Tern Link P24H. The little bike that could.

A very biased review of the Tern Link P24 folding tourer. Chris Wee alerted me to a fire-sale at Seng Hin bike shop in Muar so I took a quick ride down on my motorbike, checked out the Tern (last unit in the shop) paid for it, and arranged to have it shipped back to KL. All done in a morning’s work … easy-peasy.

Likes

Very sleek-looking machine in black with touches of neon green

Fully constructed from 6061 T6 aluminum

Very responsive, no flex whatsoever, even when pounding the pedals on a climb

Stiff frame, especially the rear triangle resulting in a very ‘torquey’ ride

Folding mechanism based on quick-release concept. Very sure and solid.

10-second folding time (if you’re into bike-folding competitions)

Nicely finished with emphasis on details (love the little bird logo)

SRAM gripshift surprisingly easy to use, no accidental shifts.

3-speed Sturmey Archer rear hub provides a low-enough gear for grinding up steep hills

Fixed front derailleur. No more shifting up-front.

Ready with fenders.

Schwalbe Marathon Supreme tyres

Built-in pump in seat post

Adjustable handlebar stem – racy to relax

Nifty 4 and 6mm allen key inside handlebar end.

Solid V-brakes.

Sealed-bearing cartridge in bottom bracket

Kickstand

Fits the wife/daughter perfectly

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Dislikes

Fully constructed from 6061 T6 aluminum

Too stiff to ride on anything but smooth, sealed roads

Proprietary handlebar setup. Cannot use butterfly bar or handlebar bag.

Not enough real estate on handlebar for gadgets.

Ugly, beefy, overkill welds on critical joints

Gripshift for RD turns the opposite direction to shift gears – forward for low, backwards for high.

Ergo grips (applies to me personally, don’t like the feel of my palm pressing on the extra bit of rubber)

Saddle feels and performs like a cheapo

Standard rear rack too low for large panniers. Have to buy a taller one.

………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Conclusion

Great for light touring on first-world roads or bikepacking using public transport or criss-crossing Malaysian states and Indonesian islands.

For everything else, the Surly still rules.

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14 thoughts on “Tern Link P24H. The little bike that could.

  1. Actually this particular gripshift is not too bad, only thing is, I have to remember to twist the damn thing in the opposite direction…I’m going to give it a chance on the 3B tour and see if it holds up. Otherwise … :-))

  2. Looks like it may be re-configured for the kids!lol

    On the other hand, I have to give Tern a big pat for their folding catch system. A lot better/tougher than what the Dahon used to have.

  3. Al, both are good, fun bikes; just different in the way they handle. The Tern is a very solid, stiff bike and the BF is a very solid but more forgiving bike. The BF is also easily customisable while the Tern is not. In any case, I knew what I was getting into when I bought it. As I mentioned, I won’t be doing a demanding tour on the Tern…or with any foldie for that matter (sorry la, BF :-))
    I realised that for me, the Surly is more suitable for anything longer than a week.

    P.S…didn’t mention this before but once seat height is correctly dialled in, the BF Expedition’s higher bottom bracket means you’d have to get your butt off the saddle when you stop, otherwise you’re precariously tip-toeing. Also, I find that a foldie’s low top tube makes it a bit unstable when you stand and hold it between the legs while the hands are off the handlebar taking photos with a camera.

  4. Ah. That’s a good point on the higher BB for the Llama. But so far it’s still the most stable among the rest. The new ones comes with disc brake which I find is a huge bonus.

    On the point in taking photo, I seldom frame on the move. Just snap and shoot on the widest 24mm on my IXUS. Do u shoot a lot while on the move?

  5. Congratulations on your new bike. I would like to add that if possible please take note of the bike’s “slipping” issues on the higher speeds gear. I have send mine in many times to resolve but non was achieved… So I resolved the issue by “sacrificing” the first 8 speeds of my bicycle and the slipping is no more… But all and all it serves me well and after a little moding on my own I managed to change many peoples skeptical perceptions of this wonderful bicycle.

  6. Matt, I shoot on the move as well but most times I simply stop the bike and shoot from where I am. When I was on the BF, there was no kickstand so I had to balance the bike between the legs. It behaves differently once the bike is loaded at the back and with a handlebar bag in front. The front wheel tends to turn and the whole bike slips sideways from under you.

    Kenneth, I’ve read about the rear hub slipping so I’m waiting to see if and when it happens. I’m sure there’s a solution to fix it 😉

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