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What do you think about this folder for touring?

Old 01-21-12, 09:17 AM
  #1  
getpsimon
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What do you think about this folder for touring?

I'm looking for a folder because it's going to fit in with the kind of lightweight touring I want to do. I keep coming back to the newer Tern Link P24h because it's in my budget and looks to have the right amount of gears. What do you think about this bike for touring a week or two? I've also been considering the Bike Friday Pocket Companion and dahons. Unfortunately, I'm not in position to test ride any of these. So any insights would be greatly appreciated.

It's been a long time since I've been on a bike longer than a day. So I want this bike to work with me as I get back on the road.
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Old 01-21-12, 09:54 AM
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You may reach more knowledgable posters in the folder forum.
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Old 01-21-12, 11:34 AM
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That certainly looks like a nice bike that you could tour with, but some people would want more than 8 gears. I am also unfamiliar with many of the components, which would give me hesitation, as they do not seem to be those that are most commonly used, readily available (incl. spare parts), and familiar to mechanics. The gear inches are not bad, but with so few gears, you will have large jumps between them and many times it may be difficult to find one perfectly suited to the terrain. However, there are people that have toured on 3 speeds and even single speed bikes, so it is really whatever you feel comfortable with and want to do. Though the bike looks nice, I would be inclined to go with something more standard/common. Also, I would want an internal geared hub in the rear on a bike with a single chain ring in front.
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Old 01-21-12, 12:45 PM
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It says speeds: 24. The rear hub is a 3 spd internal gear hub including an external derailleur, it's called a Neos Triniti Drivetrain. Unless I'm misunderstanding you, it seems that there would not be large jumps between gears. I'm a little confused by the 8 gears you mention. I see what you mean by readily available parts. That could be a real problem in the middle of nowhere.

I was really contemplating the Tern Link D7i for just the same things you mentioned the igh in the rear and single chain ring in front. I'm just afraid it might not be enough gear inches, 32" - 79". I know on my mountain bike I use the granny gear when getting up some city streets. So I would probably miss having that.
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Old 01-21-12, 02:07 PM
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It looks like a nice bike, however, Tern is owned by folks who left Dahon (although there is speculation they both are jointly owned -- do a search). It is therefore likely that some parts on Terns will be proprietary. If Tern behaves like Dahon, which they claim will not be the case, then component specifications may change almost yearly. Folks who own Dahon bikes often claim obtaining replacement parts is difficult or impossible.

Bike Friday uses standard components so if something breaks one does not have to request proprietary replacement parts. Some used Bike Fridays for prices that may be similar to the Tern can be found here:

https://www.bikefriday.com/bicycles/pre-loved
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Old 01-21-12, 02:08 PM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by getpsimon View Post
I'm looking for a folder because it's going to fit in with the kind of lightweight touring I want to do.
I'm in the same boat. I wish I could give you some great advice, but all I can say is that you're not alone.

I'm also considering Bike Friday and Tern. I look at the Dahons as well (there are some good deals out there), but I've decided to focus on B.F. and Tern to narrow things down.

Certainly a B.F. would fit the best (at 6'2" I'm at the tall end for the Terns), and I really like that they're made in OR. But, I'm leaning toward an IGH, and I don't want to use a chain tensioner. That rules out the NWT. I could consider a First Class Tikit, but it seems like a stretch for even the light touring I want to do. Certainly doable... but not ideal.

I really like the looks of the Terns, but I'd like a test ride, and so far there aren't any dealers reasonably close to me. That said, Thor from Thor USA has extended an invitation, but the drive would be about five hours. REI now has two models on their website, so that may be a possibility, at least for me, if they're in stock before I'm ready to buy.

The Verge S11i is currently at the top of my list for the Terns. I suspect you've ruled it out due to the $2k price tag. That should turn me off as well, but it comes the closest to what I have in mind.. at least on paper.


Regarding the P24h: at almost 30 lbs, they're a bit too heavy for me. I have shoulder problems and want to be able to lift it onto overhead racks as necessary -- my current bike is 31.5 lbs, and I'd really like to drop as much weight as I can. But, if that's not an issue for you, I'd definitely consider it.

Regarding gearing: Depending on where you'll be touring you really may not need too much. I'm no powerhouse, but I've toured with an 8-speed IGH in relatively flat areas with no problems. For my anticipated folding-bike tours I plan to go where there are more mountains, but I'll be taking a light load. I also don't mind pushing occasionally.

I've also been considering the Tern Verge Duo, but it's only about two pounds lighter than the Verge S11i, and I'd like more of a weight savings to go with the reduced versatility. One could make it lighter (the cranks, wheels, front wheel, etc, are nicer / lighter on the Verge S11i, but I couldn't justify the upgrades).

If my desire for an IGH wanes I think I'll ultimately be choosing between a B.F. NWT and a Tern Link P9. The NWT would be a finalist because, rationally, I think it is the most prudent choice in terms of likelihood for a good fit, coming from a company I'd like to support, and the longest reputation of making quality products. Although a fairly different beast, the P9 would likely be a finalist due to weight (25 lbs), simplicity of fold, lower cost, and, I'm ashamed to admit, I like the way it looks.

Last edited by Derailed; 01-21-12 at 02:14 PM.
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Old 01-21-12, 02:48 PM
  #7  
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@derailed Yep. If I could afford the Verge S11i my searching would be over because it has enough gears and I am a big fan of IGH on folders. I'm still a little tempted to go with the Tern D7i because of the IGH. There have been a number of warnings about finding parts for a Tern. I'm starting to think maybe the BF Companion might be a better bet. I hate this part of choosing a bike, especially when I can't readily test it.
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Old 01-21-12, 03:51 PM
  #8  
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@ Derailed, from my understanding they have a new set of drop outs available from BF for the NWT that will use an IGH without the tensioner.

I saw the post on a blog Vic from Canada, need to see if I can find it again.

@getpsimon, you can probably tour on either of those bikes. Need to ask yourself a lot of questions. What is the terrain like on the route(s) you are planning? Daily mileage? How much do you plan to take with you? Etc.

I don't know what to tell you about the Dahon vs Tern and parts availability, it was one of the reasons I chose NOT to purchase a Dahon TR when I had the chance, that and there was some question if it would fit me.

For some interesting touring on folders check out The Path Less Pedaled, they are using Bromptons, but much of the information can be used for other brands of bikes. FWIW there success and the durability of the Brommies has me giving them serious consideration in the future.

I tour on a variety of different bikes, including a Vintage Raleigh Twenty with the original 3 speed hub. I wouldn't take that bike on a mountain tour, but it does great in the fairly flat coastal areas of the Carolinas. I also am a fairly low mileage a day rider, I typically plan on 40 mile days. I am also not afraid to walk up hills if they are too steep to pedal.

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Old 01-22-12, 01:30 AM
  #9  
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I did not notice it has an internal 3 speed hub. Sorry about that. I have that same type of hub (an old Sachs 3x7) on one of my bikes and like it very much. I also have two more of those hubs to go on other bikes as I see fit. Like I said, I do think it looks like a very nice bike. I would just be hesitant because of what seem to be proprietary components, or at least components not widely available and familiar to at least me.
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Old 01-22-12, 03:53 AM
  #10  
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It will work , but if you substitute a 2 ring crankset ,
say an off the peg 50-34, then the range will be wider.
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Old 01-22-12, 07:47 AM
  #11  
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I have an Airnimal Joey with a Sram Dual Drive rear hub (three speed hub) and an Sram 8 speed cassette (11/32), which gives me a 24 speed bike. That combination gives me a wide range of gearing that would easily work for touring. But, I am unfamiliar with the hub on the Tern so I can't comment on that.
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Old 01-23-12, 11:51 AM
  #12  
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I'm pondering as well if I should get a folder bike for short 3/4 day tours since I travel some through work and I enjoy adding a weekend or more to do something fun. Initially I was thinking of the Bike Friday NWT.

On a trip to Seattle I rented an older model BF from a bike shop and took it on a three day tour around Purget Sound. It was a great trip and the folding bike did quite well. The bike shop installed a rack for me but I again noticed the importance of fenders on wet roads. The gearing was great. I didn't knew Seattle was that hilly. The only issue is through the constant shifting with the grip shifters which caused a tear from the shifting strain between my thumb and index finger. Direct links to my tour blog with the Bike Friday although it probably isn't that valuable in deciding a folder: day 1, day 2&3.

The reason why the BF NWT failed for me is that folding was to troublesome once rack and fenders are installed. I wanted something that keeps things simple enough to fold/unfold at the airport and start riding from there. Now I'm eying the Brompton. The folding is much nicer and the bike is more compact. Still wondering a little about the gearing which would either be the standard or reduced 6 speed. I got to test ride one a little bit but that was all on flat ground. Unfortunately my local Brompton dealer isn't keen on renting one out. The Ultimate question for me is will it be worth it - i.e. will it be useful and simple enough to take along on airplane trips and be able to tour somewhat comfortable so that I actually use it.
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Old 01-23-12, 06:18 PM
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@cbike,
I would start out with the 6 speed reduced, when I tour I want low gears not high gears. From my understanding the difference on the Brompton across the 6 speed range is the chain wheel. Those are fairly easy to swap out. I have a Brompton on the radar as a tour/travel bike. I currently fly, drive,Amtrak and whatever I hit on the other end, light rail, bus or subway. Brompton is the only bike that can travel easily and quickly via those modes.

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Old 02-24-12, 01:09 AM
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I just went through the decision process. The contenders in my search boiled down to the Tern Link P9 and the BF Pocket Companion. In the end I chose the Tern, but not after chatting via the Tern forums with Tern founder (son of Dahon founder David Hon) and owner of Dahon Global Josh Hon about the issues of spare parts availability and proprietary parts. In a nutshell this is some of what I learned.

First, you can read about the Dahon/Tern split, who owns what, etc, at the Dahon forums in this thread.

As for Tern, the headsets, bottom brackets, crank arms, chain rings (130BCD on the Link P9), cassettes, hubs, brakes, levers, cables, brake pads, rims, spokes, seat, seat post, etc. are all standard parts. The only things proprietary on the Tern bicycles is the joint on the frame (OCL joint) and the joint on the stem (Physis handlepost). Each of these are designed to be fully serviceable with stainless steel parts and user replaceable NorGlide bearings. These bearings, by the way, can be bought from any NorGlide dealer, not just from Tern. Here is one, for example.

The Suntour Neos derailleur used on some models is a folder specific derailleur that I believe is only used by Tern and Dahon. It mounts to the frame. However, I've read on the Tern forums that Tern is in the final stages of designing an adapter so any derailleur can be used. There is already a Dahon adapter out to use a regular derailleur instead of the Neos, but I've not heard if it will work with the Tern bicycles.

Josh also assured forum readers that Tern is focused on customer service. Part of that is stocking spare parts. One way Tern plans to do this is to not have model years. He said Tern is going to update 1/3 of their line-up each year, so the entire line-up will be updated every 3 years. Less variation in models = less variation in parts = more availability of spare parts.

If you have questions about Terns, go to the Tern forums. I've noticed Josh personally answers questions there. I have not had any other founder of a global company personally invested in customer service. Also, when I ordered my bike within a few hours I received a personalized email from Tern's North American director thanking me and offering to personally walk me through details of the bike (folding, unfolding, etc) by phone. I was very impressed by his gesture. Again, I've never had that level of customer service from any company before.

Gearing: there are three options for upgrading the gearing on the Link P9, if one were inclined. 1- replace the chainring with a smaller one (stock is 130BCD 55T), though this would limit the top gearing, so I personally wouldn't do that. 2- add an inner chain ring of perhaps 44T. Stock, the gear range is ~32 to 93 gear inches. A 44T inner ring would be ~25 to 74 gear inches. I'd just change from one ring to the other by hand, when needed. Of course, I'd have to be sure the Neos derailleur could handle the extra chain. Or, 3- add a front derailleur using one of the Dahon adapters. I suppose more exotic options would include adding a dual drive rear hub, a Schlumpf Mountain Drive, wide range IGH, etc.

Last edited by hopperja; 02-24-12 at 01:34 AM.
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Old 02-24-12, 01:14 PM
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Bike Friday Tikit is their folding bike , the travel bikes with 20" wheels,
have a pivot point for the seat mast and rear portion,
for compact packing to get you to the start of, or return from, the trip.

its not made to fold multiple times a day. just is not the purpose.

Tikit like Brompton uses the 349 wheel/tire combination ..

tern is made to be light so aluminum is the preferred material then..

I have needed a repair done to a steel framed bike, the work done by a shop
that welded A/C heating ducts in Stainless steel , not a bike shop.

if an aluminum hinge broke , trip ends right there.

will say, For Longer tours, the chance of finding another 406 tire is better..
but 349 are easy to ship to mail drops.

Last edited by fietsbob; 02-29-12 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 02-26-12, 10:59 AM
  #16  
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I'm looking at the Terns for touring mixed with public transport because they use standard components and have nice gear ranges. Also the light weight is an advantage over many folders that tend to be heavy, but I don't know about durability. The Bromptons fold well, but the 16" tires and limited gear range are strikes against them for touring.
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Old 02-26-12, 12:15 PM
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I am considering the P24H for my wife. I have see-sawed back and forth between BF and the Tern, but when the price is $2k vs $1k I think for the time being I would chance the pricey repairs. I already have a Speed TR but have yet to tour on it.

B
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Old 02-26-12, 12:51 PM
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Hmph.

The Tern Link D24h has a "Neos Triniti 3x8" drivetrain that uses the proprietary Neos 3.0 low profile rear derailleur and the Sturmey-Archer CS-RF3 three-speed hub (rebranded as "Neos").

The Dahon Mu P24 has a "Neos Trinity 3x8" drivetrain that uses a SRAM Dual Drive rear derailleur and Dual Drive three-speed hub.
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Old 02-26-12, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by nun View Post
I'm looking at the Terns for touring mixed with public transport because they use standard components and have nice gear ranges. Also the light weight is an advantage over many folders that tend to be heavy, but I don't know about durability. The Bromptons fold well, but the 16" tires and limited gear range are strikes against them for touring.
I wouldn't say the gear range is that small. Somewhat around 30" on the lowest and about 100" on the highest depending on if you choose normal, lowered or higher gearing. It's just that they have larger steps between the gears.
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Old 02-27-12, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Lao View Post
I wouldn't say the gear range is that small. Somewhat around 30" on the lowest and about 100" on the highest depending on if you choose normal, lowered or higher gearing. It's just that they have larger steps between the gears.
Agreed, 70" isn't bad, but I'd like it a bit lower and would put a smaller chain ring on. I wouldn't mess with the unique rear gear arrangement. The Terns offer a lot more ease of customization and I think will be a lot more fund ride than the Bromptons, but won't fold as small. I haven't ridden either bike, just going by weight, gear range, components and general construction.
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Old 02-28-12, 04:51 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by nun View Post
Agreed, 70" isn't bad, but I'd like it a bit lower and would put a smaller chain ring on. I wouldn't mess with the unique rear gear arrangement. The Terns offer a lot more ease of customization and I think will be a lot more fund ride than the Bromptons, but won't fold as small. I haven't ridden either bike, just going by weight, gear range, components and general construction.
Yes, that's how they do it. 44t on the smallest and over 50t on the largest. I haven't ridden a Tern either so I can't tell which is the better ride. I only pointed out that the gear range on Brompton is quite wide and the lowest possible gear is quite low.
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Old 02-29-12, 07:06 AM
  #22  
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I got the P24 and have it almost outfitted completely for my next tour. I plan to post some pictures soon.
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Old 03-04-12, 08:43 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by getpsimon View Post
I got the P24 and have it almost outfitted completely for my next tour. I plan to post some pictures soon.
What do you think so far?

B
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Old 03-05-12, 10:21 AM
  #24  
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What I think so far is that it's a lot of fun to ride. The gearing is perfect for me to tour with. I haven't conquered any hills yet but I'm ready with this bike. The Andros Stem is very very cool. I can easily change my riding position in a matter of seconds. I've upgraded the pedals with clips and added small bar ends. I'm happy with the purchase and hope it lasts me for a long time.
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Old 02-22-18, 07:43 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by angcoy View Post
The owner of Tern is the son of Dahons owner
And this post is from 2012, so...
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