Tuesday, June 18, 2013

First impressions: Tern Eclipse P9

Our first Tern bikes...

We're moving away from the 20" class in folding bikes should there be any need to get a new one.
My choice was narrowed down to the 24" class and having test-ridden the Tern Eclipse S11i, I'd pretty much made up my mind about my next bike.
And since I ride a lot with Michelle, my wife, we always get two bikes of the same model.
In this case, my pick was the Tern Eclipse P9.
The model designate "P" means "Premium" which indicates that good quality components are used on the bike.
So, the Tern Eclipse P9 is basically a nine-speed ride with some really good stuff thrown-in.

A nice colour scheme..
All the bugs and glitches fixed...

Tern Bicycles is a two-year-old company.
Even at their infancy, they've won the prestigious Eurobike award in their first year for the Eclipse S11i.
When the bikes rolled out, there were some issues with the physis handle lock pin.
They quickly fixed the matter and won an award for their physis 3D handle at the Taipei Bike show in March this year.
That said, we were ready to acquire our first Tern bicycles.

A bike for Mrs Samo

The Eclipse P9
My choice had been narrowed down to the Eclipse P9 bike.
It's a basic 24" ride with a 9-speed drivetrain.
So, practically, it would be able to do a lot of moving around including leisure rides around the countryside.
The built quality on this bike is amazing. 
I particularly love the clean lines and aerodynamic shape of its frame.

Good stuff in an affordable package..

At least one sample bike had made it to Malaysia when the Tern bikes were launched in late 2011.
As for the Eclipse, I don't think that any follow-up was made for orders as there were few demands for it.
The faster moving bikes were the Link C7s, D8 and P9.
Even the better bikes like the Verge P18, X10 and X20 were "slower" in comparison.
Speaking of the Eclipse P9, it would draw a pricetag between RM2.9K - RM3.2K here in Malaysia. That's mark-up, tax and freight charges thrown-in.

The Andros stem
Simple as it seems, the Eclipse P9 has a few surprises on its own.
The physis 3D and Andros stem is one of the most stable steering system around.
Although its rather heavy, you can adjust the stem to your preferred riding style 
And since the stem is a solid single piece, you won't find it flimsy and squeaky during a ride.
It came with a 9-speed drivetrain, with 11-32T cogwheels and a 50T chainring. This is enough to propel the bike to yield any riding situation.
Another interesting feature on this bike are the Promax mechanical disk brakes.
Its simple to operate and has enough stopping power to slow the bike down on downhill descends.

The Promax disk brakes
What I found most appealing in the package were the Schwalbe Kojak  24" x 1.50 tires.
These are regarded as the best in its class for less rolling resistance and basic puncture protection.

The Schwalbe Kojak Tires
Some minor tweaks...

To get the most out of it, the 9-speed drivetrain on this bike should be tuned before you decide to take it for a ride. 
Make sure that the rear derailleur tension is correct so that there are no chain-slips.
I didn't quite like the Suntour "soap bar" folding pedals, although its a way lot tougher compared to the Wellgo folding pedals that tend to break.
So, I've replaced it with a pair of MKS EZY Promenade quick release pedals.
Another part that will have to go is the saddle.
Right now, my choice would be the Selle Royal Ergogel saddles and the right one would be a piece for female cyclists.

A bike with plenty of potential...

The Eclipse P9 is one smooth ride and it also folds compact.
You can use it for your daily commute and leisure rides and if you are a strong rider, the bike can be rigged for touring (Tern has a lot of accessories such as luggage racks that can be added onto the bike) and bikepacking.
And for the future of this model, I heard that some extensive work is being carried out to improvise the bike. So, its no surprise if Tern Bicycles would make an exciting announcement at the Eurobike 2013 show this coming August.. 
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