Tern Verge P10 review

The folder that's turning heads

BikeRadar score4/5

In a decade as a cyclist journalist I’ve only ever received unsolicited comments about the bike I’m riding from non-cyclists on two occasions; and both times I was aboard a Tern folding bike…

That someone should want to talk to me about the slightly mad looking, drop-bar Verge X18 is understandable. It was far more surprising to hear a young Bristolian urbanite say “Sick bike man!” as I rolled past him on Tern’s latest Verge, the far more traditional folder the P10.

So is the P10 ’sick’? Well, yes, probably. Especially if a little extra speed, control and comfort constitutes ‘sickness’.

The P10 is one of three new Tern models to sport wheels with a 451mm diameter as opposed to the more usual 406mm.

Is size important? Essentially, a 451 wheel is closer to 22 inches rather than a traditional folder’s 20 and that isn’t a great deal. However, it does mean that for one pedal revolution on a 451 you’ll — in theory — travel further and faster than on a 406.

The bike gets hydraulic disc from Shimano
The bike gets hydraulic disc from Shimano

The P10 certainly covered the ground on the same route used for that X18 test a good few minutes quicker, and a colleague on a smaller wheeled folder from a rival struggled to match its pace. So, somewhat anecdotally, the slightly bigger wheels are faster.

Twenty inch wheels can feel, especially to those dropping down from a full-fat road bike, twitchy. Again, while only a small size differential the P10 feels more planted than a smaller wheeled folder, especially when cornering and if you pop out of the saddle on a climb.

The Kinetix Pro Dis wheels use the paired spoke system patented by Rolf Wheels, and these also do a marginally better job of soaking up bumps.

The bike folds in three steps
The bike folds in three steps

As for the rest of the bike? The aluminium frame and fork combination is reassuringly solid with — despite the folding mechanism — no discernible flex.

The drivetrain is a Shimano Deore 1x10 with a useful 11-40t cassette and sleek Shadow derailleur, while the brakes are excellent Shimano hydraulic units. You also get a kickstand!

And, of course, it folds!

Tern’s fold is pretty intuitive and quick; less than 20 seconds with practice. A rubber strap holds the folded bars in, there’s a pad under the saddle to aid carrying and, even with the bigger wheels folded, size is 38×80×4.

I did find that the magnets designed to keep the wheels together when folded didn’t hold as well as on previous Tern’s I’ve tested though.

Rob Spedding

Editor-in-Chief, Cycling Plus, Cycling Plus Magazine
Editor-in-chief Rob has been pedalling Cycling Plus since 2007. His first proper road bikes were a Raleigh Sprint in the early 1980s and then a Trek 1000 in 1999. A former competitive runner, Rob has repeatedly threatened to become a competitive cyclist in every discipline from time-trailling to hill climbing to bike polo. We're still waiting.
  • Discipline: Road. Mainly commuting but with the occasional mountainous sportive that he'll complain about/fail to complete. Enjoys cake stops. Will never, ever do another triathlon after a bad experience in open water.
  • Preferred Terrain: Gently undulated roads – he's more of a rouleur. Likes gravel.
  • Current Bikes: BMC Alpenchallenge, Viner Perfecta, BMC Granfondo GF0, anything shiny that Warren Rossiter will allow him to ride
  • Dream Bike: Bianchi Specialissima, Raleigh Banana
  • Beer of Choice: Innis and Gunn Original
  • Location: Bath, UK

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