Folding bikes, Frames and Handlebars.

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Alright everyone it’s time to talk about frames and handlebars. No not those protective cases that we see in museums, or the Colonel Sanders mustaches that we all know and love, I’m talking about top tubes, seat posts, and hinges—Hydroformed 7005-AL with smooth TIG welding and DoubleTruss technology.

That last bit I copied off the info brochure for a Tern Verge X30h that I was test-riding. I have no idea what “DoubleTruss technology” is, but it had a nice ring to it and sounds as impressive as the Tern Verge X30h actually is.

A folding bike that looks like a road bike?

Unlike many folding bikes that I have ridden, the Tern Verge X30h’s frame and handlebars allow you to remain very low to the ground. In contrast to a bike like the Tern Link D8, which has Y shaped handle bars that rise almost to shoulder height, the Verge X30h is designed more like a traditional road bike, with low riding handlebars that curve forward and then down like a mountain goat’s horns.

These lower-riding handlebars allow you to bend your torso forward when you ride, minimizing wind resistance. This, coupled with a frame that only weighs 22.7 pounds, allows for a much faster ride!

Other fold-up bikes have T shaped handlebars

Where the Tern Link D8 sports the raised Y handlebars and the Tern Verge X30h goes the route of the mountain goat, other models, like the Dahon Mu P8 have flat T-shaped handlebars more in the style of a mountain bike.

While the true road biker might scoff at the T-shaped handlebars, I actually think they have a few advantages over the afore mentioned models.

Unlike the Y-handlebars, the T-bars remain relatively low to the ground so that, if you choose to, you can lower your body into the wind and decrease your resistance. On the Tern Link D8, I was forced to sit so upright that I always felt like I was battling the elements. On the Dahon Mu P8, when the wind gets rough I simply lower by body, grab that T-bar by its center and, whammo, I’m off.

Standing up on a Folding bike?

While the T-bars are low to the ground, they are still elevated enough that it doesn’t feel awkward to stand up when you need that little extra torque on a hill. Often, when I’m using a bike with handlebars that drop forward, I feel great when I’m sitting but always a little unsteady if I ever need to stand up. This could just be my lack of experience on road bikes, but hey, bikes should be designed to accommodate pros and amateurs alike!

Come by a folding bike shop sometime and test ride some bikes!  See which handle bars are the best fit for you!