541mm Reach! Bird Introduces its first carbon bike the Aether 9C

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We thought that headline would grab your attention! The Bird Aether 9C is a carbon do it all bike with 130mm travel and plenty of reach!

Like many many of our high-tech materials and cool inventions, carbon fibre isn’t a new material and was in fact invented back in 1958, but it wasn’t until 1963 when the true strength of this wonder material was discovered.

Since that time, carbon fibre has been used to make planes, boats, cars, and golf clubs lighter and stronger, and in 1993 it finally made its way into mountain biking with the worlds first mountain bike (a Lotus bike of which only 400 were manufactured).

The mountain bike industry has fully embraced carbon fibre, and over the years we’ve seen brands move to use only carbon for their range, and at the same time, we’ve seen prices drop.

Now that carbon fibre is even more accessible than ever before we’re getting to see some pretty cool and affordable bikes, and the Bird Aether 9C sits firmly under this description.

Firstly, the Aether 9C is cool because it’s a British designed Bird bike, a brand known for making some of the best-performing mountain bikes money can buy, and it’s affordable because, well it’s affordable.

Yes, £1700 for a frame only isn’t cheap, but it’s more affordable than most carbon bikes and complete Aether 9C builds can be had for as little as £3463.50.

Like other bikes in the Aether range, the Aether 9C is designed to be a playful do-it-all bike that relies on clever geometry for tackling the terrain rather than bucket loads of suspension travel. The 9C sports a trail-friendly 130mm of rear-wheel travel while forks with between 130 – 150mm will play nicely with the modern geo.

Yes, let’s get to that geometry and that headline-grabbing number of 541mm. Bird offers this 29er in 4 size options ranging from medium to extra large. Between the medium and large frames is a medium-long option which will please riders who sit between sizes.

Aether 9C Geometry
Aether 9C Geometry

While the medium frame offers 455mm of reach, similar to some of the more aggressively angled mediums on the market, the reach figure increases rapidly from there, topping out at 541mm for the XL.

But reach is just part of the puzzle and riders looking at these modern bikes should also take seat angle, effective top-tube and head angle into account when choosing.

Each of the Bird Aether 9C sizes has a 65-degree head angle, while the seat-tube angle is size-specific ranging from 76.5 – 78 degrees. This adds up and means the effective top tube of the Bird is longer than some other bikes released in 2020. As a comparison, a medium-long Aether 9C has a reach of 484mm and an ETT of 630mm, the 2021 Meta AM in large has a reach of 495mm but an ETT of 626mm. Yes, very different bikes but I want to illustrate how reach shouldn’t be the only number riders should focus on.

As I’ve not sat on the Aether 9C nor ridden it I can’t say for sure, but the numbers suggest that this 130mm travel 29er is going to have a much sportier and stretched out climbing position which will please XC trail riders, while the reach will give plenty of room for descending. Because Bird tends to build its bikes around a short backend and given the Aether 9C’s 65-degree front end, cornering should be quite spritely too with the medium-long bike getting a wheelbase of 1235mm.

Using carbon fibre Bird have been able to shape the Aether 9C to ensure that all size frames can accommodate a 750ml water bottle even if you choose to run a piggyback shock. Other notable features include clearance for 2.6in tyres, a BSA threaded BB and internal cable routing that suits brake hose routing from either the left or right.

Bird Aether 9C Frame

  • 130mm travel.
  • SRAM universal rear mech hanger.
  • Full carbon construction.
  • Rubber frame protection on downtube and chainstays.
  • Threaded BB.
  • ISG05 mounts.
  • Raw carbon or green
  • £1700 frame only or £1860 with Rockshox Deluxe Select RT rear shock

Bird Aether 9C SRAM build

  • Frame: Bird Aether 9C
  • Shock: RockShox Deluxe Select RT
  • Seat clamp: Hope quick release
  • Fork: RockShox Pike Ultimate RC2 140mm
  • Headset: Bird branded
  • Drivetrain: Complete SRAM GX 12-speed
  • Brakes: SRAM G2 R brakes
  • Wheels: DT Swiss XM1700 29in
  • Tyres: Maxxis Minion DHF 29 x 2.6 front. Maxxis Aggressor 29 x 2.5 WT EXO TR.
  • Stem: Bird 35 40mm
  • Handlebar: Raceface Turbine R 35. 800mm.
  • Dropper: Bird Down Dropper V2 170mm.
  • Saddle: Fabric Scoop saddle.
  • Price: £3463.50

Bird Aether 9C Shimano build

  • Frame: Bird Aether 9C
  • Shock: RockShox Deluxe Select RT
  • Seat clamp: Hope quick release
  • Fork: RockShox Pike Ultimate RC2 140mm
  • Headset: Bird branded
  • Drivetrain: Complete Shimano Deore 12-Speed
  • Brakes: SRAM G2 R brakes
  • Wheels: DT Swiss XM1700 29in
  • Tyres: Maxxis Minion DHF 29 x 2.6 front. Maxxis Aggressor 29 x 2.5 WT EXO TR.
  • Stem: Bird 35 40mm
  • Handlebar: Raceface Turbine R 35. 800mm.
  • Dropper: Bird Down Dropper V2 170mm.
  • Saddle: Fabric Scoop saddle.
  • Price: £3786.50

For more details on the new Bird Aether 9C head over to the Bird website.


Comments (8)

    Looks interesting. And at that price, I can see them selling an awful lot of these.

    Love it. Nice to see a bike with a steep seat angle AND a good top tub length. Should be a good “all day in the mountains” bike.

    And to think I’d just about convinced myself I didn’t want a new frame.

    Could be hidden in there somewhere but I assume this is 148×12 not some super dooper boost plus week 31 2020 specific standard?

    Drivetrain: Complete Shimano Deore 12-Speed
    Brakes: SRAM G2 R brakes

    Someone defo had a brain freeze moment there…….

    whats the bird dropper?

    Those SRAM OEM deals hard to look past on cost grounds.

    Shimano needs to team up with a suspension manufacturer.

    I’d kill for a Deore / Marzocchi build.

    One of the advantages of carbon is the ability to make it light and strong. So what does the frame or complete bike weigh?

    @AJT Shimano teamed with Fox back in the day. They were responsible for the 15×100 crapshoot, along with Trek. The latter then partnered with SRAM to screw us all with boost and all of its offspring.

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