How NOT to Carry Passengers on the GSD

How NOT to Carry Passengers

(Photo credits: @gideonheedephotography | Facebook; @gideonheede | Instagram)


The GSD and the HSD make it possible for families to bike more and drive less. But it's important to always put safety first when deciding how you'll carry passengers on your bike. This article will list four methods that you should avoid.

Only Use Tested Passenger-Carrying Setups

We at Tern will only recommend accessories and ways of using our bikes after thorough testing. It’s not enough to check that a certain accessory fits. We also need to make sure that none of the bike parts or components are put under stress that they weren’t designed for.

For example, before we recommended frame-mounted trailers for the GSD, we partnered with EFBE Prüftechnik GmbH, one of Europe's leading bicycle test laboratories, to test the GSD frame according to EN15918, a European standard for trailer safety.

For your safety, it’s important that you avoid untested passenger-carrying setups—and that includes all setups involving more than two passengers.

What are Some Recommended Passenger-Carrying solutions?

There are several possible passenger-carrying solutions. Check out all recommended passenger setups below:

Four Passenger-Carrying Methods to Avoid

When it comes to transporting the people you love the most, we want you to err on the side of caution—and that's why we do not recommend the following methods.

1. Handlepost-Mounted Seats

Handlepost-mounted child seat

The Physis is a folding handlepost that makes the GSD and the HSD compact enough to fit inside a car or stored in small spaces. A handlepost-mounted seat substantially changes the amount and direction of the force on the handlepost. It also negatively impacts steering dynamics. This method has never been tested and should be avoided.

2. Seatpost-Mounted Seats

Seatpost-mounted child seat

The Telescopic Seatpost allows the GSD and the HSD to fit riders of different heights, and also contributes to its compact size for storage. A seatpost-mounted seat changes the amount and direction of the force on the seatpost. This method has never been tested and should be avoided.

3. Frame-Mounted Seats

Frame-mounted child seat

The GSD frame and the HSD frame are designed to handle a maximum gross vehicle weight of 200 kg and 170 kg respectively. But as burly as it is, the frame is not indestructible—and we do not recommend that riders push the frame beyond design and manufacturing limits.

The metal clamps for this frame-mounted seat stress the frame in ways it was not designed to be stressed and can result in permanent damage. Such mounting systems have never been tested. In addition, this bike accessory itself may not have passed relevant safety tests.

4. Front Rack-Mounted Seats

front rack-mounted seat

Our front racks, like the Transporteur Rack and the Hauler Rack, allow Tern riders to safely haul lots of cargo on the front of the bike. However, they were not designed to carry a child and don't even have the necessary mounting points to safely attach a child seat. Any modifications to the rack, such as drilling holes, would weaken it. This passenger-carrying setup has never been tested and should be avoided. 

What If I Need to Carry More Kids?

The GSD was designed to be a useful, versatile bike that helps you get stuff done, but we purposely limited its length to that of a regular bike. That means there are space limitations on the bike itself. If you have to carry more than two kids on the GSD, we recommend getting a second kid-hauling bike, or a trailer.

The same is true for the HSD. If you need to carry more than one kid on the HSD, we recommend getting a second kid-hauling bike, or a trailer.