Tern HSD Gen 2 electric cargo bike: Double the bike, half the size [Video]

Tern continues to lead the electric cargo bike space with the upgraded HSD model. Able to carry an adult passenger, this pint-sized powerhouse is riddled with innovation. At just the right size, the HSD is fully capable of carrying a maximum gross vehicle weight of nearly 400 lbs, or daily driving tasks without the bulk. With accessories that make most anything possible, the HSD solidifies Tern as king of the cargo hill.

Customizability: tailored to your needs

I’ll begin by highlighting the Tern HSD‘s remarkable customizability. Tern has designed this bike to be adaptable for riders of all sizes. The stem and handlebars can be adjusted effortlessly, whether you’re folding it up for storage or sharing it with a friend. The whole design of the bike ensures that cargo weight remains low, thus enhancing stability. Paired with puncture-protected and reflective 20×2.15 tires and full-coverage fenders, the HSD offers a smooth and worry-free ride in all conditions.

Without tools the HSD can change on the fly to accommodate different riders between 4’11” and 6’5”. This is completely unmatched in the electric bike space, and I can tell you from experience that the bike feels good on the road.

Power and control: a seamless riding experience

Under the hood, the Tern HSD is powered by the Bosch Performance Line motor, which seamlessly integrates with the Shimano Nexus INTER-5E internal geared hub and Gates belt drive. The result? A powerful, low-maintenance system that makes every ride a breeze. But what truly makes the HSD better than its predecessor is the Bosch smart system. With features like GPS tracking (for S-level bikes), remote locking, and customizable power curves accessible through a user-friendly app, the HSD feels like a personal assistant for your bike. The wireless Intuvia display is a sleek addition, offering real-time metrics and easy removal for added security. Using the eBike Flow App, the HSD motor can be locked in place, and the theft alarm  (for S-level bikes) makes this a tough nut to crack. On top of that, the Bosch smart system keeps getting better, with updates available for the motor and display, for ongoing value added.

Riding experience: beyond expectations

Riding the HSD is like riding any other bike, in terms of size, steering, and a natural pedal assist. I can’t tell you how amazing this is, considering that many other cargo bikes feel like driving a bus. Despite its compact size, this cargo bike handles like a dream. Sharp turns, impressive acceleration, and smooth gear shifts make it a joy to ride, whether you’re carrying a hefty load or simply cruising along. With and without cargo, the Tern HSD still handles very similar. Having the weight of the load both low and close to the rider makes for a great ride.

Size and capacity: small yet mighty

Size isn’t everything, and the HSD proves that. It’s rated to a max gross vehicle weight of nearly 400 lbs, an unheard-of feat for a bike of this stature. The redesigned Captain’s Chair offers comfort and convenience for riders of most any size. While a tiny tot younger than eight might be too adventurous to remain in the Captain’s Chair, the HSD can carry one child seat, one bigger kid in the Clubhouse Mini, or an adult passenger. The rear of the bike can be customized with various accessories, and the railings can be adorned with custom lights, showcasing Tern’s genius in design.

Utility and convenience: cargo solutions galore

Tern offers an array of customization options, including rain covers for kid passengers, quick-release front accessories, kickstand upgrades, full encircled rails for children, front-loading coolers, and much more. I could only try some of the accessories with our time on the HSD, and I was blown away.

The HSD boasts a robust front rack that’s versatile enough to handle both heavy and light cargo, from boxes to coats and backpacks. This sturdy beast I got to try is incredibly convenient, but the options only spread from there. The ingenious Cache Box in the middle of the bike can secure heavy-duty locks or your essentials. Notably, the rear wheel features a Dutch lock with the same key shape as the battery lock, a thoughtful touch for added security.

Let’s not forget the remarkable bags from Tern. They’re not only spacious but incredibly user-friendly. These bags can be neatly folded up to maintain a streamlined profile, and provide shielding for wiggle kid feat. With quick release buckles, reflective accents, stabilizer straps, and 74L of storage for the pair, these bags hold more than the trunk of a small crossover.

Tested and Certified

Any bike designed for cargo and passenger-carrying needs to be safe. The Bosch system on the HSD is certified to the UL 2849 safety standard, which ensures the motor, battery, display and charger have been tested and certified for protection against fire hazards. If that wasn’t enough, the bicycle frame and fork have been EFBE-tested to ensure reliable and safe rides day after day, even when fully loaded.

Tern HSD, mighty but mini

After riding the HSD, I’m convinced that Tern is leading the pack in innovation, safety, and design. With more capabilities than a bike twice its size, the HSD left me wondering if there’s anything it can’t handle. I think that this bike will be in short supply after customer reviews start pouring in. It might take awhile before Tern revisits this platform for upgrades, because I can’t think of anything that is missing.

At Electrek, we’re big on helping the planet, and Tern shares our vision for a better future. Tern donates at least 1% of its net profits to social and environmental causes every year.