How to build a Birdy New Classic and Birdy GT from scratch

My name is Miguel, a business student from Ngee Ann Polytechnic currently interning at Mighty Velo, the folding bike specialist in Singapore. Manufactured by Pacific Cycles, Birdy Bicycles are renowned for being the first performance folding bicycles with full suspension. Alongside seven interns, we got the opportunity to build two popular folding bikes models – the Birdy GT in Midnight Blue and Birdy New Classic in Polished Silver. Read on to find out more about my experience building my first folding bike!

Building my first Birdy Folding Bike 

The first Birdy Bike that I built was the 10-Speeds Birdy GT. After a bike building session by our mentor, Ming Sheng, I got to try my hands on building one myself. I underestimated the duration and it took me more than five hours to build my first bike. 

Fortunately, Mighty Velo’s patient full-time mechanics provided me guidance. Although a long process, time flew by quickly as it reminded me of building a “LEGO house” when I was a kid. 

The following week, I was tasked to build the 8-Speeds Birdy New Classic. By now, I had familiarized myself with all the different components and was confident with assembling the bike myself. Even with different components and specifications, the main steps taken for building a bike are fairly similar. 

Despite encountering occasional hiccups, I felt extremely satisfied building a fully functional bike from its raw components. 

Read on to find out more about the specifications and 10 main steps of assembling the Birdy New Classic and Birdy GT. 

Main differences between the 8-Speeds Birdy New Classic and 10-Speeds Birdy GT

The stylish Birdy New Classic and all-rounder Birdy GT are the two most popular performance folding bikes manufactured by Pacific Cycles. 

As the only model with V-Caliper brakes, the Birdy New Classic boasts a redesigned oversized main monocoque frame. This frame provides better rigidity with an internal cable routing that provides a sleeker look and feel. With an 8 speeds Shimano Acera derailleur, the Birdy New Classic is the perfect entry-level Birdy folding bike. 

The Birdy GT is the only model with hydraulic actuated disc brakes equipped with 18″ Black Hack tyres. These rugged tyres make the GT perfect for uneven surfaces such as sand, gravel, and even mud. With a 10 speeds SRAM X5 derailleur, the GT is for the adventurous, the bold and thrill-seekers. 

10 Steps of assembling a Birdy Bicycle from scratch

Step 1: Mount frame onto bike stand

The first step of assembling a bike is mounting the main frame onto the building stand. I prefer keeping the protective wrappings on the frame until all components are assembled to prevent accidental scratches.

One main difference between the Birdy New Classic and the Birdy GT is the frame. The Birdy New Classic has the New Classic 7005-T6 Aluminium frame. This round, tubular frame retains the vintage look of Birdy’s original model. 

The Birdy GT has a Birdy G3 Monocoque 7005-T6 Aluminium frame. This Gen-3 frame has a triangular cross-section, improving rigidity when riding on rougher terrains.

Step 2: Install Front Fork and Stand

The next step is installing the front fork and stand. Both models have a spring suspension fork,  providing riders with a smooth and stable ride. The Birdy New Classic’s fork is designed for the V-brake while the Birdy GT’s fork is designed for the hydraulic disc brake. 

Step 3: Install Stem and Handlebar

The stem and handlebar are installed after the front fork and stand are assembled. To have a smooth and pleasant ride, the handlebar has to be aligned with the stem. The Birdy New Classic’s JD butted handlebar has a dimension of 31.8mm x 520mm while the Birdy GT’s Horizon butted handlebar has a slightly wider dimension of 31.8mm x 540mm.

Step 4: Install Pedals

It is important that the pedals are tightly screwed-in during the installation of the pedals. This is to prevent the loosening of the pedals when riding, which is extremely dangerous for riders. The Birdy New Classic comes with a VP-195E pedal while the Birdy GT has a VP-197 pedal. Pedals for both models come with pedals reflectors, perfect for night cycling.

Step 5: Install front and back brakes

Next, the front and rear brakes are installed. 

The Birdy New Classic comes with the Tektro V-brake system. This makes it the perfect braking system for leisure use as it is soft, yet responsive enough for riders to make a stop while riding along park connectors. 

The Birdy GT’s hydraulic brake system provides extra stopping power for sudden and unexpected stops. This would be suitable for light trails and light off-road riding, when riders need to make a sudden stop.

Step 6: Install wires

The cleverly designed bike frames for both models allow all cables to neatly pass through the interior frame of the bikes. It is important to fix the cables securely before connecting it to the derailleur and brakes to prevent any errors in calibration later.

Step 7: Installation of tyres and Calibration

The front and rear tyres are being installed once the brakes and wires are fixed.  Compared to the Birdy New Classic’s CST 18×1.5” inch tyres, the Birdy GT has a key feature of having 18” inch Black Jack tyres. 

Riders can explore dirt trails and trails with uneven grounds because the Black Jack tyres are thick and heavily threaded. To prevent any damage of the spoke when riding, it is important to ensure that the tyres are securely tightened. 

To prevent wear-off, I had to ensure that the brake pads were not touching the tyres or disc pad during calibration. The Birdy New Classic was relatively easier to calibrate as there was more space allowance from the V-Caliper brakes compared to the Birdy GT’s disk brakes.

Step 8: Install derailleur and chain

Next, I will install the derailleur and chain onto the bike. When installing the derailleur, I made sure to screw it tightly onto the washer to prevent errors when shifting gears. 

The Birdy New Classic has a Shimano Acera 8 speed derailleur, with indicators to show what gear you’re on. The Birdy GT comes with a 10 Speed SRAM X5 derailleur, allowing riders to shift gears in an even smoother manner on roads less travelled. 

When inserting the chain, I made sure that It was fitted onto the highest gear and in the correct placement before locking the chain and placing it onto the chain ring.

Step 9: Install Saddle 

Saddles are installed next! For the safety of users, it is important to ensure that the saddles are parallel to the frame of the bicycle and secured tightly. 

The New Classic has a comfortable Velo VL-312-3 black saddle, which is wider and thicker, offering riders a more cushioned ride. This saddle would be perfect for entry-level folding bike riders who are riding their bikes for leisure cycling and exercising. 

Designed for adventurous and sporty riders, the Birdy GT has a thinner and slicker, Selle SanMarco Ero Open Fit Saddle. 

Step 10: Inflate tyres

Lastly, the front and rear tyres are inflated! It is important to ensure that the tyres are filled up according to the designated tyre pressure before riding. Over Inflated bike tyres transmit impacts to the rider, sacrificing speed and comfort. As tyre volume increases, air pressure will have to be adjusted downwards. 

For leisure riding, the New Classic would require approximately 80 to 90 PSI. While the Black Jack tyres on the GT would require a pressure of approximately 60 to 70 PSI to ride smoothly on struddier and rugged roads.

Mighty Velo – The Folding Bike Specialist

Mighty Velo is the official distributor of Pacific Cycles’ Bicycles in South-East Asia, distributing Birdy, CarryMe, and CarryAll bikes. Available in 17 colours for all Birdy Models, Mighty Velo is the only distributor that allows customers to customise their preferred frame colours. If you wish to find out more about the different models and colours, head down to our website at shop.mightyvelo.com or email us at [email protected] to check the availability of your preferred colour. 

Interested to get a first hand riding experience on our bikes? You can book an appointment for a test ride at Mighty Velo’s experience store located at 30 Tai Seng Street, Breadtalk IHQ #02-14 S534013. We are open from Monday to Saturday, 10am to 7pm.

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How to build a Birdy New Classic and Birdy GT from scratch
Article Name
How to build a Birdy New Classic and Birdy GT from scratch
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Want to find out how our Birdy Bikes are being assembled? Read on to find out more about the specifications and 10 main steps of assembling the Birdy New Classic and Birdy GT. 
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Mighty Velo
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