bird am9 review

Still, its business model means that while you don’t get quite the same back-up support as you would when buying from your local bike shop, you do get a lot of bang for your buck. It goes uphill without fuss and feels incredible on the downs, balancing stability and confidence on faster trails well with its nimble, responsive handling which keeps it fun on every trail I rode. Thankfully, any worries that the AM9 might feel a little dull or less fun due to all of that inherent stability were quickly put to rest.

Introduction. Despite bigger wheels, it’s an easy bike to pick up and place where you want it on the trail. Basically, it was confident without feeling like I was riding a barge. A bike that can do anything from trail centres to bike parks and the majority being typical enduro/all mountain riding. Sign in to manage your newsletter preferences. My bike essentially started out as the GX build, but I customised it in areas I felt were important without going crazy with the cash. It’s no slouch in the turns either and although not as calm through the bar as the likes of Whyte’s S-150 on really high-speed, chattery turns, still carves a mean line at pace — I’d certainly be intrigued to try the AM9 with a fork with shorter offset just as Whyte spec. When you just want to rattle over anything in the way, the 150mm of travel just lets you point the bike and let go of the brakes. If my goal from the bike was to race enduro, perhaps I would have gone for the Large, which some would argue would be the faster, if less playful, bike. The brakes were SRAM Guide RS. This has a reach of 475mm, though the seat tube stands at just 440mm, so there’s even scope to fit a longer travel dropper post should you wish.

Overall, the AM9 offers a seriously well-rounded ride. The finishing kit mainly consisted of Race Face stuff, with a 150mm Aeffect dropper. It feels like the rear suspension tune is just right on the bike — though bear in mind I was running the compression and rebound valves fully open. While I really liked the Aeris 145, I’d go so far as to say that the AM9 is a better bike. While some of my colleagues love a long bike, I’m not 100 percent sold on super long bikes. The head angle is a slack 65.5 degrees and the chainstays are relatively long at 440mm, giving a wheelbase of 1,265mm in Large. In its mid-stroke there’s a fair bit of support, which helps that agile, almost poppy feel the bike has. Bird AM9 – Review. The medium, the smallest frame on offer, sports a longer-than-normal 452mm reach, though this isn’t exactly crazy. In the past 2 years I have gone through 5 different bikes in my pursuit for the perfect all mountain bike. Nice. There’s a Maxle boost spaced back end and a full complement of bearings throughout the frame. Its approach to geometry is forward thinking too, with bikes firmly at the progressive end of the scale. This means plenty of traction when you most need it, but no shortage of support when you want to work the bike through undulations or load it hard in turns, leaving you to fly out at speed. The AM9 comes in four different sizes, including the medium-long you see here. The standard build of the bike I tested comes in at £2,340, however I had a couple of choice upgrades, which bought the build in at £2,922.

This is the bike that changed my mind about 29 inch wheels! While super short chainstays can make a bike feel playful and easy to wheelie, they also shift your weight towards the rear axle, meaning you have to work harder to load up the front wheel during corners. I’ll admit to being smitten by this bike, and I wasn’t really expecting to be when I first got on it. Riding since the age of 13, Technical Editor Tom has ridden hundreds of bikes over the past few years, from aero race bikes to EWS-ready enduro rigs, with a fair few others in between. The Aeris AM9 is the enduro bike you have been waiting for. Though a relatively small brand based out of the UK, Bird’s approach to bike design and commerce means it’s starting to get noticed abroad (and, yes … The bike was built with a RockShox Lyrik RCT3 fork, in 150mm guise, and SRAM’s GX Eagle 12-speed groupset. It’s seriously fast as well though, thanks in part to that well-centred riding position from which you can really attack the trail ahead. Quite simply the fastest bike available for fast, steep and rough enduro courses. Climbing on the AM9 is surprisingly easy going too. Be prepared to conquer the roughest trails and smash your personal bests. The bike is sensitive in its early stroke, taking care of smaller trail chatter easily, yet it ramps up considerably towards the end of the stroke, so I rarely bottomed the bike out regardless of how ham-fisted my riding was. Our bikes are class leading when it comes to downhill performance. At 14.3kg the AM9 isn’t super light, but this didn’t hold it back too much on the climbs. By entering your details, you are agreeing to BikeRadar terms and conditions. Don't miss out on MBUK – get your next 3 issues for just £5, Get the next 3 issues of the UK's number one cycling magazine for just £5, A sublime riding, pocket friendly trail and enduro slayer, Spot-on geometry, great suspension, killer price, Rear suspension rebound might not be fast enough for everyone, One to watch in 2018: Bird Aeris AM9 GX12, Longer travel 29ers really suit the rugged, rocky terrain around Peille, France, The Maxxis Aggressor is the stock tyre at the back, but you can swap this for other Maxxis rubber when you purchase, SRAM’s 10-50t GX Eagle drivetrain is a great match for the bike, SRAM Guide RS brakes haul the bike to a stop, The RockShox Super Deluxe shock provides ample control for the back end, How to get a perfect fit on your mountain bike, La Maison des Activities de Pleine Nature de Peille, Best mountain bike shoes 2020 | 16 tried and tested recommendations, How maintaining bikes helped me fix my washing machine – and why it matters, Rocky Mountain Pipeline 750 MSL first ride review, Rocky Mountain Slayer 750 MSL first ride review, YT Jeffsy 29 CF Pro Race First Ride review. All Images and Text Copyright Bird Cycleworks unless otherwise stated. I also developed a creak around the bottom bracket area after a few days pummelling the AM9 out in San Remo, Italy, though it was already in need of some TLC before we left the country so it was no huge surprise. Cables are all routed externally to keep working on the bike that bit easier and the British brand has opted for a threaded rather than press-fit bottom bracket, which many will appreciate. The reason for Bird introducing a 29er is that it finally felt that the wheel rim and tyre combos are now available to give the roll-over advantages of the bigger wheel, without the strength and weight issues 29ers arguably had. Though a relatively small brand based out of the UK, Bird’s approach to bike design and commerce means it’s starting to get noticed abroad (and, yes international readers, you can probably buy one!). If you normally ride a medium but want something a little lengthier, chances are you’ll fit nicely on the medium-long, just as I did at 5ft 8in. The steeper seat angle puts your hips nicely over the bottom bracket, so on steep climbs it’s easy to regulate where your body weight is in relation to the wheels. You've been subscribed to our newsletter. A steep seat tube angle of 76 degrees helps to keep things more efficient when climbing, while the 65-degree head angle and lengthy 1,240mm wheelbase add stability when the pace picks up.

Rather than taking a long time to get rolling, and feeling like it needs a lot of effort to maintain speed along the flat, the AM9 feels much more active, almost sprightly. I really liked the 27.5in Aeris 145, so expected good things from the AM9, especially as my preference for bikes is those with larger wheels. If you like to crank up a hill and then blast down again as fast as possible then I think that we’ll get along just fine. This is the bike that changed my mind about 29 inch wheels! Our long front ends keep the front wheel planted to the ground on steep climbs while giving you extra breathing room. A sublime riding, pocket friendly trail and enduro slayer… 4.5/5* – Read the full review. When you ride a Bird your body weight is perfectly distributed between the wheel axles, resulting in supreme stability and confidence. A quick word on Bird, if you’re not familiar. Aeris AM9 V3 – SRAM Eagle 12 Speed GX / X01, Aeris AM9 V2 – SRAM Eagle 12 Speed GX / X01, 6066 tube-set, designed to give the best stiffness to weight ratio, 148 Boost rear end for maximum tyre clearance and stiffness, One piece brake/axle assembly for maximum precision and minimum squeal, 1x specific rear end for maximum stiffness, Fantastic pedalling performance combined with a progressive shock curve, External cable routing, because we live in the UK, Max complement sealed cartridge bearings on all pivots, 4 sizes, 3 colours and complete configuration control on all models.

BikeRadar would like to thank Brittany Ferries, the Commune of Peille, France, and Kieran Page at La Maison des Activities de Pleine Nature de Peille for their help and support during our Headline Bikes test. We take pride in our in house developed frame geometry. The seat angle is steep at 76 degrees. BIRD CONSETT IS CLOSED TO VISITORS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

And that’s for good reason. So long as they have a relatively steep seat angle, there are no issues. In fact, I may have over indulged a little through the corners, loosening many of the spokes off in the rear wheel after a good few days in the hills and leaving it feeling a touch flexy when really pushing the bike hard. Don't miss out on MBUK – get your next 3 issues for just £5, Get the next 3 issues of the UK's number one cycling magazine for just £5, Speed comes easy to this big wheeler and while it feels stable at speed, its lively nature keeps things playful and fun when it matters, Well-balanced suspension that offers plenty of grip yet feels supportive when pushed hard; great geometry that gives confidence at speed without limiting any of the fun factor; customisable to suit your needs and budget, Had to run the rebound adjuster on the shock fully open; spoke tension in the rear wheel loosened off, but this was after many days of seriously hard riding, This is Bird’s first attempt at a long travel 29er and it’s certainly delivered one hell of a bike, We’re big fans of the RockShox Lyrik RCT3 fork. That’s because the AM9 feels energetic and lively no matter what the gradient or speed might be. Chunky welds and gussets give the AM9 a reassuringly solid industrial look. By entering your details, you are agreeing to BikeRadar terms and conditions. To keep mechanics happy, cables are routed externally and there’s an external bottom bracket too for ease. While Bird might not be the biggest or boldest brand out there, its bikes certainly stand out. A size Large bike comes with a reach of 500mm, at the moment it could be argued that 460mm is ‘average’, so there’s no doubting that this is a long bike. Most of the components had alternative options, including different tyres, droppers, cockpit and brakes. Quite simply the fastest bike available for fast, steep and rough enduro courses. The AM9 rolled on DT Swiss M1700 Spline wheels and a pair of Maxxis tyres; a High Roller II at the front and an Aggressor at the back. It sells bikes direct, which helps keep its pricing incredibly competitive.

Slack head angle, low bottom bracket and sensational rear suspension. What does “enduro” mean though? It also has a number of permanent demo fleets dotted about the UK. Really long chainstays provide stabilty at speed but also suck a lot of the fun out of riding and can make a bike handle like an oil tanker. Our bikes are long and roomy without feeling stretched out.

You can unsubscribe at any time. That said, in order to get the back end of the AM9 feeling as I wanted, it did mean leaving the rebound adjuster fully open, so lighter riders might struggle getting the feel just right.

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