The Bird Zero.3 has a top spec that nearly saw it win the £1,000 bracket in our Hardtail of the Year test

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 8

Bird Zero.3


  • Pretty much everything


  • …except the harsh fork and frame’s lack of sparkle


Bird Zero.3 (2015) Review


Price as reviewed:


We’re a fussy bunch, massively hard to please. But when the Bird turned up, we struggled to find fault with the spec. Many of the parts bolted to the Zero are what we choose to fit to our own bikes. Parts like the slim, soft, Race Face Half Nelson grips, brilliant Maxxis High Roller 2 tyres, powerful, dependable one-finger Shimano Deore brakes and comfy Charge Spoon saddle.

>>> Read the full Hardtail of the Year test here

Bird Zero.3

The Bird Zero.3 also boasts a 1×10 drivetrain, with a single chainring up front mated to a wide ratio 11-40 cassette. Thanks to its clever tooth profiles, the chain shouldn’t fall off, and with only one shifter to worry about, you get fewer distractions, greater simplicity, less weight and glorious silence, even on the roughest descents.

>>> How to set up your new hardtail

Bird’s frame features a low-slung top tube that lets you fully exploit the exciting, confidence-inspiring handling. There’s work to be done on the obstinate ride quality, but the excellent grips, tyres and saddle take the edge off the pounding.

The geometry is similar to a Ghost Kato, but by virtue of the better components, tenacious tyres, lighter weight, and extra stiffness of the front and rear thru-axles, the Bird’s limits are far higher.

Low-slung frame yields a confident ride

Low-slung frame yields a confident ride

The only fly in the ointment is the X-Fusion fork. Granted, it’s stiff and it has just the right amount of travel (130mm). But even once bedded in, it lacked sensitivity over trail chatter and felt spiky on bigger hits.

For a first born from a fledgling start-up, the Bird Zero.3 has come impressively close to walking away with top honours. A better fork and a few tweaks to the frame should allow the Bird to really sing.

Bird Zero.3 packshot


Frame:6061-T6 aluminium
Fork:X-Fusion Velvet, 130mm travel
Wheels:Race Face Turbine wheels, Maxxis High Roller 2 Exo TR 27.5 x 2.3in tyres
Drivetrain:Race Face Evolve chainset, Shimano Deore shifter and r-mech
Brakes:Shimano Deore
Weight:12.58kg (27.73lb)
Sizes:S, M, L, XL
Size tested:L