The Tern NBD is a full-featured small electric cargo bike that can collapse down to a small enough size to fit into most SUV’s, even compact ones. It differentiates itself from other Tern models with its super low frame height and low center of gravity for better stability. The Tern NBD aims to be a more accessible electric bike for shorter and older riders, or those with mobility limitations.

Highlights and Specs of the Tern NBD

  • Low and wide step-over frame for safe and easy mounting
  • Smaller and easier frame makes it easier to handle
  • Large display for easy reading
  • Removable display for theft protection (I love this!)
  • ABUS wheel lock included
  • Collapsible handle bar and unique folding method makes the bike short enough to fit into even compact SUV’s
  • Rear rack compatible with many childseats (rack can hold 59 lbs)
  • Tern carries many other accessories compatible with the NBD (baskets, panniers, etc.)
  • Bosch Active Line Plus mid-drive motor and Bosch 400 PowerPack battery system are high quality parts
  • Hydraulic brakes for safe stopping and very little maintenance
  • Full-size chain guard to keep your pants free of grease
  • Integrated lights
  • Telescoping seat post can accommodate riders from 4’10” – 6’3″
  • Payload capacity of 308 lbs
  • Shimano 8-speed internally geared hub for almost no maintenance or risk of damage
  • Bike weighs about 52 lbs, which is great for a small cargo electric ebike

Perks of buying from REI

  • Free assembly
  • Free 1-year of adjustments
  • Free 1-year flat tire repair (labor only)

Warranty*

  • Tern offers 5-year limited warranty on frame, handlepost and fork
  • 1-year warranty on all Tern and BioLogic parts
  • Bosch offers two-year warranty on motor/battery
  • The NBD is a pavement-only bike. If ridden on other surfaces, you may void the warranty.

*Subject to change. Please inquire into warranty coverage when purchasing. Tern also offers extended warranties for an extra fee.

I turned 52 a few months ago, and I have learned that getting on and off a bike isn’t as easy as it used to be. Add in some arthritis, and the fact that I’m also a shorter rider, and my ideal bike requires some must-have features.

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It needs a low step-over frame, and it needs to be a manageable weight. I’ve had heavier bikes fall over and take me with them. Not fun!

Luckily, there are still some great options for older and shorter riders like me. You want to look for a bike that is lighter, lower to the ground (20″ wheels are great), and good weight distribution on the frame. Most of the weight on the NBD is low and center, where you want it for stability.

Of course, the NBD isn’t just for old people like me. It’s a very capable electric bike that I think looks pretty darn good! It’s great for hauling a small child or carrying a moderate amount of cargo. Tern has other models that can haul a couple of passengers and even more cargo, but the NBD is meant to be a more compact daily driver that’s easier to maneuver. It’s a very practical size for fitting inside an elevator or other tight spaces.

The NBD is also a full-featured ebike with premium parts. The Bosch electric system is known for being one of the best in the industry. The Bosch Active Line motor is capable of 20 mph speeds using pedal assist. There is no throttle, but the pedal assistance is very responsive with very little delay. If you want more speed or greater torque, you might want to look at Tern’s models that have the Bosch Performance Line motor.

One of the best aspects of the NBD is that it should require very little maintenance. The hydraulic disc brakes and internally geared hub mean far fewer adjustments than what is typical of mechanical disc brakes and derailleurs. You also don’t have to about an external derailleur getting bumped when folding or hauling in the back of your vehicle.

Are there any downsides? Well, it’s not a cheap bike. At close to $4k, it’s a major purchase for most of us. You’ll want to make sure that it checks all the boxes for your needs and wants. Tern is a more expensive brand because all of their frames are custom, and they use premium parts like Bosch. They also only sell through dealers. The plus side to that is that you’ll be able to find a dealer to properly service your bike for years to come.

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With proper care, a Tern should last many years. Electric bike batteries generally last 3-5 years before needing replaced. Electric bike motors are very durable, and I would expect several years of usage, and when it is time to replace, Bosch should still be around. That’s always something to consider when purchasing an electric bike. Will you be able to find parts in the future to keep your bike on the road? I think with Tern, you will.

In fact, I’m saving up to purchase this bike for myself. That’s how good I think it is for my needs.

You can purchase a Tern NBD at your local Tern dealer or at your local REI. You can also purchase online through REI and have the bike delivered to your door. That’s what I plan to do, since I’m not near a dealer.

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Last Update: August 13, 2023