Tern aims for broader rider appeal with ultra-low-step cargo ebike
Flinging a leg over a commuter ebike or road bike can involve some strange-looking gymnastics, particularly for shorter riders, and though Tern's current lineup doesn't include any models that require serious overstretching the company is looking to make mounting up a whole lot easier with an "ultra-low-step" cargo ebike called the NBD.
"To the average rider, the NBD will be an amazingly easy-to-handle, easy-to-ride bike that fits wonderfully into crowded urban settings," said Tern Team Captain, Josh Hon. "But what gets us really excited about the NBD are the special features we've added for riders that aren't conventionally 'average.' For riders that are smaller in size and have a hard time finding a bike that fits, or older riders who might not have ridden a bike in a while, or riders who might have balance or physical issues, or riders who are just intimidated by the sheer size and weight of the average e-bike, the NBD will be refreshingly easy to hop aboard and ride."
The company reckons that when it comes to low, long step-through openings, the NBD (which stands for New Bike Day) has no match among its premium ebike competitors. Its 39-cm (15.4-in) step-over height not only makes hopping on easier for riders short or tall, young or old, but also makes planting their feet on the ground when they come to a halt that much easier too.
The cargo ebike is being offered in two flavors – the S5i and the P8i. The former tips the scales at 23.4 kg (51.6 lb), features a Bosch Performance mid-mount motor for 65 Nm (47.9 lb.ft) of torque and pedal assist to 25 km/h in Europe or 20 mph in the US, and comes with a Bosch PowerPack 500 battery solution that's reckoned good for between 51 and 118 km (32 - 74 miles) of per-charge range.
This model rocks a Gates Carbon Drive belt for maintenance-free riding, has a Shimano Nexus 5-speed internal hub and shifter for flexibility and stopping power is provided by Magura MT4 hydraulic disc brakes.
The P8i wears similar looks but weighs in at 23.7 kg (52.2 lb), comes with a Bosch Active Line Plus motor for 50 Nm (36.8 lb.ft) of torque, with pedal assist also provided up to 25 km/h in Europe and 20 mph in the US, and its battery is a PowerPack 400 unit for a per-charge range of 54 to 108 km (34 - 67 miles). The Gates belt makes way for a chain drive that links to a Shimano Nexus 8-speed internal hub, and the hydraulic disc brakes are from Shimano.
Both models are rated for a maximum gross weight of 140 kg (308.6 lb), which includes 20 kg (44 lb) of cargo on the front rack and up to 27 kg (59 lb) for the Gaia Rack to the rear. That rear rack is reported compatible with many child seats, allowing users to leave the gas-guzzling SUV at home and take a child to school on the back of a NBD.
They each ride on 20-inch wheels wrapped in Schwalbe Big Apple tires, sport cooked-in front and rear lighting, and are supplied with SplashGuard fenders plus an Abus frame lock and double kickstand.
The suspension seat post and Andros handlebar stem can be adjusted to accommodate a wide range of rider heights – between 147 and 190 cm (4.8 - 6.2 ft) – and both can be folded down to better fit inside a car for those out-of-town adventures. For folks who have to navigate elevators at the start or end of a journey, the cargo ebike can also stand upright thanks to Tern's Vertical Parking feature.
Tern's ebikes are by no means budget-friendly, but they are built to last. The NBD models are expected to arrive in bike shops from Q1 2023, prices start at US$3,899. The video below has more.
Product page: Tern NBD