Opinions on this instead of a Brompton…?

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  • Opinions on this instead of a Brompton…?
  • loddrik
    Member

    Am just about to pick up a Brompton when I noticed this. I don’t need a tiny fold as I don’t use London trains and I’m guessing it’d ride nicer than a Brompton and it’s around 8lbs lighter. The bike will be my main bike, in daily use for around 10-20ml rides.

    Am I still better off going with the Brompton (S6L)?


    Defender
    Member

    Tern are a newish manufacturer, a breakaway from Dahon, the worlds largest manufacturer of folding bikes.
    The Brompton is brillaint at folding into a very neat package, the Tern should be a good ride thanks to it’s larger wheels, but it lacks the spring in the middle of the Brompton.
    I’d try both for fit and ride and then make the decission.

    shermer75
    Member

    It gets a great review here. I’d say its worth a punt!

    shermer75
    Member

    Are you sure about the weight difference though? It weighs about the same as my Brompton (S2)

    Gotama
    Member

    I’ve got a very basic tern, the equivalent of that dahon you had. It is good but the clamps needs constant adjustment to keep it tight. It’s a strange system whereby you screw a connected bar to increase the tension in the clamp. There is loctite on there but it doesn’t seem to do a lot and if i’m honest i have been slack in getting some more to douse the tension bars in. You also have to grease the contact points up a bit otherwise they creak when you ride. Based on the brompton i hired and the tern i own, the brompton clamp system is far better but the tern is a much better ride, clamp foibles aside. Like you i don’t need a super small fold as its just to go in the back of the car.

    Oh and whilst i’m moaning, the fold system is a bit daft as the bike is held in two by a poxy little magnet system which is on front and rear wheels. Fine if you pick it up by the side that swings open as you can sort of brace it against your leg but if you grab it the other way round it has a tendency to swing open. I think people that use them on trains etc just carry a short bungee which is abit of a bodge.

    If you’re still looking at tern and don’t need a small fold then they do one which is a slightly bigger wheel again, the eclipse X20 from memory which might be worth a look.

    Also, if it is a concern i would imagine the residual on the brommie will be far better.

    Premier Icon bruneep
    Subscriber

    Why don’t you use the overview tab? Then you can view bike and chat on same page?

    The bike will be my main bike, in daily use for around 10-20ml rides.

    As is often repeated here, but still very valid;

    Folding bike = Brompton
    Folding bike = Airnimal

    That Tern looks OK, but if you’re tooling around town on a folder, and doing that sort of distances, mudguards are your friend, so get some fitted! I’d also be a little wary of the strength of those wheels. Ickle wheels take a beating from the (not exactly paved with gold) streets of That London.

    I have a Brompton S6L, but if you want a bike as a main bike i’d deffo get the Tern. In fact, buy it before i do (if you’re looking at the cheap Evans one?)

    Yes the hinges need tightening, but the Brompton feels more flexy, the hub gear is quite draggy, and the shifting system isn’t great (its like an mtb with a shifter for both 3 chainrings, and 2 cogs on the cassette).

    I had similar wheels on a Dahon Speed Pro, they were fine in London.

    eyerideit
    Member

    Airnimals are meant to ride better than Brompton and Moulton even better.

    ^^^^That tern looks nicer than a Brompton as well.

    birdage
    Member

    It’s not everyones cup of tea but I’ve had an Airnimal Joey for a few years and will never get rid of it. It’s been on fully-loaded tours and daily commutes.Yes it doesn’t fold as small as a Brompton but that is the only negative. Slightly slower fold is more than compensated by the riding experience as you overtake that Brommie commuter who got off the platform before you.

    Goes off-road too with exotic carbon forks and plenty of tyre clearance.

    cynic-al
    Member

    What’s the situation with spares? IIRC pivots etc wear more quickly than Bromptons?

    drofluf
    Member

    If you need to take it on a train you may need to check on the wheel size and the train operators rules.

    When I last did it South West Trains didn’t allow wheels bigger than a Bromptoms – don’t know how enforced it was as I got away with it the few times I tried

    loddrik
    Member

    I really want the Tern, but I think I’m going to play it safe and go with the brompton due to resale values & build quality etc.

    markenduro
    Member

    Get the L with mudguards if you go for the Brompton, amazing how much shite the small wheels throw up without them.

    bikebouy
    Member

    Pointless thread really. There are now so many foldies out there that are way above the build quality and spec than a Brommie to make you wonder quite why people even consider old guard Brommies. I suspect your choice is based around a Brand Name/Image than if the bike rides in a straight line without bending 30 deg at the rear each time you stomp on the peddles…

    cynic-al
    Member

    Why a hater bikebuoy?

    It’s indisputable that Brompton folds smallest and most quickly, and if you are looking for performance, well, that’s a bit silly, isn’t it?

    TooTall
    Member

    Do you have some really limiting factor in life if that’s to be your main bike for 10-20 miles a day? Not what I’d pick unless I lived in a cupboard on a narrowboat with a grumpy landlord with a complex about shared space.

    voodoo_chile
    Member

    Why a folding bike if you aren’t going to fold it down

    loddrik
    Member

    Not got bike storage at home except for loft which is where the mtb lives. But too much of a pain to stick a bike up there every day and the wife is fed of bikes in the hall/kitchen/dining room so need a folder so it can live in kitchen without irking the wife. Plus I need a folder so I can take it in shops/supermarkets etc.
    also needs to be able to stick in works vehicle from time to time so needs to be a folder for sure.

    I do like the Tern and loved riding the Dahon Mu Uno I had for a bit. Bromton resale values must be good for a reason though…

    Premier Icon piedi di formaggio
    Subscriber

    The bike will be my main bike, in daily use for around 10-20ml rides.

    You’ll really be wanting mudguards then – can you fir them on the Tern?

    loddrik
    Member

    Yup, SKS make the Tern ones.

    badgerbater
    Member

    If you want a folder that rides better than a Brompton have you tried a Birdy?
    Tried them both back to back and preferred the Birdy for it’s more positive handling.

    See if you can get a go on a Birdy. I Have a brompton but, if I had the sort of use you’re talking about, I’d have a Birdy. Good fun and rode really well though they’re not cheap

    loddrik
    Member

    Birdy over budget. Gonna be getting it tomorrow sky is gonna have to be one of the above.

    bent udder
    Member

    Looks a good ‘un. I have a Brompton S2. It was an S3 – managed to break a total of three pawls in the Sturmey Archer hub over about 3,600 – 4,000 miles. I use South West Trains and do about 14 miles a day, five days a week. A bunch of us get off at the same stop to avoid carrying the bikes through barriers. Most have Bromptons, and the rest are Terns or Dahons. The Bromptons are always ready to go first – quicker fold.

    One of the guys rides a shorter distance in central London (about 6-7 miles a day) on the Dahon lookie-likey to that Tern, and it’s a good bike. *However* – he is on his second bike in two years.
    I’d suggest mudguards, and a test ride. If the folded size or speed of fold isn’t an issue, then the Tern is probably worthwhile.

    Premier Icon Bez
    Subscriber

    I always found my Dahon folded noticeably quicker than the Brompton. Not as compact, but quicker to fold and unfold. The Brompton rode a little better, but they’re all a pretty awful shape when you’re 6’5″. YMMV.

    cynic-al
    Member

    Plus I need a folder so I can take it in shops/supermarkets etc.

    You’re going to carry it around a supermarket?

    Do you know what it’s like to carry even a Brompton?

    Premier Icon wiggles
    Subscriber

    Use a trolley…

    loddrik
    Member

    For clarification purposes…

    Ride to supermarket

    Stick bike in trolley

    Buy whatever I went in for

    Ride home again.

    loddrik
    Member

    Still can’t decide. I guess I’ll have to know by the morning one way or another…

    Not sure you’ll fit the Tern in a supermarket trolley all that easily. Even a brompton takes up a surprising amount of space in one. If you ever have to move it while folded then get the Brompton. I have one, and it’s ok for what it is. My girlfriend has a Dahon and the ride is no better, but the fold is a pain, and even getting it in and out the door while folded is a pain as it constantly unfolds, and all sorts of bits stick out just far enough to catch on you or bump into things. The brompton is a far neater package when folded.

    Yeah you wouldn’t get the Tern in a trolley, not with shopping as well.

    This is how much space the Brompton takes up…

    Dahon…

    shermer75
    Member

    I’ve put my Brompton in the space beneath the basket on a shopping trolley before, that worked

    loddrik
    Member

    Just saw on the tern website that the Verge ‘X’ models won’t take mudguards. Defo gonna be the brompton now.

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    Pointless thread really. There are now so many foldies out there that are way above the build quality and spec than a Brommie to make you wonder quite why people even consider old guard Brommies. I suspect your choice is based around a Brand Name/Image than if the bike rides in a straight line without bending 30 deg at the rear each time you stomp on the peddles…

    Agreed. I can’t understand why people buy Bromptoms apart from their folded size. Having ridden one back to back with a Dahon they’re harsh, twitchy and flexy in comparison all at the same time. I’ve ridden quite a few folders and Bromptons are easily the worst IMO.
    Oh, it’s also worth checking out what happens when the main fold pivot on a Bromptons wears. It has a Brompton-specific bush which must be milled (not knocked) out with a special tool that only Bromptons dealers can buy. (I know, I rang them about it) To get a dealer to do it, it’s around £150-£180 job, so I’m led to believe. You can drill the bush out by hand, but get it wrong and it’s bye-bye frame.
    Just be aware of that, OK?

    Herman Shake
    Member

    10-20ml rides

    You should drink more pal 😉

    Terns are an affordable way to pass the folding bike rule for commuters but they’re bulky, awkward to carry and not finished to the same standards as the Brompton. If you just have to handle it on the platform then they’re not bad but it sounds like you’d be folding the thing more often.

    Moulton’s are iconic (broke a record donchaknow) but they don’t seem to shrink down so well.

    So, flat bar single speed ti seatpost yeah?

    T1000
    Member

    I’ve used a combination of folders over the past 16yrs for my regular commutes (dahon, brompton & birdy)

    never had a hinge problem on a brompton, I’ve had a Dahon that it was impossible to get original forks replaced (failed after 18months) the alternative was £300…..

    Both the Birdy and Dahons were the best to ride however the Birdy is stupidly expensive (only significant fault)and the Dahons were poorly built and had folding mechanisms that must have been designed as part of a school project

    bikebouy
    Member

    I’m no haterz of the Brommie, don’t get confused with Form and Function and Brand and Image.
    I just think that the Brommie is trading on it’s name and has been looking to the past for probably 8 years or so since new foldies (and better constructed/kitted out foldies) have apeared on the market.
    I liken the Brommie image to that of the Jag X Type. Sort of cobbled together when there wasn’t much around, fitted with crap second rate parts out of a bucket from manufacturers who couldn’t shift the parts (then badged as genuine Brommie) trading on an aged Image because thats the type of person they could only appeal to and lets face it back then there were few foldies on the market. You can harp on about it’s folding mechanism until all the oil runs out, how fast it is, neat it is, but who actually times themselves unfolding/folding as they step out of the train? Who? It’s an old argument lost in the noise of rattling and squeeking back ends and brakes that barely work to the point of a shrill and shudder.
    Now, well we have a vast array of upto date, clean, functional, light, impressively well built, convertable (racks, bars, groupsets etc.) for what ever type of riding you may do now or in the future.
    I would be happy to see a new Brommie on the market, they can keep the design and ethos of the folding mechanism, but make it stronger, put decent quality parts on it and not charge anymore for it than they do now and I too would take another look at them, as is I see them as an antique a bit like an Aga Iron, nice to look at, was once pretty essential, but now best for propping up swinging doors.

    As ever the best way to assess any bike is to ride one back to back with another type.

    Old skool ain’t always cool, often just old.

    Premier Icon piedi di formaggio
    Subscriber

    I would be happy to see a new Brommie on the market, they can keep the design and ethos of the folding mechanism, but make it stronger, put decent quality parts on it and not charge anymore for it than they do now and I too would take another look at them

    Best you go take a look at them as that is exactly what has happened. I’m on a latest model Brompton now and it’s way better than my old one that I’ve had for 6/7 years. The old one is still functional, but has reached the stage were it needs a lot more love and attention than I’m prepared to give it as I use it daily for commuting duties.

    The improvements are many, some small, some not so small, but the overall result is a much sharper, less flexy, more responsive and very sharply braking bike. Oh and the fold is still the best

    loddrik
    Member

    Ok, decision made. I went for the Tern.

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