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