Tern Verge x10: 2015′s best folding bike

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When Tern announced their 2015 line, everyone in the folding bike community was excited. Tern has designed and manufactured some of the most lightweight, tightly-folding, speedy bikes on the market. Now that we’ve got them in stock, we’ve got a clear favorite: the Tern Verge x10.

Tern is taking 2015 seriously – these models are built from the ground up to accentuate sleekness, speed, and sex appeal.

Tern Verge x10 2015 Folding Bicycle

The Tern Verge x10 is the standout model of the 2015 line, and for good reason.

Tern Verge x10 2015 Folding Bicycle

It’s lighter, weighing in at 21.2 lbs, with an integrated chain retainer to prevent the chain from popping off. The new hub ands poke design improves its strength and durability, and the new hydroformed fork streamlines the entire model.

Tern Verge x10 2015 Folding Bicycle

Technical specifications aside, this bike rides like lightning and folds like butter. The efficiency of pedal to tire is surreal.

Tern Verge x10 2015 Folding Bicycle

Tern Verge x10 2015 Folding Bicycle

Tern Verge x10 2015 Folding Bicycle

Lightweight with a fast fold, the Tern Verge x10 perfected the 2014 model. The updates are subtle but make a huge impact.

Tern Verge x10 2015 Folding Bicycle

To see more, check out the Tern Verge x10 on our website here.

The Ideal (IF) Mode of Transportation

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Can a work of art also be a practical mode of transportation? Can a vehicle that prompts an onslaught of questions from admiring children and astounded adults alike be a utilitarian, even integral aspect of a city-dweller’s daily life? After spending a weekend getting to know Pacific Cycles’ gorgeous IF Mode folding bike, my answer is a definitive yes.

Now, I have a unique perspective on this already highly unique bicycle. A newcomer to New York City, I have been learning my way around the subway system for the past month. Simultaneously, I have been hopping on bikes of all kinds for short jaunts between apartments in Queens, cafes in Brooklyn, and storefronts in Manhattan. While the IF Mode’s smooth, futuristic lines turned heads everywhere I took it, the bike’s true beauty can be found in how seamlessly it bridges underground and overland transportation.

Because of its ingenious design, the IF Mode not only folds to perhaps half its fully unfurled size, it can also be wheeled about while collapsed, not unlike a unicycle or wheelbarrow. This is immensely helpful while traversing the unending labyrinth of hallways connecting trains at Penn Station or Union Square. Weighing no more than your average hybrid commuter, the IF Mode is also easy to haul up and down stairs, which is truly essential if you are taking your bike on the subway.

I enjoyed combining the subway and IF Mode to get a lot errands done efficiently, and had a lot of fun doing it. A typical Sunday with this bike started with pedaling to brunch with friends, then walking the collapsed IF Mode down the block to their apartment. Next, I hopped the F train into the city, where I trotted up the subway stairs, flipped open the bike on the sidewalk, and was cruising down 5th Avenue in no time flat. A quick stop at the bank was followed with folding IF Mode to navigate my way through the densely packed throngs of shoppers at the Sunday street-market on Broadway, where I picked up some delicious halal food from a cart. A little grocery shopping closed out the afternoon, after which I rode to the nearest A train stop to take me express back to Brooklyn. By using both modes of transportation, I saved time and actually enjoyed getting around.

Some worry that the IF Mode might be too heavy on concept and too light on helpful features, but I found the bike to strike an ideal balance between the two. Some features, like the rock-solid disc brakes and large 26-inch wheels, are tried and true hold-overs from more traditional bikes. Others, like the magnetized wheels that snap together to ensure proper alignment while collapsed, are elegant and useful touches.

My very favorite aspect of the bicycle, while perhaps conceived of as a solution to some of the engineering constraints of the IF Mode’s unique take on folding technology, ultimately seemed unrelated to the fact that it’s collapsible. A two-speed setup, the shifters are brilliantly built directly into the crank arms, so that shifting involves simply clicking your heel against side of the bike–left heel to shift up, right heel to shift down. The feeling was exactly that of spurring on a wild stallion, and I delighted in feeling my steed eagerly rush forward at the tap of my heel. The gears ratios are also well thought out, such that I used the low gear to get going from a standstill and to climb hills, and the high gear to cruise at warp speed. Much as I appreciate the simplicity of the single-speeds and fixies that have become so popular lately, every time I have ridden one, I have found myself wishing there was just one lower gear to ascend up the first half of that bridge, or one higher gear to help bomb down the other side. The IF Mode fulfilled that desire completely, and I rarely found myself wishing for any more gear options than what was presented.

I enjoyed my time with the IF Mode immensely, and so did everyone else who saw it. Never have I experienced so much enthusiastic, spontaneous energy from the usually rushed, aloof New Yorkers around me. This is one bike that draws admiring stares from all in its vicinity–and whats more, the IF Mode truly deserves the attention.

To learn more about the IF Mode, visit www.nycewheels.com/if-mode-folding-bike.html

About the Author
Miles Schneider is a folding and electric bike specialist at NYCeWheels in New York City, an electric violinist, and a dog lover.

Dahon Vector P8: The Sporty Commuter Bike

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Vector P8 folding bikeWhen looking for a bike, it is very important to find one that fits to your lifestyle and needs. The Dahon Vector P8 folding bike is not only a fantastic commuter bike, but also great for those weekend leisure rides. Let’s first look at the physical features of this folding bike.

The Dahon Vector P8 is stunning at a first glance by its gorgeous shape and glossy paint job that will draw attention to its beauty. The curved frame gives the bike an overall sporty and sleek look where the black is accented with the bright chili pepper red paint along the lower half of the frame as well as the rims of the wheels. In comparison to other dahon folding bikes, the Dahon Vector P8 has a boxier structure which is very noticeable from the back view.

On the Vector P8, there are a few safety features to ensure a safe ride. The main frame of the bike is held together by Dahon’s v-clamp hinge. The v-clamp hinge is a stainless steel plate that fastens both sides of the main frame securely with a lever and additional safety latch. The handlebars also have a similar safety latch to the lever that secures it to the main frame. The folding bike has reflectors attached to the main frame and on the pedals. The particular model I am testing had no back reflector, but that can easily be installed or be fixed with a safety rear light. There are also reflective surfaces on the Schwalbe Supreme tires and the sides of the handlebars to ensure that oncoming vehicles can spot you.

Vector P8 folding bike Vector P8 folding bike

The frame of the Vector P8 is made of hydro formed aluminum. This gives the bike a lightweight frame that has sturdy feel and easy to carry. Bringing the Vector P8 on the train, subway or the bus is easy when the bike is folded. It takes up minimal space and feels very secure when carried by the seat post. The bike can even fit inside of a car when traveling without the burden of purchasing a bike rack. The folded bike is held together by Dahon’s simple magnetix technology using a set of magnets to keep the bike locked during transportation. Both pedals on the bike are also foldable. The compact form of the bike makes it great for storing inside apartments or offices.

The Vector P8 is great for both petite and tall bike riders. The adjustable seat and handlebars makes it easy to set both parts to the comfort level of the rider. The handlebar has ergonomic grips that give a nice grasp when steering the bike. The ergonomic grips also help relieve pressure on the hands and wrists during long periods of bike riding. The rigidness of the handlebar gives the rider stiff handling, stability and more control of the ride.

Compared to other folding bikes, I found the Dahon Vector P8 to be very sturdy, and a smooth ride closer to feel and performance of a full-sized mountain bike. During my use of the Vector P8 I tested the folding bike not only the easy flat trails, but also moderate to difficult hills to get a good evaluation of its performance. I found that the Shimano cassette’s wide range of the eight gears helped greatly against steep hills, such as the ramp after the George Washington Bridge heading north. I used the lowest gear for this part of the Hudson River greenway. For regular flat surfaced riding I stayed in the fifth gear. For moderate hills I would transition between third and fourth gears. I would suggest saving the sixth through eight gears if you want more resistance when you are pedaling. The Sram twist gear shifter transitioned easily and smoothly when needed. The bike was also able to accelerate fast with ease.

When I took the Vector P8 out over the Tracy on the Vector P8weekend, I encountered light rain on a bike trail in Massapequa that was not forecasted in the weather reports. Despite the wet conditions, the Vector P8 performed very well. The Schwalbe Supreme tires were able to give enough traction to prevent slipping on the wet path that had a mixture of debris such as dirt, leaves, gravel and twigs despite its minimal tread. The Avid brake levers have a well-made feel to its construction, and they reacted very efficiently by giving a fast response to the clutch of the hand if I needed to stop on a short notice.

A pretty neat feature in the bike is the hidden bike pump in the seat post. Once the seat post is removed from the frame, the bottom cap unscrews to reveal the pump. Therefore, the bike rider will have an emergency pump on hand if the tires need more air. The Vector P8 also has a mount that can attach a luggage truss to hold bags to the frame of the bike. Since the mount is attached to the main frame of the bike and keeps the bag immobilized, it does not interfere with the steering of the bike.

Vector P8 folding bike

The folding bike has many great features that make the Vector P8 feel more expensive than it is priced. So if you are looking for a portable bike with a sporty look, easy to transport and has the feel of a regular full-sized bike, the Dahon Vector P8 may be the right choice for you.

See more pictures of my test ride on Flickr.

Tracy

Read more of Tracy’s blogs here!

Customizing Your Brompton’s Tires

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Custom Brompton

Like, really custom

One of the many, many reasons Brompton folding bikes are so wonderful is how customizable they are. From the paint job, to the gear range, to the frame material, you can alter almost every aspect of the bike to your heart’s delight. One of the more straightforward changes that can be made to a Brompton is switching out the tires. However, despite being a simple customization, throwing different tires on your bike can profoundly effect how it feels and performs. At NYCeWheels, our Bromptons tend to be available with one of three different types of tires. Let’s break down the strengths and weakness of each, shall we?

Brompton Kevlar

Brompton Kevlar tiresThough these come standard on Bromptons, they are impressively tough little tires. Kevlar lining provides good puncture resistance without getting overly heavy. These are good, versatile tires–speedy but strong, lightweight but relatively durable.

Goes well with: an M-bar and 3 speeds for the ultimate in classic Brompton setups.

Schwalbe Marathons

Brompton Marathon tiresThese bad boys are seriously heavy duty, with a thick Kevlar lining and reinforced sides. They will add 420 grams to your overall weight, and roll the slowest of the three options, but these drawbacks are well worth it for anyone taking their bike on tour or navigating pothole-ridden cities like New York.

Goes well with: a P6R touring setup–rack, fenders, touring handlebars and bulletproof tires will ensure your bike stands up to any abuse you throw its way in the course of your travels.

Schwalbe Kojaks

Bropton Kojak tiresFor the weight conscious, the svelte Kojaks are the only acceptable option. At 232 grams lighter than the stock tires, these racing slicks will save you some substantial weight. Their treadless but grippy rubber exteriors cling excellently to smooth paved roads, but city dwellers should be on the lookout for spiky obstacles, as these tires offer the least puncture resistance of the bunch.

Goes well with: flat S-bars and a 1- or 2-speed drive train for a quick, nimble, minimal bike. Throw in a Raw Lacquer paint job for some understated flair.


Now, since I am sure your tire choice was the only thing holding you back from ordering the Brompton of your dreams, head over to handy-dandy NYCeWheels Brompton customizer get building!

Brooks and Brompton: like peanut butter and jelly!

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When you purchase a Brompton folding bike, you’re buying in the mystique and heritage of a fine bicycle. This is not just any bike, it’s a Brompton! For me, I was sold on the ultimate accessory on your Brompton folding bike: the Brooks leather saddle, of course!

Brompton bike with Brooks

Brompton bike with Brooks

When I bought my very first Brompton, I upgraded to the Brooks leather saddle at the bike shop. I figured that since I purchase a brand new bike once every decade or so, I may as well treat myself to a regal saddle. I mean, a finely made folding bicycle made in England goes very well with a handcrafted leather saddle that is made in England as well.

At first glance, a Brompton folding bike may look a bit, shall we say… uncomfortable? It pains me to say it, but even I thought this!
The tiny wheels and super long seat post just sort of gave off that impression. But once I got on and test rode a Brompton around the city for a little bit I discovered that the bike feels as stable and as secure as any full sized bicycle. This coming from someone who has been riding for 20+ years!

The same thing can be said of the Brooks leather saddle, too. Yes, it’s one chunk of leather and not much else. No padding. Nothing too fancy at all. How could a seat like that be comfortable? What could all the hype be about?

The hype is justified, trust me!

When you first get on the saddle it can be a little tough, yes. After a few hours and maybe a few adjustments, however, a Brompton with Brooks saddle is a match made in heaven.

Yes, there is a “breaking in” period with the Brooks leather saddle.
For me it took about a week of regular riding before I was completely comfortable. This can be scary when considering the cost of the saddle, I know. But armed with the knowledge of this “break-in” period I knew the early discomfort would be worth the wait. I can say that after a few months on the Brooks leather saddle it is easily the most comfortable saddle I’ve ever ridden.

Brooks saddles on Brompton

Brooks saddles on Brompton

Putting these two classics together, the Brooks leather saddle gives the Brompton folding bicycle a really great look, and it rounds out the aesthetic of the bike nicely. I try not to get too much into the “looks” of bikes, and focus more on the ride, but the Brompton is one beautiful piece of machinery. For that matter, the Brooks saddle is, too, and on a functional level they work great together. Even when the bike is folded up, tugging along the Brompton by the Brooks saddle is quite comfortable.

After a nice commute from the train station or a ride into the countryside, you won’t be able to resist taking a photo of these two classics together–they compliment one another perfectly!

Form and function in two great pieces of cycling equipment; a Brompton folding bike with a Brooks leather saddle makes for a clean, classic appearance and a comfortable, efficient way to get around!

-Seth

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