Tern Bicycles (78)

We love you Tern.

Tern has been listening, adapting, and keeping a leash on every aspect of the manufacturing and distribution process since their beginning. We have the highest praise for their product, their people, their commitment to quality, ownership, mutual trust, and communication. They are now at the forefront of the folding, folding electric bike, and electric cargo bike market.

When we signed on with Tern in 2011, they were in their infancy. The lineup of bikes was a high quality departure from Dahon's stronghold on the folding bike market. The offerings were a thoughtful curation of 20" wheel city and sport bikes along with a few 24" and 26" wheel bikes focused on touring and errand running. We became Tern dealers feeling quite bullish. Committing to at least 50 bikes in the first year, we learned quickly that the Link series of 20" bikes was our market. The Tern Link D8 was our best seller, a goldilocks bike that rides like a full-sized bike, yet folds to fit anywhere. A perfectly affordable bike that comes nicely appointed from the factory with rack and fenders, and 8 gears for the inevitable hill. We also did good business with the Tern Link D7i, which is a dutch bike (internal hub, protected chain, dynamo lights) packed into a folding package. To this day, these models (which we have been selling for more than ten years) continue to be solid contenders in a market that can't make up its mind about what tire size is best.

In 2012, Tern released the Cargo Joe, a collaboration utilizing Xtracycle's add-on cargobike-ify device called the Free Radical. Groundbreaking for the time, though it didn't give us the stiffness and confidence we pined for, especially when ridden fully-loaded with kids and cargo. A year later in 2013, Xtracycle released the Edgerunner, a cargo bike built with a 26" front wheel and 20" rear wheel to combine the benefits of a "normal" bike with the low center of gravity and strength of a 20" wheel. This bicycle showed the world what a family cargo bike could be.

We'd been installing electric assist kits on bikes since opening in 2007, but purpose-built electric bikes were few and far between. We knew affordable and well-built electric cargo bikes would open up the market to so many more families. Fast forward to 2017, when Tern broke the mold and brought a fully developed electric family bike that checked all the boxes. It could accommodate a huge range of rider heights, carry two kids and their stuff, fold down to fit in the back of a hatchback, and store in the footprint of a suitcase. It felt like Tern had been a fly on the wall; listening and engineering this bicycle for years. Making note of every single thing we, as plain clothes riders, wanted. Equally important, they noted all the things preventing folks from signing on to the cargo bike life. The option to add a trailer, check. The ability to switch heights of handlebars and saddle to quickly share the bike between partners, check. Accessories to carry passengers of every size, check. Bags, baskets, and racks galore, check. The strongest Bosch motor and double battery for power and range without worry, check.

Tern understands that a bicycle is not just a bicycle. It is ever-evolving, it is purpose built, and the accessories are not an afterthought, they make a bike shine. You know you've done it right when everyone starts to copy you. Mimicry is the highest form of flattery. After 15 years in business here at Clever Cycles, Tern holds the record for the number of bikes that our employees have purchased. We'll let that speak for itself.


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