Saturday, November 19, 2011

Top Three Bikes at the Tern Tea Party

Best of the best..
There's no doubt that Tern Bikes are going to take on the mid-range and high-end market for folding bikes here in Malaysia.
They may be a bit pricey, but if you take a closer look at the quality, fit and finish, you will appreciate the overall built and components used on the bikes.
Even on the mid-range bikes, I can see the tremendous improvements.


Samo's top 3 bikes
I am rating this in terms of price and quality.
Now, being Malaysians, we often associate expensive bikes with performance.
That's not always the case. 
Why? Some dumbass traders out there took advantage of the folding bike hype with rediculous pricing.
Way I look at it, what you pay is what you get.
In the case of Tern Bikes, I must say that they are easily 20% pricier than the Dahons.
But if you want reliability and put your life on it, I'd say that the Terns are the way to go. 
Upon close scrutiny and examination, I narrowed down three bikes that I would deem as 'Best Buys'.
Now, I didn't ride them. The K2 guys are too fucking stingy to loan one. If I want to do a full-review, I might as well purchase all three of them, but I don't mint money. I am not Bruce Wayne.


Speed reborn: The Tern Link P9
Tern Link P9
Everything that I had wanted on a Speed P8 - all the improvements - you will find it on the Tern Link P9.
This bike has an improved handlebar stem, a single piece and with no moving parts, the ride would be smoother. Not twitchy.
The standard 8-speed cassette you find on a Dahon Speed P8 is non-existant on the Link P9. This is a 9-speed bike, capable of taking on any short, medium and long-distance commute.
Pricing at RM2.8K is a tad too steep. But if you factor in the quality you are getting, I'd say spending a wee bit more will give you years of fun riding the Link.
On the Samo-scale, the Link P9 scores 8 out of 10



Verge P18 
While some of the Verges were basking in its full-glory, one bike was set on the side, seemingly neglected.
It was overshadowed by the Verge X30h, X20 and X10.
Some of the guests at the Tern Tea Party didn't even bother taking a look at this poor little bike.
Here's my take: With an 18-speed drivetrain and at a price of RM3.8K, it would say that this is the most affordable day-to-day commuting folding bike from the Verge platform.
And you can expect this bike to perform.
BUT - I don't like the handlebar as it is now at a fixed length. If any modifications were made, I'd love to see a black Andros stem on it.
The double chainring and 9-speed transmission will see to it that you are able to tackle any undulating terrain.
I'd say that the Verge P18 is one bike that remains underrated, and if you seek performance at the budget, this IS the one for you.
This bike rates at 7.5 out of 10 on the Samo-scale!


Eclipse S11i
Few 24" folding bikes out there actually tickled my fancy.
I must say that the Eurobike 2011 award-winning design from Tern is a head-terner at the Malaysia launch.
This bike has an internal hub gear, which is basically maintenance free. The biologic freedrive chain cover adds class to it and at the same time, keeps it practical to ride in any conditions.
A pair of mechanical disk brakes - now, this yields plenty of stopping power.
I love the colour scheme, which gave it a vintage touch on this classy bike.
The thing that I appreciate the most on the Eclipse S11i, is the Andros stem and the built-in Valo light.
Its powered by a hub dynamo and you can disengage it to give the hubs a smoother glide.
With a pair of Schwalbe Big Apple 'balloon' tires, you can virtually go anywhere with it.
I don't see fuss in other foldie riders who condemned the Big Apple. 
Basically, they reeked and smelled like retards when they go touring with a thin set of tires.
Pricing at RM7.8K, I would say that only the ones that know what they want would appreciate the Eclipse S11i. In short, this is not your average everyday bike.
On the Samo-scale, I would rate it at a perfect 10

Conclusion
I think Tern Bikes has addressed the need for a 'transportation machine' at every level. You can get an affordable bike at RM1.4K with the Link C7 (I think Senor El Cheapo would agree), mid-range performance bikes for the everyday Joe like you and me and of course, high-performance foldies for the discerning cyclist (as well as some ass-clowns who collects them). So, before you slam-dunk the K2 guys for their absurd pricing, think of the quality you are getting. Don't be so quick to judge a product by reading one-sided reviews on the net (like mine.. hahahah!) and listening to some jackass mechanic and salesman from a rival bike store. Head out to the dealer and see for yourself.
And lastly, don't waste your precious time on talking about getting a good bike, but ending up with nothing...
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