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 with Integrated Button Pad (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:

Micro-USB Port for Diagnostics and Software Updates Only, Hold - to Cycle Readouts, Hold + and Press Power to Change Units

Drive Mode:

Advanced Pedal Assist (Measures Rear Wheel Speed, Pedal Cadence, and Pedal Torque 1,000 Times Per Second - Power Output Relative to Pedal Input: 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:

More Tern Reviews

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Tern Link D8 with BionX Review

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High quality folding frame from Tern combined with sophisticated and quiet drive system from BionX. Four levels of pedal assist and regen as well as regenerative braking and variable speed…...


Ken Boesch
1 year 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

Reply
court
1 year 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.

Reply
Stephen Nicholas
1 year 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.

Reply
court
1 year 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 :)

Reply
josh hon
1 year 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.

Reply
court
1 year ago

Thanks Josh!

Paul Wong
1 year 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?

Reply
court
1 year 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 :)

Reply
Felipe
1 year ago

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

Reply
court
1 year 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

Reply
Offer Appelboim
1 year 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!

Reply
court
1 year 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?

Reply
Offer Appelboim
1 year ago

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

Julia
1 year 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

Reply
court
1 year 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.

Reply
Julia
1 year 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

Reply
court
1 year 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

Reply
nathalee
1 year 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?

Reply
court
1 year 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 :)

Reply
Clark
1 year ago

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

Reply
court
1 year 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.

Reply
Mauricio
11 months ago

Hi! Thanks for your awesome reviews, they’re very helpful. One question for this folding ebike: we live on a hilly island and we were thinking of getting one of these folding bikes. However, we’d like to transport some stuff as well (maybe about 20kg extra). Do you think this bike can handle hills with extra cargo? And if so, which “trailer” can you recommend?
Thank you!

Reply
court
11 months ago

Hi Mauricio! I’m almost certain that you could carry at least 20 kg on the rear rack that comes with the Tern Vektron. You could use a basket, trunk bag, or panniers to carry your load. The rack has pannier blockers so your bags won’t rub on the tires but you’d still want to get short panniers so they wouldn’t hang down too low and get in the way of shifting or your heels as you pedal. There are lots of bike trailers out there and I think you could get one to work but with the disc brakes, kickstand, and magnetic clasp all on the left side of the rear-end of the bike… it might take some custom metal working to create a little connector. Here’s an interesting folding trailer with a hitch that has a backup system which might be modified? And then there’s this one or this more expensive one which connects to the seat post… that’s worth considering given how crowded the wheel area is, I haven’t tried this particular rack. The Burley Travoy was the first bike trailer that I saw which connected to the seat post but it’s super expensive… nice and light, folds up, looks cool… but expensive ;) please let us know what you end up with and how it works out. You can also post about it, along with photos, in the forums if you’d like.

Reply
Roxanne
10 months ago

I’m not clear what “Variable Speed Trigger Throttle” is on this Vektron. I thought it *didn*’t have a throttle (I’m new to e-bikes). Also, how in heck does a person test ride a Vektron? I’m in Ohio, would be willing to drive several hours to see it, but am having a heck of a time finding someone with the Vektron in stock (sorry for the whining). Thanks!

Reply
court
10 months ago

Hi Roxanne, I’m sorry for the confusion here, the website had a glitch which put this “variable speed trigger throttle” label when really, none of the Bosch drive systems offer this. The information is incorrect here and I’m working to fix it as I type this reply. Sorry for the confusion. It does not have a throttle. As for dealers, I have a directory of ebike shops here that you can search by brand and maybe narrow down… but you might want to contact Tern directly to ask because it can be hit or miss with which shops carry it.

Reply
Roxanne
10 months ago

Thanks for the clarification, Court. I did contact Tern through their website a few days ago (haven’t heard back yet), but will also take a look at your list. I appreciate all you do, Court!

Roxanne
9 months ago

I ordered the Vektron without a test ride. It arrived yesterday, and I *LOVE* it! A few things I want to tweak – the seat is rather hard, may want to replace it, and I definitely need a mirror and a lock but, all in all, it is a great bike!

Reply
court
9 months ago

Sweet! That’s a happy story, thanks Roxanne… I like the Selle Royale saddles like this and there’s a great lock from Blackburn with a cable included. I like this lock because it connects on both sides of the U, not just one, this makes it more secure… and the bars are rubber coated so it won’t scratch up your frame. Use the cable to secure the front wheel and maybe get a saddle leash cable to protect your new seat ;)

Reply
Guy Michaeli
7 months ago

Hi, I live in Seattle and ride 10-14 miles a day. My commute is a mixture of bike trail and with heavier traffic. I was looking at these bikes as they are folding which means that on really rainy days (we have some of those, here in Seattle), I can just fold them, throw them in a trunk and ride home with a buddy or my wife.

I tried the bike today and really liked them. They did feel slow and less zippy than other ebikes I tried (Golf TSI vs Golf GTI) but I they do the job of getting you up hills without breaking sweat.

Do you think that 20mph is fast enough for such commute? Should I go with a faster 28mph bike? Thanks, Guy

Reply
court
7 months ago

Hi Guy! That’s a great question, and I like your idea about commuting to work and then folding and driving home if/when needed. The Vektron is one of my favorite folding e-bikes because it uses the reliable and efficient Bosch motor. In my experience, this isn’t going to to rattle apart and become junky as quickly as some of the cheaper products. Even though this one is capped at 20 mph, I think that’s about right for a smaller-wheeled frame, the 20″ wheels make it compact when folded but they can be twitchier at speed. You’re going to get better range at lower speeds (below 20 mph) and I have found that even with some of the speed pedelec models, I still end up riding around 20 mph… maybe 22 or 23 mph and I’m not sure that is worth switching bikes over. So yeah, the fenders, lights, adjustability, and durability of this bike has me sold but Tern also has a new product called the GSD which is pretty great but NOT folding. And they have sine solid Bafang powered folding Vektron models too, which are less expensive, but Bosch is my personal favorite for responsiveness and reliability. I hope this helps! You can also ask around in the Tern forums here.

Reply
Guy
7 months ago

Court, thank you for your quick reply! Also, I wanted to thank you for the great work you are doing making electric bike approachable and understood, I watch all your reviews. I do have two follow up questions:

  1. Is there a good chance that Tern will replace the Vektron Active motor to the Performance line? The Active feels so slow with responses.
  2. The GSD you mentioned looks cool, I watched your interbike session with the Tern representative. Do you think it will fit in a back of a small SUV and do you think it is worth the wait?

Thanks,
Guy

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Eddie Rodriguez
1 month ago

Less of you more of them. Asperger is a helluva drug.

Bran Vasqez
2 months ago

I would definitely buy one if it came with a Gates Belt Drive and the Nuvinci for low maintenance.

Marie Fe Inobaya
5 months ago

This is very cool bike

Doenjang Stew
5 months ago

Why isn't there front forks? OMG, fly in the ointment!

Joey Love
5 months ago

I wish I never saw this bike because now I want it.

H H
6 months ago

No suspension fork - a no go!

Artex2013
6 months ago

Cool bike.
Maybe let the other guy speak a little more and for the love of all that is good you squeak a little less...

SHIT!

John Durkin
6 months ago

Perfect review.

Haroldo Malta
7 months ago

Despite the good quality, the bicycle is extremely expensive to only have motor assistance when pedaling. It is too heavy to carry in your hand.

eric eyster
8 months ago

why not any form of suspension? the bike seems to have everything but that. and that is pretty important on bikes. THat is the only thing holding me back on buying it.

s choudhury
9 months ago

This guy is going overboard praising this bike. It's 3.5k dollars. It's more like a rich man's toy than a practical solution. Any way we need to wait for the revolution in battery technology before investing in any of these bikes.

Kris Miller
9 months ago

I would love to be able to get a Vektron but I just cant afford it. Do you think the Tern eLink D7i is a good substitute for the price? or do you have any recommendation for a folding or compact ebike (class 1) at the ~2000 price range? I've been on your site a lot and just cant seem to make up my mind.

Greg Short
9 months ago

I bought the Vektron, and i like it, but there are a few things that i don't. Climbing is a blast on it. It is heavy, and if you are lifting it in and out of your car, you aren't going to look as good as the model. It tips somewhat easily, so make sure the kickstand it adjusted accordingly. And, when it tips, it scratches easily. I also wish it folded in the other direction than it does, so that it would fold in the direction of the derailleur. the reason is, if you are laying the bike flat in your car, you don't really want to lay it with the derailleur down, and when you are trying to lay it on the other side, it can unfold on you, unless you bungee the hell out of it. Also, I emailed Tern, and never received a response. That, more than anything, is a turnoff for me. Overall, i like it, but wish it were faster, and i wish it were lighter. Would i buy it again...not so sure.

ternbicycles
9 months ago

No problem!

Greg Short
9 months ago

ternbicycles USA, I assume. Bought my bike in California. The contact us form is jn english, at the bottom of the page on your website. Will email the above address. Thanks.

ternbicycles
9 months ago

In which country? That either connects to the local distributor, or to Tern global. If you use the above email, it will connect you with our global support team, who are reliably responsive!

Greg Short
9 months ago

I used the 'Contact Us' form on your website.

ternbicycles
9 months ago

Hey Greg! Who did you email? Our customer support is pretty responsive! Write to use at ask.us@ternbicycles.com

Zsolt Velykovits
9 months ago

It looks like a perfect electric bike, although I miss two things, they should have used carbon belt drive (if you have $2900, probably you will go for the belt drive version for $3000) and hide the battery somehow in the frame.
When you have young children around having the belt drive instead of a greasy chain, that's a much more relaxing thing knowing that, they won't get themselves dirty when you get home with the bike.

Invisible Prison
10 months ago

This bike is ridiculously impressive.

TOM K
10 months ago

Great job demonstrating.. Just bought have not received yet, I have the Tern node d8, exceptionally nice smooth bike, quality is there, in this world nothing is free!

Fernando De León
10 months ago

Amazing review - fantastic attention to detail. Look forward to making my investment in Q3 this year, as I'm moving offices in NYC 🗽. Thanks Josh Hon for making this come to life.

Joshua Hon
9 months ago

Cheers!

Karen Napilneg
10 months ago

i'm getting one of this.... yeahh

wassim wass
10 months ago

please can you tell me the name of the sunglasses 🙏

Saddlesoap
11 months ago

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

Johnny Mac
3 months ago

I'm caught in two minds between this bike and the R&M Tinker with the carbon belt drive.