I have been riding the Edit for three years now. I have owned the Edit V2, V3 and now the latest evolution, the V4.
It is no lie I am a big fan of Airdrop and what they are doing and it has been fun bringing this brand into NZ so other people can jump on board and enjoy these great bikes.
You can read my previous reviews in this blog of the V3. It was a brilliant bike, a solid work horse and I have great memories of the year and a half of riding I did on it. I wasn't ready to give it up to be honest. I always get nostalgic when I am close to selling my bikes and for some strange reason they start to feel and ride better than they ever have making me want to sell them less. Anyone else ever get that?
SO WHAT HAS CHANGED?
If it aint broke don't fix it right. Well that seems to be Airdrops feelings with the Edit V4. It has turned out to be an evolution of the V3 platform. Small incremental changes which, being a smaller more manoeuvrable bike brand, can do relatively easily compared to the big players.
Airdrop have also stayed true to their roots with the V4 and haven't given in to consumer pressure to turn the Edit into a big hitting 29er. They know there is still a market for a 27.5" wheeled bike done right. I respect this and also thanks them for this and I personally don't get on with 29ers and love the smaller wheel.
They know there is still a market for a 27.5" wheeled bike done right
Aesthetically the bike remains with the familiar V3 layout, you would be hard pressed to notice what has changed. But upon closer inspection you would notice that the two piece rocker link setup has been removed and a beautiful cnc'd one piece rocker has taken its place. It is an obvious upgrade from the two piece design, adding lateral stiffness and helping increase bearing life span. Plus it just looks like it completes the look of the bike making it look even better than it did before.
But upon closer inspection you would notice that the two piece rocker link setup has been removed and a beautiful cnc'd one piece rocker has taken its place
The other big change was sizing. The geo has remained the same in terms of chainstay length, seat tube angle and head angle, as they nailed that with the V3. The reach numbers have increased by 5mm across all sizes except the medium which has increased by 10mm from 450mm to 460mm.
Why did they do this? Well it seemed that there were lots of customers up sizing to larges on the V3 as the steep seat angle made the seated pedalling position feel quite cramped, despite the bike actually being quite long when stood up and descending. By increasing the size of the medium (the size I ride) to a 460mm reach it has just given that bit more room in the cockpit. It is a welcome change. It has meant that the medium has turned into a much longer bike, longer than I am used to. But more about that later.
INITIAL RIDE IMPRESSIONS
I never had a problem with the sizing on the V3, I am a fan of small and playful bikes. I did end up with a 5mm reach adjust headset in my V3 just because I had one kicking about and I was curious. I ended up liking it with the extra 5mm reach, the only problem was the external cups of the headset made the front end of the bike higher than I would have liked.
As soon as I got the bike build and pedalled around the car park the 10mm increase in reach was instantly obvious. Sitting down spinning around the carpark I had lots more room. Standing up bouncing up and down on it, popping little wheelies and bunny hopping it I got the feeling of a bike that was quite a different beast to the V3 I was used to. I think I liked it though.
My last ride on my beloved V3 was a race run down Squid Run, a wicked 8 minute long techy hand built black trail that skirts around the edges of the Queenstown Bike Park.
The plan for my first ride on the V4 was to ride Squid Run again so I could feel any differences. All the parts of my V3 were swapped straight over, I kept everything the same, so the only difference was going to be the frame.
Popping and playing on the V4
Dropping in to the trail it only took me a few hundred metres of trail to get a feel for the bike and all I could think was; man this thing is composed. The stability and extra grip I was getting around corners, especially flatter rougher ones was so noticeable.
As I got further into the track, my confidence was growing quickly on the bike. It was so familiar to me already but at the same time quite different. Stability over faster rough sections was the other thing I was noticing too. I felt so centred in the bike from the extra length and space I had on it. All I could think was how I wished I had had this bike for the race two days ago I would have taken quite a bit of time of my race time on it. This thing was fast.
What a beaut
The extra length and stability of the new medium V4 felt great. The increased stiffness of the rear end was also very noticeable with the new one piece rocker. Maybe this was adding to the increased cornering prowess of the bike? Whatever it was doing I like it.
The V4 has kept its pop and playfulness which I am glad about
The V4 has kept its pop and playfulness which I am glad about, it is one of the things I love most about it. The bike still encourages you to find natural lips and gaps in the trail, not just plough through the main line.
In the dictionary evolution mean "the gradual development or something" or "advancement" and I think the V4 fits those definitions. It is everything we love about the Edit but made that bit better. Bravo Airdrop.
It is still early days for me on the V4 and I will do a more in depth review after a few months riding it so watch this space.