Matt's a local rider and his mate has got a nice Airdrop Edit already. But Matt figured he could go one better so we built him a very nice bike.
There's something about the Edit - particularly in raw - that goes well with Hopetech components. We've sold a few of these fully Hope'd up builds now and they're all a little bit different. Matt probably won't mind me telling you he puzzled over the colour choices a bit, but we don't mind that and in any case, it was worth the effort. The resulting bike is a belter.
You're probably getting tired of seeing these Cane Creek DBcoil IL shocks on our custom builds by now, but we're not tired of fitting them so you'll have to put up with it! While air shocks are still massively popular, these inline coils are so much plusher and more tuneable with a reasonable weight difference. They're a bit more expensive than a Monarch Plus but if you're putting together a 'dream build' like Matt was, this is probably the best place to put your money.
In terms of forks, the Cane Creek Helm and Fox 36 were both in the conversation. But when you fit 36's, you need to look at a DHX2 and a Transfer dropper, so things can get out of hand... In the end Matt tried out some Lyriks on our demo bike and was so stoked on them we went for a Lyrik RC on his build.
We had the usual debate about how to manage the colour scheme to patch up with the shock. When you see them up close you can really appreciate the quality of the workmanship and the gold and finish looks amazing. But since Hope stopped doing a gold ano option a few years ago (hint hint) it's been a bit of a challenge to pair the shock up with the rest of the bike. Matt went for orange on the Hope parts which we think works pretty well.
We had a bit conversation about the brakes and which way to go - should Matt have a SRAM brake and go down the All-Mountain route with a Guide RS or RSC, or just go for power with Codes. In the end there was room in the budget to go with a Hope Tech 3 E4 brake which pretty much represents the best of both worlds - and of course gave Matt the option to colour code with the rest of the bike. But he did want plenty of power so we fitted 200mm floating rotors front and rear. These brakes work.
In terms of colour, Matt ended up going for orange hubs and orange calipers, both of which look the business. But to break things up a bit we fitted black floating rotors which match up nicely with the black dropouts and brake mounts.
Hope do a nice pedal, the F20. But we're big fans of Burgtecs at Airdrop (we both ride them) and we reckon the Mk4 Penthouse Flat is probably the best flat pedal you can buy. They're actually a little bit cheaper than the F20s, they're a lot cleaner in terms of design and the performance is all there. Plus the Burgtec Iron Bro Orange matches up perfectly with the orange on Hope, so the colour theme worked out perfectly.
With a bike of this quality, SRAM X01 Eagle always come into the conversation, and since Matt was coming off XT, that was in the mix too. Both superb groupsets for sure. the trouble is that GX Eagle is so, so good for the price. It's something like £100 less than XT, you get a bigger range of gears and the performance is just as good. Matt didn't particularly want more 'small gears' than his old 1x10 setup but there's really no reason not to have the big gear range, so we put a 34t chainring up front instead of the standard 32.
New Chain Guide
Matt really wanted Hope cranks; I think that's where the whole Hope thing started on this build. They're not the cheapest alloy crank out there, that's for sure. But they're very well made and they look fantastic. You've got a choice of colours on the bottom bracket, the cranks and the chainring so there was a bit of a debate going on tho get the combination just right, but that was settled by the fact that Hope's new Shorty chain guide comes in orange. We always felt that it's predecessor was too big and bulky so we tended not to recommend it, but the new one is spot on. It's minimal, light, beautifully well made and the back-plate comes in the usual 6 colour options. Matt went for black on the BB, crank arms and chainring but put a splash of orange in with the guide. Good decision.
We fit Hope wheels to most of our bikes and we can offer either the Enduro rim or the 35w rim at the same price, so Matt went with the tiger 35w option. They're a heavier rim for sure but they give the tyres a nice square profile. In this case we built the bike up with a Maxxis Minion DHF 27.5x2.5" up front and a High Roller II 27.5x2.4" out back. A classic combo which should work well in most conditions.
Matt's Bike Spec
Mat's bike is obviously based on our of our standard builds - the Edit v2 Hope. Initially he started with an Edit v2 Pro but ended up speccing so much Hope stuff he ended up going all-in.
Airdrop Edit v2 in Medium
Raw with anthracite metallic decals
Rockshox Lyrik RC Boost 160mm with stealth decals
Cane Creek DBcoil IL with 450lb Valt Lightweight spring
Rockshox Reverb Stealth 150mm, 30.9mm with 1x remote
Hope Bolt Type 34.9mm orange
Burgtec The Cloud
Hope Tech 3 E4 in orange
Hope Floating Rotor 180mm front & rear in black
Hopetech Pro 4 35w with orange hubs
Maxxis Minion DHF 3C EXO TR 27.5x2.5" front & High Roller II 3C EXO TR 27.5x2.4" rear
SRAM GX Eagle 1x12
SRAM GX Eagle XG-1295 10-50t
SRAM GX Eagle Trigger with Hopetech SRAM Shifter Mount
Hopetech Spiderless, 170mm in black
Hopetech Spiderless Retainer Ring, 34t in black
Burgtec Mk4 Penthouse Flats in Iron Bro Orange
SRAM GX Eagle
Hopetech Stainless 30mm in black
Hopetech Slick Shorty Chainguide in orange
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 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.
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.