I have been vacillating on this for over a year – sell the roadie and get the foldie. So finally got down to it and got myself a Tern Link P9. I was actually looking for one that was cheaper and had made enquiries about the Link C7; its less than half the price of the Link P9 but the good folks at Chapter 2 in Ang Mo Kio let me test ride both. The Link C7 had just been sold out and they had a new delivery and the guy assembled one fresh out of the box. These bikes must be selling like hot cakes since their launch a month or more ago in Singapore. Anyway, after riding both foldies, the feel of the Link P9 was much better (of course if it costs twice as much!); after riding my Giant road bike, the Link P9 was a better compromise in terms of road handling. I was quite surprised at how well a foldie rode; I can imagine the higher end foldies.
Tern is actually an offshoot… or more like a shoot off from Dahon. More about the this story here in wired.com and here in bikeradar.com. I tried the Dahon bikes and actually they are almost alike but the Tern bikes are prettier and the folding mechanism appealed to me as well.
I took the foldie for a few rides already and so far I am quite happy about it. It definitely doesn’t have the speed and silkiness of the road bike but still there is something I like about the foldie that is hard to define just yet. When on a road bike, there is hesitation in getting off it and such so most of the time cycling becomes about speed and riding and exercising and such (not that I don’t enjoy these). But, with the foldie, its more about the journey, a slower pace and stopping to check things out, have a coffee… very Zendog. Anyway, I am glad I got the foldie; now I wonder if I can use it in a duathlon or mini-triathlon?
More about the ride on the Link P9. For someone who has been riding the road bike to work and some local road races, the feel of the P9 doesn’t disappoint, it feels responsive and with the pretty decent doublewall wheel set and 9 speed SRAM which seems “sufficient” right now, the ride feels very smooth and it can go quite fast. AND it has a kickstand! All the parts of the Link P9 seem to have been well thought through from the allan keys tucked into the right handle bar to the locking and folding mechanism.
More descriptions about Tern bikes here in “The Samosarus Chronicles” who reviewed three tern bikes enthusiastically.
Well, I am looking forward to more exploratory rides, especially along the Park connectors. I will miss the roadie but not the roads.