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Bird Aeris spec choices

jamskijamski Posts: 737
edited May 2018 in MTB buying advice
Afternoon all.

On Friday I'm demoing the Aeris, both 120 and 145. Pretty sure one of those will be what I go for, but the spec decisions are driving me crazy. I now have a little more money than I thought, but only a little. Need to ideally get it to around £2300.

So, regardless of model, my choices are.

1. SLX build, SLX brakes, RT3 Shock.

2. GX Eagle build, Sram DB5 brakes, RT shock.

Both will be specced with a dropper, Revelation forks, Minion/Ardent tyres.

Hills are, and always will be my nemesis, so the easier gearing over the basic NX is a must. Option 1 (SLX) looks better to me, but something is nagging me about going back to Shimano drivechain/brakes after using 11 speed GX and Guide R brakes.

HELP!
Daddy, Husband, Designer, Biker, Gamer, Geek
Bird Aeris 120 | Boardman Team 650b | Boardman Pro FS | Calibre Two.two
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Posts

  • JBAJBA Posts: 2,789
    Nothing wrong with SLX brakes and gears. If nothing else, the ease of bleeding Shimano brakes would swing me to the Shimano build over the SRAM build.
    “Life has been unfaithful
    And it all promised so so much”

    Giant Trance 2 27.5 2016 ¦ Sonder Broken Road 2021¦ Giant Revolt Advanced 2 2019 ¦ Giant Anthem 3 2015 ¦ Specialized Myka Comp FSR 2009
  • JoebristolJoebristol Posts: 326
    From what I’ve read about Shimano brakes I wouldn’t be touching them with a barge pole (except maybe Deore). Guide R aren’t bad to bleed as they have the new bleeding edge tool.

    Maybe you could ring Bird and see if they’ll do you an NX build, but with an sd driver and 10-42 11 speed GX cassette? I run 11 speed GX but asked Bird to swap out the 32t chainring for a 30t chainring. Works well for me on my 145 (which is now a 145 LT as I bought the longer travel linkage).

    If you’re going Sram but can’t get the Guides I’d spec the 200/180 discs for a little more power.

    Edit - thinking this might free up funds for the rt3. Although all that gives you over the rt is a pedal platform setting and an extra bearing shock mount.
  • jamskijamski Posts: 737
    Yeah there may be all sorts of options once I've decided which one to go for and I actually speak to the guys there.

    SLX is a step above Deore, why do you say that about them?
    Daddy, Husband, Designer, Biker, Gamer, Geek
    Bird Aeris 120 | Boardman Team 650b | Boardman Pro FS | Calibre Two.two
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    I think it's more matter of personal choice. I like the way Shimano brakes feel. Friends think newer Sram have better modulation. I sort of like an almost on/off switch feeling, but I have sensitive girly fingers. I've never had a problem.

    I think the only real difference between Deore and SLX ids the lever adjustment has a knob on SLX, needs an allen key on Deore.

    I've got Deore, SLX and XT brakes on different bikes, and they all work well, IMO. But I have Shimano stuff on all my bikes. So I'm a rubbish example. I do seem to have fewer drivetrain issues than my Sram running friends though. But there could be many reasons for that, from better maintenance to censored riding style.

    Small point, but when bleeding etc I far prefer faffing with mineral oil to brake fluid.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • tallpaul_stallpaul_s Posts: 130
    I'd be going with eagle every time - the ability to winch yourself up pretty much anything is brilliant.

    You can always upgrade stuff l the brakes in a few months of you have to compromise to get the overall spec you want. Upgrading to eagle from Shimano would be a much bigger ordeal.
  • jamskijamski Posts: 737
    TallPaul_S wrote:
    I'd be going with eagle every time - the ability to winch yourself up pretty much anything is brilliant.

    You can always upgrade stuff l the brakes in a few months of you have to compromise to get the overall spec you want. Upgrading to eagle from Shimano would be a much bigger ordeal.

    It would but the lowest gear ratio of the two specs is pretty much the same. It's the higher, faster end where you actually get the bigger range with the Eagle.

    If it were just the brakes I could live with it, but it's the rear shock too that would be possibly compromised.
    Daddy, Husband, Designer, Biker, Gamer, Geek
    Bird Aeris 120 | Boardman Team 650b | Boardman Pro FS | Calibre Two.two
  • tallpaul_stallpaul_s Posts: 130
    If it's just the upgrade front RT to RT3 in wouldn't be too worried, I believe the only difference is the RT3 has a pedal mode alongside the open and lock.

    Out of the 5 FS bikes I've ridden I've not bothered to have the rear shocks or forks in anything but fully open mode, even when climbing hills that I've needed to resort to pushing up.
  • JoebristolJoebristol Posts: 326
    If you google SLX / XT Disc brake failures you’ll get loads of hits. Also wandering bite point.

    It seems like the Deore 615 doesn’t have this issienin the same way - they might not have servo wave in the lever which could be part of the difference. I think Shimano have really dropped the ball on their brakes - XT M8000 being one of the biggest culprits.
  • JBAJBA Posts: 2,789
    You’ll also get loads of hits if you Google Guide R failures. People don’t tend to post reports of their brakes working as they should, only when something goes wrong.
    The XT M8000 problem was due to poor pistons on early batches of the brakes but was resolved ages ago.

    Spec whichever brakes fit your budget. I doubt you will be disappointed with either.
    “Life has been unfaithful
    And it all promised so so much”

    Giant Trance 2 27.5 2016 ¦ Sonder Broken Road 2021¦ Giant Revolt Advanced 2 2019 ¦ Giant Anthem 3 2015 ¦ Specialized Myka Comp FSR 2009
  • JoebristolJoebristol Posts: 326
    Jba- nowhere near the same noise as about Shimano problems though. On singletrack forum I’d say there’s a new thread per week about Shimano brake problems. If it’s not wandering brake point it’s leaking calipers or seized brake levers. Not just on he first batch of XT - it’s on new brakes too. Even a few recent magazine brake reviews have marked Shimano brakes down for inconsistent lever feel.
  • jamskijamski Posts: 737
    JBA wrote:
    You’ll also get loads of hits if you Google Guide R failures. People don’t tend to post reports of their brakes working as they should, only when something goes wrong.
    The XT M8000 problem was due to poor pistons on early batches of the brakes but was resolved ages ago.

    Spec whichever brakes fit your budget. I doubt you will be disappointed with either.

    I did just this last night. At the moment I'm going with SLX. 2 year warranty on all parts anyway, so I'm covered, also have a set of Guide R's on my hardtail if I really need. The revelation fork seems to have some issues, so for £10 extra I'll be going for the Yari I think.
    Daddy, Husband, Designer, Biker, Gamer, Geek
    Bird Aeris 120 | Boardman Team 650b | Boardman Pro FS | Calibre Two.two
  • JoebristolJoebristol Posts: 326
    Yari is a good solid fork - can’t go wrong with that.

    The guide r failures are essentially abroad in hot countries from what I can make out. Based on 3 sets of guides I’ve had which have been good and one set of Deore which were pants I’m good avoiding Shimano personally!
  • mark_fogelmark_fogel Posts: 158
    I wouldn't worry too much about not having the extra gear, you will just have to man up and get stronger! :D
    SRAM/Shimano down to personal preference... both bikes will pedal shift and stop and you will have a good time in the process. BTW I have the basic 11 speed SRAM NX on one of my bikes and cant fault it, if anything it shifts just as well as my Shimano XT on my other bike. RT over RT3 might be something worth to consider... I currently have the RT on my bike and its good enough for my riding style.... lock for climbs and pedal sections, open when start going faster and bumpier. If you have the money, go for what you think its best for you. Bird might have the these bikes in the flavours you have described so you can hopefully compare then.
  • JoebristolJoebristol Posts: 326
    Whichever setup you get, the bike will be epic in fairness. Love my 145 - the only thing I’d change would be making it just a little easier to manual. Perhaps if I’d have gone m instead of ml size this might have made the difference. I’m working on my manual technique as it’s far from perfect but it is hard to pull up a manual on the road. I can still lift the front wheel fine off road for short sections as required though.
  • jamskijamski Posts: 737
    So I tested both today. Had a good ride round Swinley on each. The 120 is the one for me. I'm sure I'd get used to the 145, but that front wheel is so far out there, it's like turning a bus round some of the tighter bends. The 120 felt more sprightly and quicker. I think for Swinley and the Surrey hills it's perfect, and it will still handle the other 1% of my riding, being a weekend at BPW or other more gravity focussed stuff.

    Going for the SLX groupset, with Deore brakes. They recommended the Deores over SLX. Frees up a bit of cash for a bash guard and a mudhugger. Going with Revelation forks too and the RT shock, can't see ever needing to lock it out fully.

    Colour was the hardest choice, but pretty sure I'm going with the orange now.

    Thanks for the comments.
    Daddy, Husband, Designer, Biker, Gamer, Geek
    Bird Aeris 120 | Boardman Team 650b | Boardman Pro FS | Calibre Two.two
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    Good choice. Now you need the T shirt....
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • jamskijamski Posts: 737
    Placed the order last night. Upgraded the shock and fork to the rt3 and Pike. :) Why the hell not I thought?!
    Daddy, Husband, Designer, Biker, Gamer, Geek
    Bird Aeris 120 | Boardman Team 650b | Boardman Pro FS | Calibre Two.two
  • JBAJBA Posts: 2,789
    8)

    Budget? What budget? :wink:
    “Life has been unfaithful
    And it all promised so so much”

    Giant Trance 2 27.5 2016 ¦ Sonder Broken Road 2021¦ Giant Revolt Advanced 2 2019 ¦ Giant Anthem 3 2015 ¦ Specialized Myka Comp FSR 2009
  • jamskijamski Posts: 737
    JBA wrote:
    8)

    Budget? What budget? :wink:

    HA! Well, there was one, kind of, which I nearly stuck to.

    ;)
    Daddy, Husband, Designer, Biker, Gamer, Geek
    Bird Aeris 120 | Boardman Team 650b | Boardman Pro FS | Calibre Two.two
  • JoebristolJoebristol Posts: 326
    How much did it cost in the end? Nice cheeky upgrade to the Pike and RT3!

    Bird are a good company to deal with - the example of them suggesting a cheaper Deore brake over an SLX brake is a good example. When I did my build they talked me through which spec is worth upgrading and which stuff isn’t worth it.
  • jamskijamski Posts: 737
    Joebristol wrote:
    How much did it cost in the end? Nice cheeky upgrade to the Pike and RT3!

    Bird are a good company to deal with - the example of them suggesting a cheaper Deore brake over an SLX brake is a good example. When I did my build they talked me through which spec is worth upgrading and which stuff isn’t worth it.

    A little too much! :wink:

    A smidge under £2,400 in the end. Got it today, worth every penny!

    The bike and the guys at Bird are first class. The bike is just perfect. :D
    Daddy, Husband, Designer, Biker, Gamer, Geek
    Bird Aeris 120 | Boardman Team 650b | Boardman Pro FS | Calibre Two.two
  • tallpaul_stallpaul_s Posts: 130
    jamski wrote:
    Joebristol wrote:
    How much did it cost in the end? Nice cheeky upgrade to the Pike and RT3!

    Bird are a good company to deal with - the example of them suggesting a cheaper Deore brake over an SLX brake is a good example. When I did my build they talked me through which spec is worth upgrading and which stuff isn’t worth it.

    A little too much! :wink:

    A smidge under £2,400 in the end. Got it today, worth every penny!

    The bike and the guys at Bird are first class. The bike is just perfect. :D

    Only £100 over your initial budget so not bad!

    Which model deore brakes did you get? Mine has the BR-MT500 - they're the non-series version of the BR-M6000 deore brakes. They feel good - not as powerful as XT’s, but nowhere near as grabby – although that could be because it only has 180mm discs, they need a decent pull to get full power, but that allows for some decent modulation. I reckon with 200/180mm discs they would be nice and powerful yet with decent modulation.
  • jamskijamski Posts: 737
    Yeah I’m so pleased I spent the extra and got the Pike and RT3 shock.

    The brakes are M6000, that’s the only thing I know about them! They’re on 203/180 rotors. They seem great so far, Surrey Hills at the weekend will be a better test.

    Would like to mount the shifter using ispec though, not sure how easy it is to retrofit the mount. Or even if it’s possible.
    Daddy, Husband, Designer, Biker, Gamer, Geek
    Bird Aeris 120 | Boardman Team 650b | Boardman Pro FS | Calibre Two.two
  • tallpaul_stallpaul_s Posts: 130
    Which shifter? Mine's all mounted on the brake clamp, think you just need the collar that goes inside the brake clamp. I hate the fact that the dropper lever is separate to the brake lever on the other side...

    The Pike should be nice, the Revelations I have are bloody good too, they've got the same chassi, just the motion control damper rather than the charger 2 - I'll be upgrading to the 2019 DebonAir air spring at some point, should make them feel very plush. It's only £42 and have a much bigger negative air spring.
  • jamskijamski Posts: 737
    TallPaul_S wrote:
    Which shifter? Mine's all mounted on the brake clamp, think you just need the collar that goes inside the brake clamp. I hate the fact that the dropper lever is separate to the brake lever on the other side...

    The Pike should be nice, the Revelations I have are bloody good too, they've got the same chassi, just the motion control damper rather than the charger 2 - I'll be upgrading to the 2019 DebonAir air spring at some point, should make them feel very plush. It's only £42 and have a much bigger negative air spring.

    Yeah the gear shifter and the brake are on separate clamps, and the shifter clamp is silver. A tiny thing I know, but it’s a little annoying. It’s a slx shifter and Deore brake, not sure if that’s an issue? You think you can just buy an ispec mount and easily change it?
    Daddy, Husband, Designer, Biker, Gamer, Geek
    Bird Aeris 120 | Boardman Team 650b | Boardman Pro FS | Calibre Two.two
  • tallpaul_stallpaul_s Posts: 130
    jamski wrote:
    TallPaul_S wrote:
    Which shifter? Mine's all mounted on the brake clamp, think you just need the collar that goes inside the brake clamp. I hate the fact that the dropper lever is separate to the brake lever on the other side...

    The Pike should be nice, the Revelations I have are bloody good too, they've got the same chassi, just the motion control damper rather than the charger 2 - I'll be upgrading to the 2019 DebonAir air spring at some point, should make them feel very plush. It's only £42 and have a much bigger negative air spring.

    Yeah the gear shifter and the brake are on separate clamps, and the shifter clamp is silver. A tiny thing I know, but it’s a little annoying. It’s a slx shifter and Deore brake, not sure if that’s an issue? You think you can just buy an ispec mount and easily change it?
    Yeah that's basically my set up, SLX shifter to deore brake lever. If you've got the gear indicator window thingy you'll lose that, but I think all you need is the i-spec II slx adaptor top cover.

    It'll look like this
    Shimano-SL-M7000-SLX-2-3-10-11-speed-Shifter-with-I-Spec-II-black-11-speed-49979-154978-1481261653.jpeg

    This is (an out of focus) shot of mine:
    43cW5mt.png
    You can just see the silver half clamp that sits inside the brake lever clamp.
  • jamskijamski Posts: 737
    Perfect, thanks. I’ll give it a google. :)
    Daddy, Husband, Designer, Biker, Gamer, Geek
    Bird Aeris 120 | Boardman Team 650b | Boardman Pro FS | Calibre Two.two
  • jamskijamski Posts: 737
    Hummm, mine looks a bit different. It's like the link below.

    http://www.flatoutcycles.co.uk/new-shim ... -159-p.asp
    Daddy, Husband, Designer, Biker, Gamer, Geek
    Bird Aeris 120 | Boardman Team 650b | Boardman Pro FS | Calibre Two.two
  • jamskijamski Posts: 737
    I think this is what I need. :)

    https://www.bike24.com/p2225497.html
    Daddy, Husband, Designer, Biker, Gamer, Geek
    Bird Aeris 120 | Boardman Team 650b | Boardman Pro FS | Calibre Two.two
  • danlightbulbdanlightbulb Posts: 701
    dont forget to post a photo of your new bike!
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