The Foldie That Terns You On
Much has been talked about for Tern since their initial launch in Taipei earlier in June this year. Since its official launch in Singapore four weeks ago, there has been a steady and encouraging stream of enquiries and purchases alike. We were in luck as we got to be one of the first guys to pick up a Verge P18 for review.
One of the first things you will notice are the similarities it shares with uh, another brand. There are reasons for this, but that’s another story for perhaps another time. Take a closer look however, and you will notice that the build quality and attention to detail is impressive. It is clear to see that much thought has been put in the aspect of design.
Much like their entire branding package, Tern has somewhat reinvented the whole foldie phenomenon of recent years. They have made the foldie of today fun, chic and stylish while not forgetting the performance and functionality of it all. Just in case you have forgotten, their official launch was not so much a bicycle showcase at it was a fashion show, which even my European and North American counterparts thought was bold and were extremely impressed with.
As the name suggests the Verge P18 is an 18-speed machine that takes no effort at all getting off the start line. 20-inch rollers also means that picking up the pace is easy peasy with the 55/44T FSA Vero crankset. I actually touched 42km/h on the flat along Coastal, overtaking a couple of roadies along the way. Of course this also means inertia kicks in once coasting starts; a common trait among 20-inch foldies.
Components on this machine are of solid quality, with a Shimano drivetrain that includes a 9-speed Tiagra rear derailleur. The brakes and wheelset are from Kinetix with Schwalbe Kojak rubbers kissing the pavement, while Biologic keeps the saddle and handle grips in place.
Ride quality is stiff and spot-on without suspensions or dampers, which I find a waste of time that adds to the weight. This makes handling responsive despite the upright gentleman’s-bicycle-position the rider assumes. One addition that I find would be nice is to have the handlebar-height adjustable as well, as it is slightly on the high side for me personally. But a foldie isn’t something you’d get to win races, so in all fairness, an aggressive stance isn’t the most important thing to look at here.
Getting off the saddle to power on, you will realise the stiffness of the handlepost is evident. And sweeping the bike left and right makes, you also notice how the handling isn’t twitchy.
Folding is a breeze and a half that any monkey (or me) could carry out – in lest than ten seconds. This is especially useful should you need to board a bus or train in a hurry. The release clamps are nice and chunky for a good grip yet well designed and pleasing to the eye. The two clamps on the bikes also house a golden catch each that keep the clamps nicely locked down. Each folding joint is also TIG welded, and welded twice to make the joints super solid while observing some smooth welding techniques making them appear almost seamless.
The P18 also comes with luggage and rack mounts, should your speedy rides or daily commutes decide to give way to touring aspirations. As such, it is truly a good option for those looking for versatility.
No expense is spared on the paintwork either and the finishes on the Terns are impeccable. The two-tone paint jobs are hand-masked at the factory to ensure everything is placed as accurately as possible.
All in, the Verge P18 is one zippy bike that is cleverly designed. Build quality is super solid while the sweet ride quality is definitely in the upper class. Folding is extremely easy and at 11.6 kilograms the weight is reasonable. With this review to end the year, I guess the bicycle spirits must have saved the best for last.