If you’re into dirt jumping enough to have a fully purpose-built DJ bike, Sheffield’s Airdrop Bikes has a few new things to show you. Airdrop recently announced their updated Fade dirt jumper and Bank DJ wheelsets, and they’re offering the full range of options for purchasing frames only, complete bikes, complete wheels, or individual wheel components.
The Fade dirt jumper frame has been revised for 2023, while the Bank DJ wheelset (featuring Airdrop’s own rims and hubs) hits the market after many prototypes and a few years of development.
Airdrop Fade Dirt Jumper:
The Fade dirt jumper frame was first released in 2018, but for 2023 Airdrop has made some subtle improvements while retaining the original frame’s characteristics. The new frame has a refined layout, new tubing, and a cleaner design, and it weighs less than the outgoing version. Airdrop shortened the Fade’s seat tube, so the new frame offers a lower standover height.
The Fade is a fully focused dirt jumper with 26” wheels, and no MTB components like removable dropouts, derailleur hangers or ISCG tabs. Features that are included are integrated chain tensioners, an integrated seat clamp, and external cable routing.
The Fade frames now come in two sizes – Regular and Long. While the Regular frame is ideal for shorter riders and vice-versa for the Long version, riders may also choose to go short for freestyle and transition-focused riding, or go long for added stability on pumptracks or big dirt jumps.
Fade Model Lineup:
Airdrop is offering three complete Fade builds, plus a frame-only option:
The Fade Works is the top-of-the-line offering, featuring an Ohlins RXF 36 DJ fork, Airdrop’s Bank DJ wheels with Matte Splatter Motive hubs, and Burgtec components. MSRP is 1999 euros.
The Fade Deluxe is the mid-spec option. This model gets a RockShox Pike DJ fork, Airdrop’s Bank DJ wheels, and Burgtec components. The Fade Deluxe sells for 1699 euros.
Airdrop’s entry-level build is the Fade Luxe. Up front is a Manitou Circus DJ fork, and this bike still gets Airdrop’s own Bank DJ wheelset. The Luxe is also outfitted with Maxxis tires and Burgtec components. It sells for 1399 euros.
Despite its refinements, the updated Fade frame sells for the same price as its outgoing model at 399 euros. The revised Fade frames will come in three new color options; Matte Black, Dippy Egg (yellow), and Purple Haze. Airdrop has also given the Fade a new alloy head badge, which is available in black or silver. Furthermore, there are ten different decal options to customize your frame’s colors.
Bank DJ Wheelset:
After two years of designing and refining, Airdrop is also announcing their all-new Bank DJ wheelset. The wheels are built in the UK with Airdrop’s new Bank DJ rims and Motive DJ hubs. They are available on the complete Fade bikes, sold as an aftermarket wheelset, and the rims and hubs are available on their own for custom builds.
The new Bank DJ rims are 26”, with 32 spokes. These 6061 aluminum rims are built to be strong, with internal reinforcements and a convex rim bed. To avoid any weak spots, Airdrop went with a sleeve joint instead of pinning or welding the rim’s seam. The rims’ wide profile offers a stable fit for modern high-volume DJ tires – External width is 32mm, and their internal width is 26.5mm.
The rims are shot-peened and anodized black to ensure a durable finish, and they feature laser-etched graphics. The Bank DJ rims weigh 634g each and sell for 60 euros apiece.
Airdrop’s Bank DJ rear hub is single-speed specific and comes with an 11t Helix driver. The driver offers 72 points of engagement, using a hardened steel helical drive ring that sits in full contact with the ratchet ring. The bolt-on rear axle’s spacing is 10x135mm, the hub includes 6-bolt brake rotor tabs, and it weighs 374g. The rear hub is priced at 160 euros.
The DJ-specific front hub does not include brake rotor tabs, and it weighs 162g. The hub is built for a 15x100mm thru-axle, but 15x110mm and 20x110mm adapters are available separately. The front hub sells for 60 euros.
The Motive hubs feature 6061 aluminum shells and 7075 aluminum axles and bolts. The bearings are sealed units but are further protected by additional seals to keep them running clean and smooth. The hubs come in polished or Matte Splatter finishes.
Between the rims and hubs, the Bank DJ wheels feature black Sapim Race DB spokes and brass double-square nipples. Airdrop even supplies a specific rim strip for these wheels.
To keep them running smoothly for the long haul, the Motive hubs are fully rebuildable and a full range of spare parts and accessories are available for the wheelsets. The Bank DJ wheelset weighs a claimed 2280g for the pair, and it retails for 399 euros. All Airdrop bikes are built to order in Airdrop’s Sheffield workshop.