FOLDING BIKES ARE portable, making them a great choice for multimodal commuters. They can be brought onto public transportation. Stored under your desk at work. Carried or rolled into stores and cafe’s. Even brought on planes for vacations. That’s why we’re excited to bring you this review of the Tern BYB S11.
MSRP $2,499.00 // 12.7 kg (28 lb)
- 30% smaller than traditional 20” folding bikes
- Fits conveniently into lockers, closets, or any narrow space
- Metro Transit Rack with built-in spinner wheels for easier trolleying
- Fits riders from 4’10” – 6’5”
- New TFL Joint with 3D interface, DeadBolt design and SpringLock technology
- New 3D-forged Physis RF Handlepost
- Kinetix Pro X wheels with paired spoke technology
- 11-speed Shimano Ultegra, Shadow RD derailleur
Even though folding bikes are more portable and easier to store than regular, non-folding bikes, they can still be difficult to lug around. Most folding bikes weigh 25 pounds or more.
Will the Tern BYB S11 be a great option for the multimodal commuter with it’s rack and spinner wheels that make it easier to store and push the bike? And will the 11 speeds make it easier to tackle different types of terrain and hills?
The Tern BYB S11 is an incredible piece of transportation machinery with a sturdy Doubledeck frame and stiff handlebar post inspired by a cargo bike. Let’s find out more about the innovative trifold and other convenient design details.
WHAT WE LIKE
Rack and spinner wheels make it easier to store and push the bike. 11 speeds means it can tackle more terrain than you think. Sturdy Doubledeck frame and stiff handlebar post inspired by a cargo bike. Innovative trifold and other convenient design details.
WHAT WE DON’T LIKE
Crazy folding system will take some practice. The S11 version is way too expensive to have to pop a chainguard into place. Not smaller, or cheaper, than a Brompton.
Who built the Tern BYB S11 folding bike?
Tern Bicycles was founded by ex-employees of folding bike giant Dahon. These folding bike experts have devoted years to figuring out how to make it easier commute, travel and store a folding bike.
And to make it even easier to travel with yours, they’ve made a bewildering array of covers, racks, bags, and hard cases. We’re not only huge fans of Tern bikes, but can also confirm that they are famously known for creating innovative, space-saving design tweaks, like making it possible to stand the Tern GSD on its end.
Meet the Tern BYB S11
Tern recently introduced the BYB, an ultracompact traveling bike with a footprint of a mere 13.8 inches wide and 31.9 inches tall. And turned the folding bicycle industry completely upside down.
It has a unique trifold design that lets you keep the handlebars extended to make it easier to trolley, and push it like a suitcase.
After you’ve ridden and stowed the Tern BYB for a while, you’ll really appreciate how greatly it differs from other folding bikes on the market. Compared to traditional folding bikes that just fold in half, the trolleying feature is much more convenient than you could ever imagine. Making the super high price tag totally worth the convenience to the multimodal commuter.
The BYB comes in two different versions and colors
Tern makes two different versions of the BYB. The S11 and the P8. At a much higher cost, the S11 has Tern’s upgraded drivetrain, wheels, brakes, saddle, and comfy ergonomic handlebars.
Also, the S11 weighs about 27.9 pounds, about 2.5 pounds less than the P8, and costs an estimated $2,495 compared with the P8’s $1,295. The P8 also comes in several different colors, while the S11 only comes in matte silver.
10 separate innovations
The BYB has 10 separate innovations, with the main one being the trifold. Tern’s engineers put two hinges in the frame and one on the handle post, all up to automotive quality specs, which makes folding the bike an extremely precise maneuver.
At first this unique way of folding the bike will seem awkward, but after a bit of practice, you’ll able to perform it without even thinking about it. Plus, there’s an instructional video available just in case you need a few extra pointers.
In order to unfold the bike, you simultaneously pull the bike apart, twist, lie it down flat, and slip the locking bolt into place. Eventually you’ll be able to fold and unfold the bike in under a minute, while looking completely graceful, and competent, while doing it.
Tern bikes have incredible features
All of Tern’s bikes have great features. And the BYB is no exception. An anchor bolt, which looks like a little rubber belt, holds the bike in place when it is folded. The patented joint design makes the hinges really easy to open and close. It also has little spinning wheels that are attached to the bottom of the rack. You can stand the bike on its end on the rack. And the wheels make it easy to push it around.
Even though the rack wasn’t compatible with Axiom panniers, Tern guarantees that it’s compatible with smaller panniers, like the Ortlieb Sport Roller. The bike also comes with a pop-out cover that attaches to the rack for easy stowing on the go.
Ride the Tern BYB S11
For the urban commuter, the BYB is great for riding around town doing errands. It’s great for bringing into places such as restaurants or cafe’s while meeting friends. Or taking on the train or bus and riding the rest of the way to work afterwards. Overall, the BYB is a very versatile folding bike.
What makes the BYB special is the stiffer handlebar post and frame. This is the same Doubledeck frame and trapezoidal tubing that made the GSD such a stable ride.
Even though the BYB rides just like a regular non-folding bike, there’s always going to be a bit of adjustment when you switch from riding a bike with regular 26-inch wheels to one with 20-inch wheels. But once you get used to the smaller wheels you’ll find the BYB to be very stable.
What about the frame and wheels?
The frame on the Tern BYB S11 has an amazingly stiff frame. And 20-inch wheels that will allow you to easily handle the occasional crack or pothole without worries. It won’t feel squirrelly, which is a problem with many folding bikes. The Shimano shifters also move smoothly between all 11 gears.
With the BYB, you’ll be able to conquer gravel and dirt paths, while still feeling pretty stable. Same as with the Link A7, the bike’s distinctive geometry means that there’s no hopping off curbs or going up hills with an incline of greater than 15 degrees.
Otherwise, the BYB will be more than adequate for daily commuting and handling city hills.
A solid build
As soon as you step over the frame, and sit on the BYB, you will notice how solid it feels. The frame will not flex or rattle while pedaling fast or aggressively turning corners.
On rare occasions, the chain that is protected by a plastic chain guard will sometimes need to be banged or popped back into place when the pedal’s spindle rubs against it. But won’t be anything that even the least mechanically inclined rider can’t fix. Seeing that Tern is all about building quality folding bikes, I’m sure they will eventually correct such a small, annoying flaw.
Compared to my Tern Link D8
For the last three years, I’ve owned a Tern Link D8, and absolutely love it. It rides extremely well and has been very dependable. The only problem is that it can be very awkward to carry. And the magnets that hold it together when folded can suddenly come apart.
The BYB on the other hand isn’t held together with magnets, due to it’s unique trifold design. And is very comfortable and stable while in trolley mode. You can easily push it, rather than carry it.
For the multimodal commuter, the compact design, and ability to push the BYB on it’s spinner wheels like a suitcase through an airport might be worth it.
Compared to My Brompton
For local errands and shopping, I use my 2-speed Brompton folding bike. My 2-speed Brompton is much lighter. And has enough gears to go short distances. If I had to go further and needed to combine it with public transportation on a daily basis, I’d go with Brompton’s original M6L at a comparable weight. Which is several inches smaller than the BYB P8. And is almost a grand cheaper than the BYB S11.
Tern does makes a suitcase especially for the BYB, making it easier to travel with as carryon. But, due to the fact that you can fit the Brompton into an overhead bin. I’d rather bring a folding bike that I don’t have to check.
- Are Folding Bicycles Good For Long Distances?
- Are Folding Bikes Slower Than Regular Bikes?
- Is It Hard To Ride A Folding Bike Uphill?
- Is It Safe To Stand On Folding Bikes?
- Is A Folding Bike Good For Exercise?
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- Brompton Team GB 2020 Special Edition
- Tern Link A7 Folding Bike Review
We highly recommend the Tern BYB to the following. A multimodal commuter that frequently passes through narrow or crowded subway stations or buses. If this is you, we can see why the BYB might be an alluring purchase. With a folding bike, how it maneuvers when you’re off it is almost more important than how it feels when you’re on it.
WHERE TO BUY: https://www.ternbicycles.com/us