Bird Aeris 145 First Ride Review

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  • Bird Aeris 145 First Ride Review
  • dvowles82
    Member

    Nice. Still loving my 1.5 Aeris in Medium, would would like to try a 145 in M/L. Was it a handful in tighter corners at all?

    Premier Icon russyh
    Subscriber

    Needs pictures…reviews always need pictures

    leythervegas
    Member

    Agreed Russy, needs pictures. Nearly went for a 145 myself but decided the 120 is better for my riding. Take delivery on Friday. Gone for the same spec as you with gx, pikes, roams. You happy with your choices?

    andyjmtb
    Member

    There don’t seem to be many reviews out there so I thought I’d share my first impression of the new Bird Aeris 145.

    If you are looking for mid travel full sus for trails/enduro then this is clearly a great option. That’s why I bought one! When you get on it you feel space to shift your weight, the cockpit is wide and short but the front wheel is way out in front. She is LONG!
    I’m 5’11 and a bit so have a ML (481 mm reach). I obsessed about the geometry of all the current brands’ bikes of similar intent for many sleepless nights and this is the one of the longest, lowest, slackest out there. Coming from a M Spectral this is like sizing up and then some, which is good because I always felt a touch cramped on the Spectral.
    Anyway, this length translated to a feeling of stability and confidence on the trail. I’ve just spent an hour riding my favourite trailers in the Surrey Hills, which I have ridden dozens of times. First time on the Bird and I’ve hit three new PRs and a second (which is a match for my PR). Why? Because I have so much confidence on the Bird. It is settled at speed, not twitchy, like the Spectral. Pumps and pops through obstacles with ease. It’s like a mini DH bike. BUT it also climbed up everything wonderfully.
    I can’t recommend it enough. Try one. The chaps at Bird Cycleworks are extremely helpful and a pleasure to do business with. The set up when I took delivery was imaculate too!
    All in all, I terrific experience and this little company. We’d more recognition!

    NB, my bike is the GX wth Pike Fork, Reverb, Guide Rs.

    andyjmtb
    Member

    Sorry, I cant work out how to post a photo.

    You’d think it would struggle with right corners but I did not notice any problems.

    I had one shocking corner experience where I tried to push the front into it too hard, had my weight wrong and caused a nose dive to front tire slide balls up. Did not hit the deck remarkably! Obviously, I need to tinker around with shock/fork settings, tire pressures, etc. Felt pretty good with ball park sag and three clicks of rebound in the end.

    andyjmtb
    Member

    Yes, I’m very happy with my spec. I do not need all the bells and whistles so saves cash where I could. Feel I got good vfm. There’s always that temptation to think,”what’s an extra £150 for a better fork?” But what the hey.

    eb2429
    Member

    Thanks for sharing, really good to read reviews from riders other than the mags. I have this on my radar along with a couple of other bikes for the future and the more feedback the better. I would only give you a low score because we can’t get to see the excellent Aeris 🙂

    joebristol
    Member

    Glad to hear you’re loving it. My 145 arrives end of next week hopefully. I’ve gone GX / Guide r’s in an M/L size (I’m 5’o and the M/L felt good on the test ride round Swinley but I haven’t compared an M). Only thing is I went with 160mm Yaris and have bought a cheaper dropper (brand X ascend). Figured if the Yaris are lacking then I’ll get a charger damper to make them Lyriks.

    My only slight concern is I love the fast flowing trails at Swinley so would enjoy them on most bikes. Will see how it goes on tight / steep technical terrain once I get it!

    Premier Icon bruneep
    Subscriber

    andy, you cant link to Instagram upload to https://postimage.io/ and click on the Hotlink for forums: on the right and paste on here

    andyjmtb
    Member

    [url=https://postimage.io/]pic upload[/url]certificity.com

    mark90
    Member

    Awesome bike. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it, and the guys at Bird will look after you.

    For sizing reference for anyone reading this I’m 5’7″ and ride a M old style Aeris. Demo’s the 145 in M and 120 in ML (the sizing is the same between the two bikes). Both bikes fitted me fine, the M just like my current bike and the ML with a little more room to move around but not too stretched out. My friend who also demo’d the bikes is the same height as me and it was a difficult decision whether to go for the M or ML. In the end she ordered a ML 145 with the 32mm stem. I think I’d have done the same, except I’d have got that lovely orange colour 8)

    andyjmtb
    Member

    Seriously? Why is it so hard to post a fricking photo here?

    Thanks for your help Bunreep!

    There she is. Stunning, I trust you all agree.

    andyjmtb
    Member

    JoeBristol, I don’t think you need to be concerned. I touched some very steep and technical stuff today and it was all dispatched comfortably by the 145. I did not bother with fast flowing trails because that’s not the norm down here in Surrey. You’ll be fine!

    joebristol
    Member

    Cool cool. Mixture of stuff within an hour of Bristol so it should get some variety. Cwmcarn is near the top of my list for somewhere to go in June. Until then it’s Ashton Court / Leigh Woods in Bristol which is either really easy flowing man made trails or steep / short / roots off piste stuff.

    How are the Guides R’s? I had the original guide RS on my last bike and hoping the R’s aren’t too different.

    Looks nice in orange – I’ve gone for Slime Green which should be equally bright.

    leythervegas
    Member

    Great looking bike Andy. Almost exact spec as my 120, even same tyre setup. Got me really excited for Friday now.

    andyjmtb
    Member

    The guide R brakes feel good to me. Took some bedding in but then nothing to complain about. The reach adjust is useful if you have long fingers, like me.
    The tyres worked great in the dry conditions today. That aggressor rear is fast but grippy on the roots and rocks I found. I have a minion dhr2 in my back pocket for 90% of the year when it’s wet out!

    I’m glad the orange is so pretty! I wanted green but could not wait until July for delivery. Orange is faster anyway

    Premier Icon superstu
    Subscriber

    Happy on my 1.5 Aeris but these new builds look great. Enjoy Andy!

    andyjmtb
    Member

    Thanks Superstu and everyone else. I will!
    Happy to have bought British and joined the Aeris owners club.
    Let’s get out there and fly the flag on all those beautiful trails!

    Premier Icon hudders
    Subscriber

    This is my 1.5 Aeris, just over a week ago in Moab, it worked perfect in very harsh conditions, running DVO all round, had the Americans asking about it all the time.

    Another 145 convert! I have a snot green Large (I’m 6′) with the Super Deluxe/Lyrik setup, GX, Hope/DT M502 wheels. Again, saved a bit by getting a Brand X Ascend, but I wanted a cable-activated dropper anyway. Despite the 1260mm wheelbase there are no issues with tight, twisty stuff that I can tell!

    I find it interesting that almost everyone who’s on the cusp of M/L and Large sizing seems to size down – even several people who are 6′ and taller are choosing the M/L; I wonder if they’re looking at the geometry numbers and just assuming it’ll be too long (when it really isn’t)?

    andyjmtb
    Member

    You are quite correct. I could have ridden either ML or L and have always been on the cusp of sizes. This ML though has 66 mm more reach than my old bike and with wider bars and something like 80mm longer wheelbase it feels like an xl! I love it and it clearly works on trails. Dave at Bird was in agreement that some people like the extra extra long feel and some just want extra long. The great thing is there is not much difference in standover or headtube length you could ride whatever size you want. I could have probably done a blindfold test on a S and thought it felt good!!
    Try one. See what you like.

    joebristol
    Member

    Definitely worth test riding – I wouldn’t buy a bike this expensive just on reviews I’ve read.

    Coming from a medium Boardman Pro FS the bird is a lot longer, yet within 10 mins I felt very at home on it and was attackig Swinley faster than I ever have. And that was up / down and on the flat. PR’s everywhere whilst having a lot of fun and I’m not as fit as previous occasions I’ve been there either.

    gaze
    Member

    [/url]uploading pictures[url=https://certificity.com]certificity.com[/url][/img]

    Here’s mine , large same spec as op just upgraded the wheels

    Rode Forest of Dean, BPW and Cannock at the weekend and at each place saw someone on a 145 and they look nice!

    Premier Icon gelert
    Subscriber

    Not a thread hijack but related to long reach numbers and actually riding the bikes… cornering specifically.

    I’m a bit baffled by the really long reach numbers on new bikes. I’m 5’10.5 and currently ride ETT 600mm Orange Alpine 160 2014 Medium with 1180mm wheelbase 26er. Reach though isn’t listed but I’ve guesstimated it at around 425mm.

    I rode a 460mm reach Mega275 Large demo and it felt very good. Bike fitted fine, etc. Rode just like my Alpine so no big change.

    A friend suggested I should also be looking at Large with Orange and the reach numbers stack up to what’s out there. The seat tubes also 18 inch so work fine with 150mm dropper for me. So I’d have bought a Large Orange off the peg without trying one. I’d sat on a few in shops and felt ok.

    Went to a demo day. Fitted a Large just fine static. Rode a Stage 6 L and a Four L. I could not turn in at all on either of them. I was going to have a big off. Managed to complete the demo loops but didn’t feel confident at all.

    I switched back to Mediums and rode them all Stage 5 (3 times!), Segment, Four, Five, Alpine 6 in Medium and they all turned in just fine. Reach figures aren’t as long on them, though. And wheelbases aren’t that much longer if any than my current Alpine.

    Pretty confused by all the sizing at the moment. From my limited experience it’s absolutely essential to demo the bikes before you commit to buying.

    Back when I bought the Alpine I actually demoed the Alpine 5 M (grandad of the Stage 5) and loved it just couldn’t afford it at the time and an Alpine 160 Large. Then bought the Medium ex display. The Large back then didn’t ride badly at all though just a 19 inch seat post was a bit much for me. I never had the feeling of being unable to turn in properly with the 2014 models like I did with the 2017 ones. Even though obviously with 18 inch seat posts now they’re expecting people my height to size up.

    I hate being on the cusp of sizes.

    Premier Icon benpinnick
    Subscriber

    If you’re going to get a bike thats got longer reach, you need a steeper seat angle to get the weight distribution right or its just going to want to go straight on in corners. Slacker seat angles are more fun in many ways, perching you more over the axle for boosting, pumping and manuals, but steeper is more efficient, and gives better weight distribution IMHO. If you just make the reach & ETT longer all you did is change where your sizes fit in the range. Most bikes are compensated for a shorter stem these days already, so just sizing up to get a bigger reach doesn’t make sense.

    mark90
    Member

    I went to a medium Aeris from a small Anthem, an increase in ETT of 45mm and reach of 53mm. Decreased the stem by 30mm. Admittedly in hindsight I was at the top end of the sizing on the Anthem and it was possibly a bit small for me, though I rode it fine. What I found with the longer slacker bike is that you really do need to have your weight further forward to weight the front wheel to give it grip and get it to turn in. I have certainly modified my riding style to suit the bike and I much prefer it for ‘aggressive’ riding. If you’re not used to forward weighting the longer bikes they can feel a bit ponderous, and some people just prefer the shorter bikes. The way that Ben (from Bird cross posting above) explained it to me is that the sizing on the new Birds is such that most people can fit on two sizes. For me that’s M and ML, though could possibly ride a small if I wanted a really ‘chuckable’ bike. That gives the option of choosing the size that best suits your riding and riding style. The seat tubes are short enough to allow a reasonable dropper on either size.

    andyjmtb
    Member

    Mark90 sums up exactly what I was saying. L, for my riding, just seemed to lose a touch of agility, probably because I’m used to to a shorter steeper bike. The ML (66mm more reach, 49mm more ETT, about 90mm more WB but same Seattube) has all the length I need to increase speed and confidence but still handles in a familiar way. That helps when I want to max fun without changing the way I ride. Just my opinion. It’s up to the rider. Smaller riders may prefer a size L.

    Premier Icon AlexSimon
    Subscriber

    Great to hear that Bird have launched another cracker.
    Still absolutely love my mk1

    Bagstard
    Member

    Love the stealth black and the orange, oh and the green! Most likely my next frame purchase.

    Not that you can see the bike…! I remember the first time I went to Swinley many years ago, I looked at this and though “I’ll never be able to ride down that!”

    oldeh
    Member

    benpinnick – any chance you will ever do a brushed / clear coat paint option. saw the prototype 120? the other day and it looked awesome. though I do have a thing for raw frames.

    renton
    Member

    Slacker seat angles are more fun in many ways, perching you more over the axle for boosting, pumping and manuals, but steeper is more efficient, and gives better weight distribution IMHO.

    How do the steeper seat angles work with trying to get your knee over the pedal spindle as per the traditional way of setting saddle fore/aft placement.

    wilko1999
    Member

    I thought knee over pedal spindle was a bit of a myth. Every bike and every rider has different geometry so surely there’s no way this rule of thumb can work for every rider and every bike combination

    EDIT: bike looks great OP, I am thinking of one for when my Spitfire is eventually retired.

    joebristol
    Member

    Never heard the rule mentioned for pedalling / position.

    All I’ve ever done with bikes is put the saddle in the middle of the rails for forward / back, then make sure my knees aren’t quite locked out when at the lowest point in the pedal stroke!

    I thought knee over pedal spindle was a bit of a myth. Every bike and every rider has different geometry so surely there’s no way this rule of thumb can work for every rider and every bike combination

    Not a myth, just a rule of thumb, it works of road bikes and traditionally proportioned MTB’s for most people with average proportions putting them in a biomechanicaly optimum position.

    You can deviate from it if you make allowances elsewhere, e.g. lower bars and longer reach as that puts you in the same posittion but rotated forward, similarly gravel and sportive bikes are slacker and shorter to rotate you back into a more upright position.

    Just moving my saddle forwards in isolation gives me crippling knee pain though! So KOPS (or trial and error in that aproximate area) works for me on a normal bike.

    renton
    Member

    Just moving my saddle forwards in isolation gives me crippling knee pain though! So KOPS (or trial and error in that approximate area) works for me on a normal bike.

    As the newer bikes have steeper seat angles how do you overcome it then as most of them are designed to run in line posts as well.

    A twenty year old article on why KOPS is coincidence at best:

    https://www.sheldonbrown.com/kops.html

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