The Birdy bikes are German designed, and Taiwan made folding bicycles. Out of all the folding bikes in the market, they are one of few with front and rear suspension. Their single welded aluminium frame makes them lightweight but sturdier than other brands. Each is capable of giving high performance. And all models can be folded down and easily rolled along with you. They are all public transport friendly as well so you can take them on the train or bus.
Even though the Birdy bikes share similarities, each is unique in its way. The different models suit the needs of various riders. Read on to find out more about each of the 6 individual Birdy bikes:
Birdy New Classic
The Birdy New Classic is the entry-level model of the Birdy folding bikes. If you are looking for a model to start your cycling journey, this is it. Out of all the models, the New Classic has a unique look. This is mainly due to its retro tubular frame design. The mainframe is designed to be cylindrical, a throwback to the first generation Birdys. Even with its old school design, the build quality of the frame is modern. The frame is made of a single welded piece of aluminium, the same as the other models. This makes the overall folding bike lighter than other brands out there.
Besides the unique frame design, the New Classic is the only model with V-Caliper brakes. As it is the most entry-level model of the bunch, it comes with an 8 speeds Shimano Acera derailleur. A good quality folding bicycle should have 8 or more speeds. The Shimano Acera derailleur is easy to use as the trigger shifter has indicators to show what gear you’re on. It merges high-quality craftsmanship with ease of use.
The Birdy City is also an entry-level Birdy folding bikes model, similar to the New Classic. What sets it apart are higher-grade components and its Gen 3 monocoque frame. The Gen 3 frame is stiffer and provides less flex when riding. It is made of a single welded piece of aluminium, making it lighter yet stronger than other folding bike frames.
Suppose you are someone who commutes to work by bicycle or just wants to do leisure riding, the City if perfect for you. It comes with a 9 speeds Shimano Sora derailleur, which has one more speed than the New Classic. Similar to the New Classic, the trigger shifter on the City has indicators to show what gear you’re on.
As the City is part of the Gen 3 lineup, it comes with disc brakes instead of V-Caliper brakes. The disc brakes are more responsive when braking and allow for more customisation options later on. Like the New Classic, the City also comes with 18” CST tyres. The bare minimum tyre size a good quality folding bike should have is 18”. Any less and you won’t be able to keep up with regular-sized bikes.
Overall both the City and New Classic are great for those new to cycling or folding bikes. They are easy to ride and a great place to start if you’re looking for a leisure folding bike. Both can be ridden on PCNs and pavements.
The Birdy TouringPLUS is the newest Birdy model on the list. It is also the model with the most amount of speeds. A whopping 24 speeds are available for the rider to shift through on the TouringPLUS. The gears are broken up into 8 external gears and 3 internal gears housed in a gearhub. The Sturmey Archer internal gear hub keeps the gears inside safe and dirt free. This makes the TouringPLUS relatively easy to clean and take care of compared to bikes with all their gears exposed.
The 24 speeds on the TouringPLUS give it an advantage when riding along more sloped surfaces. Hills, steep roads and inclines will be much easier to ride over with a multitude of speeds. The added number of speeds also make the TouringPLUS a perfect bike for long-distance bike rides and tours.
The TouringPLUS also has the same single welded monocoque frame as the City and other Gen 3 models. It also comes with front and rear suspension like all Birdy bikes. Though when you compare the ride experience of the City and Touring, the latter’s will feel much more smooth and cushioned. This is thanks to the Touring’s 18” Big Apple tyres. They are a lot thicker than CST tyres, and more cushioned to absorb impact from rougher roads. The Big Apple tyres increased cushioning is to make the ride more comfortable when going longer distances.
Our most popular model and one that is an all-rounder folding bike is the Birdy GT. Out of all the Birdy folding bikes, the GT is the most rugged. It is for the adventurous, the bold and thrill-seekers. It is the only Birdy model that can do light trail and light off-road riding. This means you can take it places like Coney Island to ride on the gravel and light–dirt trails there.
The GT can go on these kinds of trails thanks to its key feature, 18” Black Jack tyres. These tyres are thick and heavily treaded compared to any other Birdy models. They are designed in such a way so that they grip into uneven surfaces. Sand, gravel and even mud will not stop the GT from moving forward, thanks to the Black Jack tyres.
The GT is also the only Birdy model with hydraulic actuated disc brakes. The Juin Tech disc brakes give extra stopping power when you need to make sudden, unexpected stops. They will be instrumental when you’re on dirt trails and trails with uneven grounds. The GT comes with a 10 speeds SRAM X5 derailleur, allowing you to shift to gears smoother when riding on those roads less travelled.
The Birdy R20 is the fastest Birdy model that has ever been built. This speedy folding bicycle is also the only Birdy bike with a 20” wheelset. The R20 comes with 20” Hubsmith wheelsets which are the reason behind its speed. They are lightweight and thin, fitted with slick 20” Panaracer tyres. This combination allows the R20 to keep up and even surpass regular-sized road bikes with ease. The Hubsmith is highly sought after and on its own costs around $1.5K to $1.8K.
Besides the Hubsmith, the R20 also comes fitted with the most premium Shimano components. These parts set it ahead of the other Birdy model and justify its price tag. The stand out would be the 11 speeds Shimano 105 derailleur. Made to complement the Hubsmith wheelset, this derailleur is designed to shift quickly through gears when riding at high speeds. The before mentioned 20” Panaracer tyres complete the R20’s speedy setup. They are treadless and slick, reducing friction with the ground. The Panaracer tyres almost make the R20 wheel like its gliding over the road when riding.
The Birdy Rohloff is known as the King of Birdy bikes, and it is with good reason. Out of all the other models, the Rohloff is fitted with the most premium parts. It warrants its price tag and is a bicycle that you can ride for the rest of your life. The crown jewel of the King is its 14 speeds internal Speedhub. The aluminium hub is made in Germany and features expert craftsmanship. It keeps the gears safe and clean, keeping dust and dirt out from the parts. It is fuss-free to maintain, needing only a quick oil change every year or after every 5000km.
When riding on roads the sturdy monocoque frame coupled with the hardy, touring tyres provide a very smooth ride. The Schwalbe Marathon Racer tyres are for fast riding across long distances. They are made long-lasting so you won’t need to swap them out every few years. A single set can last a long time before needing replacement.
The easy to use twist shifter on the Rohloff also makes changing gears a breeze. It reduces strain on the wrist as you twist as well, thanks to its ergonomic design. The Birdy Rohloff also has the unique ability to change gears while stationary. The Speedhub allows you to switch through the gears when you are, say waiting at the stoplight.
Overall the Birdy Rohloff is in a class of its own when it comes to the Birdy folding bikes. It is perfect for seasoned cyclists and those who enjoy long touring. And with it being a foldie, you can take it with you almost anywhere.