by Micah Toll
August 19, 2021
Bird Bike rolls out in style Bird’s aptly named Bird Bike features an elegantly designed diamond frame (or a still pretty decent-looking step-through frame in the accessible model). Anyone who has been around the e-bike block a time or two, though, will instantly recognize the design as particularly VanMoofian.
Bird’s Chief Vehicle Officer Scott Rushforth deftly skirted around the issue, saying: “The demand for consumer e-bikes has never been greater, and neither has the need for innovative vehicles that get riders excited about cycling. That was our north star when developing the Bird Bike. It has a sleek, aluminum alloy A and V-frame design that gives it a look that’s both familiar and cutting-edge.” Heh, “familiar.”
The Bird Bike sports a rear hub motor from Bafang, a leading electric bicycle motor manufacturer that we had the chance to visit in China and tour their factory. US riders get a 500W motor, while European riders will find a 250W motor instead. Whether or not that’s a simple sticker swap or an actual motor variation remains unclear. US riders will also get the benefit of a thumb throttle in addition to pedal assist, while Europeans will have to be content with just pedal assist.
An LCD screen mounted on the handlebar stem contains all the pertinent riding information, such as speed, distance and battery level, yet keeps the handlebars free of clutter and saves space for adding riders’ own accessories. That’s actually a pretty decent display, which I know not from having personally tested the Bird Bike yet, but rather because the same display was used on another e-bike model I tested recently.
The Bird Bike also has a few interesting features that you won’t find on many other models. Replacing a typical chain drive is a Gates carbon belt drive. That setup is prized as a silent, zero-maintenance solution that feels smooth and lasts nearly forever. Various lifespans are thrown around frequently, but most fall into the 20,000-50,000 mile range.
The Bird Bike will be available later this fall in the US, followed by a European release later this year. The bike will carry an MSRP of $2,299, falling somewhere in the middle of the pack for electric bicycle pricing.