Bird's much-loved Zero gets the 29er treatment

Aggro hardtail gets its big-boy wheels and other upgrades

Bird's much-loved Zero — which scored five-star's in a BikeRadar review — is now available in an updated 29er flavour.

Although it's a brand better known for its 650b bikes, this is not its first 29er — the Aeris AM9 launched in late 2017 and performed well in BikeRadar tests.

Bird Zero 29 frame specs and highlights

Better known for its 650b bikes, Bird has launched its first 29er hardtail
Better known for its 650b bikes, Bird has launched its first 29er hardtail
  • 130–140mm travel
  • 29x2.6in tyre clearance
  • 63.9-degree head angle with short (42–44mm) offset forks
  • 435–440mm chainstays
  • ISCG05 chain guide mount
  • 606I-T6 aluminium tubeset
  • 2kg claimed frame weight (M/L)

Long, low and raring to go

The Bird Zero 29 is built around thoroughly modern long, low and slack geometry. With a 140mm fork there’s a 63.9-degree head angle, a super slammed 301mm bottom bracket height and reach figures from 436 to 507mm. The shape should keep you firmly planted when things get rough and steep.

Bird pairs the aggressive geometry with either 130 or 140mm forks, and these feature the in-vogue short fork offsets (42-44mm depending on frame size) that should spell out stable handling at speed, so we expect this bike to be a lot of fun to ride, especially when the trails get hairy.

Bigger, wider wheels

In our review of the Zero AM2, our only nitpick was that he felt it could have done with wider rims to make full use of the massive tyre clearance that came with the bike. Since then, the brand has embraced the Boost revolution, with the latest generation 650b and 29in frames getting the 148mm back end. This has increased clearances to 2.6". 

In its new guise as a 29er, the Zero comes equipped with DT Swiss XM 481 or EX511 rimmed wheels with a 30mm internal width.

The ear end of the bike features short chainstays for a playful, nimble ride (435mm for M/ML, 440mm for L/XL), and it’s all held together by a 148x12mm SRAM Rear Maxle.

Customise to your heart’s content

The Bird Zero 29 is long, low and slack, and comes with many build options
The Bird Zero 29 is long, low and slack, and comes with many build options

Bird’s direct-sales model means it can offer excellent value, and what’s more, there are plenty of opportunities to customise the build to suit your needs and your budget.

As a starting point, the most budget-friendly build, equipped with 10-speed Shimano Deore, starts at £1,550. From there you can choose from several build options, including 1x or 2x drivetrains.

There are also ready-built options for Shimano (XT/SLX and XTR) and SRAM (NX all the way up to XX1 Eagle), or you can pick up the frameset for under £500 and build the 29er hardtail of your dreams.

All the full-build bikes come with Hope Pro4 hubs as standard, even on the cheapest models. Bird is also speccing all forks with at least a Charger RC damper, which is a huge step up in performance compared to the Motion Control dampers found in previous entry-level models.

On the XTR built bikes, Bird is offering the latest 12-speed groupset with a Sunrace 11-50t cassette, allowing for the use of a Hope rear hub, while also saving some cash. Those looking for the full-XTR build get a DT Swiss XMC 1200 Microspline wheelset to carry the full 10-51t cassette.

Plus, just for good measure, you can choose between an anodised or powdercoat finish. What more could you ask for?

Bird Zero 29 pricing and availability

There are several Bird Zero 29 build options available:

  • Zero 29 frameset: From £475
  • Shimano Deore: From £1,550
  • SRAM NX: From £1,585
  • Shimano XT/SLX: From £1,695
  • SRAM NX/GX/X01/XX1 Eagle: From £1,765
  • Shimano XTR: From £2,185

You can start choosing from the many Zero 29 options now.

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