“I have a dream (bike)”
One man, one bike, and one romantic dream to build a bike brand. Here’s the lowdown on the Airdrop Edit V2 with the guy who designed it.
“It was 2014, I was 34 years old, I was miserable in my job, I had a pot of cash I’d saved my whole life for and I thought: f%$k it, now or never. So I quit.”
That’s how Airdrop started for Ed Brazier, who founded one of the UK’s newest new bike brands from his home in Sheffield and now makes the Edit V2 full suspension mountain bike.
Building bikes wasn’t top of his business start-up list though: “I rode my bike every day in the summer of 2014 and thought about what to do. At the bottom of the list was a bike company, which sounded like the craziest and hardest thing to do,” he says. “So that’s the one I picked.
“I got obsessed with the idea that setting up a bike company would be hard, but not impossible. And the prize was so big, it was a one time only opportunity to do this. The prize was to build a company and a bike that could be the best,” Ed says.
The Airdrop Edit V2
The brand has just one bike at present, the Edit V2, which is a 150mm travel trail bike-come-enduro-bike. The frames are made in Taiwan before Ed builds up each bike to order from his garage, speccing each bike as the customer demands and meaning each Edit V2 is unique.
- Single pivot suspension design and rocker link, pushing a DBcoil IL shock from Cane Creek on this burly build, with 150mm travel
- Up front there’s more travel, through 160mm Rockshox Lyrik RC Debonair fork
- No internal cable routing, but the V2 now comes with dropper post internal routing and a 170mm post
- SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain is a good compromise on price and performance
- Dialled detail — the Joystick 8-Bit 800mm bar and Analog 35mm stem is an exotic twist
- Stopping power to match the coil shock, SRAM Code R 4-pot brake with 200mm rotors
“I’m producing relatively small batches, and I don’t run to a product cycle like the big brand so I can make incremental changes,” he says. “Everyone who buys a bike gets some kind of one to one, over the phone, by email or they just come up, chat through stuff and ride the bike.”
There are four models to choose from, three with air shocks and this hardcore top-end coil shock build that costs £3,199.
It’s a bike that on paper has some really well thought out components, saving money where you can, spending it when you need to.
Then there are the wheels, where big brands tend to scrimp to save money — not Airdrop, the Edit coil has a Hopetech Pro 4 35mm wide wheelset.
So what kind of rider wants to buy an Edit? “A lot people are really into the idea of buying from a small company, one that’s genuinely independent,” Ed says. “There’s a kind of fatigue about marketing bullshit and the increasing commercial nature of bikes and people want something built by men in sheds.”
“It’s not just a romantic dream bike either though,” Ed says: “I’m making a bike that is properly good to ride.”
What’s next for Airdrop then? The next Airdrop bike will be called the Bitmap — we don’t know anything about it yet, other than the news it’ll include an XL size… we’re guessing it’s a 150mm travel Plus bike or 29er.
What we do know is that there’s definitely something to admire about Airdrop bikes: a brand built with a passion, maybe even an obsession, by Ed Brazier, a man who wants to make not money but great bikes.