Tern folding bikes - First look

New bike brand from the family of Dahon boss

New folding bike companies seem to be springing up all over the place thanks to the boom in cycle commuting. The latest brand to enter this crowded marketplace have one major advantage, though – Joshua Hon.

Tern's vice-president spent nearly two decades learning his trade at Dahon, the world's largest folding bike company, under the tutelage of its CEO and co-founder Dr David Hon, who also happens to be his father. Keeping things in the family, Josh's mother, Florence, is the general manager of the new venture.

Named after the migratory bird, Tern launched their debut range of 22 models in Taipei City, Taiwan this month. So what sets their bikes apart from all the other folders out there? Apparently it's all in the ride – although the clean look and bold colours are a good start.

According to Joshua Hon, the company's aim is to make “bikes which fold, not folding bikes”. Models are available with 20, 24 or 26in wheels, with derailleurs or hub gears, and with V-brakes, discs or coaster brakes. However, there are no carbon fibre versions, suspension parts or belt drives – the focus is on utility need, not adding tech for tech's sake. 

At the heart of all the Tern bikes is a floating link hinge mechanism made by the people behind Syntace components. At the launch, designer Joakim Uimonen was able to fold a Tern Verge in just three seconds, with no adjustment, cable management or stowing of parts needed.

Tern will be showing their bikes at the Eurobike and Interbike trade shows later this year. For now, check out our image gallery and www.ternbicycles.com for more details. You can also read more about the Tern launch in Chris Keller-Jackson's blog from Tapei, including his first ride impressions.

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