Doddy from GMBN tech caught up with us at Sea Otter Girona. See what he thought of the Aeris AM9 below:
Tom from Bikeradar came to see us at Sea Otter Girona. Check out what he had to say about the Aeris AM160 below:
- Lyrik RC2
- Lyrik RCT3/Pike RCT3
- Lyrik RC/Pike RC
- Yari RC Charger/Revelation RC Charger
- Yari RC/Revelation RC
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.
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.
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.
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…
We are super excited to announce the Bird race team for 2017! Morvélo Bicycle Apparel design and produce some of the coolest riding kit on the market right now. We make the coolest bikes and we have some talented riders to pilot them to victory!
The team riders for the season are:
Francie Arthur – the 2016 Southern Enduro Champion will be racing on the Aeris 120 competing in all rounds of the Southern Enduro, certain rounds of Pedalhounds and Welsh Gravity Enduro, together with other events.
Charles Griffith – the 2016 Southern Enduro Champion and one of the fastest youth riders on gravity based courses in the country. He will be racing the Aeris in all rounds of the Southern Enduro, certain rounds of Pedalhounds, local DH events and possibly some rounds of the British Downhill Series (the Aeris is a versatile bike!)
Tomas Kupstys – the 2016 Southern Enduro Champion will be racing the Aeris in all rounds of the Southern Enduro and Welsh Gravity Enduto, certain rounds of Pedalhounds, local DH events and others.
Josh Cutts – up and coming youth rider will be racing the Aeris in all rounds of the Southern Enduro, certain rounds of Pedalhounds, local DH events and others.
Ambassadors – we have number of great riders (well maybe not all great, but great ambassadors!) wearing the Bird-Morvélo race jersey this season, racing Senior, Master and the Vet’s categories. Heckle them loudly when you see them!
The Mean Green Machine
- Bird Zero AM – Size M, Stealth Black
- RockShox Lyrik RCT3 160* SA, Stealth Black
- SRAM Eagle X01 drivetrain
- SRAM Eagle X01 Carbon cranks, 34T
- Hope Stainless BB w/GXP conversion
- SRAM Guide RS Brakes
- SRAM Centerline 200/180 rotors
- RaceFace Turbine R 35 Stem, 40mm
- RaceFace Next SL 35 bars, 760mm, green
- RaceFace Half Nelson grips, grey
- Cane Creek 40 headset
- RockShox Reverb Stealth 170mm, left hand under bar
- Fabric Scoop Race Saddle, Ti rails
- One Up Bash Guard
- RaceFace Chester composite pedals, green
- Prototype carbon rims, 32mm internal
- Custom made hubs, 142/12 & 100/15mm, 28h, XD driver, green
- DT Swiss Competition spokes w/Pro Lock Squorx brass nipples
- Maxxis Shorty 2.5WT Exo TR Maxx Terra up front
- Maxxis DHR2 2.3 Exo TR Maxx Terra out back
- RockShox Maxle Ultimate, 142/12
- We tap every BB shell again, no matter how good it looks, to ensure that its clean and ready to have the BB fitted.
- We tap the ISG05 tabs, and the maxle threads
- We check the seat-tube ream
- We check the facing on the head-tube and BB to ensure its perfect
- We inspect the paintwork end-to-end to ensure its chip and mark free
- We check the alignment of the bike to ensure it is straight, and the brake mounts are straight too
The First Ride
- You own an AM and you know its awesome
- You know I am a founder of Bird and so unlikely to say anything bad 🙂
Why Should I Care?
How an Air-Spring Works
What Do the Tokens Do?
My Forks Have Tokens in From The Factory. So I’m Done Right?
When Should I Use Tokens?
OK, I’m Sold. What do I Need?
- A socket or good quality spanner to fit on the air top cap. A decent wide adjustable (30mm) spanner is fine for occasional use. It might fix something around the house too.
- A token compatible fork as found on almost all the Bird bikes. See below for the RockShox compatible fork options.
- Some tokens suitable for your forks. You probably received some with your forks or bike, but you can always buy some more here: http://www.bird.bike/?s=token&post_…
A good shock pump. Specifically one good shock pump. You may own more than one. When testing your set up, always us the same pump. Even the same pumps from the same brand can yield different results when using two pumps. Its always best to stick with a single pump as no-matter how inaccurate, its likely to be consistent, which is the main thing. Its not actually important whether it reads 100PSI but its actually 120PSI. What counts it that when you pump it to 100PSI its the same pressure as the last time you did that.
- For occasional use an analogue pump is just fine > http://www.bird.bike/product/rock-s…
- For hardcore fettlers and mechanics we’d always recommend a digital pump like this one> http://www.bird.bike/product/rfx-hi… You’d be surprised what a few PSI can do in terms of shock performance, and analogue pumps don’t offer a great deal of precision.
RockShox Token Compatible Forks and Base Settings
A Rough Guide to Get You Started
- 32mm Chassis Forks (Revelations etc.) – As from the factory.
- 35mm Pike Forks (RC & RCT3) : +1 token for every 20mm away from the max travel of the fork (160mm on a 27.5) + 2 tokens.
- 35mm Yari and Lyrik Forks : +1 token for every 20mm away from the max travel of the fork (180mm on a 27.5) – 1 token.