Tern Vektron Review

Tern Vektron Electric Bike Review
Tern Vektron
Tern Vektron Bosch Active Line Cruise Mid Drive Motor
Tern Vektron Bosch Powerpack 400 Battery Pack
Tern Vektron Flat Bar Ergon Gp1 Grips
Tern Vektron Bosch Purion Display Panel
Tern Vektron Quick Release Andros Stem
Tern Vektron Integrated Valo Headlight 150 Lumens
Tern Vektron Wide Plastic Fenders With Mud Flaps
Tern Vektron 160 Mm Shimano M615 Hydraulic Disc Brake
Tern Vektron Porter Saddle With Grip And Pedal Storage
Tern Vektron 10 Speed Shimano Deore Drivetrain
Tern Vektron Cargo Rack Herrmans E Bike Light
Tern Vektron Adjustable Length Rear Kickstand
Tern Vektron Walking Mode Folded
Tern Vektron Folding Electric Bike
Tern Vektron Folded From Above
Tern Vektron Folded Side Pedal
Tern Vektron Folded Width
Tern Vektron Electric Bike Review
Tern Vektron
Tern Vektron Bosch Active Line Cruise Mid Drive Motor
Tern Vektron Bosch Powerpack 400 Battery Pack
Tern Vektron Flat Bar Ergon Gp1 Grips
Tern Vektron Bosch Purion Display Panel
Tern Vektron Quick Release Andros Stem
Tern Vektron Integrated Valo Headlight 150 Lumens
Tern Vektron Wide Plastic Fenders With Mud Flaps
Tern Vektron 160 Mm Shimano M615 Hydraulic Disc Brake
Tern Vektron Porter Saddle With Grip And Pedal Storage
Tern Vektron 10 Speed Shimano Deore Drivetrain
Tern Vektron Cargo Rack Herrmans E Bike Light
Tern Vektron Adjustable Length Rear Kickstand
Tern Vektron Walking Mode Folded
Tern Vektron Folding Electric Bike
Tern Vektron Folded From Above
Tern Vektron Folded Side Pedal
Tern Vektron Folded Width

Summary

  • A premium folding electric bike with Bosch drive system and leading warranty, sturdy and quiet with plenty of adjustability (seat post height and stem angle), smart accessories help you carry gear and stay dry without noise
  • The folding joints are thick and sturdy but don't have sharp edges, both latches have two-step locks to keep them secure and they fold flat to stay out of the way, a magnet and rubber strap keep the bike from coming unfolded
  • Excellent Schwalbe Balloon tires with puncture protection, reflective sidewalls and a larger diameter for improved comfort, you also get bright integrated lights and a delay feature for safety when parking
  • Neat quick release pedal design, both wheels quick release as well, powerful hydraulic disc brakes, easy to remove battery without taking the saddle and seat post off, the bike costs more, only comes in one size and the new Purion display is not removable

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Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Tern

Model:

Vektron

Price:

$3,400

Body Position:

Upright

Suggested Use:

Urban, Commuting, Travel

Electric Bike Class:

Pedal Assist (Class 1)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

5 Year Frame, 2 Year Electronics and Battery

Availability:

United States, Europe, Worldwide

Model Year:

2017

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

49.4 lbs (22.4 kg)

Battery Weight:

5.4 lbs (2.44 kg)

Motor Weight:

8.8 lbs (3.99 kg)

Frame Material:

7005 Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

17.5 in (44.45 cm)(Folded Size 39 cm x 86 cm x 84 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

17.5" Seat Tube, 22.5" Reach, 23.5" Stand Over Height, 41.5" Wheel Base, 63" Length, Folded Dimensions: (33.5" Long, 27" High, 15" Wide)

Frame Types:

Mid-Step, Folding (Patented OCL Joint, DoubleTruss Technology)

Frame Colors:

Matte Black with Blue Accents

Frame Fork Details:

Tarsus™ Rigid Hydroformed Aluminum Alloy, 9 mm Quick Release

Frame Rear Details:

9 mm Quick Release Skewer

Attachment Points:

Fender Bosses, Rear Rack Bosses, Luggage Socket™ Head Tube Bosses, Bottle Cage Bosses

Gearing Details:

10 Speed 1x10 Shimano Deore, 11-34T

Shifter Details:

Shimano, DYNA-SYS Triggers on Right

Cranks:

FSA 170 mm Aluminum Alloy Cranks, 20T Chainring

Pedals:

VP K218 Alloy Spindle with Plastic and Rubber Platform, Right Pedal Has Quick Release

Headset:

Flux Pro, Sealed Cartridge Bearings, 1-1/8"

Stem:

Andros™ Tool-Free Adjustable Angle

Handlebar:

Flat, 24.5" Length (Aluminum)

Brake Details:

Shimano Deore Hydraulic Disc with 160 mm Rotors, Shimano M615 Levers with Adjustable Reach

Grips:

Ergon GP1 Ergonomic Grips with Lockers

Saddle:

Porter+™ Dual-Density with Gel, Integrated GripPad™ Handle

Seat Post:

Telescopic Seatpost™, Aluminum Alloy

Seat Post Length:

460 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

33.9mm, 27.2 mm

Rims:

Double Wall, Aluminum Alloy, 32 Hole (With Brass Spoke Nipples)

Spokes:

Sapim, Stainless Steel, Double Butted, 13G

Tire Brand:

Schwalbe Big Apple, 20" x 2.15"

Wheel Sizes:

20 in (50.8cm)

Tire Details:

Balloon, LiteSkin Reflective Sidewall Stripe, Performance Line RaceGuard, 30 to 55 PSI

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Front and Rear Fenders with Mud Flaps, Rear Cargo Rack (Compatible with Yepp Child Seats, Maxi Easyfit and Maxi Junior Easyfit), Integrated Valo™ Direct Lighting System Headlight (41 Lux, 150 Lumen), Herrmans e-Bike LED Light Back, Adjustable Length Rear Mounted Kickstand, Under Saddle Pedal Holder, SKS CHAINBLADE-e Plastic Chain Cover

Other:

Locking Removable Battery Pack, Magnetix 2.0 Folding Clasp Connector, Fits Riders 4’10” to 6’5” Tall, Heavy Duty OCL+ Folding Joint (Rated to Exceed ISO 4210 and EN 15194 Standards), Stainless Steel Hardware, Quadric™ Dropouts Raise Rear Wheel, 1.5 lb 4 Amp Charger, Max Weight ~243 lbs

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Bosch Active Line Cruise

Motor Type:

Mid-Mounted Geared Motor
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

250 watts

Motor Peak Output:

500 watts

Motor Torque:

50 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Panasonic

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

11 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

396 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium Manganese Cobalt

Charge Time:

3.5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

35 miles (56 km)

Estimated Max Range:

60 miles (97 km)

Display Type:

Bosch Purion, Fixed, Backlit LCD Control Panel (Removable, Symmetrical Integrated Buttons for Right or Left Handed Users)

Readouts:

Speed, Assist Level (Eco, Tour, Sport, Turbo), Battery Level (1-5), Odometer, Trip Distance, Estimated Range, Clock, Max Speed, Average Speed, Trip Time, Lights

Display Accessories:

Integrated Button Pad with 5 Volt Micro USB Charging Port (With Variable Speed Trigger Throttle)

Drive Mode:

Advanced Pedal Assist Advanced Pedal Assist (Combined Torque, Cadence and Speed Measured 1,000 Times Per Second), (Eco 40% 35 Nm, Tour 100% 40 Nm, Sport 150% 45 Nm, Turbo 250% 50 Nm)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph) (25 km/h in Europe)

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Written Review

The Tern Vektron is a pretty amazing electric bike, folding or otherwise. I’ve been looking at images of it next to and overlapped with models from different companies and you can instantly see that the reach is longer and really the frame itself is longer. This improves stability, gives you more room to pedal without heal strikes on panniers and toe strikes on the front fender. Thanks to their Andros adjustable stem and telescoping seat post, you get full leg extension and a more comfortable or more aggressive body position depending on how you prefer to ride. I met with Steve Boyd for this review and got very detailed in the video. Definitely check out the pro’s and con’s below because there are lots of little extras to consider that might help to justify the higher price tag if you’re on a budget. This folding e-bike is sturdy, comes standard with all of the cargo and safety features you could want and offers one of the best warranties I’ve ever seen (5 years on the Tern parts standard or 10 years if you register). The Bosch drive system fits perfectly and blends in with the matte black frame. Weight is kept low and center and features like shift sensing let you use all ten gears smoothly without expert execution and timing. Stand out features to me are the pannier rails on the rack which have stoppers to keep bags from sliding off when you fold and roll the bike, a unique dual-clip bungee system, compatibility with Yepp and Maxi child seats, integrated LED lights with a capacitor to keep you illuminated for a minute after parking, forward compatibility with the larger Bosch Powerpack 500, quick release wheels, a magnet and rubber band stay-folded system and hydraulic disc brakes with adjustable reach levers. There is so much more on this bike to dig into, the video review is long but I had a blast learning from the GM of the United States and founding partner so do check it out ;)

Driving the bike is a 250 watt nominal mid-drive motor from Bosch. This is their Active Cruise model designed to feel smoother but it’s still very responsive. All current Bosch Centerdrives measure rear wheel speed, pedal cadence and pedal torque 1,000 times per second to deliver predictable power. The faster and harder you pedal, the more power you get… up to ~500 watts and 50 Newton meters peak. It’s a very capable system but I noticed that I didn’t zoom right up to 20 mph as quickly as with some of the full sized electric mountain bikes and city bikes I’ve tested. In order to hit top speed I arrowed up to Turbo mode using the display panel the switched to the higher gears. One thing I really love about the Bosch controller is that it delivers software driven shift sensing response so the chain, sprockets and derailleur aren’t damaged as easily. With higher end mountain bikes, I usually expect people to be thoughtful in how they shift but those motors offer up to 75 Nm of torque and the rider is often climbing and even standing up. For this folding bike, I found that mashing seemed almost non-existant and the drivetrain hardware, from Shimano, is well made and durable. In short, the motor keeps weight low and centered, is protected by two support bars (to keep it clean and scratch-free when the bike is folded) and it blends nicely with the all-black frame. You do hear it when pedaling at higher RPMs and in the more powerful assist levels but the soft electronic whine isn’t bad. I usually ride in the lower two levels of assist and get excellent range, 50+ miles per charge.

Powering the motor and both LED lights is a standard Bosch Powerpack 400. It’s compact, light weight at just 5.4 lbs and fits perfectly behind the seat tube. This is one of my favorite parts about how the drive system was fitted on the Vektron. Rather than force the battery onto the top tube or onto the rear rack which both cause problems (raising the stand over height or taking up space, weight capacity and destabilizing the bike) they extended the frame and pushed the rack back. I love that this battery can be taken off so easily, even without removing the seat post and saddle. It clicks on in a snap and has a solid locking core and metal latch which keep it from rattling while riding. The pack is surrounded on all sides by frame tubing so it will be safe if the bike tips or there’s an accident and it has an integrated loop handle at the top so you’ll be less likely to drop it while transporting off the bike, perhaps to charge it? The pack can be charged on the frame if you’d like and the charger is fast, offering 4 Amps of output vs. just 2 Amps on many other electric bike chargers. It’s compact, lightweight and connects in a way that feels solid like the pins won’t get bent. Note that Bosch now offers a 500 watt hour battery which is compatible with the Vektron and all other current designs. The pack is the same physical size but weighs more and costs more.

Operating the Tern Vektron is a snap, once the battery is charged and mounted correctly just press the power button along the top edge of the Purion display panel / button pad. This display is not removable like the larger Bosch Intuvia which makes me a little sad (especially for a folding bike which could get bumped around more) but it’s thin, easy to read and relatively easy to use considering it packs in almost all of the Intuvia features. You even get a 5 Volt Micro USB charging port on the left edge to use with a phone, music player or other portable electronic device. That amazed me to be honest, and I love that the walk mode worked with the demo bike we had because some of the older Bosch systems had it disabled for the USA. Walk-mode is great for times when you’re pushing the bike up a steep ramp or hanging out with a friend but carting around the bike with added bags and cargo. So once the display is on, you have to be in one of the four levels of assist to then press and hold walk along the lower edge of the control panel. I like that the Purion display lets you operate the lights by holding plus for a few seconds and that the headlight has its own on/off slider switch. The thing is very bright and I was told it’s a custom design from Herrmans. You can swivel it down or straight and it has some visibility along the sides with two small LEDs that stay lit for a while after the bike is shut down. This is a European feature that few e-bikes get in the USA. And that’s the thing about the Vektron, it only comes in one size and one color but it’s so adjustable and well designed that I think it will satisfy a wide range of use cases and they were able to keep the price down a bit through economies of scale. Sure, you probably feel like $3,400 is a lot of money but just a couple years back you couldn’t get any Bosch powered electric bike for under $4k, and that’s without a lot of the cool extras and premium components seen here.

Ultimately, the Vektron satisfies more than just the folding ebike scenario. It truly rides more like a full sized bicycle. The frame is longer, stiffer and more versatile but the weight isn’t unreasonable (at just under 50 lbs). Nice upgrades like locking Ergon GP1 grips, Shimano hydraulic disc brakes and a tight chain cover mean you really don’t need to accessorize the bike and they all look nice and just work well together. I appreciate when the manufacturer finds or designs parts that don’t rattle, stay out of the way and look good. The only area I’d think about upgrading is the seat post, perhaps adding a suspension seat post to improve comfort further. The larger tires help and in many places, if the roads are smooth this isn’t an issue. But if you truly plan to test the 40 to 80 mile range or take this thing traveling, the gel saddle and ergonomic grips might fall short and leave you with a stiff back and neck. Do adjust the bars and the seat post, take your time to remember what heights work best for you (using the markings on the post) then consider a 27.2 mm Thudbuster or Bodyfloat. I recommend going with a more premium post here because if you lift the bike by the nose of the saddle (as it is designed to do) one of the more basic suspension seat posts could break, they just aren’t as strong. Shout out to Tern, Josh and Steve for partnering with me for this review and hanging out at Interbike where I first got some insights to share back here.

Pros:

  • The frame feels solid but isn’t bulky, some folding ebikes have large joints that can bump your knees or theighs when mounting and pedaling but this one does not
  • I was really impressed by how quiet the Vektron rides, even at higher top speed, the rack system, lights and fenders stay quiet and feel sturdy
  • The front fender is extra long with an oversized build and mud flap, it should protect your feet and shins well and won’t get bent if you accidentally kick it while turning etc.
  • When folded, the bike really stays put thanks to a magnetic clasp AND rubber strap with multiple tightness holes… some folding e-bikes don’t have any systems to keep them from coming unfolded
  • The saddle is very cool, not only does it have a rounded plastic insert at the nose for you to use as a handle when moving the bike but it also has a pedal holster (for the quick-releasing right pedal when you fold the bike), note that carrying the bike by the seat when using a seat post suspension may cause damage to some cheaper suspension designs, consider 27.2 mm Thudbuster or Body Float
  • Beautiful aesthetic, it’s simple and clean with the black wires and cables blending in nicely along with the battery and motor casing
  • A lot of time and attention went into the buckle clasps, they lock securely, can be adjusted and even serviced with new bushings… and they don’t flop around (Tern has a patented flat-fold design)
  • I love the rear rack because it offers plenty of space on top and on the sides, it felt secure and can carry up to 55 lbs, the pannier bars on the sides have little metal protrusions to stop bags from sliding off the back when you fold and wheel the bike or if you’re noticing that your heel is striking your bags while pedaling (you can mount the bag further back to avoid this but know that the bag won’t slide off)
  • The Bosch charger is compact, relatively light weight and super fast putting out 4 Amps vs. most that just offer 2 Amps, you could toss it into a pannier, trunk bag or use the included bungee system to tie it down and bring it along (full charge in 3.5 hours)
  • This bike can be wheeled along with the bars when folded (as demonstrated in the video review above) and has a walk mode so it will help you carry its own weight, especially useful when coming up steep ramps from basements or carrying groceries etc. when unfolded and walking with a friend
  • High quality, full sized crank arms and pedals that don’t flex under force and weight, I like that instead of using cheap plastic folding pedals Tern developed a quick release system for the right pedal… the bike is still compact when folded but rides much better
  • Lots of safety elements going on here, you get protective lining in the tires, reflective stripes on the side, bright lights that run off the main battery and have windows on the sides so you can be seen from more directions
  • Premium hydraulic disc brakes front and rear, these things stop on a dime and are much easier to use and pull than mechanical disc or older style rim brakes, note that the brake levers can be adjusted to be closer or further from the grips depending on your hand size
  • Ergon locking grips feel nice and won’t twist under pressure or when you’re lifting and folding the bike or crack if the bike tips, just a nice upgrade
  • The Bosch Purion display is relatively easy to read, backlit, controls the lights and is easy to reach while gripping the left bar, you don’t have to take your hand off to use it (which improves safety) but it’s very intuitive to use still, each press of the buttons delivers a nice tactile click and it has a 5 Volt Micro USB port built in for charging a phone, GPS or other portable electronic device
  • Both folding latches have a two-step unlock system so you won’t accidentally come unfolded while riding
  • I like that the seat post has clear markings on it so you can remember and re-adjust each time you fold and unfold the bike to the appropriate height
  • I think the way that they mounted the battery is wonderful, it doesn’t raise stand over height, doesn’t hang way off the back or take up rack space and can still be easily removed WITHOUT taking off the seat
  • The motor is mounted really well, it doesn’t hang down much and is protected by two tubes with plastic caps that allow the bike to rest evenly when folded… it’s one of the most stable folded electric bikes I have tried, many other designs tip easily
  • A larger chainring paired with a 10 speed cassette make pedaling feel natural, they designed it to ride like a normal full sized bicycle even though it has smaller 20″ wheels, it climbs very well and can reach 20 mph but I had to change gears to reach the top speed
  • The rear wheel dropout is raised a bit to allow for strong mounting of the disc brake and more space for the rack and fender eyeletts, I believe it also lowers the center of gravity on the bike
  • I like that both wheels feature quick release because it makes the bike easier to work on or fix flats on the go… just bring a spare tube, mini pump or CO2 in one of your bags
  • If you register the bike your warranty goes from 5 years to 10 years for the Tern frame and select components (the motor and battery are 2 years)

Cons:

  • The Tern Vektron is definitely one of the more expensive folding electric bikes, it offers premium components, a first class drive system and an amazing warranty but that comes at a price
  • As with many folding ebikes, you only get one frame size here and it’s a bit longer than normal (the reach is longer), you can dial it in with the Andros stem and by sliding the saddle rails
  • While I love that the seat raises so high, it wasn’t clear how you’d be able to raise the handle bars to match without some special accessory, the Andros adjustable stem helps a lot but some other folding electric bikes have telescoping handle posts to address this
  • There’s just one color choice here, if you buy a couple of these for a his and her setup it might be tricky to tell which is which uless you add some accessories ;)
  • The stand over height isn’t super low, Tern purposefully uses a curved tubing design for strength and puts their folding joint back a bit but this means you’ll have to step higher to get on than some competing models
  • I love that they included bottle cage bosses but probably wouldn’t mount a cage and bottle here because it would be nearly horizontal and might leak, consider a folding lock, mini-pump or other compact accessory (or a tight bottle!)
  • It’s great that Tern went with wider tires for their official electric bike offering because in my experience, you tend to ride at a higher average speed and for longer distances and comfort can be an issues. Otherwise, there’s no suspension fork or seat post suspension… consider a Thudbuster or other 27.2 mm after market seat post
  • The Bosch Purion display panel isn’t removable like the Bosch Intuvia but it’s much more compact and still delivers all of the same readouts (hold + to activate the lights, hold – to cycle through menus)
  • Unlike a lot of other premium full sized e-bikes, the wires are not internally routed on the Tern Vektron (which makes folding and repairing easier) but they could get snagged easier and the front wires might interfere with the optional front rack and cargo if you remove the head badge on the head tube and install a “luggage truss” on the “luggage socket”

Resources:

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Ken Boesch
4 months ago

Court: Thanks for the review on the Vektron! I’m flying out next week to Los Angeles to go to the Long Beach Ebike Expo. Looking forward to trying out this bike along with Tern’s other Ebike, The Link. Here’s hoping for nice weather out there in Southern California. Ken

Court Rye
4 months ago

Awesome! Your last name almost looked like “Bosch” to me for a moment, perhaps the Bosch drive system on the new Vektron was meant to be ;) in any case, have a blast at the Expo, my fingers are crossed for good weather for you! Glad you enjoyed the review Ken.

Stephen Nicholas
4 months ago

I was really sold on this bike, watched all your videos and was all the time confident it was evailable for the whole of europe, yet not Sweden were I live, imagine my disapointment.

Court Rye
4 months ago

Ahhh, that’s a bummer Stephen… Sorry to hear. Maybe you could take a little vacation to a neighboring country and bring one back? Does it work like that in Europe or would the taxes be super high? I believe there are several shops that will ship ebikes if you pay a little extra, even some that go from the US to Europe. If you’d like, you can let me know and I’ll check with some shops here to put you in contact :)

josh hon
3 months ago

Hi Stephen, definitely get in touch at info@ternbicycles.com and we’ll send you to a dealer in the EU who will ship to you.

Court Rye
3 months ago

Thanks Josh!

Paul Wong
3 months ago

I have been following your entertaining reviews for a while now. Great review on the Vektron! For the price range, I have this expectation that the bike ought to be around 40 pounds or so. I do love this bike though it is a bit up there in the price range. Any chance you might review the eLink D7i in the near future so I can compare between these two and see what an extra $1400 buys me?

Court Rye
3 months ago

Hi Paul! It’s on my list but won’t be done for at least a month and a half… I just finished traveling through California and shot 45 reviews which I need to work on now. I’m visiting my Dad and helping him with some house remodeling and moving so my time is a bit split. In general, I feel Tern makes great stuff and I love the Bosch drive system. Maybe there are some other reviews here that can help you feel out the eLink D7i or maybe in the Tern forums here :)

Felipe
3 months ago

Is it possible to install the Sherlock GPS in the handle bar?

Court Rye
3 months ago

Hi Felipe! What a cool looking product… You might need to double check the tubing size on the Tern Vektron and probably swap to different grips since the Ergon ones it comes with have caps already and are locking (maybe you could cut the cap or modify them)? I’m guessing you could get it to work. Thanks for sharing and good luck! Let me know if you get this and how it turns out :D

Offer Appelboim
2 months ago

Hey Court, This is one of the most professional websites I’ve ever ran into. Good job!!! After a long research by myself, it became clear also to me that the Vektron is the best folding E-bike we have today on the market. The only thing stopping me from buying it right now is my curiosity about the future E-brompton. The only problem is that I don’t have any idea about future estimated price, abilities ect. Can you try to find out about what is going on there at Brompton? Why aren’t they disclosing any detail about their future E bike? Thanks a lot!

Court Rye
2 months ago

Hi Offer! Thanks for the compliments, I do my best with this site and agree that the Tern Vektron is one of the best folding products available today… maybe in addition to the Gocycle products which are also very nice but not as powerful or efficient. I have not heard much about the Electric Brompton folding ebike but everyone seems to believe it’s coming… I wish I could help more, but I just don’t know. Why not check the EBR forums and ask if anyone there has heard more?

Offer Appelboim
2 months ago

Thanks Court, this is a good idea. Actually I didn’t notice the forum before.. I will try there. Thanks again

Julia
2 months ago

Hey Court, your Tern review was very compelling! Before plunking down a wad-o-cash on my 60th birthday present, I have a few questions:

  1. I live on a fairly steep 1 mile-long hill. Will this 36 volt / 250 watt motor do the job? I don’t know much about watts, voltage, torque… 36 volts sounds good, but 250 watts sounds kind of puny compared to 500 or 750. I think I recall you saying that since the wheels are smaller, you don’t need as much wattage. Did I get that right?
  2. Also, smaller wheels… you don’t have to spin more to go the same distance as 26″ wheels?
  3. I don’t know how often I’ll need to fold it up – it’s a possibility on occasion; what might I be giving up by buying this folding bike rather than a non-folding ebike? Perhaps trading for an unfolding bike w/ more watts would be a better choice if I’m not going to fold it very often.

Thoughts? Many thanks, Julia

Court Rye
2 months ago

Hi Julia! Great questions and good job paying attention about how the wheel size interacts with motor performance. In short, this motor is very capable despite the lower 250-watt rating. It peaks well above 500 watts and delivers power through the drivetrains vs. a hub motor which does not. Inline drive systems like this allow you to switch gears (to a lower gear) and help the motor out. It’s perfect for steep climbs or moving heavier loads. And following that point, the smaller wheels are going to be easier to turn and steer with because they are lighter and have a shorter radius. The other advantage is a lower center of gravity for you and your cargo the wheels can support more weight because they have shorter spokes. You’ll notice that a lot of cargo bikes have a smaller rear wheel for these same reasons. The one major trade-off here is that the tires don’t have as much air and have a higher attack angle which can feel bumpier. When riding below 20 mph and using lower levels of assist, this ebike still feels good. Whether you need to fold this bike or not, the motor and battery are top of the line and Tern has an excellent reputation. This is one of the best folding ebikes around right now and includes excellent dealer and manufacturer support. You will be able to find replacement batteries for this bike much easier and the motor should hold up better over the long term. The key is learning to ease off of the pedals just before shifting gears so the motor power doesn’t put too much stress on the chain, sprockets, and derailleur. I hope this helps you out… good job digging deeper than just numbers because the way this bike works makes it a much better performer than a lot of the higher-power rated products.

Julia
2 months ago

Court…Thank you SO MUCH for your invaluable insights and expertise. I feel pretty confident now about splurging if the bike feels right. I need to drive 2 hours to the shop that sells them; they’re on back order at this shop until mid-May, but I can at least go up & test ride it. So, that also means servicing it will be a 2 hr drive as well – but I like playing in the city, so it all works out. AND, since it’s a folding bike, it won’t be a problem getting it into the car. I’m stoked! Please know that I wouldn’t have noticed this bike without your awesome review.

Happy trails,
Julia

Court Rye
2 months ago

Hey Julia! That’s super exciting, thanks for all of the positive feedback and sharing your plans. I really think that this particular ebike is going to hold up well and that if you’ve got minor issues (drivetrain, tires, tubes) that any bike shop will feel comfortable doing a tuneup. In maybe three years, if you decide you want another battery or need to replace the display or something, Bosch will still be offering parts and you can drive to the ebike shop in the city to get them. The folding feature will come in handy, I’ve used it more than expected when borrowing/reviewing these models. It’s cool to fit a bike inside your car vs. on a rack. Makes it easy to take to ride with friends, keep out of the rain etc. Good luck and please chime in again someday when you get the bike and can test ride it a bit :D

nathalee
2 months ago

Great review! Thank you!

I have been in the market for electric bike for years. Wa discourage by bike shop 12 yrs ago but I think it has all improved. Looking for foldable do to vehicle lack of being able to attach rack. I want to be mobile and tern and brompton (when the new one is released) becoming 2 I think are strong and durable

Hubby and i might share before buying 2 will tern hold a 250 lb person? will he still be able to climb hills? Is seating upright position like a cruiser? we dont like bending over hub motor driven seems to be a debate with some manufacturer.

thanks again?

Court Rye
2 months ago

Hi Nathalee! I think the Vektron would be an excellent choice for you because mid-drive motors are more capable climbers and can move heavier loads. I would guess that yes, the bike can take 250 lbs because the official limit is 243 lbs and most companies are a bit conservative with those estimates. The neat thing about the Tern model, aside from it being available now, is that the handlebar is so adjustable. You could slide the seat forward, angle the bar up and have a nice relaxing body position. I like your idea of buying one and trying it out together before deciding on a second. I think you’ll like it very much based on what you shared. As for Brompton, they are an awesome company too, but I haven’t heard much about their ebike and it could be many months before one is released. Since we’re in spring and the summer is coming, I’d get the bike that is available for sure and try to find it at a local shop if you can :)

Clark
1 month ago

I just got mine, and I’m confused. There’s no throttle? So the only power you get is when you’re peddling?

Court Rye
1 month ago

That is correct Clark, the Tern Vektron is a Class 1 electric bike also known as pedal assist only. It’s allowed in the most locations but only offers pedal-assisted support vs. throttle mode and has a top assisted speed of 20 mph. If you want a throttle, look for Class 2 folding electric bikes… but give it some time, the Bosch system is very powerful and responsive, it works well if you don’t mind a bit of pedaling.

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San Diego Fly Rides
23 hours ago

Yay! A new e-biker! I definitely understand the concern about the bike getting stolen. I'd second Dewey's recommendations. We use ABUS folding locks at our shop and I use the New York U-lock for personal usage.

In terms of bikes you might be interested in, I'd be less concerned about weight more about it being the right size. It sounds like you want something with that's easy to mount and dismount, so stick to step-thru frames (also sometimes called low-step) or wave frames. I'd start by checking out the Bulls Cross Lite E or the Bulls Lacuba Evo E8. These are both bikes that are great on hills and great from stops. Basically, you're looking for a higher torque to accelerate more quickly out of the gate. Both Bosch and Brose motors offer higher torques. If you want something a bit cheaper, check out the IZIP Dash. Still a great commuter bike, but definitely going to save you some money.

I'd say the ultimate in security would be to take the bike into work with you, so you might also want to consider some foldable options. Most foldable electrics can easily fit underneath a desk. This way it's with you all day. My favorites are the Blix Vika+ and the Tern Vektron. Let us know if you have any questions!

motostrano
5 days ago

Hello. I'm very interested in the Tern Vektron but I would really prefer to have "Performance Speed" motor from Bosch rather than the "Active" line that it comes equipped with. The roads around here have very wide bike lanes that are smooth as glass and the extra speed of the 28 mph assist would be a real benefit to my commute. Does anybody know if it is possible to swap out the Active motor for the Performance Speed one?

It's possible. It will fit and work but you'd have to be able to get your hands on one and Bosch won't sell them.

Ravi Kempaiah
1 week ago

Hello. I'm very interested in the Tern Vektron but I would really prefer to have "Performance Speed" motor from Bosch rather than the "Active" line that it comes equipped with. The roads around here have very wide bike lanes that are smooth as glass and the extra speed of the 28 mph assist would be a real benefit to my commute. Does anybody know if it is possible to swap out the Active motor for the Performance Speed one?

However well designed, a folding frame isn't the ideal platform for a speed motor. You could try talking to your dealer to see if they can get the speed motor upgrade. I believe Bosch would oppose such a change.

LKeene
1 week ago

Hello. I'm very interested in the Tern Vektron but I would really prefer to have "Performance Speed" motor from Bosch rather than the "Active" line that it comes equipped with. The roads around here have very wide bike lanes that are smooth as glass and the extra speed of the 28 mph assist would be a real benefit to my commute. Does anybody know if it is possible to swap out the Active motor for the Performance Speed one?

gumster
1 month ago

I'd love to hear of "user" reaction to test-riding or owning a Tinker (no offense to dealers who test-ride the bike without an interest in owning one). I'm thinking of it as being somewhat of an electrified Birdy with a non-folding frame. I've realized that a folding e-bike is not in my future as the good ones (looking at you, Vektron) are too heavy for me to lift into my SUV (post back surgery).

AaronP
2 months ago

Carmen,
The tern site has a number of videos showing the folding and transport of the Vektron. Also check YouTube.
There is a video showing a guy carrying one with the seat turned slightly and hooked on his shoulder (the horn of the seat is padded on the bottom).
I bought a Vekrton last week an have ridden about 125 mi so far. I really like the bike.
I drive a small hatch back and it fits nicely in the back (folded).
When I go into the grocery store I fold it in half (which takes about 15 seconds when you get the hang of it) and set it in the cart.
Good luck in your search.

Dewey
2 months ago

Was looking at the
Magnum Premium
Any thoughts on this one?? I know it's a bit heavy

Yeah, it weighs more than 60lb! Speedy though. You might also like to try the Tern Vektron which has a nice adjustable handlebar, 20" 2.15" Schwalbe puncture resistant tires, a Bosch motor that has a neat walking pace assist feature that works when the bike is folded if you leave the handlebar up, or you can raise the seat post and push the folded bike around by the saddle, good range, and weighs 12lb less than the Magnum because it uses an aluminum frame, if it were my money that would be the one I'd buy.

David Bonde
2 months ago

Kenny and Chris - Thanks for your time and answers I appreciate it.
It turns out that a bikeshop near by has the Tinker standing and ready. Vektron will arrive late May. I will take a ride on the Tinker, and see if I want to wait and also try the Vektron.

The Tinker with the 8 speed hub and active motor is the same price as the Vektron.

Cheers

Chris Nolte
2 months ago

I think in simple terms, they are similar, but it's really what you want or need. I think one key element is that they both have the Bosch system, which is a win in my book. I think the Tinker is special in that it has a suspension fork, available with a Belt for lower maintenance. It's possible to get it with the 500Wh battery if you need longer range and it's a rigid frame so there are less moving parts to wear or break.

The difference with the Vektron is, it's foldable at a lower price point with slightly less expensive parts. All in all they're both very good quality bikes, it just depends on your needs and budget.

Keep in mind that the bikes are slightly different in Denmark and I tried to cater my response to you a little more. The Shimano hub isn't offered here in the US, but it's a good option to save a few bucks. The Nuvinci might be easier for family members to use if they are not that familiar or comfortable with shifting.

If you have the opportunity to ride both of them I would highly recommend it.

I hope that helps.

kennyb
2 months ago

David:

I have a Vektron and love it. I can't say enough about it. I too was torn between the tinker and Vektron but ended up with the Vektron due to its foldability and the fact that Chris was the only one in the US that had one and I live in STL MO. There ended up being a Tern dealer less than two hours from me. I rode it at the Long Beach bike expo and was sold. I did speak a lot with the R and M guys at Long Beach and they are great guys that make a great product. I rode one of their bikes with the belt drive and it was real smooth. The Vektron is a tad less expensive, is foldable and offers Bosch quality . I wish u luck with your decision.

Kenny B

David Bonde
2 months ago

Hi,
Maybe you guys are up for new questions :)

I am in the market for a new bike and got interested in the Tern Vektron. Then I saw this thread and sort of fell in love with the Tinker. I really like the design, the belt drive and the hub-thing. I can see that it comes in two versions one with the Bosch active motor and a 8 speed hub and one with the cx motor and the nuvinci hub. Unfortunately I would really have to stretch it price wise to go with the cx motor and the nuvinci. So my question basically is. Are that upgrade worth the extra buck? I really like the idea of the nuvinci hub, but don't know if I would need the extra performance in the cx motor.

I need the bike for a short commute outside of the town and for longer pleasure rides in the weekend and just to get on the bike more often than now, where I choose my car more often than not. I will properly share the bike with my daughter for her ride 10km to dance lessons and my wife.

Chris, you wrote that with no upgrade you would recommend the Vektron. Is that because the Vektron is better value than the "basic" Tinker? I can see that the motor and battery is the same on the Vektron and the "basic" Tinker.

I like the folding option on the Vektron but I will properly not be using that much. But it might come in handy from time to time.

Thanks - David - Denmark

Carmen Johnson
3 months ago

I'm thinking about purchasing an elektron tern bike. Three questions:
1) Live on the second floor and 56 years old and so I'm wondering if I will be able to get the bike up the stairs.
2) Is there an easy way to mount bike on a car?
3) Can anyone direct me of known video demonstrating two questions above?

Thank you so very much.

Over50
3 months ago

There was some general discussion here with some mirror options:

https://electricbikereview.com/forum/threads/bike-mirror-recommendation.12937/#post-102453

I looked up your Vektron and the Tern site says the grips are Ergon GP10 which I don't even find at the Ergon website. Could that be a typo and they are GP1 grips? I'm having a similar issue with my Tern Eclipse S18 (non electric). It has GP3 grips which have the bullhorn things. I might have to change them to GP1 grips in order to attach a bar end mirror. I need the mirror more than I need the bullhorn grips.

If you have the GP1 grips, I think any bar end attaching mirror will work. The Busch and Muller mirror that I posted in the thread above is attached to my Riese and Muller which has Ergon GP1 grips. The mirror folds away nicely (appropriate for a folding bike) and offers a wide field of view. Its the better of the two mirrors I currently use (a Mirrcycle on one bike and the Busch and Muller on the ebike). With a bar end mirror like the B&M you might just have to test out the various fold positions to see what works the best when you fold up the bike (to avoid damage to the mirror). Not sure what I'm going to put on my Tern yet but I might go the route of switching to the GP1 grips and attaching the same B&M mirror (even though it is sold as an ebike mirror I don't see why it wouldn't work on my Tern). Let us know what you choose. I have 3 Terns in my household by the way (all non electric) - 2 that I ride and 1 is my wife's.

kennyb
3 months ago

Just purchased a Tern vektron and need to purchase a mirror for my commute to work . Any suggestions?

Thanks

Kenny B

Chris Nolte
3 months ago

Just got my Tern Vektron. Steve Boyd told me I was the first person in the USA to get theirs. Been cold and rainy here but I got in 5 miles yesterday. What a great ride !

Ken
Congrats! Keep us posted on how you're enjoying it! I think you made a great choice :)

kennyb
3 months ago

Tern isn't offering the 500Wh battery option, but it could be possible on the dealer level. I don't believe that a suspension fork is an option, but keep in mind the wide balloon tires act as a suspension in a lot of ways.
Just got my Tern Vektron. Steve Boyd told me I was the first person in the USA to get theirs. Been cold and rainy here but I got in 5 miles yesterday. What a great ride !

Ken

Ravi Kempaiah
4 months ago

@James Kohls I agree that the teardrop downtube is a bit wonky, was expecting it to look different than it does when I heard about it recently. I love Specialized and one of the big factors is how beautiful their bikes are... I can understand why the tube gets fatter (to fit the motor at the bottom) and see how the paint is designed to separate the lower bulge. Might take some getting used to ;)

I do like that now they both seem to have suspension forks, before I would constantly nudge people towards the Turbo X when asked simply because it felt more comfortable but it wasn't as powerful as the S. I feel like this is a good update and am excited about how a mid-drive can be efficient and balanced but the GoSwiss Drive motors were pretty sweet. Super quiet, zippy and I think the older models looked better. Excited to see and try the Vado in person at some point :)

Just like the Tern Vektron, I hope you'll be able to do a detailed review on this with their engineer

It's an interesting transition for specialized and the industry in general.

Saddlesoap
1 day ago

Will you do a review of the R&M Tinker?

Mark Troup
1 week ago

Total bike porn. My everyday bike is a 29+ but I would love to add this thing to the stable!

garico 74
2 months ago

£3000 in the UK. are you having a laugh?

Christiana Peeters
3 months ago

Wel mooi . Waar zij ze te koop .en de prijs .?

nicholas broughton
4 months ago

Hey Court do you think it would be worth springing for this over the tern bionx model that came out last year?

Propel Electric Bikes
4 months ago

I hope you don't mind me butting in, but I have experience with both of these bikes and I can say wholeheartedly that it's worth it. This bike not only has a better motor system, all of the components are better as well. On top of that it comes with some pretty awesome lights and an adjustable stem. I hope this helps.

marcosdjcm
4 months ago

Impressive

Charles Carlson
4 months ago

Hey Steve, Looking good. The perfect folding e-bike. Well done!

Steve Mullholand
4 months ago

This could be my new bike!

Propel Electric Bikes
4 months ago

Good choice!

Rocking in a free world
4 months ago

I had an electric bike once. It was shit.. Now a folding bike that's Bosch powered. I'm sold!!

Propel Electric Bikes
4 months ago

This is the folding bike we have been waiting for. We get requests all the time for folders, but ever since we heard about this release we have been eagerly awaiting it's release. Two leading companies in their niche came together to make a truly awesome product!

EPSTomcat11
4 months ago

Hm.. That's a bummer. There's nothing like the feeling of coasting on a bike...

Crosmyn
4 months ago

Great review and I'm really interested in this bicycle. The folded dimensions you list read like it would fit in my car trunk, when placed on it's side. But listening to your other reviews mentioning sensitive components, this has the display on one side and the derailleur on the other. Do you think it's concern in general or would the cargo rack adequately protect the latter?

Propel Electric Bikes
4 months ago

I don't think it should be an issue, if you're careful you should be okay. The parts are pretty robust.

yoma measureacher
4 months ago

i like it but
Riese & Muller Tinker i think make job more effective with hub-gear
and without folding its quite compact e-assist bike

Propel Electric Bikes
4 months ago

The Tinker is another awesome ride! We're really blessed to be able to offer both of these high quality bikes. They fill similar needs, the Tern can fold down a bit smaller, but the Tinker has some different drivetrain and motor offerings. Court should be coming out to our shop in the next month or so to review the Tinker, but feel free to reach out with any questions in the meanwhile if we can assist. -Chris

yoma measureacher
4 months ago

would be interesting to know what would you chose between this 2 models after review of tinker
about weight height compare between them
i think tinker can be urban mobility able like strida bikes

ElectricBikeReview.com
4 months ago

I'm excited to check their models out later this year, any specific questions or things you want me to look for or at in-depth?

EPSTomcat11
4 months ago

Awesome review as usual :) So just to confirm, no throttle-only mode?

ElectricBikeReview.com
4 months ago

Correct, there is no throttle mode on any of the Bosch systems at this time. In my experience the Turbo level of assist is very zipp and responsive like a throttle, but you still have to pedal to get it working

Jonathan James Harrison
4 months ago

Just wait for the electric brompton

ElectricBikeReview.com
4 months ago

Yeah! I talked to the Brompton folks earlier this year (maybe late last?) and they mentioned the project. I thought it was a big secret or something but it sounds like there has been some press. Excited to see how it all turns out ;)

Victoria Leid
4 months ago

Help me raise money for my grandma https://www.gofundme.com/3egxy7k?utm_source=internal&utm_medium=email&utm_content=campaign_link_t&utm_campaign=welcome

Jenny Johnsson
3 weeks ago

ElectricBikeReview.com I have been thinking along these lines, too. However, for the user in question, a scooter is out. A tricycle would feel too "handicapped" to look at and the basket is a dream for thieves. Great balance now but life - and windy weather! - is unpredictable. I would really like to go for a cargo e-bike like Nihola with two wheels in front and a big basket - people of all ages use those! And they work well, have electrical assistance too. I would like to have a smooth, burglar-safe lid on the box so I can leave things in the bike safely while running errands. You seem very well versed in bikes: Have you seen a cargo bike (2 or 3 wheels) that would fit the bill but still be possible to store inside an apartment? The cargo part would be used for cargo. Not kids or pets.

ElectricBikeReview.com
4 months ago

Cool, just donated! Hope she gets the scooter. Have you considered an electric trike instead or does she have good strength and balance? I like this one: https://electricbikereview.com/sun-bicycles/24-traditional-electric-tricycle/

F r e e l e e
4 months ago

Brilliant review well done.

ElectricBikeReview.com
4 months ago

Thanks :D

Lobo GC
4 months ago

Awesome bike! I just couldnt believe this bike would go for 40-80 miles based on them but then i saw the displayer estimating 57 miles.. so i dont know (36v x 11ah you know..) but if this bike is capable of that range i say its really worth the investment; this is definitely the best folding premium ebike and the price well I just wished it was 1k less. Great review! you explained it all.

ElectricBikeReview.com
4 months ago

Wow, I had never seen the range tool Josh, thanks!

Joshua Hon
4 months ago

You're welcome. Actually Bosch say that their estimates tend to be a bit conservative. And of course it'll vary slightly based on tire pressure, etc. But I've been riding the bike more or less non-stop for a few months now and their (and our) estimates are quite accurate.

Lobo GC
4 months ago

Joshua, thank you so much. I just checked mine and worst case scenario is 42 miles on Eco and 60+ mile on a paradise day. It looks legit since they take into account so many things and you are right this drive system is high end so it should be very efficient. Really nice feature from Bosch.

Joshua Hon
4 months ago

The Bosch drivetrain is one of the most efficient out there. You can calculate the average range for any Bosch equipped ebike using the Bosch Range Cockpit here: https://www.bosch-ebike.com/en/service/range-cockpit/

low rez
4 months ago

I see the sexy bike in the vid icon and get excited. I watch the vid until I hear "$3,400" at which point I instantly close the vid shaking my head and asking myself why I bother. Seems EBR should stand for expensive bike review which is really frustrating. I wish someone would make reviews of e-bikes with more down-to-Earth prices. I would totally subscribe to something like that.

visualray
3 months ago

Tern has a cheaper bike with a cheaper motor (http://www.ternbicycles.com/us/bikes/471/elink-d7i) but I can tell you as someone that has a Tern bike with a Bionx motor, this looks like it's worth every penny. I have a friend that is looking for a better way to commute and I told him about this bike. His commute involves a bus from New Jersey to New York, then a subway ride, and then a long walk and it costs $15 a day round trip. With this he can have a more pleasant commute and it pays for itself in less than a year. My Tern had over 8k miles before I put the Bionx motor in, so you get what you pay for.

ElectricBikeReview.com
4 months ago

I bought a couple super affordable ebikes last year on Amazon and reviewed them with video etc. I try to mix things up with styles and prices... different brands. You can see them all back at the site.

Joshua Hon
4 months ago

$3400 is a big investment. But it's also expensive to make a really good quality ebike and the difference in quality and warranty and service is important when you're investing in something like this. If you look at ebikes using the Bosch system, they're all substantial investments but you'll find that they are all very solid bikes.

LiveCheapAndProsper
4 months ago

Tern always makes nice looking bikes. As for Bosch, is there any drag from motor if you want to excercise without electric assist. Thanks for great review.

ElectricBikeReview.com
4 months ago

Thanks for the assist!

Propel Electric Bikes
4 months ago

LiveCheapAndProsper there is virtually no drag when riding without assist.

dmitry manzano
4 months ago

Will you make a review on Tern eLink D7i with Bafang mid drive in a similar nice way?

ElectricBikeReview.com
4 months ago

Hey dmitry, I try to make all of my reviews consistent and "great" but it helps to have a leader from the company there to help ;) I do plan to review more Tern ebikes in the coming months. Thanks!