Birdy City review

Comfy and classy folder

Our rating 
3.5 out of 5 star rating 3.5
GBP £1,295.00 RRP | USD $2,138.17

Our review

Comfy day-long ride and classy looks but an awkward fold
Skip to view product specifications


The Birdy City is made by the German company Riese und Müller. At around £1,200 it’s far from cheap, but its aluminium frame has a good finish and we expected a lot from the German engineers behind it.

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  • Frame & fork: Monocoque frame boasts elastomer/coil suspension and a great finish; anti-dive leading link design fork works well (8/10)
  • Handling: Fast, refined ride was a hit with testers; one of the most comfortable folders available (8/10)
  • Equipment: Eight-speed cassette provides a good range of gears for town riding (7/10)
  • Fold: Final result is quite compact, but folding the front wheel under the frame is a bit of a faff and you all-too-easily end up with grubby hands – not great on your way to work (6/10)

The folded package is one of the neatest we’ve seen, but it wasn’t the most intuitive fold. The part of the process that caused the difficulty was how the front wheel folds back under the frame, hinging at the bottom of the front fork – about six inches behind the front wheel axle.

This also makes for convoluted cabling for the front V-brake, involving the cable disappearing into the fork and the use of a zip-tie.

The fold consists of lining up the cranks with the seat tube, dropping the bars, folding the front wheel under the frame, then folding the real wheel under the frame, dropping the seatpost into the frame and finally folding down the bars.

The result is a very neat and portable package, though when we were in a hurry we never ended up with quite as neat a result as the official pictures, but it was always readily portable.

Birdy city folded: birdy city folded
www.robertsmithphotography.co.uk

The Birdy, like many folding bikes, has what is effectively a very long stem. On a lot of bikes this results in a lot of fore and aft movement, which is one of the first things you notice when you start riding folding bikes. The Birdy, though, is much more solid.

Not only does its ride offer a reassuring solidity, the Birdy was also very comfortable and smooth thanks to its shock-absorbing elastomer.

It’s a refined machine and the ride is such that, unlike with most of the other folding bikes we’ve tested, you genuinely could take this for all-day rides.

Ultimately, though, while there’s most definitely a heck of lot to like about the Birdy, we can’t overcome some nagging doubts about the convenience of that folding mechanism.

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birdy city: birdy city
www.robertsmithphotography.co.uk

Product Specifications

Product

Name City (09)
Brand Birdy

Description Folded dimensions - 78.5 x 64 x 34cm
Rear Derailleur Shimano Capreo alloy long cage
Year 2009
Weight (kg) 11.14
Stem Alloy telescopic/hinged with twin-bolt standard diameter clamp
Shifters Shimano Revo Shift 8spd
Seatpost Alloy with single bolt alloy seat clamp,
Saddle Riese & Müller padded vinyl, chro. rails
Rims Alex Crostini M1.1 alloy
Rear Wheel Weight 1555
Rear Tyre Size 18x1.5
Rear Tyre Marathon
Rear Hub forged alloy
Handlebar Alloy flat, standard clamp size 52cm
Available Colours Anthracite Black Blue Cream Yellow
Front Wheel Weight 948
Front Tyre Size 18x1.5
Front Tyre Marathon
Front Hub forged alloy
Frame Material 6061 alu monocoque main frame, 7005 alloy frame and fork tubes, replaceable gear hanger, elastomer/coil suspension.
Fork 1 1/8in steerer leading link
Cranks Forged alloy square taper cotterless, 170mm arms, alloy 5-arm ring, 130bcd, 56T alloy ring
Cassette Shimano HG 50, 8spd, 11-30
Brakes Avid Single Digit 5 Vs and levers
Bottom Bracket Sealed cartridge alloy cups, square taper steel spindle
Available Sizes One Size
Weight (lb) 24.6