Tern's folding cargobike racking up pledges on Kickstarter

Tern's Cargo Node is half-Tern, half-Xtracycle and was unveiled at Eurobike.
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Tern of Taiwan has partnered with Xtracycle of California to produce a folding cargobike, the Cargo Node, and the companies are crowdfunding its release. This is a cargobike that "fits in your closet" says the Cargo Node's Kickstarter campaign page. A day after the campaign started it has raised more than half of the $60,000 funding goal.

The Cargo Node was unveiled at Eurobike. Tern's Josh Hon told BikeBiz.com:

“Ross Evans, the founder of Xtracycle, is a good friend,” said Hon (pictured below grabbing a slice of pizza at Eurobike). “We went to Stanford University together and have kept in touch.”

Almost literally because the Cargo Node originated from some close proximity thinking: “We were sat in a hot tub, and I said you make this really cool rear rack and we make these cool bikes, maybe the joining of the two could make something interesting?”

The result was a longtail folding bike with a 65 percent smaller footprint than a standard cargo bike. The Cargo Node is equipped with Xtracycle’s new Leap rack, the 2016 version of the Freeradical rack that the company has been making since 1998.

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The Leap has a telescoping front boom allowing it to fit a wide range of bike sizes, from a 24-inch-wheel folding bike like the Node up to a 29er.

“The Leap is super solid,” said Shannon Evans of Xtracycle (shown giving Josh Hon a lift, above).

“It’s torsionally rigid, and it’s not going anywhere, even with two people on the back.”

She said the Cargo Node was a “game-changer” for urbanites: “A lot of people want to use a cargo bike but don’t have the space. With the Cargo Node, you have all the benefits of a cargo bike but you can fold it up, and stick it next to your couch. Even if you have a garage, you may not have enough room for a full-size cargo bike so to be able to stick it in a corner out of the way is huge.”

It’s also perfect for taking on public transportation, said Evans. “I can fold it and get it on buses and trains. If I can’t get a seat on the train, I can use the Cargo Node as a bench.”

It’s also her “date bike,” she said. “To go to the city on the train for dinner with a bunch of friends this is the bike I now use.”

Why did Tern and Xtracycle decide to launch the Cargo Node on Kickstarter.com? The campaign page says: "We want to prove that there is a market need, and an enthusiastic audience, for this bike."

It adds "many sport-centric bike shops haven't yet embraced the rise of urban utility cycling. That's why we're turning to our community and Kickstarter."

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