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The Tern GSD reinvents the electric bicycle (hands-on)

The newest e-bike from Tern is a utility bicycle for letting you transport your family place-to-place or move heavy loads easily.

Aloysius Low Senior Editor
Aloysius Low is a Senior Editor at CNET covering mobile and Asia. Based in Singapore, he loves playing Dota 2 when he can spare the time and is also the owner-minion of two adorable cats.
Aloysius Low
3 min read

What if you could redesign the bicycle for a fresh electric experience?

That's the idea behind Taiwanese bike maker Tern's latest project, GSD, or Getting Stuff Done. The project reimagines what a bicycle could be if you didn't have to worry about pedal efficiency. Instead, it's a bike built from ground-up to be more efficient and to let you you, well, get stuff done.

Instead of the sleek racing lines you find on roadbikes, the GSD is a strange-looking blend of metal grids. But that's actually on purpose, says Tern, as it allows you to load the bike up with a variety of accessories, from side panniers and two child seats, to even other foldable bikes up to a maximum load of 180kg (400 lbs).


That's a lot to carry around.


Sure, it doesn't look as cool as its counterparts but it's designed to let you ride a lot more comfortably and not break a crazy amount of sweat while doing so. Tern adjusted the angle of the seat post, so you get to sit a little more upright, and if you're tall, you'll find that it's a lot more comfortable to stretch out your legs.

Best part is, the bike isn't all that much longer than a normal bicycle at just 181cm (71 inches), despite looking otherwise. While it doesn't fold quite as compactly as other Tern bicycles, the GSD's handlebar can be folded downward, and the bike slightly folded up to fit inside some cars as well. Like Tern's other foldies, the GSD has 20-inch wheels.

If you need to go the distance, you can, because the GSD comes with two battery packs, with a range of up to 250km (155 miles), despite the bicycle's hefty 27kg (59 lbs) frame. Like the Tern Vektron , the motor sits in the drivetrain, and smartly adjusts to how much effort you're using to pedal to give you the boost you need.


The Bosch drivetrain makes cycling a breeze. 

Aloysius Low/CNET

I tried out the GSD on a balmy afternoon in Taipei about two months back, and came away impressed with how it handles. It's ridiculously stable, and the Bosch drivetrain easily lets you go up to 25 kph (15 mph) in Europe -- US variants will be faster at 20 mph. It's no speedster like a roadbike for sure, but you'll be able to get where you need to easily. The seating position is comfortable, and you won't feel stretched or strained trying to get comfortable.

Tern's currently marketing the GSD for Europe, where its main market is, and it won't be cheap. The GSD will set you back by at least $3,999 for the base model (which comes with two 62 litre panniers). While Europe models can choose between a 400W or 500W version, when the GSD eventually reaches US shores, there will be a 400W or a massive 900W configuration which gives the 250 km range.

Key specs

  • Speed: 25 kph (15 mph) in Europe, 20 mph in US
  • Max load: 180kg (400 lbs)
  • Motor: Bosch Performance 36V/250W
  • Gear: Shimano 11-36T, 10 speed
  • Built-in lights for front and rear

The grid design lets you configure the bicycle with many options.

Aloysius Low/CNET