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Tern D8 danger: handlebars fold down while riding

Old 08-05-13, 11:00 AM
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Tsujigiri00
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Tern D8 danger: handlebars fold down while riding

I've had a Tern Link D8 for 6 months and it is suffering from a very dangerous issue. If anyone can recommend a solution, I'd love to hear it!

The clamp that allows the handlebars to fold down (the head post clamp?) regularly pops open while I'm riding, causing the handlebars to fold down and resulting in a crash. This typically happens upon the (minor) impact of going (VERY slowly) down a curb. I've thought a lot about it, and I'd estimate that it happens about 3-5% when I go down a curb (which is about every other ride).

I've tried tightening the clamp, but that doesn't seem to resolve the issue.

I think this is a pretty big issue, right? I'm a novice biker, and new to folders, so I lack some perspective. But today the clamp popped open 2x and I narrowly avoided eating pavement. I ended walking my bike home because I'm frankly getting scared to ride it.



Btw, overall I pretty much regret purchasing a Tern Link D8. I'll try to find the time to write a review in case my feedback helps any perspective buyers.
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Old 08-05-13, 11:25 AM
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Obviously something wrong with the clamping mechanism or adjustments and the bike should not be ridden until repaired.. if this were a common occurrence, there would be lots of disgruntled owners and certainly a recall of the mechanism by Tern .. as neither of these have yet to occur, I would contact Tern and have them recommend a course of action (probably to take it to a Tern dealer or authorized repair facility for warranty work) .. don't ride the bike until it is fixed.. Tern has a forum also .. https://www.ternbicycles.com/us/forum
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Old 08-05-13, 11:26 AM
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you will need to read the manual how to adjust that handlebar clamp.... its not that difficult, but obviously something is not right. I would suggest that you bring the bike to a dealer who surely can do it right. An opening handlebar is unheard of and basically is not even possible, unless somebody really messed it up.

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Old 08-05-13, 12:15 PM
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Thanks! Yeah, I haven't heard about this issue before. So I've assumed that it's just a freak flaw with my bike.

Unfortunately, I'm currently living abroad in Chile. And the country's Tern dealer is hours away in another city (and they were pretty ****ty when I bought the bike: they said I would get a free tune-up after 1 month of ownership, but they ignored my calls and emails). So I posted on the Tern forum and hopefully they can suggest a solution.

Odds are that I'll end up selling the bike and buying a different folder since I've been pretty disappointed with the D8 (even excluding this issue). But I need to get this issue resolved first, since that would be pretty evil to dump the problem on an unsuspecting buyer.
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Old 08-05-13, 12:58 PM
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Any bike dealer can work on a Tern its not that there is some black magic going on
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Old 08-05-13, 08:07 PM
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You describe the symptoms of a loose clamping rod. If by "tightening the clamp" you mean making the internal clamping shorter... you're making it looser. As the clamping rod extends the clamping force increases. Read your manual.

Last edited by maunakea; 08-06-13 at 11:58 AM.
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Old 08-06-13, 08:24 AM
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ya6XYsDmKWk

I think the bike you bought wasn't even adjusted at all and that dealer shouldn't even be selling Terns if you are having such an unpleasant time with it and with such a dangerous setup. Seems like they just took it out of the box and have at it!

Sadly a lousy dealer can ruin the rep for any bike company, especially folders because their folding mechanism is soo much more critical!
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Old 08-06-13, 10:28 AM
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I rather think that the OP "loosened" the bar, rather than tighten it .....
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Old 08-06-13, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Tsujigiri00 View Post
Odds are that I'll end up selling the bike and buying a different folder since I've been pretty disappointed with the D8 (even excluding this issue). But I need to get this issue resolved first, since that would be pretty evil to dump the problem on an unsuspecting buyer.
Or you can disclose the issue to the buyer and let him deal with it.

Some bikes, like Brompton, use a simpler hinge design that is self adjusting.
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Old 08-06-13, 12:41 PM
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Oh also Tsuijiri can you give us a review on the bike? I bet there's others that would like to know what's good and what's bad about it from your point of view.
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Old 08-06-13, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Azreal911 View Post
Oh also Tsuijiri can you give us a review on the bike? I bet there's others that would like to know what's good and what's bad about it from your point of view.
Here is the link to my review: https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...4#post15932454
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Old 08-08-13, 12:51 PM
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I used to browse the Tern forums and this issue came up a few times.

There is a small plastic safety pin within the clamping mechanism. When you want to open the clamp, you need to press the little safety button which unlocks the plastic pin. It's very likely that your safety pin is broken.

Check out these threads:
https://www.ternbicycles.com/us/forum...-lever-tern-d8
https://www.ternbicycles.com/us/forum...e-catch-broken
https://www.ternbicycles.com/forum/th...ndlepost-latch
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Old 08-08-13, 01:23 PM
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yeah but even if tehsafety pin is completely gone, the handlebar doesnt open by itself or when pulled or pushed upon .... ONLY if you open the lever ..than the handlebar can open up .....
If the lever is totally loose.... meaning the adjustment has been loosened to the point where there is no OVER CENTER anymore.... the safet clip holds the lever in place... lets say that has been broken as well.... and the lever is flopping around ...only than u could open the handlepost ... ...

Best Thor
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Old 08-08-13, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Tsujigiri00 View Post
Thanks! Yeah, I haven't heard about this issue before. So I've assumed that it's just a freak flaw with my bike.

Unfortunately, I'm currently living abroad in Chile. And the country's Tern dealer is hours away in another city (and they were pretty ****ty when I bought the bike: they said I would get a free tune-up after 1 month of ownership, but they ignored my calls and emails). So I posted on the Tern forum and hopefully they can suggest a solution.

Odds are that I'll end up selling the bike and buying a different folder since I've been pretty disappointed with the D8 (even excluding this issue). But I need to get this issue resolved first, since that would be pretty evil to dump the problem on an unsuspecting buyer.
Dahon and Tern come with a maintenance manual where you can follow the instructions to adjust the clamping forces on the steering post as well as on the frame. Any local mechanic can do this as long as they follow the instruction listed in the manual. It's not that difficult at all. Once the clamps are properly adjusted, it's impossible to loosen.

When you said they ignored your calls and emails? Were you aggressive and angry at them for not satisfying your needs right away? I find that most dealers will accommodate you as best as they can as long as you act civil and calm so they can help you address the problem.
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Old 08-08-13, 05:04 PM
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Tsujigiri00, have you done as instructed in the video that Azreal911 posted? If so, did it help? If not then why not?
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Old 08-09-13, 03:43 AM
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The name sounds familiar

https://samosauruschronicles.blogspot...r-latches.html

Very good blog BTW, great pictures and plenty of folder related content.
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Old 08-09-13, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Taipei Tony View Post
I used to browse the Tern forums and this issue came up a few times.

There is a small plastic safety pin within the clamping mechanism. When you want to open the clamp, you need to press the little safety button which unlocks the plastic pin. It's very likely that your safety pin is broken.

Check out these threads:
https://www.ternbicycles.com/us/forum...-lever-tern-d8
https://www.ternbicycles.com/us/forum...e-catch-broken
https://www.ternbicycles.com/forum/th...ndlepost-latch
These forums are pretty great actually. The main guy (I think Josh Hon?) actually responds to a bunch of posts.
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Old 08-16-13, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Taipei Tony View Post
I used to browse the Tern forums and this issue came up a few times.

There is a small plastic safety pin within the clamping mechanism. When you want to open the clamp, you need to press the little safety button which unlocks the plastic pin. It's very likely that your safety pin is broken.

Check out these threads:
https://www.ternbicycles.com/us/forum...-lever-tern-d8
https://www.ternbicycles.com/us/forum...e-catch-broken
https://www.ternbicycles.com/forum/th...ndlepost-latch


Yep! This is exactly my problem! My plastic safety cylinder is snapped off.

BUT . . . they did NOT include any replacement pins (as apparently they were supposed to). Moreover, I definitely did not get correct maintenance instruction. The Tern dealer in this country (Chile) couldn't even fold the bike correctly (I had to learn via Youtube). And the global manual FAILS to explain the intricacies of this hinge (it even says that adjustment = 1/4 turn, when it's a fraction of that -- more like a 1/20 turn).



Originally Posted by pacificcyclist View Post
Dahon and Tern come with a maintenance manual where you can follow the instructions to adjust the clamping forces on the steering post as well as on the frame. Any local mechanic can do this as long as they follow the instruction listed in the manual. It's not that difficult at all. Once the clamps are properly adjusted, it's impossible to loosen.
The manual is crap: it literally does more harm than good.


Originally Posted by pacificcyclist View Post
When you said they ignored your calls and emails? Were you aggressive and angry at them for not satisfying your needs right away? I find that most dealers will accommodate you as best as they can as long as you act civil and calm so they can help you address the problem.
I'm in Chile, probably 1 of 30 countries Tern has dealers in. Chile, though the most efficient and successful South American country, is still only about 1/3 the size of California (or Canada). All of South America functions at a much slower pace than the U.S.; think "Hawaiian time." But the best way, as an American here, to get things accomplished is to be as polite and patient as possible (I could spend 10 pages explaining how it functions within the cultural psychology and classism). So, to FINALLY answer your question: yes, I was extremely polite and patient. But this ain't the U.S.: nobody is getting a slap on the wrist for ignoring clients and taking a 6 hour lunch; welcome to South America. Thus, are you surprised that I got (A.) incorrect fold instruction, (B.) no free 1-month tune-up (as promised at purchase), and (C.) no replacement parts (e.g. it apparently should come with a replacement for the currently broken part).
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Old 08-19-13, 11:04 AM
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to recap the sensationalized Title of this thread ....

no spare parts which come from Tern with every bike received
not the amount of service from local dealer received
doesnt like the manuals, or the you tube explanations
somebody broke the pins .... despite stickers on the frame warning against just that
running with broken pins ....
than " adjusting" the tension ( without refering to the manual because its soooo wrong and worthless )
adjusting the tension, without any common sense either
than running the bike without safety latches, and the tension grossly miss adjusted .... and hoping down the curbs, AND opening the lever somehow ... and than the handlebar "folded"

does the title makes sense ?


Just saying ....
Now .. how difficult can it be to adjust the bar correctly ? quarter turns until it needs a nice bit of effort to push them close, after pushing safety pin up it takes more than just a finger to open the latch. If safety pin is broken get a velcro or ziptie and "hold" the latch in closed position until new safety pins can be installed ...

This reminds me of the "alleged" un interended accellarations in some Audi models in the 80's ...... total joke as one couldnt start the car without the gearshifter in N or P and you couldnt shift without the foot on the brake pedal.....
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Old 06-03-15, 01:19 PM
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I recently purchased a used link d8 and the same thing happened to me. I was reaching for my water bottle and the handle post folded on me. Fortunately, I was able to brake and slow down without crashing. I determined that it was set loose and the safety catch was broken.

I will be placing an order for a replacement with Thor soon.

Regarding the op, sorry about your experience, but if you are crashing all the time and your problem could temporarily be solved with a strip of Velcro, well...
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Old 12-12-16, 11:47 AM
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I want to ask if anyone knows how to make the pin work. To lock and to unlock if you need to open the hinge. Cause my d8 bike just close and open the hinge and the pin is out of order. Is that danger?
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Old 12-12-16, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Oceansprince View Post
I want to ask if anyone knows how to make the pin work. To lock and to unlock if you need to open the hinge. Cause my d8 bike just close and open the hinge and the pin is out of order. Is that danger?


You should install the extra safety pin which came with the bike and the instructions in the same bag.
As long as the huinge itself is adjusted correctly ( over center and with a decent amount of pressure needed to close ) And s long as you don't open the latch while riding with knee or any other way it should be ok to ride. However, I would replace the new pin instead of using a Velcro or ziptie or any other means to have a safety stop installed
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Old 12-12-16, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by ThorUSA View Post
You should install the extra safety pin which came with the bike and the instructions in the same bag.
As long as the huinge itself is adjusted correctly ( over center and with a decent amount of pressure needed to close ) And s long as you don't open the latch while riding with knee or any other way it should be ok to ride. However, I would replace the new pin instead of using a Velcro or ziptie or any other means to have a safety stop installed
I never received any extra safety pin and instructions or bag. I buy new this bike and was completely open inside to a box,but look like never used.. i will call to ask for the bag and the extra pins
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Old 12-12-16, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Oceansprince View Post
I never received any extra safety pin and instructions or bag. I buy new this bike and was completely open inside to a box,but look like never used.. i will call to ask for the bag and the extra pins
you in the USA ? I send you a new pin
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Old 12-18-16, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by ThorUSA View Post
you in the USA ? I send you a new pin
I communicate with the dealer. We send to tern head office the serial number of the bike cause it start from AI..... and this part had problem of some bikes. Fortunately my frame is ok. After dealer send me the bag with manual and 2 sets of pins and everything is ok
Thanks all of you
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