Over50's Tern GSD Chronicles - Gen 1 and Gen 2 R14

Over50

Well-Known Member
Time to spill the beans. I put down a deposit on an R14 with the expectation that none would be available (at my LBS) until end of 2021. But to everyone's surprise, an R14 materialized out of thin air a couple of weeks after I placed the deposit. I suppose its obvious from the photos that I opted to take it much earlier than anticipated. It is really a beautiful bike. Tern's designers did a great job at least with the aesthetics.

Here are a few early observations relative to Gen 1:
Cargo Line (Gen 2 GSD) vs Performance Line (Gen 1 GSD): The PL feels punchier and CL feels more sluggish. Tour in CL feels more like Eco in PL. But the power delivery in CL feels smoother. I'm riding in Tour more with the CL motor. And a bit in Sport. The noise level on the CL seems reasonable and perhaps less noisy than the Gen 4 speed motor on my Allant. Is the perception of less power or punchiness with the CL relative to the smoothness of the power delivery a pro or a con? A couple of weeks back, a friend of mine took the Gen 1 GSD on a 15 mile ride. It was his first experience with an e-bike. He commented that the power delivery was a little too punchy - that it felt like the bike just surged forward. He wasn't hauling much weight.

Geometry changes: I felt more upright on the Gen 2 GSD even when putting the bars at their most aero position. I haven't put the bikes side by side yet or looked at measurements on Tern's website but I feel like they added some length to the tail of the bike and perhaps compressed the distance from seat tube to bars. They advertise a slacker seat tube for the Gen 2 GSD. At 5'9", my butt is behind the cranks. Would a 6'4" rider be really out behind the cranks? At first I didn't like the geometry change. After almost 100 miles, I'm not sure I'm noticing anymore and the ride feels comfortable.

Weight: The R14 is definitely heavier relative to my Gen 1 GSD and a lot of that weight is in the back of the bike. I have been riding with 2 batteries and have ridden with no load and with a few bags of groceries. But the frame also feels really solid over bumpy roads and very stable in the turns. The Gen 1 GSD was stable in the turns but I could feel a bit of flex with a load when I hit large bumps. The R14 handles well. Better than the Gen 1 GSD? Not sure. The wheels I think are upgraded with the Gen 2 GSD and I think this is a good upgrade. With a lot of weight on this bike and taking bumps, I think it needs a burlier wheelset. Most weight I ever hauled on the Gen 1 GSD was about 80 pounds. I probably haven't carried more than 20 in my short experience with the R14.

Front suspension: on paper, this was one of the least desirable upgrades. If a suspension fork had been an option, I would have said "give me the fixed fork". It is a coil fork. But guess what? I really like it. I've adjusted the pre-load to be fairly stiff and I feel like it is enhancing the ride quality. This is a winning upgrade.

Belt and Rohloff (R14) vs chain and derailleur (Gen 1 GSD): my 10 speed Shimano on the Gen 1 is really precise. I like the belt but I kind of get a sense of less efficiency. Completely subjective and unscientific and based on feel - maybe this is because of my preconceived notions of hearing that belts are less efficient. Of course I'll love the benefits of the reduced maintenance. With several bikes, I feel like I'm always cleaning drivetrains - or dropping bikes at the LBS to have them cleaned. The Rohloff is pretty loud freewheeling. The electronic gear changing is not very loud. Usually with road noise I can barely hear it. In the videos I've watched, it sounds much louder but I guess the reviewers tend to mount the camera very close to the hub. The freewheeling noise is much louder than the gear shifting noise. The automatic stop-shifting is pretty nice. I set mine to gear 8 after my experience with the manual Rohloff.

Range: I picked it up from the LBS fully-charged with 1,000 WH. I rode 78 miles over several rides in a nice mix of Eco, Tour and Sport. I dropped to under 2 bars (of 5) and Eco estimated range of 34 miles and Tour 22 miles. So 100 miles, 175 pound rider on flats, a few bags of groceries or empty. Yes, a heavy bike and you have some hills? Dual battery is probably a necessity. The R14 has the Intuvia display. The other Terns the Purion. I'll miss the precision of the Nyon that I now have on the Allant but on the other hand, this isn't a performance bike so the Intuvia will probably be sufficient.

Those are the observations that come to mind at the moment. Expect more later. I'm putting my Gen 1 GSD up for sale (just under 2500 miles). It has been a really enjoyable ride. Tern has done a great job with these bikes.

In the pics, I'm using the panniers for the HSD. I haven't snagged the new, upgraded panniers for the Gen 2 GSD yet:
 

Attachments

  • R14_2.jpg
    R14_2.jpg
    596.3 KB · Views: 235
  • R14_7.jpg
    R14_7.jpg
    708.4 KB · Views: 221

Over50

Well-Known Member
1st commute on the GSD R14. In the pics you'll note the very handy but not very aero-dynamic Tern briefcase mounted on the front of the bike. I figured it would kill my range numbers but on a very mild and almost windless day I was on pace for 60 miles on a single 500WH battery riding mostly in Tour mode. Pretty impressive for a heavy bike with bulky luggage and an IGH. For August commuting, my average times are Trek Allant 9.9s 14.8 mph, Specialized Vado SL 14.3 mph, Tern GSD R14 13.8 mph. Not very much of a time penalty for a class 1 bike (over approx 23 miles).

1stCommute_1.jpg1stCommute_2.jpg1stCommute_3.jpg
 
Last edited:

Over50

Well-Known Member
I didn't realize that Tannus made liners in 20" - until they sent me a promo email recently. I had my LBS add the Tannus liners to the R14 and I'll be adding them to our Vektron soon. Hoping to be able to drop my tire pressure and gain some ride comfort - and of course benefit from the flat protection. I normally ride around 42-44 psi. Today I tested 38 psi on the GSD and will try 35 psi tomorrow.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Halifax
1st commute on the GSD R14. In the pics you'll note the very handy but not very aero-dynamic Tern briefcase mounted on the front of the bike. I figured it would kill my range numbers but on a very mild and almost windless day I was on pace for 60 miles on a single 500WH battery riding mostly in Tour mode. Pretty impressive for a heavy bike with bulky luggage and an IGH. For August commuting, my average times are Trek Allant 9.9s 14.8 mph, Specialized Vado SL 14.3 mph, Tern GSD R14 13.8 mph. Not very much of a time penalty for a class 1 bike (over approx 23 miles).

View attachment 97160View attachment 97161View attachment 97364

Hope you will be able to make extensive use of this bike in 2022.
One of the very few bikes with dual batteries, Bosch Gen4 cargo motor combined with Rohloff E-14 and the belt drive.
 

pmcdonald

Well-Known Member
@Over50 thanks for the ride reports, very helpful and honest.

We're toying with the idea of trading up my Giant Explore commuter for a GSD S10. Something more versatile to do kids activity dropoffs and keep the car garaged more (fresh air, exercise, all that jazz).

Mind if I hit you up with some questions if we get more serious about the purchase?
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
@Over50 thanks for the ride reports, very helpful and honest.

We're toying with the idea of trading up my Giant Explore commuter for a GSD S10. Something more versatile to do kids activity dropoffs and keep the car garaged more (fresh air, exercise, all that jazz).

Mind if I hit you up with some questions if we get more serious about the purchase?
Not at all. I'll do my best to answer ...
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
I recently added Tern's Short Haul (rear) rack. It is quite nice. Very light. Wide footprint but bags and batteries still accessible.
 

Attachments

  • Shorthaul1.jpg
    Shorthaul1.jpg
    825.1 KB · Views: 70
  • Shorthaul2.jpg
    Shorthaul2.jpg
    381.9 KB · Views: 72

Brendon@OEB

Well-Known Member
@Over50 thanks for the ride reports, very helpful and honest.

We're toying with the idea of trading up my Giant Explore commuter for a GSD S10. Something more versatile to do kids activity dropoffs and keep the car garaged more (fresh air, exercise, all that jazz).

Mind if I hit you up with some questions if we get more serious about the purchase?

I'm riding a S10 LX last summer through this year as my "shop bike" should you want to fire some questions my way too. We've got 3 of us at the shop riding Tern's, 2 GSD's and one HSD, huge fans!
 

pmcdonald

Well-Known Member
I'm riding a S10 LX last summer through this year as my "shop bike" should you want to fire some questions my way too. We've got 3 of us at the shop riding Tern's, 2 GSD's and one HSD, huge fans!
I had a (brief) test ride at a shop a few months back, alongside a 02Feel with an EP8 and a Bafang-equipped Yuba. The Tern was absolutely sublime to ride, particularly noticeable back to back with the other two. Easy to maneuver, powerful, smartly designed. I liked it a lot.

I suspect we'll end up passing on the cargo bike for now. We've procrastinated so long our kids have moved on to confidently riding on their own bikes, but I'd buy a GSD S10 in a flash if we had the use case for it. Eye wateringly pricey but it felt every bit a quality ride.