RadWagon 4 vs Tern GSD

Walkbytwilight

New Member
Region
USA
Hello! My husband ordered a Tern GSD S00 for me, and it just arrived this weekend. Prior to this, my only ebike experience was on a RadCity Step-Thru, and I love riding that bike! However, I do not yet feel the same way about the GSD. The Bosch motor feels sluggish in comparison to the pep of the Rad motor. As crazy as it sounds, I’m considering returning it and buying a RadWagon 4 instead. Before taking such a drastic step, I’m hoping someone can answer a few questions for me about the RadWagon, since I don’t live in one of their test-ride zones.

1. How does the ride on the RadWagon compare to the RadCity? How’s the acceleration, assist, hill performance, etc.

2. If you have experience with a GSD, how can I get it to feel like it has enough power? Adjusting the seat height and tire pressure helped a bit, but I’m still concerned about riding in traffic when I struggle to get it to go above 14mph even on turbo with no cargo on the back.

3. I know this is a long shot, but if you live in the DC area (or within a few hours drive) and you have a RadWagon 4 that you’d be willing to let me take for a test ride, could you please let me know? I’m willing to pay for the time (or bribe you with delicious chocolate chip cookies!)
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
well your comparing a bike that does not really require you to peddle to one that does. plus the quality is such a huge step up and your range is going to be father and the bike will be much smoother. Plus when you climb a hill your going to have a ton more power to do so. but its not a go cart so don't ride it like it is it will actually require you to peddle at a steady pace. it will require you to shift too. but it has enough torque you don't have to work hard at it if you don't want to go 20 mph. but the bike will put out exactly what you put into it.
 

Walkbytwilight

New Member
Region
USA
well your comparing a bike that does not really require you to peddle to one that does. plus the quality is such a huge step up and your range is going to be father and the bike will be much smoother. Plus when you climb a hill your going to have a ton more power to do so. but its not a go cart so don't ride it like it is it will actually require you to peddle at a steady pace. it will require you to shift too. but it has enough torque you don't have to work hard at it if you don't want to go 20 mph. but the bike will put out exactly what you put into it.
Thank you, I agree that there is definitely a difference in quality. For reference, I don't ever actually use the throttle on my RadCity, but I like how adjustable the assist levels are (and it feels like there's a bigger difference between lowest and highest assist levels on the Rad than on the Tern).
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
Hello! My husband ordered a Tern GSD S00 for me, and it just arrived this weekend. Prior to this, my only ebike experience was on a RadCity Step-Thru, and I love riding that bike! However, I do not yet feel the same way about the GSD. The Bosch motor feels sluggish in comparison to the pep of the Rad motor. As crazy as it sounds, I’m considering returning it and buying a RadWagon 4 instead. Before taking such a drastic step, I’m hoping someone can answer a few questions for me about the RadWagon, since I don’t live in one of their test-ride zones.

1. How does the ride on the RadWagon compare to the RadCity? How’s the acceleration, assist, hill performance, etc.

2. If you have experience with a GSD, how can I get it to feel like it has enough power? Adjusting the seat height and tire pressure helped a bit, but I’m still concerned about riding in traffic when I struggle to get it to go above 14mph even on turbo with no cargo on the back.

3. I know this is a long shot, but if you live in the DC area (or within a few hours drive) and you have a RadWagon 4 that you’d be willing to let me take for a test ride, could you please let me know? I’m willing to pay for the time (or bribe you with delicious chocolate chip cookies!)
Your experience is likely because of torque sensor vs cadence sensor.
Cheaper / budget bikes have cadence sensor (such as Rad Power) and expensive bikes have torque sensor (such as Tern)

Many people prefer torque sensor because it gives "natural cycling feel".

However, I like zippy bikes, I do not like torque sensor. I'd rather have a cadence sensor and I like the feeling of getting pushed around.
I know exactly what you mean, I've ridden bikes with high quality torque sensor, and they really hide the assist, and I could not even tell that motor was kicking in.

 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
maybe you should just play with it for a bit. you have a bike that will far outlast a rad that will be reliable and serviceable in the long term. I can far out accelerate people on rads even using a throttle. but it takes some effort. but if I cranked up the assist level I would fly off the start line. I almost pop a wheelie when I am feeling good.
 
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Terry777

Guest
The Tern is a nice bike. I was eyeing one up when I was out one day a few weeks ago, I dunno what model it was. It’s a really sleek looking sort of dark gunmetal grey step through. Really nice as I say!
Take you Tern somewhere you think you’ll struggle to pedal it, uphill or even just a much higher gear than you normally ride your Rad in will do. You’ll feel like Superwoman! That’s where you’ll appreciated the Tern and it’s benefits. I think the difference between rear hub and mid drive is like an automatic and geared car. Two different tools. I’d defo advise giving your Tern a fair chance and get used to how it works.
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
The Tern is a nice bike. I was eyeing one up when I was out one day a few weeks ago, I dunno what model it was. It’s a really sleek looking sort of dark gunmetal grey step through. Really nice as I say!
Take you Tern somewhere you think you’ll struggle to pedal it, uphill or even just a much higher gear than you normally ride your Rad in will do. You’ll feel like Superwoman! That’s where you’ll appreciated the Tern and it’s benefits. I think the difference between rear hub and mid drive is like an automatic and geared car. Two different tools. I’d defo advise giving your Tern a fair chance and get used to how it works.
yes any bike change will take getting used too.
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
The Tern is a nice bike. I was eyeing one up when I was out one day a few weeks ago, I dunno what model it was. It’s a really sleek looking sort of dark gunmetal grey step through. Really nice as I say!
Take you Tern somewhere you think you’ll struggle to pedal it, uphill or even just a much higher gear than you normally ride your Rad in will do. You’ll feel like Superwoman! That’s where you’ll appreciated the Tern and it’s benefits. I think the difference between rear hub and mid drive is like an automatic and geared car. Two different tools. I’d defo advise giving your Tern a fair chance and get used to how it works.
There is no doubt that Tern is better at potential performance.
It's a mid drive, and has a Bosch motor, which produces well over 800+W at peak (tested by Grin Technologies)

However, torque sensor does such good job hiding the assist by completely matching the pedal input, in my opinion it's boring, in OP's opinion, it's "sluggish". Which I completely understand.
 

Bicyclista

Active Member
@Walkbytwilight, I know what you mean when you say your Tern feels sluggish by comparison to your Rad bike. About eight months ago I bought my girlfriend a Tern HSD S+ (so we could continue dating during the pandemic; all our dates since have been ebike rides!). I feel the Tern does not have as much power as my Yamaha-equipped Haibike mountain bike, which does not make sense because all reports say the Bosch motor is as strong, if not stronger, than the Yamaha. The weakness of the Bosch motor compared to the Yamaha was specially apparent climbing a hill (both are mid-drive motors).

Your GSD S00 and my HSD S+ share the Bosch motor, the Enviolo automatic shift hub, and the Gates carbon belt. So perhaps the lack of power is due to the same cause.

Fortunately, yesterday I met up with Josh Schlee, Tern's North America Sales and Service Coordinator. He lives in Valley Center, not far from San Diego, and we met halfway to exchange a seat pad for a Captain's Chair. During the conversation I mentioned that I was disappointed with the power output of the Bosch motor and I asked him whether the Enviolo automatic hub and Gates carbon belt had anything to do with it. He said no, if anything the Enviolo hub and the Gates belt make power transmission more efficient.

Then he said try this: with the Enviolo app (which is free in either the Apple or the Google app store) try setting the assist level to Sport in case the default was Eco. He explained that this setting of the Enviolo hub is independent of the assist level for the Bosch motor that you set on the handlebar display. (He seemed apologetic to have to explain this. Tern's instructions are silent about this crucial difference!)

I have not had a chance to try the Enviolo hub setting, but I will this weekend when I see my girlfriend. In the meantime, if you are able to try Josh Schlee's suggestion, let me know if it helps.

Ride safely and have fun!
 
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Terry777

Guest
@Walkbytwilight, I know what you mean when you say your Tern feels sluggish by comparison to your Rad bike. About eight months ago I bought my girlfriend a Tern HSD S+ (so we could continue dating during the pandemic; all our dates since have been ebike rides!). I feel the Tern does not have as much power as my Yamaha-equipped Haibike mountain bike, which does not make sense because all reports say the Bosch motor is as strong, if not stronger, than the Yamaha. The weakness of the Bosch motor compared to the Yamaha was specially apparent climbing a hill (both are mid-drive motors).

Your GSD S00 and my HSD S+ share the Bosch motor, the Enviolo automatic shift hub, and the Gates carbon belt. So perhaps the lack of power is due to the same cause.

Fortunately, yesterday I met up with Josh Schlee, Tern's North America Sales and Service Coordinator. He lives in Valley Center, not far from San Diego, and we met halfway to exchange a seat pad for a Captain's Chair. During the conversation I mentioned that I was disappointed with the power output of the Bosch motor and I asked him whether the Enviolo automatic hub and Gates carbon belt had anything to do with it. He said no, if anything the Enviolo hub and the Gates belt make power transmission more efficient.

Then he said try this: with the Enviolo app (which is free in either the Apple or the Google app store) try setting the assist level to Sport in case the default was Eco. He explained that this setting of the Enviolo hub is independent of the assist level for the Bosch motor that you set on the handlebar display. (He seemed apologetic to have to explain this. Tern's instructions are silent about this crucial difference!)

I have not had a chance to try the Enviolo hub setting, but I will this weekend when I see my girlfriend. In the meantime, if you are able to try Josh Schlee's suggestion, let me know if it helps.

Ride safely and have fun!
Interesting! Sounds logical.... hope it works. 👍
 

Walkbytwilight

New Member
Region
USA
@Walkbytwilight, I know what you mean when you say your Tern feels sluggish by comparison to your Rad bike. About eight months ago I bought my girlfriend a Tern HSD S+ (so we could continue dating during the pandemic; all our dates since have been ebike rides!). I feel the Tern does not have as much power as my Yamaha-equipped Haibike mountain bike, which does not make sense because all reports say the Bosch motor is as strong, if not stronger, than the Yamaha. The weakness of the Bosch motor compared to the Yamaha was specially apparent climbing a hill (both are mid-drive motors).

Your GSD S00 and my HSD S+ share the Bosch motor, the Enviolo automatic shift hub, and the Gates carbon belt. So perhaps the lack of power is due to the same cause.

Fortunately, yesterday I met up with Josh Schlee, Tern's North America Sales and Service Coordinator. He lives in Valley Center, not far from San Diego, and we met halfway to exchange a seat pad for a Captain's Chair. During the conversation I mentioned that I was disappointed with the power output of the Bosch motor and I asked him whether the Enviolo automatic hub and Gates carbon belt had anything to do with it. He said no, if anything the Enviolo hub and the Gates belt make power transmission more efficient.

Then he said try this: with the Enviolo app (which is free in either the Apple or the Google app store) try setting the assist level to Sport in case the default was Eco. He explained that this setting of the Enviolo hub is independent of the assist level for the Bosch motor that you set on the handlebar display. (He seemed apologetic to have to explain this. Tern's instructions are silent about this crucial difference!)

I have not had a chance to try the Enviolo hub setting, but I will this weekend when I see my girlfriend. In the meantime, if you are able to try Josh Schlee's suggestion, let me know if it helps.

Ride safely and have fun!
I was so excited about this possibility! However, my enviolo isn’t the AutomatIQ version, so no app tunability for me. Thanks for the idea though!
 

Walkbytwilight

New Member
Region
USA
Thank you all for your kind advice! I was able to get the enviolo to loosen up a bit, and also found out that I have to pause the pedaling when shifting. The looser shifter has made the motor feel much better, and I’ve been able to get it up to speed more easily. Understanding the difference between a torque sensor and a cadence sensor also made a big difference in how I’m approaching this bike vs my Rad, and my last ride on it was much speedier (and much more enjoyable)!


I really want to thank you, not just for your great advice and trouble-shooting, but for your patience and your (apparent) belief that I’m not crazy in all of this!
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
Thank you all for your kind advice! I was able to get the enviolo to loosen up a bit, and also found out that I have to pause the pedaling when shifting. The looser shifter has made the motor feel much better, and I’ve been able to get it up to speed more easily. Understanding the difference between a torque sensor and a cadence sensor also made a big difference in how I’m approaching this bike vs my Rad, and my last ride on it was much speedier (and much more enjoyable)!


I really want to thank you, not just for your great advice and trouble-shooting, but for your patience and your (apparent) belief that I’m not crazy in all of this!
great sounds like you actually like it (G) every bike is going to feel different so thats why its always best to test ride one too. bosch motors can take a beating I put over 6000 miles on mine in a year.
 
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Terry777

Guest
Thank you all for your kind advice! I was able to get the enviolo to loosen up a bit, and also found out that I have to pause the pedaling when shifting. The looser shifter has made the motor feel much better, and I’ve been able to get it up to speed more easily. Understanding the difference between a torque sensor and a cadence sensor also made a big difference in how I’m approaching this bike vs my Rad, and my last ride on it was much speedier (and much more enjoyable)!


I really want to thank you, not just for your great advice and trouble-shooting, but for your patience and your (apparent) belief that I’m not crazy in all of this!
That’s awesome! Hope it just keeps getting better and better for you 🙂