First look: New Bird Aeris 9 – Pinkbike

Readers outside of the UK may not be familiar with Bird Bikes, which is a shame as the British brand has built a reputation for offering solid value and an innovative spin on a direct selling approach. They ship internationally and are looking to establish trial partners outside the UK.

They started in 2013 as a bike company with only 27.5-inch wheels, but quickly spread their wings to include larger wheels. The Aeris was their first full-suspension bike in 2014, and now they’re releasing the sixth bike to bear that name. Confusingly, it’s called an Aeris 9, as the number relates to a 29-inch wheel size, not a design repetition.

Bird Aeris 9 . details
• Travel: 160mm or 180mm in the rear, 160-180mm in the front
• Wheel Size: 29 inches
• Adjustable geometry
• Customizable specifications
• Routing indoor or outdoor cables
• Sizes: M, M/L, L, XL
• Reach: 457, 486, 515, 544 mm
• MSRP: From £1,430 (frames) or £2,870 (complete build)
• www.bird.bike

Bird simply describes it as “an all-mountain machine with a bias for gravity racing.” That may be to say the least, because the bike pumps out 160mm of rear wheel travel in standard form but can go 180mm with an optional linkage, can accommodate 160-180mm forks and features adjustable geometry that can get pretty unruly.


The cables can be run in or out of tubes, but unfortunately not through the headset.

Frame details

The Aeris 9 frame may look similar to the Bird’s 150mm-travel AM9, but it’s an all-new aluminum tube assembly designed to handle the stresses of 180mm forks. Among other differences, the Aeris 9 benefits from SRAM’s Universal Derailleur Hanger.

One easy-to-miss feature is a flip-up slide in the chain-strap hub (Horst) which simultaneously changes the chain-strap length, BB height and frame angles.
The shocks mounted in the top tube can accommodate a large bottle even with a tank on the back. The optional shock linkage increases the travel from 160mm to 180mm while using the same 65mm stroke shock. There is little information on the kinematics at this point, but it is available with both coiled and pneumatic shocks.


Engineering

The size of the birds has become large. With sizes ranging from medium to XL, the Aeris 9 is aimed at riders of the longer part of the spectrum; Keep in mind that Bird also offers mini bikes with 27.5-inch wheels that are included. The medium is recommended for riders who are 168cm (5’6″) tall, while the XL is for those around the 194cm (6’4″) mark and with a reach of 544mm, the XL may be best suited for those pushing two metres.

The chart above is for a bike with the chainstay short slide setup and 160mm fork. In the alternate chip setup, the chainstay is 6mm longer, the BB is 7mm lower and the frame angles are 0.5°. Fitting a 180mm fork will take about another 0.8 degree angle. In the short chainstay setup, the head angle goes from 64 degrees with the 160mm fork to 63.2 degrees with the 180mm fork, but this can go up to 62.7 degrees with the lower slide setup. Simple, isn’t it?

In addition to all this complexity, the effective seat angle varies with size, from 77 degrees on average to 78.5 degrees on the XL—that’s in the tightest fork-belt configuration and chain-stabilization tuning.


Specifications and pricing

Bird takes advantage of their direct selling model to offer full parts customization and setup using their online configuration tool. Despite the supply issues, you have a choice of almost all components. The idea is that you can get the bike you want from day one, without wasting time and money swapping parts of your style.

You can choose parts from RockShox, Fox, SRAM, Shimano, RaceFace, MRP, Hope, DT Swiss and Formula. You can also choose Maxxis tires.

great quotes Want an XT Transmission with Deore Transmission? Not a problem. Do you need to match the colors of your headphones and hubs? I’ve got you covered. Do you need to cut the rails to 764.2mm? Absolutely – we will do it for you.bird

By today’s standards, the prices are relatively exorbitant… I mean cheap. The Aeris 9 frameset starts at £1,430 and entry level builds start at £2,870. Bird recommends steering a slightly higher arrangement, though, suggesting a build with a SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain, SRAM G2R Brakes, RockShox Lyrik Ultimate fork, Super Deluxe Ultimate Coil shock, Bird Factory wheels, Maxxis Assegai tires, and a Bird & RaceFace finish kit—about 3,875 pounds.

The bikes are available to order internationally now at www.bird.bike. UK demos can be arranged at Bike Bothy stores in Petvishchi and Lagan, and the Mount Glencoe and Beards showroom in Eversley, Hampshire.


#Bird #Aeris #Pinkbike

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