Bird Aeris 120 first ride review£2,972.00

Top value, super slack UK trail attacker

Bird has been direct selling its UK designed Zero hardcore hardtail and 140mm Aeris aggro machine for a couple of years, completing them with well thought out and buyer tuneable components at excellent, no middle-man or shop-margin prices. Here we take a first ride on its 120mm Aeris.

Bird Aeris 120 spec overview

  • Frame: 6066-T6 alloy
  • Fork: RockShox Pike RCT3
  • Shock: RockShox Deluxe
  • Wheel Size: 650b
  • Drivetrain: SRAM X01 Eagle
  • Brakes: SRAM Guide
  • Head Angle: 67
  • Seat Angle: 75
  • Reach: 495mm (L)

Bird Aeris 120 first impressions

There’s a whole world of pros and cons about buying direct rather than going through your local shop that we feel obliged to reel off like the ‘your home is at risk…’ small print on a mortgage advert.

The new metric sized RockShox Deluxe shock is impressively smooth too

The long and the short of it is how much you like your local shop and how good it is/you aren’t with a spanner.

What’s undeniable is that in this case feeling sheepish around your local shopkeeper means you’re getting a SRAM Eagle, Pike and pimpy RaceFace bar kit that usually only adorns £4,000 to £5,000 bikes.

With a 655mm top tube and 495mm reach, value isn’t the only thing being stretched either and while the 67-degree head angle isn’t that slack, the 2.4in Maxxis tyres feel stable and surefooted in the Boost-axle-equipped frame.

The numbers in the cockpit keep things roomy
The numbers in the cockpit keep things roomy

It’s a proper quality chassis (£850 separately) with some really neat hollow-back-machined junction sections and collet-secured pivot axles for the enduro bearings.

The new metric sized RockShox Deluxe shock is impressively smooth too, although it took us a while to spacer and pressure it to a progressively supportive sweet spot.

The stretched stability and slightly chunky 13.28kg overall weight can make it feel slightly dull rather than dynamic for a short travel ripper, but if you’re looking for a UK-proof, UK-designed hardcore trail bike nothing will touch it on kit value. (Only frames shipped to USA/Australia).

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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