Downtube folding Bikes vs Tern folding bikes


For what will become obvious, we do not want to add a Downtube VS Tern chart, but we will give you a list of why we won’t do this. Unlike all our other comparison pages we will discuss Tern's Problems as a company, these problems are so fundamental, it doesn't make sense to discuss bike models.

1. Creation of Tern: Soon after Tern was created the founder of Dahon, Dr. David Hon, filed a lawsuit against the founders of Tern. In the complaint it is alleged that his son Josh, and his estranged wife stole Intellectual Property (IP) and other assets from Dahon that they used to start Tern. Reading the complaint gives most people chills. To add insult to injury, the URL was not owned by Dahon until the lawsuit was settled.

2. Recall #1 - Tern issued a recall in 2013 on two models. Please see CPSC information on the recall.

3. Frame Failure thread: Tern has an open forum on their website, and around January 2014 Lee Tibbets posted that his frame broke in half and he sustained serious injuries. The next month there was another such post of an incident, and more followed. Eventually the forum became private, and Google was not given permission to index it.

4. Recall #2- The CPSC listed another recall on many different frames. The recall claimed a different factory of manufacture than the first recall. Additionally it claimed only minor cuts and scrapes, however the public forum listed multiple riders that were hospitalized with serious injuries 

5. Japanese Government document: We read about a document found at that claims that the frames were not made strong enough to be used as a bicycle. Please use Google Translate to read the article.

6. Recall #2 extended ( essentially a third recall ). The CPSC has another recall. Bikeforums has a thread from experts in the bike industry, all are blown away by Tern's actions with their customers.

7. Tern files a lawsuit against us for patent infringement. We win the case, as their attorneys had multiple untrue statements in the complaint. The complaint can be seen at .

8. Bikeforums has a new Tern thread: These are made by customers with frame failures due to a hinge bolt fault and not the weld failures mentioned above. One poster claimed there were 15 known bolt failures at one bike shop in Europe.


Overall, Tern been followed by drama. We do not feel they add anything to the bicycle industry by producing their products. We are doubtful of their viability due to never ending trouble. Having said that, please understand our bikes have higher quality materials, better features, and lower prices, so it just doesn't make sense to compare specs with a company like Tern.