New folding bike brand Tern have caused quite a stir, what with their high-profile launches and ongoing court battle with Dahon. In fact, all the fuss has tended to overshadow their bikes.
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
Tern link d8: tern link d8 Tern
2 Verge: 20in wheels, racy, six models from £699 to £2,299.99, 9.3-12.3kg
Tern verge x20: tern verge x20 Tern
3 Eclipse P9: 24in wheels, single model, nine-speed derailleur gearing and disc brakes, £799.99,13kg
Tern eclipse p9: tern eclipse p9 Tern
4 Joe: 26in wheels, three models from £399.99 to £629.99, 13.8-14kg
Tern joe p24: tern joe p24 Tern
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 frame hinge: tern frame hinge Tern
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.
Tern luggage truss: tern luggage truss Tern
Luggage capacity can be boosted with bolt-on attachments