Bird Zero TR – worth the £££

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  • Bird Zero TR – worth the £££
  • jaylittle
    Member

    I have a zero TR, love the bike even though it is a very standard spec. One thing to consider is the service that you will receive from Bird. If you do a search on here there are a number of times that they have gone above and beyond.

    I’m not familiar with the Marin, maybe post a link so we can take a look

    jayx2a
    Member

    Marin is here:

    https://www.rutlandcycling.com/bikes/mountain-bikes/marin-nail-trail-7-2017-27-5-hardtail-mountain-bike-black_375069?origin=pla&kwd=&currency=GBP&gclid=CjwKCAjwlrnNBRBMEiwApKU4PGUg7VndrB8TBlaN6K1c7zkxQ4jjxWxCmZxpEbeVHBl2MhBEM0rSmRoC9AsQAvD_BwE

    When I first looked at a Bird Zero (this was a while back) they had the option for some more budget friendly forks but now it only has the Yari & Pike options. They had quite a decent X-Fusion fork avaliable before which made it more affordable!

    mjsmke
    Member

    Well worth it! I have one from last year in Grey with 1×11 GX, Yari, and the DT 502 wheels. Great fun. It is a fairly basic frame but well built and the Geo is spot on for a HT Trail bike.

    +1 for Birds service and advice.

    jayx2a
    Member

    So was just speccing up a Bird Zero TR to compare to the Nail Trail and it comes in at a lot more (well mainly dur to the Nail currently having £500 off!).

    If i build up a 1×11 NX with Yari, Aeffect Dropper Post, and everything else standard build it comes in at near enough £1400 in blue or £35 extra for the grey!

    So is this a decent price for what you are getting compared to the competion?

    Always liked the look of them, but not sure if at that price the Marin is a better deal/choice.

    Premier Icon spacey
    Subscriber

    I have also wondered why they dropped the xfusion forks, have them on my aeris and really rate them. To answer my own question, I seem to remember Ben (Bird) posting a long description of the excellent service they get from rockshox/sram so maybe they have gone down that route and have ditched xfusion, shame really as they did provide that added value at the budget end.

    Premier Icon flange
    Subscriber

    I’ve had Bird and now have a Marin. Bird CS is awesome, Marin is non-existent. They’re terrible! Different types of bike so can’t compare, but I really rated my Bird. The Marin (Pine Mountain) is an acquired taste..

    joebristol
    Member

    I just went on the builder and for £1474 I came up with a Bird Zero TR that had quite a bit better spec than the Marin.

    I picked Guide r brakes which are much better than Deores and I’d say NX 1×11 is probably fairly comparable to slx. The Marin has own brand wheels whereas the Bird has solid dt Swiss wheels that come setup tubeless. The Marin also has own brand cranks / handlebar etc vs Sram cranks and race face bars.

    Tyres are another thing – you are getting expensive 3c compound Maxxis tyres on the Bird vs cheap nobby Nics on the Marin in their cheapy / hard performance compound. The difference in grip will be huge.

    Plus the Bird looks so much nicer (I hate the look of that marin) and the service from Bird is very personal and helpful.

    Whether that’s worth £474 to you or not is up to you. If you picked Deore brakes you could drop £30 off the cost of the Bird and if you just had it with a normal seatpost and got an rsp plummet dropper you could probably save another £40 or so.

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Subscriber

    That Marin is horrible.

    gaidong
    Member

    Where do you live? If you live within striking distance of Bird I reckon their outstanding customer service has to be worth a few bob (Aeris owner). You will of course still get that service at distance but if they were dropinerableupon then that would count even more.

    More than that, they don’t look like exactly comparable bikes. The Marin geo info says 68° head angle (https://www.marinbikes.com/gb/bikes/nail-trail-7-1), superficially the same as for the Zero TR (http://www.bird.bike/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Zero-TR-Technical-Data-Sheet-V1.0.pdf) but the latter states it’s 68° sagged and 66.2° static; that’s quite a difference. Zero TR is built for 130mm forks and the Nail Trail for 120mm. 10mm not a lot but perhaps it’s signalling something.

    Aesthetically they both seem nice to me, especially the slightly dropped seat stay on the Marin. Even though the TR is the less buff version of the Zero, it still looks a bit beefier than the Nail Trail to me. Have you ridden either of them? Personally I’d go Bird, because GREEEEEEENNNN

    jayx2a
    Member

    I have been spoilt on the FS with my dropper and I think I would miss it too much!

    With the reverb and changing nothing else it is 1520. With the Aeffect Dropper Post 1410 – but can’t find any reviews of that dropper.

    jaylittle
    Member

    I’m not sure how long you intend to keep the bike but the transferable frame warranty may also mean the Bird retains more value over the Marin in the second hand market.

    jayx2a
    Member

    Anyone used Brand-X Ascend dropper post? Would be a cheaper option if I could fit it myself!

    joebristol
    Member

    I bought a Bird Aeris 145 with no dropper as the reverb is quite pricey. I bought a brand x ascent for £125 in 125mm drop.

    So far so good – feels exactly the same as the reverb on the demo bike, except it has a better shifter style lever. Win win.

    Been running it since about May I think and so far it feels the same as the day I put it on. Will have to see how it holds up through the winter I guess. Think it has a 2 year warranty if I run into any problems.

    jayx2a
    Member

    Emailed Bird with regards to what riding I do and sizing. Im hoping the brand x will work on the medium and large.

    Other bike I had on my shortlist is the Vitus Bikes Sentier VRS 2017 which is on offer at £899.99 with money to spend on upgrades.

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/vitus-bikes-sentier-vrs-hardtail-bike-slx-1×11-2017/rp-prod146561

    But to get it to Zero TR spec it would entually cost more!

    joebristol
    Member

    I prefer the Vitus to the Marin – but your big downgrade there is the fork. The sektor has narrower stanchions as well as the worse costing on the stanchions and I think worse damping. I had Revelations before my current Yari (same damping but weedier legs) and hey we’re ok but the Yaris are much better. When I tried sektors on – hire bike they weren’t a patch on the Revelations.

    jayx2a
    Member

    Yeah the fork is the emajor downside of the Vitus, although they have 1 VRX left at CRC which has a reverb, SLX, Yari etc, but again its adding a further 10mm of travel.

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/vitus-bikes-sentier-vrx-hardtail-bike-xt-1×11-2017/rp-prod146562

    I think the Bird hits the sweet spot of travel for me.

    joebristol
    Member

    That 2nd vitus is much more comparable to the Bird in terms of spec. For the price you’re getting the dropper thrown in, XT instead of NX (I’d say GX is more comparable to Xt), XT disc brakes and some branded finishing components. I think the Vitus wheels are pretty reasonable but don’t know much about wtb tyres.

    For me it would come down between those two as to which rides better on a demo. I wouldn’t get too het up about 1cm or travel either way really.

    The Marin wouldn’t even come into the picture despite the cost saving.

    jayx2a
    Member

    Think I’m going with a grey bird… boring colour I know!

    Just emailed bird with regards to sizing.

    I might ask if they could fit a Trans X dropper if I supply. Probably not – but worth asking!

    joebristol
    Member

    They’re usually very helpful so may fit it for you. I think they now have a budget dropper they can offer other than the reverb so might be worth asking about that.

    I found fitting a stealth dropper fairly easy on the Aeris – only fiddly bit is cutting the cable the right length really. Bit of trial and error – took me about 30 mins.

    spacemonkey
    Member

    I might ask if they could fit a Trans X dropper if I supply. Probably not – but worth asking!

    The last of their 150mm droppers was sold the day before I confirmed my build. Unfortunately they declined to fit a 3rd party dropper due to the warranty. Still, ask them and they may say differently this time. If not, are you happy to DIY it?

    EDIT: And yes, go with the Bird. I hate the look of that Marin despite the rave reviews.

    Premier Icon leftyboy
    Subscriber

    I have a Bird Zero TR which I built up with parts from another bike and I love it. I ride a Whyte T-130 Works (2015) and they ride in a similar way (allowing for one being a FS and the other being a HT) which means riding either doesn’t require a big adjustment. The only major differences in spec are the Bird has Hope X2s and Revelations whereas the Whyte has Hope E4s and Pikes, I even run the same combo of tyres!

    I’d buy either bike again which something I’ve rarely said over the last 25+ years on riding MTBs.

    Premier Icon AlexSimon
    Subscriber

    jayx2a – Member

    Think I’m going with a grey bird… boring colour I know!

    Just emailed bird with regards to sizing.

    I might ask if they could fit a Trans X dropper if I supply. Probably not – but worth asking! Nice one!
    Might be worth a phone call if you’re really struggling to find the cash. They may have bits and bobs around that they could fit to shave off enough for the Aeffect dropper.

    sync
    Member

    The Marin looks like it could have been taken from a MBUK photo published in one of their mid 90s issues.

    Doesn’t look quite as bad in real life and the spec is good.

    The Bird has more progressive geometry amongst the mix.

    jayx2a
    Member

    I could shift all the stuff off my FS on to the Bird Frame if I knew what I was doing! But I don’t and my fork is 120mm!

    What about a sale p7?

    https://www.sunsetmtb.co.uk/shop/index.php?product_id=4660&category_id=21

    I have one and they’re ace. If you want aluminium the Crush comes in cheaper than the bird.

    Think I would struggle to pay a third extra on top of the Marin for the Bird.

    jayx2a
    Member

    P7 looks good but I just don’t like green!!!

    I love the crush pro but not sure if it’s a bit overkill for my xc/trail riding!!

    https://www.sunsetmtb.co.uk/shop/index.php?product_id=4659

    jaylittle
    Member

    If your really keen on the bird could you just fit a dropper when funds allow?

    Premier Icon sirromj
    Subscriber

    I’ve got a Bird Zero TR frame. It really makes the workstand inside the spare bedroom come alive.

    I was pleasantly surprised by the geometry on that Marin – apart from one thing, the head angle. If it was two degrees slacker it would be great. Better on the 29er though.

    plus one
    Member

    Don’t rule out a pinnacle Iroko .. Superb ride 😀

    P7 looks good but I just don’t like green!!!

    I love the crush pro but not sure if it’s a bit overkill for my xc/trail riding!!

    https://www.sunsetmtb.co.uk/shop/index.php?product_id=4659

    Don’t forget to add the code SAVE10 on the Crush for another 10% off. Bargain!

    jayx2a
    Member

    Takes the crush pro to £1349 with that code!

    But think I would be buying the wrong bike…

    But it’s so pretty!!!

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    Are you put off by the fork travel on the Crush?

    I’ve had hardtails with 100-150mm travel in recent years and find the fork travel isn’t so important as frame weight and geometry.

    The Crush has a 65deg head angle, so it’s on the enduro end of the spectrum for a HT. If you’re after something more on the XC end then maybe the Bird will feel a bit more lively in the singletrack.

    BUT then the elephant in the room is that you might prefer 29in wheels anyway. They really excel at Xc/trail riding IMO.

    joebristol
    Member

    For that money I’d be tempted to take the linked Orange. I’m not sure how the fox fork compares to a Yari (maybe less stiff but better damping?) but you’re getting full XT etc and some nice branded components.

    Not sure what compound the tyres are (could be cheaper hard rubber or could be decent) or how good the wheels are but you’re also getting a (short travel) dropper for the money too.

    It’s more the equivalent of a Bird Zero am though I think in terms of geometry. Maybe you need a test ride to see if t would suit your kind of riding? Although I think people get a bit too het up about having the right bike for every type of riding – back in the day you bought a bike and used it for everything.

    I use my Aeris 145 for all my mountain biking – whether it’s a longer distance slog, a trail centre flat out or an uplift day.

    jayx2a
    Member

    I think so – as I’m not sure if it suits my needs. TBH, not sure if the Bird does either.

    I’m at a point where I’m looking at so many options I am getting my head even more confused – hence so many threads and questions.

    Basically want a bike that can climb well and do XC and trails. I spend quite a lot of my riding in the saddle across the flats but then will jump in to the woods and some red routes along the way.

    Or I could just try stick with my FS and re arrange the bar/stem combo, but its hard to figure that out without a proper bike fit or trying loads of bars/stem combo’s!

    joebristol
    Member

    What FS have you got and what’s wrong with it?

    If you spend a lot of your time sitting down on trails then moving to a hardtail of any description could be a shock /
    Will need an adjustment to your riding style. I personally don’t like hardtails for trail riding because I’ve got used to fs and adapted to sitting and spinning a lot of the time over the years.

    Actually when you’re standing up going DH I don’t have a problem with hardtails – although obviously they are slower on really rocky terrain.

    km79
    Member

    I think you should go to a demo day or arrange a few demos yourself to figure out what type/style of bike will suit you.

    joebristol
    Member

    Good advice if you can get a demo day where you can ride your current bike back to back with a hardtail.

    jayx2a
    Member

    My FS is a Trek Fuel 2016.

    I’m just finding I am putting to much pressure on my wrists and the front end is quite low. It has 750mm bars (5mm rise) with a 70mm stem.

    I think wider bars might be a start as if i try doing press ups with my hands at 750mm I feel quite unsupported and it was mentioned that this was a good way to find ideal bar width?

    Will try get on some demo days and in the mean time pick up some alternative bar and stem combos to try!

    renton
    Member

    The problem is is that a lot of the current bikes have bars that are lower than where your seat will be and this leads to a lot of pressure on wrists etc.

    I think you would be better on a 29er personally as they have a larger stack height putting the bars in a much comfier position.

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