Eurobike 2014: New Folding Tourers from Tern, Plus (Probably) The World’s Most Expensive Touring Bike

I wrote a while back about the Tern Link P24h, a 20-inch wheel folding bike with luggage-carrying capabilities that I had on long-term loan from the company.

This year Tern are launching the successor to that now-discontinued bike in the form of the Verge S27h.

At a glance, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was the same bike. But as is usually the case with Tern, the thoughtful improvements are only apparent upon closer inspection.

The geometry is similar, yes, but the wheelbase is now a few cm longer, which should improve the feel and stability of the bike over long distances. There’s also more tyre clearance. Finally – the coup de grace – the Verge S27h has an eccentric bottom bracket and sliding dropout arrangement, making it Rohloff-compatible. (Take that, Brompton!)

The rear rack has had the most obvious makeover, now seriously burly and with dual rails for pannier mounting. The front generator hub, the Biologic Joule 3, has an efficiency on a par with the equivalent Schmidt, and the integrated front light has had its lux value quadrupled.

The Link P24h’s saddle was a sore point, so that’s been replaced, and the flimsy pedals are now much more robust-feeling, having a quick-release mechanism to remove them completely, rather than folding as they previously did.

Cable disc brakes and a 27-speed drivetrain finish off the upgrades – altogether making the Verge S27h a significantly higher-spec bike than its predecessor. And the price-tag, unfortunately for those on a budget, has had an upgrade to match.

The 24-inch wheel Eclipse S18 has had similar improvements, though I didn’t get a chance to give it as thorough a once-over as the Link P24h’s replacement.

And it was also nice to catch up with the familiar and friendly staff of Tern HQ, who I’d last met in Taiwan a touch under 2 years ago. I’ll hopefully be taking the bike for a longer test-ride very soon. Watch this space.

* * *

Later, over at the Van Nicholas stand, I came across the Pioneer, a touring bike with a price tag of 5,800 Euros.

I kid you not.

The main contributing factor, I believe, was the titanium frame, seatpost, stem and handlebars – though the belt-drive, Rohloff Speedhub, 570-Euro panniers and 400-Euro set of fricken’ titanium pedals probably had something to do with it too.

The mind boggles. Seriously. Whatever happened to grabbing whatever’s lying around and buggering off on an adventure?!?

Tomorrow: everything else I saw at Eurobike relating to touring and adventure, and an enormous collection of the industry’s latest obsession: fatbikes. Just for fun.

6 Responses to “Eurobike 2014: New Folding Tourers from Tern, Plus (Probably) The World’s Most Expensive Touring Bike”

  1. D

    Those dumb bar bag spokes dont match. some where its a rule that its not a touring bike if you dont display some spare spokes. For that much money I’d want 48s.
    And those pedals are a joke.

  2. Steve Jones

    Seriously, for that kind of money you would have thought that Van Nicholas could have designed a front luggage attachment that is attached to the bike frame not to the handlebars where it affects steering when loaded. Brompton have still got that part so very right. The Tern looks like it’s one solid little touring bike but I bet it’s heavy as a folded package! Always nice to see bikes designed for touring though.

  3. Henk van Dillen

    It is how you like to spend your money. For 1/3 of that price I hope to spend at least 6 months of cycling around the world 🙂

  4. Craig Poulson

    The Van Nicholas is a very nice bike, but for serious touring, surely its a bit too complicated. Does it really need hydraulic rim brakes etc? For long distance touring, simple has to be better

  5. Edward

    Hi Tom,

    Thanks for the informative post. There was a huge bicycle fair in Tokyo last week (Cycle Mode International) and I went to check out the Verge S27h after reading your post above. Too bad they didn’t allow us to test drive it, but that bike does look solid!

    And now I am in a dilemma to decide which foldable bike I’m going to pick for my 6-7 day trip in Southern Japan. Verge S27h seems to be a bit too heavy to carry around (16kgs). Instead, the staff at the local bike shop recommended Dahon’s Dash X20, probably because that’s the only bike that is on display in his shop! But he said it’s way more stable because it has a stronger frame, and a lot more lighter than Verge S27h (9kgs).

    And the prices for both models are more or less the same, which makes it harder for me to decide. I would really appreciate your advice on which to go for.

    Thanks in advance.


  6. My favorite touring bicycles part 2: Surly Long Haul Trucker

    […] Ultimately, it’s pretty pricey. Is it the most expensive touring bike out there? No way, not by a longshot. But a typical build will be at least $1200 and often more if you go with the Disc Trucker variety. […]


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