A compact utility ebike that fits the whole family, but carries a family too
Urban transportation specialist Tern Bicycles unveiled the GSD — an ebike that defines a new category: ‘compact utility’. The GSD is designed to carry two kids, a week’s worth of groceries, or 180 kg of cargo, but it’s only 180 cm long—shorter than a Dutch city bike. With Tern’s best-in-class folding technology, it packs down small enough to fit in a VW Touran or an urban apartment. It adjusts to fit riders from 150 – 195 cm—so mom, dad and the kids can all use it. A Bosch Performance motor, with up to two batteries, powers the GSD for up to 250km. It comes fully equipped with integrated lighting, rack, mudguards, double kickstand, two XL panniers, and even retractable passenger foot pegs – everything needed to shift to a bike-centric lifestyle.
“Most of the ebikes on the market today basically look like standard bicycles with motors and batteries grafted on,” said Josh Hon, Tern Team Captain. "That means that all of the valid compromises that were made in designing a muscle-powered vehicle are carried over to the ebike, where they don’t make as much sense. The Tern GSD is the result a fundamental insight: when you design a bicycle around an electric drivetrain, you don’t need to compromise key functionalities like comfort and cargo capacity to optimize for speed. With a Bosch drivetrain, 20” wheel bikes ride just as fast as 700c bikes but thanks to smaller wheels, deliver punchier acceleration. The smaller wheels also allow us to maximize cargo capacity. And with top speed removed from the optimization equation, we were free to design the GSD with a comfortable Dutch-bike riding position. Best of all, we were able to fit all this goodness into a package that’s only the size of a standard city bike.”
“One of our guiding insights was that cargo bikes are most useful in city centers, but they’re correspondingly difficult to manage and store,” according to Galen Crout, Communications Manager at Tern. “Dense urban centers bring cargo bikes to life—where groceries, schools and work are all within a bikeable distance—but they’re also where houses are small, and where bike theft is a persistent problem. We’re creating the compact utility ebike category to let people in cities enjoy the benefits of cargo bikes without the limitations.”
Fits the Family The GSD is an ebike that everybody in the family can ride. Tern’s patented adjustable stem, special cockpit geometry, and super low step frame make the bike easy to handle and ride, even for very small riders. Taller riders will appreciate the expanding cockpit and handlebars that can be adjusted for height and reach. Heavier riders will appreciate the massively buttressed frame and fork, and components that are designed to handle loads of up to 180kg.
Super Stable Just as a scooter is easier to ride than a motorcycle, the GSD rides and handles better than many ebikes on the market today. The GSD’s smaller wheels, low frame, and centrally mounted motor and batteries give the bike an extremely low center of gravity.
Coupled with an extended wheelbase, the GSD is remarkably stable and easy to handle. This extra stability is critically important and appreciated when the GSD is fully loaded with cargo, especially with the wriggling child variety. And since ebikes are typically ridden at higher average speeds, this extra stability adds to safety.
Capacious Capacity The GSD is built to carry stuff, lots of it. The frame, fork, and components have been tested to exceed 180kg of total weight for the rider and cargo. The GSD comes standard with an 80cm integrated rear rack and side panniers with a total capacity of 62L. The GSD fits two children in Thule Maxi child seats or one adult passenger. Additional carrying capacity can be added with lower deck supports, a rear tray, and a front tray. Tern will open source the frame attachment point dimensions so riders with an interest can also design and build their own custom cargo accessories.
Portabilty, Storability Despite its extra large cargo capacity, the GSD packs small to fit into tight urban environments. Since the GSD is no longer than a standard bike, it will work with standard bike racks on cars and buses. But even better, patented Tern folding technology lets the GSD pack even smaller – three seconds is all it takes to reduce its height by 1/3rd and its width by 40% so the GSD can fit INSIDE mid-sized cars like a VW Touran. With two GSD’s packed in the back of the car, family bike adventures will never be the same again. The GSD is even designed to fit into small elevators with a specially designed rack that allows it to stand vertically.
Component Quality Whereas many cargo-oriented bicycles use mostly standard bicycle parts, the GSD goes a step further with some of the most robust parts available. Examples include Magura 4 piston disc brakes, custom 2.4" Schwalbe Super Moto-X tires, Boost thru-axle hubs, and custom 36mm width double-joined rims.
The GSD, designed as the ultimate car replacement or small business utility vehicle, launches together with a collection of accessories, including Eurocrate-standardized front and rear racks, a passenger kit with KLICKfix adapters, and optional foot supports. The rear rack, sized for up to four Ortliebs, is designed for optimal compatibility with up to two Thule Yepp Maxi Seats.
The base price of 3,999 EUR (3,999 USD) includes a pair of 62 L Cargo Hold panniers, and a Bosch Performance mid-drive in 400 or 500 watt hour configurations. The US version will be available in 400 or 900 watt hour configurations.
“It’s a bike that fits a family, but it’s also a bike that the whole family can share” said Hon. “When you’re investing $4,000 in a new electric bike, fundamental versatility makes a world of difference. Fit any riders, passengers, or cargo, and fit anywhere.”
Tern will debut the GSD at the Fall trade shows, starting with Eurobike 2017. Dealers and consumers can stop by the Tern booth at B4-405, or the Tern demo booth at DA-417 to test ride the GSD. The bike will be available in stores in the first quarter of 2018.