NBD: Airdrop Slacker, Ducati E-MTBs, Leatt Onesie…

by 8

… 5DEV titani-yummy chainrings, packs and panniers from Deuter, bottle cleaners from Elite, folding locks from Hiplok and Matt Jones’ Gussets.

Airdrop’s Slacker DH bike is finally ready to launch. If you want to read (a lot) more, there are 20 chapters of The Slacker Project on Airdrop’s site…

Airdrop press release:


3 Years in the making! The Slacker Project launched over Christmas 2019. We set out to develop the DH bike we wanted to ride; a DH bike for the people, a proper park bike and document the whole process. At the time we said:

“Small bike brands don’t normally do stuff like this. It’s bold, risky and it might not work. But if it does, it might just be the best thing we ever do.”

Now, three years and 20 chapters later, The Slacker Project is complete. We made it. So without further delay here it is in all its glory. The Downhill bike that we want to ride; a bike that loves cutting loose and slapping turns. It’s an absolute riot, perfect for pounding out laps in the bike park, uplift days, a summer holiday in the mountains and just messing around in the woods. The people’s DH bike.

We put everything into this. To say it’s a passion project is an understatement. Our flat-out goal at Airdrop is to build stuff that we can be proud of, and the Slacker is exactly that.

For 2023, there will be 100 Slackers made. Orders will ship from March.


The Slacker uses a combination of hydroformed and extruded, internally and/or externally butted tubes. As a small-batch producer, we lean into CNC parts heavily. All lugs, hardware and pivots are CNC. The BB and main pivot are a single CNC unit and the lower shock mount is a CNC cradle. The rocker is a true one-piece design. Every Slacker frame comes with a brushed alloy head-badge, CNC axle and UDH hanger, seat clamp and an Airdrop reach adjust headset included.



The Slacker Luxe is the gateway build to the Slacker range, but don’t let that fool you. It still packs a punch and will have you boosting jumps and railing turns higher than ever before.



The mainstay of the Slacker range, the Deluxe is the go-to build and underlines exactly what the Slacker is all about. Hitting big holes at warp speed, insiding turns, throwing weird shapes and getting amongst it. Party Horse!



If the Luxe is your gateway build, then the Park can only be described as some high grade, class A build aimed at the most hardcore user. Strap in – this one’s a face melter! The Slacker Park is all about stripping the Slacker back to what it’s all about. High grade suspension, ludicrous stopping power, super tacky rubber, heavy duty wheelset, a dialled cockpit and just one gear.



Performance in all the right places. We rolled out the red (or should it be yellow?) carpet here with suspension from Öhlins. If you know you know. The Works is our top shelf build; a no compromise approach. It’s a Slacker that goes about its business with a little extra swagger, shrugging off those hair-raising moments thanks to its zero-compromise spec.


If you follow Airdrop as a brand you’re probably already aware that we don’t sit in the super progressive extra-long reach camp. We believe in putting the rider front and centre. Our bikes are designed to be engaging to ride and first & foremost must always be fun. With that in mind Airdrop bikes reward a dynamic riding style and further embody our ‘Sessions Not Seconds’ ethos.

The Slacker is no exception to that rule, its unapologetically a park bike and wants to be ridden that way.

The Slacker is available in three sizes: S1, S2, S3. All sizes share the same seat-tube length but differ in terms of reach and stack. Additionally, every Slacker frame or build (excluding the Luxe, due to its tapered fork) comes with an Airdrop reach-adjust headset, providing a neutral, +5mm or -5mm position. The rider can choose their desired reach and further tune the on-trail feel.


We like Deuter stuff. And we like things that are coloured in nice greens. So the following packs and panniers are right up our urban street…

Deuter press release:


deuter’s new bike packs are designed to make commuting and travelling by bike a breeze. deuter’s two new on bike panniers are perfect for urban life – their PFC free waterproof fabric ensures that your belongings arrive at your destination safe and dry.

Both packs are made with a very durable 420 denier polyamide fabric that is highly abrasion resistant due to its high weave density. While a TPU coating on the inside and PFC free DWR on the outside make the fabric waterproof even under extreme conditions.

The Mainhattan (not to be confused with Manhattan) is named after the central business district of Frankfurt am Main (Germany) is a multi-purpose bike pannier for students or commuters.

This practical 17 litre pack is more than just a commuting pannier – once you arrive at your location it can be quickly released from the bike and carried across the shoulder.

Both packs are equipped with deuter’s new BagFix system, which leaves your free to pedal in peace, with the bike bearing the brunt of the load and nothing on your back. Attached using two mounting rails and hooks, it keeps your pannier safely attached to your bike rack. At your destination, a quick pull on the release handle and the bag is detached and ready to use as a shoulder bag.

The Weybridge 25+5 keeps contents like sports and leisure gear or travel luggage safe from road spray and rain. The roll-top closure with two-way zipper lets you extend the capacity by 5 litres.

With a detachable shoulder strap and an adjustable grab handle / closure strap that doubles as a gear strap to attach a sleeping mat or jacket, plus a built-in organizer unit, the sky’s the limit for what this bag can do.

Since January 2020 all deuter packs and sleeping bags are PFC free. PFC (perfluorinated and polyfluorinated compounds) are a group of chemicals that are harmful to the environment and to our health. ⁠These chemicals are found in a wide range of everyday items such as kitchenware, pizza boxes, paper and textiles like rain jackets.⁠

We now use PFC free waterproofing, so your pack has the same great quality, without harming the environment.


Don’t get overly excited. These Ducati E-bikes aren’t exactly new new, but it does sound like there’ll be a demo bike fleet available quite soon…

Ducati press release:

The Ducati E-Bike range

Ducati E-Bike powered by Thok today reach the highest performance on every route and testify to the goal of offering unique and meaningful experiences. A journey that began in 2019 and which in 2023 will further enrich the range of models available.

The MIG-S, the All Mountain that adopts the new Shimano EP8 engine and renewed components, making it even more performing, versatile and fun on every trail.

The TK-01RR, the “top of the range” E-Enduro with top-level components for an even more extreme enduro. This is accompanied by the new limited edition version, designed to enhance the performance of all downhill enthusiasts.

And finally, the Futa, the big news from 2022, or the first E-Road bike according to Ducati. Characterized by technical solutions and high quality components that fully embody the Ducati style. Also available in limited edition.

For the first time in the UK, we’ve now got a small fleet of our E-Bikes (in a few different sizes) available from February.


Leatt has revamped some jackets but the more interesting products are its new waterproof onesie and waterproof BOA-equipped flat pedal shoe…

Leatt press release:

Leatt releases revamped HydraDri-Collection

South-African protection specialist Leatt reintroduces its HydraDri-Collection as an independent product range. The bad weather collection includes the award-winning Mono Suit, Jackets, Pants as well as a brand-new waterproof shoe.

Leatt’s HydraDri collection is designed for keeping you dry and comfy while riding in bad weather conditions. After the immense success of the previous HydraDri products, the safety gear experts from Cape Town decided to give birth to a whole new product range: Bad weather gear or now known as, the HydraDri-collection.

Mono Suit MTB HydraDri 5.0 & 3.0

Whether it’s rain, mud or snow, the Leatt Mono Suit MTB HydraDri has got you covered – especially in the worst weather conditions. Developed in the Leatt Lab, its ultimate three-layer HydraDri MAX membrane is fully waterproof (Mono Suit 5.0: 30.000/30.000 water column / Mono Suit 3.0: 10.000 / 10.000 water column) with the top model including YKK Aquaguard zips, taped seams and soft-velcro on the ankles and wrists for full protection. The adjustable ventilation and a dirt/water/stain resisting coating will make the suit withstand any weather situations you might ride in.

Another feature is The Ride Adaptive Hood (RAhD) with an extra tall collar, that can be worn in four different configurations. The patented magnetic hood system keeps the hood fixed to the helmet and avoids flapping around when riding. The unique Leatt ClimbVent lets you keep your jacket completely open for maximum ventilation during uphill rides and exhausting climbs. Inspired by snowmobiles, a carefully designed suspender system allows you to hang the mono suit jacket down when off the bike. Brush guards on the shoulders, forearms and knees patches helps protect the suit from any branches, snags or grazes.

For 2023 Leatt’s Mono Suit has been awarded with the renowned Design & innovation Award, also known as the Oscars of the bike industry. This seal of approval sets benchmark trends for the most exceptional products in the outdoor, bike and fitness sector, Leatt’s Mono Suit being one of them in the field of outdoor functional gear.

In case a whole suit exceeds your needs for bad weather riding, Leatt’s HydraDri 5.0 pants are the right choice for riding on rainy days. Made from the premium HydraDri MAX membrane, the four-way stretch fit with ankle adjusters is snug enough to keep the bad weather out and keep you comfortable all day long. With plenty of pockets and fleeced telephone pouch. The knees are pre-curved for knee guards so you can ride safe at all times.

HydraDri 7.0 Shoe

Made for those days when it rains from the bottom-up! This all-weather flat pedal shoe uses the HydraDri membrane and offers 10k/10k waterproof protection. With a fully taped outer shell and waterproof zips, your feet are protected from mud and water.

The HydraDri 7.0 shoes offer outstanding grip on the pedals with bad weather in mind: The soles feature Leatt RideGrip™ Pro Rubber compound, significant softer than its preceded compound the standard RideGrip™ rubber. Softer rubber means more pedal connectivity and a better hold in slippy conditions.

The improved WaffleGrip Pro sole pattern is an inverted version of Leatt’s WaffleGrip. This allows short pins to dig deep into the sole and delivers great off bike traction when you need to walk.

If all-weather performance is what you are looking for, then the Leatt 7.0 Hydradri shoe is the perfect match!


If you’re a fan of our Internet Rummagings series you will probably be familiar with 5DEV’s wares. They’re making some new chainrings now…

5DEV press release:

Announcing 5DEV Titanium 104BCD Chainrings

  • Made in San Diego, California
  • Material: 6A14V Titanium
  • Sizes: 34T and 36T
  • Colors: Raw, Bronze, Purple, Teal
  • Applications: OChain, Ebikes, 4 Bolt 104BCD Spiders
  • Compatibility: 7(DH), 11, and 12 speed SRAM or Shimano
  • Weight: 48grams
  • Durability: Last at least 3X longer

Features: CNC machined 6Al4V Titanium in sizes optimal for DH, Enduro, eBike or XC racing. 3X durability over aluminum chainrings.

Designed, engineered, and machined in San Diego, California out of 6Al4V Titanium. Ideal for use with OChain, Ebikes, and 4 Bolt 104BCD Spiders. 5DEV Ti Chainrings provide at least 3 times the durability and longevity of your aluminum ring. This results in more time riding, less time replacing parts, and less waste. Designed to work with both SRAM and Shimano 7(DH), 11, and 12 speed.

Now available in 2 sizes 34T and 36T and 4 colorways: Raw, Bronze, Purple, and Teal. The unique colors are richer and deeper than aluminum, the teal has hues of both blue and green and the bronze has slight hues of purple.


We got send details of quite a lot of new stuff from Elite. Mainly eco-friendly bottles and cages. Amongst that stuff was this cute little bottle steriliser. Which we never knew existed…

Elite Neto press release:

A bottle sterilizer to use in the microwave

Neto is the Elite’s steam sterilizer for plastic bottles. The sterilization cycle lasts only 1 minute in the microwave to kill 99.9% of bacteria and molds on each component of the bottle with water vapor. The steam kills the bacteria without using any chemicals.

Compact and modular, Neto fits all standard water bottles.

It is important to take care of the sanitization of the things we use every day, and water bottles are no exception.

Bacteria, fungi and molds can thrive in constant moist environments, especially when you take sugars and supplements through your bottle. You should always wash and sanitize your bottles carefully.

Neto helps you do this quickly and effectively.

This bottle sterilizer is designed to sanitize all parts of your water bottle by action of wet steam. Just fill Neto with plain water up to the level limit and put it in the microwave for 1 minute at 700 watts. It will kill 99.9% of molds and bacteria for proper and safer use of your bottle when you’re riding your bike.

Innovative design, fits bottles of different sizes

Neto includes a sanitizing cup equipped with a silicone ring to facilitate the insertion of bottles of different diameters. It also includes a support grid to comfortably place each part of the bottle, such as the cap and the valve.

The innovative inclined shape makes for an easy use of the Neto with standard 500 ml bottles in almost all microwave ovens on the market.

Elite’s bottle sanitizer fits all bottles, but we recommend that users check the size of their microwave oven to verify that the product with the bottle inserted fits their microwave.


Here’s a press release with details of the brand’s new Hiplok SWITCH folding lock that launched t’other day…

Hiplok press release:


Expert bike security brand, Hiplok, is today launching its first folding lock, Hiplok SWITCH. This secure yet versatile bike lock provides Sold Secure protection, extended locking length and multiple carrying options, making it ideal for the everyday cyclist and e-bike rider.

Hiplok SWITCH is a Sold Secure rated folding lock with premium hardened steel bars linking to quality steel rivets engineered to stand up to the common bike thief. With a locking length of up to 85cm, SWITCH offers the rider greater choice on locking location than the standard D lock but can also be folded down into a compact portable package.

But what makes SWITCH truly unique is its carrying options. The unique Hiplok SWITCH system allows you to seamlessly swap between carrying a lock or a water bottle on your bike without having to change the holder or use a tool. Every Hiplok SWITCH comes with a bottle mount bracket and SWITCH plate included. Three coded replaceable keys and Lifetime Warranty complete the quality package, making SWITCH an ideal lock for the cyclist who commutes and rides for leisure.

Hiplok co-founder, Ben Smith, commented “Each Hiplok product is designed ground up to solve problems and improve the ride for today’s cyclists. In launching Hiplok’s first folding lock, we wanted to find the perfect balance of security and usability. Whether commuting, running errands around town or hitting the gravel trails, SWITCH provides security for everyday riding with the freedom to ride your way.”


Gusset have just received some new additions Matt Jones Signature products…

Gusset press release:

Matt Jones signature product additions

Matt has ridden Gusset components for over a decade now, and we have always looked to him for rider feedback on our products, collaborating on their development. The natural next step to all this was to offer him a signature line. Together, we have created a design and colourway that clearly compliments his bike but also looks great on any build, a must from Matt since the start of this project. Following on from the success of the Pivotal DJ saddle and Sleeper grips in Matt’s colourway, we have now created the S2 AM saddle and S2 Lock-On grips to offer as part of the Matt Jones Signature range.

Matt Jones Signature S2 AM Saddle

The S2 AM is our most versatile saddle with unique, premium features designed around the modern trail rider. Constructed from a custom foam base for a unique look while providing extra pressure relief on long rides. Rubber Anti-slide™ grip points under your sit bones improve wet weather performance. The AM saddle uses a conventional twin railed chassis so that it can easily be used with all standard type seatposts, including Dropper posts. Finished in Black with Grey Marble logo.

Features and Specification:

  • Unique staple-less, hardwearing fabric top with custom rubber grip points
  • Custom shaped foam padding with relief channel for extra comfort.
  • Built-in shock absorption through the nylon fibre injection molded base
  • Cro-mo Steel rails
  • Size: 280 x 140mm
  • RRP £49.99

Matt Jones Signature S2 Lock-On Grips

The S2 Lock on is our best-selling grip and it made sense that we added a Matt Jones’ signature colourway to match the MJ saddle options. Working with Matt, he preferred the firmer feel of the standard compound with the Lock-On Grip and wanted the Grey Marble colourway.

The S2 Lock on Grip was designed in house to be the most technical grip to date with specifically placed textures and material to add to the feel, comfort and control.

Features and Specification.

  • Off centre eccentric core design
  • Dedicated thumb grip zone
  • Finger ribs underside
  • Two sized knurling
  • Secure ribs on top side
  • 32mm diameter, 131mm length
  • Tapered core with closed rubber end
  • Alloy clamp with 3mm hex key
  • Soft 30A VEXK Compound.
  • RRP £22.99


A lightweight replacement derailleur cage for Eagle AXS derailleurs. For those that like that sort of thing…

Ratio press release:

A lightweight replacement for Eagle AXS cages

Ratio announces UK-made derailleur cage to shed weight from your GX AXS derailleur or replace a damaged Eagle AXS cage.

Ratio Technology, known for their shifter upgrade kits and UK-made components, today launched a derailleur cage for Eagle AXS derailleurs. Machined from 7075 aluminium, the new cage shares many features with its mechanical-shifting cousin but has updated geometry for compatibility with SRAM’s electronic MTB derailleurs.

The new cage features 14t and 12t jockeys running on stainless Enduro bearings, held together with full stainless hardware. The standout feature of the cage is its weight: At 79g out of the box, a Ratio cage saves 67g over GX AXS and 5g over X01 AXS. In fact, the cage aside, SRAM’s electronic derailleurs are all virtually identical in their construction. The result is that a GX AXS derailleur fitted with Ratio’s cage weighs the same – but costs less – than SRAM’s X01 model.

To add to this, the new cage fits on all SRAM’s Eagle AXS derailleurs – making it a replacement part that SRAM themselves currently don’t offer. Bending or breaking a cage should not write off a derailleur that could have cost you over £550/$750/830€, and now it won’t.

Ratio says, “It’s no secret that SRAM’s GX AXS derailleur is heavy – over 50% heavier than its mechanical counterpart. However, its shifting mechanism is identical to X01 and XX1. With our new cage, your GX AXS mech beats X01 spec for a fraction of the price. Plus, cutting weight at the cage reduces chain slap and unsprung weight and you’ll still have your steel GX cage for emergencies.”

Product details:

  • Compatible with all SRAM Eagle AXS derailleurs
  • 7075 aluminium cage plates, CNC machined by Ratio in the Lakes
  • Delrin jockey wheels for smooth, quiet running, CNC machined by Ratio in the Lakes
  • Stainless Enduro jockey wheel bearings with labyrinth seals
  • Stainless cage hardware
  • Cage weight: 79g (SRAM GX AXS 144g)


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Cotic RocketMAXer. Schwalbe Magic Mary Purple Addix front. Maxxis DHR II 3C MaxxTerra rear. Coil fan. I have been a writer for nigh on 20 years, a photographer for 25 years and a mountain biker for 30 years. I have written countless magazine and website features and route guides for the UK mountain bike press, most notably for the esteemed and highly regarded Singletrackworld. Although I am a Lancastrian, I freely admit that West Yorkshire is my favourite place to ride. Rarely a week goes by without me riding and exploring the South Pennines.

More posts from Ben

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Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • NBD: Airdrop Slacker, Ducati E-MTBs, Leatt Onesie…
  • sharkattack
    Full Member

    Let’s get this over with…

    Slacker- Dream bike. Love it. Well done.
    Deuter- This looks like something for ‘cyclists’
    Ducati- OW MUCH!?!?!?
    Leatt- Intriguing mud suit. I’ll try something similar when the idea is ripped off and I can buy it on black Friday.
    5Dev- I don’t do bling.
    Elite Neto- Nice idea but I’ll never need one.
    Hiplok- It looks cool but I’ve had quite enough bikes stolen already thank you.
    Gusset- Most unappealing brand name ever?
    Ratio- Nah not for me. Pointless.

    Full Member

    love the Slacker.

    If I wanted a bike with Ducati stickers on, I’d rather have this.


    Maybe with the Ohlins, though!

    Full Member

    that airdrop looks a lot like my old kona operator

    Full Member

    Also love the Slacker. Especially that it’s not a race bike. When everyone else is obsessed with how fast a DH bike can go this one’s about how it feels. Perfect for 99% of alpes trips.

    How much of the price of that Ducati is paying for the stickers?

    Full Member

    Ducati- OW MUCH!?!?!?

    £11k for the Ltd edition. I’m not even sure you could buy one of their motorbikes for that.
    (about half that for the all mountain, so really not out of the way for an ebike in terms of pricing, that said I’ve no idea what the kit spec on that is)

    Full Member


    Ratio- Nah not for me. Pointless.

    Ratio’s USP here is that SRAM don’t sell a full replacement cage, so if you do mangle your mech, yuu can repair and upgrade it all in one. And their price is about par with a new SRAM inner cage and new jockey wheels – so you get the whole thing including the outer cage that SRAM don’t sell, and its lighter into the bargain

    Full Member

    £11k for the Ltd edition. I’m not even sure you could buy one of their motorbikes for that.

    Brand new Scramblers started at about 9k last time I looked. They may have shot up by now like everything else.

    Ratio’s USP here is that SRAM don’t sell a full replacement cage, so if you do mangle your mech, yuu can repair and upgrade it all in one. And their price is about par with a new SRAM inner cage and new jockey wheels – so you get the whole thing including the outer cage that SRAM don’t sell, and its lighter into the bargain

    That’s a good point. I didn’t know this as I’ve never needed to buy one.

    Full Member

    The Ducati TK-01 thing actually looks quite nice (for an E-bike) apart from that huge mud guard/cow catcher on the downtube

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