayspades still holds up...
At the time, almost everyone involved was a bit of an unknown. The Airdrop website had only just launched and we were still waiting for production stock; we used prototypes to film. I was just Ed working out of my garage. Gee Milner (filmer) and Sam Taylor (photographer) were just starting out on what have become successful careers in the industry. Max, James and Rob were local riders and builders who've all gone on to greater things - more on that below.
When we watched the video back, it's still just as sick as ever. And we figured most of Airdrop's current followers probably haven't seen it. If that's you, give it a watch. If you've already seen it, watch it again.... honestly it's worth it.
What Happened Next?
Most of you probably know the Airdrop story by now; we're still a small company and we've stuck to our original values, but we've grown a little and the bikes have just got better and better.
Looking back at the Edit v1 prototype, it still looks pretty sweet. I must have spent a whole day taking this picture in my garage with the windows covered in cardboard! Back then I had time to do stuff like that, but no idea how to do it... Anyhow, it might look sweet but you can also tell its' a little dated; non-boost, no stealth-routing, old-school shock and so on.
And of course we've got a lot more stuff going on with the Fade coming back in stock soon, the Slacker Project in development and a big move to new premises just round the corner. So plenty has changed, but what's great is that after four years, Airdrop is still just about ragging bikes around in the woods.
What About Everyone Else?
What's really cool is that everyone else involved in Clayspades has gone on to do really well for themselves. I guess it just goes to show that talent and hard work do pay off. All we did was supply the bikes (and carry a load of kit into the woods); these guys really made Clayspades happen.
Gee Milner Has made a name for himself as an mtb and adventure film maker, and is the mastermind behind the viral hit Dream Build series on Youtube.
Sam Taylor Is the main man behind the creative work for Calibre Bikes and produces adventure photography for the likes of OEX Outdoor and Lowe Alpine. Check out his portfolio website here.
The Clayspades crew consisted of Rob Southern (left), James Pettit (middle) and Max Nerurkar (right).
Max Nerurkar: Better known as @3dumb, Max has gone on to establish himself as one of the most creative young riders out there. He now rides for Cannondale & Fabric. His clothing lines are available through Banana Industries and his artwork is up on his own site at www.3dumbdesigns.com.
James Pettit Is now the owner and operator of Wharncliffe Trail Works, his own trail building outfit. He's built Peaty's own compound and more recently some insane lines at Chiba Bike Farm in Portugal.
Rob Southern Is still shredding Wharncliffe as hard as ever, except now he's four years older and faster, which is a scary thought. He's also a seriously talented skater.
Should We Make Another?
Given that everyone has gone their separate ways, and everyones got their own projects on now, we probably won't be able to 'get the band back together'. And sadly, most of these trails no longer exist. But watching Clayspades again has got me round to thinking - maybe we should do another video project. It's hard work for sure but it's also a good laugh, and an excuse to get out in the woods. We'll see what we can do...
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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