First Look: Bird’s 2nd Generation Aeris Is A Big Travel Monster That Is Shipped Directly To Your Door

by
January 9, 2018

With five years under the belt, Hampshire-based brand Bird Cycleworks has grown significantly from its humble beginnings and single hardtail mountain bike. The brand operates as a direct-to-consumer business, which means customers purchase their bike online on the Bird website, and it’s shipped directly to their door. As such, Bird is able to offer some impressive pricing on its bikes, with the ability to customise numerous components such as wheels, tyres and forks.

Bird’s growing popularity in the UK (and outside of the UK too) has seen its range swell to seven different models, including hardtails and full suspension bikes. The Aeris is the name of Bird’s full suspension platform, and currently there are four iterations of it covering both 27.5in and 29in wheelsizes, and travel from 120-150mm.

The bike we’ve got here is the Aeris 145, which features a tough alloy frame, 145mm of rear travel, 150-170mm travel fork and 27.5in wheels. Spec and detail-wise, its very much on-trend for a UK long-travel trail bike, though Bird states this one is well up for enduro race action too.

bird aeris 145
Bird Cycleworks offers its bikes direct-to-consumer.

The new Deluxe and Super Deluxe shocks take the test winning Aeris performance to a whole new level. Whether you ride for fun, race enduro, or whatever your riding style, the all new Aeris 145 will blow you away with its much improved small bump sensitivity, insanely good climbing performance, and still unbeatable descending” – From Bird Cycleworks.

bird aeris 145
The new Aeris 145 features 27.5in wheels with 145mm of rear travel.

Bird Aeris 145 Features

  • Long travel aggressive trail/enduro bike
  • 6066 alloy tubeset
  • Four-bar suspension design w/sealed bearings and locking collet hardware
  • Metric-sized rear shock w/bearing mount at both ends
  • 145mm rear travel
  • Designed for 150-170mm travel forks
  • 65.5° head angle
  • 435mm chainstay length
  • Threaded bottom bracket shell
  • ISCG 05 chainguide tabs
  • 1x specific frame design
  • Boost 148x12mm thru-axle
  • LT linkage plates available to increase rear travel to 160mm
  • Available sizes: Small, Medium, Medium/Large, Large, & X-Large
  • Frameset RRP: £1100
  • Complete bike RRP: from £2052
bird aeris 145
The Aeris 145 frame is made from butted and hydroformed 6066 alloy tubing – tough, and lower priced than carbon too.
bird aeris 145
External cable routing features throughout – appealing for those who shudder at dealing with fiddly internal routing.
bird aeris 145
You don’t always see bottle cage mounts on full suspension bikes these days, but we like it when we do.
bird aeris 145
Four-bar suspension design rolls on sealed bearings and self-locking collet hardware.

The Aeris is built around a four-bar suspension design, with a horst link rear dropout pivot, and a hollowed swing link that drives the top tube-mounted shock. The main pivot sits a good way above the bottom bracket to pitch inline with the 34T chainring, which in theory, should provide a more neutral feel between pedalling inputs and rear suspension action.

Like the front triangle, the sub-frame is made with welded 6066 alloy tubes that have been butted and hydroformed into their end shape. Bird is also keen to point out that there’s a lot of CNC machined parts in there too. Look closely at the big hunk of metal used for the bottom bracket and main pivot, as well as the dropouts and upper seatstay yoke to see the machining detail on show.

The new Deluxe and Super Deluxe shocks take the test winning Aeris performance to a whole new level. Whether you ride for fun, race enduro, or whatever your riding style, the all new Aeris 145 will blow you away with its much improved small bump sensitivity, insanely good climbing performance, and still unbeatable descending.
The new generation Aeris 145 is built around a huge 230x65mm rear shock. That gives it a pretty low average leverage ratio of 2.2:1

Compared to the previous version of the Aeris, the new generation frame has moved to a metric-sized rear shock, which in the case of our test bike is a RockShox Super Deluxe RT3. Also noteworthy is the use of not just one bearing mount, but two. That means each eyelet of the rear shock is rolling on cartridge bearings instead of traditional DU bushes. Many full suspension bikes out there are using a bearing mount at one end of the shock, but the Aeris 145 is one of the only bikes we know of that’s using it at both ends. According to Bird, this is to improve rear suspension sensitivity even further.

The new Deluxe and Super Deluxe shocks take the test winning Aeris performance to a whole new level. Whether you ride for fun, race enduro, or whatever your riding style, the all new Aeris 145 will blow you away with its much improved small bump sensitivity, insanely good climbing performance, and still unbeatable descending.
There are a load of expensive CNC machined pieces of alloy on the Aeris 145 frame, including that big chunk used for the bottom bracket and main pivot.
The new Deluxe and Super Deluxe shocks take the test winning Aeris performance to a whole new level. Whether you ride for fun, race enduro, or whatever your riding style, the all new Aeris 145 will blow you away with its much improved small bump sensitivity, insanely good climbing performance, and still unbeatable descending.
The Aeris 145 has updated to Boost 148x12mm rear hub spacing.
The new Deluxe and Super Deluxe shocks take the test winning Aeris performance to a whole new level. Whether you ride for fun, race enduro, or whatever your riding style, the all new Aeris 145 will blow you away with its much improved small bump sensitivity, insanely good climbing performance, and still unbeatable descending.
The Aeris 145 is 1x specific, and our test bike comes with the current 1x groupset of choice; SRAM GX Eagle.
bird aeris 145
Nice and chunky thru-axle dropouts, with a clevis pivot just forward of the dropout along the chainstay.
bird aeris 145
The main pivot is nice and wide, and there’s clearance for 2.6in wide tyres.
bird aeris 145
Race Face Aeffect dropper post as stock, though a Reverb Stealth is also available as an upgrade.
bird aeris 145
Fabric Scoop saddle is a nice touch from a fellow UK-based brand.
bird aeris 145
The cockpit can be customised by the consumer, so we’ve gone for the nice blue Race Face Atlas bars.
bird aeris 145
The reach measurement on the M/L Aeris is loooooong, so it’s got a dinky stem to bring the bars back.
bird aeris 145
Canadian topography.
bird aeris 145
SRAM supplies most of the kit on Bird bikes, including the Guide R brakes on our Aeris 145 test bike.
bird aeris 145
These are alloy M1900 DT Swiss wheels with a 30mm internal width, though you can go all-out with carbon XMC 1200 wheels if you want to drop some more cashola.
bird aeris 145
The range of Maxxis tyres that Bird has available online is quite staggering – we’ve gone for a Minion DHR/High Roller combo.

The Aeris 145 will be going into a three-way group test as part of an upcoming magazine feature, and this big Bird is currently up in the Lake District with James Vincent, who’s already getting well acquainted with it. He’ll also be trying out the new LT linkage plates that Bird has just released, which boost the Aeris’ rear wheel travel to 160mm.

Want more info? You can get all of the specs and geometry details via the Bird Cycleworks website.

bird aeris 145
Built with aggressive tyres and a 150mm travel fork, the Aeris 145 is gagging to get wild.

2018 Bird Aeris 145 Specifications

  • Frame // 6066 Alloy Tubeset, 145mm Travel
  • Fork // RockShox Yari RC, 160mm Travel
  • Shock // RockShox Super Deluxe RT3, Bearing Eyelets
  • Hubs // DT Swiss M1900, 110x15mm Front & 148x12mm Rear
  • Rims // DT Swiss M1900, 30mm Internal Rim Width, 32h, Tubeless Ready
  • Tyres // Maxxis Minion DHR II 2.4in WT Front & High Roller 2.3in Rear
  • Chainset // SRAM GX Eagle, 34T Direct Mount X-Sync 2 Chainring
  • Rear Mech // SRAM GX Eagle, 12-Speed
  • Shifter // SRAM GX Eagle, 12-Speed
  • Cassette // SRAM XG-1275, 10-50t, 12-Speed
  • Brakes // SRAM Guide R, 180mm Front & 160mm Rear
  • Stem // Race Face Aeffect R, 35mm Diameter, 40mm Long
  • Bars // Race Face Atlas, 35mm Diameter, 20mm Rise, 780mm Wide
  • Grips // Race Face Half Nelson Lock-On
  • Seatpost // Race Face Aeffect R, 31.6mm Diameter, 150mm Travel
  • Saddle // Fabric Scoop Radius Sport Saddle
  • Size Tested // M/L
  • Sizes available // S, M, M/L, L, XL
  • RRP // £2757

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First Look