Bike test: Tern GSD S10 electric cargo bike. Tern electric cargo bike


Tern bicycles is one of my favorite brands for their urban bikes and folding bicycles. Tern GSD is their cargo bike utility bike and on top of them, it is an electric bike with amazing features. Here we will cover maybe the most functional electric bike in market. And show features with sets it apart from other cargo electric bikes and utility bicycle.

Electric Bikes For Families

You can carry week long of groceries, pick up kid(s) from school while you going back from work to home on Tern At the same time. Rear Rack is very long where you can keep a big basket for your cargo, pannier bags and baby seat at the same time. And you can still carry lots of things in the front basket. You can also install two child seats on this e-bike such as Yepp Maxi, so it is fair to say it is an electric bike for two kids.

Tern Cargo Bike Frame

I can call it an electric folding cargo bike. Actually it isn’t either a cargo bike or a folding bike but has features of both. Length of bike is 71″ (173 cm) which is shorter than a regular cargobike but bike’s wheelbase is similar to a cargo bike with 124 cm length. It gives Tern a good loading capacity but saves length thanks to it’s small tires. In this way it becomes more practical to store it inside your apartment unless you live in a super tiny place.

It is an alloy Electric bicycle frame which is produced in China by a Taiwanese frame company who also manufactures frames of BH cycles. I can see high end workmanship on the frame which I appreciate.

It has a spring attached to the fork which at first you will feel little bit awkward but later on you will appreciate it. As this spring prevents the fork and handle bar to freely spin when bike stands on kick stand. This is one drawback of double kick stands. In this way it prevents the cables to get damage. The center of gravity is low thanks to small wheels and it makes it easier to get on and off the GSD compared to a regular cargo e bike.

The frame has space to mount two batteries at the same time which is a big plus as you may need to ride your e-bike for longer distance and while you carry lot of stuff you may need extra charge. In this way you won’t need to worry as 2 batteries will give you enough range.

It has several color options so you can find a color that appeals you most.


Tern electric bike uses a Bosch Performance Line Cruise mid motor which has a 250 watt nominal output power. This is a fairly powerful motor which is enough for a Class 1 e-bike. It can create 63 Nm torque that can climb almost any hill even with a load. For steep hills sure you will need to contribute with your pedalling but in most of the hills this motor gives adequate power. Bosch systems have 3 sensors which measures cadence, speed and torque at the same time. In this way they give a very smooth riding experience.

It can go as fast as 20 mph and motor supports up to 120 rpm. It is a better more compared to Active line of Bosch motors which isused on Tern Vektron.

To get more information about this motor you can contact Bosch ebikes usa.

Tern GSD also has a better version which is S00 which uses Bosch Performance CX motor that has a better torque with 75 Nm output.

Tern GSD Battery

It has unique battery layout where you can use two battery packs on the frame like some Riese Muller ebikes. But Tern Integrated two batteries better in my opinion.

S00 has a default 500Wh battery pack and with additional 800 you can increase capacity to 1000wh battery pack.

S10 comes with 400wh battery pack and similar to S00 you can add another 500wh Bosch battery for 800. In this way you can extend range of your electric bike by 125%.

You can charge two batteries simultaneously and your electric bike consumes charge of two batteries at the same time. This is an important feature in this way they extend life cycle of your battery. Tern GSD can also work using a single battery too. Tern GSD range is 30 miles with single battery pack. If you use both batteries then your range will be around 60 miles. This is more than enough for 99% of electric bike riders.

TERN GSD Brakes and Gear

Both models use Magura MT5 hydraulic disc brakes. I am big fan of hydraulic brakes and magura works very smoothly. On an electric cargo bike having hydraulic brakes are must for safety reasons. When you carry lot of load and your kids on your e-bike, you want to be sure that your bike can stop smoothly and safely. You can adjust the pressue using the adjustable lever. So you can press brake with lot of power or little power (you actually adjust the sensitivity of these e-bike brakes) to stop your bike.

On s10 Tern uses a 10 speed shimano deore drivetrain on the other hand on S00 they use an infinite variable internal hub by Enviolo (previously Nuvinci).

On a small electric bike with small wheels having an internal hub gear has many advantages. First of all your derailleur won’t be extracted and not subject to hits or damages. On such low e-bike this can be a real issue and I am sure none of you want your derailler to get damaged. Second this is a utility bicycle and will be used on daily basis, you want your system to be enclosed so it needs almost no maintenance at all.

Other Parts

It has folding handlebars in this way you can put it at the back of your minivan or suv. Need to take the front wheel of and it isn’t as easy as loading a compact electric bike but still folding stem lets it possible to store inside your van.

It has Valo Direct Lighting System ebike lights. It has both front and rear fenders, double kick stand. A suspension seatpost will be nice to make the stiff ride more smooth. Tern ebike as mentioned is small wheel bicycle and it gives many advantages but one big disadvantage is riding comfort. Small wheels let you feel any bumps on the road so I strongly suggest you to invest for a suspension seat post to make your ride more comfortable.

You can buy Yepp Maxi baby seat from Yepp USA and can turn your GSD into an e-bike for family. With transperteur rack or shortbed tray your gsd turns into a grocery bicycle. With various Tern bike accessories you can transform your Tern into an e-bike for your purpose. I have to admit it is one of the most awesome bikes for this reason, endless possibilities on same frame.

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Price of Tern GSD

GSD S00 is priced at 4999 and GSD S10 is priced at 3999. They aren’t cheap electric bikes but considering being such functional urban e bike, I guess price tag seems reasonable or acceptable. You can check for more information from their website.

Bike test: Tern GSD S10 electric cargo bike

Most long-tail cargo bikes are about as big as tandems. The Tern GSD is dinky. Thanks to 20-inch wheels, it’s only the length of a big-wheeled solo, despite having a longer wheelbase and a capacious rear rack. As such, it’s easier to store and live with.

The acronym stands for Get Stuff Done. The GSD will haul shopping, cargo, two toddlers in rear childseats, two bigger children, six conventional panniers or a mixture of these things. It’s essentially an e-bike MPV.

Frame and fork

The GSD is rated to carry 180kg, including the rider. The aluminium frame is triangulated using chunky tubes, and it’s designed for Boost hubs, which are wider. While smaller wheels are already stronger, wider hubs boost (sic) both strength and lateral stiffness by increasing the bracing angle of the spokes at the rim. It makes sense for a cargo bike.

The single frame size should fit riders from 150-195cm as the seatpost is telescopic and the stem adjustable. A step-through frame makes it easy to hop on and off.

However, short cyclists may struggle to get a toe down at the lights as the bottom bracket is a lofty 30cm. I’d be tempted to fit a dropper seatpost. Any rider could then put one or both feet firmly down, helping to balance heavier loads. Saddle height adjustment would be instant and the lack of quick releases would prevent theft.

Manhandling the GSD isn’t easy: it’s 30kg. Yet storing it is in some ways easier than a conventional bike. It partly folds to become narrower and less tall.

The seatpost goes right down. The ‘handlepost’, the long tube between steerer and stem, folds down against the front wheel, where it’s secured with a rubber strap. (Turning the front wheel through 180° first saves a little space.) Thus folded, it could fit under a table or in the boot of a car.

Alternatively, you can stand it up on its end on the rear rack. To do so, apply the rear brake when the bike is unfolded and walk backwards. The near vertical bike can be rolled into place, then stood up. Just be careful it can’t fall – 30kg could do real damage. Standing the bike on end is the easiest way to adjust the brakes and gears or to remove the wheels.

The fame and fork bristle with fittings. The front Transporteur Rack is particularly useful. It holds a 30×40cm crate, and there are bottle mounts on the back. To carry boxy loads at the rear, you’ll want the Shortbed Tray (60×40cm) or the Sidekick Lower Deck supports.


The pedelec motor is a 250W Bosch Performance Line model with four assistance modes: eco (adds 50% of your pedalling effort in extra Wattage); tour (120%), sport (190%) and turbo (275%). There’s also a walk mode for pushing the loaded bike.

By default it comes with one 400Wh battery, with a range of 50-110km (31-68 miles). I was getting around 40 miles even in quite hilly terrain. For £699, you can extend that by slotting a second (500Wh) battery behind the first, giving a range of ‘up to 250km’.

The drive sprocket at the cranks is only 20t but is stepped up by a factor of 2.45 by the Bosch internals. Effectively you’ve got a 49-tooth chainring. With a 10-speed Shimano Deore cassette, that gives a practical gear range. If you want to change it, drive sprockets are available in 14-22t sizes.

The Bosch display is simple. Press the plus button to move up an assistance mode, the minus button to go down one. You can view charge remaining, speed, range, trip distance, total distance and power mode – but not all at once. Button presses are a bit vague; I’d like a more positive response.

Those 20-inch wheels enable the cargo racks to be situated lower down, improving the bike’s centre of gravity. They’re fitted with fat Schwalbe Super Moto-X tyres, made specially for Tern.

They’re ideal: fat tyres support the load better and help isolate it from bumps. Any increase in rolling drag is largely irrelevant given the extra energy available. I’d just change the front axle to an Allen-headed one to deter wheel theft.

The brakes are outstanding: four-piston Magura hydraulics that bite onto 180mm rotors. Because the GSD is stable and has a big tyre footprint, you can use that power too.

The Cargo Hold Panniers I requested have a capacity of 68 litres per pair, just enough for a week’s shopping for two. They fold flat on the bike when not in use, which is neat, but while durably made they’re fiddly to get on and off.

The ride

The riding position ranges from fairly to very upright. That’s fine. You don’t need to be poised athletically over the pedals when there’s a motor to put in extra power for you. And it’s a comfortable way to pedal in normal clothes, which is surely all you’d wear on an e-bike like this.

You don’t get hot and sweaty because, while you must pedal (it’s a pedelec), you never have to pedal hard. Even if you can maintain 200-250W on your own, an extra 250W makes a big difference. On my (unassisted) Yuba Mundo, I seldom ride more than five miles and always choose a route to minimise climbing. On the GSD, a dozen miles – including a 1-in-4 hill and a cargo of logs – was trivial.

As it’s a sit-up-and-beg cargo bike, my natural riding pace was less than 25kph (15.5mph) so electric assistance was nearly always available. I didn’t keep lurching between assisted and unassisted pedalling, a problem with non-cargo e-bikes I’ve ridden. The extra kick from the motor was great for getting the loaded bike moving too.

Handling is good. It’s as manoeuvrable as a solo bike, and although it’s heavy all that weight is low down, so it feels stable and surefooted.


Yes, you could buy a (secondhand) car for what the GSD costs. But the running costs are thousands of pounds per year. The more you use the e-bike, the more you’d save. And you do find yourself wanting to use it: the GSD is a versatile load-lugger that’s pleasant to ride.

For anyone with journeys they might hesitate to do by bike, this could be the answer. It’s hands down the most useful e-bike I’ve ridden.

Electric cargo bikes explained | Plus, three of the best e-cargo bikes

Almost every area of the bicycle market has been electrified, with the best electric bikes encompassing the full range of bicycle styles.

An electric motor is a particularly useful addition to a cargo bike. Cargo bikes tend to be heavy to start with and are designed to carry yet more weight. The assistance provided by an electric bike motor can up usability and comfort for a wider range of riders, use cases and fitness levels. Here, we’ll cover everything you need to know about electric cargo bikes: what they are, how they work, what they’re useful for and their advantages and disadvantages.

You can also skip to the end of this article to see three of the best e-cargo bikes, as rated and reviewed by our team of testers.

What is an electric cargo bike?

A longer wheelbase and substantial rack add load-carrying capacity to a cargo bike. Steve Sayers / Our Media

A cargo bike is a bike designed to carry loads. Most feature a longer wheelbase than a standard bike to increase stability, as well as a rack or hopper to place items on or in. A cargo bike will normally have a sturdy load-carrying area or rack instead of a standard bolt-on pannier rack. This is usually built into the frame and is non-removable.

An electric motor helps lower the effort needed to pedal a cargo bike. Russell Burton / Immediate Media

An electric cargo bike adds an electric motor and battery to a cargo bike. As with other electric bikes, this provides extra power and assistance up to a speed at which, governed by electric bike laws, the assistance has to cut out. In most of the world, that’s 25kph/15mph, whereas in the USA it’s normally 20mph. You usually have to pedal for the motor to provide assistance, although some electric cargo bikes might be throttle operated. Check out our electric bike basics guide for more information.

What can you use an electric cargo bike for?

An electric cargo bike such as the Raleigh Pro electric trike can carry large loads of up to 100kg in its case. Raleigh

Electric cargo bikes are a really versatile option for a range of load-lugging duties. The most obvious is carrying cargo that is too heavy or bulky for a regular bicycle. A 2019 report from the UK Department for Transport found that around 16 per cent of all vehicle miles on UK roads were driven in vans. It also found a 50 per cent increase in van trips made on urban roads in 10 years, with 23 per cent of total van miles being for delivery and distribution. Load sizes are getting smaller and routing less efficient as customers demand faster delivery from services such as Amazon Prime. For short urban deliveries, electric cargo bikes provide a viable alternative to motorised vehicles. They’re as fast as a van, non-polluting, cheaper and parking is less of an issue.

For everyday riders, electric cargo bikes also make transporting children or other passengers a practical alternative to car journeys for school runs and other trips. Built-in seats with harnesses and rain covers make for a safe, comfortable environment. Electric cargo bikes are also a good option for shopping, their ease of parking and navigation through crowded streets again making them a good alternative to car journeys. Camping trips and other excursions are also a possibility. In fact, an electric cargo bike could provide a car replacement for many users.

Electric cargo bike vs non-assisted cargo bike – the pros and cons explained

For moving larger loads around, the electric assistance of an e-cargo bike makes riding a lot easier and makes travelling longer distances a more practical option. In fact, there are many more cargo bike options available with a motor than without. The frequent starts and stops for traffic in urban settings and on delivery runs make getting a cargo bike – whether assisted or non-assisted – moving from a standstill harder than a steady run. Likewise, any hills you encounter on your ride will be a lot easier with electrical assistance. But the motor and battery add yet more weight to an electric bike over a non-assisted bike. Any cargo bike tends to be heavy, due to the extended wheelbase (which means more frame material), substantially built carry area, and chunky wheels and tyres. The frame is often made of steel too. Even the lightest cargo bikes start off at over 20kg; 30kg is more typical, even before you add extras such as seats or a box. In contrast, a normal bike is likely to weigh well under 20kg, even if it’s built heavily. A typical electric cargo bike motor will add just under 3kg, while you can expect even a low-capacity battery to double that. A high-capacity battery can weigh over 4kg, so a double-battery configuration could add over 11kg to the cargo bike’s weight. Riese Müller’s electric cargo bikes weigh around 35kg and the electric Cube Cargo Hybrid can weigh close to 50kg, for example. Electric cargo bikes are built tough, however, and you can expect to be able to carry a load of over 200kg (including the rider) on many models. That’s a lot of mass to get moving, and the motor and battery – even with their additional weight over a non-assisted cargo bike – are definitely an asset.

Electric bikes are also, generally speaking, quite expensive. A quality electric bike motor system is likely to increase the price of an electric cargo bike by around £1,000 over a pedal-only cargo bike. You can expect higher maintenance costs for an electric bike over a normal bike too, due to the extra wear on the drivetrain, the possibility of electrical issues and the impact of the extra weight on tyres, wheels and brakes. With a heavy frame and often sporting small wheels with chunky tyres on a long wheelbase, don’t expect a fast or lively ride from a cargo bike, whether electric or not. On the other hand, an electric cargo bike can be surprisingly agile and will enable you to zip around stationary traffic and through bike-only shortcuts to get to your destination faster.

What about battery range?

If an electric cargo bike is going to be used extensively, it’s possible the battery won’t have enough capacity to last an entire day. This means you’ll either need to swap in a spare battery, recharge during the work day (which can take several hours), or suffer through the arduous task of pedalling without assistance. The stop-start nature of urban riding means the battery is likely to be drained more quickly as well.

Types of electric cargo bike

Electric cargo bikes typically have an extended wheelbase over a conventional bike. That allows the inclusion of a cargo-carrying area either fore or aft of the rider. Often, cargo bikes will have smaller wheels than a standard bike, or different-sized wheels front and rear, so the load can be carried lower on the frame and the centre of gravity of the bike is lower. Both of these design features improve handling compared to strapping a load to a conventional bike. Many cargo bikes enable you to add different load carriers to suit different uses.

Cube’s Cargo Hybrid, for example, enables you to fit seats inside its front hopper so you can carry children. The Mycle Cargo comes with footrests and removable pads for its rear rack, so you can carry passengers. You can also fit child seats to it. Cargo bikes with a built-in box often go by the Dutch name bakfiets (which translates as ‘box bike’). It’s a popular way to carry goods and luggage, but also enables you to fit seats for children for the school run and other excursions. Bakfiets is a brand name for a Dutch maker of cargo bikes as well. Other electric cargo bike designs, such as the Surly Skid Loader, include a beefed-up front and/or rear rack on a more conventional, shorter-wheelbase bike frame. That has the advantage of manoeuvrability, but may limit how much you can carry. They’re generally less stable too, because a poorly distributed rear load may tend to shift the bike’s centre of mass behind the rear-wheel axis and a large front-end load can affect steering.

Electric cargo tricycles

Not all electric cargo bikes are technically bikes, because tricycles with three wheels are available as well. The configuration usually includes two wheels at the front, as with the Raleigh Pro Electric Cargo Trike. This enables the fitment of a large front container for goods or passengers (this is sometimes referred to as a ‘tadpole’ trike). An advantage is that stability isn’t a problem and it’s easier to park because you don’t need a kickstand.

Cube’s Trike Concept electric cargo bike has double wheels at the rear and a mid-frame pivot so you can lean into corners. Cube says having the load at the rear and a conventional-looking front means it’s easier to steer and see where you’re going. In some cases, such as the Tern Quick Haul, you can hitch up a trailer for even more carrying capacity.

Electric cargo bike motors

Most electric cargo bikes have their motors mounted in the bottom bracket, where it’s central and can provide power to the rear wheel through the cargo bike’s drivetrain. Other electric cargo bikes may have a rear-hub motor – the Mycle Cargo is an example. Recognising the potential of the electric cargo bike market, both Shimano Steps and Bosch, brand leaders in electric bike motors, have released cargo-specific versions of their electric bike drive systems. These have high torque output and a power delivery curve that’s geared to getting the extra weight of a loaded electric cargo bike moving.

Bosch’s Cargo Line motors give 85Nm torque and 250 watts of assistance, and can provide up to 400 per cent of the rider’s power output. They also provide walk assist and a hill hold function so your bike won’t roll back downhill if you stop. Bosch offers an anti-lock braking system for electric cargo bikes using its system.

Shimano has a range of three Steps cargo bike motors with 250 watts power output, either with 85Nm or 65Nm of torque. Like Bosch, it offers ABS. Shimano also has automatic gear shifts as an option and free shift, where you can initiate a gear change when you’re not pedalling. Shimano’s drivetrain tech includes Linkglide, designed specifically to be more durable for electric bike use. Other brands provide motors that are fitted to electric bikes, although they may not be specifically designed or tuned for high-load, low-speed cargo bike use. In the EU, a separate class of electric cargo bikes can be powered by more powerful 1,000-watt motors and throttle operated rather than requiring pedal input to provide assistance. Riders must hold a licence to operate them and, as electric bike law dictates for other ebikes, assistance is speed-limited at 25kph.

Which brands make electric cargo bikes?

Electric cargo bikes are sold by quite a range of brands. Some are well-known, but others are smaller outfits that specialise in cargo bikes. Brands with an extensive range of electric cargo bikes include Riese Müller from Germany, Tern from Taiwan and Surly in the US. We’ve already mentioned Dutch brand Bakfiets, which makes exclusively electric and pedal-only cargo bikes. Some big players see the potential in electric cargo bikes too; Raleigh and Cube sell a range of models and Specialized is about to launch its own electric cargo bikes.


The Mycle electric cargo bike can be fitted with two batteries to increase its range. Steve Sayers / Our Media

Many electric cargo bikes offer the ability to fit more than one battery to up the bike’s range. Shimano, for example, has opened up its Steps electric motors so you can fit multiple batteries, including high-capacity options from third-party battery makers. That opens up very high battery capacity options of up to 3,000Wh from four batteries, to give the range for intensive day-long use. Often, there’s a variety of accessories sold by the cargo ebike’s maker. If the bike doesn’t come ready-equipped to carry cargo, the brand may sell purpose-made boxes or open baskets. You may be able to buy seats for transporting children or adults, rain covers and lockable tops. Some electric cargo bikes have been designed to accept standard accessories such as child seats. We mentioned fitting a bike trailer above. Many electric cargo bikes come ready-fitted with other useful accessories such as a kickstand, which needs to be extra-robust to handle the weight of the bike and its load. Often, you’ll get lights too, which may be powered by the motor’s battery.

What else to consider?

The main issue with an electric cargo bike is where to store it. Most are substantially larger than a standard bike, so you need extra room, particularly if you have boxes attached for load-lugging. The Tern Quick Haul is designed so you can stand it on its rear rack when not in use, but you may need a dedicated storage area such as a garage to store an electric cargo bike. Where you store the bike needs to be on the flat too – you’re not going to want to lug a 30kg electric bike up stairs. Walk mode can make off-bike manoeuvring easier. You may also need an electric power output close to where you keep your electric bike. Many electric bikes have removable batteries, so you can take them indoors to charge, but some may not. It may be more convenient anyway to charge the battery in situ. Charge times can be several hours, so if your bike is used intensively, you may need spare batteries to keep the motor running. Electric bike batteries are usually quite expensive, so spares will add significantly to the purchase cost.

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Haulin’ the Goods on the Short Haul D8, Tern’s Most Affordable Cargo Bike

A while ago, I did a few stories about the urban mobility specialists Tern Bicycles. I reached out to Tern while writing one of the stories for some clarity on a topic, we exchanged emails back and forth, and eventually came to the realization that I was local to its Los Angeles location. After some discussion, Tern invited me to review one of its bikes. The Tern Short Haul D8 cargo bike.

The Short Haul D8 is Tern’s “entry-level” non-electric cargo bike and retails for only 1,099. That’s a really great price, and I’m here to tell you that you get a lot of value for that money. I was excited to try it out.

So, my wife and I ended up going to Tern’s end-of-year get-together in early December, so I could eat, drink, put faces to names, and pick up the Short Haul for review.

Here’s something: In 2021, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics did a study focusing on the number of daily trips taken in the United States. It found that 52% of all trips, including all modes of transportation, were less than 3 miles. 28% of them are less than a mile.

Hopping on your bike to make those short trips makes a lot of sense, is more fun, better for you, and better for good ol’ Mother Earth. Investing in a bicycle that allows you to do that easily seems like a great option.

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I’m fascinated by the concept of the “cargo bike” as a whole and would love to own one at some point.

That being said, I try to run a lot of my errands on my Rivendell Clem Smith Jr. The Clem has a front Wald 137 basket and the Tunitas Carryall Basket Bag, which allows me to carry quite a bit on this bike. But when there is a bigger, heavier grocery run that needs to get done, I do, unfortunately, have to take the car … this is where a cargo would come in handy.

Tern Short Haul Specs in, Err, Short

The Short Haul is a non-electric, longtail cargo bike with a frame that uses a patented, low step-through design. It’s made from 6061-AL, uses a steel fork, and both the frame and fork have been EFBE Tri-Tested up to 140 kg (309 pounds) maximum gross vehicle weight.

It comes with a rear rack that can carry up to 50 kg (110 pounds).

The bike I reviewed came with the optional front rack capable of handling loads of 20 kg (44 pounds) that’s attached by handy quick-release levers.

The one-size Short Haul can fit riders from 147-190 cm (4’10”-6’3″) who weigh up to 120 kg (264 pounds). It has a 1×8 Shimano Altus derailleur with a trigger shifter and hydraulic disc brakes.

How Did the Short Haul, Haul?

Tern told me ahead of time that I was only going to have the Short Haul for a little over a month. I like to review bikes for longer periods of time, so I tried to ride the Short Haul quite a bit. At the end of the month or so, I hadn’t ridden it as much as I would’ve liked but definitely enough to get an idea of what it was capable of. But this is, by no means a long-term review, but more of a “short-haul” review. Hey-oh!

Upon picking up the bike, I noticed that it had a few accessories I actually would’ve chosen if I were to buy a Short Haul for myself. Namely, the storage box/trunk containers, a front rack, super cavernous rear panniers, and fenders.

Cool Storage Compartments

The Tern Glovebox is a cool, water-resistant carrying case, made specifically for either the Short Haul or the Quick Haul. It bolts to the frame right under the front of the top tube and looks like a gas tank.

It zips on both sides and has a detachable Velcro divider as well as internal s. It worked great for multitool, wallet, and phone storage.

The Tern Carryall Trunk is another cool trunk-like storage area. It’s actually made specifically for the Short Haul as it goes where the battery would normally go. No battery means more storage on the Short Haul. It’s a brilliant use of unused space.

It is water resistant, seems really sturdy and durable, and uses a Fidlock magnetic buckle for easy one-handed operation, which came in handy a lot. It also had a Velcro divider to help organize the inside a bit.

It’s big enough to hold some layers for longer rides, or when the weather looks dicey. It’s tall enough to fit a water bottle, flip-flops, a U-lock, or anything else that you can think of and is perfect for smaller cargo, leaving the panniers for larger and heavier sundries.

The Tern Cargo Hold 37 Panniers are enormous. They are a combined 74L capacity when using both panniers.

They are roll-top panniers with the ability to fold up flat against the bike when not in use. Doing so converts the panniers to “Bucket Mode” with the pannier sides folded in.

They open really wide to fit large bulky items like diaper bags, 12 packs of beer, or as shown above, 12 packs of my wife’s favorite, Topo Chico. They have inside s as well to keep the little stuff organized. They seem durable and are made of 1000D water-resistant nylon.

They are equipped with Fidlock magnetic buckles, opening with one pull. There are also reflective decals on the back for visibility at night.

The Tern Hauler Rack was installed on the review Short Haul using the optional Quick Release CMT, making it easy to take the rack on and off of the bike.

Tern likes to call the Hauler Rack the “Goldilocks” of its front racks: “big enough to carry a whole lot of cargo but small enough to maneuver the bike with ease.” Tern supplied a bungee cord with the bike and with the open design of the rack that made it easy to put just about anything on it, from a floppy backpack to a case of La Croix, it handled with ease.

One silly little thing that did take some getting used to was the fact the rack doesn’t move with the front wheel (which is common with many cargo bikes, as it keeps the additional weight from affecting the steering). As I mentioned earlier, I use my Clem for errands all the time, and the rack moves with the front wheel. Riding the Short Haul with its stationary front rack took a few minutes to get used to, that’s all.

Riding the Short Haul

The D8 was a really fun bike to ride. It has a long wheelbase and low center of gravity so it gives a very stable ride. Tern’s “one-size-fits-most” ethos is pretty spot on. I am 6’1″ and fit pretty well without making any major adjustments to the cockpit other than raising the seatpost.

If I owned the bike, I would probably swap in a slightly longer stem, and ever-so-slightly wider bars, though nothing crazy as the skinny bars help a lot when squeezing the bike through tight spots. I did like the fact my wife could hop on it and ride it (she’s 5’5″) by just lowering the seatpost.

Where I live, there are a few decent hills, including one particularly short, steep-ish one (12%) to get out of my neighborhood. This hill was a bit of a bugger with the spec’d gearing on the Short Haul, even when the bike was empty. All of the other hills around where I live were fine.

Still, I feel that with a non-electric assist, I would’ve liked to see easier gearing for climbing. The Short Haul is spec’d with an eight-speed Shimano Altus rear derailleur and trigger shifter.

In the granny gear, the Short Haul is at 31 gear inches. That’s pretty steep gearing empty, let alone with a heavy load. I would like to see a wider range of gears and maybe something along the lines of 20-23 gear inches for the “bail-out” gear.

The cargo bike’s TEKTRO hydraulic brakes worked very well, even when the load got really heavy coming back down that 12% grade into my neighborhood.

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One of the cool things about the Short Haul (and most of the Tern Longtail cargo bikes) is that it can be stored vertically by standing it on its rear rack. The rack is made to do this, and in my situation, it really made a big difference when it came to finding space to store the bike while reviewing it.

The Short Haul felt very nimble and easy to handle while riding with a light load. Without a load, it was a really fun bike to ride. Although the light-feeling maneuverability of an unburdened bike was still there, for the most part, when hauling a heavy load, it was expectedly slowed. So some planning ahead is needed when approaching tight spaces like through traffic, around parked cars, crowded bike trails, or while braking. But it wasn’t until the load got really heavy that I actually felt it in the handling.

Final Thoughts

I really liked the Tern Short Haul. And for the reasonable retail price of 1,099, it’s a great way to ease into the commitment of ditching the car and taking your bike for those short trips. It’s a well-thought-out frame design, with rear cargo or kid hauling and options for additional front cargo hauling. It has a large ecosystem of factory accessories to choose from. It’s compact and maneuverable and can be stored vertically for the storage space challenged.

The one downfall of the bike, in my opinion, is that the gearing is too tall for most people to climb with, especially with a heavy load. If this is marketed as an entry-level cargo bike, I think it needs entry-level gearing that encourages the use of the bike, not parking it, because it’s too hard to ride up hills.

But other than that, all and all, the Short Haul is a very capable and affordable longtail cargo bike that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to someone … who lived in a relatively flat area.

The Tern Short Haul comes in one size. You also get a bell, SKS Chainblade chainguard, a rear-mounted Pletscher kickstand, fenders, the Atlas Q Rack, six-point mounting, vertical parking, and 50kg (110-pound) capacity.

Check out all that Tern has to offer at the link below.

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