Tag Archives: Tern Bikes

Folding bikes are an essential bicycle for anyone with limited space, a multi-mode commute, or the desire to travel with a bike.

Folding bikes are easy to use and fun for a ride or commute

Folding bikes are an essential bicycle for anyone with limited space, a multi-mode commute, or the desire to travel with a bike. Many companies make great folders that are easy to transport, featherweight and easy to use. Read ahead for tips on how to choose the right one and for information on all the benefits of a folder.

Types of folding bikes


Wheel size is the major differentiation between folding bikes. They range from 12” wheels, like the wheels you find on a kid’s bike, up to 700c full size adult wheels. Most folding bike frames are sized as one size fits all. The Seat and handlebars can usually be raised and lowered almost infinitely to fit any rider. The most noticeable part of different wheel sizes is comfort and stability.


There are many different brands out there. The major players are Dahon, Tern, and Bike Friday. Each have models that are oriented toward road riding, off-road, or touring. Tern and Dahon make their bicycles in Asia out of aluminum or steel. Bike Friday on the other hand, produces all their bicycles in Eugene Oregon out of steel. There are many other brands that make folding bikes as well, but these are the three most readily available in bike shops.


Folding bikes are great because of their size. For storage, having the ability to fold a bike up into a suitcase sized package offers a lot of options. These bikes can fit under a bed, into a closet, or the trunk of your car.


A barrier for many people to enter into bicycle commuting is distance. For some, it is just not possible to ride 25 miles to work. A folding bike can help split up a bicycle commute. By being folding, you can ride the bike from your home to the bus or train, ride public transportation and then finish the trip to work on your bike again.

Wheel size

Most folding bikes use smaller wheels than their non-folding counterparts. Those small wheels are great when it’s time to fold the bike up, but while riding, they can be a bit harsher than a full size wheel.

Unique parts

Folding bikes use proprietary parts in order to fold as small as possible. Most of these parts are specific to each folding bike brand and are designed to make the bike as fold-able as possible while also being very light. The downside to unique parts is getting replacements can be an issue. Overall, these parts aren’t usually wear items, so the instance of replacement is low.


Folding bikes use smaller frames in the pursuit of getting as small and light as possible once folded. The side effect of a small frame is low stiffness. This flex would be appreciated if it were in a vertical plane, as it would absorb road vibration, but sadly the lateral flex of a folding bike only robs the rider of efficiency.

Tips to buying

Trying before you buy can be difficult because most shops don’t stock a large selection of folding bikes. Start by making a few calls to local shops to see what’s available to ride. Because of that scarcity, focus on testing two things – Wheel size and frame material. The wheel size and frame material have the largest effect on the ride quality of the bicycle. If you can solidify the wheel size and frame material you prefer, you can then determine the other features without riding them.

Travel Bikes

Travel bikes are full sized bicycles that can be deconstructed to fit into a suitcase. While they offer the same ride quality as a standard bicycle, they do not disassemble quickly. I would recommend a folding bike over a travel bike if you plan to make frequent short trips with the bike. If you plan to travel longer distances, and ride more miles, a travel bike is great.

Tern Bicycles showcase all their folding bike capabilities in the new GSD

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking.com

Hi all! Day two at Interbike’s dirt demo brought more fun in the sun. It gave me an opportunity to review a load of new folding and E-bikes. It seemed any direction you turned, there was an e-bike waiting for you as Tern showcased its latest folding bike model, the GSD.

Tern Bicycles is a relatively new company who burst onto the cycling scene a few years ago with a clean and hyper functional line of folding bikes. Over the past few years they have built a name for themselves through developing folding bikes that not only look great but ride more like a full size bike. In addition to making great bikes, their forward thinking design team has worked to solve problems that plague cyclist with limited storage space.

The Tern GSD folding bike stands for “Get Stuff Done”

Given Tern’s ability to make revolutionary products, I expected a lot from their new bike the GSD. Why GSD you may ask? Well, it stands for “Get Stuff Done” and given the wide capabilities of this bike, that’s exactly what it can do. You see, the GSD is what’s called a mid-tail e-bike. A Mid-tail bike has an extended rear triangle designed to carry additional cargo, people, or accessories. The typical problem with extending the rear triangle is that it can make the bike handle poorly. In the same vain, adding additional cargo to the bike makes pedaling difficult due to the weight.

How Tern gets around these issues and to keep the overall length low is by using the same 20” wheel size as their other folding bikes. They also add folding features to make storage of the bike easier. On top of that Tern also equips the bike with a robust motor and dual battery capable of powering the bike regardless of how much weight is on board.

GSDThe Tern GSD uses folding bike components and a keen rack design for upright storage

Other Tern features

If the GSD were just an Mid-tail ebike, it wouldn’t be that exceptional. However, it isn’t just any old electric assist bike. It seems that Tern has thought of nearly everything. To start, they have custom bags that mount onto the back, but if those don’t tickle your fancy, you can mount waterproof bags from Ortlieb as well. If it’s human cargo you want to carry, there are retractable foot pegs, and a cushioned seat that can mount to the back. As well as carrying people, the GSD also is available with cool stylized front and rear cargo baskets.

Several options for accessories for the GSD folding bike

Several options for accessories for the GSD folding bike

How the GSD rides

The most impressive thing about the GSD is actually the ride and by that I mean how normal it is. Hop on, pedal away and you will immediately feel at home. The GSD doesn’t suffer from many of the idiosyncrasies typically associated with a mid tail bikes. There is no tiller feeling when you turn the bars. Additionally, the common feeling like you are dragging a trailer behind you is replaced by smooth, quick handling. Overall, the GSD is the most comfortable, maneuverable and capable mid tail bikes I have ridden.


The GSD is designed for both the short and tallest of riders. They accommodate all those different sized riders by using a remarkably adjustable bar and seat post setup

The GSD folding bike with the saddle in its lowest and highest (inset) position.


Tern went a step further to make the GSD capable by adding an E-motor from Bosch to the bike. This motor helps riders power through their duties with speed and confidence. Considering that the GSD will most likely be loaded with more weight than a standard bike, Turn accommodates for a second battery on the bike to extend its range.


While the “Get Stuff Done” model might not be for everyone. Although, it’s details, quality, and stunning ride quality speak volumes for the attention to detail, that Tern brings to all their bikes. Stay tuned for additional reviews of the amazingly well thought out Tern bicycles.