Today we're reviewing a newcomer to our shop. We've only had the Tern GSD for a couple of weeks but many of us over at Bicycle Junction are already frothing at the potential these little bikes have. It's a new contender in the increasingly competitive world of longtail cargo bikes, let's see how it fares!
What’s it made for?
The GSD is Tern’s take on a true swiss army bike, a ride that packs as much utility and versatility into as small a package as possible. Like many of our cargo bikes, it makes use of a large built-in rear cargo rack to provide a downright nutty amount of carrying capacity for a bike with 20-inch wheels. With its stout front rack and rear cargo platform, the GSD will easily carry the rider plus two kids and the day’s shopping. It was made to be the cargo bike for those of us who don’t have room for a large cargo bike...and they nail it.
How does it ride?
Quickly, comfortably, and stoutly. Right when you get on you’ll notice how staunch the bike feels. This is thanks to the beefy tubing and the meaty 2.4” Schwalbe Super Moto-X tires keep you rolling smoothly no matter what the road throws at you. Next, you’ll notice the handlebar sits in pretty close putting riders 4’11” to 6’5” (that’s got to be some kind of record) in a comfortable, upright riding position. It’s a bike made for sharing that’s sure, mom, dad, and the kids can all ride it equally easily. Once you take off we appreciated the pep the Bosch Performance Line motor provides (as per usual) and the reliable feel of the Magura hydraulic brakes that come stock on the bike.
What makes it different?
This is by far the most compact longtail cargo bike we have ever seen. Like the Benno Boost E, its wheelbase is no longer than a standard bike. However, with smaller wheels, a folding handlebar (see photo above), and a two-tiered seat post system, this bike can get much smaller. Fully folded it’ll fit in the back of a small SUV, or it can stand upright on its rear rack to tuck into closets and behind doors for cramped living spaces. It’s the cargo bike for apartment dwellers. Plus, it’s the first bike designed to hold two Bosch batteries out of the box we’ve seen and we’re excited to see what kind of range we can get when we throw two batteries on there.
How does it stack up?
The GSD definitely finds its own niche in what’s becoming one of our favorite categories here in the shop. Electric longtail bikes typically are the best car replacement bikes we offer, so we’re happy to see one built for people who don’t typically consider themselves candidates for a cargo bike. We’re also pretty blown away by a bike with over 200kg payload capacity and a wheelbase that’s still under 6 feet. All that said, this is a competitive space and there are other great options out there. The incoming Yuba Boda Boda, and the Benno Boost E should also be considered in this category as they may give riders a more natural fit (at the expense of the extreme height adjustment and compact size the GSD provides). On the whole, we’re glad to have the GSD bikes in the shop to open up the world of cargo bikes to people who it just wasn’t a feasible option for previously.