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Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

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Old 08-20-12, 01:28 AM   #1
Training.Wheels
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What makes a bike "fast?" (Details inside)

So I have been looking at some Tern and Dahon models, and sometimes I'll run across a model that is supposedly "built for speed." Take for example, the Tern Link P9. A very awesome bike. Tern branded it as speedy. But then I look at the Tern Link P24h and it has the same tires, same front hub, same rims, same frame, even more gears, but is branded as a touring bike. What makes the P9 better suited for speed than the P24h? Or do companies like Dahon and Tern label it that way so that each bike has its own "specialty" and intended use? Here are the links to both bikes and their specs:

http://www.thorusa.com/tern/linkp9.htm
http://www.thorusa.com/tern/linkp24.htm

Last edited by Training.Wheels; 08-20-12 at 02:02 AM.
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Old 08-20-12, 02:12 AM   #2
ryukenden
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They are very similar as both are part of the Tern Link brand. I major differences for those "speed" and grand touring is the amount of gears the p24h features. Its actually quite useful when selecting the right gear for certain conditions, quite noticeable when touring. Plus P24h have higher gear inches.
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Old 08-20-12, 08:54 AM   #3
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The P9 is 2KG lighter. That's mostly fenders, front mech & chanrings, etc.
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Old 08-20-12, 10:05 AM   #4
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The top gear on the P9 is 85", on the p24 it's 107". That means (presuming your legs are up to it) that it will move 25% faster. I guess the lighter weight and simplicity of the p9 might make it nippier in traffic. But if you are strong enough to keep up a cadence of 90rpm in top gear, on the P9 you'll max out at around 23 mph, but on the P24 it would be just under 29mph - working much harder, of course.

I don't see how they justify calling the P9 speedy. Just trying to come up with USP, I guess.
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Old 08-20-12, 12:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Training.Wheels View Post
So I have been looking at some Tern and Dahon models, and sometimes I'll run across a model that is supposedly "built for speed." Take for example, the Tern Link P9. A very awesome bike. Tern branded it as speedy. But then I look at the Tern Link P24h and it has the same tires, same front hub, same rims, same frame, even more gears, but is branded as a touring bike. What makes the P9 better suited for speed than the P24h? Or do companies like Dahon and Tern label it that way so that each bike has its own "specialty" and intended use? Here are the links to both bikes and their specs:

http://www.thorusa.com/tern/linkp9.htm
http://www.thorusa.com/tern/linkp24.htm
The answer is simple. The rider.

The only difference light folding road bikes will make is with a strong good rider in some kind of a folding bike race. Most of the marketing terms only make people feel they are riding a fast bike to satisfy their mid life crisis wanna toy. In reality, I've seen so many people who ride mountain bikes overtaking people riding Cervelo R3 or R5, Trek Madones and Specialized Rubies. Ride your folding bike more; especially multi-geared like your P9 on LONG SLOW mileage rides and your Link Uno for strength training and with enough persistence and dedication, you can ride fast.
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Old 08-20-12, 01:07 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by jefmcg View Post
The top gear on the P9 is 85", on the p24 it's 107". That means (presuming your legs are up to it) that it will move 25% faster. I guess the lighter weight and simplicity of the p9 might make it nippier in traffic. But if you are strong enough to keep up a cadence of 90rpm in top gear, on the P9 you'll max out at around 23 mph, but on the P24 it would be just under 29mph - working much harder, of course.

I don't see how they justify calling the P9 speedy. Just trying to come up with USP, I guess.
A few realizes that pushing BIG BIG gears require well developed strong core strength. The push down and pull up require a synergistic whole body movement. If you use brute strength to push down, you will tire out really easily and quickly. Not to mention the abnormal amount of stresses put on your knees by buckling due to the instability at the hip joints due to poor core strength. All these big gears are only nice to look at with the online gear calculator. In practice however, you'll get hurt if you try to over push. Lighter tires and larger wheels actually help the most rather than the bike, especially the 451 wheels or the Big Apple which is essentially a larger diameter tire. If you want to make things roll fast, look at choosing the right tires and wheels as an upgrade.
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Old 08-21-12, 01:28 AM   #7
Training.Wheels
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Thanks for the replies, guys. Yeah, I kinda figured it all out after a bit of thinking. I tried erasing this thread but I could not find the option to do that, haha.
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Old 08-22-12, 02:51 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Training.Wheels View Post
Thanks for the replies, guys. Yeah, I kinda figured it all out after a bit of thinking. I tried erasing this thread but I could not find the option to do that, haha.
Well, you can't delete other people's posts, so if you deleted yours, it would be a bit strange.

Anyway, you won't be the last person choosing between those two, so google will lead others here.
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Old 08-22-12, 05:12 AM   #9
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It's something I'd wondered as well. Assumed it was a gearing thing but this clears it up. Thanks!
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Old 08-26-12, 07:39 PM   #10
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I bike 'fast' on my 1964 moulton when I've had 2 shots of Redbreast Irish Whiskey and I see a Lycra Dude on the MUP in front of me. I'm thinkin 18 mph and 100 rpm. The things you can get away with when you're 50+. One day I will be old enough and drunk enough to wear a speedo to the beach. I can't wait!
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Old 08-27-12, 03:17 AM   #11
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I'm glad this thread wasn't deleted, as always, I have learned stuff, and/or been reminded of stuff I knew once or should have known.... who was the guy who said "its not about the bike", I wonder what happened to him he's not in the news much these days...
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