Foldable Bikes are the new favourite option for daily commuters and cyclists in Singapore. Traditional bicycle in Singapore are no longer the norm. Many are starting to switch over to a foldable bike as they combine performance with convenience. If you enter a bicycle shop in Singapore, you will be spoiled for choices on the variety of foldable bikes to choose from. Most bike shop in Singapore carry models which are made in China, however. Now, this may cause you to wonder, which is the best, quality folding bike out there? The answer is straightforward. If you’re looking for a good folding bike, you need a Birdy performance foldable bike.
The History of Birdy
It was over 20 years ago that the Birdy performance foldable bike was first brought into the cycling world. It was designed by German college buddies, Markus Riese and Heiko Müller, who wanted to create a full suspension bike for their bike tours.
In 1993 the duo designed the first Birdy prototype, a full suspension folding model. Their prototype was designed with full suspension for a smoother ride while still having it fold to be compact. Plus, they also gave the Birdy smaller tyres but built them to keep the high pressure on when riding. This revolutionary prototype design won the duo the Hesse Innovation Prize in 1993. With the success of their Birdy prototype, Riese and Müller set forth to find a manufacturer for their bike.
It took a while, but they found a company who were eager to manufacturer the Birdy. In 1995, renowned Taiwanese folding bike manufacturers, Pacific Cycles, offered to be the official manufacturer for Birdy performance bikes. And from then on a relationship that would change the biking industry was born.
The first generation Birdy performance bikes had full suspension tubular single piece aluminium frames. The frame was sturdy and made of aluminium, making it much easier to maintain. Plus it was still a very compact folding bike, being able to be folded down to an easy to carry size. The Gen 1 Birdy performance folding bikes stood out from the rest of the market at that time. Their popularity multiplied, and riders across the globe wanted to get their hands on one.
Now in 2020 the popularity of the Birdy is still active and growing even more. The Birdy performance foldable bike has gone through many changes and is on its third iteration. These Gen 3 Birdy performance folding bikes have a new sturdier and more rigid monocoque frame. The new frame is a single welded piece which increases its rigidity. This gives the bike very little flex when riding, even on rougher terrain. The new frame, combined with an improved full suspension systems makes the Birdy the smoothest and most stable folding bike on the market.
The fold of the Birdy performance foldable bike has also improved. The new Gen 3 bikes can easily fold in less than 15 seconds, and their folded size is more compact. And with the new chain tensioner attached to the bike’s build, there is no worry of the chain popping off when folding. And unlike some other compact folding bikes, the Birdy can be rolled in its folded form. So if you do a lot of cycling in Singapore and want one for commuting too, get a Birdy.
5 Birdy Models
There are five different models of Birdy performance folding bikes to suit any riders needs. It is another thing that sets them apart from other folding bikes. Be you a casual cyclist or one who loves doing long tour rides; you can get your Birdy bike modified for your riding needs. The five models are the City, GT, Racing, Rohloff and New Classic. Each unique in their own way but all provide the comfort and style that comes with riding a Birdy.
The Birdy City is the bike for the everyday commuter and cyclist. It is an excellent bike for beginner cyclists and those who want to do more leisure riding. Its 9-speeds Shimano Sora derailleur will give you more than enough speed to cycle to the MRT or bus stop daily. The City also comes with an easy to use Shimano trigger shifter, allowing you to quickly and smoothly shift through gears.
The CST 18 inch tyres combine well with the full suspension frame to deliver the most comfortable ride amongst folding bikes. It will feel super stable and light when you’re riding the City on the footpaths and park connectors of Singapore.
The Birdy GT is the bike for those who enjoy riding on rougher terrain. This version of the Birdy comes with a 10-speeds Sram derailleur and plush Black Jack tyres. The Sram derailleur allows for smooth, fast shifting when on harsher terrains. And with 10-speeds to go through, you won’t need to worry about losing speed even when riding over bumps.
The GT has thicker knobby Schwalbe Black Jack tyres. These 18-inch thick wired tread tyres can conquer mud tracks and sand paths with ease. They will dig into softer or more uneven terrain to provide you with stability wherever you rider. Plus they have Kevlar guard which makes them puncture proof to a certain degree on rough surfaces. This protective layer is stronger and safer, but at the same time, more flexible. This results in the protection level being higher and rolling resistance lower.
This model is a folding bike for those who love speed. The Birdy R20 has high-end components that make it faster than any other Birdy model. It comes with the latest 11 speeds Shimano 105 derailleur which is what gives the R20 its speed. This derailleur, combined with the Hubsmith wheelset provides this bike with unrivalled speed in the folding bike market.
Each Hubsmith Wheelset is first thoroughly tested by third-party safety standards such as ISO4210 and UCI. Each wheelset undergoes a series of cycling regulations tests. The wheelset must pass Impact, Fatigue and Durability tests before it is sent out for sale. The build process of the Hubsmith wheelset ensures high stiffness and high durability. Each wheelset is made by hand to guarantee a high-quality finishing.
The wheelset is combined with a set of Panaracer tyres. These tyres have thin treads which reduce contact with the ground, increasing the speed of the Racing. The fast, sporty, tread-less Panaracers weigh just 295g, which adds minimal weight to the overall bike. On top of that, the Panaracer tyres have puncture protection.
The undisputed King of Birdys, the Birdy Rohloff. This foldable bike is the cream of the crop, fitted the most premium parts. The crown jewel of the Birdy Rohloff is its 14 speeds internal Rohloff hub. The aluminium hub keeps the derailleur and gears safe from the elements and wear and tear. The Rohloff thus requires very little maintenance work. You’ll only need to change the oil from time to time, which is a quick 15 minutes job in itself. You can ride a minimum of 100,000km before the hub fails or needs cleaning though some have ridden far further before needing to open up the hub to clean it.
The Rohloff hubs unique design also allows the rider to do things differently than when on a regular bike. The internal hub makes shifting through gears feels very smooth. And you don’t even need to be moving to do so. You can change between gears while stationary or at slow speeds. Plus the internal hub mechanism allows you to shift through multiple gears at once without worry of damaging the derailleur.
Along with the premium Rohloff hub, the Birdy Rohloff is fitted with Schwalbe Marathon Racer tyres. These tyres are the lightest in the Marathon line by Schwalbe and are puncture proof against debris on roads.
Birdy New Classic
The original Birdy models had tubular, cross-section frames. These first-gen models were discontinued in 2005 by Pacific Cycles. But, this sparked an unexpected chain reaction from the Birdy community. Many wanted a return of the classic retro frame.
So, in 2008, Pacific Cycles released the New Classic Birdy model. A nod to the retro frame, it meshes the tubular design with modern dayparts. To add to the nostalgia train, Pacific Cycles made the Birdy New Classic an 8-speeds bike. They also added classic V-brakes to the New Classic. This makes it the only 3 gen model with such brakes. The New Classic is a great choice for daily commuters and collectors.