Sunday, June 8, 2014

My New Folding Bike

My inflatable kayak wasn’t the only thing to get upgraded lately—I’ve been on quite an “upgrade shopping spree” this past month!  Every item in the Winnie (yes, everything!) has been evaluated—have I used it enough to warrant keeping it? Is it the lightest, smallest, and/or best-quality item I can get?

Then, as I’ve been going through my house and garage, similar questions are being asked on a daily basis about those things—do I love it enough to keep it? If it’s small enough to bring in the Winnie, is it durable enough to withstand the highway rattles and rolls inside a “rolling home”?  If not, should I upgrade to something better?

So, after the kayak, the next area of focus was the bike.  My garage had a big, heavy hitch-mounted bike rack and 2 bikes—a small 20” folding Dahon, and a full-sized, heavy electric bike (which also had a big bike cargo trailer).

The Tracker doesn’t have a hitch, so right away I knew that bike rack had to go, but then what?  The eBike with it’s 26” wheels was super comfy to ride, but when not riding, it would be a whoppin’ 62 pounds to haul around!  The Dahon was ultra-small to carry around, but it’s 20” narrow tires were just never meant to ride off-pavement, and that’s where I’ll likely be doing most of my bike riding in the future.

As I perused the items of a recent REI sale, I noticed a 24” folding bike—a Tern Node D8.  Hmm…. not too big, not too small.   Just right?  After a few additional upgrades, it certainly now is!

Spoiled by the suspension on my eBike, I added a Biologic suspension seat post and Cloud 9 gel suspension seat.  The seat is now cushy-comfy!

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The Tern’s front frame is compatible with the Klickfix series of bags and baskets when a Tern Luggage Truss is installed.  A small metal basket on a quick-release seemed like a great way to keep various items easily accessible while riding (water bottle, camera, etc).   The rear luggage rack will also come in handy for additional cargo too.

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At 29 lbs, the Tern is only 3 pounds heavier than the Dahon, and folds up even easier.

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Not much bigger than the Dahon either!

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My final add-on, was this little Timbuk2 Skyline handlebar mount case with quick-release for my iPhone.  Running the free Biologic Bikebrain app, I can track my speed, distance, and it even auto-tracks my route via GPS onto a Google map and saves my trips.  Cool beans!

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Now I just need to get some free time to ride it!  I’m in “mega-sell” mode right now steadily getting all of my excess household items sold so I can finally get the house listed.  Making good progress, but it’s taking a LOT longer than I ever imagined!

 

 

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6 comments:

  1. Great find on the bike.. folding bikes have been our list to acquire too. Will definitely put this one on our list!

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    1. Yeah, this Tern is the first folder that's actually feels like a "real" bike when you ride it. The Node D8 is the 24" version of their smaller 20" Link D8, so I do wonder if the improved ride is due to just the larger tires, or Tern's better folding mechanism. The other folding bike I seriously considered was the Montague Paratrooper-- but I didn't think I'd have the room to transport it's 26" wheels (and I also wanted more of a step thru bike) so I went with the Tern instead.

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  2. Spiffy bike!

    I understand the range of emotion in doing what you are doing. We've been through it with both sets of parents and our own homes. It's arduous to say the least. I'm sure you are ready to hit the road again soon.

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  3. Great find! It is usually a compromise of comfort, ride and size but you seem to have got it all! I'll be anxious to hear how you like it after a few rides.

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  4. Nice bike! You really are getting ready to hit the road. Just curious why you can't list the house with stuff in it? I've always heard that a furnished home sells faster.

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  5. That's a very cool looking bike, and also looks comfortable. Good job with the enhancements! :)

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