Tern launches most compact BYB folding bike

Urban transportation specialist Tern has unveiled its new BYB, an ultra-compact bicycle that introduces a whole new way to fold. It is Tern's smallest fold yet, 30% smaller than typical 20" folding bikes.

Essentially the BYB utilises what Tern calls its patented TriFold technology, which transforms the folded bike into a small and slim package with what it says is one of the smallest folded footprints in the market, namely 52x35cm.

We haven't tested it yet since it has just been launched, but according to the folks at Le Run the new model still offers a surprisingly solid ride despite all the traits that make it so compact. The BYB made its debut last night, but the Night Ride Ramadan from Rodalink Hartamas which would have showcased the bike was cancelled due to lightning and its due to hit the road again tonight at Rodalink Elmina.

"The BYB is the culmination of four years of focused work by the team," according to Josh Hon, Tern 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."

At first glance you will notice the telltale sign of two folds in the frame, and immediately realise that the bike is somewhat different than Tern's traditional folding system design. As more and more people opt to commute by bike, the development of foldie technology also moves more rapidly. 

All in all, the BYB incorporates ten separate Tern patented technologies, which make this design unique from its other models. Scroll down to read the highlights.

TriFold Technology

A patented new method of folding - two hinges in the frame and one in the handlepost. The positioning of the two hinges is incredibly complex that the patent includes a mathematical formula to describe the hinge positions and alternative positions.

DoubleDeck Frame

DoubleDeck frame design and the burly trapezoidal tubing from the GSD for a stronger, lighter frame.

TFL Joint

New patented technology in each hinge, which rotate around stainless steel pivots inside smooth Igus bearings. Levers lock shut automatically with strong aluminum pins. The TFL Joint is a complex 3D shape with internal interfaces with the frame tubes for a strong, durable connection.

Anchor Bolt

The folded bike is locked together with a strong and patented Anchor Bolt mechanism, staying securely locked no matter how you lift or carry the bike.

Physis RF

Most folding bikes feature overly flexy handleposts which result in a ride best described as "riding a wet noodle". The 3D-forged Physis handlepost is known for its stiffness and strength. This new RF version pairs with the stiff frame to form the foundation of the BYB's excellent riding characteristics.

Metro Transit Rack

The Metro Transit Rack was designed to let the BYB stand vertically when folded, and features spinner wheels that make maneuvering the BYB in crowded spaces a breeze. It pulls double duty by also working with small and mid-size panniers, like the Ortlieb®​ ​Sport Roller.

Essentially Tern has created a foldie that is very well thought, making it easy to manoeuvre when you're doing your daily commute or running errands around the city. In addition to its own accessory line, the BYB is also compatible with many other panniers and bags.

But despite all these features, Tern resisted adding e-assist to the BYB. Josh Hon explains that micro-mobility was the company's focus this time around. "(This is) a continuum of different types of trips and different sorts of mobility options. An ebike 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 decision to incorporate 20" wheels, which evidently is not the biggest tyre size that Tern has on its bikes. There was the option for smaller wheels to make it even more compact, but they decided against it. "We spent a lot of time debating wheel size at the start of the project," admits Hon. "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."

The BYB will be available in two variants, the higher end S11 (1x11 speed Shimano Ultegra, Shadow derailleur) and P8 (1x8 speed Shimano Acera, Shadow derailleur). In terms of sizing, the BYB has a low step design, which can accommodate riders 147cm - 195cm heights.  


AirPorter Slim - custom-fit hard-shell suitcase built with Hinomoto®​ spinner wheels and ultra-light polycarbonate - no bike disassembly required. Dimensions: 525 x 325 x 860 mm (20.7 x 12.8 x 33.9 in)

Luggage Truss CMT - same front Combo Mount as the Tern GSD for a wide ecosystem of baskets, bags, and panniers designed for the KLICKFix®​ system.

PopCover - dust cover while it is wheeled in folded form

Go-To Bag - spacious messenger bag for the Luggage Truss CMT with Fidlock®​ ​ magnetic buckle.

Pack Rack - frame-mounted front rack that doubles as a handle to trolley the folded bike.

*The BYB will be available in limited colours in Malaysia by July, with approximate prices ranging between RM5500 for the P8 model, and RM9500 for the S11.