Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A bag that gets better with age: Tern Carry-on Cover V2.0

You can only expect the best..

I bought my first carry-on cover five years ago.
The purpose of having such a cover, is to use it for bikepacking on trains and public transport.
Since then, my carry-on cover has made it across Peninsular Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.
Basically, it's a very simple contraption. 
You strap the frame and wheels together and place the cover over your folded bike.
A sling strap helps to give leverage for you to lug your bike.
This, of course, is not something that you will lug for a long distance if your bike weighs about 15kgs.

An earlier carry-on cover that mounts as a saddle bag
Courtesy, courtesy, courtesy..

Nowadays, there are a lot of multimodal commuting gurus on folding bikes offering sound advice on whether a cyclist should bag their bikes or not.
Obviously, if you can cart your bike on a roller rack while it's folded, bagging is considered a non-essential matter.
An exposed folded bicycle can be intimidating to some train passengers.
If you bag it, nobody will question it. But again, its a matter of courtesy. You get back what you give.

A neat package

Tern had redesigned the carry-on cover and the casing that comes with it actually folds up into a neat pack. 
Rather than having it strapped onto your bike's saddle, you can stash it into your messenger bag, or lash it onto your seatpost.
A pair of velcro straps helps it to be tucked away as if it's not there at all.

The carry-on cover's new case
Same functionality..

Once you've strapped-in the bike securely when folded, the cover wraps up the bike completely and you are good to go.
If you have a Tern folding bike that is roughly below 9kgs (I am talking about the X-series 20-inch bikes), the carry-on cover can be lugged for some distance before you go completely wasted on energy.
Again, its only a cover and bagging the bike is temporary.
There's little protection provided on your bike's frame and components because the cover is a really thin layer of nylon.

The sleeker-looking bag that comes with the cover

A hook and catch replaces the velcro strap

How the cover looks like in perspective
So, what goes into the carry-on cover?

This product is compatible with Tern's 20" and 24" folding bikes.
I had one for my Eclipse X20 and Eclipse S18, both were used and carried on trains and public transport.
Despite the fact that it's compact when packaged, the cover actually wraps over a 24" bike with enough material to cover the entire bike..
Even with racks and all the bells and whistle, the carry-on cover that I had actually swallowed my Eclipse S18i like a hungry python.
The carry-on cover is also pretty durable, and if you want to use it long-term, just make sure that there are no protruding sharp edges when you slip on the cover.

Price and availability...

The Tern Carry-on cover retails at USD$45 on premiumbikegear.com which is roughly about RM160.80 excluding duty, sales tax and GST.
I don't think it's available here in Malaysia as yet, but then again, I could be wrong.
You can check out the carry-on cover's specs on Tern's website
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