The first models are due to hit the UK early next year, when they'll be available through Evans Cycles. Based around fold-in-half frames with mid-frame hinges, there will be options for the full gamut of riders, from fully-equipped hub-geared urban commuter models to 30-gear speedsters.
There are four frame designs:
1 Link: 20in wheels, urban/utility, seven models from £349.99 to £799.99, claimed weights of 11.5-14.4kg
2 Verge: 20in wheels, racy, six models from £699 to £2,299.99, 9.3-12.3kg
3 Eclipse P9: 24in wheels, single model, nine-speed derailleur gearing and disc brakes, £799.99,13kg
4 Joe: 26in wheels, three models from £399.99 to £629.99, 13.8-14kg
The sportiest model, the Verge X20, features a SRAM Red 20-speed drivechain and weighs in at a claimed 9.3kg, but will set you back £2,299.99. Perhaps the best equipped commuter model is the Link D7i, complete with rear rack, mudguards, lights and Joule hub dynamo at a stated weight of 14.4kg and costing £629.99.
A wide variety of gearing options are available. For example, the 30-speed Verge X30 uses the relatively rare SRAM Dualdrive – three hub gears allied with 10 derailleur gears giving a gear range of some 578 percent. A similar system from Neos (gears co-developed with Suntour) is also used on some of the bikes. Even more intriguing is the SRAM Automatix featured on the Verge Duo, boasting two-speed automatic, cableless shifting. Also look out for the singlespeed Link Uno with back-pedal brake.
Tern have paid a lot of attention to their hinges and folding mechanisms
Tern stress the strength of their frames and hinges, which are the subject of various patents. Flexy handlebar posts, a common criticism of folders, are claimed to be a thing of the past; Tern's Physys handlepost hinge, a noticeably beefy knuckle of a joint, is present on all the 2012 bikes except the Joe, which doesn't require a fold-down handlepost.
All the bikes have carrying capacity – a luggage socket is welded to the head tube of every Tern and all bikes will take rear racks and mudguards as options (if not already fitted). Evans will stock a selection of accessories from Tern's 'sister' company Biologic, some of which come ready-fitted to the bikes. Tern bikes will be available at all Evans stores, with wider selections on offer at inner-city locations, such as in London and at the Leeds CyclePoint.
Luggage capacity can be boosted with bolt-on attachments