There are really only two things I love about Interbike. The Cross Vegas Cyclocross race on Wednesday night, and the Tern Mobile Social. Tern bikes hosted their 8th annual mobile social, and it was almost as much fun as last year’s. That’s not Tern’s fault, it’s the fault of global events conspiring to send the charming sailors who were here last year off to sea to protect our freedom. So the night was far more mellow, but still a lovely ride. Tern came through with dozens of loaner bikes for those of us who couldn’t bring our own bikes to Interbike. It was so nice to get out and enjoy the warm Vegas night, some great music, and new friends.
I rode the Tern Eclipse P9, because after I rode a Tern fixie across the street and was totally mystified by the very concept of a folding fixie, I was told “awww, you deserve disc brakes!”. Those Tern guys are so sweet. After all, the company President told me I got to borrow a bike simply because I rode a Yamaha R1 to Vegas.
It’s easier to carry a folding bike than a non-folding one on a bike, but still tricky. The P9 was a blast to ride, and it was nice having disc brakes. I really liked the styling of the P9, especially the slick trellis detail on the stem where I could hook the carabiner for my water bottle. The Verge X20 is more my speed, though. I think that’s what I rode last year.
The only other folding bike I was really impressed by was the Yike Bike. Enjoy this video demonstration. He says 15mph, not 50. I know, it totally looks capable of 50mph…
Folding bikes are designed for that “last mile”, as public transit advocates call it. In many cities, the nearest train station or even bus stop is a bit of a hike. So having a bicycle you can easily carry with you onto a crowded train, then unfold and ride home makes a lot of sense. Some of these can go much further, of course. But they’re always designed to be easier to carry.