Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole ValleyMuddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

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Bird Aether 9A launched

Posted by Matt | December 22, 2020 | 5 comments so far

Bird Aether 9A on the trail
I’ve had my eyes open for a long time – well since Bird brought out the Aether 9C to be honest – for today’s launch of the Aether 9A.

In fact, as a member of the flock I was well aware this was coming via their enthusiastic Facebook group. My interest in this bike is as a replacement for my YT Jeffsy because… well, because really.

The Aether is Birds’ mid travel platform – more trail than enduro although the geometry will let you get away with a lot. But the key point is this is about fun rather than maybe racing. As such, it comes with 130mm of rear travel and a suggestion of 140mm at the front but you could go up to 150mm and run plenty of sag I suppose. Size-wise it’s almost identical in cockpit dimensions to my Bird AM Zero hardtail and that is a perfect fit in ML (Medium-Long) for me with a 50mm rather than a 35mm stem.

Pretty much the whole rolling chassis off the Jeffsy would port over easily, leaving a switch to 1×12 required. Well, I’ve been keen to do that for ages…

Bird Aether 9A side viewin raw silver

The only issue really is availability and colours. On the availability side, it’s a case of January at the earliest – fair enough – but on the colour side, it’s a bit meh.

The flock love the raw ally/silver colour on any Bird, but I’m not that fussed. Tungsten Grey is just, well another mid-black bike. I don’t like black bikes. Which leaves their ‘Ron Burgundy’ red. Maybe OK, but again I’ve never seen a red bike I liked, and certainly never wanted one.

So on that front at least I have a decision to make. I could go for a purple ano accent on the raw silver I suppose, or perhaps silver on the red but neither options excite. It’s one thing having a decent trail bike, but you’ve got to actually love the look of the thing haven’t you? I think Santa Cruz currently have the colour-issue nailed with some lovely mid-century, chalky, semi-gloss finishes.

We’ll have to see where all this goes. But with an ongoing bike shortage I feel it’s a good time to move the Jeffsy on…

Filed under 2020, News in December 2020

Matt

About the author

Matt is one of the founding Molefathers of the Muddymoles, and is the designer and main administrator of the website.

Having ridden a 2007 Orange Five for many years he's now running a YT Industries Jeffsy 29er and a Bird Zero AM Boost.

An early On-One Inbred still lurks in the back of the stable as a reminder of how things have moved on. You can even find him on road bikes - currently a 2019 Cannondale Topstone 105 SE, a much-used 2011 Specialized Secteur and very niche belt drive Trek District 1.

If you've ever wondered how we got into mountain biking and how the MuddyMoles started, well wonder no more.

There are 5 comments on ‘Bird Aether 9A launched’

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  1. Jez says:

    Looks and sounds a nice bike, with up to date geometry.
    I get what you mean on the colour, personally I now favour a bike that works for me over colour, as long as it looks OK. There are some ugly bikes in the market place.
    I think you could bling it nicely Matt, they tend to look better in the flesh rather than pictures.
    How about a Cotic Flare MAX or the new Jeht?

  2. Mat-S says:

    Bird raw looks really nice in the flesh.

    I’d seriously recommend trying the AM9 as well if you can- gent in our club just bought one. I have a chance to try it when he demoed it and it pedals/handles in a really nice and sprightly way for a longer travel bike. Absolutely great going down too.

    It’s top of my list as a possible replacement for my commencal- I think you could it build it up pretty lightly for ‘round here’ and think about a cheap 170 fork and DH tyres in a box if you wanted to take it to the alps, for example.

  3. Mat-S says:

    Aye, I’d really like to try both- be interesting to see the differences. Seems to be mostly the chainstay length as the key difference.

    • Matt says:

      Yes, different chainstay length and shock ratio I guess, with the reach being longer on the Aether to compensate. They have the same wheelbase.

      The AM 9 can go longer, and probably is a tad less poppy as a result but we are talking degrees rather than huge gulfs between them, IMHO of course.

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