Tern GSD Gen2 Models Explained – Which one is for you?

This article was originally posted on BikeShopGirl.com

If you are on your cargo bike journey and looking for a midtail cargo bike , you have probably come across the Tern GSD Cargo Bike. In this article, I hope to explain the differences between the 4 main Tern GSD electric cargo bike models to help you decide which one may be for you! 

When it launched in 2017, the Tern GSD cargo bike changed many people’s ideas of what a bike is capable of. The same length as a normal bike but can carry 2 kids or an adult on the back, 2 batteries, and one size fits most to be able to share it.

I still remember vividly riding a sample review bike home across the streets and trails of Denver, realizing that my life was forever changed. That original GSD inspired me to open a cargo bike shop for the masses a few months later!

Fast forward to the summer of 2020 when the GSD Gen 2 cargo bike launched. The GSD Gen 2 felt familiar but like a supercharged version of the original GSD Gen 1 with a suspension fork, a more relaxed bike fit, a stronger Bosch Cargo Line motor with more assistance, and multiple models to offer more options to people. With multiple models of the GSD Gen 2, it may be confusing to figure out which model is right for you. Let’s dive in to see if I can help!

Tern GSD S00 Electric Cargo Bike Camping


In North America, we have 4 different Tern GSD Gen 2 models. The bones of the bike across the models are all the same – a strong frame supporting up to 440 lbs of max gross vehicle weight, the Bosch Cargo Line e-bike motor with 400% Assistance and 85 Nm Torque to help you get up those hills with 2 kids on board, space for 2 batteries, and more.

The key differences between the models will be what type of drivetrain shifts the gears, and the type of Bosch controller used. There is also an LX package that adds a brighter front headlight, a Cane Creek suspension seatpost, and a larger 1st battery from 400Wh to 500Wh to give you a longer range.

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Which Tern GSD Cargo Bike is for you?

I’m going to do my best to give an overview of the models and who may benefit from some of the different features of each model. Ultimately, you really should consult with your local cargo bike shop that knows your area, weather, and can review with you the personal needs that you have for your new cargo bike. 

tern gsd s10 LR cargo bike

Tern GSD S10 Cargo Bike

The best cargo bike available for the price, in my opinion! This bike doesn’t have the bells and whistles of the LX version, but for many people that is okay. The next model up gets a brighter headlight, a bigger battery, and a suspension seatpost. This would be the model I would look at if I’m on a budget, or buying for a business. If I was to buy this model, I would add a headlight to my helmet to have a brighter light option, and watch for a suspension seatpost to go on sale if the roads near me were super bumpy. I would also look at this model if I’m shorter because the suspension seatpost might be something I can’t use as the seatpost can’t go as low as the non-suspension version. 

Tern GSD S10 LX Cargo Bike

Tern GSD S10 LX Cargo Bike

The LX model takes the GSD S10 and adds the “LX” package of a brighter headlight  (700 vs 500 lumens), the first battery is a 500Wh battery vs the 400Wh on the non-LX version, and you get a Cane Creek suspension seatpost to help take the edge off the bumps in the road. 

Tern GSD S00 LX Cargo Bike

There are two big upgrades on this model: 

  1. Enviolo Internally Geared Hub
  2. Gates Belt Drive

tern gsd s00 lx cargo bike

The Enviolo Internally Geared Hub means the gears are all inside of the rear wheel. This allows you to shift when you are stopped at a stop light, and you also get 380% shifting range and are not limited to the limited number of gears. For example, the GSD S10 has 10 speeds on the rear cassette so you are limited to those gears when trying to find the right gear for your legs and terrain. This may not seem like a big deal, but when you have 250 lbs of bike and cargo that you are trying to get up to speed from a dead stop and in the wrong gear, you’ll really appreciate being able to shift to an easier gear when you are stopped.

Gates Belt Drive replaces the chain of a bike drivetrain with a belt,  like belts used in automotive transmissions. If you want to learn more, read and watch about belt drive electric bikes here.

There are two big takeaways I want you to think about for the GSD S00. The first is that internally geared hub without limits of dedicated gear stops, and this model will have a lot less maintenance due to the internal gears and belt drive.

Tern GSD R14 Cargo Bike

tern gsd r14 cargo bike

The crown jewel of the GSD Gen 2 models. This bike has all the bells and whistles of Rohloff electronic shifting, Gates Belt Drive, and limited edition anodized hubs to match the Rohloff red. 

This is the bike for someone who has no interest in dealing with any maintenance problems since there are no cables or chains to deal with, and/or they like high-end technology. 

If I was personally buying one cargo bike for the long haul, I would either buy the S10 base model, because any local bike shop can work on it, or the R14. The Rohloff rear hub will last a lifetime, and the lack of cables to mess with or to fray long time would be worth the expense for me. Also, shifting with electronic buttons is really cool! 

Tern GSD Frequently Asked Questions

I’ll continue to add to this, please ask your questions in the comments!

What is Max Gross Vehicle Weight?

Max Gross Vehicle Weight (MGVW) is the max weight your bike can safely carry and what Tern has tested to with EFBE 3rd party testing lab.

The Tern GSD Gen 2 is tested to 440 lbs. This includes everything! The weight of the bike, weight of riders, cargo, accessories, a trailer, cargo in the trailer, etc. The only exception is if you are using a trailer with brakes. When you are trying to figure out how much you can carry on your Tern GSD make sure to include everything.

Is the LX GSD model worth it?

The more common question I receive is if the S10 LX is worth the upgrade over the S10 base model. 

The S10 LX, S00 LX, and R14 all have an upgraded package with a larger first battery at 500Wh instead of 400Wh, a brighter 700 lumens headlight, and a Cane Creek suspension seat post.

It is very difficult to upgrade the headlight after, so if you are going to be riding a lot in the darkest of nights, then the headlight may be important to you.

The larger battery is important to me because I’m always going until my bike is running on fumes. 20% more distance could be important! 

The Cane Creek suspension seatpost adds a lot of comfort to the bike, but also can be added after. One thing to note is that if you are shorter this upgrade may not benefit you as the seatpost can’t go as low as the non-suspension version. 

What is an Internally Geared Hub?

The Tern GSD S00 and R14 cargo bike models have internally geared hubs, where the gears for your bike are inside the middle of your rear wheel.

The benefits to this are that you can shift when you are stopped, and there is a lot less maintenance since the chain isn’t moving across a cassette. I highly recommend finding a bike with an internally geared hub to test ride.

Why does REI have different GSD Cargo Bikes?

REI has unique bikes for their stores, this includes the type of drivetrain and the colors. Both GSD models for REI are the “LR” version without the upgraded battery, headlight, and suspension seatpost.


Post your questions in the comments below! 


  1. Pricing and colors may change, visit TernBicycles.com for the most up-to-date prices and colors.
  2. This article was focused on the North American models. The colors, pricing, and models available are region-specific.
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