When you’re buying a bike, researching the specifications and looking for quality is important. For an electric bike, this is even more important as the market is much newer. And this is even truer for foldable models of electric bicycles, as they have less room to incorporate everything a full-size bike is able to. However, there are models like the Tern Node D8 that are of high-quality to ensure that you get a great experience from a collapsible e-bike. The bike uses larger wheels (at 24 inches) that help to absorb more of the shock from riding on the ground (especially on rough and bumpy roads), and to keep you in a more comfortable position. The Node D8 uses a high-end drive system from BionX that is powerful, durable, as well as quiet during cycling. If you’re unsure about the Node D8 at first, it is good to know that Tern as well as BionX are highly-respected manufacturers, and have developed a solid base of customer satisfaction during the years. In fact, Tern believes in their product so much, that they offer a five-year warranty for the frame, and a 2-year warranty for the drive system.
One of the most important aspects of an electric bike is the motor, as the bike’s performance depends on it. On the Node D8, there is a 350 Watt motor from BionX that is also gearless, and located in the rear wheel. This motor is built to be tough and weather through various conditions, but as stated before, it is also quiet, which is perfect if you prefer to take peaceful rides out of the city. Another feature that is incredible useful, is that the Node D8 has both regenerative braking and regen modes. The four regen modes can be used to when you are going down hills by slowing the bike down while recapturing energy. This effect allows you to put less pressure on your brake pads, thus letting them last longer. However, there is a mechanical downside to this e-bike, as there is no quick release mechanism for the rear wheel (although there is one for the front wheel, traditionally the easier one to release). Yet the rear wheel can still be taken out with some ease because of the design of the motor.
BionX also designed the battery alongside the motor, and the battery pack is made with Lithium ions, and offers 48 volts of power, much higher than the standard 26-36 volts. The benefit of a more powerful battery is that you will have more ease when climbing hills, increased torque, and overall more efficient electricity transfers from the battery to the motor. Although the battery is included in a two-year warranty, it is also important to follow some basic guidelines to preserve the life of the battery as much as you can. This includes avoiding very hot and very cold conditions for the battery, as well as placing it in a dry space as opposed to a humid space. Also, if you’re planning on not using the bike for a period of time (perhaps two months), remember to keep the battery charged between 20 and 80%. If you follow these steps, this will preserve the life of the battery, and help you avoid running into complications.
The Node D8 isn’t the lightest foldable bike on the market (at 45 pounds), but it is still lighter than a standard full-size bike, or heavier collapsible models. If you want to ease the burden when you’re carrying it around, feel free to remove the battery which contributes 6 pounds to the e-bike’s total weight. The high-quality fenders and rear rack also contribute to the weight, so although they are very handy features to have, you can remove them if you choose to.
A feature of electric bikes that can often make or break them is the control panel or display. However, the one on the Node D8 does not disappoint, as the display isn’t bulky, and it’s removable and also backlit (which is great for reading the screen during the day’s sunshine and at night). As the battery and motor are from BionX, this screen also is, and it has a beautiful and intuitive design. There are two buttons to each side of the display for convenience, as well as a button pad and a trigger throttle located on the right side at the handlebar. As a safety mechanism, the throttle mode will only work once you are up to 2 mph, and from there you are off! Throttle mode is especially helpful when you are climbing hills, carrying many items on your rear rack, or cycling against the wind.
At $2,750, the Node D8 from Tern isn’t cheap, but once you see the features and the mechanisms of this e-bike, you will see that you’re getting a bargain at that price. High-quality parts come with the package, and once you purchase this foldable e-bike, you’ll never go back.