Tern Twins Tour the Town, by Turbo Bob

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There is no bike thrill quite the same as having a folding bike at the ready during your travels. The only one that comes to mind is having a matching pair, and we do. Our Tern Link P9s seem to be the go to bikes when we are on the road, and once again this month they brought the fun. With no need for a bike rack and minimum security worries, that convenience matches that of the bikes themselves.

 

Tern Link P9 at LBGP Finish Line

My wife has taken up Dragon Boat racing with a local group. With a big national meet in Long Beach happening, of course our folding bikes were part of the trip. Although both won’t fit in the trunk of our mini-car, one does and the other sets in the back seat on a old sheet. The bags and other gear fit easy as can be too. Even though this motel we stayed in had some extra room to fit full-sized bikes, many we have stayed in don’t, another big plus these Tern folding bikes give us.

Our motel was a couple miles from the venue for the races and parking there was at a premium. In the morning before each day we just loaded down our panniers and hitched our folding chairs on our shoulders for the ride to the races. It was fun staying out of the car and getting some fresh sea air before each day began. From the look of the bikes all over at the event, we weren’t the only ones using two-wheels in such a manner.

There were some long gaps between many of her races and although she stayed around, I didn’t. I took my Tern link P9 down to the beach path several times during the day and soaked in all the great stuff a beach town has to offer. Long Beach is a known bike friendly town with plenty of room to ride and fairly courteous drivers to share the road with. It is great to ride together, yet sometimes a solo cruise can be even better.

I stopped in at a few bike shops and watched the water activities from the shore in other places. None of the shops I checked out had folding bikes and they enjoyed seeing mine. Like so many other times, I folded and un-folded it just to show how easy it is. They marveled at the technology and the small footprint it took in the folded form. I get this reaction all the time, from people on the street, other people on bikes, and even the pros.

At the end of each race day we headed back to the motel to take a break, get cleaned up and pack the bikes for a fun evening beach ride to dinner. These bikes both have the cool BioLogic clip on tail light / reflector, yet we have them hooked-up with more lights than that. On the seat posts are Serfas Thunderbolts that really rock and NiteRider headlights up front that do the same. The other fun and safe lighting pieces we have on these bikes are the LightMeUp Safety wheel lights. So with each ride we could see and be seen for the long night cruises.

The first evening we rode quite a way up the coast to one of the area’s bigger tourist traps. We rode by the well attended national beach volleyball tournament too. After a while we found the perfect place for dinner, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. We had never eaten there and riding the Tern folding bikes it seemed appropriate. We dined outside and were able to keep the bikes close at hand the whole time. My wife was a bit tired by the time we got back to the motel, but we were both happy and ready for a good sleep.

Tern Link P9
The next day went much the same. I was out riding getting back to the races in time to see her heats. I rode a little further this day to check out a couple E-bike shops that are in town. Still, I made sure to time things right so as not to miss any of her races. That night we ate a little closer to the motel. Everywhere we rode in the night air was kind of special as our bikes are quite a sight. On top of the folding part, the lighting really catches one’s eyes.

During the three day weekend we stopped many times to answer questions about the bikes. Fold-up bikes are becoming more popular and the people’s responses were all so positive. There is a big trend towards bicycles (like it ever stopped?) and folding bikes are a big part of it.

Well, no medals for my wife, but as we drove home we both felt like winners. Get your fold on with the Tern link p9.

Turbo Bob.
“I am a bike enthusiast: there’s a certain amount of romance to bikes. They’re both beautiful and utilitarian.”—Dave Eggers.

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Flying on a feather light folding bike

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Roberto holding the X10As a rider on the smaller side of the spectrum, it can be difficult to find a bicycle that is manageable in terms of weight and size. For that reason I naturally gravitate towards folding bikes. So when given the chance to test ride one of Tern‘s top tier models, the Verge X10, I readily accepted. The first thing I noticed was the color accents of this lightweight folding bike, the stripe of orange is eye catching and really garners attention. In fact, I was barely a block out of the shop when the first a passerby stopped me to comment on the X10′s nice looks!

Feather light folding bike

The weight is the second great feature of this speedy folding bike. I have a history of fumbling with weighty standard bikes and even other folders, so I was delighted to find that the 21 lbs of the Verge X10 required next to no effort at all to deal with. The ease of managing this bike while it was folded brings me to the critical phase of any folding bike foray, the unfolding. Unlike many other older folding bikes, the hinges on the Tern Verge X10 are rounded and fit nicely with the contours of your hands, reducing the strain of locking the appendages into place.

Responsive shifters

Tern Verge X10 folded in the sunlightShifting from lowest gear to top gear was nearly instantaneous and very smooth, which is very helpful when riding NYC streets, where keeping up with traffic and ahead of honking taxis is a must. Despite having to deal with New York’s notorious pitted city streets, the ride quality of the Verge X10 did not suffer as much as I had expected. The well-designed hinges and curved frame really dampen some of the shock that would otherwise be inflicted.

Fastest folding bike

Tern Verge X10 folded in the sunlightAll folding bikes are different – some like the the smooth Link D7i, are great for rough weather riding, others like the well-equipped Eclipse S11i, are loaded with features and make the perfect commuter bicycle. The straightaway is where the Verge X10 shines. The combination of a lightweight frame, high quality rapid fire shifters, and a high gear range, makes this bike incredibly fast and incredibly responsive, able to accelerate to high speeds with very little effort.

It is a perfect fit for avid cyclists and biking neophytes alike, who want something with a sporty aesthetic as well as the portability and convenience of a folder. This Tern is a great compliment to any folding bike enthusiast’s collection.

If you like the sound of an ultralight, super fast folding bike, the Tern Verge X10 is the bike for you!

Until the next ride, happy cycling.

-John

A Total Eclipse of the Heart

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Tern Eclipse S11i

 

With its graceful, classic lines and handsomely matching saddle and handlebar grips, at first glance one might mistake the S11i for a casual around-town cruiser. However, after spending more than 17 miles in its saddle, I can tell you there is more to this folding bike wonder than meets the eye.

Tern Eclipse S11i

Nice touches: 11-speed internal hub and disc brakes

My first impressions of the Eclipse S11i as a comfort cruiser were immediately dispelled when I unfolded the frame and hopped on board. The 11-speed internal hub is smooth and quiet, almost surreptitious, and I found that transitioning from easy acceleration to cruising speed was a breeze. At top velocity, I felt upright and at ease–a feeling which belied the high speeds of which this bike is capable. Balancing out the bike’s speediness is a pair of powerful disc brakes, giving the Eclipse some serious stopping power.

Tern Eclipse S11i

A very portable package

The S11i utilizes the same state-of-the-art folding design as the rest of Tern’s folding bikes, packing down within a matter of seconds into an easy-to-hoist package which I had no trouble toting up and down stairs. This portability is doubly impressive considering the bike’s big 24-inch wheels and thick tires, which are plush features in the world of folding bikes.

The S11i’s compactness is an important selling point for the daily commuter, as it can be stored in the corner of an office as easily as in the closet at home. Indeed, a look at some of its finer details reveals this bike’s true character as the ultimate tricked out commuter. A sturdy rear rack comes standard, ready to haul substantial amounts of cargo, front and rear fenders keeps your work clothes dry, and an integrated dynamo and headlamp mean you will never be without light.

The S11i is also among an elite group of folding bikes with adjustable handlebars, allowing the rider freedom to choose between a more upright cruising riding position or a more horizontal, sportier ride. Tern even built this bike with an internal gearing system to help minimize the need for roadside maintenance. Even the subtler accents, like the slim, sleek saddle, ergonomic cork grips, and  give the S11i a plush-meets-performance feel.

Tern Eclipse S11i

Comfy ergo cork grips

Though the Eclipse was designed with commuting in mind, its well thought out features make it an extremely versatile ride. In fact, in my view it turns out to be one of those rare bikes that fills two or three niches perfectly. From commuting ten miles to the office, to bar hopping ten blocks down the road, or even some light touring into the countryside, the Tern Eclipse S11i is a bike that can handle just about anything you throw at it–and look damn good at the same time.

 

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.

Folding Bikes With Adjustable Stems

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There are many reasons to want an adjustable handlebar system on your new folding bike. Some people just have a very precise feel that they are going for in their bike, and want to be able to dial in their preferred exact fit. This is one of the best things about bikes with an adjustable stem. Want to go for an around-town cruise? Raise those bars for a nice upright feel. Jonesing for some speed? Lower those handles for a sporty feel. There are many other practical uses for adjustable handlebars, too. If you want all the members of your family to be able to use the same bike, you’ll need to be able to change the bike’s dimensions on the fly. Likewise, I have met many customers who opt for a bike with an adjustable stem in order to alleviate back pain from riding–generally a higher handlebar setup puts less stress on the rider’s back.

If you fall into one of these categories, or want adjustable handlebars for a different reason, here is a breakdown of your options.


Dahon: Simple and Easy

Dahon Vitesse with a telescoping stemDahon’s handlebar stem adjustment system is fairly well known and quite straightforward. By using the same quick-release system that most seatposts utilize, You can change the height of the handlebars on popular bikes like the Mariner D7 and Ciao D5 quite substantially. In fact, these bars probably have the widest range of heights of any in the shop. The functionality of this stem design does double duty in helping Dahons to fold as compactly as possible. The trade-off is that the quick release mechanism allows for a bit more flex than would ordinarily be present in a solid, single-piece stem. This translates into a slightly less efficient biking experience. Still, for most, this is more than worth the wide range of adjustment.

Tern: Smooth and Secure

Tern Eclipse S11i with Andros adjustable stemAlthough Tern’s patented Andros stem is not available on all models (though it is becoming increasingly more common), it definitely makes for a great riding experience on bikes such as the Tern Eclipse S11i and Link P24h. Instead of Dahon’s system, which moves straight up and down, the Tern stem rotates around the top of the stem, allowing for up, down, forward, and backward adjustments. Though the Andros system does not allow for nearly as much height adjustment, the added axes allow for a more subtle adjustment of feel, from a forward-and-low racing position to a swept-back cruiser-like position. The proprietary quick-release locking mechanism is rock solid, and doesn’t feel like it affects the bike’s efficiency at all.

Montague: Fast and Useful

Crosstown OctagonA few of Montague’s wonderful full sized folding bikes come equipped with their own Octagon stem adjustment system, in which a conventional quick release lever and security latch allow for about 8 inches of adjustment in handlebar height. I’ve noticed the Octagon is particularly popular among customers with back pain, as it comes pre-installed on such speedy, road-ready bikes as the Crosstown, Navigator, and will soon come on the Boston 8 as well. This makes these Montagues a great option for anyone who doesn’t want to sacrifice speed and athleticism by letting their bad backs hobble them into riding slow, clunky cruisers.


From my experience, an adjustable handlebar stem is one of the most appreciated features found in folding bikes. Almost anyone who buys a bike with this kind of adjustability will certainly find themselves using it to great effect. So what are you waiting for? Check out our selection of folding bikes today!

Tern Folding Bike Up-Grades—Fenders and Racks, by Turbo Bob

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We’ve been riding our Tern Link P9 for close to a year now. Even though it doesn’t rain here much, it is nice to keep the puddles from finding their way on our clothes and carrying our goodies in shoulder bags can get a little old. After my couple month test run on the Tern Verge X20, I had been anticipating my coming time with the Link D8. The fact that it comes factory with a rear rack and a pair of fenders got me thinking.

Our P9 could be so much better with those on-board, so the chance to try them out on the Tern Link D8 was going to be part of the thrill. One bonus I didn’t figure on was that the D8 would come to me with the Tern Kanga front rack and luggage truss. I really like this accessory and the truss can match-up to the Tour Bag and Holdall Basket too. We might get one of those in the near future.

Right away I decided we needed the rack and fenders so I got NYCeWheels involved. You might already know how quick and easy it is to get your folding bikes and folding bike accessories from the NYCe crew. That’s where I got my Tern Link P9 and just recently had them ship me the awesome Tern multi-tool.

The short wait and excitement of getting a package from them is almost as good as what’s inside. My new folding bike accessories arrived packed well and in perfect shape. Plus, they came with all the needed hardware.

Installing my new folding bike Accessories!

 

Getting started on my Tern Link P9!

Getting started on my Tern Link P9!

Installing the new parts was simple, but I do feel I should add some tips to help make it go smoothly for you. And of course if you don’t think it is for you to take on the task, ask a bikey friend or local bike shop (NYCeWheels?) to do it for you. It really is just a matter of installing and securing a few nuts and bolts, yet doing it right is pretty important to any bike lover and their bike.
I put on the fenders first. Right away I found that the threads in the frame and fork would need a thread tap run through them to remove the layer of paint there. A standard metric tap 6×1.0 is the right tool to use. Be careful to keep the paint and metal chips that will be made away from the chain, gears, derailleur and wheel bearings. Cover them with a rag while you clean out the threads and blow or wipe the bits away when your done. Check carefully which threads the allen screws go in before you run the tap through them.
Even though normal thread tapping requires cutting oil, you can do this step with the tap dry. This is really the only semi-complicated step, as the install is pretty straight-forward. The only two other even partially tough parts are making sure things line-up (don’t strip the screws) and not over-tightening the fasteners. I like to use anti-seize (a lead-based lubricant) on the threads, but a little oil or grease will work fine. This will help to keep the threads from rusting and allow them to be tightened evenly. Just a little goes a long way, so add it sparingly.

 

Tern racks and fenders

Tern racks and fenders

The fenders have a metal ‘L’ bracket that is connected to the frame and fork with the longer bolts and locking nuts. Use the washers too. The longest one is for the front and the shorter one for the rear. The ‘L’ bracket on the front fender goes to the rear of the front fork. The ‘L’ bracket on the rear fender goes on the front (lower) part of the support of the frame there. Run the nuts down, but leave them just a little loose while you install the support arms.
The support arms are held in place with the allen screws (and washers) to the front fork and frame. The rear support rods bolt in the lower, most rearward threads, the other ones are for the rack (at this point make sure to use the shorter allens where the gear set is, if it goes in too far it can lock-up or damage the gears). To install the rods into the fender fixtures, loosen the allen bolt there a little. The rear support rods are going to need to be reformed (bent) a little to help them line-up. I held the lower part with a crescent wrench and gently reformed the upper part inward on both sides. Line everything up and don’t tighten-up things yet.
Now, push the rods all the way into the fender fixtures and tighten-up those allens. Then tighten the other screws. The ‘L’ brackets have an elongated slot. Make sure the fender is pushed toward the tire as you tighten those bolts down. While you do this, do your best to keep the fender centered in the frame and over the tire. Without over-tightening anything, put a wrench on all the fasteners to make sure they are perfect.

Installing the Kanga Rack

The kanga rack is much easier, but be careful to let the allen screws line-up so you don’t cross-thread them in place. Screw in all four of them before you tighten them all the way. Also, be careful not to scratch the frame while you do it. The washers are already on the allen screws. Don’t forget to use some kind of lube on the threads. Give the screws a good firm tightening and you are done. One more thing, the rack has a place for a rear reflector or light. My folding bike came with the BioLogic combo unit that clips on the saddle, so I fished out a regular rear reflector out of my spare parts bin and screwed in place on the rack,

Tern Link P9

All done and ready to roll

The Portage rack comes with a cool three banded hold-down strap. The rack and strap weigh only about a pound. The fenders weighed in at 8 ounces. The front Kanga rack and truss add about a pound and a half. I didn’t add the front rack to my bike, but have had a good chance to try it out on the Tern Link D8 I’m testing. It comes with a great strap that encompasses your cargo and has a wide range of adjustability. The front Kanga rack will hold 15 lbs and the rear Portage rack is rated for 22 lbs.
Well, there you have it, three well made and light-weight Tern accessories that can add much utility and comfort to your folding bike. If you’re like me, you’ll have these on your Tern folding bike before the week is through.
Carry a load on your Tern and stay clean while you do it, Turbo Bob.

“Society is singularly in debt to the bicycle, since bicycle mechanics developed the airplane as well as the automobile.”—James E. Starrs, The Noiseless Tenor.

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