Birdy Folding Bikes, Why Choose a Birdy Folder?

Published: 15th October 2009
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Birdy, this German designed/Taiwanese built Birdy epitomises a new breed of high tech, forward-looking folding bikes. The frame is made of sturdy aluminium and has both front and rear suspension, offering a smooth ride, anti-dive braking and excellent handling with options for 7 or 21 gears. It weighs in at a light 22 to 24 pounds.

The revolutionary dual suspension design of a Birdy folding bike introduces smoothness to each ride that is otherwise characteristic of expensive full-sized bicycles only.

The first fully suspended Birdy folding bicycles make use of one-piece solid yet lightweight aluminum frames. The suspension pivots take care of the folding mechanism in the absence of the mainframe hinges. This clever designing together with the use of 18ins wheels make the bikes very stable and sporty.

The Birdy bicycles fold in less than 30 seconds without the use of any tools however it ends up like a collapsed gantry crane, with angular bits of metal sticking out everywhere. It needs some sort of retaining strap, since both the front and rear folding sections keep flopping partly open during the process. The same can happen when readying the bike for packing in its case. The folded size of a Birdy bicycle being some 30" x 23" x 11", it is quite easy to store them in small places and carrying cases.

One of the first things you notice when you try a Birdy for the first time is that it doesn't feel like a folding bike should. The frame is absolutely solid with no flexing or creaking, the riding position is very similar to a mountain bike, and the steering does not suffer from the "small wheel syndrome".

Birdy bike fans use them with trams, trains, on their boats and they have even designed a special carrier bag to go in an aeroplane hold in response to demand.

My wife found that option appealing when he was looking to combine my daily commute with getting our daughter to childcare. It enabled her to accommodate the needs of two full-time
working parents. She can drop our daughter off, then leave the car around the
corner from the childcare center and ride in from there.

Other fellow workers, who live a little, further away in another town find multi-modal travel a good way to break up the monotony of their daily commute. They pop the Birdy bike in the car and drive to a handy safe parking spot out of their town cycle to the railway station fold up the Birdy then travel ride the rest of the journey to the town they work in unfold their Birdy and ride in to work.

No hassle, no stress, a healthier fitter way to arrive to your work relaxed and full of energy.

The Birdy was starting to look a bit dated, but has been revitalised with a new monocoque frame on most models: The range includes five models; the basic Red with 8-speed derailleur (and old frame); Touring with SRAM 3x8 hub/derailleur system; Speed with 9-speed derailleur; City with Nexus 8-speed hub transmission and Rohloff, with 3-speed Sturmey, no only joking, 14-speed Rohloff hub transmission.

For those of the more technical minded, the Birdy has the Avid Single Digit 5 V brakes and Shimano transmission. The crankset is by Sunrace, the seatpost by Kalloy and the saddle by RM Design. Mudguards are extra, oddly for a tourer, as is the sidestand, and Birdy lists lighting and other optional extras. The touring rack bolts to both the frame and swingarm, so the mounting screws must pivot to compensate for swingarm movement. The rack looks sturdy enough, and is designed to take Ortlieb panniers, but the lack of side rails means that panniers can only be fitted when the Birdy is equipped with mudguards, since the stays are needed to prevent the bags from fouling the wheel.

The Birdy range is extensive

Some of the most popular Folding Birdy Bikes are:

Birdy Red Foldable Bicycle range
Birdy Silver Foldable Bicycle range
Birdy Ice Blue Foldable Bicycle range

Thomas Dee is a keen cyclist and environmentalist. He does not drive a car, preferring to use public transport and his folding bikes wherever he travels. Thomas is an active participant in green issues and lover of open spaces and wild life. Please feel free to read his unbiased reviews on his Squidoo lenses:

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