Before I go into why the Tern Link D8 is so amazing, I’m going to clarify something. Whenever I read online about which folding bicycle is the best, cold shivers run down my spine.
Every folding bicycle has its strong points, and will be better at something than the rest. It all depends upon the intended use, and the terrain you’re going to ride on.
So where does Tern folding bicycles fit in? Tern folding bicycles are about getting the best ride possible from a folding bicycle. They make super stiff frames, with some of the best hinge joints in the business.
Unboxing The Tern Link D8 Folding Bicycle
When my Tern Link D8 arrived it came in a huge cardboard box. It was very carefully wrapped to protect it from shipping damage. As you can imagine, NYCEWheels wanted to make sure it arrived in one piece. After about 20 minutes, I finally got this beauty unwrapped, and I was very impressed.
The Tern Link D8 weights about 26 lbs but that’s with the rack and fenders included, making it lighter than a steel folding bicycle. Tern made the frame out of a high-grade aircraft aluminum with a steel fork. This combination not only gives the folding bicycle exceptional strength with light weight, but also amazing stability on the road. After unfolding this awesome machine, I was about to find out how well it truly rode.
First Impressions Of The Stiffness And Comfort Of The Tern Link D8
Each day I rode this folding bicycle I’ve had to do a round trip of 10 miles. That’s 5 miles each way. At first I was very skeptical about how the Tern Link D8 would handle such a trip.
Then I remembered reading a review that NYCEWheels wrote on the Tern website stating how impressive the stiffness was.
…complete stiffness. I kept pedaling to go faster and make the frame flex and just could not get the bike to give.
Let’s start with the main reason this bicycle is so stiff. The frame has what you call:
The rear half of this Tern Link D8 has never flexed, no matter how hard I had to pedal to get up hills or fight through headwind.
During my 10 mile commute I have a few hills to climb, including some rough patches of road. And for the few occasions I can’t ride in the road, have to deal with some very old, beat up sidewalks.
I can feel all the power from each pedal stroke, go to the Forged 6061 aluminum crank arms that are hand-polished. This is a huge plus because on many days, with the hills and wind, I can use every ounce of speed that the 8 speed Shimano Claris derailleur with trigger shifter can pump out.
Of course the way the frame is designed isn’t the only thing that can affect how a folding bicycle rides.
As any folding bicycle expert will tell you, the key to any folding bicycle is the frame. But the heart of that folding frame is the folding joint. When it’s done well, it locks the two halves of the frame together without any hint of movement or sound.
The OCL joint does this by locking very tightly in place. Pushing the red safety button, and pushing this folding joint together gives me tons of confidence.
I can actually hear the joint lock, and again, the frame didn’t flex at all during my commutes. Usually I like to go as fast as possible and my average gear is 5th.
On days that it’s not windy, or I’m feeling up to it, I’ll put this bad boy into 7th or 8th gear, and get home in under 25 minutes.
Find out more about what makes the OCL joint special.
I’m especially a huge fan of the Andros Stem. Unlike other folding bikes that have their handlebars slide up and down, the Andros stem does it better.
Not only is the Andros stem much stiffer and easier to adjust, it’s also safer. My dads Dahon Speed P8 has the handlebar that slides up and down, and a few times it loosened up, allowing it to slide and even fall out. Good thing he wasn’t riding it when these two instances happened.
It’s also great while riding my 10 mile commute. On the days the wind gets brutal, all I have to do is unlatch the two tool-less quick releases, and I can put the handlebars low to cut through the wind. These been a few nights that I’ve had to do this, and it made getting home much faster and easier.
And even though I like to wear cycling gloves to relieve pressure off my hands, I have on a few occasions put my handlebars higher. This was to give me a more relaxed ride, and to give the palms of my hands a rest so they didn’t get sore.
Here’s a detailed description of what makes the Andros Stem extremely adjustable.
But let’s not forget one last feature, that Tern thought of to make the handlebars so stiff.
Physis™ 3D Handlepost
The Physis 3D Handlepost is my favorite feature on the Tern Link D8. Using five patented technologies and unique manufacturing technology, not many other companies can match it.
It’s the strongest and stiffest handlepost available because Tern uses a special manufacturing process called 3D forging. The whole handlepost is one single piece of aluminum, eliminating all welds.
Every time I lock this handlepost into place, and start riding, it feels extremely solid, especially when I’m trying to climb hills or cut through headwind.
A Few Things I’m Going To Mention About The Tern Link D8
The first thing I’m going to mention is the seat. A proper seat doesn’t give you a sore butt, and allows you to ride greater distances.
The Tern Link D8 Seat
Online I’ve read a few reviews about how uncomfortable the seat is on this folding bicycle. At first I was wondering how comfortable it would be for a 10 mile commute.
Well, after a month of riding with this seat, I can say that it’s more than adequate for everyday commuting.
Keep in mind that when you try a new seat or haven’t ridden in a while, it will be uncomfortable. You have to take some time to get use to riding again, and you have to break the seat in.
I can honestly say that after a week of using this seat, it was no longer uncomfortable.
Plan On Cleaning The Tern Link D8 Even Though It Has Nice Fenders
I’m also going to mention that, even though the Tern Link D8 comes with fenders, and will keep you clean and dry, the bike will still get super filthy.
This folding bicycle has a ton of nook and crannies that collects all kinds of dirt and mud. Be ready to do a lot of cleaning!
Is The Tern Link D8 The Perfect Urban Commuter?
Tern Link D8 has been an incredible folding bicycle for everyday commuting. The bicycle handles extremely well on the road by being very stable, and able to handle rough surfaces. Plus the Schwalbe Big Apple tires can ride over anything.
It has 8 speeds to tackle any hill, and fight your way through unpleasant headwind. And having a very stiff aluminum frame with a OCL frame joint, DoubleTruss Technology, and Physis 3D Handlepost, this folding bicycle is very safe and efficient for long commutes.
For the commute I’m using it for, I’d say it’s the perfect urban commuter.
Would Like To Give NYCEWheels A Special Thanks For Fixing The Tern Link D8
My first day riding the Tern Link D8 for my commute, I was extremely disappointed. The chain was skipping and coming off the front sprocket. When I dropped it off to the professional bike mechanic who’s been working on all my bicycles for years, I was given bad news.
During shipment, the front sprocket got bent. This was Not NYCEWheels fault in any way. My bicycle mechanic said it’s a very common problem.
Even though NYCEWheels packed it up extremely well, it still got damaged.
I called NYCEWheels from the bike shop, and within minutes they agreed to send a new sprocket with crank arms.
NYCEWheels not only took care of the situation in a professional way, they’ve always treated me very well when I’ve ordered something from them.
When it comes to folding bicycles or parts, they’re the only bicycle shop I’ll buy from.
So, I want to say thank you to NYCEWheels for sending such an amazing bicycle and making sure it’s fixed.