Tuesday, July 16, 2013

First impressions: Tern Link D7i

Something decent from Tern Bicycles..

Tern's Link D7i

K2 Asia's product guy Kevin Fong delivered the Tern Link D7i to my office a couple of weeks ago.
I haven't got the time to test this bike until recently and I must say that I am very pleased with its quality, built and finish.

An all-inclusive bike

Unlike the bike I saw on Tern's on-line catalog, the D7i came as a full-spec bike with all the bells and whistles thrown in.
Most impressive, are the Biologic Joule II dynamo hub which is used to power up a Spanniga head lamp which is neatly mounted on the bike's front fork.
The Joule can also be rigged to charge a Reecharge power pack, but you will need a separate set of accessories to do so.

The LD7i also came with a tail light fitted with two batteries, which means that you don't have to waste time and money shopping for lighting gear for your bike.
The value for money part on the LD7i, is the trolley rack.
I've seen the pictures, but having felt it for the first time, I must say that the design of the rack and its concealable bicycle bag was truly innovative.
This puts Tern Bicycles as one of the leading edge manufacturers of bikes that are meant for city commuting.

The trolley rack and bike bag which is nicely integrated
A really smooth ride..

After rigging up the new bike, I took it for a short 3km spin around my neighbourhood.
The Shimano Nexus 7 drivetrain on the LD7i was smooth.
Compared to the Alfine 11 internal gear hub, the Nexus does lag a bit in terms of transition from high to low gear.
You need to crank it up to one and a-half revolution before the next gear kicks in.
No issues if you are used to IHG transmission, but if you are not, it will take a little getting used to. I will get down to this on a full review of the bike later.
The Schwalbe Citizen tires lends a bit of class to the bike's overall appearance although I would prefer the much proven Big Apple 2.0 tires.

Good things don't come cheap..

Throw in the lights, dynamo hub and trolley rack, the LD7i commands a price of RM2.99K a pop.
Is it really worth it?
I would say "yes" in terms of all the good stuff that are fitted on the bike.
I don't quite like the saddle and "soap bar" folding pedals, but this can be easily upgraded.
Way I see it, if you want a bike that can be used for commute and even short bikepacking rides around the country, the LD7i would be it.
From the height of the rack shown, it can be rigged with a small pannier and a nice trunk bag.
The LD7i is priced higher than the sleeker LP9, (about RM199 more)  but with the quality, fit finish and all the accessories thrown-in, I would say that you don't need to think twice...
Tern's Link D7i is available through Rodalink bike stores in the Klang Valley and K2 Asia's appointed dealers throughout Malaysia..


Ramzi Abdullah said...

Hi Sam,

I read your review of the Tern Link D7i.

I am actually based in London now and thinking of buying a folding bike for my 3km 1-way commute to work and can carry up the stairs to my flat. Then bring back to Malaysia so that maybe I can join a Folding Bike Club for short rides.

Being 175 cm tall and 103 kg, I am confused on what is a suitable folding bike for me?

They say Brompton is the best, but with 16 inch wheels I feel that I would look like a Circus Bear on the Small Bike?

That's why this Link D7i looks very interesting, 20 inch tyres for better roll, internal gear hub (senang to maintain) and definitely murah vs a Brompton (by nearly £ 400).

Appreciate any feedback from your side, as long term view is to buy then bawak balik Malaysia for any folding bike group rides (amazing that I saw on YouTube people riding up Frasers Hill on folding bikes)

Thanking you in advance.


samo said...

Good day Ramzi,

Thank you for leaving a comment on my post. Sadly the Tern Link D7i has been discontinued many years ago.

Based on the description of your weight and height, may I suggest the Link B7 which is on the company's current line-up. Most taller and heavier riders would consider a 24" bike which Tern has also discontinued from their line of folding bikes.

Bromptons are cool folding bikes, but are also pricey. There are many former loyal subjects to the Queen here in Malaysia who are die-hard fans of the brand.

Another 20" bike that you can consider is Bike Friday from the US. Very expensive, but their built and finish are legendary.

If you have any questions, I can be reached at: samcheong@gmail.com

Have a nice day!