Tern has lifted the lid on a new family dubbed the 451 Verge, a product the firm believes brings a new take on how small wheeled bikes should ride.
“At Tern, our design philosophy has always been grounded by one
question: is this a bike I’d ride every day?” says Joshua Hon, Founder and Team Captain of Tern. “It’s one thing to design a compact bike. It’s a whole other order of complexity to design a compact bike that rides as well as a standard full-size bike. Thanks to three years of product development, and some significant technological developments in the bike industry, our new 451 Verge bikes deliver a better ride than any other small wheeled bike on the market.”
Tern’s new Verge bikes begin with 451 mm (22″) wheels, which offer “10% higher gearing than 406mm wheels”. That means the bikes achieve downhill gearing — up to 102 gear inches on the
Verge X11 — using standard equipment. Since they’re larger, 451 tires carry more momentum and deliver more comfort than 406, yet are apparently small enough for convenient portability, punchy acceleration, and nimble handling.
“Good design is always a game of optimization,” says Joakim Uimonen, Design Director of Tern. “Consumers traditionally believe that total folded size is equivalent to wheel size. One of the key insights with our 451 bikes is that although the folded package gains an inch at the wheels, size is saved at the chainring. Overall, it’s an even trade off in size, but a huge boost for performance.”
Another technology at the heart of the 451 Verge family is the new generation of hyper-wide cassettes from SRAM and Shimano. With the current generation of 1X, it’s possible to achieve higher and lower gearing with a single chainring than ever before. A 1X has always been an ideal configuration for small wheeled bikes, because it reduces maintenance, weight, and complexity, but now it’s better than it’s ever been. With a 420% gear-range, the flagship Verge X11 boasts a wider gear-range than many standard issue touring bikes in the industry, without any complication or hassle.
The final advancement at the heart of the Verge family is the new T-Tuned geometry. Based on experiments that began during the development of Tern’s long-haul Verge Tour, the new Verge design boast a longer wheelbase, tweaks to fork rake and head tube angle, and a slacker seat-tube for a sportier riding position.