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

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Halifax
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

View attachment 20271View attachment 20272View attachment 20273View attachment 20274View attachment 20275

Once the warranty runs out after 2 years, I wonder if the Active line motor can be replaced with a Bosch performance line/speed or CX.
Would make a kickass folding bike. I know the Tern GSD has performance line and the newer version has the CX motor.
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
Once the warranty runs out after 2 years, I wonder if the Active line motor can be replaced with a Bosch performance line/speed or CX.
Would make a kickass folding bike. I know the Tern GSD has performance line and the newer version has the CX motor.

Yeah good question. I have high hopes for the Active Line Plus. I can see the need for the CX on the GSD (hauling a big load uphill) but maybe on the Vektron the Performance Line motors bring too much power (for a 20 inch city/commuter platform). But then again R&M puts it on the Tinker. But I think the Active Line Plus, as long as it lives up to advertising, will be the ideal motor for the platform.
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
Picked up the new Vektron today. The primary upgrades vs Gen 1 are claimed to be: #1 Bosch Active Line Plus - lighter, quieter, less drag (more torque too maybe?); #2: beefier rear rack/body; #3: revised geometry inclusive of battery position.
I only rode 6 miles from shop to store and home. Here are a few initial observations:

bike weight feels about the same (heavy). motor was to be lighter but they beefed up the rear rack and rear portion of bike. probably the increased weight of the rack and frame offset the gains from a lighter motor.

in keeping with the beefier frame, it seems the seat tube diameter is wider (30.6 I think). I have the Kinekt for my Gen 1 Vektron and had to order a ST Thudbuster for the new Vektron as I can't switch them between bikes (Gen 1 is narrower tube). My initial ride without seat post suspension was not uncomfortable at all.

pannier I brought to store was in use on my Gen 1 Vektron. Ortlieb hook inserts will need to be changed to fit the beefier rack.

I initially rode from store with no power. I couldn't detect any drag. Surely there must be some? I pedaled past the cutoff to about 22 mph on a flat until I had to slow for a stop sign. I never felt the motor cutoff. The motor, from early indications is indeed hugely improved vs the Active Line. Much quieter. Power delivery is smooth. I could still use a mode 1/2 way between no power and Eco (posted about this before). The Active Line Plus does seem to live up to the marketing claims of being quieter and having less drag. I never left Eco mode but 22 mph was fairly easy to attain.

Maybe it was my settings on this initial ride but the front wheel seemed a bit twitchy. I know 20" wheels are supposed to be twitchy particularly at speed. It seemed a bit twitchier from what I remember on Gen 1. But I need to play with the handlebar position. And need to get the Thudbuster ST to get a ride more similar to the Gen 1.

I'll post some pics this weekend.

Editing because I forgot one of the most important items: Gen 2 Vektron inherits some characteristics of the GSD. Most important of which is ability to use the rear rack as a bike stand. Well, actually not quite. The Gen 2 Vektron is only designed to sit on the rear rack in the folded position. It is not stable when standing the bike upright (not folded). It could easily fall over if bumped.
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
Made my first commute of the year. Well, a half-commute. Carpooled in the morning and rode 2 miles to work (30F and windy) and 18 miles home (39F and strong headwind). The Vektron was a bit of a rough ride with no seat post suspension (and perhaps too much air in the tires). But it was do-able. I arrived in decent time with no hand neck or knee pain. Not sure I would have wanted to do 30 miles on it though. Range seems good. Charged a 500 WH pack to probably about 90% and returned with over 50% charge. Rode just over 1/2 Eco and after 10 miles on the return trip in headwind I finished it out in Tour (brief spurt in Turbo for an intersection). Although I rode some this winter on a stationary bike, I am way out of shape. Trying to keep the bike around 19 MPH in the headwind in Eco had me sucking wind.

The bike is great as-is if the road surfaces are good. But with bad pavement, riding long distance without some modifications to the bike, will make for challenging riding.

First time on my bike route since December. I passed one spot where I really wanted to take a picture (but not a great neighborhood to stop in). A huge sink hole marked with just 2 cones (in an area with really poor street lighting). Pavement totally collapsed and hole looked about 5 feet deep x 2 feet wide and 3 feet long. I hope to get a picture of it soon. Cones tend to disappear from one day to the next. There would likely be no surviving hitting that on a bike in the dark.
 

OrTrek

Active Member
So Over 50 is the Gen 2 really that much better than the Gen 1? Considering one can get the Gen 1 for $3K now. In some respects I actually like the Gen 1 better, but you really know these Terns and I like your write-ups. Your input is important to me. I want a light weight folding bike that goes with me all over the country. I have a Radmini that I like BUT it's a brute. Fine in my Jeep, but when I'm wandering the country in my Crosstrek - no way. Thx.
 
Last edited:

Over50

Well-Known Member
So Over 50 is the Gen 2 really that much better than the Gen 1? Considering one can get the Gen 1 for $3K now...

Well the motor is better but the bike overall? And +$1K better? I'm not really sure I can answer. Ideally, you would get to ride both and decide for yourself. My LBS (Tern dealer) currently has both models on the floor but they are probably an anomaly. I was in last weekend on another matter and a gentleman was taking delivery of the Gen 2 bike for his RV.

The bikes are not light. I can lift them into my Subaru without a battery without too much trouble but I am careful about my lifting position because I could foresee a back injury if careless.

I'm late in getting some pictures posted. I was hoping to do some close-up side-by-sides.

I did another 20 mile commute today and I'll comment on a few things:

The motor: it is quieter and I think there is less drag. That said, using your own power to pedal past the 19+ mph cutoff is tiring. I tried it today. I was running around 20.5 for a period but I was winded and couldn't sustain it for very long (had some wind to deal with too). I'm still a bit out of shape after winter break. I can't recall pushing the Gen 1 past 20 so maybe that tells me it would be more difficult. I feel like Tour gives me what Turbo gave me in the old motor. Perhaps someone knows the ratings of the two motors at the various assist levels and can confirm this. We can probably find them on the Bosch website.

The rack changes: a storage benefit is the ability for it to sit folded on the rear rack (folded position only - not standing like the GSD). I was hoping this would allow me to transport it inside the car in this position for better stability. I tried and it doesn't fit in that position. It sits too tall for both the trunk of my small hybrid and the rear of my Subaru Forester when resting on the rack. So I have to transport it folded but in the Gen 1 position where it rests on the two balancing foot pegs that are under the motor. I"m glad they kept those. This isn't a big problem it only means it is a bit less stable and can tip easier. In the back of the Subaru, I position it such that the folded bike is against the upright rear seats. I use a tie-down strap to strap it to the seat such that it cannot fall away from the rear of the seat towards the hatch. The seat prevents it from falling the other direction toward the driver. I use a small cushion to cinch the strap to the frame for paint protection from metal buckle of the strap. I position it with the drive train facing the rear hatch knowing that the strap will prevent it from falling on the derailleur. So for storage in a closet or garage the rear rack-stand feature is probably a nice bonus. For transporting in my vehicles I have to transport same position as Gen 1.

The other feature of the rack and geometry changes is purportedly to carry more cargo weight. I haven't tested this yet. 1 trip to the store I didn't buy enough to load the bike. I know with my other Terns (Gen 1 and non-electric 24" wheels) that they can get fishy when you load them down.

Geometry changes: I commented earlier that the Gen 2 felt a little twitchy on my initial rides. I've messed with my ride position a lot and I made today's ride with the Thudbuster. It helps a lot but it is still a rough ride. I haven't lowered my tire pressure and was riding about 42 psi. Maybe this weekend, weather permitting, I can do some comparison riding around my neighborhood setting both bikes to the same tire psi, both with the suspension seat posts and carrying equal loads and report back. Honestly as of now I can't say I feel much of a difference due to the geometry change.

I always had fun riding the Gen 1. I thought it was a great bike but I posted early that the motor was a bit of a dog. My wife loves Gen 1 but she rides pretty slow. She probably put double the miles on Gen 1 that I put on it.
 

OrTrek

Active Member
Thanks Over50. My use is a little different than yours. Not used for commuting.

The Terns use for me would be for the longer trips I take (a week or 2) in my Subaru Crosstrek + our local bikeways when I don't feel like lugging the Radmini to them. I especially like how you position the bike in your Forester. My Crosstrek is smaller, but a similar layout. When I'm traveling I'm fairly loaded with the rear passenger side seat folded down and the driver side not. The Tern would be used primarily to run around and out of campsites when camping or to explore local urban bikeways in the evening when I'm "hoteling". I don't really care about the rack and in fact it is one of the reasons I like the Gen 1, I can remove it fairly easy and probably would. But not that big of a deal one way or the other.

Problem here is that there are no Tern dealers close by and those that are in Oregon don't have the S10 in stock or at least not that I'm finding. Ah but there is a local REI that I can order either a Gen 2 @ $3699 with a member dividend (I am a member) of $370 = $3439 or a Gen 1 @ $2999 but no dividend, so the difference is only $400+. They (REI) carry some Terns - they just don't stock any of the ebikes here in Oregon. The Terns are the only folding ebike brands that REI offers. A benefit of REI is you can return them (within 1 year) if you don't like them! I wouldn't like doing this, but hey it's their marketing ploy. Just need to decide which route to take or if it's even worth it period.

So thanks again for your valuable input. I'll update what I end up doing. I do like Tern - seem like a pretty solid bike company, good product and they will be around for awhile unlike a lot of internet bunch. Plus they have been very helpful and responsive to my stupid questions.
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
Gave the bike a little cleaning today. Did one short commute last week of 20 miles. My wife rode for the first time last weekend. She couldn't really tell much difference between the Gen 1 and Gen 2 bikes but she hasn't been on Gen 1 since last Fall. She commented that she would probably need to ride them on the same day to be able to comment on any differences. I rode both last weekend and it still feels to me like Gen 1 is a bit more stable. I'm not sure why that is. But the motor on Gen 2 is noticeably quieter and the cutoff around 20 mph is imperceptible. A few pics from today. The pedals are my favorite thus far for the multiple Terns I have owned:
20190427_VektronGen2_1.jpg20190427_VektronGen2_2.jpg20190427_VektronGen2_3.jpg20190427_VektronGen2_4.jpg
 

TimJohn

Active Member
Over50...thanks for very detailed run down of the Vectron S10. I am thinking about getting the 2019 model with all the changes and enhancements its a contender for my money. Please let us know regarding your impressions of the new Active Plus line. It tried the Vektron Cargo S10 with the CX but not for a very long ride. This cargo bike is a potential car replacement. Timothy
 

TimJohn

Active Member
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

View attachment 20271View attachment 20272View attachment 20273View attachment 20274View attachment 20275
I really like the looks and functionality of that Ortlieb front bag. I appears to mount with the Tern front bracket (which I have on my Verge Si8) so could you please forward what model is it? Does it require additional hardware to work with the Tern bracket?

Thanks Timothy
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
I really like the looks and functionality of that Ortlieb front bag. I appears to mount with the Tern front bracket (which I have on my Verge Si8) so could you please forward what model is it? Does it require additional hardware to work with the Tern bracket?

Thanks Timothy

Yes, the luggage truss is a standard Tern offering that fits many of their bikes. Since it is Klickfix compatible it fits Ortlieb handlebar bags as well as some others. I was switching the same handlebar bag between my Terns and a Riese and Mueller. Very convenient. https://www.ternbicycles.com/gear/472/luggage-truss

1561755071056.png
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
I really like the looks and functionality of that Ortlieb front bag. I appears to mount with the Tern front bracket (which I have on my Verge Si8) so could you please forward what model is it? Does it require additional hardware to work with the Tern bracket?

Thanks Timothy

I forgot to respond on the Ortlieb - it is the Utlimate 6. I have 2 different sizes and both fit. They are both currently mounted on my two Vektrons using the Tern luggage truss.
 

TimJohn

Active Member
OK I did purchase the Ortlieb Ultimate 6 (smaller size) from our local outdoor shop (MEC in Vancouver). Great little bag with 7 L capacity which is good enough for a light riding jacket, phone, wallet and tools. Nicely made piece of hardware. Thanks for the recommendation.

Timothy
 

Solliex

Member
I just got my 2018 Tern Vectron S10 this spring. Since I already owned an Electric Townie Go with the Bosch system I was pleased to see that this bike had Bosch as well. I have 1000 miles on it so far without any problems. Here’s a couple of pictures with the equipment that I’ve added which include a suspension seat, many extra lights, a Terrn bag for the rear rack and some custom handlebar stems to change my hand position from time to time. I really do love this bike and I appreciate the comments about the new 2019 motor, as range is important to me. But having common batteries between my Porsche driven bikes forgive me the opportunity to bring an extra battery in my bag for very long trips in the sport mode. I also do not like the smaller control so I had to add a speedometer which gives me more accurate mileage and I can see the distance and time travel more easily than the standard display included on this bike.
 

Attachments

  • 412879D8-F68C-4BAB-98E4-92A1389EE853.jpeg
    412879D8-F68C-4BAB-98E4-92A1389EE853.jpeg
    300.8 KB · Views: 725
  • 4EE0D7F9-2E85-4D41-90B7-327DBFE08880.jpeg
    4EE0D7F9-2E85-4D41-90B7-327DBFE08880.jpeg
    192.7 KB · Views: 741
  • 963C7215-6EAD-4FE2-9F88-B4D9DC93F57E.jpeg
    963C7215-6EAD-4FE2-9F88-B4D9DC93F57E.jpeg
    279.4 KB · Views: 674

Over50

Well-Known Member
My wife has ridden the new/Gen 2 bike all spring and so far this summer. Today she took the old/Gen 1 bike on our lunch trip. She concurred with me that the Gen 1 bike feels more stable or, said another way, less twitchy. A very minor issue but whereas I really like the pedals on the Gen 2, she hates them. Says they are too sharp and she prefers the Gen 1 pedals. But more importantly she prefers the Gen 1 handling which I guess equates to a geometry preference. I've seen the geometry change on Gen 2 explained as a 'more sportier' ride but to me this translates to more twitchy handling. If I had to choose 1 of them for keeps then it would still be the Gen 2 due to the quieter motor and burlier frame and rear rack.

My plan on purchasing the Gen 2 was to eventually sell Gen 1. But I'm really reluctant now because Gen 1 is a pleasure to ride. I had them out the other day and ran errands on both - did about 15 miles between the two and I tried to pay a lot of attention to the ride quality. I like both bikes and with not currently having a rack/hitch option for transporting full-size bikes, if we want to take our bikes somewhere it will have to be the two Vektrons.