2018 Tern Electric Bike Updates from Interbike (GSD, Vektron P9, Rapid Transit Rack)

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2018 Tern Electric Bike Updates from Interbike (GSD, Vektron P9, Rapid Transit Rack)

For 2018, Tern is launching a brand new utility bike called the GSD which stands for Get “Stuff” Done. This thing is about the same length as a traditional bicycle (around 71 inches, 180 cm long) but offers a more stable, low, platform that can accommodate Two Yepp! Maxi child seats, a full sized second passenger, a large cargo basket, and up to six Ortleib panniers. Even though it only comes in one frame size, the handlebars are highly adjustable thanks to the Andros Stem and the seat post is telescoping so you can raise it up for taller riders. The GSD is configured to fit riders from 4’10” up to 6’5” comfortably. This thing is a compact utility bike that can really handle weight, it uses a 15 mm thru-axle on the front and a boost 12 mm thru-axle on the rear. Tern opted for high-end Magura hydraulic disc brakes with quad-piston calipers like you’d see on a downhill electric bike, and the powerful Bosch Performance Line motor which is stronger than the Active Line used for the 2017 folding Vektron model. By default, the Tern GSD comes with a Powerpack 400 battery but has a pre-wired slot to add a second pack at any time (either a 400 or Powerpack 500 which would get you 150+ miles per charge). I asked how much they charge for the additional Powerpack 500 battery pack and was told it costs $800. I liked how the bike could be swiveled vertically and stand securely upright to fit in a closet or elevator and how the handlebar would fold down out of the way in this position and secure with a rubber strop. The Tern GSD electric bike retails for $3,999 which is a bit more than any of the other e-bike models currently on sale from them. We didn’t show it, but the Tern GSD E-Bike also has metal folding pedals that are stiffer and sturdier than a lot of other folding pedal designs I have seen. It was neat to see the adult-passenger setup which has retractable foot pegs, I took Galen around for a test ride the day before this interview video, and the bike felt stiff and sturdy because of the reinforced frame. Schwalbe produced a special tire size just for this bike, it’s a 20” by 2.4” Supermoto-X with reflective sidewalls and logos for safety.

One really unique thing I learned during this interview is that Tern is planning to open source all of their rack dimensions so that other companies can contribute unique accessories or you can build your own. You won’t just have to get their proprietary racks or guess the proper interface sizing.

Also shown at Interbike were the Bafang powered Vektron P9 and D9 which are much more affordable than the Vektron but use the same geometry and design philosophies. They are built around the Vektron folding platform (with the battery and motor positioned near the center of the frame) but opt for a Bafang Max Drive motor which offers some of the quietest performance I have heard. This motor is not quite as responsive or sophisticated as Bosch in my experience (as it does not offer shift sensing) but it is still one of my favorites and I noticed that they used a chain guide to keep the chain on track even when folded or used on bumpy terrain. These newer affordable folding Tern electric bikes start at $2,399 with the Claris drivetrain and go up to $2,699 based on nicer drivetrain components. The Tern Vektron is $3,400 and uses the Bosch motor. One new accessory that works with the entire Vektron line is a Rapid Transit Rack four-wheeled trolly system that allows you to port around a folded Vektron more easily. It has rubberized wheels and coasts in a way that is stable, quiet, and smooth, you can also cover the bike with a waterproof black tarp (included with the Rapid Transit Rack) so that you will be allowed on certain public transportation systems like the subway.

You can see some of my previous Tern ebike reviews at electricbikereview.com/brand/tern/ and learn more about the company at their official website: www.ternbicycles.com/

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