The Birdie is the only non-electric kick scooter, and the only scooter model for kids made by the American electric scooter company Bird Rides, Inc.
As a very late entrant into the three-wheel kick scooter market for kids, Bird Rides, Inc has the benefit of examining existing scooter designs and improve upon them.
We thought we have seen everything there is to see for three-wheel lean-to-steer kick scooters. But what Bird Rides, Inc did with the Birdie made us sit up and take notice. It is very clear that the makers of the Birdie wanted to create a kick scooter that is completely different from what is in the market. Three things stood out.
One: Aesthetics. Easily the most beautifully designed scooter in the market at this point, at least in our opinion. The product designers not only designed the Birdie for kids, but also for the eyes of the buyers - the parents. The Birdie looked like it was snatched off a display case in a museum of modern art. Simple, functional lines with nary an unnecessary component. It's like somebody took all the three-wheel scooter blueprints in the existence and boiled it down to their essence. The Birdie will not just make the kids happy, they make the parents proud owners.
Two: Safety. The Birdie product designers went back to basics and re-looked at two very important aspects of safety for three-wheel kick scooters: balance and traction. It is not hard to understand that parents want a kick scooter on which their kids can have a lower chance of falling over or skidding. These two aspects are clearly manifested in the design of the Birdie. The details are discussed below.
Super-wide profile wheels on the Birdie drastically increases contact with the ground, reducing the chance of lateral slips when making a turn.
Below: wide profile wheels on the Birdie, compared with a conventional wheel.
In the aspect of balance, Birdie considered the position of the rider's centre-of-mass and reduced the head angle of the steering axis from the more common right-angle to 80 degrees. In English, it means they made the steering column more backswept toward the rider instead of being almost vertical. This makes the rider stand farther back on the deck, shifting the weight of the rider away from the front of the scooter. This simple shift significantly reduces the chances of a forward fall which can result in a dangerous face plant.
Below: Comparison of the steering-axis angle of the Birdie (left) to a more conventional vertical angle.
A less significant but nevertheless thoughtful design decision is to simplify the design of the handle grips and remove protrusions from the top of the steering column. This is done by replacing the common quick-release clamp for the telescopic section of the t-bar with a twist-to-tighten t-bar lock. This reduces the chance of bruising to a child's chest resulting from a forward collision.
Below: The Birdie removed protrusions from the top of the steering column, compared with a conventional design.
There are other features that may be overlooked by the parent, but not us.
One we particularly like is the low-profile "stomp" rear fender brake that is perfectly calibrated millimetres above the rear wheel. This wheel-hugging brake makes it very easy to step on the brakes. We we expect this design to also improve the durability of the fender by reducing movement in the hinge and spring in the brake, as well as reducing the force needed to push the brake down to contact, and the impact upon contact with the wheel.
Below: low profile rear fender brakes on the Birdie (left), compared with a more conventional fender design.
The last feature is invisible but in our opinion the most important feature (after the safety of course). The movement and articulation of the front wheels upon steering is immaculate. It is one of the best movements we have seen and gives the frontrunners in the three-wheel scooter industry a run for their money.
Max. Load: 50kg
Recommended age: 3 years or older
Steering type: Lean-to-steer
Wheels: Ultra-wide 4.5cm polyurethane wheels