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

Posted on: 6th Mar 2015 10:57 AM    Quote and Reply


I would be cautious of these videos which show "rolling" while folded. Being able to roll while folded was a key requirement when I was trying to figure out which brand to buy (before I got the Brompton).

You'll notice all of these proclaimed "rolling videos" are done on very flat and smooth ground. In my experience, the moment you hit carpet or a little bit of bump or crack, the bike goes haywire and threatens to topple. The last thing I wanted was standing in a doorway looking like an idiot wrestling with his expensive folding bike.

I tried rolling a folded Tikit and it hurt my wrist after about 20s since you are also balancing it at the same time, but I put it down to inexperience. Admittedly I haven't tried rolling a Birdy, but it looks similar in principle. 

Even the famed racked Brompton - supposedly the best and most compact roller of all - was imperfect at the start. It took me months of experimenting with various skate wheels and addons to get it right. Now, I have total confidence pulling it long a typical sidewalk effortlessly.

Of course, if rolling is only a tiny part of your worries, then the Birdy is indeed a great choice, especially noting the need for suspension. I'm definitely leaning towards a Birdy as my 2nd for the same reason.

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Posted on: 6th Mar 2015 12:52 PM    Quote and Reply


Oh, no worries about rolling folded bike.  We can do it with our Dahon and Tern with an added Qbcycle wheel, so if a Birdy can be rolled the same way, then Birdy certainly won't be a problem. We maneuvre using the handlebar, not the saddle.  MRT/LRT floorings aren't that bad, and no carpet to speak of, and thats about the only place we foresee ourselves rolling a folded bike for a longer distance, from the card entrance, to the lift, to platform, to inside MRT, vise versa.  Though we don't foresee ourselves doing it very often.

Rolling is important, in that we roll our folded bike from inside house out to the common corridor before we unfold We don't carry the bike, even my husband finds our 11.3kg bike heavy too if he were to carry it out to the corridor.

I tried rolling a friend's Bike Friday too, yea, you are right, the wrist hurts and its impossible to maneuvre using the handlebar like Dahon and Tern.  It folds differently.

By the way, have you heard about Birdy being good ONLY when it is upgraded? that's what husband's friend say too. No upgrade, cannot meh?  Any idea?

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Posted on: 6th Mar 2015 1:12 PM    Quote and Reply


Quote:
"
Of course, if rolling is only a tiny part of your worries, then the Birdy is indeed a great choice, especially noting the need for suspension. I'm definitely leaning towards a Birdy as my 2nd for the same reason."

Which model would you go for?  Classic / Alivio / Sport / Touring or Disc?  We have yet to decide on a model.  I'm leaning towards a Classic Red for that vintage look, color and the price too ($1699), lol, but the parts may be less than ideal, but considering the cost savings....hmmm, but have to test ride first.  I'm still unsure, my next choice is Alivio or even Sport (better parts), but $2499, a difference of $800.

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Posted on: 9th Mar 2015 1:01 AM    Quote and Reply


it depends on your use, but think really carefully, cause if u need to upgrade, it will end up incure more costs. 

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Posted on: 11th Mar 2015 8:05 AM    Quote and Reply


I am really thinking carefully.  After much googling, finally, really finally found a blog on Birdy Classic http://portable.easylife.tw/entry/2014-The-New-Classic-Birdy.  

Just a brief note, writer says, the ride is good, comfortable and nimble around city, but may have problem climbing hill, maybe in Sg its climping slope.  The route I take does have very steep slope, so maybe Classic is out for me.  At the end of the blog, he says, there are a couple things that came with the Classic which are not of good quality that needed to be upgraded, the wheel, crank, handlegrip, brakes etc which will probably add another 30% to the cost.  

So, look like Classic is out. So, next level would be the Alivio.  I have yet to find review on Alivio.  But I understand Alivio derailleur, one level above Acera (Classic model) is just an entry MTB level.  Wow! need further upgrade again?  Am I being overly realistic? Pay over $2000 and needed more upgrade, just like Brompton, I have friends upgrading lots of stuff on Brompton, spending over $3000.

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Posted on: 11th Mar 2015 9:47 PM    Quote and Reply


It's not just the Classic per se - the dual suspension will result in some energy loss when you're pumping the pedals.

Birdy is not the only one which offers an entry-level model with low-end components - I guess it's to allow people a "cheaper" alternative without just selling them a frame. I've heard Bike Friday offer plenty of upgrade options on their website, but most of them are actually quite necessary if one wants to end up with a decent bike.

As for Brompton, I think people buy it as much for the fold as for the ride quality - the initial purchase doesn't offer half as many upgrade options as the other two. And many of the parts are not as easily 3rd party customisable as the rest. That means more $ to be spent on Brompton-specific parts as opposed to mass market brands.

Since it's not your only bike, why not try a 2nd hand Birdy (1 or 2 years old) to muck around with? Then join Birdy Bike Club SG and you'll get all the advice you need for managing your bike (or just join it now and ask away). Pretty sure you can find a good deal if you're patient.

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Posted on: 5th May 2015 7:32 PM    Quote and Reply


Not quite 3B comparison & not sure if it's allowed to share here, but I think this Brompton promo makes the local pricing don't look so bad compared to UK:


I looked at the 2nd hand pricing expectation in classifieds here for quite a while, I think this is more worth it - but 2.8k is 2.8k -it's a lot of money for folding bike- so probably in the end wont buy also...but more than ever-I'm considering this Brompton...

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Posted on: 7th May 2015 5:08 PM    Quote and Reply


That is indeed a lot of money to spend - but this offer is very good value considering I got mine in early 2014 for $2750 (around there) WITHOUT all the goodies. By the time added the block ($50) and a c-bag ($280), it's more than $3k. In this case I can say none of the "free" items are redundant and should improve your enjoyment and utility.

The new colors are also pretty sweet - particularly the lime green and berry.


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