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Tern GSD mighty-yet-mini electric utility bike gets big upgrades

Tern’s flagship utility e-bike GSD has been setting the benchmark for ultra-convenient utility/cargo e-bikes since 2017. And now the company has just announced the new Tern GSD G2, the latest iteration of the GSD with significant updates to the design.

Tern GSD G2 utility e-bike announced

Despite maintaining the same footprint as a standard bicycle, the Tern GSD is designed as a do-anything utility e-bike with a large enough (and strong enough) rear frame design to carry two children or one adult passenger, in addition to the main adult rider.

Rated for a gross vehicle weight of 440 lb (200 kg), the GSD is one of the heaviest-hauling e-bikes on the market.

The bike offers tool-free adjustments that allow it to fit riders from 4’11” to 6’5″ (150-195 cm).

The seat tube angle has been slackened while the handlebar adjustment range has been heightened to increase the range of riders that can comfortably fit on the bike.

The bike’s telescoping seat post and folding handlebars help reduce the size of the GSD for easy transport, such as when placing it into a car.

Its vertical parking option also helps it take up less space in small apartments.

Tern GSD 2

The new Tern GSD G2 gets a beefier frame that includes what Tern calls its Easy-Step design (essentially a mid-step frame that looks like something between a step-through and a step-over frame). The truss design of the frame has been optimized for maximum stiffness and rigidity, while a new custom-designed suspension fork in all models and a suspension seat post in the higher-spec models keep the ride feeling nice and comfortable.

Tern stuck with Bosch motors and batteries for the GSD 2, but upgraded to the newest Bosch Gen 4 Cargo Line motors. That adds more power to the GSD with up to 85 Nm of torque and up to 400% pedal assist. Higher spec models also get an upgrade to Gates Belt Drive systems and even a Rohloff internally geared hub with 14 speeds and electronic shifting as well as automatic downshifting.

Tern GSD G2

For lighting, every GSD model gets Tern’s RearStop Brake Light system with always-on functionality when the bike is in use. Higher spec models also get fitted with an Ignis 700 lumen wide-throw headlight with low- and high-beam selector.

The bike also features the patented Atlas Lockstand kickstand. The design is stronger and more stable, plus it features Auto Lock and a Remote Unlock lever on the handlebars. For anyone looking to run their own e-bike kiddie carpool, a sturdy locking kickstand may be an important upgrade.

The three new models of the GSD will be available in the US beginning in Q4 of 2020 with a starting price of US$4,599.

Electrek’s Take

I’ve only spent a short amount on the higher-spec GSD, but the bike definitely impressed me with the amount of utility it offers in such a small foot print.

It made me feel like I had a much bigger, more capable cargo e-bike when in fact the GSD was the same size as a standard bike.

I even had the opportunity to experience the backseat perspective when Tern Team Captain Josh Hon took me for a spin on the back of his GSD, seen below.

While the price is quite high compared to more budget-friendly options, Tern has never competed on price. Instead, they’ve competed on quality and utility.

So this might not be the cargo e-bike for everyone, but rather for those looking for a daily driver e-bike that they can depend on for years of arduous, daily use. And for those with deep enough pockets to afford that luxury.

For anybody seeking many of the same benefits of Tern’s GSD but who can’t quite fit the bike into their budget, consider checking out the GSD’s little brother, the Tern HSD. We tested the HSD last year at Eurobike 2019 and came away quite impressed with the slightly more economical version. Check out our review video below.

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Avatar for Micah Toll Micah Toll

Micah Toll is a personal electric vehicle enthusiast, battery nerd and author of the Amazon #1 bestselling books DIY Lithium Batteries, DIY Solar Power and the Ultimate DIY Ebike Guide.

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