Here’s Why Tern Puts Bosch Motors on Our E-Bikes
Have you noticed more types of e-bikes on the roads and trails where you live? If not, they’re likely coming soon. E-bikes are surging in popularity worldwide, and new models are springing up left and right.
If you’re an e-bike newbie who wants to get in on the action, the options can be overwhelming. How do you figure out what kind of e-bike will work for you with so many choices to sort through?
We’d like to suggest a simple way of answering this question, and that’s to start with the e-bike’s motor system. An e-bike’s motor is its most essential part—it’s what makes it an e-bike—so choosing a motor system first makes your final decision much easier.
Not coincidentally, we use this same bottom-up approach in designing our e-bikes. Since we build our bikes for maximum utility, we need to start with the strongest foundation possible. For us, that means Bosch motor systems. In this article, we’ll explain why.
We’re Building Vehicles, Not Toys
Whether you’re new to biking or have always ridden, e-bikes open up a whole new world of transport options. A well-designed e-bike can help you make the transition to a car-lite lifestyle by providing a functional alternative for daily transport. If you already ride, the right e-bike can help you ditch cars completely, even for heavy errands.
This shift in the way we get around is the most exciting thing about e-bikes, and it drives our approach to bike design. At Tern, we’re making e-bikes as vehicles—we want our bikes to be a lot more like car replacements than toys.
That’s why we equip our e-bikes with Bosch motors. Bosch has been supplying the world with automotive parts for over 100 years, and they bring automotive industry standards and expertise to their e-bike business. We think Bosch motor systems offer the quality and reliability you’d expect from a car in a way that’s unmatched by other brands.
Let’s take a look at what buying a Bosch bike means for you, the rider:
- Excellent reliability. Whether we’re talking about automotive parts or e-bike motors, Bosch is known for its emphasis on quality and reliability. Rigorous quality control measures and testing protocols mean serious part failures are rare, so you can keep riding trouble-free.
- Extensive expert service network. Just as it does for its automotive parts business, Bosch provides high-quality training to a vast network of e-bike dealers and service centers. Your local Bosch e-bike dealer will have all the up-to-date skills and knowledge needed to keep your bike running smoothly for years to come.
- Spare parts guarantee. Bosch doesn’t want to leave you stranded with a vehicle that doesn’t work. They promise to provide spare parts and support for at least six years after the end-of-product-life for all their e-bike motor systems.
Want to learn more about how Bosch uses its automotive experience to make vehicle-quality e-bikes? Check out this article.
Just Like Cars, Safety Comes First
When buying a car, safety is paramount. New car models are required to pass dozens of tests and comply with hundreds of regulations to ensure driver and passenger safety. On top of that, you’ll likely check to see how well the model you’re considering ranks in government and media safety ratings—particularly if it’ll be carrying loved ones daily.
Safety should come first when buying an e-bike, too. However, e-bike testing requirements and regulations are nowhere near as well-developed as those for cars, so you can’t assume every e-bike on the market has been proven safe. You’ll need to do a little extra legwork to find out what testing has been done.
At Tern, safety and reliability testing are a top priority. We work with industry-leading testing groups to test our bikes, and we seek to work with brands that do the same. Bosch’s rigorous quality control and stringent testing protocols make them our top choice for e-bike motor systems.
Bosch was the first e-bike brand to ensure that all its batteries, motor systems, and chargers are compliant with UL 2849, a rigorous international e-bike safety standard. Safety testing is essential because while e-bike batteries can be made safe, accidents involving lower-quality batteries can be pretty scary. Going with Bosch gives you peace of mind when riding your e-bike and charging your batteries in your home.
We Think E-Bikes Should Ride Like Bikes
This new era of electric-powered mobility offers lots of ways to get around. Zip down sidewalks on an e-scooter, float through town on an e-unicycle, fly through city streets on an e-moped—the choice is yours.
We happen to think e-bikes are the best mobility tools around (although we admit we’re a bit biased). E-bikes are a great way to get low-impact exercise, they offer plenty of physical control over your vehicle (key for traveling safely), and they’re incredibly energy efficient (thanks to the pedaling power you add). And if you choose the right e-bike, you’ll be able to safely carry a kid or two, plus all the stuff you need to live your best life. Try doing that on a moped.
A great e-bike gives you everything great about cycling without many of the drawbacks (like that nasty hill on your way home from work). So we think riding an e-bike should feel pretty much like riding a conventional bike. And choosing Bosch motor systems makes it possible.
Bosch systems offer natural-feeling e-assist and incredibly smooth transitions between different levels of assistance. The performance and feel of a Bosch motor are unmatched by others in the industry.
Trying to describe it beyond that is a waste of words because the best way to understand what we mean is to try it yourself. Test ride an e-bike with a Bosch motor system, and you’ll see: it’s just like riding a bike (but better!).
We’re Building E-Bikes for the Long Haul
If you think of an e-bike as a vehicle, its lifespan should be comparable to any other vehicle. So how long would you expect to use a car before trading it in for a newer model?
For most folks, the answer is around ten years, give or take. We think you should be able to use your new e-bike for at least that long. That’s only possible if we start with high-quality, highly serviceable components, including a Bosch motor system.
Bosch e-bikes indeed have a higher initial cost than e-bikes with lower-quality, no-name motor systems. But unless you’re comfortable tooling around on your new e-bike for a year or two and then sending it to the dump, it’s important to take a long-term view of the costs. That's where Bosch comes out on top.
Due to higher initial quality, Bosch motor systems break less often than many other brands. And if something does go wrong, your local Bosch dealer has the expert knowledge and skills needed to get you back up and running quickly. Having dependable support minimizes downtime and costly hassles.
Even more important, your dealer won’t have trouble getting needed replacement parts. Bosch keeps a ready inventory of parts for any issues that may arise. Even after Bosch officially discontinues a product, they guarantee they'll keep spares in stock for at least 6 years (just like with automotive parts). You can’t say that about no-name motor brands, which could stop producing the batteries or other necessary replacement parts at any time—turning your e-bike into landfill decoration practically overnight.
Bosch’s focus on longevity is a big reason why Bosch e-bikes tend to have greater second-hand resale value than other brands. If for some reason, you don’t need your Bosch bike for its entire lifespan, you should be able to pass it on to a second owner and recoup some of your investment, just as with a car.
We put a ton of thought into our decision to equip our e-bikes with Bosch motor systems, and we hope you now understand some of the reasons why. When the e-bike bug finally comes for you (if it hasn’t already), we suggest you choose your motor system first and go from there. We think you’ll be glad you did.