Now the Slacker frames are done, the question on everyone's lips is what are the options gonna be?
In case you missed the big announcement in Chapter 15, it’s happening. The Slacker is all go. We hit the big red button on production and ordered tubing before Christmas last year. Then we spent a year mostly waiting, and stressing (see Chapter 16) but there's no going back now. Shipping times being what they are right now landing stock is still a few weeks off, but still it’s definitely something we can get excited about. The Slacker is no longer a dream... its reality.
Signing off on the range and ordering build kits for the Slacker was a necessity under the current circumstances. With some OEM parts having lead-times of up to 600 days we had to lock in the range a long time ago and making sure we would be able to land build kit on a similar lead-time to frames was a real consideration as it had the potential to delay or derail the whole project.
From day 1 the Slacker project has been all about a DH bike for the riders. It’s not a pie in the sky world cup race bike, it’s not about chasing the clock. It’s all about big grins, slapping turns, days in the woods, uplift days with friends, bike park holidays... sessions not seconds. With that in mind pricing and build kits need to reflect this, the people's DH bike needs to be accessible, easy to work on, with reliable components, kick ass performance and great value.
So, without further ado here you have it the Slacker range.
Frame & Shock
For Frame and shock combos we wanted to keep things simple; just two options, coil only. At Airdrop there is an unwritten rule, we don’t do sub-par dampers, with suspension performance being the one of the key characteristics of how a bike behaves and a lot of our development emphasis based around kinematics it just doesn’t make sense to offer a low-end damper with little to no support. After all, owning a 200mm travel DH bike is all about suspension performance so why compromise on that?
Slacker Frame & Rockshox Super Deluxe Coil Ultimate
Rockshox’s premium coil shock needs no introduction, and this latest incarnation turns things up to 11. The Super Deluxe Coil features both high and low speed compression adjust, increased bushing overlap, Hydraulic bottom, and the new hot dog piston. All this means increased sensitivity, increased support, more grip, and increased confidence. The Super Deluxe is a real no-nonsense performer, easy to setup, super capable, mega consistent and reliable. Back that up with excellent after sales servicing and warranty and it’s a bit of a no brainer.
Slacker Frame & Öhlins TTX m22.2 Coil
That infamous Scandinavian Gold. With more than 30 years of history in motorsport racing, Öhlins has earned its reputation as the name in performance suspension products. Their philosophy is to develop the highest performing products through their racing program and then filter those technologies into their aftermarket products.
The Öhlins TTXm22.2 Coil is their hardest hitting rear shock and builds on the legendary performance of the original TTX shock which had become the go to shock for professional gravity riders. Featuring TTX twin tube damping, external low and high-speed compression adjust, rebound adjust, improved bottom out performance, a lightweight spring and increased adjustment range. This latest incarnation of the TTX promises to redefine the standard in downhill suspension performance.
The TTX shock is for riders who really appreciate the best. It’s a shock that gives back whatever you put in, providing ample support without compromising on suppleness, in an easy to setup no nonsense package. The holy grail of rear shocks.
The Slacker bike line-up includes four models: Luxe, Deluxe, Works and Park. Each bike brings something slightly different to the table but offers the same Airdrop value at its price point. Having agonised over these specs for the last two years we are confident that these specs deliver on exactly what the Slacker is all about. These builds represent what in our opinion is the best way to build a Slacker and all the build kits feature components we would be proud to run down to the smallest detail.
The Slacker Luxe is the gateway build to the Slacker range, but don’t let that fool you. It still packs a punch and will have you boosting jumps and railing turns higher than ever before.
Rockshox’s Super Deluxe Ultimate Coil DH paired with a 190mm Zeb Ultimate take care of Suspension duties. The no-frills SRAM GX DH 7 speed drivetrain coupled with Unite DH cranks and MRP SXG chain guide keeping those pedals turning. Stopping Power is delivered by SRAM’s Code R’s. Reverse Black-One wheelset shod in Michelins DH34 Velcro like rubber keep you rubber side down and rolling on in the gnarliest terrain. Top that off with a Smorgasbord of Macclesfield’s finest, Burgtec 35mm Enduro mk3 Stem, Burgtec Josh Bryceland ride High 38mm rise Bars, Bartender Grips, Burgtec Alloy post and a WTB Hightail saddle.
The mainstay of the Slacker range, the Deluxe is the go-to build and underlines exactly what the Slacker is all about. Hitting big holes at warp speed, insiding turns, throwing weird shapes and getting amongst it. Party Horse!
Upfront none other than Rockshox’s Boxxer Ultimate paired with the latest incarnation of Rockshox’s Super Deluxe Ultimate shock out back take care of taming terrain. Drivetrain is a no frill affair with SRAM's dedicated GX downhill groupset on gear swapping duties, Unites CNC Cranks and MRP SXG guide on security. SRAM Code RSC brakes and Centerline Rotors keeping your speed in check. Whilst Hope Fortus DH wheelset and Michelins stickiest DH 34 rubber keep the party train rolling. As is to be expected that’s all topped off with Burgtec's latest and greatest on cockpit duties, Burgtec Direct mount 45mm stem, Josh Bryceland Ride High Bars and Bartender Pro Grips. The perch is a WTB high tail which provides extra tyre clearance at full travel for those big bottom-out moments we don’t plan for.
If the Luxe is your gateway build, then the Park can only be described as some high grade, class A build aimed at the most hardcore Slacker user. Strap in - this one’s a face melter!
The Slacker Park is all about stripping the Slacker back to what it’s all about. High grade suspension, ludicrous stopping power, super tacky rubber, heavy duty wheelset, a dialled cockpit and just one gear. Single speed DH builds are the essence of what park riding is all about, sometimes less really is more.
SB1’s G3 tensioner and DH drivekit is the ultimate DH drivetrain solution for those in the know. The tensioner offers a fully adjustable clutch damping so you can dial in how much tension is required, the 14t cog and mud spacers keep everything lined up and clog free.
So hot off the press, we haven't even finished the photography yet :-)
The Works is our top shelf build; a no compromise approach to building a Slacker. In essence it’s a Slacker that goes about its business with a little extra swagger, shrugging off those hair-raising moments thanks to its zero-compromise spec.
Featuring top tier Suspension from Öhlins with the DH38.2 fork up front paired with TTX m.2 out back, this suspension pairing is one that will have you pushing harder and going bigger than ever before. Drivetrain is taken care of by the ever-dependable Sram GX DH 7 speed groupset and Unite's UK made CNC Cranks. SRAM's Code RSC brakes and latest HS2 rotors provide unrivalled stopping power and modulation. Hope Fortus DH Wheels, featuring Hope's class leading Pro 4 DH specific hubs and Fortus 30mm rims with dual cavity reinforcement, all wrapped up in Michelins DH34 rubber. As ever the cockpit is an all Burgtec affair with 45mm Direct Mount stem, 38mm Ride High bars and Bartender Pro Grips. Burgtec Seatpost and WTB’s DH specific Hightail Saddle.
We know what you're thinking... When can I get one? And the answer to that is pretty soon. Watch out for the full launch and preorders going live on Thursday 26th January.
The Big Picture
The frames are complete and they're on the way to the paint shop. We've got a production bike here and we've been producing all the launch content (which we can't wait to show you).
The Slacker Project has a couple more chapters to run until the story is complete; stay tuned for more details on specs, the range, pricing and of course, placing an order.
The Slacker will launch on 26/1/23.
James grew up in Sheffield and Wharncliffe is his local. He spent a few years guiding in NZ but now he's back, helping with all things Airdrop.
Leave a comment
Comments will be approved before showing up.
Our monthly email newsletter gets you access to all the good stuff before everyone else.
Get The Inside Line
We're always working on stuff behind the scenes and we'd like to share those stories with you. One email a month, and we make it worth a read.