More bikes and fewer cars is a great idea and one that I think we can all get behind. Well, urban mobility specialist, Tern, is making it easier to ditch the car and take a bike by unveiling their new Short Haul compact cargo bike.

Tern says that the Short Haul is a practically-priced bike designed to get a rider, plus an extra passenger and cargo from home to work, school, and everywhere in between. The Short Haul is a sister platform to the recently launched Quick Haul, which we just reviewed in March.

Tern Short Haul with two passengers

Photo: Tern

“The Short Haul is our vision of how a bicycle designed for urban transportation should look,” stated Josh Hon, Tern Team Captain. “It’s shorter and easier to handle than a regular bike, but it’ll carry much more. It’s the perfect bike for people who want the function of a quality cargo bike but are working within a budget. It’s simple but very capable.”

For Cargo and Kids

The Short Haul has a max gross vehicle weight of 140 kg (308 lb)! That means it can easily carry an extra passenger and plenty of cargo, it’s built with a long rear rack that is rated to carry 50 kg (110 lb). Tern claims that it can be configured to carry a child in a child seat, an older kid, or even a small adult.

Tern Short Haul front rack mounts

You can even carry another 20kg (44 lbs) with the optional front-mounted rack.

Tern Short Haul rear rack

For extra convenience, you can lean the bike back, resting on the rear rack. It’s designed this way so that the bike can be vertically parked, making rolling it into an elevator easy.

Better Ride Quality

According to Tern, most cargo bikes are big and unwieldy, with most city bikes being easy enough to handle but are simply unable to carry much cargo. The Short Haul is shorter than a regular city bike. Tern says that makes it nimble and fun to ride. The extra-long wheelbase and low center of gravity would make for a stable ride, even when carrying heavy loads. These attributes could offer the best of both worlds, packing a sturdy build and a hefty cargo capacity into a compact package that simply rides better. The small size would also make it ideal to transport on many different forms of public transportation.

Little but Tough

Tern states that the Short Haul has been put through the brutally rigorous Tri-Test at EFBE Prüftechnik, one of Europe’s leading bicycle testing labs.

The EFBE Tri-Test is a custom testing protocol that builds upon a new and comprehensive German standard for cargo bikes (DIN 79010:2020-02). Tern says that the Short Haul’s frame and fork went through extensive testing, simulating hundreds of thousands of cycles of multi-directional stress, up to the claimed max gross vehicle weight, to ensure the bike is safe and reliable under heavy load.

Tern Short Haul front end

It looks to be coming with Hydraulic disc brakes as well.

Tern Short Haul with Shimano Altus 8-speed

Shimano Altus 8-speed rear derailleur

The Short Haul comes with a 1×8-speed Shimano Altus drivetrain and trigger shifter. Tern hasn’t listed the tire size, but they appear to be 20 x 2.15″ Schwalbe Big Apples. The weight of the bike is claimed at 16.1 kg (35.4 lb)

The best part may be the retail price of $1099/€1249. And according to Tern, that makes the Short Haul their most affordable cargo bike yet.

Tern Short Haul in black

Tern Short Haul in black

Tern Short Haul in tan

Tern Short Haul in tan

Tern Short Haul in Burnt Orange

Tern Short Haul in Burnt Orange

The Short Haul comes in three colors, black, tan and burnt orange.

Check out more from Tern here: Tern Bicycles 

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