Tern Link P24h—Touring Treasure.
The more I ride the line-up of Tern folding bikes the more I like them. With sleek looks, a great feel and nice components, they really fill the bill in almost any riding situation. This new Link P24h has so many great features and highlights it’s hard to decide where to start telling you about them. I should start at the back, describing the hybrid drive, yet working from front to rear seems more natural.
Looking and riding much like my own Tern Link P9, this bike is loaded down with pieces you can take full advantage of. Rolling on high-end Schwalbe Marathon Supreme 20 inch tires and stout alloy rims, you will never be thinking about an up-grade there. They deliver the goods and have flat-protection to boot. Wrapped around each tire and rim are Tern’s light and useful fenders. The front pannier rack looks to help your touring needs with the ability to match up with some large bags.
Nestled in the front is a generator hub from Biologic that will keep the onboard lighting system powered-up with no perceptible drag. LEDs shine bright day or night, and there is a headlight mounted switch to power the headlight down if desired. The stiff fold down handlebars have a one-touch adjustor mechanism to allow the height and angle of the bars to match your torso. The double clamp piece looks nice, works quick and holds tight.
The ergo grips are inviting and they tuck-up next to twist grip shifters on each side (more on this later). Like my P9, the Tern Link P24h comes with an allen multi-tool in one grip for quick on the road adjustments. The bar mounted headlight swivels to make the road light up where you like. It is pretty bright, but for high-speed riding an secondary light would be helpful. Quality brake handles hook-up to a strong set of nice working V-brakes on each wheel.
Next up is the stiff and sleek aluminum folding frame. Coated in a smooth glossy black finish, it has the loved Tern latches on it and the handlebar stem. These are matched to perfect hinge joints that make this Tern Link P24h ride fantastic with no flex or issues. The pedals on this bike are a definite plus, folding and un-folding with a touch and sporting a no-slip wide rubber grip. Like all the Terns I’ve ridden, the crank bearings (in fact all the bearings) are smooth as silk.
The seat post deserves its own paragraph. That might sound weird, yet some hands on time with it will make you realize why. Built inside is a nicely made floor tire pump. With no effort at all, you can inflate your (and friend’s) tires with this cool new item. It is a up-grade option for any Tern, yet on this bike it comes standard. Just pop it out of the frame, unscrew the cover cap, and in no time you are the pumping machine. Plus it is fully hidden from view, exposing itself only when needed.
A narrow saddle leads to the full-sized rear rack. It comes with a three strap bungee cord and a nifty carry handle too, making it easy to maneuver the bike when folded (or un-folded for that matter). The rack houses the bright rear tail light. A capacitor allows both of the lights to stay on for several minutes after you come to a stop. Of course the front and rear racks are ultra-light aluminum to complement the plastic fenders.
Ok Tern, let’s check out the hybrid drive. Offering 24 speeds in a super-wide range of gears, you will find this drivetrain simple and easy to use. Your left hand commands a three-speed internal geared hub and your right runs a conventional eight-speed derailleur set-up. All mounted on the rear hub they match together like clockwork. On the level I found leaving the main gear set in a middle range and shifting the geared hub was the easy way to go.
Yet with all the rises and falls in the road, working both gear changers allowed me to always find a ratio that felt just right. The ultra low gear range makes for quick (relatively speaking) movement on steep hills and the top gears made my descents almost too fast. There was no time that I fought with this system, it is rider friendly and makes more sense than having a triple gear set on the front sprocket. My first time to ride a drive train like this was in Europe, I liked it then and I like it now.
The Tern Link P24h is not a stripped down bike that needs many trips to the bike shop to outfit. It comes with almost everything you will need for a trip to the corner market or a full-blown out-of-town multi-week experience. Like other Terns, it has quality parts that shouldn’t let you down in either situation. Taking it in your car, busses, trains or on a plane will be a breeze and make you want to ride further and farther.
Folding bikes have opened many new fun avenues for my wife and I. I can’t remember all the great ways and places that they have added to our riding. Many times the folding part came in handy, but even more times we just rode them because they are fun, different and ride great. If you haven’t tried one lately you are in for a big surprise. They ride like full-sized bikes and expand your universe in an unusual way.
Folding bikes aren’t new. They have been around for a long time. What is new is how strong and flex-free they are. How light and convenient they are. How they have so many options that haven’t been available in the past. Also as this world embraces high-rises and fears for bike thefts, the folding bike has made its mark to work past those obstacles. They match-up well with public transportation too.
You’ve heard me say before how I am looking for a stable mate for my Tern Link P9. Could this be the one? One thing I know for sure is as I return this bike to Tern, I will really miss it. I do say that about most every folding bike I’ve tested, but this time I really mean it. Keep an eye on my bike blog to see what folding bike finally becomes the new best friend of the one we already have.
Folding bike touring in my future? I wouldn’t rule it out, Turbo Bob.
“At that age, it’s one of the worse things in the world to wake up and not see your bike where you left it.”—Hip-hop star 50 Cent, real name Curtis Jackson, on the theft of his childhood bike.
Want one like this? Here are two places that stock them.
Here is the Tern website and Facebook page link
Want to see a couple videos I did on this folding bike?