Friday, May 11, 2012

Dear Tern Bicycles: I love your Link P9 but...

Bought a Tern Link P9 foldable bicycle about four weeks ago. Just posted to the Tern Bicycles forum:

[thread starts here]
Link P9 chain falls constantly
Same problem here. Got my P9 about 4 weeks ago. Rode it slow first week and never went on gear 9. Then second, third and fourth week, I rode with my friends on the roads and park connectors. Each ride, the chain would drop at the front. Each ride, at least once. What's consistent is the drop occurring when I engage 8th to 9th gear.

I took the P9 to the retailer for a check. The bike tech spent an hour trying to fix the problem. I have no reason to doubt his skills. In the end, it was a compromise. The chain tended to pop out but he lowered the top plastic piece near enough to make sure it guides the chain back. Is the P9 designed like this? I'm not sure.

I asked if I could trade the P9 back to offset and get a P18 (I'm still a Tern fan!) but was told not possible. Which disappointed me. A lot. I now ride with a sense of uncertainty with my P9, which I really adore if not for the chain drop problem. And frankly I don't feel safe riding on the roads now.

Tern Bicycles please do something about this. I wanted to sell my P9 even taking a loss but cannot do so without feeling guilty. Feel like I'm passing on a defective bike. And could you make my Christmas come early? Please convince my dealer to accept my P9 as a trade-in so that I can buy the P18. As I mentioned, I'm still your fan. But right now I'm also telling people not to get the P9 at all. Until Tern manages to address the problem.

I'm still a fan of Tern foldies. But less so of the P9 now. If they can help me with my P9 and/ or help me get a trade-in, I'd be their raving fan.


  1. Hi I was about to get the P9 till I came across your posting. Is your situation common to all P9 bikes or just yours ? What about P18? Will it have the same problem?

  2. Hello Choy, impossible to tell if it's happening to all P9s. But if you read the forum posts at Tern (link is in my blog post) the chain drop tendency is certainly not unique. A few others have reported the same issue. Though in fairness, adjusting the plastic piece (which was design to prevent the chain drop, as I learned via the forum). I have a P18 too, and the front derailleur guide acts to prevent a drop. Personally I think a P9 is still fine if you don't intend to ride fast or on roads. If you do, then a P18 might be a better choice.

    1. Oops, I meant "in fairness, adjusting the plastic piece did prevent the chain drop to some extent".

  3. Thank you so much .. I'll probably get the lower end Link D8 then :) appreciate it


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