Tern’s electric bicycles have become synonymous with quality, a reputation that has been earned over several years of high-performing e-bikes. They’re not cheap in any sense of the word, which leads us to believe that the newly unveiled Tern NBD will be another winner for the company as well as for riders in the high-end electric bike market.
Assuming folks can afford it, that is.
The Tern NBD, which stands for New Bike Day, was just unveiled this morning.
The acronym is also commonly used to abbreviate “no big deal,” as in “no biggie, we just pumped out another awesome urban utility e-bike a few months after our last big unveiling.”
The new Tern NBD may be following in the tire marks of the company’s March unveiling of its Quick Haul electric cargo bike, but the NBD takes a slightly different turn toward an easy-riding and more accessible design that accommodates a wider range of riders.
The frame features an ultra-low-step design to make it even easier to mount than Tern’s other e-bikes. No more swinging a leg over a tall saddle. Instead, the bike is designed to mount like a conventional Dutch bike, stepping right through the center. That also makes it easier to dismount as riders can simply slide forward off of the saddle and step off to the side.
Tern team captain Josh Hon explained that accessibility and ease of use was a key part of the Tern NBD’s design:
To the average rider, the NBD will be an amazingly easy-to-handle, easy-to-ride bike that fits wonderfully into crowded urban settings. But what gets us really excited about the NBD are the special features we’ve added for riders that aren’t conventionally “average.” For riders that are smaller in size and have a hard time finding a bike that fits, or older riders who might not have ridden a bike in a while, or riders who might have balance or physical issues, or riders who are just intimidated by the sheer size and weight of the average e-bike, the NBD will be refreshingly easy to hop aboard and ride.
The smaller 20″ wheels, long wheel base, and low center of gravity from a low-slung motor/battery combo make the bike easy to balance and handle. The bike is also highly adjustable, meaning riders can dial in the seat height, cockpit length (distance from saddle to bars) and handlebar height to fit a wide range of shapes and sizes. The bars even fold flat making it easy to load in the back of a car or SUV.
In terms of sizing, Tern says that the bike works great for riders ranging from 4’10” to 6’3″, or 147-190 cm.
I’ll be right back. I’ve got to go tell my 4’10” mother that I finally found an e-bike for her!
Just because the bike is small doesn’t mean it can’t handle a load though. The NBD is rated with a gross vehicle weight limit of 308 lb. (140 kg).
The bike’s cargo racks can handle 59 lb. (26.7 kg) on the rear and 44 lb. (20 kg) on the front.
The rear rack fits most child seats, and the low position of the rack thanks to the 20″ wheels helps keep the child’s weight low on the bike to further improve handling.
Another neat feature found in the rear rack is that it includes supports that allow the bike to be parked vertically, taking up around the same amount of space in a small apartment as a coat rack.
While the bike lacks traditional suspension, an included suspension seat post will offer a bit more shock absorption than typically found on a fully rigid bike.
The bike also includes much of the same quality parts we’ve come to know and love on other Tern e-bikes, such as Bosch’s Active Line Plus mid-drive motor with 65 Nm of torque and accompanying Bosch PowerPack 400 battery pack, hydraulic disc brakes, built-in LED lighting, tool-free handlebar angle adjustments, and more.
The NBD will be available in two models, both of which should start rolling into bike shops in the first quarter of 2023.
The S5i (with belt drive) will be priced at US $4,699 and the NBD P8i (with chain drive) will be priced at US $3,899.
Seeing more accessible e-bikes for shorter riders is great because it addresses a much overlooked segment of the population. Sure, there are a few options here and there, but so many e-bikes come in a one-size-fits-most offering. And as shorter people know quite well, most is not all.
Everything else about the bike looks great. Adjustability, sweet Tern rack, fenders and lights, belt drive option, rear geared hub… these are all awesome parts. And Tern routinely builds their e-bikes to meet the highest industry quality and safety standards, so you know it’s going to be built to last.
But dang if it isn’t expensive! I’m not saying it’s not worth it. Tern builds e-bikes that are meant to be ridden every day. These are true car replacers. And you pay for that kind of robustness. But it’s still a pretty penny to lay down.
If you’re a smaller rider and have been looking for a high-end e-bike that you can depend on every day, and if the NBD lands within your budget, then even without riding one I can already say this could definitely be a great option for you. Now I just want to try one for myself!
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