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Birdy thread

Old 06-02-19, 09:28 PM
  #1151  
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Originally Posted by gleearch
That said, I can't tell if a BD_1 or Bianchi is a Mark 1, 2 or 3. If they don't list the year of manufacture in the ads, it's hard to correlate. Plus I noticed that in some of the latest postings, they are selling Birdys in Japan, so not sure if BD-1s are no longer being sold.

How do I tell if a BD-1 or Bianchi is a particular make? Is it when the handle bar stem and seat post are black? I'm looking at the monocoques. Is there a way to visually tell the difference. Since I'm new to Birdy's, when I look at the frames, I can't see much difference other than colors of the seat post and stems. Well the look of the stems seems different from the Mark 1 and newer models. Are there other things I can look for?
A mk1 isn't monocoque. The easiest way to tell a mk2 from an mk3 from a pic on the internet is that the mk3 has the chain tensioner near the chainring while the mk2 has it on the derailleur. Pacific does sell the mk3 tensioner as an after market item so if you're in person, the mk3 has hydroformed rear arms and a non-welded leading link on the front. The front stem comes in two main variants: an upright one and a forward tilting "sport" version that R&M/Pacific spec on the bikes as they feel like it. My understanding is that some (the base model?) stems don't allow adjustment but mine does.

At the risk of being wrong on the internet, I suspect any new BD-1s you buy in Japan are going to be the new classic Birdy that got designed as part of the 20th anniversary. They look like the mk1 but I believe have refinements to the geometry and forks. Check posts/articles from the anniversary announcement time period for more details but I don't think I've seen a detailed breakdown of the differences. I don't know anything about the random asian Birdy models.

Originally Posted by gleearch
Was there a significant difference in performance to justify changing out the wheel size? Did it cause issues with the fold and or with anything else like the derailleurs, parts rubbing against each other, etc?
I'm debating doing this on my mk3 with disc brakes. I believe the main reason to switch wheel size is for a wider tire selection. I believe the options in 355 are Marathons, Marathon Racers, Kojaks, and (if you import them) Panaracer Minits Lite for BD-1. Dropping to 349 should be fairly straightforward and is something I've considered depending on the availability of 355 tires going forward, it's only a 6mm difference in rim diameter but it doesn't open up tire selection that much. Going up to 406 is much more desirable for tire selection but from my reading, (probably same as yours) means dropping to a 28mm tire. The outer diameter between 38-355 and 28-406 isn't that large and the only thing I could see needing adjusting is tightening the screw on the rear triangle that locks it closed when the seat post is down plus maybe the brakes (but I haven't thought much about that due to discs).
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Old 06-02-19, 11:28 PM
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Hi Grayrest,
Thanks for the detailed response. Helps me better understand what I am looking at and gives me a better sense of things. Hopefully, as I continue my research and if I make it to Tokyo at the end of the year, I'll be able to get one. I'm hoping that they have end of year sales which might create more opportunities for a deal. Otherwise, a used model it'll have to be.

And if I land one, then I'll look into getting the 28-406. It's a long time between now and the end of the year.

Thanks
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Old 06-03-19, 01:23 AM
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I've been looking to go 406 for a while. Main thing stopping me is lack of a good local supplier, and the need to maintain the 9T Capreo/Sunrace rear cog on my 10sp touring. I have a disk MK3 so that simplifies the braking aspects. Going back to 11T rear cog would defeat the object, I'm already spending too much time in the last 3 cogs even with a 56T front ring.

Availability of a decent set of 406 disc rims in the UK seems limited which makes the best - if expensive alternative looking at someone like SMC or a random Chinese supplier from Ali...,
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Old 06-03-19, 08:10 AM
  #1154  
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Your profile doesn't say where you're located, gleearch. Could be someone near you may be selling a BD-1 in order to get a Brompton, so that his wife doesn't always say that his BD-1 goes up hills much more easily than her Brompton does.
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Old 06-03-19, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by timo888
Your profile doesn't say where you're located, gleearch. Could be someone near you may be selling a BD-1 in order to get a Brompton, so that his wife doesn't always say that his BD-1 goes up hills much more easily than her Brompton does.
I'm in the SF Bay Area. I have craiglist with Birdy in the search term up everyday.
Plus an ebay page set to search birdy too.

Closest dealer is in Hayward but they only carry the Classic Birdy. I see a few people riding Birdys in the city. You did think with all that I have seen being ridden around, there would be some on sale. There's a Birdy mark 1 right now on Craigslist going for a little north of $500 but I'm set on the monocogue design because it just looks better to me.
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Old 06-11-19, 06:37 AM
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Birdy decals

The decals on my old classic Birdy have peeled off, although the paintwork is still in excellent condition. As a result, the bike looks a bit anonymous and naked now. Does anyone know where I can buy some replacement Birdy decals?
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Old 06-13-19, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Dropbear
The decals on my old classic Birdy have peeled off, although the paintwork is still in excellent condition. As a result, the bike looks a bit anonymous and naked now. Does anyone know where I can buy some replacement Birdy decals?
Have you contacted Pacific Cycles directly or searched Alixexpress?
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Old 06-16-19, 10:23 AM
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Congrats! I'd love one, but my pocket will suffer
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Old 06-16-19, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by gleearch
Have you contacted Pacific Cycles directly or searched Alixexpress?
Thanks for the suggestions.

I've searched Aliexpress but had no luck. Pacific Cycles' online shops do not sell any decals, which is surprising given how easily they peel off. I'll write to them directly.
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Old 07-14-19, 11:23 PM
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Question for those that did the 20" wheel conversion.

Did you install fenders and if so, which brand works? From what I have seen on the net from photos owners have posted, there doesn't seem to be a lot of room to install a fender with 20" wheels. I'm assuming it's easier with the disc brake versions vs the caliper brakes.

Thanks for your input ahead of time.
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Old 07-21-19, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by gleearch
Question for those that did the 20" wheel conversion.

Did you install fenders and if so, which brand works? From what I have seen on the net from photos owners have posted, there doesn't seem to be a lot of room to install a fender with 20" wheels. I'm assuming it's easier with the disc brake versions vs the caliper brakes.

Thanks for your input ahead of time.
Just use the original Birdy fender. It will work without peoblem on 20" wheels.
Exceptional custom paint mod by a Japanese.
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Old 07-22-19, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by BabyCowHK
Just use the original Birdy fender. It will work without peoblem on 20" wheels.
Exceptional custom paint mod by a Japanese.
Thank you for the info. That bike looks cool.
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Old 08-03-19, 12:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Dropbear
The decals on my old classic Birdy have peeled off, although the paintwork is still in excellent condition. As a result, the bike looks a bit anonymous and naked now. Does anyone know where I can buy some replacement Birdy decals?
I was surfing for Birdy bike parts and ran across these. It's on a Chinese website called taobao which I believe is similar to Alibaba and Ebay. Just in chinese. If you open the link in the Chrome browser it has the option of translating the page into English. I don't know how you would actually be able to purchase the stickers but maybe you have a friend who can read Chinese and be able to help you out.

https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm...d=566365699886

It appears that there are options to select different colors. I'm not affiliated with the website in any way and have never used it, so can't vouch for it.
Anyway, good luck.
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Old 08-04-19, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by gleearch
I was surfing for Birdy bike parts and ran across these. It's on a Chinese website called taobao which I believe is similar to Alibaba and Ebay. Just in chinese. If you open the link in the Chrome browser it has the option of translating the page into English. I don't know how you would actually be able to purchase the stickers but maybe you have a friend who can read Chinese and be able to help you out.

https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm...d=566365699886

It appears that there are options to select different colors. I'm not affiliated with the website in any way and have never used it, so can't vouch for it.
Anyway, good luck.

Thanks for the great find. Most appreciated!

I've actually purchased a set of decals from Pacific Cycles. But it's always good to have alternative sources to buy from.
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Old 08-06-19, 03:26 PM
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Alfine 11



With full touring load

Hi! I mentioned earlier that the Sunrace hub which R&M specs on the derailer Birdys now is too weak. I didn't learn that until after I had upgraded it from 10 to 11 speed, a costly mistake. Anyway, sunken cost. I went for the Alfine 11 instead. That isn't cheap either, but it's just a third of a Rohloff, and has slightly more range than the 9-36t cassette it replaced. I've read reviews and heard about it breaking for some people, and working fine for others. Those people are mostly on big wheels, and correspondingly high torque gearing. I'm thinking the chance of it working well with the tiny Birdy wheels is pretty good.

So, I got one and installed it. 45/19 gearing. No magic, just a few tricks. First, it has no-turn washers marked left and right. Those must be swapped to the opposite side on the Birdy, then the arm for the cable housing aligns perfectly with the hole under the chainstay, so there's no need for a cable loop behind the axle. Second, the arm comes awfully close to the chain. I used a bolt through one of the conveniently placed threaded holes in the dropout to pull the arm slightly outwards, to avoid any chain rub. Third, it is very sensitive to correct adjustment, and the sweet spot is not necessarily exactly where it should be according to the setup marks, but may be a millimeter off. Once the right point is found, it shifts perfectly.

I have over 800 km on it now, and it's soon time for the first oil change. All good so far. One change I'd like to make is to modify the chain tensioner so it has lower tension in the fully forwards position, which I'm using to get maximum chain uptake when folding, and to keep the chain higher off the ground. I've also switched to wax lube. It must be applied often, but it's nice to have a clean chain on a folder since I take it inside often. I'm happy with the change so far.
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Old 08-06-19, 03:49 PM
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I took my Birdy on a tour of Sweden this July. When I go on tour I usually ride recumbents since they're more comfortable and faster on longer trips, but they're also bigger, and swedish rail doesn't allow any non-folding bikes on their trains. It would be a pain to get stuck somewhere with a technical problem, injury or illness, and not be able to hop on a train home. So I took the Birdy, and did shorter distances than usual - 35-85 km per day, rather than 75-150.

I rode among other things the Sweden Solar System, the worlds largest scale model of the sun, planets, several dwarf planets, moons, asteroids, even an interstellar object. 300 km from the sun to Pluto. It's a pretty impressive thing the Swedes have done, for a small amount of money. The sun model is gigantic, but it's a building that was already there, so it came at no cost for the modellers. Check out the site, it's interesting stuff.

Here's the Birdy by planet Neptune. At this scale the sun is 71 meters, Jupiter is 7 m, Neptune 2.5 m, Earth 65 cm, Pluto 12 cm.



Birdy by Neptune
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Old 08-09-19, 03:28 AM
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Originally Posted by 50PlusCycling
...
The old Birdy titanium bikes were sold in Japan, but used examples are now selling for about $3500.

I suppose I'll have to buy one in Taiwan the next time I visit.
Titanium birdy 2019 are out on the streets ... here is one example after mod.

This bike is now a little bit over 11kg, which is not bad considering this is a functional not lightweight project (with kickstand and water bottle adapter ....)







Also came Titanium Front Suspension

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Old 08-10-19, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by bike.gang.uk
Titanium birdy 2019 are out on the streets ... here is one example after mod.

This bike is now a little bit over 11kg, which is not bad considering this is a functional not lightweight project (with kickstand and water bottle adapter ....)







Also came Titanium Front Suspension

Amazing titanium.
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Old 08-11-19, 01:38 PM
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Congratulations for your new bike looks nice
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Old 09-21-19, 03:56 PM
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My new used Birdy monocoque standard with disc brakes. The previous owner upgraded some of the components. Replaced the 8 speed with a Sram 10 speed 11~32T, Sram Gx derailleur, Sram XO MTB rear trigger shifter. Has a carbon handlebar.

It took me over 2-3 months of searching to get it. I tried initially to buy locally but there are no local dealers carrying the bike. I tried used from Japan by using easybuyauction, White rabbit express, buyee, yahoo japan auction and several other sites but was informed that many of them will not ship a bike to the US and if they did, it costs half the price of the bike. Not to forget having to pay import duties

I ended up finding a used bike on ebay and it was local to me. Not anywhere close to the price I wanted but maybe that was unrealistic of me but an overall fair price.







Looks like a GT with the Black Jack tires
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Old 09-26-19, 12:00 AM
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Another question for those who have done the 20"/ 406 conversion.

I saw these Litepro rims:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32373457295.html
and was wondering if they would work on the Birdy and if yes, what's the widest tire that could work. It looks like it gets fairly tight at the rear swingarm.

Thanks in advance again.
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Old 09-28-19, 05:42 PM
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Okd style Birdy with humble mods

Hi there, I bought a Birdy on Craigslist a couple years ago and just got around to making a few humble mods.. Was going for a comfortable very upright ride so added a stem extender to the already made for comfort stem. Changed out the seven speed grift shifter to a trigger. Changed the saddle to a wider one to go with the very upright riding position. Reliving how fun making mods are from back in the bike commuter days ..
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Old 11-16-19, 11:49 PM
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Could the Birdy fork be used on any other folder/mini velo that accepts a fork with a 1 1/8" headset? If so, how would it be done since the Birdy fork has no steerer tube?
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Old 11-17-19, 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Sir Coastalot
Could the Birdy fork be used on any other folder/mini velo that accepts a fork with a 1 1/8" headset? If so, how would it be done since the Birdy fork has no steerer tube?
Presumably yes, if:
  • you also use the Birdy handlepost, which has the steerer tube (might go without it, if you can get a long enough steerer tube by cutting it off another fork)
  • that steerer tube's diameter fits the headset on the other bike
  • that steerer tube is not too short (if it's too long it can be cut shorter)
  • the Birdy fork total height fits the other bike fairly well (it might be too tall for a Brompton, but should fit better if it's replacing an unsuspended fork for a 20" wheel)
  • the head tube angle fits that of the Birdy, more or less
Many ifs, but should be possible to figure out.
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Old 11-17-19, 05:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Sir Coastalot
Could the Birdy fork be used on any other folder/mini velo that accepts a fork with a 1 1/8" headset? If so, how would it be done since the Birdy fork has no steerer tube?
Like this?


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