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Old 11-11-10, 10:42 AM   #251
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Originally Posted by yangmusa View Post
If you don't have to worry about size, it's a nice case since the bike fits to easily.

On the other hand, Bike Friday list their Samsonite case as 13lb (5.9kb), while Samsonite list the F'Lite GT 31" as only 5.0 kg - either way, it's quite a bit lighter than the R&M case. If you have any hills on your route you might care about 3 kg?

I would keep an eye on eBay and see if there's a big price difference between the Birdy case and the Samsonite...
Don't forget, every once in a while you will have to pick that suitcase up ... with and without the bike inside. Personally, I'd rather it be lighter than heavier.
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Old 11-11-10, 09:02 PM   #252
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Looks so great. I love this.
Thanks for this.
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Old 11-13-10, 10:48 AM   #253
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Well the good news is that a Birdy Hard Travel Case came up on eBay and I won the auction! have to sort out delivery/collection but really pleased I can now explore Birdy in Case. Realise the case is quite heavy, it has aluminium tube reinforcement inside. Perhaps make a carbon version! Lots of boat builders locally who are moulding experts.
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Old 11-14-10, 01:16 PM   #254
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Random question:

I'm wondering how difficult/expensive it would be to raise the gearing on a Birdy LX/XT (often called the "Speed" model I think). Bear in mind that I have never changed anything on any bike, ever, and don't even own a wrench. I would probably have to buy a wrench, first of all.

Its top gear is apparently 88 gear inches (the same as the more expensive Capreo model, I think), which might be enough... Or it might not. Since smaller wheels lose momentum faster, I don't feel like I can easily predict what I'll want. I do know the top gear of 74 gear inches on my Brompton 2SL is not high enough, though it's not terribly low either.

The SRAM/Touring Birdy has a top gear of 120 gear inches, but it's also about two pounds heavier. I rode that model once and found the weight to be a bit of a problem.

Any opinions appreciated.
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Old 11-14-10, 02:14 PM   #255
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Since smaller wheels lose momentum faster,
I am not sure if this is an engineering urban myth. Lighter wheels lose momentum quicker yes. Generally the smaller wheels make little difference.
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Old 01-28-11, 04:49 PM   #256
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Can someone please point me to where I can buy the black elastomer block for my Birdy (I'm in the U.S.).
I tried 3 different dealers in my area and not one knows anything about the Birdy.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-28-11, 05:54 PM   #257
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You could contact forum member BruceMetras.
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Old 01-28-11, 06:16 PM   #258
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You could contact forum member BruceMetras.
Thanks Jur, I do have the black elastomers..
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Old 01-29-11, 09:27 AM   #259
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I am not sure if this is an engineering urban myth. Lighter wheels lose momentum quicker yes. Generally the smaller wheels make little difference.
It's true assuming that when you say lose momentum, you actually mean lose speed. Momentum is speed times mass.
Lighter anything loses speed quicker becouse there is less energy stored as momentum but lighter wheels have more effect because wheels have rotational momentum as well as linear momentum.
Of course, the converse is also true that they also gain speed more quickly.
What this means is that lighter bikes, particularly bikes with lighter wheels are a bit more responsive when you need to accelerate quickly.
Unless the mass differences are large, you don't get a big difference in acceleration or decceleration as the mass of the rider is much larger than the mass of bike but it doesn't take that much to make the bike feel different and to make a difference in competition.

Last edited by energyandair; 01-29-11 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 02-27-11, 08:35 AM   #260
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A couple weeks ago in my "funny story" post, I described how the local bike impound lot lost my old clunker Peugeot folder, and gave me a Peugeot Pacific (rebadged Birdy made for the Japan market) as a replacement. I got the bike cleaned up, and I have already put a hundred kilometers on it. I couldn't be happier.

I have been riding for a number of years, I did a bit of amateur road racing, and I did some time working as a bike mechanic. I've ridden all manner of bikes, and have always been happy when on 2 wheels. My "Birdy" is another addition to a very-long list of bikes which I have owned over the years, but it is by far among the most useful and fun.

When I came to Japan I brought 2 bikes with me, and old "bespoke" Gios road bike, and an old Schwinn Phantom. Both bikes are fun to ride, but few bikes are more convenient to own and use in Tokyo as folders are. I don't own a car, so if I want to ride in outlying places I have to take my bike with me on the train or bus.

So far I am very impressed by my Birdy. First, it's light weight makes it easier to carry, it is lighter than my old Dahon, and even lighter than my Panasonic Wing. It is quick to fold and unfold, and when folded it is quite compact.

I love how the Birdy rides and handles. It soaks up rough pavement and irregularities in the road, the handling is responsive, and I can adjust the riding position closely enough to mimic the position I use on my road bike. One the not-so-good side, the small wheels coast down more quickly than full size wheels, and though the bike is responsive, the smaller wheels somewhat limit maneuverability.

In order to get the bike roadworthy, I started by replacing the hardware and bushings, which were quite rusty. I found a titanium hardware kit at a local shop which included all the necessary parts. Next, I got rid of the original saddle, which was too soft, and I replaced it with a new Brooks B-17. The local TV/Camera/bike store for some reason had a set of XTR brake levers on sale, so I installed those tonight.

I looked at some ready-made wheels specifically designed for the BD-1 (what the Birdy is called in Japan), but decided they were overpriced. I ended up buying a set of hubs, rims, and spokes so I could build my own. I will pick up some tires next week, and hopefully I will get them finished up and installed in a week or two.

My bike is currently an 8 speed, but I will upgrade ton a 10 speed when I get the parts and time. I will go for a ride tomorrow to the Tokyo Sky Tree, then to Asakusa, and Ueno park. Then I will ride out to Shinjuku to buy another camera, and then out to Ikebukuro to pick up an 10 speed shifter and freewheel.

I'll post pics once I get it all together.

Last edited by Sangetsu; 02-28-11 at 05:31 AM.
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Old 02-27-11, 04:39 PM   #261
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Yep pics please!
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Old 02-27-11, 05:10 PM   #262
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I love how the Birdy rides and handles. It soaks up rough pavement and irregularities in the road, the handling is responsive, and I can adjust the riding position closely enough to mimic the position I use on my road bike. One the not-so-good side, the small wheels coast down more quickly than full size wheels, and though the bike is responsive, the smaller wheels somewhat limit maneuverability.
In what way do you feel the small wheels limit your manoeuvrability?

One of the things I like about mine is that bike I find it easier than a larger wheel bike to manoeuvre in very tight spaces.
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Old 02-27-11, 05:20 PM   #263
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I'm a little disappointed with you Birdy owners...21 posts since the last Birdy porn???...you know that's not right!...
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Old 02-27-11, 07:49 PM   #264
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In what way do you feel the small wheels limit your manoeuvrability?

One of the things I like about mine is that bike I find it easier than a larger wheel bike to manoeuvre in very tight spaces.
At sidewalk speeds a folding bike is maneuverable, but at quicker speeds you don't get the same range of motion. I usually ride my Gios, which has wonderful geometry and very precise handling and maneuverability. I know I can't expect a folding bike to compare, but I've put tens of thousands of miles on road bikes, and my reflexes are more in tune with their habits. It's quite easy to flick left or right on a road bike at speed and get a yard or more of lateral motion, whereas on a folder I don't get as much.

But I haven't ridden my Gios since I got on the Birdy, which says something for how much I like it. My riding plans for today have been upset by rain, so I'll be stuck with using the train...
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Old 03-01-11, 01:41 AM   #265
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I still haven't gotten to putting together the wheels yet, but today I installed a XT 10 speed cassette and shifters. The gear range is 11-36, and after a short test-ride it seems to work very well. The smaller steps between the gears make it easier to find the optimum gear. I didn't put on the chain catcher correctly, but otherwise the installation went smoothly.

Does anyone know what type of bottom bracket comes on the Birdy? and what the threading is? I would like to use an Ultegra or Dura Ace crank set.
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Old 03-01-11, 04:43 AM   #266
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The threading is English. It is fairly certain that you can put those cranks on, but there would be a small chainline discrepancy as the rear hub is 135mm while road cranks are aligned for 130mm hubs.
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Old 03-01-11, 11:54 PM   #267
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At sidewalk speeds a folding bike is maneuverable, but at quicker speeds you don't get the same range of motion. I usually ride my Gios, which has wonderful geometry and very precise handling and maneuverability. I know I can't expect a folding bike to compare, but I've put tens of thousands of miles on road bikes, and my reflexes are more in tune with their habits. It's quite easy to flick left or right on a road bike at speed and get a yard or more of lateral motion, whereas on a folder I don't get as much.

But I haven't ridden my Gios since I got on the Birdy, which says something for how much I like it. My riding plans for today have been upset by rain, so I'll be stuck with using the train...
Ah! I understand what you mean now.
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Old 03-01-11, 11:55 PM   #268
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I still haven't gotten to putting together the wheels yet, but today I installed a XT 10 speed cassette and shifters. The gear range is 11-36, and after a short test-ride it seems to work very well. The smaller steps between the gears make it easier to find the optimum gear. I didn't put on the chain catcher correctly, but otherwise the installation went smoothly.

Does anyone know what type of bottom bracket comes on the Birdy? and what the threading is? I would like to use an Ultegra or Dura Ace crank set.
Does the chain clear the trailing arm when its on the 36T cog?
On my old style Birdy the chain just touches with a 34T.
On my wife's Monocoque the chain is fine on 34T but I'm not sure how much clearance there is and its too late and too wet for me to venture out to the garage and check.
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Old 03-02-11, 08:58 AM   #269
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My bike is the old style as well, but the chain has 4 or 5mm of clearance when on the 36 cog. It's not much, but it's not rubbing. FWIW, I'm using a Shimano SLX long-cage derailleur. I replaced the Birdy chain hanger with a new one (one good thing about the Birdy is that it's very popular in Japan, and the better bike shops all have parts).

One interesting concern with the new 10 speed kit is the ground clearance. The lower pulley comes quite close to the ground, especially with the lower-profile Kojak tires.

BTW, for those who may be interested, Panasonic makes a tire in Japan specifically for the Birdy (or BD-1, as it is called here). The tire is called "Minit", or "Minits", it is a slick tire, and weighs 150 grams.

Last edited by Sangetsu; 03-02-11 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 03-02-11, 01:44 PM   #270
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I'm a little disappointed with you Birdy owners...21 posts since the last Birdy porn???...you know that's not right!...
The problem is that the North America distributor has been basically AWOL for quite some time(not even listed on the Pacific Cycles site), and most of the dealers have dried up.

Shame really, a wonderful product and actually at about the same price point for comparably spec'ed bikes from competitors. They continue to have a wide following in Asia and Europe, with the Japanese having an incredible selection of bikes and accessories.
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Old 03-02-11, 08:14 PM   #271
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I'm a little disappointed with you Birdy owners...21 posts since the last Birdy porn???...you know that's not right!...

Okay Vik, you're right .. where's the Birdy Porn .. how about a new $4650.00 Titanium 20 speed, disk brake Birdy




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Old 03-02-11, 08:28 PM   #272
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Bruce, for a second there, I saw $465.00 & my heart skipped a beat until I took a second look. Must be like an optical illusion. lol.
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Old 03-03-11, 12:09 AM   #273
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Here are some pics,



Closeup of the 10 speed setup,



Closeup of chain clearance with chain in the 36 tooth cog

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Old 03-03-11, 12:18 AM   #274
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I am not in love with how forum member's pics get 1/3 cropped off in order to make margin room for ads. Can something be done about this problem?

Getting back to the bike, I am surprised at what a difference the Kojak tires make, the bike is very noticeably faster. I have the tires pumped up to 110 psi, they are rock-hard, but with the suspension the ride remains quite smooth. As I said before, ground clearance with the derailleur is an issue when in the tallest gear, hopefully I won't scrape anything too badly. A medium cage derailleur would give more clearance, but I'm not sure if it would have enough range for the cluster.
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Old 03-03-11, 02:42 AM   #275
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Very nice!! Score of the decade.

A medium cage derailer looks like the way to go.

I tried a XT Shadow on mine but the cable routing was too tortured.
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