December 25, 2021 3 min read 11 Comments

The new samples are here. Are they right? Will the Slacker finally be ready to go into production?

It's two years to the day since we launched The Slacker Project. What we said back then was "small bike brands don't normally do stuff like this. It's bold, risky and it might not work. But if it does, it might just be the best thing we ever do". Two years, three lockdowns, a whole lot of blood, sweat and tears later and here we are with the final samples. But are they ready? And are they good enough for us to finally go all-in on production?

Let's have a look.

Airdrop Slacker

We had planned to have these samples powder coated so they would look like production frames. But even the paint supplier is way behind at the moment and we didn't want to wait. So these are still raw, unfinished alloy.

Airdrop Slacker UDH

As planned, we've redesigned the drive-side dropout to the new SRAM UDH (Universal Derailleur Hanger) standard. It's a significant departure from our removable, integrated dropout & hanger. But there will be significant performance gains from UDH as well as cheaper, more readily available hangers. Note the clean integration of our own CNC axle into the UDH dropout.

Airdrop Slacker Brake Mount

The new non-drive side dropout, chainstay pivot and brake mount. This is a major deign revision from the previous removable dropout and represents a big step forward. It's lighter, cleaner and much more refined. The brake mount is designed for a 200mm rotor. 

Airdrop Slacker Brake Mount Pocketing

You can see the work that's gone into pocketing the inside of the dropouts to get that balance between strength, reliability and weight. See also the much tighter integration between the chainstay and dropout sides of the pivot. 

Airdrop Slacker BB Pivot

We increased the diameter of the main pivot and rocker pivot axles, plus increased the sizes of the bearings in both pivots. The hardware has been simplified and is now a two-piece arrangement which means the pivot can be disassembled from the non-drive side.

Airdrop Slacker Seatstay Yoke

The seatstay yoke is a good example of the refinement work that's gone into every area of the frame now. Previously this was a solid piece; bigger, heavier and far more agricultural. We've ben able to put much more shape into the CNC work with chamfered edges, a slimmer profile and a cutout to reduce weight. As with all areas of the frame, we've worked hard to reduce the surface areas that might accumulate mud.

Airdrop Slacker

It's probably difficult to appreciate from this image, but there is a lot less rocker than there used to be. By refining the design we were able to take 217g out of this single piece alone without sacrificing on strength or stiffness. 

Slacker Graphics

We haven't finalised the paint or graphic treatment for the Slacker yet. With tubing taking close to 7 months to produce, we've got a bit of time to sort that out. But surely we need to include the Slacker graphics somewhere.

Airdrop Slacker Frame

All things considered, we're pretty happy with these. We only pictured the one frame but we've sampled all three new sizes and the reach adjust headset, and they've all built up with no problems. So there's not a lot more we can do. After two years of work, we think we've got something that passes the Airdrop test: we're proud of these. 

Shit's about to get real :-)

 

The Big Picture

The samples are ready. But are we? After all this time and hard work, are we bold enough to see it through and put these into production? We've spent a tonne on this but cost-wise, that's nothing to what we need to stump up for tooling, tubing, fabrication, painting, shipping...

We've come this far. We can't bail out now.

The Slacker is going into production. We ordered tubing this week. We don't know how we're going to pay for it yet but we'll figure it out; we always do.

The Slacker is coming Summer 2022. 


11 Responses

Liam
Liam

October 03, 2022

Make the zeb version plz.

Liam
Liam

September 26, 2022

Love the look of this frame!
Raw is definately a MUST.

Will cable integration become a feature with the Edit soon?

Prageeth
Prageeth

March 28, 2022

Looking RAD
What’s the HTA gonna be on this?

dylan
dylan

February 21, 2022

I am excited to make a dh mtb from Airdrop. but what will it cost?

MJ
MJ

February 18, 2022

Looks good Ed, you and the team are doing amazingly well at this bike design and building lark. Looking forward to the E’drop🤞

Andrea
Andrea

January 17, 2022

we are waiting the slacker in italy <3

James Hughes
James Hughes

January 17, 2022

You’ve had my money from the start! Please send me mine first! Lol

Cody Falconer
Cody Falconer

January 06, 2022

That bike looks amazing! I would definitely provide a Raw frame colour-way. Looks unreal!

Shang Mou
Shang Mou

January 06, 2022

May I know the geometry!

Tanalop
Tanalop

January 06, 2022

Hi,Team Airdropbikes
I exicited for “The slacker”.
Wait and see.
Thank
Tanalop

David
David

December 25, 2021

So sick ! Please do a Fundraising, there are many people who would like to support this project.
Cheers

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