Tern’s Service Starts & Ends with Your Dealer—Here’s Why
Bikes sometimes need service—especially when you use them as much as our riders do. So, where should you turn when you need a repair, replacement part, or routine maintenance?
The answer is your local Tern dealer. This article will give you a big-picture overview of Tern’s (the global brand’s) relationship with your local dealer. We’ll also explain why your dealer should be your first (and almost always, your last) stop for service issues.
My Tern bike needs service or has an issue. How do I get help?
It’s normal for your bike to need service from time to time, just like a car. When your car needs service, you take it to an auto shop. Similarly, when your Tern bike needs service, you should take it to the qualified mechanics at your local Tern dealer.
At Tern, we believe every bike purchase should include lifetime access to reliable, expert service. If we could provide that service directly, we would—we’re bike people, and for us, there’s almost nothing more satisfying than seeing a well-loved bike returned to its former glory by the hands of a capable technician.
But since Tern bikes are sold worldwide in dozens of different markets, we can’t directly service the bikes we make. So, we partner closely with trusted distributors, who in turn handpick quality dealerships to sell and service Tern bikes. Those dealers are closer to you than we could ever get, which lets them offer fast, effective service.
Nine times out of ten, your dealer is the one who gets the job done—but when your dealer needs help, they move on to the next stage and work with the distributor. If that doesn't solve the problem and the distributor also needs help, that's when they get us involved. Here's how we all work together to help you get back on the saddle:
Why should I work directly with my local Tern dealer instead of someone further up the chain?
Your local Tern dealer is the best positioned to solve your service issue because they have the specialized knowledge, physical access, and clear communication channels to do so. Let’s take a look at each of these factors in turn.
Specialized Knowledge = Tailored Service
Riding a bike is simple, but it involves the interaction of several complex factors, including:
- The bike itself, including features specific to the bike model as well as idiosyncrasies of your particular bike,
- You and your riding style,
- The terrain and road conditions over which you ride,
- The weather conditions and other features of the local environment,
- And many others.
Whether you need to fix a problem with your bike or establish and follow a sensible maintenance plan, you’ll need to consider all these factors. Your dealer is closer to the action than anyone other than you, which lets them solve your problems the right way. They’re equipped to provide customized service that no company could replicate in-house on a large scale.
Your local Tern dealer also has deep expertise on all things bikes and all things Tern. They have extensive knowledge of bikes and cycling in general, plus they understand your specific bike model and how to keep it running like new. Making your Tern dealer your go-to for any and all service issues gives you instant, in-person access to their wealth of expertise.
Physical Access = A Faster Fix
Bikes aren’t like software products, where a few e-mailed screenshots or a chatbot script can often fix your issues. They’re physical products with many moving parts, and because of that, bike service is best done in person.
To understand this better, let’s quickly break down the steps involved in servicing a bike:
- Getting information from the user (that’s you!): The technician needs to ask you targeted questions—and maybe watch you use the bike—to understand how to help you best. Often, a face-to-face chat can clear up misunderstandings and resolve issues in just minutes.
- Diagnosing issues: The technician needs to physically inspect the bike—including how it looks, sounds, and performs—to accurately diagnose issues. Trying to figure out what’s wrong using photos or video is time-consuming and much less accurate than seeing the bike in person (and maybe even taking it for a spin).
- Performing maintenance or repairs: This one’s a no-brainer: the technician must physically be where the bike is to work on the bike.
Which of these options sounds better to you? A) Attempt to fix your bike yourself—using whatever tools and parts you can scrounge up—while squinting at instructions on a screen, or B) Drop off your bike at your local dealer and pick up a perfectly functioning, tuned, and tested bike a short time later? Most folks prefer B, which is why we partner with local bike shops to provide that experience for all our riders.
Clear Communication Channels = Smooth Sailing
As you probably know, bikes and their components are manufactured, shipped, and sold all around the world. Behind every #NewBikeDay is a complex web of interactions that span borders (and often languages) to get your bike to you. Your Tern dealer can help you cut through this complexity and get your issues solved fast. They have a direct line to the resources and knowledge needed to fix and maintain your bike, including:
- Spare parts: Since these are sourced from around the globe, they can be tough for individuals to get their hands on in a timely fashion. Dealers have in-store stock and rapid delivery options for the parts they use all the time (which are likely to be the same ones found on your bike).
- Guidance from HQ: Your Tern dealer gets comprehensive updates and educational information from Tern HQ on a regular schedule. We make sure your dealer has access to everything from diagnostic guides to stock forecasts for spare parts.
- Well-oiled warranty system: Your dealer understands Tern’s warranty process and knows how to get your warranty claims resolved fast, should any arise.
- Ability to escalate up the chain: Your dealer is usually well-equipped to address any issues you may have. But in those rare instances where they need support from higher up the chain, they know exactly who to get in touch with and how. They can provide detailed information to your local distributor to help you get what you need.
I tried working directly with my dealer, but they haven’t resolved my issue. What should I do?
In the vast majority of cases, your dealer will be able to resolve your issue fully and have you back on the road in no time.
Occasionally, delays do happen. For example, if your dealer doesn’t have a necessary part in stock, you’ll need to wait while they work to obtain the part. Going over your dealer’s head to get the part faster generally won’t help because any supply issues affecting your dealer will probably affect everyone. Plus, if it’s a part many people need, your dealer probably has a pretty good spot in line and can get their hands on the goods the fastest. If they need support from your local distributor to get the part, they know who to ask.
Very rarely, your bike may present with an issue your dealer doesn’t know how to solve. If this happens, there are efficient procedures in place for your dealer to escalate your issue and get a solution. But again, the solution starts and ends with your dealer, so be sure to give them the time they need to get things working properly.
Now, patience is a virtue, but if something goes really wrong and you feel your dealer isn’t holding up their end of the deal, we’d like to hear about it. Drop us a line at [email protected].
My original Tern dealer is no longer available—they've shut down their shop or stopped working with Tern. Who will service my bike now?
Most Tern dealers are local bike shops that are firmly embedded in their local communities—they're there to stay. But sometimes transitions happen, so if you find yourself in this situation, send us an e-mail.
We'll work to get you in touch with another authorized Tern dealer near you. If there aren't any other Tern dealers near you, we'll reach out to the experts at a local Bosch certified shop to help you get the service you need.
I tried messaging Tern HQ about my problem, but they couldn’t help me. Why not?
We’re a team full of bike enthusiasts who want nothing more than for you to love your bike and ride it into the ground (which will hopefully take many years!). If we could personally solve every issue that comes our way, we would love that.
But for all the reasons outlined in this article, we’re not usually in a good position to do that. We’re in an office, not a bike shop—and we don’t have a massive supply of parts laying around the office. When issues get directed to us, we usually have to loop back around and try to get in touch with your dealer before we can do anything else, which is another reason it makes sense for you to work directly with them.
The team at Tern HQ does actively monitor communications at all levels, and we track issues that get escalated to make sure they don’t get stuck anywhere along the chain. If there’s anything we can do to accelerate the communication chain, we’ll do that, but those actions aren’t always super visible to our riders. Just know that we have your back and are always working behind the scenes to create the best possible rider experience.
Got questions you want answered now? Check out our Support site and see if the info you need is already there. If not, send us a note to let us know what support topics you’d like us to cover.