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Tern releases ultra-compact folding bike, the BYB

Published May 30, 2019

TAIPEI, Taiwan (BRAIN) — Tern's new BYB is 30% smaller than typical 20-inch wheel folding bikes, making it the smallest Tern ever. The model name stands for "bring your bike."

"The bike transforms into a small and slim package with one of the smallest folded footprints on the market — but still offers a surprisingly solid ride," the company said.

"The BYB is the culmination of four years of focused work by the team," said Josh Hon, Tern's team captain. "We had to develop some radically new technology for this bike and the manufacturing tolerances are, in the words of our factory partner, 'tighter than automotive.' But we're excited because new folding bike paradigms only come along every few decades or so, and we think the BYB falls into that milestone category."

The BYB has rack-integrated spinner wheels, and when folder it stands upright within easy reach so it can rolled just like a suitcase.

The bike folds and fits into its own specially-designed hard-shell suitcase, called the AirPorter Slim. The company said the bike can be folded and packed in 60 seconds with no tools.

Tern chose 20-inch wheels over smaller options for a better ride. The DoubleDeck frame design, a long cockpit, and premium componentry also contribute to the ride, the company said.

"We spent a lot of time debating wheel size at the start of the project," said Hon. "Some argued for using a smaller wheel, which of course results in a smaller folded package. But smaller wheels come with a compromise in ride quality. In the end, ride quality won out because if we and our customers are going to be on a bike, putting in miles day in and day out, it has to ride well."

In addition to its own accessory line, the BYB is compatible with a range of Ortlieband KLICKfix panniers and bags. 

"Some people might find it a bit surprising that we're launching a non-electric bike since the trend is going to electric," said Hon. "But we see micro-mobility as a continuum of different types of trips and different sorts of mobility options. An e-bike lets you do the entire trip by bike and skip cars and public transport. But for many people, public transport is still the fastest and most cost-efficient option, and all they need is a last mile mobility device to get them to and from the station. Others might work in a city center that is car-restricted. For such short trips, people don't need electric — they need a mobility device that packs small and isn't a hassle to move and store. Hence the BYB."

The new BYB lineup includes two models: BYB P8 starting at $1,295, and BYB S11 at $2,495. The first production run has already rolled off the assembly line, and the first bikes will arrive in stores in July. 

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