Tern bikes

Discussion in 'Folding Bikes' started by itchybeard, 1 Mar 2018.

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  1. itchybeard

    itchybeard Well-Known Member

    Location:
    North Lancashire
    Tern P9
    Anyone feel this is an Ok folding bike. Due to purchase a second hand bike.
     
  2. Cycleops

    Cycleops Guru

    Location:
    Accra, Ghana
    Tern is quite well regarded. What model is it and how much?
     
  3. chriswoody

    chriswoody Veteran

    Location:
    Germany
    I've owned a Tern Link Uno for the last 2 and a bit years. Its a fantastic bike, I commute everyday on it and it's our go to bike for a quick nip to the shops and so forth. It's been ultra reliable no matter the weather and gets ridden in all conditions.

    The ride itself is really nice and surprisingly was noticeably stiffer than the Dahon I owned previously. The fold is easy to do and quick once you get used to it. Obviously not as small as a Brompton, but plenty small enough to fit into the boot of a VW Polo if you need it to!. I regularly carry mine up and down the stairs to the train platforms with no problems, it's quite easy to carry unfolded. The magnets that are supplied, are bugger all use at keeping it together when folded though.

    The finish of the bike has stood up really well to the last couple of years abuse as well and there are very few chips and marks on the frame. Standard kit supplied is a mix of high quality, like SKS guards and no name components like the chainset. The P9 appears to be a Verge, which is a step up again in quality from my Link and should be a lovely bike.

    One big warning with a secondhand bike is to check it's not one of the frames caught up in the recall a few years back. Both Links and Verge's manufactured in one factory, suffered from broken frames. After I purchased mine, I checked the frame number and found that it was within the range that was possibly part of the recall. I contacted Tern and they replied in days to reassure me that mine was not affected. I was happy to believe them at the time and two years and thousands of miles later there's been no issues.

    Another issue is the weight limit. I am a relatively light, at about 65 kg. I have a colleague at work who is tall and stocky and weighs about 90 kilos. Fully dressed and carrying his work bag he exceeds the weight limit for his Tern Link D7. Just recently he's been having problems with the hinge pin and needed it replacing. We can't say for certainty that this was a weight issue, but it's worth keeping in mind.
     
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  4. doginabag

    doginabag Well-Known Member

    I had a P9 for a couple of years, from new.

    Was a nice ride and fold was quick and easy, but was let down by poor quality fixings imo. The frame hinge bolt sheared after 6 months which couldn't be removed without damage to the frame, so a new frame was needed. Later one of the pedals sheared and took a lot of arguing to get Tern to replace it. All other general fixings suffered from corrosion despite being (allegedly) stainless steel. I suspect they are either a low grade stainless or plated mild steel fixings. I also had the bearings fail in the front axel by about 18 months.

    So I would say if you are happy with the fold, then the frame and components are good enough, but the fixings that hold the lot together let it down. If I were to get another I would consider replacing all screws/bolts etc.

    I paid ~£600 for mine and sold it two years later for £120 so not great resale value. But if you are looking to buy second hand that will work in your favour. Would definitely suggest viewing any bike first rather than buying blind.
     
  5. Army of One

    Army of One Member

    Location:
    Crawley
    Hi.....new to the forum. I use a Tern P9 for commuting as it is allowed on trains folded. I have had it just under 4yrs. It was not part of the recall. Last week it snapped, the weld around the hinge joint failing. I bought this cycle because Evans told me I would be fine with it. I voiced concerns over any weight limit and was reassured I would be fine. I am 195cm tall and 118kg. Can't actually post a picture at the moment....
     
  6. Do you know that your weight is responsible for the failure? I'm a similar weight and have never broken anything on a bike as a result.
     
  7. Kell

    Kell Senior Member

    I've had two Dahon's snap on me. Both full-size Matrix - one with the hinge and one with the lock jaw.

    Do you have any documents that say you'd be fine from Evans? I only found out after mine snapped that the rider limit was 95kg. I was (and still am) pretty much bang on that limit, but add a bag etc and would go over it.
     
  8. Army of One

    Army of One Member

    Location:
    Crawley
    I only bought it as assured by staff I was ok. I was up front with them from the start.....appears they weren't with me....
     
  9. Army of One

    Army of One Member

    Location:
    Crawley
    Sadly no. Just what 3 different members of staff said to me when I was umming n aarghing about buying one. Treated well as not up n down kerbs, avoided where possible potholes n bumps....
     
  10. PaulM

    PaulM Veteran

    Location:
    Portsmouth, UK
    Well, they were wrong to tell you that and you were foolish to believe them. I currently have a Tern Link D8 and a Raleigh Boardwalk (rebadged Dahon). The Tern does look and feel over-engineered. However the Boardwalk uses a re-bar to provide supportt across the main frame hinge. Dahon have stopped using this design.
     
  11. Army of One

    Army of One Member

    Location:
    Crawley
    I thought I had been thorough by asking numerous staff....i didn't check any site for weight limits as took the staffs word....i was more happy getting a Tern Joe full size folder but was steered towards the P9....
     
  12. PaulM

    PaulM Veteran

    Location:
    Portsmouth, UK
    Glad you weren't hurt anyway. Scary stuff. The Montague folding bikes might better suit someone of your physique.
     
  13. Kell

    Kell Senior Member

    I think it's harsh to say 'foolish'

    I was possibly foolish as weight limits didn't even occur to me, but I'd argue that @Army of One in this case did as much due diligence as is reasonable.

    Back on topic, have you found anywhere that would suggest that there is an actual weight limit? I can't remember where I found out about mine, but the guys at Evans certainly never warned me - and were awful when it came to dealing with it. I ended up junking both bikes and haven't used Evans in four years.
     
  14. doginabag

    doginabag Well-Known Member

    The advice you get from Evans will likely vary from store to store and employee to employee. Not every member of staff is going to be a bike nut and even less likely to have any real interest in folding bikes.

    When I was looking at a Tern the Evans guy I spoke to at one store told me that terns aren't really made for folding! Occasional folding was ok apparently but if you are doing it more than a couple of time a week, ie commuting then you have to get a Brompton. Obviously I took that advice with a hefty pinch of salt, but the days of going into any specialist store and expecting all the staff to be experts themselves is long gone, save for some smaller independents imo.
     
  15. Cycleops

    Cycleops Guru

    Location:
    Accra, Ghana
    That last sentence is the most telling. Product knowledge at places like Evans and to a greater extent Halfords is poor due to inadequate staff training and high staff turnover. Of course you're not to know this.
    I'd always choose a place like this;
    https://fudgescyclesonline.com
    Specialists in folders.
     
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