Tern GSD S10 Review: Our Favorite Cargo Bike


Even although it’s my job to assume critically about merchandise, there are a couple of attributes that I don’t assume to query. For instance, I can not complain that earbuds should go in my ears. Such is the character of earbuds. If I’ve tiny, weird-shaped ears, that’s my very own downside.

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Likewise, I can not complain that cargo bikes are large and heavy. For a motorcycle body to have the power and stability to hold 400 kilos, it needs to be correspondingly giant. You cannot put a 20-pound canine backpack on a Chihuahua, proper?

That is widespread sense, however it makes getting an electrical cargo bike much less handy for the individuals who would most stand to learn from them. If you reside in a crowded city middle, you may significantly think about going carless. But you are SOL with a cargo bike if you do not have sufficient ground-floor storage.

If you are maneuvering a cargo bike by way of crowded streets, you’d higher apply your one-billion-point turns. And since many e-cargo bikes are too large to move in lots of private autos, you higher reside inside a sure distance from a most well-liked retailer.

These had been all issues that I thought of to be inviolable truths about e-cargo bikes. However, the Tern GSD S10 modified my thoughts. The total bike is 180 centimeters lengthy, or about so long as a median highway bike. The bike can relaxation upright on its again finish, in case it’s worthwhile to squeeze into an elevator. And the handlebars fold down to slip into the backseat of a automobile.

In different phrases: It has all of the carrying capability of a cargo bike, and fewer of the inconveniences. Since they got here out in spring of 2018, Tern has been having hassle maintaining them in inventory. After two weeks of using the GSD S10, it’s straightforward for me to see why.

Hey Pretty

Tern is thought for making reasonably priced folding bikes that offer you numerous bang to your buck. So it is smart that they would come with lots of the identical considerate particulars within the GSD.

Like Tern’s folding bikes, the GSD additionally has a particular geometry. The bike’s wheelbase—the space between the entrance and rear axles—is the common size for a lot of cargo bikes, or 124 centimeters. But utilizing such small, fats, 20-inch motocross tires makes the bike noticeably shorter.

The rack can be decrease than different cargo bikes that I’ve tried, and the Bosch motor and batteries are set beneath the rack, as a substitute of on the downtube.

All this intelligent engineering signifies that total, the bike’s middle of gravity is concentrated and far decrease, which in flip makes the bike extra secure. By now, I’ve examined a couple of prolonged rear-rack bikes. Every time I put my 27-pound toddler into the kid seat, we all the time wobble for a second or two, simply lengthy sufficient for each of us to panic about whether or not Mommy goes to fall down and bust each of our heads open. But that wasn’t the case with the poised GSD S10.

The bike suits a wide range of heights. Not solely does the seat regulate shortly with a quick-release clamp, the handlebars additionally rotate to allow you to sit up or lean ahead. The large Ergon handlebar grips present assist for the heel of your hand, and are exceptionally comfy.

The GSD S10 makes use of a customizable Bosch Performance motor, which is stored at a max velocity of 20 mph to uphold federal tips on what constitutes an e-bike. With ten completely different gears and 4 completely different ranges of e-assist, I discovered it fairly straightforward to rise up to 20 mph. And with hydraulic disc brakes, it was straightforward to cease, too.

You can go for the cheaper 400-watt-hour single battery system, which provides you with a variety of wherever from 31-68 miles. You may decide so as to add a 500-Wh battery for a double-battery system that may take your vary effectively into the triple digits. My tester mannequin has the double-battery system. After placing round 30 miles on it, principally in sport mode, I’m lower than midway by way of one battery.

That’s virtually all the knowledge I can see at a look, as a result of the GSD S10 is outfitted with the compact Bosch Purion show. It shows solely my present velocity, the extent of e-assist, and the battery degree, though you’ll be able to scroll downwards to see the odometer and the vary. I in all probability didn’t must know far more than that anyway.

In per week and a half of testing, I didn’t get wherever close to the 400-pound weight restrict. But I did use Tern’s proprietary, reflective and water resistant panniers to grocery-shop, commute, and haul six months’ value of hand-me-down child garments to a pal’s home (not all on the identical time). The bike additionally has a stroll help mode, for once I inevitably get caught midway up a hill and must push it.

It’s additionally value noting that the tester was a pre-production mannequin with virtually 800 miles on it, and it felt nearly as good as new, which bodes effectively for the lengthy haul.

Standing Room Only

Of course, there are solely so many hurdles that the GSD can leap. It nonetheless weighs sixty kilos with a single battery put in, so that you in all probability will not be throwing it over your shoulder like a Continental soldier.

And you may nonetheless want a spot to retailer it. Just as a result of it’s attainable to face the bike on its finish doesn’t imply that you simply’ll be bodily robust sufficient to do it. I attempted a number of instances, and I simply cannot carry it over my head. I’d really feel uneasy leaving it the place my toddlers may presumably knock it over, too.

Even although they only got here out with the GSD S10, Tern can be at the moment engaged on a brand new GSD S00. It will begin out with an even bigger 500-Wh battery, and it’ll have an Enviolo hub with a 380-percent gear vary to be able to change gears whereas at a standstill. So should you can hold on till early 2019, you would buy the premium model of the GSD for a measly grand extra.

But for the second, in case your objective is to cut back the variety of journeys that you simply make out of your own home by automobile, the GSD S10 is one of the simplest ways I’ve discovered to date. It handles and feels the most like a commuter bike of any cargo e-bike that I’ve tried, however with infinitely extra storage capability. And I’m not fooling anybody, anyway: who’s nonetheless hopping off curbs and darting by way of visitors on their approach to work, anyway? Not me.

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