We caught up with Graham Pinkerton, a full time mtb guide operating out of Chamonix. Graham's put over 7100km of distance and 534,000m of vertical into his Edit v2 in just 21 months.
With a lot of emphasis on the new Edit v3 now, we wanted to hear from a seasoned v2 rider how his bike has handled the hard yards...
Like a lot of you, I got an email from Ed a few weeks ago: "The best bike we've ever made."
Inside were the details of the bike we'd been getting teased with for the previous month, the Edit version 3. And what a bike it is. Obviously an Edit, the visual clues of its previous iterations are clearly there, but sleeker and more polished with all the little tweeks I wanted made for my Edit V2 and more. Cable routing on the top of the downtube to protect them from flying rocks and pick-up truck shuttle. Extra cable tabs on the chainstay to save holding brake lines in place with electric tape. Slacker headtube. Steeper seattube. More sizes. More clearance. Then a load of the latest standards.
I really want one. But I'm not going to get one, or not yet at least.
Of the three (?) hundred or so Edits in the wild surely there can be few that have gone through the wringer quite like mine? Covered in the scars and scratches of a couple of years of riding and guiding, it still feels as solid and tight as the first day I rode it. Yeah, it's not the latest or greatest anymore, aye the V3 is better in pretty much every respect, but you don't put down your dog just because it's getting old.
I started mountainbiking at primary school, my interest piqued by a combination of MTB magazines finally appearing in the local John Menzies, a particularly visionary local bike shop owner (a million thanks Kevin Whitehead of Oban Cycles) and bikes being the obvious way to go and play in the hills as a kid. I raced, organised races (Beinn Lora round of the Scottish DH series whilst still at school, I lay claim to being partly responsible for Ben Cathro) lost interest in racing, rode for fun, moved from the Highlands of Scotland to the higher lands of Chamonix, discovered blind French enduro racing, found out you can get paid to ride your bike all day and became an MTB guide.
Look through the bike forums about folk's week holiday to the alps and the chat will be about how to prepare their bike to survive the abuse it will suffer. Well, think of the guides bikes (and bodies.) Our bikes go through the same each week, every week, for the whole season. From start of June to the end of September or later. And then we go on holiday to ride for ourselves. I know, your heart bleeds.
Obviously, if you're sorting out a bike for guiding then you want something absolutely reliable. But, at the same time, us guides have egos... Getting beaten to the top or, worse, bottom of the hill is. not. happening. so any help we can get from the bike we're going to take! After a fair bit of email back and forth with Ed we settled on the spec of the bike you see here (click for full bike check) which is basically the same spec as it started with.
The rear rims's been replaced with a EX471, I've been through couple of chains and cassettes, a saddle, a reverb hose, a rear maxle, a rear mech (alas, a disposable item when you live here), two brake rotors, a handful of spokes and countless brake pads and tyres. But that's pretty much it. Everything else just keeps trucking on. The upper bushing on the amazing Cane Creek inline coil unit developed some play after 12 months and got replaced with needle bearings (and what a change that made, if you're searching for that final bit of sensitivity from the rear suspensions, get shopping for some bearings to replace that bushing!). The other standout component would be the Guide RE brakes. The secret's out on them these days, you can find them on the V3 Luxe build, but back in 2017 when Ed spec'd them on the bike they were a revelation. Powerful, reliable and cheap, how often do you get that 3 together!
Every day I just pull the bike off the rack, check the tyres are still inflated, and head out the door. Every week it gets a quick once over to check spokes and bolts are tight, that nothing's cracked, and off I go again.
If all that doesn't sound too amazing, well..... since June 2017 when my Edit got delivered to Chamonix it's covered almost 7100km and descended 534,000m. Or five trips from Lands End to John O'Groats and 397 times down Ben Nevis. From its first bedding in ride at Brevent in Chamonix through Aosta, Valais, Vaud and across the French alps to casing my way down Dirt Merchant in Whistler and heading out into the Chilcotans to camp with the grizzlies. Riding Trans Provence trails in the snow, bikepacking in the Cairngorms (again, in the snow), guiding all summer with Bike Verbier then finishing the year off riding with the same crew. In the snow.
Through all this abuse/enjoyment my Edit keeps going. No fuss, no dramas, just a fun companion for every damn days riding. How could I replace it just because it's not the shiniest bike on the block?
And how many brands would ask a rider to write some content about a superceded model, suggesting that you don't buy a new bike, with photos of the damage done to the old bike? Owning a bike is always about more than the facts of the geometry tables and kinematics. We all invest into the image associated with our choice, and I love that my choice is for a boutique level of esoteric but with a normal price and emphasis on reliability, that when I'm in the bikepark folks stop to watch the bike pass and I can pretend it's my smooth style they're watching, not getting to see a different bike for a change. That the brand is owned, in every sense of the word, by someone who cares about you and your bike and the wider biking world rather than just the bottom line.
Without the help of Airdrop the life of being a MTB guide would be much harder and I'm very grateful for all their help. Partly for the support in getting me a far far nicer bike than I could otherwise afford, but especially for getting me a bike so dependable that I'm not spending 1/2 my wages and free time in bike shops swapping out cracked rear triangle after rear triangle.