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by Ed Brazier October 25, 2018 5 min read

A little while back we built a custom Edit v2 for local rider Tom. It went up on Vital MTB and made Bike Of The Day but we never put it on the blog, so here's Tom's bike - with a particularly well thought-out Hopetech colour scheme.

Tom's original inspiration for his own custom build was our Building The Hope Bike video which went viral on Facebook - to date it's been watched about 3 million times. But like a lot of our customers he's also a friend-of-a-friend so we invited him down to the workshop to take a look at some bikes, ride a demo and chat about the options.

The result was one of the nicest bikes we've built, with (in my opinion) a really well considered colour scheme using Cane Creek and Hope components. 

Vital MTB Bike Of The Day

Vital MTB liked Tom's bike so much they made it their Bike Of The Day.

The Frame

Tom's about 6' so he came and tried both the medium and the large, but settled on the large because it still has plenty of standover clearance but gave him that bit of extra reach. I think originally he was stoked on the grey colour we'd used for the earlier Edit v1 (and which featured in the bike build video) but when he saw the Raw finish up close that was the one.

Tom's Custom Airdrop Edit v2

It can be hard to appreciate in the pictures but the raw finish we use on the Edit v2 is unusual - it's lightly hand brushed, but some of the tooling marks are still visible. Then it's given multiple coats of a clear coat lacquer so it won't oxidise. Every one is a bit different - I tend to describe it as an 'honest finish' because you can see how the frame was made.


Part of the brief Tom gave us was that he wanted his bike to be a little bit different, and he gave us plenty of scope to suggest how the build should go. Speccing the Cane Creek Helm Air fork was easy on a bike like this; with all the upgrades to the drivetrain and finishing kit, it warranted something that bit more special.

Cane Creek DBcoil IL

The decision to go for Cane Creek for both dampers was partly motivated by Tom's demo ride on my own bike with the exact same setup. I've been running both the Helm fork and DBcoil IL since pretty much the day they came out and I can honestly say it's the best setup I've ever had.

Cane Creek Helm Air fork 

Of course you can now get the Helm in a coil version too, and some would match that with the coil rear shock. But Tom rides a lot of trails but not a lot of DH, so aspects of the build kept an eye on the weight. The Helm Air is incredibly plush as it is, and with the ability to manage the positive and negative air pressures independently, small-bump sensitivity is excellent.

Finishing Kit

If you're into the whole British bike thing, you want something special, high quality, performance and you want a custom colour scheme, it's Hope Technology all the way. The only problem - as Tom discovered - is that you've got to make a lot of choices regarding colour. All the major Hope parts are available in 6 colours and even stuff like brake mounts come in black or silver, so Tom had his work cut out. 

Hope Tech 3 E4 brakes and floating rotors

As with most of our bikes, Hope wheels were the starting point and having set his heart on Cane Creek, he decided that the orange hubs would work well with the gold ano on the suspension. Hope used to do gold at one point but orange replaced it - just my opinion but if they brought gold back, it'd sell like hot cakes. Anyway with the orange hubs in place, we all agreed it might be a bit much to go orange all round. So Tom had a couple of highlights - orange seat clamp and headset. Then the floating rotors in black to match the brake mount dropout, and silver calipers to go with the frame's raw finish. 


We looked at SRAM X01 Eagle initially because it's such a slick setup, and probably 'equivalent' in terms of the SRAM range to the other high-end parts Tom chose. But ultimately GX Eagle won out; Tom was more than happy with the shifting performance and he was dead set on running Hope cranks anyway. So he ended up with the standard GX Eagle 12 speed cassette (10-50t) and a 32t chainring up front, which gives more than enough gears at both ends of the spectrum and flawless shifting all day long.

SRAM GX Eagle and Hope Cranks

Hope's new 30mm Stainless bottom bracket (another part that I run myself) is one of the best and Tom went for orange, just to give a little highlight. The crank arms themselves are black, apart from the bit that Hope cleverly leaves raw where your shoes will definitely rub, and a black Spiderless Retainer ring. 

Tom's Bike Spec

We used our standard Airdrop Edit v2 Hope bike as a starting point, but made some changes to the suspension and tyres as agreed with Tom.

Frame: Airdrop Edit v2 in Large
Colour: Raw with anthracite decals
Forks: Cane Creek Helm Air 160mm
Rear Shock: Cane Creek DBcoil IL with 500lb Valt Lightweight Spring
Headset: Hopetech Stainless ZS44/56 in orange
Stem: Hopetech AM in silver, 35mm reach, 35mm clamp
Handlebars: Joystick 8-bit alloy 35mm clamp, 800mm width, 20mm rise
Grips: Ergon GA2 in black
Seatpost: Rockshox Reverb 150mm, 30.9mm
Seatclamp: Hopetech Bolt-up 35mm in orange
Saddle: Ergon SMA3 in black
Brakes: Hopetech 3 E4 in silver
Rotors: Hope Floating Rotor 180mm front & rear in black
Wheels: Hopetech Pro 4 Enduro with orange hubs
Tyres: Maxxis Minion DHF FLD EXO TR 27.5x2.3" front & High Roller II FLD EXO TR 27.5x2.3" rear
Rear Derailleur: SRAM GX Eagle 1x12
Cassette: SRAM GX Eagle XG-1295 10-50t
Shifter: SRAM GX Eagle Trigger with Hopetech SRAM Shifter Mount
Cranks: Hopetech Spiderless, 170mm in black
Chainring: Hopetech Spiderless Retainer Ring, 32t in black
Chain: SRAM GX Eagle
Bottom Bracket: Hopetech Stainless 30mm in orange
Chain Guide: n/a
Modifications: n/a
Weight: 32lb

Airdrop Edit v2 Custom

Custom Builds

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 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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