Over50's Tern Vektron S10 Chronicles (Gen 1 and Gen 2)

Over50

Well-Known Member
#1
I have the Tern GSD on order (maybe see it in April) and I've added a Tern Vektron to the order. I may see it next week. I ordered the GSD to get the wife into e-biking with little risk that the bike would go unused (because I'll use it if she doesn't). I'm not sure if I will commute on it given the 20 inch wheels. But both the Terns I am hoping will be bikes we can take on some long distance rail trail rides as well as our weekend grocery store runs. I've been investigating the rail trails in the Midwest and laying out plans for some multi-day long weekend trips as the weather turns warmer. I figure the dual battery GSD gives us the range and cargo capacity to carry an extra battery for the Vektron. So with two Tern electrics we'll have his and her bikes that can be his or her bikes that should give us plenty of range for some long weekend journeys. Maybe she'll like the Vektron more? The GSD more?

I'm eagerly awaiting the release of the BodyFloat 2.1 which should be out any time now. I plan to try a BodyFloat on the Terns. I'll add the Tern luggage truss to the Vektron which offers bag compatibility with the Klickfix bags that fit on my Riese and Muller Charger. I have the Tern luggage truss on my human powered Tern and I can interchange the bags/baskets with the Riese and Muller which has the Ortlieb e-bike specific handlebar mount.

If the wife adopts the e-bike lifestyle, maybe I'll sell our two human powered Terns (as much as it would kill me to do so).

I'll post pics of the Vektron and some experience as I get it up and running with the luggage truss and a suspension seatpost.
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
#3
You’re developing quite the collection of Ebikes. If I’m ever in Detroit I know who I’m calling ;)
Yeah, that's what my wife keeps saying (except not always with a smile). Any bike that comes in after this must be passing a bike that is on the way out!

Yes, definitely. If/when you ever come to Detroit I'll host the e-bike tour. You can choose to see the city on 20 inch wheels or 27.5s!
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
#4
Picked up my Vektron today. A 32F day with very light snow flurries but rode about 7 miles to test out the bike. Some observations:
  • really surprised how stable and firm the bike is. expected the 20 inch wheels to be more twitchy (I have 24 on my Tern non-electrics)
  • drive train very smooth and flawless shifting
  • strong braking power
  • I prefer the Intuvia to the Purion but also like that the Purion is small and out of the way - its a tradeoff
  • Active Line motor is noisier than my other motors (CX and speed) but the power delivery is smooth. I definitely can notice the lighter torque. This is the Active Line that predates the 2018 improved version. I look forward to another iteration of this bike that uses the smaller, quieter Bosch motor.
  • Active Line is a nice fit with the Powerpack 400 in terms of less torque but providing better range
  • Lots of features built in - fit and finish of the bike is impressive
A few things I added or am adding:
  • mirror
  • Tern luggage truss (pictured with Ortlieb bag which is interchangeable with the mount on my Riese and Muller)
  • pulled the Body Float seatpost and seat from my Spot which is also a 27.2 mm post - have a BF on order for my wife with purple springs
  • will mount either a water bottle or lock holder on the top tube bosses
  • will add some reflective tape to the spokes and accents to the bike - also some frame protector film in some strategic spots

Vektron1.jpg Vektron2.jpg Vektron3.jpg Vektron4.jpg Vektron5.jpg
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
#5
After a grocery run I stopped at the coffee shop on the Vektron. There was a guy on a touring bike with studded tires who was probably in his 70s (I'm early 50s). He stopped by my table to talk and looking out the window saw I had a e-bike. He seemed so disappointed. Just shaking his head saying "a young fella like you riding an e-bike. why?". I listened to a 5 minute rant ranging from e-bikes to electric cars and on to self-driving cars. Somehow he could make the leap from an e-bike to a self-driving car as representative of all that is wrong with the world. I managed to finally get him to admit that there are some great use-cases for e-bikes (commuting, cargo etc) but he added the caveat to his admissions saying he would never try one. He went on about his many years of hardcore cycling. His younger cyclist buddy came outside to check out the Vektron and he was genuinely interested. Meanwhile the salty older cyclist just stood there shaking his head and mumbling about how he would never ride an e-bike. Interesting coffee shop conversations these bikes provoke.
 

Nova Haibike

Well-Known Member
#6
If that old guy was an author, I would bet he would not use a computer or even a typewriter, because by his logic, any serious writer would only use a fountain pen and inkwell. Seriously though, if his bike has studded tires and multiple gearing, he's already given in to technology.
 

E-Wheels

Active Member
#7
I'm eagerly awaiting the release of the BodyFloat 2.1 which should be out any time now.
Apart from the obvious offset at the top of the seatpost, does anyone know if there are any other differences from version 2.0 to 2.1
Also, where is the overall length (350 mm quoted on the Kinekt site) measured from. Is it the overall length including the spring mechanism or is it the length of the seatpost round section that fits into the seat tube
I have sent numerous emails to Kinekt asking the same questions but they have not responded
 
Last edited:

Over50

Well-Known Member
#8
Apart from the obvious offset at the top of the seatpost, does anyone know if there are any other differences from version 2.0 to 2.1
Also, where is the overall length (350 mm quoted on the Kinekt site) measured from. Is it the overall length including the spring mechanism or is it the length of the seatpost round section that fits into the seat tube
I have sent numerous emails to Kinekt asking the same questions but they have not responded
I think the length quoted is the seat tube absent the springs but I should be able to confirm this weekend. The 2.1 post I ordered for my wife should arrive later today. I'll post some information after I unbox and try it out.
 

E-Wheels

Active Member
#9
I think the length quoted is the seat tube absent the springs but I should be able to confirm this weekend. The 2.1 post I ordered for my wife should arrive later today. I'll post some information after I unbox and try it out.
Thanks....much appreciated
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
#10
The Body Float 2.1 didn't arrive yesterday. Maybe today. I think my wife may not be able to use it however. The Vektron is rated for riders between 4'10" and 6'4". My wife is 5'0". And true to the spec, she is riding with the stock seat post only showing about 1.5 inches above the seat tube. If she can't use it as I suspect, I won't have to return the Body Float because I can change the springs and use it myself. But I'll still need to find an option for my wife and that takes me back to the idea of one of those Brooks saddles that has springs. If anyone has a recommendation in this area it would be appreciated as I have no experience with those. I don't think any of the common suspension posts will work since they all seem to raise the seat a couple of inches above the seat tube (Thudbuster, Body Float, NCX...).

As far as the wife's reaction to the bike: I've been riding the electric bikes since Nov 2016 and she still had not tried one until yesterday. She loved it and said she found the bike to be very stable and easy to handle. She did comment that she felt she wasn't exercising enough (riding only in Eco mode on a short 6 mile ride). My response was that we just have to tackle longer distances.
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
#11
Some may find this interesting: Selle Royal is advertising the first e-bike specific saddle the 'Ezone':

Together with Designworks, a BMW Group subsidiary, Selle Royal undertook the first-ever, comprehensive study of eBike users to determine performance characteristics that could benefit from an eBike-specific saddle design. The result is eZONE: the first saddle specifically developed to improve eBike safety, comfort and riding performance.

https://www.selleroyal.com/en/ezone
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
#12
Apart from the obvious offset at the top of the seatpost, does anyone know if there are any other differences from version 2.0 to 2.1
Also, where is the overall length (350 mm quoted on the Kinekt site) measured from. Is it the overall length including the spring mechanism or is it the length of the seatpost round section that fits into the seat tube
I have sent numerous emails to Kinekt asking the same questions but they have not responded
I guessed incorrectly and appears the length includes the spring assembly and up to the saddle clamp. I measure approx 13 inches from end to end which is about 330 mm but that was after I had set the spring tension. So I suppose it might be 350 mm if the springs weren't loaded (I ordered the 350 mm post).

As for other differences: the branding is obvious; the fore and aft connector plates appear a bit more robust (picture included with red outline to show those); there is a spring between the saddle bolts which makes it easier to install the saddle - when you loosen the bolts just enough the spring expands enough to slip out the saddle and it keeps the clamps from moving around; you pointed this out but the offset is less - on the box they shipped it in, they blacked out an offset that appears to be maybe .25 or .35 mm and they penciled in .12 (handwritten its a bit hard to read) - I guess they are using boxes meant for the 2.0 model; I guess it is called Kinekt now and not BodyFloat.

My wife might be able to use it. She sat on it at max insert and she just has the right extension. But we haven't adjusted the tension for her yet. We'll have to test with some riding and play with the tension. At least they shipped with a spare white and black lower spring. At 165 pounds I can ride with a purple black combination if she can't use it. I'm still shopping for saddle options that have some springs or elastomers in case she can't use the post. Selle Royal has a couple of options.

In the pictures showing 2, the new 2.1 model is on the left and the old on the right.

BF2.1_a.JPG BF2.1_b_LI.jpg BF2.1_c.JPG
 

Attachments

Over50

Well-Known Member
#13
Poor planning on my part resulted in having my R&M and Haibike in the shop for routine maintenance at the same time. So on a 22F morning I decided to try my commute on the Vektron. I was a bit nervous about trying a long commute on rough roads on a bike with 20 inch wheels and a rigid fork. I also hadn't come to trust the puncture protection offered by the Big Apple tires (lots of glass on my commute).

Today's Vektron ride was a shorter commute: 20 miles vs the usual 32-35. On the return trip, I met up with my wife at her parking garage and threw the Tern in our Subaru. On the 16 mile commute to work I arrived in 64 minutes. For the 20 miles total I think I averaged about 14.5 mph. whereas on my other bikes I'm usually around 15.5 to 16 (Bosch CX and speed motors). So not noticeably longer on the Tern judging from this initial experiment. I did pedal hard in the morning hoping to have an average speed close to 15 mph. With the CX motor, I try to cruise as close to the 20 mph cutoff as I can without busting a lung. If I have favorable winds I can do this in Tour mode. But often it requires Sport mode to cruise at 19.5 without taxing myself. I never use Turbo on either of my commuter bikes (no hills, slight grade). To cruise close to 19 mph on the Vektron, I have to use Turbo which got me about 18.5 at a similar comfort level. I can hit that speed in lower levels of assist but if I want to maintain it over a good distance without taxing myself then I need Turbo. To get any sort of the feeling of acceleration or torque of the CX motor I need to use Turbo. And with that, there is a feeling of rapid acceleration initially from the start but it fades rather quickly and becomes a smoother, slower experience relative to the CX in any level of assist.

For guestimating my range: I used the Powerpack 500 from the R&M which is the older of my two PP 500s. I've become accustomed to leaving my house on a full battery and making a mental note of when my 5-tick battery indicator drops to 4. On days with light wind, with the CX motor I usually see the drop from 5 to 4 ticks around 11 miles into my commute - using mostly Eco and Tour and a small amount of Sport. The speed motor gives a bit less using mostly Tour and a little Sport. The Tern dropped from 5 to 4 ticks right around the 9 mile mark riding mostly in Sport and Turbo. My trip to work is a slight negative grade and this time of year tends to have tailwind. In the next 11 miles, the gauge still hadn't dropped to 3-ticks. So conservatively I rode 20 miles using 2/5ths of the battery therefore, I'd estimate 40-45 miles for the Active Line motor (no hills, slight grade change, 165 pound rider, light wind) in the higher assist levels using a 500 WH battery pack. A PP 500 will certainly handle my entire commute allowing me to use the higher assist levels.

As for comfort, I have the BodyFloat seatpost. I didn't really miss the front suspension however my hands were feeling the ride more than on my other bikes. It might have been my riding position. I tried to set up the bike to be a bit more aero for this initial commute. I did a lot of pothole dodging and for some of my rougher roads I slowed down more than I usually do on the larger bikes. The 20 inch wheels didn't feel unstable to me but I was riding with more caution keeping an eye out for holes and glass.

For locking up downtown, I added a bike cover to my strategy. I found a small bike cover on Amazon by Covrir. Small covers were few and far between. Most of the bike covers on Amazon were large size often for multiple bikes. The Vektron of course has more QR stuff vs my other bikes and I didn't want to haul my seatpost with me (and leave the QR clamps on the seattube to be stolen). So I cabled the front wheel as well as my saddle (through the rails). I used my Abus folding lock through the back wheel to the bike rack and my Abus u-lock through the frame to the bike rack. Then I covered the bike. The Covrir cover has bike cable holes as well as clip fasteners. I clipped the cover through the spokes. I left my trunk bag with my mini pump on the bike as well as my Tern Vizzy light. I checked the bike about every hour. Nothing went missing. One of my coworkers told me, if he were looking for a bike to steal, that he'd focus on the bike with a cover assuming its the most expensive bike on the rack. Maybe I had beginners luck today.

https://www.amazon.com/COVRIR-Ultra...ie=UTF8&qid=1522713167&sr=8-1&keywords=covrir
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
#14
Beautiful day and not working today so great opportunity for a shopping trip to Whole Foods (11 miles round trip). Here's my setup for the trip:

Ortlieb handlebar bag (medium) mounted with Tern's Luggage Truss - carried my cap and water bottle and some fruit on return
Small size Axiom trunk bag - carried my lock and two cables
Tern's shopping bag pannier - fits securely and carries probably 1 + 1/2 of a standard grocery bag - is not waterproof
Blackburn's slingbag on my back - phone, money, credit card, glasses/sunglasses

Our Whole Foods has a bar so was able to sample a couple of craft beers prior to return (2 5 oz Shandy's fit the bill for a sunny day). Due to bike commuting to work on Wednesday, car pooling to work on Thursday, and using my bikes to run multiple errands on Friday, the poor Subaru is not getting any use.

Vektron_Shopper (2).JPG
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
#15
I threw on a fully charged Powerpack 500 and made my first full commute on the Vektron today. 35.5 miles. It handled the commute very well. The bumps are harsher with this little bike versus my others and crossing the railroad tracks is not fun. I have to keep more of an eye out for bumps and holes. I rode maybe 60/40 Tour/Eco and the range was phenomenal. Good weather with moderate temps and light winds. I completed the 35.5 miles with about 1/2 battery capacity remaining. Estimated remaining range was 41 miles Eco and 20 Tour which, if achievable, would give me 60+ miles with the 500 WH battery given the same assist ratio. This is very similar to my last two commutes with my Haibike with the CX motor.

Riding Eco and Tour on the Vektron and trying to maintain speeds of 16-19 mph requires a lot more work versus the CX and Speed motors riding the same speeds. This older Active Line motor is a "dog" compared to the other two but I don't really mean that as an insult. It provides less power and is perhaps heavier and perhaps noisier but the power is sufficient for the Vektron. I don't think the Vektron is a bike you want to travel at high speeds on. I think the power difference is also relative in that I mostly feel it initially after riding my other bikes. On the return trip, say after 20 miles on the bike, I'm not even noticing it anymore and the power I am receiving felt more than adequate. I think I hit a top speed of about 21 mph and that was on a slight incline. As I mentioned earlier in this thread, I would relish a second generation of this bike with the Active Line Plus motor (smaller, lighter, quieter). I think the CX provides too much torque for this type of bike.

Making my commute on one charge with the stock Powerpack 400 is probably achievable only under these ideal conditions. I had a pretty slow average time because I spent about 1/2 of my return trip chatting with a road cyclist on his way to a group ride. That certainly helped my range.

For the first time at work I left my battery on the bike. Used the Covrir bike cover and checked the bike a couple of extra times during the day. With the great range on the trip to work I didn't need to charge the battery so I didn't feel like lugging it upstairs to my office.

My wife has adopted this bike like a lost puppy. At first she was like "not sure I like it" but she quickly warmed up to it. After her first two rides she complained because she felt it made things too easy. Now when we do our weekend trips she always wants to use this bike versus her human powered bike. I'm surprised she let me take it to work today.
 
#16
I rode maybe 60/40 Tour/Eco and the range was phenomenal. Good weather with moderate temps and light winds. I completed the 35.5 miles with about 1/2 battery capacity remaining. Estimated remaining range was 41 miles Eco and 20 Tour which, if achievable, would give me 60+ miles with the 500 WH battery given the same assist ratio. This is very similar to my last two commutes with my Haibike with the CX motor.

Riding Eco and Tour on the Vektron and trying to maintain speeds of 16-19 mph requires a lot more work versus the CX and Speed motors riding the same speeds. This older Active Line motor is a "dog" compared to the other two but I don't really mean that as an insult. .
I would consider a Vectron if it had the CX motor instead. I don't consider the price they want for it worthwhile with that motor- I need torque, not speed- and I'm reluctant to get something with proprietary batteries. Still, it's too bad Tern doesn't give options like RM does, it would be nice to find a turn-key bike rather than mess with a kit, but I'm lazy that way. I've considered a Link D8 for a BBSHD conversion, but its rider weight limit of 230 lbs scares me, although the company sez I can probably get away with 250 (I didn't tell them I want to electrify it :0)
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
#17
Posted this originally on the wrong thread - apologies for a redundant post:

My wife made her longest ride ever (in her life on any bike) on the Vektron today. 30 miles and the mid-point was a great taco stand. I charged a 500wh battery pack to about 85 percent and we headed off on a chilly day. She did the 30 miles and had an estimated Eco range remaining of 45 miles. She rode probably 20% Eco, 70% Tour and 10% Sport. A fully charged Powerpack 500 on the Vektron will easily get 60-70 miles of range (no hills) with a mix of Eco and Tour riding. I rode the 30 on my human-powered Spot. Which is the longest ride I've done on a non-electric bike in many years.
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
#18
I'm eager to get my mitts on the the top of the line 2019 Vektron with the Active Line Plus motor. A Bosch motor with very little drag? This bike is gonna be highly improved over the initial version (which is a pretty good bike). Vektron appears at about 8:45 of video:

 

Over50

Well-Known Member
#19
I took the Vektron in for year-end cleaning and a software update (as with my other bikes). Odometer is almost at 600 miles and my wife probably put about 60% of those miles on the bike since March. The Bosch diagnostic report:

Total operating time: 65 hours
Total active operating time (with assistance): 39 hours
Distance in Mode: Turbo 7 miles; Sport 11 miles; Tour 61 miles; Eco 323 miles; no assist 187 miles
Min and Max battery temp: 49/93 F
Energy consumed by motor: 8% Turbo; 11% Sport; 45% Tour; 36% Eco

As discussed in my other threads, the miles with no assist is likely coasting. The Vektron might have a dozen or so miles on it with truly no assist. My wife sometimes likes to ride the last mile or so with assist turned off.
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
#20
I've edited the thread title to include the Gen 2 Vektron S10. I've ordered the new Vektron and will post observations here later this Spring. While the improvements seem marginal on paper, I think they are major in terms of the bike's usability and performance. The Active Line Plus motor is advertised by Bosch to be lighter, quieter and to have less drag (making it easier to pedal past the class 1 cutoff). The rear rack and geometry improvements are advertised to make the bike more stable and easier to store and transport (bike can stand or balance on the rack). I'm eager to test out these advertising claims and to post some side-by-side comparisons. If my wife takes to the Gen 2 like she did Gen 1 then I will probably sell Gen 1 (watch here if you're interested in purchase).

 
Last edited: