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Yeah the price is quite reasonable for a full boutique bike, I may have spent some time on their site since seeing this thread...
The only bit I don’t like is the under BB cable routing. I too have spent some time on the website because of this thread.

@komdotkom hows the climbing? Is it very bobby or pretty controlled?
 
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komdotkom

Likes Dirt
The only bit I don’t like is the under BB cable routing. I too have spent some time on the website because of this thread.

@komdotkom hows the climbing? Is it very bobby or pretty controlled?
It's got a decent amount of anti squat built into it, so it pedals very well. I'm running a bit too much rear tyre pressure at the moment (not the final wheels for this bike) so rear grip wasn't great, but the climbing traction probably isn't as good as my Norco was. But climbing overall it's chalk and cheese, the Bird has a really snappy feel to it. It's only on very steep, pinchy and loose climbs that the Norco has an advantage. For those who know Smiths Gully, it's only when climbing Marsben (apparently I do it backwards) that there's any descernable lack of traction but that's a very loose and steep trail. I haven't noticed any pedal kick back, but I'll go for another spin tomorrow and focus a bit more on that.
The cheater switch on the CC shock is pretty decent too, I used it on a couple of fire road climbs and was impressed.
 

komdotkom

Likes Dirt
Correct, but for a better illustration of the angles I did the comparison to a large. Clearly the reach on the Bird is waay longer, but offset somewhat by a much shorter stem and riser bars
 
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komdotkom

Likes Dirt
Awesome to hear that you like it. I'm curious what differences you found to the optic. Snappier pedalling and a more centred feel for descending?


Am I off the hook?
I've been riding bikes with relatively high anti squat values since 2014, so when I got the Optic in late 2019 I was a bit shocked at how low it rode in the travel; particularly when you consider that it's only got 125mm at the back. As most of the reviews state, the Optic rides more like an enduro bike than a trail bike. Running a Minion SS you could ride the Optic up nearly anything out of the saddle and not worry about rear end traction, wet roots, mud, loose over hardpack no problem. The downside to this amazing traction was that it wasn't very poppy on the trail and it feels a bit dead when you mash the pedals. Downhill the Optic was really good, but I could never quite get the shock to feel 'right'. The Super Deluxe whatever was a bit short on adjustments and like many RS shocks, they did fuck all. I found it plush off the top but less so through chunder and square edges, but I thought that's pretty good considering it's 125mm travel.

The Bird has much higher anti squat built in and on really steep pinch climbs it demands more careful attention to weight balance and pedal timing to make sure that it doesn't break traction at the rear or lift the front. I think if it was shorter and my weight wasn't placed as far over the front this would be a problem, much like my Intense Carbine which was a great bike but shit on the steep stuff because you couldn't keep the front on the ground. Pedalling is really snappy and the seating position is very comfortable, althought the reach is much longer than the Optic it feels great without feeling too big.
Descending the Bird feels like it's stuck to the ground when you need it and ready to fly (see what I did there) if you want it to. While it's easy to attribute this to the frame, I suspect that the shock has contrbuted significantly to this and the rear end grip and compliance is night and day compared to the Norco. The rear wheel feels 'controlled' as in the damper is performing as intended and controlling the rebound effectively. I assume it's this really stable and planted feel which gives you the confidence to back it into corners like Ari Vartanen.

Take all of this with a grain of salt beacuse of
  • Confirmation bias
  • I'm coming from a nasty break up and am on the rebound
  • I was over the Norco and just didn't love it
  • I've been on a hard tail for ages
I've got a few more tasks than need to be done before I'll be 110% happy with it though.
  • Find out why the NDS crank arm fell off
  • Fix rattle, I hope it's not the cables in the frame
  • Fit final set of wheels and tyres when they arrive
  • Frame skin for heel rub
 

LPG

Likes Dirt
I've been riding bikes with relatively high anti squat values since 2014, so when I got the Optic in late 2019 I was a bit shocked at how low it rode in the travel; particularly when you consider that it's only got 125mm at the back. As most of the reviews state, the Optic rides more like an enduro bike than a trail bike. Running a Minion SS you could ride the Optic up nearly anything out of the saddle and not worry about rear end traction, wet roots, mud, loose over hardpack no problem. The downside to this amazing traction was that it wasn't very poppy on the trail and it feels a bit dead when you mash the pedals. Downhill the Optic was really good, but I could never quite get the shock to feel 'right'. The Super Deluxe whatever was a bit short on adjustments and like many RS shocks, they did fuck all. I found it plush off the top but less so through chunder and square edges, but I thought that's pretty good considering it's 125mm travel.

The Bird has much higher anti squat built in and on really steep pinch climbs it demands more careful attention to weight balance and pedal timing to make sure that it doesn't break traction at the rear or lift the front. I think if it was shorter and my weight wasn't placed as far over the front this would be a problem, much like my Intense Carbine which was a great bike but shit on the steep stuff because you couldn't keep the front on the ground. Pedalling is really snappy and the seating position is very comfortable, althought the reach is much longer than the Optic it feels great without feeling too big.
Descending the Bird feels like it's stuck to the ground when you need it and ready to fly (see what I did there) if you want it to. While it's easy to attribute this to the frame, I suspect that the shock has contrbuted significantly to this and the rear end grip and compliance is night and day compared to the Norco. The rear wheel feels 'controlled' as in the damper is performing as intended and controlling the rebound effectively. I assume it's this really stable and planted feel which gives you the confidence to back it into corners like Ari Vartanen.

Take all of this with a grain of salt beacuse of
  • Confirmation bias
  • I'm coming from a nasty break up and am on the rebound
  • I was over the Norco and just didn't love it
  • I've been on a hard tail for ages
I've got a few more tasks than need to be done before I'll be 110% happy with it though.
  • Find out why the NDS crank arm fell off
  • Fix rattle, I hope it's not the cables in the frame
  • Fit final set of wheels and tyres when they arrive
  • Frame skin for heel rub
That's interesting, I have similar thoughts on my bird. I really think they do a good job getting the suspension kinematics sorted for bikes that really balance the pedalling, descending and keeping the bikes poppy and playful even though they have lengths and angles that most people assume makes them ride like a bus (they don't).

My am9 V1 (the all mountain/enduro model) is amazingly poppy even with the coil I now have on it. I'm still in love after over 2 years. I almost went with a commencal meta am (what is now the old model) but I took a chance on the Bird. I was very happy and even more so after riding a friends meta am, the Bird is so much more versatile and fun to ride despite the longer slacker geo (in line with the current meta am).
 

komdotkom

Likes Dirt
I was very happy and even more so after riding a friends meta am, the Bird is so much more versatile and fun to ride despite the longer slacker geo (in line with the current meta am).
I suppose it's just personal preference, I don't rate my young blokes Meta much either but he loves it.

Lock down is making riding more challenging terrain difficult so more km's at Smiths on the weekend. I thought I would try another 10psi in the rear shock for no good reason which was a mistake, the pure guesswork 155psi was heaps better with the increased pressure providing no better pedalling platform and less planted descending. Having said that I didn't adjust the rebound to compensate for the additional air pressure so that's probably part of it.
In other news the inner tube on the One-Up post is rattling already so that needs to come out for some treatment but it's a much nicer post with the long throw dropper lever.
 

komdotkom

Likes Dirt
My brothers Datsun 2000 Sports. It went on the tow truck today to its new owner, I was just storing it for him.
I've also got a 240Z, the Skyline, my daily, my wifes car and soon my son will need a car and I think 5 is enough.
I'm moving next weekend so I'm clearing the garage in preparation for a significant workshop downgrade until I can get the planning permit for the new garage/workshop/office/man cave.
 
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