17/04/2024
Latest:
Reviews

Tern GSD S10 Cargo Bike Review – A family style changer

Tern GSD S10 Cargo Bike

The fabulously light GSD S10 cargo bike changed my lifestyle.  It made us happy, saved money on fuel and really improved my mental health.  In just a couple of months, we’ve fully embraced the Turn GSD Cargo life as a car replacement, and we’re a better family for it.  It’s taking up more and more space to have a second car and I’m thinking more and more that we’ve gone through a turn instead.  We haven’t had winter weather all together yet, but we’ve faced torrential rain and strong winds, and it’s still our preferred mode of transportation.  Yes it’s expensive, but the ride and versatility are top notch and it’s now part of the family.

As a busy family of three living in a very hilly semi-rural area, I was always skeptical of a cargo bike that would work for us, but I wasn’t far wrong.  I can’t live without one, but it has to be okay.

ย ย This picture shows the side of the Tern GSD completely with a rock wall and greenery behind, making it one of the best electric cargo bikes on the market.

Tern GSD S10 SPECS

Frame: Tern GSD, 6061-AL, patented multi truss design

Fork: 1.5″ tapered chromoly steerer, Suntour Custom for Tern,  32mm stanchions, thru-axle, 70mm travel

Drivetrain: Shimano Deore, 1 x 10 spd

Brakes: Magura MT5, 4-piston hydraulic disc, 180 mm rotor

E-System: Bosch Cargo Line 400Wh, Dual battery option (LX version 500Wh)

Wheels: Tern Atlas

Tires: Front – Schwalbe Big Ben Plus, Rear – Tern x Schwalbe Super Moto-X

Bar: Tern Phys 3

Stem: tern andros, adjustable

Seatpost: Tern telescope, 34.9/30.9 mm

Saddle: Tern GSD by Velo

Weight: 33.58 kg (74 lb) (claimed)

Size: One size

Cargo capacity: 200kg maximum gross capacity

TERN GSD S10 – Fabrication

When it comes to cargo bike fabrication, each is almost a unique concept.  Usually the only common factor between them is the ability to carry large loads.

In the case of the Tern GSD S10, the love affair begins with the bike’s geometry, a rear cargo-carrying design with a super-long wheelbase.

By my own estimation, it measures about 1,300 mm.  To put that in perspective, the Specialized Roubaix (opens in new tab), one of the best endurance bikes around, has a wheelbase of around 987mm (for a size 54), which shows just how long the Tern GSD really is.  Combine this length with a low cargo position, and the bike becomes incredibly stable.

One size fits all frame design thanks to an adjustable seatpost between 150 – 195 cm (59.1 – 76.8 inches), which ranges between 69 – 105 cm (cm) from saddle to pedal.  27.2 – 41.3 inches).

The seatpost can be adjusted between 49 – 59 cm (19.3 – 23.2 inches) to maintain the bar range, which is partially up to the turn and adjustable stem.

  The Tern GSD range of electric cargo bikes can fold its handlebars to the side to save space, like the one in the picture, which has a stone wall and greenery in the background.

This means that the bike needs extra leg room when storing the bike.  However, the bike’s overall height can be halved at the front end thanks to the foldable steerer, reducing the overall folded size to 176 ร— 40.5 ร— 83 cm (69.3 ร— 15.9 ร— 32.7 in).

The Tern GSD S10’s longtail design requires a robust frame, strong enough to withstand a maximum vehicle weight of around 200kg/ 440lbs, so it comes with a fair amount of reinforced bracing, especially at the rear.  This, as you can imagine, adds up to a pretty hefty package with the electric system.

In fact, like all the cargo bikes I’ve ridden so far, I didn’t really manage to use my normal bike scales to get an accurate weight, so I had to use the claimed weight of 33.58kg/ 74lb.

Comparing it to the Michael Cargo bike of a similar longtail design, which is the same at 33kg to 36kg, give or take a second battery, it weighs in the region of 4kg/ 8.8lbs.

Battery and motor

But don’t let the scale numbers of this beefy bike put you off, the aforementioned Bosch power setup is the gold standard for electric cargo bikes.  Designed specifically for work, it’s similar to what the Rallye Stride uses and is considered the pinnacle of electric cargo bike systems.

According to Bosch, the Cargo Line offers up to 400 percent more support when you pedal at the maximum Turbo setting, in an ever-decreasing assist to select from an additional three power levels, with Eco offering a low level of extra extra.  60 percent.

Like most electric bikes and as per most legal requirements in the UK and Europe, its top speed is 25kph with battery and motor assistance.  However, its torque is more important on a fully loaded cargo bike compared to a normal electric bike.

ย ย This Tern GSD S10 picture shows the centre of the bike with the motor from the bottom bracket and the battery on the bike frame.

  The Tern GSD S10 comes with a Bosch Cargo Line motor and usually a Bosch Powerpack 400 battery

Bosch says its Cargo Line latest systems, from 2021, will deliver 85 newton metres (Nm) of torque.  To put this in perspective, the top-end Bosch Performance Line motor, typically specified for the gnarly terrain of e-mountain biking, delivers 65Nm, 85Nm usually reserved for the Performance Speed โ€‹โ€‹Drive Unit, giving an entirely different kind of electric bike a top speed of around 45kph.  In short, there’s plenty of torque power on offer here.

As with all electric bikes, range will always vary massively depending on terrain, load, weather and dual or single battery setups.  While the Tern suggests a generous ‘up to’ range of up to 195km (121 miles), a rather handy Bosch Range Assistant calculator will give you a better idea of โ€‹โ€‹the typical range you’ll get between charges.

Adjust (Set up)

While the total mass of the bike doesn’t affect compliance, anyone who has ridden a light aero bike will attest to how the frame wears, after frame design and geometry.

The Tern GSD S10 is specially designed with rider and passenger well-being in mind.  Custom Suntour forks that come with 70mm of travel set the tone for how comfortable the bike should be.

ย ย This image shows a close-up of the left brake lever and handlebar grips, with the rest of the bike in the background, including the front cargo frame, while the bike rests on a brick-paved driveway.

  

Magura MT5 eStop hydraulic disc brakes offer absolute control.

Combining Magura MT5 Estop hydraulic disc brakes and forks with Shimano Deore 1×10, 11-36T speeds aim for cushion and control.

As everyone knows, control + confidence = happy rider, so the feeling continues all the way to tire contact.  The ultra wide 2″ Schwalbe Big Ben front tire and the specific cargo bike designed Tern x Schwalbe Super Moto-X tire rear both feature Green Guard puncture protection and reflective sidewalls for visibility. This partnership aims to provide the sweet spot between grip, rolling resistance, and puncture.  Protection and comfort from below.

Speaking of bottoms, the Tern GSD S10 also has its own branded saddle, which sits atop a Tern telescope aluminium seatpost with a built-in handle at the rear.

The rest of the cargo bike features an integrated Abus wheel lock, lockable batteries and front and rear lights, built in brake light.

Cargo setup

Just as important as the build, motor system and spec on a cargo bike is how much you can customise it to meet your hauling needs.

As quality the Tern GSD S10 comes with a rear rack and bottom decks.  The version I tested came with a simple clubhouse, frame and padded seats, as well as a hauler rack in the front.

Tern Bicycle Accessories (Opens in a new tab) is doing a quick online search and probably doesn’t have the accessories you want.  From pet carriers to fully waterproof storm shield tents for your passengers, it’s a case of choosing what works best for you and your needs.

ย ย The best electric cargo bikes can replace a car when going to the shops, like this picture, which shows a pick-top kid in a blue helmet on the back of a Turn GSD S10 LX with bags in front of a busy supermarket

The  Riding

As a family of three, whose daily lives do not follow a strict routine, I was concerned that without a regular local school there would not be much room for a tern in our lives.  But anyway we’re a couple of hundred miles into our time with the Tern GSD and we’re all completely smitten.

From the first spin on the bike I could tell that the clever folks at Tern had invested a lot of time in getting the geometry and spec spot on, as it was as close to riding a regular bike as possible.  I found it easier than riding a road bike with panniers.

Riding the Raleigh Stride and Michael Cargo bikes back to back confirmed that this is indeed a special ride, without the need to settle into a period like I had with the other two.

When cargo bike ownership comes into question I’m as comfortable riding it as I am riding any bike on my own with an 8 year old in the back and heavy shopping bags in front and behind.

Agility levels are impressive for such a long and heavy bike.  It’s more or less the same width as a regular bike which means there’s nowhere the bike can’t go.  We hit roads, trails, canal towpaths, and never once did I have concerns about the bike’s stability or capabilities, no matter how loaded, uphill or downhill, or rough the terrain.

It is clearly an exceptionally comfortable ride for passengers.  Along with a soft toy companion and travel snacks, my sidekick regularly picked up a pen and pad for move drawing.  Thanks to the wraparound frame that secured her to the bench seat, she happily sat cross-legged without needing to be held.

Our only passenger issue was an 8-year-old child whose whole ‘steer with your butt’ concept still holds true for rear-seat riders.  She steered us across the road to the jump where I said ‘no way with you on a cargo bike’.

I think she was shocked that her move had such a big impact on handling, and after a quick chat I’m confident she won’t try the adventure again, but something to think about if you have kids in cargo and they’re no longer in specific child seats.  If you’re concerned about exactly what they’re getting back there, it’s worth investing in your own tail-focused bike mirror.

  The Tern GSD S10 cargo bike shows perfectly to the right with a full cargo load.  A blue bag in the front and a wooden crate in the back filled with shopping.  The bike is in front of a black and white building with a very low tiled roof

Shop of the week.  An inexpensive alternative to another accessory is to adapt an existing wooden box and strap it into the clubhouse.

Power and performance

Living in an unevenly hilly area, the local terrain isn’t a fair representation of most people’s riding, but when local riding to shops requires several hundred feet of elevation change, when sticking the Tern GSD S10 in Turbo mode, you can ride flat, even when fully loaded.

The responsive Bosch Cargo Line motor and battery are superior.  Pedal assist kicks in at the exact moment you need it, especially when pulling away from a junction on a hill.

My test rig actually came with a 500Wh battery, which gives about an hour of extra run time over the standard 400Wh battery.

As with all cargo bikes, make sure you’re in the right gear before slowing down or stopping.  The motor’s extra power can overwhelm your normal gear shift requirements, and it’s not until you’re far from a stop that you realise you’re one (or three) gears too big.  Cue the embarrassing bike straddle coming out of the junction and the occasional formal ejection of your passenger as you pull the bike out of a steep uphill position.

To be fair, you only do this a handful of times before the shame is etched into your brain and you remember the need to always click the big sprocket when slowing down or stopping.  However it makes you realise how much better it is to have the Enviolo Nuvinci gear shifting system that comes with the Rallye Stride.

Not only does this setup do away with the whole concept of sprocket sizes and sprocket size dependent step gear changes, it also allows you to correct the ‘gear too big’ error while remaining consistent with a simple throttle twist.

In terms of range, the aforementioned terrain is a key factor here, and within a three-mile radius of my house, I don’t go very far without it in Turbo or Sport settings.

This maximum power setting drains the battery faster than Eco mode, which I only found once on a flat tarmacked canal course with no destination time commitments.

The battery range is approximately 200 kilometres (121 miles) and proposes a range of 40 kilometres (25 miles).

Checking it against the Bosch Range Assist website tool and its spot on.  I highly recommend visiting the spec page for your e-bike rather than just going off the brand’s ideal riding environment numbers.

Personally, I’m more than happy to recharge after more rides or once I’m down to one battery bar, but if you need a bigger range / more time between charges, you can always upgrade the standard 400Wh battery to a 500Wh one, and/or buy an extra one, ready to dock.  Easily done with the spare battery port on the bike.

Practicalities

At 5ft6″ (167cm), I found my 5ft10″ (177cm) other half to be really comfortable riding the bike.  The saddle can be quickly moved up and down by rotating the bars to get the right height and comfort.

I’m lucky enough to have a large garage attached to the house with power, which means charging and storing the bike is simple.

This means I’m not lugging the bike home on steps and round corners or needing the use of a space-saving layer on the front end.

I am very grateful for the integrated lights built into the rear brake light.  I am highly visible on all the congested roads we have to ride and it is an absolute necessity if you are in the evening or in the dark.  Not having to think about charging/attaching them is very helpful.

ย This image of the Tern GSD S10 shows a close up of the integrated front ABUS Shield 5650 lock, pictured is the front wheel with Suntour suspension forks and mudguard.

The integrated ABUS Shield 5650 lock was unbelievably handy.

The integrated ABUS forefront wheel lock is superb, uncomplicated to use and every time attached to the bike.  Although I often take an extra D-Lock and attach it to railings and bike stands.

I’m still nervous about leaving a bike unattended for long periods of time – most places away from home – without truly secure bike storage.  It’s frustrating, but I may have to take heart, once I have the best e-bike insurance, because it’s getting in the way of some of our use, not wanting to leave it at the train station.

The Tern GSD S10 uses the Bosch Purion digital display shown in the picture.  The digits showing 00.0 kph with a total distance of 290km below it is a symbol indicating that the bike lights are on and a battery with five square blocks inside to represent the battery charge.

The Bosch Purion really needs to showcase the current time to make it absolutely perfect.

My only gripe with the Tern GSD S10 is that the Bosch Purion display is too basic.  It lets you toggle between modes, it gives you speed and total trip miles, but no current time.

Ideally you’d want satellite navigation built in as well, but I’ll admit it’s an expensive accessory to spec for the brand.  After splurging on a bike in the first place it’s a little galling to make the extra purchase to make sure you don’t go too late.

Another additional cost to think about is your cargo setup.  My test rig is on the more basic side, but still adds up to around an extra ยฃ400.  To ride virtually all year round, I’d need to invest in a storm shield to keep my pillion out of bad weather, which would set me back an extra ยฃ230.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

Ride like a normal bike,

Powerful motor for hilly areas.

The versatility of the rear carry frame,

Front cargo space.

Multiple components and setup options,

Fold-down handlebars and quick-release seatpost for storage choices,

Integrated front wheel lock,

Integrated lights with brake light,

Cons:

The rear loading design means you can’t keep an eye on your cargo,

Avoids some basic data displays

Conclusion 

A bike of this quality never comes cheap, and with an RRP of around five thousand pounds/dollars, is always met with sharp gasps.

But as a family, we all found it to be a complete lifestyle change.

It saved me a lot of money at the petrol pumps, a shed load of time not sitting in traffic, and most of all it improved my mental headspace.

At times that could have gone faster by car, we factored in the extra time, went by bike, and arrived as genuinely happier people than when we left.

We just went for an evening spin!  I think getting a dog to get you out of the house more is a similar feeling.  ok  So you can’t sleep on the sofa with it, but it doesn’t come with wet bills and is pretty clean.

It’s an expensive bike, but if you want first class performance in a highly rideable and versatile bike, that’s the price to pay and I’d buy one in a heartbeat.

A longtail electric cargo bike is actually a Car Replacement.?

Drive Pilots

We would like to bring technologically advanced plus environmentally friendly feature-rich vehicles details easier to understand everyone and related news,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Verified by MonsterInsights