Tern Eclipse S18 folding bike packs integrated lighting and pumping


August 15, 2013

Tern claims that the S18 offers a rigid ride, even for larger riders

Tern claims that the S18 offers a rigid ride, even for larger riders

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Folding bicycles can be a convenient option for those with limited storage space or whose trips partially involve another form of transport. Of course, a folding bike frame usually comes with some performance compromises but Taiwanese folding bike manufacturer Tern has a new bike that it believes can "redefine the folding bicycle category" with no compromise to performance. The Eclipse S18 also offers a number of integrated technologies, including a self-powered lighting system and seat post pump.

"When you say the word ‘folding bike’ most people think of small wheels, flexy handling, poor riding geometry, and lots of compromises – especially for taller people," explains Eric Lin, Tern senior product manager. "With the Eclipse S18 we set out to design a bike for the hardest-of-the-hard urban riders – the kind of people who ride through rain or snow, who have seriously under-funded local road repairs, or who haul their recycling by bike."

The S18, the newest member of Tern's Eclipse family of folding bicycles, addresses performance concerns with a hydroformed frame that the company says delivers a rigid ride that can support even larger, taller riders. With a series of folds, it breaks down into a small, portable package for carrying in a car, storing on a train or packing away in a small apartment.

While the S18's performance claims will have to be verified by actual cyclists, the bike does offer a few technologies that seem sure to be helpful. To prevent the rider from getting stranded by a flat tire, the S18 comes complete with a BioLogic PostPump 2.0, which packs a bicycle pump into the seat post.

You're pretty unlikely to venture out on a bike ride without your seat, so you're pretty unlikely to forget the PostPump. It works just like other full-size floor pumps, only it uses the saddle in place of the typical T-handle. The Red Dot-awarded pump, built for Tern, should work much faster than small, portable pumps and is compatible with both Schrader and Presta valves.

Another piece of technology integrated into the Eclipse S18 is the Valo 2 lighting system developed with the help of Finnish lighting company Herrmans. The 41-lux, 150-lumen front light is integrated directly into the tool-free adjustable stem to help ward off theft. Tern says that it casts a diffuse, even beam and is positioned in such a way as to maximize visibility. The Valo 2 system is powered by the 2012 Eurobike Award-winning BioLogic Joule 3 hub dynamo, which both Tern and BioLogic claim is one of the lightest and most efficient dynamo hubs on the market.

The Eclipse S18 appears to be a solid option for urban cyclists that ride hard, sometimes into the night, but prefer the flexibility of a bike that folds down to a compact size. The bike, which rides on 24-inch Schwalbe Big Apple tires, will ship in the fourth quarter of this year for US$2,100.

Source: Tern Bicycles

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work. All articles by C.C. Weiss

Actually I do sometimes go out on my folding bike without its seat-post pump. I have converted the little machine into a recumbent whose sling seat is much more comfortable. I maintain the folding aspect by use of a gates belt interdrive link to the standard bottom bracket from the forward recumbent crank position.

Paul Gracey

This article is misleading... I am riding over a year now a Dahon with exactly the same features (and design) described here. So the seatpost pump is barely designed "for Tern" and it's nothing really new, it's just the guys working for Tern doing now the same they did a few years ago for Dahon :D However, I grant, the bike is great!

Richard Richie

To prevent the rider from getting stranded by a flat tire, the S18 comes complete with a BioLogic PostPump 2.0, which packs a bicycle pump into the seat post.

As a pump is light and takes little space, the real issue is avoiding punctures in the first place. There's an easy solution for this: Replace regular tires with thicker, puncture-resistant tires such as Schwalbe Marathon Plus or Continental GP 4000(S).

Freyr Gunnar

Something alluded to by the first poster, Paul Gracey, is a Gates belt drive, which is a very important omission from this Tern bike.

Conventional chains are dirty (if they aren't in the pic then they soon will be out in the 'real world'), and so folding the bike with the chainset (crankset in US Speak) outermost is likely to end up getting oil over anyone who brushed up against it, eg in a tube (subway) train.

For this kind of bike intended for urban riding, a belt drive with hub gearing would have been a better compromise, methinks. Yes, you'd lose a little performance, but derailleur gear systems aren't the best in fast changing urban traffic conditions, where you can easily be caught out by having to stop in the wrong gear- hub gears can change down even when stationary. And they are much improved since the days of the old Sturmey-Archer 3 speed.


Both headlined "innovations" are superfluous: the hub dynamo may be a convenience but given the power and low battery requirements of LED lights is now only adding weight, friction and substantial cost. As mentioned by others, an impenetrable tire and/or slime filled tube makes a pump dead weight.

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