He acquired this bike second-hand when he was living in America. The story went that during a period from 1996 to 1997, the company Jeep acquired (possibly illegally!) 600 Birdy frames from Pacific Cycles – the original manufacturer of the Birdy which had been designed by Heiko Müller and Markus Riese a couple of years earlier.

Jeep branded them as their own “Renegade”, built them up with cheap 6-speed components and gave them away as promotional gifts with their cars. Simon has added a couple of upgrades to his, but almost thirty years later it’s still going strong!

He let me take it out for a spin, and it was remarkable how much the underlying ride quality matched the brand new Birdy test bike we have in the shop.

The Birdy has been an unexpected success for E-Radicals. It’s the only bike we sell that isn’t electric, but as the first bike that Riese & Müller designed and a core part of the company’s history, it’s something we felt we really had to have, even if just for show. However, it has attracted a lot of attention, brings many people into the shop, and we’ve already sold a couple since our official opening in January. Simon said that as far as he was aware, we’re one of only six active dealers of the Birdy in the UK!

It’s a unique piece of engineering, with the world record for the fastest folding bike on the market – just 4.9 seconds. For its size and weight, it’s also the only folding bike featuring full suspension. Its critics call it an overengineered, overpriced German take on a Brompton, but I haven’t met anyone who can deny its far superior ride quality and comfort.

And if it lasts you thirty years like Simon’s has, it’s surely a worthy investment!