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Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

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Old 10-05-08, 12:58 AM   #1
jur
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Birdy thread

Last weekend I got me a Birdy.

It came with the wrong stem so I couldn't ride it for a week. The dealer assured me all models had the sport stem as standard, but no, it came with the backwards comfort stem. But I got the right one this Friday and quickly installed it along with the mudguards. But wet weather meant I stayed indoors, didn't want the new bike all dirty...

So yesterday at noon when the roads dried up I took it for its maiden ride to the local peak ride (on which I also live), and today on a gentle pootle on some newly-discovered singletrack.

What a pleasure to ride! I got the tyres at 90psi but it still feels like I'm riding soft Big Apples. Steering is not twitchy *at all*. It surprised me.



Entry-level 8sp gearing but that's good - means I paid less ($1,530) and I will upgrade some parts if necessary. But it's working perfectly well. The first thing to go will be the Alivio derailer, that will get Ultegra, to improve ground clearance. I am thinking of keeping it 8sp, chains are cheap as chips so I can get a new one each few months, and have a bunch in stock for the price of a single 9sp chain.

I already replaced all the contact points, raiding some of my other rides (pedals from R20, saddle from Mini). It has Maxxis Birdy tyres.



The color is nice - a metallic off-white, like a pearl. I didn't like the idea at first but I must say its sensational in the flesh.

For now I have settled with the idea this will be an all-round bike so no weight weenie-isms, and the gearing is OK for now. I have the rack for the back (to be installed once I get the right one for this frame, got the older one) and lowrider front pannier racks.

Review after a week of commuting.
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Old 10-05-08, 04:13 AM   #2
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Wow Jur, after long search now the Birdy. Colour looks nice - actually I thought before the white colour makes that clumsy front fork look lighter - the bike less "truck like". Is it the actual "cream white" which is on the market now? Look forward to review
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Old 10-05-08, 08:48 AM   #3
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Congratulations on the new ride! Looks gorgeous...

Are you trimming your stable to make room for this one?
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Old 10-05-08, 08:59 AM   #4
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Oh wow... My one test ride on a Birdy told me everything I needed to know. It's really an awesome bike. Too bad it's beyond my budget.

I will await your review. Should be a good read.
--sam
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Old 10-05-08, 09:05 AM   #5
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Congratulations! Can you analyse what makes the ride so good - is it the front suspension?
Looks like you can ride it without hands - right? How stiff is the frame if you compare it
to your other bikes?
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Old 10-05-08, 09:34 AM   #6
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Wooo hoooooo!! .....
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Old 10-05-08, 10:56 AM   #7
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Congratulation Jur, that bike has your name all over it
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Old 10-05-08, 12:01 PM   #8
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Don't choose a short-cage derailleur, the existing mech already has to work quite hard to gather the chain while folding.
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Old 10-05-08, 01:38 PM   #9
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Somna: The color is indeed metallic cream.

SC: I am still debating the issue. I'll stay put for another 6 months to see how things develop. If any bike stops being used, it may go on the block.

maranen: The ride quality is due to the softening effect of the suspension, the fact that the bike fits well and the frame stiffness. I haven't tried riding it no-hands. More details will follow in the in-depth review.

LWaB: Ta for the RD tip. I am also going to see how it handles being folded in lowest gear when less chain needs to be gathered. Any thoughts? (And why are you up at such an hour? )
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Old 10-05-08, 01:53 PM   #10
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Looks great Jur, congrats!
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Old 10-05-08, 03:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jur View Post
Somna: The color is indeed metallic cream.

SC: I am still debating the issue. I'll stay put for another 6 months to see how things develop. If any bike stops being used, it may go on the block.

maranen: The ride quality is due to the softening effect of the suspension, the fact that the bike fits well and the frame stiffness. I haven't tried riding it no-hands. More details will follow in the in-depth review.

LWaB: Ta for the RD tip. I am also going to see how it handles being folded in lowest gear when less chain needs to be gathered. Any thoughts? (And why are you up at such an hour? )

Congrats! If you want to trade that beautiful white one for a severely abused yellow, just let me know.

If the chain does not fall off when you fold it, you can put it in a low gear, but I wouldn't put it in the lowest, as it bends the chain quite a bit. I use an Ultegra medium cage. It doesn't gather as much chain as it should in part because road derailleurs have weaker springs than mountain derailleurs. The XT works great.

That said, as long as you are careful when you fold, an Ultegra is fine. One trick is to keep your chain loop tight but not so tight that you can't move it with your foot. You can then tension it with your foot just before you fold it.

Those tires are about -2-3MPH relative to the Stelvios, but are almost indestructible. In the US and Europe, Schwalbe is now listing the Kojak in 355. That will also take 1.2 pounds off of your bike.
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Old 10-05-08, 06:41 PM   #12
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Congrats !!! It looks great !!! Where did you get it for $1500. I have checked Birdy's website and:
1. I don't see this color but I see this model (I think) and the price tag is much more than $1500.
2. Damn it is a nice looking bike
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Old 10-05-08, 06:57 PM   #13
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Very nice. Congratulations on your new acquisition!
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Old 10-05-08, 07:56 PM   #14
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Very nice bike.

I always like the Birdy and tested one years ago. I also tested the folder from Giant and could not believe how much better the Birdy was in comparison. The Giant felt like a toy while the Birdy was soild and shifted so crisp. I don't know of a single Dahon that feels as comfortable as the Birdy.

You have a Tremendous bike.
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Old 10-05-08, 09:00 PM   #15
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Wow jur, that is one nice bike. Now I want one too! Those Eggbeater look great on it. the saddle ain't half bad either
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Old 10-06-08, 06:28 AM   #16
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Nice bike, Jur. I think many of us have thought about getting a Birdy, but might have balked at the price and the fact that not many people own them - ie. there isn't that much in the way of customer reviews. I'll be interested in your upcoming reports on ride and long term use,

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Old 10-06-08, 12:27 PM   #17
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Nice bike indeed. I was sorely tempted by some yellow Birdies earlier this year on ebay ($900!) but decided to go with a Swift.

I'd be interested to hear how it compares to the Pacific Reach? Particularly the suspension which looks similiar.
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Old 10-06-08, 02:39 PM   #18
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Looks great! Looking forward to the review. Congrats!
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Old 10-06-08, 03:27 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy C View Post
Congrats !!! It looks great !!! Where did you get it for $1500. I have checked Birdy's website and:
1. I don't see this color but I see this model (I think) and the price tag is much more than $1500.
2. Damn it is a nice looking bike
You are probably looking here: http://www.birdybike.com/Models/models.html

While these folks have done some nice things in the past, I'm very unclear about their ethics. They are one of the "authorized" US distributors. All of the bikes they sell are 2006 models. The problem is that the 2006 models went for as little as $800 in 2006. Even if they are getting the bikes from Europe and not Taiwan, the rise of the Euro could not account for the difference. You are better off buying the 2008 models off of eBay for a tiny fraction of the price from a similarly disreputable drop and ship supplier. That is the sad state of affairs of the Birdy distribution in the USA.
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Old 10-06-08, 05:01 PM   #20
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I just had this thread renamed, so now the Birdy has its own centralised thread as all other bikes of renown have.

I am still writing up my review. And don't forget pm124's excellent review of the Birdy Monocoque which I can't find just now, the search function isn't working.
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Old 10-06-08, 06:57 PM   #21
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If the chain does not fall off when you fold it, you can put it in a low gear, but I wouldn't put it in the lowest, as it bends the chain quite a bit.
I've gotten in the habit of shifting up to the highest gear as I finish a ride, for folding.

I sometimes catch myself doing it on my road bike as well.
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Old 10-06-08, 07:07 PM   #22
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What happened to the Bike Friday you were expecting the Stork to bring? Or is that old news?
Nice Birdy. I concur - Tis' a lovely colour though I'd paint half of the fork gubbins matt black so it doesn't look like a praying mantis
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Old 10-07-08, 04:50 AM   #23
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Jur

Thats a very nice bike

I'm interested in the background reasons you decided to buy it?
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Old 10-07-08, 06:14 AM   #24
jur
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I'm interested in the background reasons you decided to buy it?
It was chewed over in a thread called "I only need ONE bike" IIRC. I wanted a bike to be my do-all, fold well, ride well. The tikit featured briefly but Lynette Chang who had the tikit on tour over here didn't understand that I said I wanted it and sold it to whoever. I asked for payment details, heard nothing for a while, next thing SOLD!

So the Birdy came out on top. The Moulton also was mulled over but put on the back burner because it doesn't fold.

So now that I have the Birdy and my go-fast Swift, all the other bikes are on the endangered list.

Except the Yeah - that is such a good bike.

Ah and the Mini - can't bear to part with cutie.

Oh and the R20 - I am thinking of properly having the frame powder coated.

That leaves............... none?! D'oh!
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Old 10-07-08, 06:45 AM   #25
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Thanks Jur

You have a nice stable of bikes there. I would say what's next for you but suspect your going to be busy with the Birdy for quite a while!
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