Bicycles

Tern's super-practical new HSD e-bike wants to put your car out of a job

The HSD can happily sit on its tail for compact storage, but that's the least of its tricks
The HSD can happily sit on its tail for compact storage, but that's the least of its tricks
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The HSD is a modular urban getabout ready to carry your shopping
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The HSD is a modular urban getabout ready to carry your shopping
Adjustable bar sweep on the HSD
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Adjustable bar sweep on the HSD
Rear Atlas rack can easily take a child seat, with a step-thru frame to make getting on and off as easy as possible
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Rear Atlas rack can easily take a child seat, with a step-thru frame to make getting on and off as easy as possible
The HSD comes in several different colors
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The HSD comes in several different colors
Abus frame lock
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Abus frame lock
Oversized Atlas dropouts and dedicated trailer mounts
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Oversized Atlas dropouts and dedicated trailer mounts
Chunky Atlas H rack offers 60 kg of carrying capacity, with pannier racks and a variety of available attachments
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Chunky Atlas H rack offers 60 kg of carrying capacity, with pannier racks and a variety of available attachments
Suntour fork and Schwalbe balloon tires
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Suntour fork and Schwalbe balloon tires
Bosch Active Line motors for the cheaper bikes, with belt drive for the mid-range S8i
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Bosch Active Line motors for the cheaper bikes, with belt drive for the mid-range S8i
Front combo mount
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Front combo mount
The silent Gates belt drive eliminates chain grease and slippage
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The silent Gates belt drive eliminates chain grease and slippage
Hydraulic disc brakes
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Hydraulic disc brakes
Suits riders from 4'11 to 6'5
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Suits riders from 4'11 to 6'5
Thudbuster suspension seat post on the S+
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Thudbuster suspension seat post on the S+
E-bikes make outstanding city getabouts
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E-bikes make outstanding city getabouts
Folds down to easily fit in a car without removing any wheels
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Folds down to easily fit in a car without removing any wheels
The HSD can happily sit on its tail for compact storage, but that's the least of its tricks
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The HSD can happily sit on its tail for compact storage, but that's the least of its tricks
Built-in trailer mounts
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Built-in trailer mounts
Kids seats: not a problem
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Kids seats: not a problem
The HSD: pretty in red
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The HSD: pretty in red

Tern's folding e-bikes have always been ruthlessly practical, but the HSD takes things up a notch. With fully adjustable ergonomics, it's also kitted out with super-solid racks front and rear that are ready to take over the job of carrying your shopping, your deliveries or even your kids.

The HSD slides into the middle of Tern's e-bike range, between the ultra-compact Vektron and the extra-long GSD, which is basically designed to bring cargo-bike carrying capacities into a form that's easier to ride. Thus, Tern has kept the HSD small enough to be portable, and also given it quite a hauling capacity – up to a maximum gross vehicle weight of 170 kg (374 lb).

As far as storage, the seat drops in and the handlebars fold down to get you a bike that's easy to fit in the back of a car. It can also stand up on its chunky Atlas rack if you're really short of floor space.

The HSD: pretty in red
The HSD: pretty in red

That rack can hold up to 60 kg (132 lb) of whatever you want to stick on it, and Tern will happily supply you with all manner of attachments back there, including panniers, trays, baskets and bags. It'll also take a detachable kiddie seat, and if you've got a munchkin on the back, you'll appreciate the step-thru frame design – swinging a leg over a bike with a top bar can be pretty treacherous when you're balancing an awkward, wriggling weight on the back. Rounding out the carrying capacity, a sturdy combo mount on the front lets you stick a rack, basket, bag or whatever you need on there.

In terms of comfort and practicalities, it looks terrific. There's a Suntour suspension fork up front, and big, fat, bouncy-looking Schwalbe tires with RaceGuard puncture protection on board. Some models have Thudbuster suspension saddles to coddle the buttocks as well, and there's hydraulic disc braking and a built-in Abus frame lock for quick stops. The handlebars and seat are adjustable to suit riders from 150 to 195 cm (4.9 to 6.4 ft), and front and rear lighting is built in.

Rear Atlas rack can easily take a child seat, with a step-thru frame to make getting on and off as easy as possible
Rear Atlas rack can easily take a child seat, with a step-thru frame to make getting on and off as easy as possible

As for the drivetrain, there are different models, but all use Euro-legal Bosch motors. Specifically, gentle Active Line Plus ones with 400-Wh batteries for the lower priced models, with the €3,099 (US$3,099) HSD P9 running through a Shimano Alivio Shadow RD groupset, and the €3,699 (US$3,699) HSD S8i using a lovely Gates belt drive back to a Shimano Nexus 8-speed in-hub gearing system that's beautifully protected from the weather and makes chain grease an issue of the past.

The top-of-the-line €4,999 (US$4,999) HSD S+, however, looks much more interesting. It uses Bosch's Performance Line motor, which is significantly torquier, and offers a slightly larger 500-Wh battery. Like the S8i, it also uses a clean, quiet belt drive, but in this case it goes back to an Enviolo Sport 380 hub.

Enviolo deals exclusively in NuVinci continuously variable transmissions, and the 380-series NuVinci gear has the capability to change the gearing smoothly and automatically as you ride. Effectively, you just set how fast you want to pedal, and the transmission will adjust itself instantly, with no clicking or torque loss between shifts, to keep you working exactly as hard as you want to. It's like the problem of choosing the right gear simply disappears, whisking a range of annoying gear selection scenarios straight off the table.

Folds down to easily fit in a car without removing any wheels
Folds down to easily fit in a car without removing any wheels

It's rated for significantly more torque than the Bosch motors put out, and up to 500 watts of continuous power, so it should be reliable under the demands these little 250-watters place on it. An e-bike with an automatic CVT sounds to us like an absolute dream, about the friendliest and most fuss-free set of wheels we can imagine.

The HSD in all its variants will launch at tomorrow's Eurobike Urban Mobility Days in Frankfurt, Germany. Check out an overly long and indulgent video below.

Source: Tern Bicycles via Cycling Industry News

The Tern HSD

3 comments
GordonHoffman
That is a nice bike. It has some nice features. To replace my car, it would need a top and probably 2 wheels in the front. Suspension is important where I live.
ljaques
I built a sub-$400USD electric bike using 16.4kg of lead acid batteries on the rear rack. The very first time I tried to ride it, I fell right over due to the top-heavy rack. (That was after riding it for several weeks without the electrics on it.) It was an extremely tricky bike to ride with that weight up top, especially starting/stopping and changing directions quickly. And now these people tell you you can put 60kg there? No freakin' way! I see lawsuits against them from DAY ONE. Good luck, Tern. Especially at those prices. Five grand...right. (Oh, the lithium replacement pack on my bike weighs 2kg using Sony VTC-6 cells)
TomLeeM
there are other vehicles that was supposed to replace the car. they did not. this will fill a need but it won't replace the car. it will only supplement it. I think this is really nice. being an e-bike, it would keep riders from being too tired when they got to work or where ever their destination was.