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.
- 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.
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.
|Description||Folded dimensions - 78.5 x 64 x 34cm|
|Rear Derailleur||Shimano Capreo alloy long cage|
|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 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 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|