Those who prefer their bikes home-grown will be interested to hear about the newest English bike manufacturer, Edge Bikes, who are offering bikes that are 100% handmade in England.
After over two years of development the first in a line of new frames is now ready to launch and Edge will be showing the Blade Duel/BSX frame at Cycle2002 in London later this month.
Following on in the next few months will be a DH, Freeride and XC version, which is planned for early 2003. The frames feature four-bar linkage, yes those words again, to create a “stationary virtual pivot point on the pedal axle of the bike” according to the Edge boys. It brings to mind the 2nd generation Schwinn Rocket 88, the new prototype Giants we’ve seen spy shots of, plus the Santa Cruz VPP four-bar stuff, which is no bad thing.
They reckon it allows a constant chain length throughout the entire range of suspension travel, improving the pedalling efficiency of the bike.
The Blade frame pictured gives 4.5” of rear wheel travel through a factory tuned Fox VanillaR rear shock with a 7000 Aluminium EastonRAD tubeset.
The XC frame will feature the same Four-Bar linkage system to give around 4″ of rear travel with the same virtual pivot on the BB axle and a target weight of around 6lbs frame and shock. Edge say it’s going to be a kind of “Ride-All-Day” XC bike, and they plan to follow it up with a slimline XC race version in the summer.
They even reckon the chainline is constant enough to run it as a pure singlespeed set-up for the truly fashion-conscious. As proof, the frame comes with replaceable horizontal and vertical drop-outs enabling a relatively speedy change between a conventional geared set up and singlespeed. To find out more about the frames check out their website.
The pair behind the company are Adrian Smith and Andrew Kempton, both have been keen mountainbikers for over 10 years and have raced at Elite level. Adrian and Andrew are also both engineering graduates of Sheffield’s universities, and have used their contacts to conduct FEA and lab testing on early prototypes of the frames.
But the team say that it’s the local riding scene and not the engineering advantages that are the main reason for basing their company in Sheffield, “The riding community here in Sheffield is second to none. With all the great people and great places to ride we’re able to really put these bikes through their paces at all stages of development” Adrian said.
The how much and where of it
If you hadn’t already guessed, this is a high-end bike, the retail price for the Blade frame including Fox VanillaR rear shock is £949 and is already available direct from the factory, with the option of a custom paint-job and geometry.
Edge are looking to establish a nationwide network of ‘prestige’ retailers, so if you’re an interested LBS, get in touch. They’re also midst sorting out a series of test dates for Joe Average, we’ll let you know when they’re happening.