Tern Bicycles celebrated its 5-year anniversary by introducing its new project, the Tern Vektron in 2016. The Elektron is a folding electric bike created from the partnership between Tern Bicycles and the leading electric drivetrain manufacturer Bosch.

Bosch doesn’t make the e-bike, they just worked with Tern to incorporate the system into their folding bikes with some frame modifications. The system includes the electric motor installed on the drivetrain, the battery mounted on the seat tube and the system controller on the handlebar.


Notice that this is the pedal assist system and there is no throttle mode, so you will always have to pedal. However, the assistance will absolutely help you travel faster and go to more places. You can easily change between different levels of assistance like Eco, Tour, Sport and Turbo. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to ride faster than 20mph according to the US laws.


The battery life of the 400Wh Bosch battery is rated at 31-62 miles on a single charge. It is more than enough for me to commute to work in a whole week.

The Vektron is essentially a Tern folding bike, so you can see it looks just like existing Tern bikes with familiar frame design and folding mechanism. Besides, it features some high-end components like Deore hydraulic disc brakes, an integrated 150 lumen Valo 2 light, and an included cargo rack.


This sounds like a perfect folding electric bike, but there are some reasons you shouldn’t buy it. Firstly, the Vektron is super expensive. You will have to cash out around $3,500 to own the bike in the United States. This is unaffordable for most riders, especially when considering other folding electric bikes on the market.


Besides, I see many presses state that this is the world’s most compact folding e-bike but that’s not true. I can be folded small, just like other Tern bikes, but there are a lot of lighter and smaller folding electric bikes. The Vektron weighs more than 47 lbs while its direct rival, the Brompton Electric, weighs just around 38 lbs; Moreover, the Brompton Electric is significantly smaller in the folded position. If you compare it to the Chinese $450 Xiaomi Mi QiCycle, the Vektron is also considerably larger and heavier. Obviously, we have to pay a premium price for the Bosch motor system.

Another concern is that the design looks so outdated with visible engine and battery. It will make the bicycle bulkier and prone to damages. Most modern e-bikes will integrate the system into the frame and try to make it less pronounced.


The Tern Vektron was released in Spring 2017 and we’ve seen a few generations since then. What do you think of the folding e-bike and will you order one?

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  1. It’s a real stretch to compare a Chinese electric folder (Xiaomi) with a Bosch-engineered mid-motor. Have you ridden Bosch before? $3500 is mid-entry price for a good Bosch e-bike.

    • Hi,
      I was only talking design when comparing the QiCycle to the Elektron. I tried the Xiaomi and it was a very weak bike, so I believe the expensive Bosch motor should have a better performance.

  2. Not trying to be mr-smart-pants here, but a folding bike with a low-hanging derailler is just wrong. So is an ebike without suspension. These bicycle manufacturers might benefit from hanging around motocross folks for awhile. I appreciate terns efforts to bring us a dandy folding ebike and sure nothing against the Bosch setup, but no one can convince me they need $3500 usd for an ebike when a small street legal motorcycle is similar priced (suspension and everything) My personal favorite would be something like the dahon jetstream p8 scaled down to a 16in wheel (305) version with a gates belt igh and a simple hub motor, and the more suspension travel the better. Also be careful of mid drives because most laws prohibit ebikes to shift gears, going OUTSIDE the definition of a bicycle. They could build it I feel they just choose not too. Just my 02.

  3. I’ve been commuting year-round in Chicago for 14 years on a series of folding bikes: Strida, Dahon and most recently a Tern Verge S11i. Although I don’t feel the need for an electric assist because of age (66) or infirmity, I *do* see how it might be a good thing to sweat less on hot, humid days or keep up a little higher speed (I don’t have hills to worry about).
    I’ve been very happy with my Verge, aside from a frame recall; I have about 4,200 miles on it. My average daily commute is about 7 miles, though I have done a century on this bike with no trouble.
    I’m not ready to just go out and buy an e-bike, but I will certainly be watching the roll-out of the Elektron and I think it’s likely I would consider one as an addition to my stable of bikes. I’ll bet my wife would like it, as it would allow her to keep up with me on longer rides!
    I agree with Jamie about the low-hanging derailleur; that’s one reason I bought the Verge (11-speed IGH). I’m sort of hoping that as the e-bike matures, an IGH version with a belt drive will be released. Maybe by the time I break down and go electric, such a bike would be available.
    Also, as much as I’d hate to ride this nice a bike in salty, slushy conditions, a little e-boost would be really useful on snowy days… not so much to reduce my energy output, but to help power through snow on un-plowed streets. (Obviously with studded tires!)

  4. I’m hoping the electric folding bike Brompton is planning to make will be the deal breaker. My guess is that Brompton will make a much lighter weight e-folding bike though it may also be expensive. At this time I ride an eJoe Epik SE. It slows considerably when going up mounds despite 2nd or 3rd [no difference]extra assistance that can be used. I like the fact that Enzo makes ‘glow in the dark’ ebikes though at this time lacking the power of an eJoe. I would like to see Kalhoff make an electric folding bike. I’d like to know the ideas of others
    Thanks Gary

  5. I bought a Tern Vektron this past Spring (2017) and couldn’t be happier. I am a long time bicycle rider and commuter and have previously always used more traditional frames. The Tern is a game changer in my opinion. For one thing, it is fast and easy to use and gets me OUT of my car on urban trips, which was the main goal. This is one reason I don’t see the argument in the comments here about how a motorcycle is the same price…that’s irrelevant if your goal is to reduce carbon footprint. Secondly, I recently took it on a bike camping tour with panniers and it was a joy. I didn’t tire during the day and it was very well balanced (and I’m a novice at touring, so my gear was definitely not aero nor lightweight; I used what I had on hand). But, most of all, this bike is FUN to ride; that extra boost from the motor takes a lot of the effort out of acceleration at stops as well as flattening hills and demolishing headwinds. Yes, it means less exercise, but you do still get some (and I do plenty of other things for that anyway) and it increases your personal range as well as your joy factor. In summary, I not only find this bike to be the perfect urban workhorse, but it’s a good bike for touring (if you have access to charging, which one can easily do at cafes). The only complaint I have is I wish the battery charged up faster; if it’s fully decharged, it takes a few hours, or overnight, to fully recharge. Perhaps battery technology will improve over the next few years to eliminate this concern.

    • Hey Roxane,

      I have my Vektron bike for a week now and I completly feel the same way! So far I am happy to. I dont like to bike at all and now i want to drive it everyday! I still use turbo because its amazing how much power i get while i drive.

  6. I have a Tern Veckron, had to wait 2 months for it to arrive. I simply love my bike. It has many enhancements, such as adjustable seats and handlebars. I also love that the kickstand is out of the way. I have a neat removable basket mounted on the handlebars. I’m an older person with a small Honda Fit and needed to transport my bike. The bike rides really comfortable.Thinking of buying a Tern for my husband so we can ride together. He doesn’t need an electric, but i’ll be able to use my car to transport them.

  7. Hi, I would like to know the height of handlebar at its max setting from top of top tube to center of bar. Hoping some who has one will see this. I am concerned that the handlebar would be to low. I think they are basing the fit range only by the seat hight.

    • Roger
      If you read the TERN website the bike can fit people from 4’10” to 6’8″ I think…both the seat and the handlebar post are totally adjustab le…in fact the post slides right up and down to make the “stand” for when it is totally folded up.

      • Yes the seat post goes up and down but not the handlebar. It swings up some. The marketers can claim 6′-8″ based on seat post length but that does not mean they will be comfortable riding it bent over,.

  8. For the money, its way to much. I’ve had my Sondor awhile now for a third if the price. Great bike. Just a tad heavier at 50 pounds, and it does take a a few hrs to charge. Thts normal. Other than that, this Tern is way to expensive for the common folk…

    • I’m definitely a common folk. I researched and decided that this bike was for me. I’m a senior, I have maybe who knows how many years of biking left? Absolutely love this bike, and was willing to save and scrimp for a whileto buy it. So, there are reasons some common folk might pay this price.

  9. The design of the Vektron is outstanding, it has a suite of fitted luggage, a pump that disappears and a host of other features not the least including that it folds up ridiculously small.
    The frame is rigid but compliant making the bike very comfortable to ride and remarkably easy to pedal when the battery is flat.
    I would buy a Vektron again.

  10. I have had my Vektron since August 2017.
    My experience has been pretty awesome!
    I use the assist, when I have the need for it!
    I live, where there are lots of climbing hills!
    Because, I know how & when to use the gears
    & pedal assist when on hill/mountain riding (not
    Mountain biking); I can get quite a bit more
    mileage on the battery.
    The only thing I wish, that all ebikes could be
    Lighter (weight wise).
    I have done lots of research on folding ebikes &
    Checked them out in Europe.
    Overall, the Tern Vektron is a high quality folding
    Bicycle w/ one of the best motor drive (Bosch).

  11. Totally agree with all the positive comments on the Tern. I purchased at a discount from REI in April this year. I have only about 50 miles on it, but still the battery is at 3 lights out of 5 – I assume 3/5 charged. With all my other physical activities at 70 years old/young, I don’t really need the exercise and definitely not the knee wear and tear since I love to ride ( back in the day it was British Triumph 650’s of various years and types, but no more). At first I thought that no pedal throttle would be nice, but since then I’m agnostic on that one, since in Turbo mode for sure you can peddle a couple times and Coast for quite a distance. I road with my 6 year old
    grandson the other day, he was in front, I looked to the side for just a second and he had stopped right in front of me. The disk brakes locked both wheels or at least the rear and I almost got tossed off the front end but avoided a crash by stoping in what seemed like 2 or 3 feet at around 10mph.
    Both the 6 and 8 year old love to ride on the back, and when older the Tern is the only way I will be able to keep up with them. At this young age, if they poop out a few miles from trail head, I have not tried towing them very slow and carful, but I may. I carry a rope and a couple bungee cords with me. So this machine will keep me happily riding for, I hope, another 10 years and no question I’ll get my monies worth even without the thousands of miles of bike commuting, including getting run over buy a right turner on red, mad dogs, flat tires, terrible riding weather, skids on lose gravel, etc.
    Oh yeah, my younger brother put a 1000 watt rear hub motor on his older manual frame. I rode this crotch rocket up to 36mph throttle only with no suspension, skinnier tires and only the original caliper brakes, I survived but won’t do that again.
    I love the portability of fold ability but at my age a littlest work to hoist the rear then front end into the car. If I had a pick, I’m sure in Turbo mode would be easier and a thrill to ride up a ramp onto the pickup bed. The hydraulic disk brakes would easily handle the down ramp.

  12. Great bike. Currently in the Alps on a mix of tarmac gravel and severe climbs. Makes simple work and makes me feel in my seventh decade young again. A tern up for the books!

  13. Having read many rave reviews for the Vektron I was very disappointed when I tried to move one in a local bike shop. I had great difficulty shifting it up onto its wheels and then trying to keep it balanced on them, it’s such a lump and the weight of the motor doesn’t lie naturally over the wheels. It felt too heavy and unstable to use safely on public trains – what if it were to topple onto someone? – and too big to go inside a bus. After also trying a Vello+ I finally bought a Brompton Electric. While I’d have preferred rear wheel drive, it is really versatile and, alone among folding bikes it seems, is permitted into everywhere and everything. I do find it heavy even without its bag, but it is easy to wheel around on its mini wheels while fully or partly folded so I rarely carry it.

    • Peter,
      I saw the online video on Vello Bike+ and it seems to have some advantages that the Brompton Electric doesn’t have – internal hub gear, more powerful motor, 20″ wheels and more stable ride. But I am not able to test ride it in NYC. Have you looked at the Birdy or GoCycle? What are your thoughts of Brompton Electric vs. Vello Bike+ vs. Vektron Q9 or S10 vs. GoCycle?

  14. Vektron is more like a cargo bike. I have two ebikes. One is Brompton and the other is Vektron S10 v2. The price is very similar but you can definitely feel the BOM cost for those two bikes are significantly different. I like the Vektron way more than the Brompton. Brompton is about the fold but the Vektron is about the ride.

    • Hi Chuck,

      I have been deciding between the Vektron S10 and the Electric Brompton.. and live in New York City. I wanted one that is lighter but also easy to fold, has internal gear hub (lower maintenance) and also has a good motor. From my research, it looks like the Birdy or Vello Bike+ fit that criteria but don’t have much dealer/ tech support in NYC. How did you decide to get both and which do you use one vs the other?

  15. The only outstanding fature in the Tren Vektron is the Central Mounted Motor. No other foldable has it, unless I am wrong. And boy, do I wish to be wrong for the sake of competition.
    Any suggestions…?

  16. I would suggest that the Vektron is low on power and has very poor handling characteristics. It is skittish at the front end, hard to keep steady at low speed. Yes, I do own one and to be fair for half the money there are better bikes available. I previously had owned a Repton e. Now that bike I couldn’t fault.

  17. Got two S10 (gen 3, 2021), one for me and one for my wife. We love our bikes. We ride in urban as well as country settings, on trails, gravel roads, paved roads, up steep hills, on beaches. I have been riding for over 60 years, have done lots of mountain biking and this bike is exceptionally well balanced and doesn’t feel like a small wheel folding bike. The super quiet centrally positioned Bosch (performance line) motor is powerful, the Shimano Deore derailleur is sharp (especially with the clutch on) and the Magura hydraulic brakes are very effective but not harsh. When you turn off the motor assist there is no resistance from the motor and you pedal as if there wasn’t a motor (not the case for all pedal assist motors). A well engineered bike.


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