Tern Link D8, an upgraders perspective
I have had multiple folding bikes:
Dahon Classic III (fun for short rides, but creaky and probably unsafe)
Melon Slice (great geometry, very light, standard hub sizes and RD mount. I had the original one with the awkward hinge design. Also, not very compact when folded) Made by Hasa and an excellent value, unfortunately the company is no longer around.
Dahon Vitesse (Looked good on paper, did not ride very well, I think it felt too cramped for me, excellent stock components)
I recently purchased a Tern Link D8 used from a local seller and here are my initial impressions after riding it for a month:
The quality of the frame is outstanding. The welds are perfect, the matte finish is gorgeous, the N-Fold really is an improvement on the side folding hinge design.
The kits parts are fair.
The crankset is painted steel with a cheap chinese square taper bottom-bracket. It was already showing signs of rust on a 2-year old bike. The bash ring is flimsy plastic and can crack easily. Fortunately, the standard 68mm threaded bottom bracket is easily upgraded. Sunlite folding pedals are mostly plastic and are good for commuting, relatively light.
Brakes are black non-branded V-Brakes and non-branded levers. They work fine. The pads are solid and do not accept inserts.
Shifter is SRAM grip shift. Also works fine, interestingly, the RD uses a standard Shimano pull ratio. I upgraded to an XT trigger shifter.
Rear Derailleur is Sunrace NEOS. I kept this. It is a nice and compact unit, works pretty well, and upgrading means getting an adapter from Thor for $30.
Cassette is an 8 speed Sunrace? It also is fine, but I changed it to a standard ratio 9-speed road cassette. The 9 speed chain and cassette work well with the NEOS I, even though it is designed for an 8-speed setup.
Wheelset is non-branded. Most mid and upper range Dahon bikes use kinetix rims and hubs which are better. The Tern rims do not have a machined braking surface. They are also heavier than the Kinetix rims from my Vitesse. The tires are Schwalbe Citizen and the ride and grip are excellent.
Saddle and Seatpost are light and comfortable. No need to upgrade this unless you have a very specific preference.
Overall this has been my favorite folding bike by far.IMG_20150603_145117624.jpg
Last edited by gumtape; 06-09-15 at 03:28 PM.
My Link D8 is my first and only folding bike. I bought it when my car died and I decided that rather than replace it, I'd use a Car2go (smart car). Since the nearest Car2go might be anywhere from a block to a mile away, I wanted a bike that would get me to it and that could then fit in the back. The Tern fit the bill. I didn't expect to use it beyond that, but really like how it rides and often find myself hopping on it instead of one of my full size bikes. I upgraded the rear rack so I can carry full size panniers without heel strike, and got the mounting block for the front plus a basket, so now it's my errand and farmer's market bike: just wheel it right up to the stands and load up.
7ft of Cet-Bak
That's an awesome transportation strategy. Why'd you go for the Tern and not something more compact like a Brompton? Double the price for minimal gain?
Thanks! I would have loved a Brompton, but it was out of my budget. I originally went to the shop to look at a Dahon, but the Link was the only one they had new (and the used Dahon's hadn't aged well). I lucked out; my only real requirement be that the bike fit into the back of a smart car so I might have settled for anything. Fortunately, I got a good bike. This is a not so awesome picture, but here's when I used it as a shopping cart at a plant sale. I filled up a milk crate strapped to the back rack and the basket in the front, and then rode home.
Originally Posted by Nightdiver