Not too long ago electric cargo bikes started adapting to demands for urban-friendly alternatives for last-mile deliveries by getting bigger and stronger. Now, as more cities restrict traffic in their centers, and parking spaces get replaced by outdoor seating for struggling restaurants, electric cargo bikes need to be able to take the kids out for ice cream or haul a couple sacks of cement, and they need to be leaner and more comfortable. Basically they need to Get Stuff Done.
Tern first launched its compact GSD electric cargo bike in 2017. The GSD reduced the functionality of a full-sized cargo bike into the footprint of a standard city bike. Since then Tern has gathered more than two years’ worth of rider feedback, plus logged tens of thousands of kilometers under the collective belt of the development team to launch the new GSD G2.
Tern GSD G2, what’s new?
Tern has beefed up the frame with substantially larger and internally-reinforced tubes, as well as optimized the truss work of the frame for greater stiffness. The new GSD is rated to a gross vehicle weight of 440 lbs., which works out to about two kids, or one adult passenger plus the rider.
What does the GSD G2 do?
But unlike XL electric cargo bikes, the GSD can fit riders from 4’11” to 6’5” and is compact enough to be stored upright, or becomes more compact by lowering the saddle and folding the handlebar and turning the front wheel around.
To make the new version comfier and safer, Tern updated the Easy-Step frame geometry with a slacker seat tube angle and higher handlebars. Tern also added a custom suspension fork on all models, and offers a suspension seatpost in specific builds.
Tern chose the patented Atlas Lockstand kickstand to keep the bike stable and in place when loading and unloading cargo or passengers. An auto lock feature engages the kickstand, and can be released by a remote unlock lever on the handlebars.
Every GSD is equipped with Tern’s RearStop Brake Light system, which spares you from having to remember to turn it on because it stays on both night and day. Some GSD models have the Ignis Headlight, whose ultra-wide 700-lumen beam has both high and low beams.
What drives the GSD G2
In all, there are five GSD models, each featuring variations of components. The S00, S00 LX, and R14 models are equipped with a Gates belt drive, while the S10 and the S10 LX have Shimano’s Deore Shadow+ 10 speed. The R14 gets even more drive from a Rohloff Speedhub and E-14 electronic shifting.
The GSD was conceived as an e-cargo bike for anybody, but at the same time could be customized depending upon its purpose. The first GSD gave riders a range of accessories for different cargo and passenger combinations, like racks, panniers, and seat stem-mounted bars. New accessories, like The Clubhouse+, the Captain’s Chair, and cargo panniers, add more functionality and versatility.
Punching above its weight
Germany’s strict safety measures now include a recently-announced German cargo bike standard, which ensures that the bike remains safe when pushed beyond its limits and doesn’t risk the safety of riders or passengers when overloaded. To comply with this standard, Tern partnered with one of Europe’s leading bicycle testing labs to test the GSD using the EFBE Tri-Test. The new GSD passed the test up to the claimed load limit, which means the bike not only meets but exceeds the new cargo bike standard.
Sold as ‘One Size Fits Most’, the GSD S10, S10 LX, S00, and R14 will be available in the U.S. starting at $4599 as early as October.