Tern Verge X20—A Folding Bike for Racing?

Tern Verge X20—A Folding Bike for Racing?

Looks and performance are key words when describing the Tern Verge X20.

Looks and performance are key words when describing the Tern Verge X20.

I sure have no need for a racing bike, but this Tern speedster is now one of my favorites.   A true feather-weight, it makes a show of every racing and performance part mounted up to its sleek chassis.   Even if it were a clunky over-weight dog, just the looks alone are enough to send even a casual cyclist into the ‘I need this!’ mode.   Such is the life of the Tern Verge X20.

My first exposure to this folding bike company came by way of NYCeWheels.   It wasn’t long before I acquired a Tern Link P9 for my own.   My wife and I have both fallen deep in love with our Tern.   This fancy gem is the exact same bike only completely different.   They share so much, yet so little.   How can that be, you ask?   Let’s see if I can explain it in full.

Eye-candy that pulls its weight.

Eye-candy that pulls its weight.

The main things they share are the appearance of the chassis, the ease of the fold and the total utility a folding bike has to offer.   Past that, they are both bikes with two wheels and a set of pedals.   This Verge X20 has one knock-out set of wheels and tires.   It has carbon fiber cranks and lots of titanium pieces.   It has 20 speeds as opposed to the Link’s 9.   It has the most user-friendly set of shifters you are going to find.

Riding this bike is as close to pure heaven as you will find in this class of bicycle.   It’s as if the tires float on air with no resistance whatsoever.   The pedals turn in a smooth and easy manner that is hard to describe.   Everything works in harmony as if the whole was designed by the angels themselves.   Such coolness doesn’t come cheap, and as you check the price tag, you will think that too is out of this world.

Ready to hit the road at full speed.

Ready to hit the road at full speed.

Then again, serious riders are forking out way more than this bike costs every day.   Everyone knows a great bike doesn’t come at big box store prices, so the going rate on this bike is just not that out of line.   It might take a lotto win to put me in the market for a pair of these, but when I do win, this Tern Verge X20 is first on my list.   Forget the cost for now, let’s go ride.

As you approach the bike you can just sense how special it is.   The fit, finish and color speak volumes.   A closer look clues you into some of the neat touches and pieces speced on board.   Landing on the saddle as you throw a leg over the frame makes the anticipation build.   Before you have even pedaled 20 feet it all starts to speak to you.   By the end of the block, you are full hooked.   Sounds pretty good eh?   Once you hop on this bike, I do feel you will mirror my thoughts exactly.

Small when folded, but big on everything else when not.

Small when folded, but big on everything else when not.

This Verge the company offered me to test is a prototype.   It might be just ever so slightly different from the ones on the sales floor.   No matter though, as it seems to have everything you need for fun and transportation.   My Tern has a aluminum kickstand, but none is seen on this bike.   I guess the more you pay the less you get with fancy high-end bikes like this.   Still, there is a place to mount one if the need is strong.

And what about those wheels?   It seems they left out about 2/3rds of the spokes.   That and I don’t even see any nipples for assembly and adjustment.   Not to worry, as they are as true and strong as can be.   I am even wondering if the tires are tubeless.   I still have much to learn about modern racing wheels and tires as I am old-school when it comes to such things.   All I know for sure is the wheels and tires work great and are just one (2?) part(s) of the great stuff that makes this folding bike what it is.

It's all in the details.

It’s all in the details.

And that floating on air stuff?   I am blaming the bearings on that part.   Between them and the tires, it feels like the factory left out the friction just as much as they left out all those spokes.   This Tern Verge X20 moves so smooth and effortlessly it is hard to believe.   Yet, every time I take it for a ride I am a believer.   With the wide range gearing and the flow of the roll, it makes for the best feeling you may ever get on a folding bike.

The shifting is right on par with the ride.   The DoubleTap shifters are close at hand on both ends of the bars.   One easy push grabs an up-shift, yet if you push it deeper, you get a multiple-gear down-shift.   The gears come solid and quick, once again giving you the racing bike feel.   They are on carbon fiber mountings, so they look and feel the part when it comes to go power.   Modern technology makes me tingle with every push on the shifters.

No words needed for this photo.

No words needed for this photo.

The aluminum chassis is flex-free.   It has the safely-catched release levers that Tern is well-known for.   It folds in a heartbeat and when un-folded, the ride never lays clue to the utility at hand.   The shade of red and black it is painted color matches the whole bike in a way that causes tingles in my very being.   Did I mention the brakes?   Let’s just say that they work just as good as this bike rides and looks.   In other words, I really like them too.

I think by now you are getting a touch of how impressed I am by this Tern Verge X20.   The only two minor failings I found are the lack of a kickstand and the omission of a chain guard that will protect the front chain ring gears while the bike is being folded.   The kickstand you can add, while the other part you have to live with (or maybe not).   I didn’t even go into the ease of carrying this light-weight bike when folded or the general coolness and utility folding bikes have to offer.   I guess I did now.   This is just one more awesome bike I will have to give back to the company when I am done.   Sour grapes?   I’d rather think of it as a perfect memory to carry me through until that day when my lotto numbers hit big.

Folding bikes don’t have to be mundane, Turbo Bob.

“Some have heart like diesel, some have heart like Ferrari.”—Francesco Conconi.

All the stuff you need to know about the Tern Verge X20 can be found on their website

http://www.ternbicycles.com/us/

NYCeWheels has every Tern ready to ship, including the Verge X20

http://www.nycewheels.com/tern-folding-bikes.html

This link will take you to my You-Tube channel and a video I posted on this awesome speed machine

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cuWy60aBkA

I wrote this about the Tern Verge X20 on the NYCeWheels blog site

http://folding-bike.us/blog/2012/12/13/tern-verge-x20/

Have you seen the many posts about my Tern Link P9?

https://turbobobbicycleblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/08/tern-link-p9-folding-bike-test-fast-and-sleek/

http://folding-bike.us/blog/2012/07/17/tern-link-p9-folding-bike/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGm7RFuUSjE

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About Turbo Bob's Bicycle Blog

E-bike Enthusiast Vintage Bike Enthusiast
This entry was posted in Folding Bike test reviews. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Tern Verge X20—A Folding Bike for Racing?

  1. John says:

    If you are looking for a racing bike and also the convenience that a folding bike can offer, I suggest you to try a Montague folding bike! You can have both in one!!
    I’ve had my folding bike for a year ago and I can tell you won’t regret it!

    • Hey John, thanks for the thought. I’ve been riding a Montague Paratrooper Pro for a while. It has some great features and has been lots of fun. I guess you missed seeing my post about it. I also wrote an article about it that is on the NYCeWheels blog site. They are the ones that sent it to me.
      It’s not in the same class as this Tern, but very cool all the same.
      Turbo.

  2. Noah Naim says:

    Would you also write a review on the new Tern bike, Eclipse x20?

    Noah

    • Hi Noah, I will do my best but it might be a while. I just traded in my test Tern Link D8 and got a Link P24h for the next round of posts and videos. It has some great features, but it is still a 20″ wheel bike.
      I was expecting to get a Tern Eclipse S11i, but it didn’t work out. Little by little I do hope to get extended time with every bike on the Tern roster.
      Tern makes some great bikes and I have to thank them for letting me try them all out.
      And thank you for following along, Turbo.

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