Considering that the Germans are one of the best engineers in the world, it’s only natural that some of the most innovative and cleverly designed products originated from there. In the automotive world, they are the undisputed leaders when it comes to the designs and technologies that they come up with in their cars and engines. Similarly there is Riese and Mueller, a little bicycle manufacturer that was founded way back in 1993 in Darmstadt, Germany, they are dedicated to designing and creating suspension bicycles for the bicycle market which created the birth of the Birdy folding bike, which started off from a basic idea that Markus Riese had in 1992. It was supposed to be a full suspension bike that could also be folded into a much smaller package, with the pivot points of the front and rear suspensions also planned to double up as the main folding joints.
What makes BIRDY such a unique bike is it’s folding mechanisms, the front wheel unlatches at the suspension itself and folds down and back into the frame slightly to stow itself to the right side of the frame’s main tube, while the rear swingarm swings similarly down and up again but this time tucks in neatly beside the main tube slightly to the left side, and once the seat and seat tube has been lowered, which also locks the rear swingarm from unfolding back down, the handlebars can lastly be folded down and laid just beside the rear wheel and swingarm, this design enables the BIRDY to be folded into a very small and compact package which can then be transported or packed away very easily.
This special edition Birdy 3 Carpreo Disc is the 3rd generation model of a developmental project that was launched last year, to implement two actual evolutional improvements, a new ‘DNA infusion’ and to achieve the smallest folded size possible. This NEW BIRDY has optimized contact points in relation to the new lower centre of mass, so precise positioning of the NEW BIRDY’s stem, fork, frame and rear swing arm were of vital importance. With the introduction of modern manufacturing techniques such as 3D forging and hydroforming to make the new stem, fork and rear swing arm, it resulted in a folding size that is now a full 15% smaller but yet being even more rigid, precise and durable!
The new stem mechanism is probably the most important component of the bike, and using 3D forging in the manufacturing process of the NEW BIRDY’s stem, the three different parts are CNC machined to ensure stability and consistency, and the use of a larger diameter 31.8mm handlebar dramatically enhances steering and rigidity. The new BB height of 279mm is classed as a lowered mass centre design, which now offers increased stability and responsive feedback similar to road racing bikes. New hydroforming techniques have also been applied to change the fork’s rectangular shapes into a diamond shape which gives the NEW BIRDY much more stable manoeuvrability that is easily demonstrated by comparing the suspension spring’s movement with the previous 2nd generation model. Re-designing the new swingarm also resulted in a beautiful new concave contouring that increased the swingarm’s rigidity, and semi-concealed welding on the joint provided a totally integrated swingarm. Furthermore, the swingarm’s width has been narrowed, the dropout and pivot V-stay was also redesigned.
This special model Birdy 3 Carpreo Disc is fitted with TRP Spyre SL carbon disc brakes and matched with Birdy Carpreo Disc hubs. For gearing, a Shimano Carpreo rear derailleur and matching shifter smoothly shifts the KMC X9 SL chain up and down the Carpreo 9-26T cassette, providing the rider with more than sufficient gearing ratios that match the 18″ wheels that have been fitted with Kojak tyres perfectly. The Driveline crankarm and matching bottom bracket with a 53T sized ring is large enough to give the rider some decent riding speed if required, or enough low gears to be able to cycle up slopes without tiring out.
Other than the extremely slick and cool matt black paintjob on the frame, this BIRDY is very nice and comfortable to ride, it doesn’t feel like a bike with any suspension at all, but actually feels more like a regular and stiff bike with added comfort features in the frame. There wasn’t any hint of the ‘sponginess’ or ‘softness’ that is associated with a bike having full suspension, and every pedal stroke seemed to be equal to an equal amount of force that’s driven directly to the rear wheel. Together with the sleek design, cool paintjob, excellent components and superb ridability, I have been very impressed with the Birdy 3 Carpreo DIsc, and add to that list is the ability to also ride this bike in any weather condition. Simply fantastic!
Birdy bikes are exclusively distributed by:
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