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by Caley Fretz
August 11, 2020
We’re fans of the Tern GSD. It’s a compact e-cargo bike package with big cargo ambitions. The latest generation, launched Monday, grows those ambitions further.
The basic layout of the GSD remains the same as when we reviewed it in early 2019. The big change is a significant increase in carrying capacity, made possible thanks to a stiffer, more robust chassis. The stronger, stiffer frame means that the GSD is now load rated to carry two kids or a second adult AND all your groceries. The GSD is now rated to a gross vehicle weight of 440 lb (200 kg).
When the GSD was launched in 2017, it stuck out for its ability to haul a serious load without a big footprint. As before, the new GSD is still roughly the same length as a regular bike. The bars and saddle drop so it can be transported upright inside an SUV or minivan, and it will stand on its rear end if you want to store it inside a small apartment or get it up an elevator. It still offers tool-free adjustment for riders from 4’11” (150 cm) to 6’5″ (195 cm), too.
Kickstand tech doesn’t usually find its way on the pages of CyclingTips, but the Atlas Lockstand on the new GSD is worth mentioning. It has an Auto Lock feature when engaged, and unlocks with a trigger on the handlebars. It’s wide and stable, of course, capable of holding the bike up while loading groceries or an ornery kid.
Handling was one of our gripes with the old GSD, and that’s been addressed in the new one. The head tube angle is slacker and a slacker seat tube angle leaves the rider closer to the ground for easy stops and starts. Tern added a suspension fork on all models and a suspension seatpost on some of them, too.
Bosch’s Gen 4 Cargo Line motor provides up to 85 Nm of torque and up to a 400% boost over whatever you’re applying to the pedals yourself. A few of the models – the GSD S00 and R15 – come with a Gates belt drive, and the top of the line version, the R14, has a Rohloff Speedhub with 14-speed electronic shifting.
The GSD has some new accessories, too. The Clubhouse+ has enough room for a child seat in the rear position and a bigger kid in front, the Captain’s Chair fits older kids or adults, and the new Cargo Hold 52 panniers hold 104 liters of gear or groceries.
We ran the updates past our Tech Editor, James Huang, who reviewed the GSD previously, and he nodded in approval. “Having spent so much time on the previous generation, I’ll say that all of these changes are music to my ears, and had they been included right from the start, there may very well have been a GSD permanently in my garage right now,” he said.
Prices start at $4599 for the S10. Availability is set for October.