Folders come in all sizes, giving you the chance to pick the one you want. What is the perfect wheel size for your folding bike? 16 inch, 20 inch, 24, 26, and bigger or smaller? Everyone might have a different idea of what is best. Only you can decide, so here is some info on my time with the 24 inch wheeled Tern Node D8.
As we all know, any Tern folding bike you decide on is going to treat you great. They have awesome styling, quality parts and engineering, and just plain ride nicely. They have a wide range of folding bikes for any type of riding you have in mind. This Node D8 is very much a slightly enlarged 20 inch wheeled Tern Link D8, their best selling bike. With every turn of the pedals on this Node I can understand why.
What you have here is a solid bike at a affordable price point. It folds in a flash and still fits on public transportation, your trunk or under your stairwell easily. If you are used to a smaller folder you will notice a difference, but if this is your first foray into the world of smooth, convenient folding bikes, you will be amazed on a daily basis. The popularity of this kind of bikes is going sky high for so many reasons.
The aluminum backbone of the Node comes with their well known hinges and latches. They have an easy to use safety catch and do their job like no others. When locked in position, the ride gives no clue to the fact you are riding a bike that stores, transports and secures in a special way. Like other Tern folding bikes, the fold starts with lowering the seat post, folding over handlebar stem and then the frame. You can do the same to the pedals and rotate the handlebars too for an even smaller package, yet I rarely do.
I ridden many Tern folding bikes and even own a Link P9, so feeling the minor differences in this larger Node D8 was noticeable, but not much. You sit a little higher and the ride is just a bit smoother. The 24 inch wheels roll easier over the rough stuff. Plus, the ruts and grooves in the road are not as much of an issue either. On any bike you need to keep your eyes on the road, but the smaller the wheel the more your eagle eye comes into the factor.
The eight speed drivetrain gave me all I wanted, but twice with others on-board the chain came off the front sprocket. Most single front chain ring Terns I ridden have a guide to keep that from happening. This bike is a pre-production machine and I was told of a few things that would be on the final version and I hope that is one of them. Speaking of the production run, I got this bike in fall before they hit the sales floors, but word is that this week the first shipment hit the states.
Shifting is handled with a twist grip on the handle bars. It is a natural feel as you go though the gears. Each one came quick and no matter the terrain I never wanted more. The compact derailleur stayed in adjustment for all my rides and tucks out of the way on the frame. The brake levers match my hands well and the V brakes they hook to are strong and smooth. In many ways this tern Node D8 rode way better than you would think for what it costs.
Another thing about the Node 8 that hits me well is the fact it comes factory with a pair of fenders and a rear rack. The rack has a nice three corded hold-down strap and the fenders have mud flaps. Also to my joy is a kick stand. How many bikes on the market come without these three items? Too many I'd say. I guess they leave them off thinking you won't notice, but I always do. Some of the Tern bikes also come with the nice BioLogic taillight / reflector that hooks to the seat rails. I am hoping this bike does too.
Tern has two other 24 inch folding bikes in their line-up. They are a little more up-scale with some great features. If a folding bike with wheels larger than 20 inches is on your mind, then Tern has the bike you want. One even has a 11 speed geared hub and hydraulic disc brakes. I hope to get to try that one this year, yet my time on the Tern Node D8 proved it is really all you need for some fun and comfortable riding. Like I said in the beginning, Tern has you covered for any kind of riding you have in mind. Folders rule, Turbo Bob.
"A bicycle does get you there and more.... And there is always the thin edge of danger to keep you alert and comfortably apprehensive. Dogs become dogs again and snap at your raincoat; potholes become personal. And getting there is all the fun."---Bill Emerson.Read more blogs by TurboBob