I test rode the yellow Birdy today at the LBS. The ride was smooth and the brakes were very responsive. I've only had my Dahon Mu P8 for a couple of weeks, but I am loving it so far. I will eventually hand down the Dahon to my fiancee and get myself a new bike. Naturally, the Mu SL interests me as it is the lighter version of my P8 (also better components). However, I see that there are some very satisfied Birdy owners here which made me want to give it a test ride. There are also some unpaved trails by my house which the Birdy would handle well, but the Dahon would not. The folded size of the Birdy seems comparable my Mu as I would still be taking it on the train to commute. I also know that people have taken their Birdys on long rides (50+ miles). I've run several marathons and half marathons and long distance cycling is something that naturally interests me. Whatever bike I get, I would want to be able to take for longer rides. I think I like the versatility of the Birdy and am leaning toward it when it is time to upgrade.
The only thing is that I do not know how long the Yellow and Silver Birdy will be around since the Birdy Monocoque is out now. Does anyone know if there are any major differences? I think the components are better and they come with Marathon Racers now (same as what I have on my Mu). If I wanted to take it out on the trail, would I need to swap out the tires? Does anyone know of any 18" tires that would be suitable for the trail?
Yes, I will probably also try to test ride the Swift and Tikit, but the Birdy seems to be the best all around bike.
I believe the monoque is light and a bit smaller - but it could be my mind playing tricks.
I love mine - it's perfect for me and I ride the street version of trails going through Bushwick and Williamsburg to commute to Manhattan (very industrial/full of pot holes).
Marathon racers are pretty solid for this but might not do as well on a trail. I hear the Pocket Rocket is a good MB substitute, but not sure how small it folds. I took a friend to Bfold where she got a Brompton, and I have to say that while the brompton is amazing compact, the Birdy is not to shabby and is a great bike. Wow does it accelerate fast.
As for the tires, they are hard to find. No idea about getting MB style treads.
I would keep the P8 for the commute and buy a road bike for long distances, unless you mean really long distances, like touring. Having a performance bike and a commuter bike really lets you appreciate their differences instead of forcing you to compromise.
Wow, this thread is just about a year old now. Since then, I sold the Birdy and got a Bike Friday Pocket Rocket Pro and have been very happy with it. Unfortunately, I fell off my bike a little more than a month ago and broke my wrist. The cast just came off, but I will need physical therapy to get back my full range of motion and to get my strength back. Right now, my wrist is pretty stiff. I hope to get back to riding as soon as I am able to!