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This Bosch-powered e-bike folds up, goes fast

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The Vektron can be folded into a more compact size just like other Tern bicycles.

Aloysius Low/CNET

If you've never heard of Tern, you don't know what you're missing.

Think back to any folding bike design you see today, and you'll realise they're all pretty similar. The blueprint for most folding bikes mainly originates from one source: Dahon.

Long story short: Tern's founder's Josh Hon is the son of Dahon's founder and left the firm to start Tern. The split wasn't mutual though, and Dahon took Tern to court over a bunch of issues. Thankfully, both sides settled and Tern bikes still use the old Dahon single-fold design.

Today, the Taiwan-based Tern is its own juggernaut. It sells a variety of folding bikes, ranging from speedsters to bikes built for everyday use. The company talked about its push for to make smarter foldable electric bicycles two years ago, and the Tern Vektron is the result of that.

This foldable e-bike is pretty darn amazing and here are three reasons why.

Bosch-powered motor

Most e-bikes put their motors in either the front or rear wheels. This isn't ideal because it requires the motor to sense when you're moving and adjust the power accordingly. The Vektron's Bosch Drive Unit is located in its drivetrain. So it knows how much effort you're putting into peddling, and it feels a lot more smooth and responsive than other e-bikes I've tried.

Foldability

Like Tern's usual folding bikes, the Vektron folds in half, which helps save space. The process is similar to its other foldies. While it's not as compact as, say, a Brompton bike, it's small enough you can keep it under your desk.

Speed

The Vektron has three different modes, depending on how much effort you want to put in. Eco mode saves you the most power and allows you to build up some sweat, while turbo mode lets you zoom along at ease so you won't arrive at the office all sweaty. And as I've already mentioned, the drivetrain motor keeps your ride smooth and steady.

Quick specs

  • 20-inch wheels
  • Weight in the EU: 21.8 kg (48.1 lb) 
  • Weight in the US: 22.2 kg (48.9 lb)
  • Motor: Bosch Active, 36 V/250 W 
  • max speed: 25 kph (EU), 20 mph (US)
  • Battery: Bosch 300Wh (EU), Bosch 400Wh (US)
  • Range: Up to 50 to 100 km (EU), 40 to 80 miles (US) 

How can I get one?

Here's the bad news. The Vektron isn't cheap. It $3,400 in the US or £3,000 in the UK, converting to about AU$5,000. That said, it's still one of the best e-bike rides I've come across. If you'd rather save money, there's always Xiaomi's Mi QiCycle -- it's a lot cheaper, but you'll have to figure out how to get it from China.

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Where to Buy

Tern Vektron

Part Number: CNETTern Vektron

Typical Price: £3,000.00

Visit manufacturer site for details.