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First Look – RockShox 35 Forks

The new RockShox 35 Forks quietly launched this week without much fanfare, so we’re here to tell you what you need to know! The 35 is a new budget fork added to the bottom of the RockShox 35mm chassis* Fork range. Including OE forks the range now lines up from top to bottom:
 
  • Lyrik RC2
  • Lyrik RCT3/Pike RCT3
  • Lyrik RC/Pike RC
  • Yari RC Charger/Revelation RC Charger
  • Yari RC/Revelation RC
  • 35
*A 35mm chassis indicates the the stanchions, the part of the fork that slides in and out of the lowers is 35mm external diameter.

The 35 fork utilises broadly the same chassis and DebonAir air spring as the Revelation and Pike models of the last few years, with a Motion Control damper available in crown or remote configurations. Offsets are offered in 37 (27.5), 44 (27.5 & 29) and 51mm (29), we’re bringing in the 37 in 27.5” and 44 in the 29” flavour.
 
Like its more expensive siblings the 35 also runs the 180mm rotor mount for direct mounting rotors, and like its more expensive counter parts is rated to 220mm for max rotor size (more on that later in the year).
 
The biggest information you need to know on these though is the price! The new 35 is a genuine budget option for all mountain terrain. With the new 35 options it’s reduced the starting price for all our full suspension bikes to under £2000 again, something we’ve not seen for a while.
If you want to get our incredible build standards, our award winning customer service, our exceptional ride quality and even better value than ever, the 35 delivers that for you.

Specification Summary (For Bird Bikes)

  • Motion Control damper
  • DebonAir Air Spring
  • 37 & 44mm offsets
  • 130mm & 150mm in 29 (2272g)
  • 140mm & 160mm in 27.5 (2259g)
  • Fast Black uppers
  • Maxle Stealth
  • Diffusion Black lowers & crown
  • Available May 2019, pre-order today.

 

RockShox, DebonAir and Motion Control are trademarks of SRAM Corporation. All images Copyright of SRAM.
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Bikeradar reviews the Aeris AM9, 4.5/5, shortlists it as a key bike of 2018

Bikeradar awards a 4.5/5 score to the Aeris AM9 – read the full review here

“A sublime riding, pocket friendly trail and enduro slayer”

Longer travel 29ers really suit the rugged, rocky terrain around Peille, France

“It’s stable and fast, while still being nippy and agile. It complements and, really, flatters my riding style and technique. While it was in my garage it was without doubt my go-to bike and it’s not an empty garage either.”

“I’d honestly say that were I to go out tomorrow with my own credit card, the AM9 would be right towards the top of my shopping list, especially considering that I could get the whole bike for the same price as the frame of the other bike I so wish to own (the new Transition Scout Carbon…).”

A classic four-bar linkage

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Ella Conolly wins the U21 category of the Enduro World Series riding her Bird Aeris 145!

Ella Conolly joined the Bird Cycleworks race team after she won her category at ‘Ard Rock enduro riding a Bird Aeris 140.  She then posted the fastest overall female time at the Tweedlove enduro race aboard her brand new Aeris 145.  Here’s her story from her first Enduro World Series (EWS) race in Finale Ligure.

Three months ago I was on the start line of my last XC World Cup. Having decided that cross country wasn’t where I wanted to be, I made a late season switch to enduro with the help of Tracy Moseley. After a few weeks of racing in the UK I was then given the opportunity to enter the final round of the 2017 Enduro World Series in Finale Ligure. Who could say no?! My goal for this trip was to keep it fun. Enjoy riding my bike, not put too much pressure on myself and to decide if enduro was something I’d like to peruse in 2018. The last thing I expected was to be coming home having won.

Me and my Bird Aeris 145 at the top of the ‘Nato Base’ in the days leading up to the EWS

 

A week before practice was due to start I packed up my Bird Aeris 145 into a bike bag (with lots of padding to keep her safe during the flight) and started the journey. After a long drive, a taxi, a flight, a bus and two trains along with a lot of lugging bags around I arrived in Finale. This gave me a few days to get used to the loose, rocky, dusty trails (a huge contrast to the Scottish mud) and to fuel up on plenty of coffee, pizza and gelato. Once I was out there I met up with a couple of other British girls who have been racing enduro for a few years now; they gave me endless advice the whole trip and were so patient with my constant questions.

 

The race consisted of seven stages split over two days. Stages 1-3 were ridden the first day and stages 4-7 the second day. These included of some of the best trails I’ve ever ridden and often I found myself grinning ear to ear whilst still trying to concentrate on the stage. During the two days of practice, uplift is permitted on tarmac sections of transitions to help get to stages. On race day the 50 or so kilometres had to be ridden without uplift which, in the hot Italian sun, felt like a pretty epic day out on the bike with some of the transitions taking almost 2 hours. Luckily the Bird Aeris pedals just as well as it descends which made the long distances way more enjoyable. There was then the added pressure of having start times for each stage. This wasn’t something I’ve had to consider before and I completely misjudged the pace I needed to ride the transitions, going at more of an XC race pace rather than conserving my energy for the stage, which I’ve now discovered takes a toll after that distance!

Race day 1

Stage 1 was from the highest peak in the area and descended almost all of the way back to sea level. At 8.5km it was by far the longest stage I have ever raced and I found it really physically demanding. Over this distance there was real mixture of trail; tight corners, rocky river beds and some proper fast sections interspersed with the occasional uphill sprint. In practice we stopped regularly to look at especially technical sections as well as giving our bodies a rest. But come race day there was no stopping. By the time I was a couple of kilometres into the stage my body was really starting to complain. Hands, feet, legs and arms were all screaming and my primary concern became staying on the bike. After a couple of silly crashes up the top I settled into a bit of a rhythm and before I knew it I’d completed my first Enduro World Series stage.

 

Getting to the top of stage 2 meant a long pedal. With every corner turned we were presented with another long stretch of uphill fire road. Thankfully the rest of the stages were considerably shorter than the first, all coming in at under 3km. Stage 2 consisted of a lot more rocks and had the most vertical drop per kilometre. Oh my I’ve never had such bad arm pump in my life! I was so relived to get to the bottom without stalling on any rocks.

 

Stage 3 was the final stage of the first day and ended almost back in finale. The top section was fast and flowy but this quickly turned into some seriously tight, dusty corners on a steep hill that got more and more washed out with every rider. Towards the bottom there was one awkward set of steps to navigate down before the final few loose, rocky flat corners.

 

We then had a short pedal along the road into finale where we were given our times for the day. Much to my surprise I was sitting in second only trailing by 9 seconds. Going into the second day of racing it was all still to play for.

 

Some of the U21 girls enjoying a well deserved ice-cream after day one of racing. The grin on my face in this photo was a characteristic that stuck the whole trip. What a fantastic group to ride with!

Race day 2

Waking up on Sunday my body was tired from the two days of practice and one race day we had already completed but I couldn’t wait to get out and try and claw back those precious seconds.

To get to the top of every stage on Sunday there was an alpine style climb up the road. Without fail, every transition that day had beautiful views of either mountains or sea as we snaked our way up into the mountains which distracted from the constant uphill gradient. Stage 4 picked up where the previous day had left off; more rocks! This time we were faced with some more rocky sections of trail, littered with boulders and mixed in with some smooth single track.

 

Stage 5 was probably my favourite stage of the event. It was fast and really required me to push my comfort zone in terms of how much I was prepared to let the brakes off. Every now and again the gradient of the trail changed sharply and we found ourselves sprinting up a hill. At the end of the stage there was an awkward corner that caused me a few problems as my bar clipped a tree and proceeded to tip me over the bars.

 

The penultimate stage of the race was something I’d have expected to find in an XC race. Stage 6 started off on a downhill gradient with a few rocky sections but quickly flattened out and turned into a full on pedal. I used the frequent uphills to my advantage, making full use of my fitness from the years of XC training, putting a fair amount of time into the other girls. At the end of the stage there was no time to recover- it was straight back on the bike to pedal up to the final stage of the day.

 

At the top of stage 7 there was a mix of different emotions. Some were obviously very relived to only have one stage standing between them and a relax on the beach. But I didn’t want the day to end!

The top of the final stage started with some corners on a fairly gentle gradient which required one final sprint before opening up into the last technical section of the day. Here we were rewarded with an amazing view of the glistening gulf of Genoa. The crowds lining the final part were insane which certainly carried me down the steep track better than I thought I’d ever ride it. If you’ve ever seen photos from the EWS in Finale I can guarantee one would have been of this ‘iconic’ view of the last section of DH men with the sea in the background.

 

Having reached the bottom of the final stage I honestly had no idea if that days efforts had been enough to secure my second place or move up into first. The ride along the coast to find out was nerve racking. But, knowing I’d enjoyed every second of riding over the past few days, I had already achieved my primary goal. The sense of achievement in just completing an event like that is massive.

Riding through mountains felt like a proper adventure which I absolutely loved.

On handing in our timing chips I couldn’t quite believe it. My name was on the timing screen in first place.

 

 

Later that evening me and my Bird stood proudly on the podium. This bike took everything the EWS threw at it and I had 100% confidence in it all weekend.

I think it’s safe to say my first ever Enduro World Series was a success! I’m still absolutely buzzing and cannot wait to do more. Plans for the 2018 season are already in process…

 

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Why our customers choose a Bird bike …

John – Aeris 145: 1st ride out yesterday and I was blown away by the 145. Compared to my Santa Cruz Bronson it was soo stable and confidence inspiring. I was getting PR’s without even trying.
Tim – Aeris 120: Just wanted to let you know that I am absolutely loving my new Bird Aeris 120. Clocked up some miles on it now and I simply can’t fault it. It’s so bloody fast, stable and sorted, it’s amazing!!
I tried a lot of demo bikes before this (inc Whyte, Orange, Specialized) but this just stood out as the best for me.

Daniel – Zero AM: After riding my favorites trails with my new Bird Zero AM Eagle Bike, i’m so happy about my new Dream Machine.
I was a little bit nervous before my first ride, because I just bought this bike without having a testride on it.
After a few km’s on my firts trail, i was so glad I got this Bird. Never felt better before an a bike. It just feels right.

– Climbs like a ‘Steinbock’
– Rock solid on the way down
– Fun to ride on any single trail

Alex – Zero TR: Had my TR now for a month or so. I tested a fair few bikes beforehand (including Whyte hardtails).
I can say this is by far the best hike I tried. It literally eats up the miles and can handle the technical stuff really well too.
It was a very tough decision between the AM and TR. In the end using the bike for commuting swung it for me. Do try both bikes if you get the opportunity though, and talk to the guys at Bird as well. They designed the bikes so there are no better experts!
Great post sales support as well, thanks guys!

Remco – Aeris 145: Really as I would run my own company. Really helpful with answering questions and letting me change my specs during the Aeris 145 pre order (actually changed it a lot and they coped with it). Overall great communication from each of the guys. Would advise everyone to buy a Bird bike. A small point of feedback is that they added option during the pre order fase. Had to find out through the website instead of being offered a change. But in the end I have the best bike I could find. The Aeris 145 is great quality. Having ridden it a couple of months now and using it during Enduro and down hill tracks in Italy and Austria. My old Canyon Spectral stays in the shed and is looking for a new owner now.

Ben – Zero AM: By far the best customer service I’ve ever received! I was an annoying customer right from the start and yet they took every question with a smile, the guys running Bird will go out of their way to make sure you get the bike for you! Plus their bikes really are the dogs danglies. I’m faster on my Zero AM than I was on my full sus enduro bike and I’ve only just got it!

Nick – Aeris 145: Epic first ride on my new Aeris 145 56km, 1650 ascent, some riding, some hiking, wet feet but smiles all around ?. The bike is absolutely in another league from my old Lapierre, riding rocky descents blind off the brakes just full of confidence and yet being able to scale the climbs with ease aswell. I am in awe.

Jonny – Aeris: Today is the birthday of my Bird. I ride 9 miles to work through woodland and fields and 9 miles back at least three times a week, usually more than three days. Through thick wet mud, snow and dust… I’ve built jumps and hit trees, that’s just over 2,800 miles. Then as many evenings as I can, and every weekend I smash my bird down as many gnarly trails as I can, jumping, hucking, dropping and crashing. I’ve no idea how many extra miles this is, but my weekend rides are around 4 hours each…
That is thousands and thousands of miles in one year and the only thing I’ve had to change is a headset bearing.
As an ex pro surfer I’m used to just grabbing a board from the van and going surfing… there was no set up bullshit. I’m not one of those guys who set up, tweak, and fettle bikes. I only changed my bars because I crashed on Dartmoor and the Aeris dropped about 15 feet onto granite and it bent my bars… I just want to get my bike and go… get back and ride fast.

No other bike has withstood my shitty ownership. YT Capra’s, Specialized Stumpy’s and Lapierre Zesty’s have all died. As I’ve got faster and faster, I’ve abused my Aeris more than any other bike. But what a bike. I adore it, it is my pain killer, my enabler to my addiction, my smile vendor.

Thank you Bird Cycleworks for such an incredible bike, it has genuinely made my year. It has allowed me to go further, harder, faster and longer than ever before. I absolutely adore my bike.

Justin – Zero AM: Currently recovering from a day at bike park Wales on the Zero AM XL.
This thing just gobbles up the rocks and drops.. I did every thing that’s not “black” no problems no falls and almost kept up with my mate and his YT Capra.. Although to be honest he would be faster than me on unicycle.
I’ve moved from a full sus Canyon to a hardtail Bird, I’m faster, I’m having more fun and I think I’m improving my skills..!
WIN WIN WIN!
Bring on the Aeris!

Alfie – Aeris: I took an aeris out for a demo last week to swinley and loved it. Picked up my new one yesterday and took it for a “proper” test at tidworth freeride today. To be honest I was originally unsure about my decision to sell my Giant Glory and buy the Bird Aeris but I was so wrong! This bike is a weapon I’ve been grinning like a Cheshire Cat all morning and I think I’m already going faster than before! Thanks so much for the amazing bike and the outstanding service.

Nick – Aeris: These guys are amazing, I finally got the sign off for a new bike and the Aeris was in my top 3 bikes to try. Compared to the others it just feels right, planted great fun and even good on the pedaling bits ( which shocked me). The Team at Bird are outstanding not only have I had a million questions but their knowledge overall and the time they dedicate to their customers is something you won’t get from other companies. I had my heart set on the green and even when they had no stock Ben managed to find one. Honestly if you are looking for a new bike at a good price with awesome customer service and a life time warranty buy a Bird!! Thanks for all the help guys see you when I get sign off for the hard tail.

Tony – Aeris: Received my Bird Aeris today, and must say even round the block….. awesome! can’t wait to try it on the trails. A big thanks to Ben and Dave for firstly helping me get the right frame size and also squaring away delivery to suit me. Excellent company and great service, think I’m a convert! (Giant lover for over 10years)

 

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Enduro Mountain Bike Magazine review the Aeris 145

Enduro Mag rather liked the Aeris 145! Read the full review here:

“With no real minus points from us on this bike it is quite a rarity, it is on-point when it comes to pricing, looks fantastic, mixes standard aggressive geometry with forward thinking length and seat angle and rides all terrain just so well. For someone who either wants an everyday trail smasher, occasional or obsessed enduro racer we feel this bike really is a perfect choice.”

 

“On full tilt and fired into corners, this Aeris just begs to be ridden harder and faster, making the rider feel like they are out for that EWS win! Our tester found heaps of joy nailing the roughest of sections and firing off large lips on this bike, admitting he was very surprised at its ability in all situations. This is one fast aggressive bike on the downhills that leaves a true smile on the rider’s face.”

Build your Aeris 145 here:

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Mountain Biking UK & Bikeradar – Zero TR review

Mountain Biking UK awarded the Zero TR 4/5 stars. Read the full review here

“The long wheelbase and low bottom bracket make the Bird an unshakable carving machine when you’re straining your head round for a corner exit on a high-speed sweeper. The extended front end/ultra-short stem based Forward Geometry style handling means you can push the Zero a hell of a long way before it starts to feel sketchy and it’ll hook up in corners and pull off split second saves all the way down whatever black run or ragged edge backcountry singletrack you’re attacking.”

Build your Zero TR here.

 

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Mountain Biking UK (MBUK) & Bikeradar 5/5* review – Zero AM

Mountain Biking UK awards the Zero AM with a perfect 5/5 score.  Read the full review here.

“The long wheelbase (1,223mm on the XL size) and planted front end help the Zero AM rip through rooty, technical sections with a confidence and verve that make it feel more like a full-sus than other aggro hardtails from KonaRagley and Commencal we tested alongside it.”

“When combined with the superb parts list, this translates into an astoundingly fast, confident and fun trail bike. Put simply, the Bird gives you the best shot at keeping up with your fully-suspended mates on gnarly trails, or even stealing their Strava KOMs.”

Their only minor criticism was that the bike would benefit from wider rims… which are now available on all models!

Build your Zero AM now