Friday, March 20, 2015

Forever young: Tern Verge X18 - First impressions

A folding bike to ride away your sorrows...

Succeeding the Tern Verge X30h folding bike -- is the Verge X-18.
This bike is also a winner of the Taipei Cycle 2015 best Design and Innovation award at the recently-concluded Taipei Cycle Show.
The X-18 is a no-frills design with an 18-speed drivetrain.
It's sleek lines and colour scheme makes it a highly desirable bike -- especially for younger cyclists who wants a bike that can keep up with larger 700cc road bikes.

The Verge X-18 has a pre-GST RM7,800 pricetag
What to expect? 

While the X-18 lacked the high-performance components found on the Verge X-20, it's a formidable machine.
What is apparent, is the award-winning 20" kinetix-X high-profile rims which is a standard feature on Tern's hallmark 20" X-series bikes.
It's also colour-coordinated with the frame which is a metallic-blue and brushed metal finish.
The riding geometry of this mike is more for sports riding position so, better get your lycras rather than slapping on your baggies.
A set of Shimano Sora road bike shifters complements the X-18, giving it the finesse it needs on the road.

Sora shifters

C-brakes that are usually found on road bikes

Brushed-metal finish

This bike appeals to the young
What's cool? And what's not? 

I'd say that the overall pre-GST price package of RM7,800 is at par with the older Verge X-30h, which is not popular at all here in Malaysia.
Take out the dual-drive and slap a set of double chainring and cogwheels on the bike, you get a machine that is easy to maintain.
Colour-wise, it has an appeal for those who want something 'different' from what's available off the shelves.
This bike could rock even harder with better components.
I am not a fan of Shimano Sora and the only component that is befitting on a bike of such class would be the basic Shimano 105s. This is apparent on the Dahon Dash X-20 when it was first introduced in 2011. 
What kinda made my eye pop was the Shimano Capreo hub on the bike's rear wheel.
Seeing as it is, I bet it's hard to maintain a competitive price-point if a better hub is used in place of the Capreo.
But don't get me wrong, this component which is meant for small bikes is as fast as it sounds. The Dahon Curve SL (now discontinued) uses a Shimano Capreo groupset (shifter, cogwheels & hub).

Who should get the X-18?

On my Facebook page, I made fun of the bike as a break-up present. Yeah, it's beautiful and definitely something a guy with mid-life crisis would go for.
Way I see it, the X-18 is a perfect training bike. But, seriously, if you want something that you can transport anywhere without a roof rack, you should consider this bike. And last but not least, it doesn't fold as compact as other Tern bikes because of the VRO steering system and the drop-bar.

Where to get it? 

Head to My Bicycle Shop in BU4, Bandar Utama and call Johnny Ng 
016-632 2599 for an appointment to view the bike. (sorry, no test-rides!).
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