Bird launches ‘improved’ new electric bikes, ditching VanMoof design

Bird, the once-darling of the shared electric scooter market, has launched a new version of its electric bike under a partnership with Tradehubb and Spring.

The design marks a stark departure from Bird’s original e-bikes, which were widely accepted to be at best heavily-inspired by formerly Amsterdam-based VanMoof’s design, and at worst largely a copycat of the now defunct Dutch e-bike company.

The new Bird electric bike is being announced today at the Micromobility America trade show. The launch is ultimately a partnership between TradeHubb, a “leading supplier of electric bikes”, and Spring, a strategic retail growth company.

The new Bird Bike will debut with an updated lightweight frame, a 7-speed Shimano transmission, and a more powerful, longer-lasting battery. The partnership announced that multiple new models will be available, likely referring to the different frame styles. 

Critically, the Bird Bikes will be both UL 2859 and UL 2271 certified, covering safety regulations for the e-bike battery as well as the entire drivetrain. UL certification has become increasingly common in the e-bike industry and is even required in some locations such as New York City.

That UL-listed battery is slightly larger than the original at 48V and 10.5Ah for 504 Wh of capacity. The original Bird Bike unveiled two years ago measured 36V and 12.8Ah for a total capacity of 460 Wh.

While Bird hasn’t specifically stated so, the battery looks to be removable. That would allow riders to charge it off of the bike if they wish, as well as remove it while the bike is locked outside to cut down on theft.

In another nod to anti-theft, the bike will come with a new IoT suite that integrates into the Bluetooth display and includes a 120 dB bike alarm system that can also track the bike’s location. It will send alerts to the owner’s phone if the bike is tampered with and the IoT connectivity can be used by the owner to remotely lock and unlock the bike.

Other new features include hydraulic disc brakes for increased stopping power, front and rear LED lighting, an option of either step-over or step-through frame, and an updated LCD screen for ride data.

Pricing will start at US $1299, though availability is only expected in Spring of 2024 where it will be offered at Bird Bike’s dealers as well as several box stores that have yet to be announced.

Electrek’s Take

It’s nice to see a new version of the Bird Bike after two years, though it seems like this is more of a “Bird’s name on a bike” situation due to the licensing deal; even so, it’s not a bad looking bike. With BIRD plastered across the side though, I just hope someone doesn’t keep trying to scan it on the street for a rental ride.

The upside of the licensing deal though is that support and servicing likely isn’t dependent on Bird staying afloat, at least in the short term. I’d call that a major plus considering the company’s stock has taken a bit of a nosedive over the last year or two before being delisted from the NYSE last month.

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