Author Topic: Tern bicycles  (Read 1009 times)

Panoramix

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Tern bicycles
« on: April 30, 2020, 05:01:00 pm »
Anybody here has used one? Is it good or a BSO?

I think that I will buy a folder, I never really liked the Paris tube and don't feel like going in there post Covid, plus during the strikes I got comfortable with sharing the road with mad Paris drivers!

I find that Brompton prices are getting a bit steep (plus I was used to see them in pounds, in Euros it feels scarier!) for a bike that will be purely utilitarian, so I am looking at alternatives, but don't want to buy a new bike every single year!!!!
Chief cat entertainer.

Karla

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    • Lost Byway - around the world by bike
Re: Tern bicycles
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2020, 05:15:31 pm »
The Mezzo was good but I don't think they're made anymore.  If you can find one secondhand, I believe they use more stock parts than the Brompton so running costs will be lower.

EDIT: Mezzo are now ORI, with the only EU outlet appearing to be here.

Re: Tern bicycles
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2020, 05:39:21 pm »
I'll just put in a mention for my Mu Uno single speed folder (with rear coaster), which has been doing service for six years now, the beauty of not having gears of any sort on a folder is unmistakably  good. The front brake (added for UK market) does get  in the way a bit but is worth having. Tern also used make a version, not sure if either still do, but they would be worth looking out, IMO.

Re: Tern bicycles
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2020, 05:55:38 pm »
I have a Vektron e-bike. I’ve done about 1000 km on it so far. It’s very well thought out and put together. The riding position is excellent - I think some older Terns came in for criticism on that point. Very nice to ride and all the components seem to be good quality, decent hydro disc brakes. Cannot fault it except for one thing: the weight. That wouldn’t apply to a non-electric Tern though.

Socks

  • FFCT rally, France 2012
Re: Tern bicycles
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2020, 07:45:19 pm »
Dahons seem to be basically the same design as Tern.  Wide range of models, good value although they don't fold as small as a Brompton. 

Re: Tern bicycles
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2020, 09:59:01 pm »
Terns grew out of Dahons. I believe that a family member left Dahon to start Tern. They both, but especially Tern, produce some very nice models. I had a workhorse Dahon Vitesse 7-speed for commuting, which I liked a lot. However, it broke near (not at) the hinge, which put me off a little, and I got a Brompton to replace it. I have heard it suggested that it's a weakness in the Dahon/Tern design, but there are loads out there and most give no trouble at all.

Going back to Terns proper, I do have one of these really nice ones, the Verge X18. It's not had the use I hoped, and none at all at present, but the idea was to ride back from London (35+ miles) on nice summer evenings, after carrying it in by train in the morning. It's a really lively, enjoyable ride; makes me grin all the way :thumbsup:


Re: Tern bicycles
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2020, 11:36:25 pm »
However, it broke near (not at) the hinge, which put me off a little, and I got a Brompton to replace it. I have heard it suggested that it's a weakness in the Dahon/Tern design, but there are loads out there and most give no trouble at all.

I can’t recall the details now but I remember reading about this when I was first thinking of getting a Tern. There was problem with frames from a fairly short period of production. I think the period ended about 2015. Tern didn’t deal with the recalls very well, it seems, so it remains pretty near the top when you put Tern into Google. Also, when there is only one tube between the front and the back of the bike, breakages there understandably create a lot of internet noise.

The owner’s manual for current Terns does stress the importance of checking the welds quite heavily.


Re: Tern bicycles
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2020, 03:05:19 am »
As above, mine that broke was a Dahon, from about 2006 I think, so not connected with that. I hadn't come across Tern breakages. Since they are different companies, I wouldn't expect one to affect the other directly, except that it's a common basic design.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Tern bicycles
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2020, 07:52:40 am »
I had a Tern Verge X9 for a short spell a couple of years ago. Bit of an oddity (drop-bar folder) but rides surprisingly well.

As drossall says, they don’t fold up anything like as compact as a Brompton.

Re: Tern bicycles
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2020, 08:31:42 am »
Obviously, when the X18 above is folded, the dropped bars stick out a bit, so it's a somewhat bigger (but lighter!) package even than the average Tern/Dahon. Yes, for a truly compact fold, Bromptons are hard to beat, although more conventional Terns/Dahons aren't bad. On the other hand, I'd suggest that the somewhat larger (20") wheels on most Terns/Dahons give a somewhat better ride - although I quickly got used to my Brompton, and it's fine. It's all a trade-off really. If I didn't want the folding, I'd say go for a full-size bike.

There are various other brands that look like Dahons, because they are; Dahon make bikes for them. Not sure Tern do that.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Tern bicycles
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2020, 09:39:28 am »
Going back to Terns proper, I do have one of these really nice ones, the Verge X18. It's not had the use I hoped, and none at all at present, but the idea was to ride back from London (35+ miles) on nice summer evenings, after carrying it in by train in the morning. It's a really lively, enjoyable ride; makes me grin all the way :thumbsup:

For some reason, I missed this bit of your post when I was on my phone earlier, and the pic... The X18 looks very much like the X9 I had, just with a double chainring (the clue would appear to be in the name).

Definitely agree with you about it being a lively ride!

I also had a loan of an Airnimal Joey with drops and that was a superb bike to ride, but very ugly. If I were buying, I'd probably opt for the Tern for that reason alone. Also, the Airnimal isn't really a folder as such, more a bike that can be packed away relatively compactly for travel.

Absolute favourite folder I've ridden is the Hummingbird but they are eyewateringly expensive.

Panoramix

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Re: Tern bicycles
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2020, 04:27:57 pm »
Thank you all for the feedback...

So the consensus is that they are good enough if I understand you well. The bike shop absolutely wants to sell me a Brompton, so is a bit dismissive of them but I suspect that is because he has to order one in.

I am hesitating between the link A7 (499€) and the link D8(799€), I am not too sure what are the actual differences between the 2. The website says that the D8 is more robust without being more specific.

I'll just put in a mention for my Mu Uno single speed folder (with rear coaster), which has been doing service for six years now, the beauty of not having gears of any sort on a folder is unmistakably  good. The front brake (added for UK market) does get  in the way a bit but is worth having. Tern also used make a version, not sure if either still do, but they would be worth looking out, IMO.

Looks good, there are hard to get hold off here but I could get one online. I have 10k to do twice a week. Do you think that it is good enough? I am used to riding fixed so could handle the single speed as long as the bike "rolls well".
Chief cat entertainer.

robgul

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Re: Tern bicycles
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2020, 05:11:33 pm »
Terns grew out of Dahons. I believe that a family member left Dahon to start Tern. They both, but especially Tern, produce some very nice models. I had a workhorse Dahon Vitesse 7-speed for commuting, which I liked a lot. However, it broke near (not at) the hinge, which put me off a little, and I got a Brompton to replace it. I have heard it suggested that it's a weakness in the Dahon/Tern design, but there are loads out there and most give no trouble at all.

Going back to Terns proper, I do have one of these really nice ones, the Verge X18. It's not had the use I hoped, and none at all at present, but the idea was to ride back from London (35+ miles) on nice summer evenings, after carrying it in by train in the morning. It's a really lively, enjoyable ride; makes me grin all the way :thumbsup:



That's correct - Dr David Hon started the business, his son Josh left and started Tern - with pretty much the same designs etc.   Bickerton in the UK is IIRC just a Tern (I think, perhaps a Dahon) rebadged (Mark Bickerton is the son of the original aluminium framed Bickerton maker from days of yore - and is/was the UK agent for Tern) - lots of other folders (e.g. the Dawes Jack and Ace as well as other well-known brands) are either Dahon or Tern rebadged.

If you're looking for s/h the Dawes Ace or Jack are pretty good and normally at reasonable prices on ebay.

Rob

Re: Tern bicycles
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2020, 05:33:48 pm »
No question about it being suitable for 10k, after 40k on city streets and the road vibration from the size of the wheels starts to get you down (longest ride I think was about 60Km). FTR, I'm between 90-100kg, I put a Brooks on it. The handling is really quite nice, it comes with ergo grips and the steering and castor angle is good. I run it on slicks (Kojak, I think) and the combination of grip and roll is good, too.

Here's what I've learned over the years:
Great benefits from regular checkup and adjustment of all the latching mechanisms.
The safety latch on the main fold lock gets knocked off easy, no real issue as a result.
Despite looking complicated "servicing" (ie greasing) the coaster hub is easy.
A slight notch filed in the seatpost that can be located with a fingernail helps fast adjustment
The seatpost (and your hand you use to find the notch  ^^) will get dirty
The original wheels pinged a large number of spokes for the first few months, then stopped. Duff spokes suspected.
Make sure your repair kit includes an 8mm and 15mm spanner for rear wheel removal, the seatpost (of the dahon, anyhow) incorporates a pump.
Coaster brakes are great in town, except when you find your feet at "12 & 6"...... then you'll be grateful for the front brake!

Here's what it looked like new


Re: Tern bicycles
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2020, 06:21:39 pm »
I've not had a problem with distance. I rode my Dahon in a 100k Audax just for fun. I was as happy as on a full-size bike.

Panoramix

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  • Suus cuique crepitus bene olet
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Re: Tern bicycles
« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2020, 06:51:07 pm »
Thanks Ham, is the cog a standard one so that I can adjust gearing to my taste?

Also can you have normal panniers on a 20'' bike? I use one for my computer (Carradice bureau at the moment) and one for my clothes.
Chief cat entertainer.

Re: Tern bicycles
« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2020, 07:24:43 pm »
Folder and panniers don't really mix, I use a backpack with the folder. I think there is a rack you can get, but it will not be useful size and likely get in the way. The only thing I have on it is a mudguard on the rear a bit like this*. And the cog is standard and can be changed at low cost to one of your choice.

*and it doesn't work very well

Panoramix

  • 50 61 6E 6F 72 61 6D 69 78
  • Suus cuique crepitus bene olet
    • Some routes
Re: Tern bicycles
« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2020, 09:31:22 pm »
Mmmh, that's a bit tricky as I need to carry clothes for a week + laptop + a few files, a rucksack would kill my back!
Chief cat entertainer.

Re: Tern bicycles
« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2020, 10:18:29 pm »
The Dahon Ultimate rack, if you can find one, is a two-level rack that will take at least a medium-size pannier. There's an optional bag that fits between the platforms. That's what I used.

There's also a Tern Cargo rack which is a similar concept.

Re: Tern bicycles
« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2020, 10:45:50 pm »
Mmmh, that's a bit tricky as I need to carry clothes for a week + laptop + a few files, a rucksack would kill my back!

Tern do a pannier that goes flat when empty and doesn’t interfere with the fold (scroll down):

https://www.ternbicycles.com/gear/471/bucketload-pannier

I’m sure others do similar, if you can find the right rack.

Some Terns have a Brompton-style mounting point on the head tube that will allow you to mount a bag or rack on to it.

Panoramix

  • 50 61 6E 6F 72 61 6D 69 78
  • Suus cuique crepitus bene olet
    • Some routes
Re: Tern bicycles
« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2020, 11:00:00 pm »
The Dahon Ultimate rack, if you can find one, is a two-level rack that will take at least a medium-size pannier. There's an optional bag that fits between the platforms. That's what I used.

There's also a Tern Cargo rack which is a similar concept.

Thanks that will do the trick...

Mmmh, that's a bit tricky as I need to carry clothes for a week + laptop + a few files, a rucksack would kill my back!

Tern do a pannier that goes flat when empty and doesn’t interfere with the fold (scroll down):

https://www.ternbicycles.com/gear/471/bucketload-pannier

I’m sure others do similar, if you can find the right rack.

Some Terns have a Brompton-style mounting point on the head tube that will allow you to mount a bag or rack on to it.

I am happy carrying the bags in one hand and the bike in another when getting into the train so I think a rack will work better...
Chief cat entertainer.

Re: Tern bicycles
« Reply #21 on: May 06, 2020, 07:41:33 am »
Mmmh, that's a bit tricky as I need to carry clothes for a week + laptop + a few files, a rucksack would kill my back!

I fitted a Brompton front bag to my Dahon Speed TR.
The Brompton clip, an alloy plate and two exhaust pipe U bolts from QuickFit. It works fine and I've used it for camping kit. I'm slowly working on a front pannier rack to fit on the Brompton clip. I saw one at a Woodstock Brompton rally years ago - Chris somebody? - and made mine to fit my Brompton. Now it needs raising to clear the Dahon wheel.
Imo, small wheeled bikes benefit from a bit of weight over the front wheel, especially going up hill, and 20" wheels ride better than 16".
I've never regretted letting my Brommie go and if I see a Tern with the Alfine II hub and discs at the right price I'd take it.  :)
Never knowingly under caffeinated

Re: Tern bicycles
« Reply #22 on: May 06, 2020, 08:45:22 am »

S2L

Re: Tern bicycles
« Reply #23 on: May 07, 2020, 05:58:45 am »
Brompton prices are steep, but if you look at the second hand market, you can see they hold their value quite well.

Post pandemic, I am going to sell one, as my wife now works from home and she no longer uses hers... an M3L with no paint, only lacquer (the one where you can see the brazed joints, quite a nice colour)

Panoramix

  • 50 61 6E 6F 72 61 6D 69 78
  • Suus cuique crepitus bene olet
    • Some routes
Re: Tern bicycles
« Reply #24 on: May 07, 2020, 08:16:41 am »
Brompton prices are steep, but if you look at the second hand market, you can see they hold their value quite well.

Post pandemic, I am going to sell one, as my wife now works from home and she no longer uses hers... an M3L with no paint, only lacquer (the one where you can see the brazed joints, quite a nice colour)

Dahon and Tern seem to be quite difficult to find here in Rennes (at least by phone during the lockdown!). One of the shops is officially a Tern reseller but doesn't stock them and does not seem interested in getting one.

My usual LBS is telling me that he may have a Brompton second hand... He also has giant bikes. The folding one look suspiciously like a rebadged Tern.

On a slight tangent the government has allowed bike shops to reopen, I think that's because cycling is part of their post lockdown plans, so I will have a look...
Chief cat entertainer.