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Bought a Birdy AND a Brompton

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Bought a Birdy AND a Brompton

Old 05-10-11, 10:54 AM
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Bought a Birdy AND a Brompton

I just got a Birdy and my wife got a Brompton. We are first time bike riders in Manhattan, and first-time folder riders.

Some pretty intense shopping, riding, web searching, etc. Don't take this post for a serious review or comparison----just some key, personal reasons for our choices.

I'm 6'1" and the Birdy had a nice fit. Brompton's fold-up dimensions beat every other bike I looked at, but once out of that "class-by-itself," the Birdy is one of the smaller folded bikes, also lighter. I narrowed my choice to the BF Tikit and Birdy. I did consider a Brompton for myself because it's likely that I could have "overcome" the initial feel; I also seriously considered the Dahon Mu XL Sport----much less money, nice internal hub, didn't feel as tight.

The Birdy is smooth and responsive. It feels better at high speed that the Brompton. At least one reviewer dinged the Birdy at highest speeds saying it didn't perform as well as it should have. I didn't notice this and I'm not likely to spend much time at speed pressing the bike. The Birdy edges deeper into the touring category than the more commuter Brompton. The bike looks cool in the basic, high-quality, low-glitz matt grey, "New York Birdy" configuration sold by B-fold Bikes.

About the Tikit: IMO, Bike Friday's business plan is very clever, but somewhat overwrought. Every option that I would decide against seemed like a loss of functionality; but to say yes to everything that sounded cool, ran up the tab beyond what seemed appropriate. This could have been because of my newness to the smaller format and appropriate limits of folders. Also, the bike was slightly heavier and less compact than the Birdy.


My wife's Brompton makes good on all the raves that the brand garners. There are obvious reason for its popularity. Chiefly in our case: small folded size, lower end of the weight comparisons, brilliant assortment of bags and accessories.
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Old 05-10-11, 11:02 AM
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Welcome to the "fold" (pun mercilessly intended). You made two very good choices.

This is a great site for folding bike lovers. Wonderful folks and very helpful too. Hope you stick around and participate.
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Old 05-10-11, 01:37 PM
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Congrats on the new bikes!... If you don't mind me asking what does a Birdy cost in NYC and which dealer did you buy from?
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Old 05-10-11, 04:01 PM
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Congrats as well. We also have a Birdy (red) and a Brompton (6 speed). Great bikes and while the Brompton is probally the better design I love the Birdy more. Both are the only two bikes that will fit into the trunck of my BMW with the top down (only one at a time).

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Old 05-10-11, 04:39 PM
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Good choice in bikes. I've got a Brompton and would love a Birdy
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Old 05-10-11, 05:00 PM
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Be careful what you post here. Someone (not me) could be plotting to kill you and marry your wife.
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Old 05-10-11, 05:05 PM
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+1 I have a Birdy and would love a Brompton. I started a Birdy thread and wrote a long-winded review, and also further, a come-back review. After Some years of the Birdy, it is as good as ever and hasn't given me the least little problem that would be classed as Birdy-only. The fold is a s solid as ever, and the handlebar stem hinge as well.

( I also have a Moulton APB which is very noticeably better to ride than the Birdy.)
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Old 05-10-11, 05:57 PM
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jur

Someday I am going to get the chance to try an extended ride on a Moulton (probally a TSR). In the interim my Birdy rides great.

Jim
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Old 05-11-11, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by vik
Congrats on the new bikes!... If you don't mind me asking what does a Birdy cost in NYC and which dealer did you buy from?
The Birdy is essentially the Alivio model. Paid about $100 more than the list from Pacific Cycles. Dave at B-fold fits the New York Model with a 9-speed instead of 8 and a couple of other tweaks. Then there's that unique slate-looking paint that is very fine looking.

BTW, we got the Brompton in the clear lacquer finish (I'd call it a mild bronze effect, with prominent brazing.) We keep the folded bikes in our home office, and we didn't want the place to look like a garage or toy room. We're pleased with the neutral, industrial effect that fits with the computer gear, books, cabinetry, etc.

Folding and unfolding the Birdy is a slower learning curve than I expected. It can be fast and logical, but there are several micro-steps that can fall out of the process and leave me with a jumble of wrong angles and over-stretched cables. I expect that soon the process will turn into muscle memory and skip my brain altogether.
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Old 05-11-11, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by social suicide
Be careful what you post here. Someone (not me) could be plotting to kill you and marry your wife.
that is funny....

back to the fold...

welcome
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Old 12-22-14, 04:34 PM
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Resurrecting this thread because I have a Brompton and am now aiming for a Birdy. Interesting to hear some of the comments - even if they're 3 years old - comparing the two bikes which simply reinforces the reasons I'm getting one to complement the Brompton.

I'm in love with the cream white Birdy and I want to add that to my stable of orange/white Giant MTB and orange/white Brompton.
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Old 12-22-14, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by keyven
Resurrecting this thread because I have a Brompton and am now aiming for a Birdy. Interesting to hear some of the comments - even if they're 3 years old - comparing the two bikes which simply reinforces the reasons I'm getting one to complement the Brompton.

I'm in love with the cream white Birdy and I want to add that to my stable of orange/white Giant MTB and orange/white Brompton.
WOW - a 3 year old thread.

I have both - the Brompton folds small and easy the Birdy folds reasonable small and reasonably easy. However while you could fold a Brompton just for the fun of it I don;t see that on a Birdy.

The flip side - given a choice I ride the Birdy
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Old 12-22-14, 10:01 PM
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I loved my Birdy. Never disliked it. But once I got the Brompton, it started gathering dust. With a Swift and a Moulton next to the Brompton to handle all sorts of riding, the Birdy was completely redundant.

However that doesn't help you...

Maybe if I didn't have the Moulton, I would still have the Birdy. No mistake, that is one heck of a nice folder. It was may main commuter for a long time, didn't keep count but perhaps 2 years? So I put in a major stint on it and it wasn't because I was tired of it that I sold it. Perhaps they are too close to each other... I am not in need of wide gearing so that doesn't swing it for me. I toured on the Birdy and the wider gearing was good but I have similar options ready to go on the Brommie.

So, not clear... maybe it is simply an issue of want.
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Old 12-22-14, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by jur
I loved my Birdy. Never disliked it. But once I got the Brompton, it started gathering dust. With a Swift and a Moulton next to the Brompton to handle all sorts of riding, the Birdy was completely redundant.

However that doesn't help you...

Maybe if I didn't have the Moulton, I would still have the Birdy. No mistake, that is one heck of a nice folder. It was may main commuter for a long time, didn't keep count but perhaps 2 years? So I put in a major stint on it and it wasn't because I was tired of it that I sold it. Perhaps they are too close to each other... I am not in need of wide gearing so that doesn't swing it for me. I toured on the Birdy and the wider gearing was good but I have similar options ready to go on the Brommie.

So, not clear... maybe it is simply an issue of want.
Very much an issue of want The Brompton is the ultimate multi-modal urban commuter while the full-sus Giant MTB is built to handle everything else. I like to think the Birdy would be my jack-of-all-trades - small+light+fast+flexible and certainly sharp-looking in a manner the Brompton isn't. And I can't help but feel when I go down curbs and over rough roads that the Brompton is protesting.

I love my B but the n+1 itch is magnifying all the minor flaws.

Did you use the Expedition Rack when you toured? I was even considering the Birdy Tourer but the ugly color (IMO) and extra weight seems like a poor compromise when the chance of me touring with it is probably quite low.
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Old 12-23-14, 01:40 AM
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This gives you an idea of my touring setup, from my tour of Kangaroo Island (see link in sig)
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Old 12-23-14, 03:34 PM
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I have owned and ridden both. For commuting I find the Brompton hard to beat. I often fold it up to carry it on the train, and use it to explore towns outsise the city. The limited gearing is fine for my current riding style. The Brompton is responsive, the three-speed version I have shifts promptly, it is fun to ride.

The Birdy offers a roomier cockpit, and a remarkably smooth ride. It also uses standard components, so upgrades and modifications are easy. I upgraded my Birdy with a 10 speed XT driveline, this made it capable of tackling the steepest hills, while also allowing me to pedal down the hills as well.

The Birdy is a faster bike, it is lighter, and has more gearing. However, the Birdy is a little prone to squeaks, rattles, and creaks. These are usually easy to track down and fix, but the Brompton doesn't seem to be bothered by them. If you live in the city, and your commute is fairly level, the Brompton is a great choice. If you like longer rides over more various terrain, the Birdy would be more suitable.
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Old 12-24-14, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Sangetsu
The Birdy is a faster bike, it is lighter, and has more gearing. However, the Birdy is a little prone to squeaks, rattles, and creaks. These are usually easy to track down and fix, but the Brompton doesn't seem to be bothered by them. If you live in the city, and your commute is fairly level, the Brompton is a great choice. If you like longer rides over more various terrain, the Birdy would be more suitable.
Which wheels are better overall? The 16" for weight-savings, 18" for ride smoothness. I'm not looking for speed and right now I'm thinking of going with the 18x1.5 Marathon Racers.

How much difference would there be if the limit of my rides would be non-technical trails with protruding roots, soft grassy patches, etc? I'm trying to differentiate it from my M6R, so I wouldn't want the 16" if it's not going to be a big enough upgrade over the Brompton in terms of ride quality.

In your subjective opinions - what is the types of wheels you've been happiest with and why? Thanks.
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Old 12-24-14, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by keyven

How much difference would there be if the limit of my rides would be non-technical trails with protruding roots, soft grassy patches, etc? I'm trying to differentiate it from my M6R, so I wouldn't want the 16" if it's not going to be a big enough upgrade over the Brompton in terms of ride quality.
The diameter of a Brompton wheel is 349mm .. the diameter of a Birdy wheel is 355 mm .. that is 6mm difference in diameter, or a little less than 1/4" .. so the wheels clad with the same tires won't make much of a difference.. what will make the difference in ride quality is the Birdy front suspension and gearing choices .. that's the aspect you should concentrate on..
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Old 12-24-14, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by BruceMetras
The diameter of a Brompton wheel is 349mm .. the diameter of a Birdy wheel is 355 mm .. that is 6mm difference in diameter, or a little less than 1/4" .. so the wheels clad with the same tires won't make much of a difference.. what will make the difference in ride quality is the Birdy front suspension and gearing choices .. that's the aspect you should concentrate on..
I'm just kinda getting conflicting information from the net - possibly due to changes over time as sometimes articles aren't dated (a HUGE pet peeve of mine).

Has anyone used Big Apples on their Birdy? I just read a forum thread where someone was told that Birdy bikes don't have the necessary clearance but then I find on ebay claiming they do.

Schwalbe BIG Apple Tyre 18x2 0 Tour Commute Utility Puncture Resistant Birdy | eBay

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Old 12-24-14, 09:20 PM
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i think your google machine is broken...








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Old 12-24-14, 11:42 PM
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Doh I just noticed the "Big Apple" logo. Thanks. I'm using a crappy $300 laptop if that counts as an excuse.

Thanks.
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Old 12-28-14, 04:35 PM
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Big apples fit only without mudguards on a classic frame. I think front might fit but not rear. Afaicr.

I have fitted big apples on my newer moncoque frame model which do seem to fit at a push with both mudguards on. But it's not fully together yet.

Have I got this correct? I have mathons fitted where they haven't fitted.
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Old 12-31-14, 04:51 PM
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Anyone know the Birdy handlebar diameter? Apparently it's "officially" 25.4mm but some forums claim it's slightly larger than that. Have they changed it recently to be a true 25.4?

This is from reports between 2002 and 2007, so I'm not sure if anything has changed in recent models.
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Old 01-01-15, 04:03 PM
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My 3 birdies, 2x classic (one older silver), and a moncque version look like a standard 25.4 to me the silver one is certiianly. I give them a mesures for you.
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Old 01-02-15, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by bhkyte
My 3 birdies, 2x classic (one older silver), and a moncque version look like a standard 25.4 to me the silver one is certiianly. I give them a mesures for you.
Thanks... I hope they've changed it.
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