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Topic: The 3 Bs - Birdy/Brompton/Bike Friday

Posted on: 27th Feb 2015 11:27 AM    Quote and Reply

I'm new here, after googling for a long time, decided to join this forum for a discussion and opinion.  

Husband and myself already have a Tern and Dahon, looking at a 3rd bike for myself.  I had initially wanted a Brompton, but after seeing someone's rusty Brompton and a friends' tarnished Brompton, I changed my mind.  Moreover, the max gear is just 6.  Then I started googling around and found Birdy.  I like that it has both front and rear suspension and read that it is speedier than Brompton, has at least 8 gears depending on model.  

So, my mind was set on a Birdy, but then....when husband's friend heard our intention to get a Birdy, quickly called up to stop us.  Firstly, he said, its hard to fold, secondly, its so dxxx slow.  He still thinks we should either get a Brompton or a Bike Friday, at least a Tikit.  Husband and myself fully trusted this friend's opinion, but then again...I prefer to hear more.

Hope Birdy owner or even non Birdy owner can share why they like or dislike Birdy.  We have yet to test ride the bike cos we haven't had the time to go to Ubi yet, moreover after reading some reviews about the poor service at eWalker, I am kinda put off.  But if the bike is really good, then I'll just put the poor service aside and make a trip down.

Anybody care to share?

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Posted on: 1st Mar 2015 1:23 PM    Quote and Reply


birdie...slow???, lol , he has yet to see one in action,(i have seen one in action) just because it has suspensions does not mean its slow. Okay although i am not a rider of it, it has crossed my mind whether or not to get one. from what i researched these are it:

folding is not slow, although its not as compact as brompton, it can hold its own

easily upgradable speed or parts with exisiting road gears  or third party parts, unlike brompton, which are mostly proprietary parts
 
rides are more comfortable than non suspension bikes (say good bye to ekk ouch err.. from pot holes and bumps)can speed thru small pot holes w/o ouch my backside pain.

There is also a shop at jurong kechil (google it up) that brings in birdie, if u stay in the west/central area. the service much better.


 hard to find 18 inch tire tubes, need to stock up  a bit, 18 inch tyres are also rare

posture is like normal MTB/foldie, dun have butterfly handlebars like bormpton, may not agree with those with back problems

 

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Posted on: 1st Mar 2015 4:45 PM    Quote and Reply


Velo are smaller frame and more rigid and no fold. U can't have everything.
Just take off the front wheel like any road bike or mtb you can still put them in yr car.
Be practical and know what are your REAL NEEDS.
since u hv tern or dahon already... Why not get a normal road or mtb bike instead?
 

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Posted on: 1st Mar 2015 5:56 PM    Quote and Reply


Look like not many Birdy owners here.

Thanks albatross.  You are right, hubby's friend said "slow" but what I've read so didn't seemed to indicate that its fast.  Folding probably needs abit of practice, while you are right, the 18" tyres and tubes may not be that easily available, that's also our consideration.  I think I know which shop at Jurong Kechil, next time I'll go visit that place.

ibis - we have considered getting a mtb with full suspension, but most are 26" bike.  Mini Velo, no suspension.  We still prefer a foldie, in case halfway through cycling, we need to take a cab back, either too tired, suddenly not feeling well or had a fall or something like that.  With a road or Mtb bike, there's no way we can bring it home by public transport. 

We also like Bike Friday Tikit, but no suspension.  Since we already have 2 bikes w/o suspension, we just wanted to try another one with full suspension. 

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Posted on: 1st Mar 2015 5:57 PM    Quote and Reply


I can't edit post.  albatross, what I meant was, what I've read so far seemed to indicate that its a fast bike.

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Posted on: 2nd Mar 2015 2:30 PM    Quote and Reply


I am not a birdy owner but i saw these birdy in action. They are really fast. At one time,  a birdy past by me riding at average 36km/hr. For me that speed is fast for a foldie. 

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Posted on: 3rd Mar 2015 12:23 PM    Quote and Reply


@VChong  I have a Brompton 6-Speed and a Tyrell FX 8-Speed.  Don't have a Birdy but has ridden one.
Each brand has their own strength/s.

The Tyrell and Birdy are definitely faster and lighter than the Brompton....with the same engine/motor ie., me.

But the Brompton is my go to foldie most of the time as it folds into the smallest package, thus it is in my car all the time. I can always ride my Brommie when I have the time or whenever I feel like burning some calories.

The Brommie is very heavy. The 6-speed wide range gears are pretty useless as only the 2-3-4 gears are useful. But this is what makes it a good exercise bike. Oh, did I mention the gear shifting feels like it is from a decade ago? Certainly no match for the modern Shimano gear trains.

So having said that, the Tyrell and Birdy will definitely be faster for the same effort.

Shortlist your most important requirement, that will determine your next foldie.

Ride safe.

 

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Posted on: 3rd Mar 2015 10:44 PM    Quote and Reply


Depends on your cycling needs - BF pocket/tikit(chromoly) offers for tour & commuting usage, brompy(chromoly) offers for generally commuting usage or tour occasional & Birdy(alu) offers for commuting more or tour occasionally.

BF - accepts wide range of gear components, diff model offer diff fold/dismantle properties, more for rides than folds, etc.
Brompy - really compact fold, some components restricted to in-house parts, wheel/tube replacements may required additional tools/skills, etc.
Birdy - acceptable fold properties, too trendy frame design, suspension front/rear, accepts moderate range of gear components, etc.

Hard to choose rite? yes!  

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Posted on: 4th Mar 2015 7:14 AM    Quote and Reply


Thanks so much guys.  It took me a long time to decide which I want.  I have seen Bike Friday, have tested Brompton, but never really seen a Birdie in action ,just on video and picts of a Birdie.  The 1st time I saw a Birdie was at the MRT platform, a guy was pushing his compact Bike with ease, that caught my attention.  On closer look, it was a Birdie, that was how I started researching on it and got myself interested.

Anyway, we will have to test ride one to decide if we like it and if the bike fit.  I like the look and the suspension, harder to fold? maybe, can't possibly impossible, just need more practice and time.  I'm not gonna compete in how fast I can fold, 10mins oso ok, lol.  

Look like, its not a really slow bike, and unlike Bike Friday, its just a different kind, and 30km/h should not be a problem, I believe.

Less compact than Brompton? its fine with me, I hardly need to put inside boot or take public transport.  So, I have my own answer, next, is just to make sure the bike fits.

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Posted on: 5th Mar 2015 10:34 AM    Quote and Reply


Quote:
"Formerly posted by VChong: Thanks so much guys.  It took me a long time to decide which I want.  I have seen Bike Friday, have tested Brompton, but never really seen a Birdie in action ,just on video and picts of a Birdie.  The 1st time I saw a Birdie was at the MRT platform, a guy was pushing his compact Bike with ease, that caught my attention.  On closer look, it was a Birdie, that was how I started researching on it and got myself interested.

Anyway, we will have to test ride one to decide if we like it and if the bike fit.  I like the look and the suspension, harder to fold? maybe, can't possibly impossible, just need more practice and time.  I'm not gonna compete in how fast I can fold, 10mins oso ok, lol.  

Look like, its not a really slow bike, and unlike Bike Friday, its just a different kind, and 30km/h should not be a problem, I believe.

Less compact than Brompton? its fine with me, I hardly need to put inside boot or take public transport.  So, I have my own answer, next, is just to make sure the bike fits."


Bike Friday Tikit (assuming you are not planning to tour) - Commuting ride quality (tried Tikit at MBS2, read plenty of reviews)
Birdy - Light Off-roading ride quality (tried at eWalker and friend's Birdy for a few hours)
Brompton - Multi-modal + great luggage options (have 1 for me and 1 for wife)

Obviously there's a lot of crossover utility, but those are what they are BEST at. Each makes their own compromises but shine at specific areas. I'm really leaning towards a Birdy to complement my Brompton as the dual suspension would make grassy fields, stairs and curbs a non-issue. I wince every time I go down a mediumish curb as I imagine the Brompton isn't built (it probably is) for such punishment. 

A noteworthy downside of the Birdy is that without (not cheap) addons that add weight, it needs to be carried. In many cases, Brompton or Tikits can be wheeled after folding. It helps that it is probably the lightest of the 3.

The Tikit rides well and folds very quickly, and would likely have been my first folder if not for the Brompton. It is a solid compromise between the Birdy and Brompton.

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Posted on: 6th Mar 2015 7:35 AM    Quote and Reply


Hi Keyven

Folding size isn't all that important to me, though not completely unimportant, I have no intention of taking it up a plane though.  I like the look and ride of Bike Friday Tikit and w/o the need for any upgrades/modification, its good to go, except for the fact that there's no suspension, as I already have 2 bikes w/o suspension, so I much prefer one with suspension, that is why I was considering Birdy.  At that time, I was thinking, if the review of Birdy is negative, then my next choice would be a Tikit, afterall, the price is in the same region.  I have to test ride Birdy on its own, w/o any modification/upgrade, to know if it is good to go.  Both husband and myself don't believe in paying that much for a bike that still needs to be upgraded before it is good to ride.

Some parts of the PCNs are so very bumpy, and I needed a bike with suspension to absorb some of those ride if I go that route, and a bike that is good for 30-50km ride.  I believe both BF and Birdy have no problem going 30-50km but I'm not sure about Brompton as I take it that Brompton is only good for commuting and with no leg power to talk about, it could probably be slow or more tedious, correct me if I'm wrong.

By the way, Birdy can be rolled when folded, being able to roll after fold is a must for me.  Carrying whichever bike, light or heavy can be tedious, I've tried.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGW7b5pAvtk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2DdcsUFYmU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBl2ZqJfcSY

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