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Old 06-24-14, 11:21 AM   #1
wilfried
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Tern Verge P20?

I currently ride a 3 speed Brompton as my everything bike, from my 3 mile commute to long 70 mile joy rides. I'm now considering a second bike; yes, folderitis and n+1 lust set in. I discussed the possibility of upgrading my Brompton in other threads (something I might yet do further down the line), but now I'm thinking a second, "roadier" sort of bike might be better than one compromise everything bike. I'm prompted to look into an upgrade or new bike because of the Brompton's narrow gearing. I worry about hills every time I go somewhere with actual hills, so I want a lower low gear; a higher high gear would be nice too. I'm stuck with folders since I live in a closet of an apartment in a fifth floor walkup.

I'm considering the Tern Verge P20. I've found almost nothing about it on BF (I guess it's one of Tern's newer models), and little enough in the way of reviews on the web, so I figured I'd ask to see if anyone has any thoughts about it.

The Brompton will remain my day to day commuter and get around town bike; its small fold is just too useful for that. The Tern will be a supplement, mostly intended for long or fast rides. I see it as the fun bike with a better ride than the B, but who knows, I may find I use it as a utility bike too. I'll add rack and fenders, to keep the bike somewhat practical. I don't want to have to worry about the weather, and I always carry some stuff, a bag at least. Perhaps it'll be better for hauling stuff than my rackless Brompton.

So any thoughts about this bike (or perhaps a similar Tern model)? Are there any other bikes I should consider (although I've dithered about this decision long enough)?

On a tangential note, does anyone have experience with Schwalbe Kojak tires on the mean streets of New York City, or similar place, with lots of rough roads, potholes, and debris? I currently ride Schwalbe Marathons, which have been pretty tough with only a small handful of flats in two years. I don't have experience with other tires, and worry a bit about the thinner, slicker Kojaks.

Last edited by wilfried; 06-24-14 at 02:58 PM.
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Old 06-24-14, 01:31 PM   #2
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For Terns the frame for their lineups are pretty much similar from one model to the next like all the verges and all the links should ride similar in fit and feel to each other. It's the rest of the components that'll change the ride slightly from what i can tell here the gear inches from 25" to 95" should give you a rediculous gearing to even make up those 45 degree san francisco inclines if you ever feel like visiting! and 95" is actually a pretty fast gear that you'll only use on a decline. The only thing i would really change out is the kojaks if your New York streets are as lousy as my Toronto streets strewn with pot holes and stuff and throw some big apples on them to make the ride enjoyable. I cheated though, I ran a big apple in the rear and a kojak in the front to lighten up the bike a bit and still have an ok ride since almost 70+% of your weight is on the rear tire with folding bikes.
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Old 06-24-14, 02:58 PM   #3
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Thanks for your reply. I see you have a Link Uno. Have you tried a Verge? I wonder what the differences are between the Verge and Link lines. I gather the Verge is supposed to be lighter, stiffer, and faster (and more expensive), but I wonder how that plays in the real world.

As another aside, I considered, and have mostly rejected, the Tern Link P24h. It's loaded with features, some which interest me, and some which don't, and it's even slightly cheaper than the P20. It has an even wider gear range, with a hybrid drivetrain, with an 8 cog cassette on a three speed internal gear hub. I like the idea of the internal gear hub, as I ride one now and find it very useful for urban riding. It also has an adjustable stem, so you can switch from riding upright to low and sporty. However, it weighs in at over 30 lbs, which might make it feel like riding a tank, and I have to schlep the thing up four flights of stairs. Also, I have yet to test ride, or even see it first hand at either folding bike shop in town. One doesn't stock it, and the other didn't have it in the store. Neither seemed eager to sell it to me.

Thanks for any input.
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Old 06-24-14, 02:59 PM   #4
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I currently ride a 3 speed Brompton as my everything bike, from my 3 mile commute to long 70 mile joy rides. I'm now considering a second bike; yes, folderitis and n+1 lust set in. I discussed the possibility of upgrading my Brompton in other threads (something I might yet do further down the line), but now I'm thinking a second, "roadier" sort of bike might be better than one compromise everything bike. I'm prompted to look into an upgrade or new bike because of the Brompton's narrow gearing. I worry about hills every time I go somewhere with actual hills, so I want a lower low gear; a higher high gear would be nice too.

The Brompton will remain my day to day commuter and get around town bike; its small fold is just too useful for that. The Tern will be a supplement, mostly intended long or fast rides. I see it as the fun bike with a better ride than the B, but who knows, I may find I use it as a utility bike too. I'll add rack and fenders, to keep the bike somewhat practical. I don't want to have to worry about the weather, and I always carry some stuff, a bag at least. Perhaps it'll be better for hauling stuff than my rackless Brompton.
Funny... I'm thinking along similar lines, but not the same alternative bike.

I have a Brompton M6R and I use it whenever I travel, and for commuting to work when I have the option of going in via bike (i.e., I don't need to haul lots of items or get to a meeting across town later in the day in a suit). I occasionally ride in on one of my full size bikes, but they're cumbersome to haul up stairs and navigate through the office. At the same time, the roads have been pretty bad, especially after this past winter - I wouldn't mind bigger tires for some suspension, but the Brompton can't really take wider tires. Plus I think I want a bike that is a bit stiffer and more responsive, particularly when I travel and IF I have time for a decent ride. I was in Halifax recently and boy, were some of those grades tough riding on the Brompton.

So, the Brompton is perfect when I need folding, and I've got my full size bike for the long rides. But for my daily commute, I just need something that rides a bit more "full size" than a Brompton, but is a little smaller than a full size bike for navigating to and from my office.

... and I'm probably suffering a bit of folderitis and N+1 too...

I settled on a Dahon Silvertip, and like you, am a bit concerned about the Kojak tires and so was thinking of swapping in Big Apple tires.

But now, I think I'm consumed with a bit of potential buyer's remorse. I think we can acknowledge the Brompton has the best fold, so if portability is key, then why should I buy another folding bike (although the Silvertip is more of an occasional folder). And I've got a full size bike already, so getting the Silvertip might be a bit of a waste...

Well, I'd be interested to see how you like your Verge if you get it. Sorry if I distracted you!
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Old 06-24-14, 09:08 PM   #5
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That's a cool looking bike. I'd happily ride it. Alas, it's probably too big for my needs. I also had a look at the Xootr Swift, but that also seemed to big and awkward.
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Old 06-25-14, 03:54 AM   #6
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Bike Friday?
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Old 06-25-14, 08:49 AM   #7
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Thanks for your reply. I see you have a Link Uno. Have you tried a Verge? I wonder what the differences are between the Verge and Link lines. I gather the Verge is supposed to be lighter, stiffer, and faster (and more expensive), but I wonder how that plays in the real world.

As another aside, I considered, and have mostly rejected, the Tern Link P24h. It's loaded with features, some which interest me, and some which don't, and it's even slightly cheaper than the P20. It has an even wider gear range, with a hybrid drivetrain, with an 8 cog cassette on a three speed internal gear hub. I like the idea of the internal gear hub, as I ride one now and find it very useful for urban riding. It also has an adjustable stem, so you can switch from riding upright to low and sporty. However, it weighs in at over 30 lbs, which might make it feel like riding a tank, and I have to schlep the thing up four flights of stairs. Also, I have yet to test ride, or even see it first hand at either folding bike shop in town. One doesn't stock it, and the other didn't have it in the store. Neither seemed eager to sell it to me.

Thanks for any input.
When I was shopping around for the Tern Link I was only testing out Dahons, Bromptons and the Terns, The Verge model I tested out was the DUO since I was mainly looking for simplicity and the Link and Verge Frames are pretty much similar in stiffness, also they are the stiffest frame I've rode when I was riding them compared to the other two brands very little flex. between the Link and Verge it's not really lighter on the frame only because of those massive OCL joints the difference in frames alone is alot on asthetics like cleaner weld joints that are ground smooth and funky designed paint jobs, also the verge is hydroformed to get that sexy bike look vs the straight drawn aluminum on the link. The weight difference you see is mostly in the components that comes with it which the verge is the upline. Reason I chose my Link line because that was more suited for a daily commuter that has heavier spoked wheels and the trolley rack add on that lets me drag the bike around the office instead of lugging it, my streets are pothole strewn and those 10 spoke wheels would definitely go out of true in very short order! The P24 you where looking at is a very heavy touring bike which might not fit your purpose if you want to go fast but they would be great if you are cycling up the french alps with big heavy panniers on it!
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Old 07-26-14, 11:16 AM   #8
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Hiya,

I just got my P20 a couple of months back and recently did a 50km ride with a rack and 2 small panniers. It rides very nicely with weight loading as i've also done steep climbs with my 5-yr old son on board. So the gear ratios are great both for speed and climbs with bags/son. My wife rides a P9 so we have swapped bikes midway and noticed the P20 really being more responsive, quicker and easier. The Kojaks play a role in that as the P9 are with Marathons. Not sure yet how the Kojaks will hold up on rougher roads, but they sure feel more jarring on the bones than the Marathons.

You should also note that some P20s like mine have rear rack braze-ons (on the seat-stays) that are asymmetrically located. Some folks here don't have this challenge, which just means that your choice of rear rack will need a modular fitting system that allows for an asymmetrical fit. I use a Pletscher Athlete 4B for 20in foldies and it works great.
Another thing is the Sram X7 rear derailleur is nerve-wrackingly close to the Kojak on the largest cog, perhaps about 1/2 inch, so fitting on Marathons will reduce the gap even more!
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Old 07-26-14, 02:33 PM   #9
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If you want a fun all round bike with great build quality, you sould test ride a Birdy.

In the last month I have riding
Brompton 2014, raw lacquer, 6 gears.
Tern 2014, Verge S11i.
Birdy Light.

And by far the Birdy was the most enjoyable, comfortable, also best quality ride in my opinion.

I also love the Brompton
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Old 07-27-14, 11:19 PM   #10
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I have a Brompton and a Bike Friday, and there are definite advantages to having different types of folders for different types of rides. The Friday is a custom, so it fits me perfectly; it also has 24 gears and was originally bought for bike camping. But I use it most of the time as a utility bike or commuter, with a basket zip-tied to the rear rack. I also commute with the Brompton, which I also use when I need the fold, or when I want the dynohub. Or when I just feel like riding it.
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Old 07-28-14, 03:25 PM   #11
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You should also note that some P20s like mine have rear rack braze-ons (on the seat-stays) that are asymmetrically located.
Thanks for the feedback. If you have the time, I'd be inrested in seeing what the rear-rack looks like when brazed-on.

Is it a custom job?
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Old 07-28-14, 09:33 PM   #12
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The rack is not braced on but fixed to the braze-ons on the seatstays. These braze-ons are asymmetrically located as seen in the photo. As long as yr rack allows for customised fitting where the seatstay fixtures can be individually adjusted, u're probably ok. The rack in the photo is the Pletscher Athelete 4B for 20in wheel bikes, and ThorUSA assured me they'll fit P20 before I got it from them.
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Old 09-30-14, 12:09 AM   #13
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tern verge P18

A Nice dilema. My tern verge flies along. Takes off fast, loads of gears and very responsive. I have a rear rack and ortlieb waterproof classic bag. I'm truly set. Nicer to ride than my Son's Merida T5 flat bar road bike. A word of warning to riders of folders jumping back onto road type bikes. Guys beware of your you know whats. Dismounting tend to forget the bar is there.

My last bike was a Dahon Speed TR fully loaded up . Very tough bike but a little on the heavy side. I find the Tern Verge a little more responsive and more enjoyable to ride being kilo's lighter.

All that said I will get a Brommie soon, most likely an M6. I'LL wait for London next year. They look too good to not own one. The engineering, simplicity, compact fold and ravaging colour selection.

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I currently ride a 3 speed Brompton as my everything bike, from my 3 mile commute to long 70 mile joy rides. I'm now considering a second bike; yes, folderitis and n+1 lust set in. I discussed the possibility of upgrading my Brompton in other threads (something I might yet do further down the line), but now I'm thinking a second, "roadier" sort of bike might be better than one compromise everything bike. I'm prompted to look into an upgrade or new bike because of the Brompton's narrow gearing. I worry about hills every time I go somewhere with actual hills, so I want a lower low gear; a higher high gear would be nice too. I'm stuck with folders since I live in a closet of an apartment in a fifth floor walkup.

I'm considering the Tern Verge P20. I've found almost nothing about it on BF (I guess it's one of Tern's newer models), and little enough in the way of reviews on the web, so I figured I'd ask to see if anyone has any thoughts about it.

The Brompton will remain my day to day commuter and get around town bike; its small fold is just too useful for that. The Tern will be a supplement, mostly intended for long or fast rides. I see it as the fun bike with a better ride than the B, but who knows, I may find I use it as a utility bike too. I'll add rack and fenders, to keep the bike somewhat practical. I don't want to have to worry about the weather, and I always carry some stuff, a bag at least. Perhaps it'll be better for hauling stuff than my rackless Brompton.

So any thoughts about this bike (or perhaps a similar Tern model)? Are there any other bikes I should consider (although I've dithered about this decision long enough)?

On a tangential note, does anyone have experience with Schwalbe Kojak tires on the mean streets of New York City, or similar place, with lots of rough roads, potholes, and debris? I currently ride Schwalbe Marathons, which have been pretty tough with only a small handful of flats in two years. I don't have experience with other tires, and worry a bit about the thinner, slicker Kojaks.
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Old 09-30-14, 02:13 AM   #14
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Try a xootr swift it rides great but recently i have fitted schwalbe duranos to make it more sporty and i find i am not really any faster and on poor road surfaces i find i have almost been off a few times which is unnerving so just ordered some big apples and hopefully i gain some comfort and grip and still be able to motor along quickly as i am finding it less enjoyable for distances and i am riding my beach cruiser for commuting to work and pleasure rides!
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Old 09-30-14, 04:07 AM   #15
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Personally, if you already have a utility driven Brompton and want something more aggressive, I feel the p20 is too similar to really appreciate. May I suggest something with an aggressive stance like the Tern Verge x30 or similar Dahon? The bullbars and huge gear range would really feel different on the road and would set those two bikes apart--especially in application. I wish my girlfriend would let me get another bike.
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Old 09-30-14, 04:11 AM   #16
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By the way, I run Duranos on a pretty awful road which is only 3 miles on my commute. This was an upgrade from my Marathon Supremes. I know these are a bit beefier than the Kojaks and I might try those in the future but I've put about 300 -400 miles on them and had a few punctures already and I keep them pretty inflated (110 psi). I can imagine the Kojaks not really cutting the mustard. Beat em up and swap them out?
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Old 09-30-14, 08:39 AM   #17
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you guys and duranos! If you have rough roads and durano's with their MINIMUM pressure of 85PSI, that's bound to make any rough ride really exhausting on the rider. What anyone should be doing is throwing on big apples or a much wider tire and tweak the optimal air pressure for your weight class if you have bad roads. I kept mine on 35-40psi (i'm 160lbs) and the ride is enjoyable without sacrificing rolling resistance, took me awhile to tweak and after i got that feeling i did not mess with it anymore. I have a kojak on the front and going over manhole covers I notice a huge difference on vibration on the front and back. Oh yeah that 35-40psi only worked on the big apples for me, on some kenda's that i had on another bike it did not have the same ride qualities at that pressure.

What Is The Optimal Tire Pressure? | CyclingTips

This paragraph from the link is very interesting for you guys to read but ignore the 115-140psi, that all depends on the width of the tire for the optimal pressure:

There’s a perception that running tires at high pressures of 115-140 psi somehow makes the bike roll faster. The thinking behind this is that it reduces rolling resistance because less surface area of the tread is touching the road. However, at higher pressures, internal losses due to flexing of the casing decrease, but suspension losses due to vibration and bouncing of the bike increase. The resulting vertical movement is robbing forward momentum. This cancels out most of the gains the increased pressure attempted to provide. What those high pressures really do is accelerate wear, compromise handling and give an extremely harsh and skittish ride.
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Old 09-30-14, 04:56 PM   #18
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I can't disagree more. I noticed a huge performance boost--especially in cornering. My supremes felt sluggish in comparison. I get flats easier going over glass but I love these new tires. I'll save the marathons for winter.
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Old 11-21-14, 04:02 AM   #19
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Out of curiosity, how steep would hills have to be to need a folder that has two chain-rings like the Tern P20 (lowest gear inches 25") or the Dahon Formula S20 (37.8")?

Or as alternative, what about the few bikes that have come with a Nexus 8 or Alfine 11? Do they provide more range than a single chainring + 8-10 speeds and would be recommended for touring?
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Old 11-21-14, 05:34 PM   #20
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Do they provide more range than a single chainring + 8-10 speeds and would be recommended for touring?
Plug in the numbers and see for yourself:
Sheldon Brown's Bicycle Gear Calculator

On my old commute,I tried several IGH bikes,including a Novara FlyBy with Nexus 8. None worked as well as my 3x9 and 2x10 bikes. Gearing was either too low and I spun down the big hills,or not low enough and I had to mash up. Biggest hub I used was a SRAM i-9;it almost made it,the Alfine 11 would prolly have been do-able.
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Old 11-22-14, 06:33 PM   #21
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Thanks. I guess I'll go for a two-chainring then.
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Old 10-14-15, 10:34 AM   #22
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Hi Winfried, have you finally chose tern P20? I am now considering it, so would like to hear your comment before I go ahead with it.
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Old 10-15-15, 12:35 AM   #23
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Reading from your description, i tend to choose an eclipse. Or a montague boston.

They are different enough but not significantly bigger than brompton (not that much)

How about the x20? They are lighter
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Old 10-15-15, 05:11 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
Plug in the numbers and see for yourself:
Sheldon Brown's Bicycle Gear Calculator

On my old commute,I tried several IGH bikes,including a Novara FlyBy with Nexus 8. None worked as well as my 3x9 and 2x10 bikes. Gearing was either too low and I spun down the big hills,or not low enough and I had to mash up. Biggest hub I used was a SRAM i-9;it almost made it,the Alfine 11 would prolly have been do-able.
And what about combining both with a DualDrive? I have a Dahon Mu with it and, combined with a 52 tooth chainring and a 11-34 cassette it has an impressive gearing range. It's low gear is almost as low as my mountain bike, and high gear is higher than my road bike. I have climbed 20% climbs seated with it, and reached more than 70kph downhill.

Its downside though is that I feel it's less efficient than a traditional derailleur. Especially in high gear. Not a huge problem on my daily commute though, but worth considering for doing long distances regularly.
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Old 10-16-15, 06:09 AM   #25
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Hi Winfried, have you finally chose tern P20? I am now considering it, so would like to hear your comment before I go ahead with it.
It's more rigid than a Brompton and it brakes better.

However, it doesn't fold as small, and the gear inches/meters development is smaller. But then, the only way to increase development seriously is to combine an IGH with a derailleur.

If you just need a bit more gear inches at the top, check if you can replace the big chainring with a bigger one.
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