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.

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.

More Blogs by Turbo Bob

The Tern Link D8 – Quality, Convenience, and Affordability

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Searching for a Bargain. People ask it a lot. “What’s the most affordable folding bike in your store?”

Tern Link D8

Tern Link D8

The answer is the Tern Link D8, but don’t let the price tag fool you. This folding bike can really perform. At half the price of most folding bikes the Link D8 is a great option for a huge variety of cyclists. Curious but not entirely sure if a folding bike is really for you? Try a Link D8 as a starter! Low on cash in the expensive city and can’t afford $100+ a month for a MetroCard? Get a Link D8 for a new enjoyable way to commute! Buying your first folding bike online and don’t know how you feel about having a bike shipped to you? A Link D8 is an inexpensive investment and comes fully tuned by NYCeWheels’ master mechanic! Nervous about your local shop saying “we can’t do adjustments on that thing”? Link D8s have standard gear, brake, and drive train components that any bike mechanic can adjust! Whatever you’re looking for, the Tern Link D8 is a good entry level folding bike for anyone and everyone.  Also did I mention that it comes in electric?  Check out the link to learn about the electric tern link D8

So how do you fold the Link D8?

Eric Folding the Link D8

Eric Folding the Link D8

If you’re looking into your first ever folding bike, you’ll quickly discover that different brands fold in different ways. Not surprisingly, some folds can be a little trickier than others. As of February 2013 I am still a relative newbie in the world of folding bikes, but I’ve easily gotten the hang of the whole folding thing. Anyone searching for a good entry level folding bike should always try folding a few if they have the opportunity to interact with some.Folding the Link D8? Pleasantly easy: Drop the seat, flip the pedals, fold the frame, and fold the bars. Like all Tern Folding Bikes, the Link D8 has magnets to hold the front to the rear, and an easy-on-and-off rubber binder to hold the handlebars in place.

The folded bike is nice and compact. It’s easy to manage, weighing in at just under 27 pounds. It’s the small things, ironically, that make a difference. The first folding bike I ever tried folding had incredibly awkward hinges to work with and nothing to keep the bike together once it was folded. Needless to say it didn’t inspire me as a great product. If I had first experienced the Link D8 I think I would have been doing some serious looking right away at more folding models.

Low Price Does Not Equal Low-End

Link D8 folded and ready to go

Link D8 folded and ready to go

Okay, this is the lowest priced folding bike at NYCeWheels. That absolutely does not mean there’s anything “bad “about it. The 8-speed shifter is a quality SRAM part. The sub-27 pound weight is nothing to scoff at. The hinges look tough and inspire confidence that they will last for years and years. Schwalbe tires, Formula hubs, sealed headset . . . This is good stuff.

There’s really no way to go wrong considering the Link D8 as a good entry level folding bike. What doesn’t it have? Super high-end components, an ultra-lightweight but possibly easily-damaged frame, a million gears, worldwide celebrity endorsements. If these things are important to you there are plenty of other high-end folding bikes you can check out, but if you’re happy with a reliable folding bike that won’t break the bank, well, I think you’re probably starting to get the point.

With the Link D8 you’ll ride in comfort

Tern Link D8

I’ve ridden all around Manhattan on a Link D8 and the riding has been fantastic. The seat is easily adjustable and plenty comfortable. Just dial in the best riding position and then ride to your heart’s content! The gears shift smoothly and quickly with a simple twist of the right hand. It handles urban hills and flats with ease. It can be very fast while also being very stable, handling corners and sudden stops such that I have never felt out of control while riding. More than just a good entry level folding bike, the Tern Link D8 is also an all-around enjoyable bike to ride. Take one out sometime and you’ll see for yourself.

And marvel at how awesome I look in possession of a white and pink bike. Awwww yeah.

Tern Link P9 – Folding Bike Nirvana

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Tern Link P9—Folding Bike Nirvana, By Turbo Bob

Turbo pedals the Link P9 on Catalina Island

Turbo pedals the Link P9 on Catalina Island

It’s been almost two months since my new Tern arrived and what a great two months it’s been. Unlike other bikes I receive from NYCeWheels for testing and reviews, this gem is all mine. If you haven’t had a chance to ride this sleek folding bike, I suggest you move on it and here are the reasons why, (in no particular order).

The Tern Link P9 looks great

Yes, this bike has the look that says, ‘ride me‘. In a stealthy all black paint scheme, it is just too hot. The lines flow in the nicest of ways. Some bikes are all about performance and quality (and the Tern has all that), but when it comes to appearance they fall flat. Not the Tern Link P9, it will motivate you to get out and show your style.

Link P9 folds quickly and easily

With its quick and easy fold, you will find yourself riding more because it is so convenient to keep this bike near your side. Just a few movements take it from a small, lightweight package to a ready-to-ride speed machine. The well done hinges are firm and quick to use. When folded, it is easy to store or transport, ready for a fast getaway.

The Link P9 is very lightweight

With a 100% aluminum build (not counting the tires and such), the Link P9 practically floats. Whether riding or carrying it, you can feel its sense of near nothingness. People spend tons for bits and pieces to lighten their bikes, here all the good stuff is already on-board. I can’t imagine needing even one up-grade for this feather.

The Link P9 has a great feel

Tern Link P9 is right at home

Overlooking Avalon Harbor, the Tern Link P9 is right at home

With the most rigid of frames and appointments, no flex is to be found. The ride quality and handling are astounding for a bike like this. The steering geometry is much to my liking too. Forget everything you knew about folding bikes as you mount up on the Tern. I continue to find myself moving fast and making confident moves every time I ride my new P9.

Link P9 stops on a dime

Speced with some awesome V-brakes, I have never felt I needed more. Smooth and powerful, they do the job all too well. A recent ride in the hills of Catalina Island confirmed that the braking system on this Tern Link P9 is up to any task I can dish out. They match the whole package perfectly. Just one more (important) thing I like about my Tern.

 

A comfortable Folding Bike

Here too, things are covered well. The race type saddle is a good fit. The ergo grips add to the experience. The cockpit position works well for my large frame and that of my wife’s smaller torso too. Everyone that I have let ride it has agreed that it is sized in a way that covers most any height of rider. Plus, the bike rides so well, that the comfort is in your mind more than your body.

Tern Link P9 offers the highest quality

Here is one thing that sticks out like a sore thumb. Every item that is included on this bike is high-end. The spec list reads like that of a track bike. At the price-point the Tern sits at, this is just one more of the things that makes me excited. This has got to be the best equipped bikes I have every owned. I sometimes wonder if I should memorize every part name and spec for fun.

The Link P9‘s gear train

The 9 speeds at the flick of your wrist cover most every terrain just fine. I have climbed some fairly steep grades in low gear, and top gear is for flying. The derailleur never skips a beat while it follows your commands. It is just a tad noisy in low gear under a heavy load, but that is to expected with a bike with just one front chain ring.

Wheels and tires on the Tern Link P9

Once again, some great pieces are part of the package. The Schwalbe Marathon Supreme tires are all I could want. The solid rims and spokes should do the job for a long time. The sealed cartridge hubs are hooked to the bike with quick-release skewers. They look good and work.

Some closing thoughts on this great folding bike

So there you have it. This Tern Link P9 is one great folding bike. I have been enjoying it to the fullest and have many more fun rides planned for it in the future. It fits my needs and makes me happy. I don’t think you could ask any more than that from a bike. The fact that it folds just adds to the picture. NYCeWheels will be glad to let you try one out or, if you aren’t local, ship one to you for some fun times of your own. Get on the bandwagon and ride the Tern Link P9.
Thanks for listening, Turbo Bob.
“I was more relieved that anything. People were sick of me winning–I don’t blame them. It’s hard when you win all the time, because then winning isn’t special anymore.”—Juli Furtado, after finishing second to end a winning streak of seventeen of eighteen races in 1993, including all six national championships series races and nine World Cup races.

Riding on Air: the Verge X30h

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Today I took the Tern Verge X30h on a test ride. “Just don’t hurt yourself,” my roommate and co-worker, Peter, laughed, “that bike is FAST.” Then I thought he was joking. I don’t now.

The Verge X30 rides like the wind!

The Tern Verge X30h is one of the fastest folding bikes I have ever ridden. At just under 23 lbs the X30h feels like you’re riding air. Normally, when I come to a stop light, I jump forward off of the seat and rest my foot on the right pedal in anticipation of the green light, but, with the X30h, even the weight of my foot was enough to make the bike creep forward, as though the bike wanted to speed off right out from under me.

The Verge X30 has a light touch!

When I realized how responsive the bike is, my roommate’s playful warning began to take on a new light. The Tern Verge X30h is a serious piece of equipment, and should not be taken lightly. Because of the small ultra lightweight frame, the X30h is very sensitive to your every movement.

Can the Tern Verge X30h hack it with a road bike?

Most people think that, when it comes down to it, no folding bike can really compete with a high performance road-bike. But with the Tern Verge X30h it’s a bit of a different story. The combination of a light weight frame, low to the ground handlebars, and a 30 speed shifter, really makes the Verge X30h competitive with any other bike on the road.

As I was pedaling the Tern Verge X30h up the Central Park bike path nearing 87thth street I came shoulder to shoulder with a hardcore biker, decked out in professional gear, and riding hard. Thinking I would see what the X30h could do, I kicked it into a high gear and launched in front of my unknowing adversary with a satisfying burst of speed.

I managed to keep ahead of him for about 20 blocks before he overtook me on the downhill stretch that loops west around the top of Central Park, but I knew I never could have kept that pace going on another folding bike.

The Tern Verge X30 took my breath away!

I finished my ride breathless, half from excitement, and half because I’de been pedaling like a mad man trying to keep up with that road biker.  No question about it, the Tern Verge X30h is FAST.  Definitely, if you can, come by the shop and try out the Verge X30 or another amazing Tern folding bike for yourself!

Until next time

Jack

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