Monday, 11 March 2013

Small-wheeled bicycles on the Argus Cycle Tour

The Tern Link D8 - now Argus Cycle Tour tested

Having done the Argus a few times on a road bike and a mountain bike, it was an interesting experience to ride the 109km on a 20" folding bike. Team Tern SA did the event on a Tern Link C7 and a Tern Link D8.

Unlike what you would expect from a bike with small wheels what I found was that going up steep hills, like Chapman's Peak and Suikerbossie, was an absolute pleasure. In fact, I felt a bit guilty zooming passed tired riders on massive 29" wheels. The sheer physics of the bicycle with smaller wheels means that you're dragging far less weight up the hills.

I was riding the Tern Link D8 and have to say that the bike didn't miss a beat. Gear changes throughout the tour were crisp and accurate. It almost felt like the bike was equipped with a belt drive and internal hub it was so seamless in its shifting.
What I did find was that going downhill at 50+km/h the D8 did top out out quicker than full-sized bikes - so your top speed is kinda capped at about 55km/h - but other than that minor racing handicap - the bike was fantastic.

The Tern Link C7 - now Argus Cycle Tour tested
So if you were ever wondering whether a 20" folding bike has the capability to travel any kind of distance - we've completely answered that question. In fact it was probably easier to ride the course on this style of bike. Try it for your 2014 tour. You'll have fond memories of the hills and a permanent smile etched on your face.