There aren't many 20" folding bikes out there that are meant for the long-haul.
Noteworthy are the Bike Friday New World Tourist, Pocket Llama and Pocket Companion. And lest we forget: the Dahon Speed TR and P8. These are bikes that can be rigged for long excursions.
Despite it's size, the folding bike packs a bite like a desert sidewinder.
Back in 2011, Tern introduced the Link P24h.
This bike has the gear range for many things that spells "long distance".
But, due to "gear slips" and the occasional chain drop, the bike didn't really hit it big time as a touring bike.
Verge platform, above and beyond
Tern is serious about making bikes as an clean source of transport.
Last year at Eurobike, the company launched it's heavy-duty 24" Eclipse S18, dubbed as the "Road Warrior".
Now, similarly, the Verge series of bikes (based on Tern's award-winning frame design) has a new bike that complements the larger Eclipse S18.
The Verge S27h was introduced at Eurobike this year and it turned a lot of heads. It's also designed in collaboration with Velowerks of Switzerland, a custom bike manufacturer founded by Thomas Loech, who is also a technical consultant with Tern.
The Verge S27h spots large wheels and a heavy-duty rim.
It comes complete with a dynamo hub that powers it's stem-mounted Valo headlight (which is also an award-winning design).
This means, you won't have to spend money on lighting as the Joule 3 dynamo hub provides clean power to illuminate your ride in failing light situations.
To make it even more versatile, the bike has a disk brake system, which is the first in the Verge platform.
The adjustable Andros stem allows rides to customise their ride position.
For luggage, there's the Biologic portage and spartan racks.
Just slap-on a set of panniers and you are good to go!
|Tern's latest 20" bike meant for serious long-distance cyclists|
|Folds compact for transportation|
Departing from the older Neos "Trinity-drive" is a refreshing start at building a folding bike for the purpose of touring.
Like the Dahon Speed TR that uses a SRAM Dual Drive II system, the Verge S27h is seen with a click box (A signature component of the SRAM DD) and a single chainring.
I found hardly any faults with the SRAM Dual Drive system (with the Dahon Speed TR and Jetstream EX).
The Verge S27h features a 27-speed drivetrain which enables the cyclist to take on any terrain and with load.
I am pretty sure that this would work on a compact bike offering such a wide gear range.
Good stuff don't come cheap and the Tern Verge S27h comes with a pricetag of 1,669 Euros (close to RM6,900 excluding Duty, Sales Tax and GST).
So, having said that, this bike is certainly meant for those who knows what they want. And I seriously doubt it if we would ever see it in Malaysia due to it's pricing factor.
If I make it to the Taipei Cycle 2015, I am certain that I will get to give it a test-ride.