Mechanics & Locomotion

Dec 1, 2016


Nobel prize awarded Bob Dylan, said, «the times, they are changing», and they're changing fast. The constant increases in the price of oil, the worries about global heating, daily mobility stress or traffic jams are the reasons why we are thinking back the usual ways to go to work.

All around the world, the people's urban mobility is changing almost every day. The world is heading for new experiences, either self-driving cars, ride sharing or the mainstream electric vehicles. This is a great age for transportation.

Whether it's because of cities growth, environmental concerns or simple personal economy, the use of eco-friendly solutions is increasing. As if these weren't enough, the possibility of having the car or motorcycle stolen at the jobs door is an additional problem. Therefore, people are getting back to ancient locomotion systems, and the most preferred is the bicycle. Not only it frees us from traffic jams, but it's non-polluting and even helps to keep in shape.

That's why the Taiwan-based company Tern, in association with German electronics giant Bosch developed Vektron.

Tern was founded in 2010 by Florence Shen and Joshua Hon, wife and son of David T. Hon, founder of Dahon, a brand of foldable bicycles. The company has been designing and building foldable bicycles for the last five years and the brand knows it's way around. The company has been working based on the belief that the bicycle is the ultimate high-efficiency vehicle and it is about to become the central alternative for multi-modal commuting.

The Tern Vektron sets new parameters among conventional electric bikes by solving three main problems: portability, storage and theft. It folds in ten seconds and it rolls easily into a bus, subway or train, fits in every elevator and can be stored under your desk at work. You can even fit two of them in the trunk of a car for weekend getaways.

Due to it's low-step frame and an adjustable stem, it can transport anyone from 147cm high, up to 195cm, so one single bike can be shared by the all family. Includes a smart control panel offering readings on speed, distance, remaining range and battery level. The low center of gravity make it extremely stable and easy to ride.

The Vektron is equipped with 20-inch wheels, 10 gears, built-in lights, hydraulic disc brakes and a rear cargo rack.

Thanks to its 400-watt-hour battery and a 36-volt motor designed by Bosch (the "Active Line") it offers a top speed of 30 km/h and it as an impressive range of 130 kilometers. Four riding modes add between 50 to 250 percent of the pedalling power, which will help you push up inclines such as ramps and driveways.

The battery can be charged up to 50 percent in just one and a half hour, and fully charged in three and a half hours. It weighs only two and a half kilograms and it complies a battery management system which prevents overcharging, over-heating and short circuits.

In contrast to many other bicycles, where the bikes are delivered in un-assembled in a box, the Tern Vektron can be picked up from any shop, tuned-up and it will be ready to go immediately.

The Vektron ebike can be acquired in the United States since October 2016 and it is expected to get to Europe in 2017, but it still has no date for its availability. The price, however, is set in the US at 3400 dollars (approximately 3100 euros). Yes, it's a lot of money for one electric-bike, but considering it's covered by "Tern Care", a ten-year warranty and a rider-support program, so you can be sure to have a decade of reliable service, maybe it's not so expensive.

Plus, the service for the drivetrain can be provided by any of Boschs certified technicians network, all around the world.

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