Not really having a lot of experience riding a folding bike - always appeared to flimsy in my eyes - I set out to test ride a Tern Link D8 through the streets of Upper East New York City. Recently having moved here from New Orleans, where the streets are flat, my first impression was the great 8-speed gear ratio. Perfect when you want to go fast on flats yet comfortable when you need an easy gearing to go up those long thigh-burning hills.
At first glance, the handle bar hinge seems a bit overkill with two bolt clamps and locking joint surfaces, but rolling downhill proves why they are there: complete stiffness. I kept pedaling to go faster and make the frame flex and just could not get the bike to give. The seat stays extend a little further past the seat post which suggest why I was impressed. So, does all these extra bolts, clamping, double locking mechanisms make the Tern Link D8 longer to fold? Surprisingly not at all. Tern actually started using what they call "N-Fold Technology", which makes the Tern Link bike only an 1.5-inch smaller when folded but the Tern Link D8 can actually be folded in less than ten seconds!
Now came the time for climbing back up that hill I just sped down. I played with the gear ratios and was happy with the results: easy climbing in a nice up-right position, especially since II was riding with a 10lbs. messenger bag. Red light! Green light! Time to start pedaling again from zero on an uphill. Standing up on the Tern Link D8 on an uphill climb was a little different than what I was used to, but halfway through the hill I was feeling pretty confident with the handling of this folding bike. Though it took a few pedals to get used to climbs on 16-inch wheels, the bottom line is they have a great acceleration and are zippy for maneuvering through city traffic, up or down hills.
Tern thought about the little things that make life simple when they created the Link D8, included a rear rack, rear and front fenders and even a chaining guard. If you need a front rack, they even thought of that too, there are two sockets welded in the head tube instead of mounting to the handlebar, which would defeats the purpose of: a) folding and b) sturdy.
Overall, the Tern Link D8 is a very versatile folding bike. The wheelbase gives for a great city ride experience since it distributes the riders weight evenly. When the Link D8 is simple and quick to fold, not to mention an elegant and compact design. Discover more about the Tern Link D8.