Is Tern NBD S5i Worth Recommending? – [Tern NBD S5i Review]

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Tern NBD S5i Review

  • Price: $4,699
  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Battery: Bosch 500Wh
  • Gear: 20 x 2.15″

What we like about it:

  • Extremely low standover height, making it easy for most people to get on and off.
  • Lower center of gravity, enhancing the bike’s stability.
  • Recyclable Bosch battery.

What we don’t like about it:

  • The price is relatively high.

Rating: (4.79/5)

Tern NBD S5i
Tern NBD S5i

Different from many other bikes, this one isn’t meant for cargo hauling; it’s more for riders who are smaller in stature and not overly confident. Why do I say that? Because it’s truly an easy bike to ride. Thanks to features like its belt drive, RideEasy Suspension Seatpost, and ultra-low standover height, the Tern NBD S5i offers a low-maintenance and durable option.

Below, we’ll analyze the riding experience, key features, components, specifications, and other versions of the Tern NBD S5i. In the latter part of this article, we’ll also compare it to several top bicycle models. If you want more reviews about bicycles, feel free to follow us.

Riding Experience

Our exploration of electric bikes never stops, and at the request of many fans, we’ve conducted a riding test of the Tern NBD S5i.

New York streets are always busy, and during this ride, I experienced the comfort and easy handling of the Tern NBD S5i.

City Riding

Tern NBD S5i

Initially, when I saw the Tern NBD S5i, I almost mistook it for an electric bike for kids because it’s quite compact. Its seat post starts at a relatively low height, but thanks to its unique RideEasy Suspension Seatpost, I easily adjusted the seat post’s height. Moreover, when I swung a leg over the NBD S5i, I couldn’t help but appreciate its super-low frame design. It’s convenient even for older riders as there’s no need to struggle to get over the frame.

Furthermore, its Hassle-Free Belt Drive meant that as I rode around the nearby park, there was almost no sound of chain and gear friction. Compared to traditional chain drives, this belt drive requires less maintenance, which is an attractive feature for riders who prefer low-maintenance and quieter rides.

Even as evening set in, the Tern NBD S5i’s front and rear lights (F: Tern Valo Direct, R: Herrmans) lit up. It made it easy for me to see the road ahead, and the reflectors on the tires also made me more visible, ensuring safe riding.

Throughout the ride, the Bosch Intuvia display on the Tern NBD S5i showed that the Bosch battery still had nearly 78% charge remaining.

Suburban Riding

Tern NBD S5i

In city riding, it performed well, and this time I planned to have the Tern NBD S5i carry some cargo. I attached a Gaia Rack to the Tern NBD S5i’s abundant mounting points, and it worked well for carrying a lot of stuff.

However, when I activated its Bosch electric assist motor system, I didn’t feel any sluggishness even when carrying a substantial load. With a torque of up to 65Nm, it provided powerful acceleration, even with the added weight.

Keep in mind that the road conditions when riding to the suburbs are not as flat as in the city, and they vary more. Yet, when encountering bumpy road sections, the RideEasy Suspension Seatpost reduced vibrations from the road surface. This allowed for a comfortable ride even on this type of terrain. Additionally, the Schwalbe Big Apple tires are equipped with an internal air cushion suspension system that reduces vibrations, making the ride smoother and more comfortable.

In summary, after this suburban ride, I couldn’t help but exclaim that despite the relatively high price, it’s truly worth it in terms of comfort, load-carrying capacity, and battery life.


The Tern NBD S5i is an aluminum-frame folding electric bike. Its relatively lightweight and durable aluminum construction weighs in at 51.6 lbs. The lightweight build and folding design make it highly convenient for transportation, even without a bike rack.

Additionally, the installed fenders and full chain cover often serve protective functions. Although these features may seem inconspicuous, they are considered additions. The neatly arranged control lines also give the overall frame an orderly appearance.

The Tern NBD S5i boasts the Tern Sweep Handlebar, which allows riders to place their hands naturally and comfortably. Its geometric design also makes it easier for riders to maintain an upright riding posture, particularly benefiting those with back issues.

Furthermore, the battery is detachable, making it convenient for users who prefer to bring the battery indoors.

I’ve mentioned the performance of various components like the battery and transmission several times before. In my opinion, the Tern NBD S5i is an easily storable and flexible electric bike. In terms of value, I believe it offers excellent value for its price.


Other Versions

After sufficient time spent riding in different terrains, we have an intuitive understanding of the Tern NBD S5i’s power transmission system, wheelset, and more. It is indeed an excellent folding electric bike.

However, the Tern NBD S5i is not the only choice, and for this reason, we conducted further research.

Tern NBD P8i

Tern NBD P8i

At first glance, the 2023 Tern NBD P8i appears visually identical to the Tern NBD S5, but it comes at a lower price and a slightly higher weight of 52.2 lbs. Moreover, its battery capacity is smaller, with only 400Wh. If you have no strict requirements for battery capacity, this Tern NBD P8i is a suitable option. In terms of torque, it offers 50Nm, which is lower compared to the Tern NBD S5, making it slightly slower when starting and accelerating.

For the drivetrain, the Tern NBD P8i uses the Shimano 8-speed instead of a belt drive. Therefore, if you prefer a quieter and more traditional drivetrain system, the Tern NBD S5 might be more suitable.

In conclusion, both bikes are relatively excellent electric bikes. The choice ultimately depends on individual needs and budget considerations.

What do we like about it?

  • Adjustable RideEasy Suspension Seatpost, allowing height adjustment for individual comfort.
  • SimpleStep frame design for easy mounting and dismounting.
  • Easily removable battery, convenient for charging at home.
  • Foldable design for easy packing in your car without the need for a bike rack.
  • High-performance Magura MT4 hydraulic disc brakes, ensure stable and reliable braking performance in any weather.
  • Abundant luggage rack and various mounting points for carrying ample equipment.

What don’t we like about it?

  • The price is relatively high.
  • Riders who prefer larger wheels might not like its small-wheel design.


  • Why are Tern bikes so expensive?

Yes, the Tern NBD S5i is not cheap, but based on various feedback, it is considered a worthwhile investment.

  • How much does this bike weigh?

It weighs 51.6 Ibs.

  • What heights of riders is the bike suitable for?

It is suitable for riders ranging from 4’10” to 6’3″.



FrameTern NBD, 6061-AL, Patented design, EFBE Tri-Test approved: 140 kgColors: Nbd – Blue; Nbd – Bronze
ForkTern Tarsus, 6061-AL, hydroformed, EFBE approved: 140 kg
HeadsetTern Flux by FSA, cartridge bearings, Physis integrated
StemTern Andros, adjustable, forged construction, patented technology
HandlebarTern Sweep, 6061-AL, Tern Andros adapted
SaddleTern Upright by Velo
SeatpostTern RideEasy Suspension, 34.9 mm, Air cartridge, Preload adjustable
PedalsMKS Platform, Tern custom design


CrankTern NBD custom, Gates CDX CNC machined beltring
ShiftersShimano 5 spd.
CassetteGates CDX, precision CNC machined cog
ChainGates Carbon Drive CDX belt
Chain GuideTern Custom, full chain cover
BrakesHydraulic Disc
Brake LeversMagura, hydraulic


RimsKinetix Comp, for disc
Front HubShimano disc
Rear HubShimano Nexus 5
TiresSchwalbe Big Apple, Performance Line, 55-406, puncture protection, Reflex

Electric Components

MotorClass 1, Bosch Performance, 300% Assist, 65 Nm Torque, max speed 25 kph (EU); max speed 20 mph (US)
BatteryBosch PowerPack 500

Comparison Table

BikesClick viewTiresDrivetrainFrame MaterialBattery
Tern HSD P9 PerformanceClick View55-4061 × 9AluminumBosch 500Wh
Momentum Pakyak E+Click View24×2.5″/AluminumPanasonic 500Wh
Bergamont E-Cargoville Bakery ExpertClick View60-507/AluminumBosch 500Wh

Tern HSD P9 Performance vs. Tern NBD S5i

Tern HSD P9 Performance
Tern HSD P9 Performance

These two bicycles are both produced by Tern. However, the Tern HSD P9 Performance has a more relaxed seat tube angle, making it relatively easier to extend your arms fully. Additionally, it can be flipped and stored vertically at home or in the workplace without taking up too much space. It also features a longer wheelbase and an ultra-low center of gravity, making it relatively more stable.

Moreover, it has an advantage over the Tern NBD S5i in that it comes with a suspension fork. The rear rack is also longer, and capable of carrying more cargo.

However, it must be noted that if you prefer a lighter electric bike, the Tern NBD S5i might be a better fit. It is 5.1 lbs lighter than the Tern HSD P9 Performance. Furthermore, the Tern NBD S5i uses a Belt Drive that is quieter and requires less maintenance.

So, if you lean towards a low-maintenance and lighter electric bike, you can give the Tern NBD S5i a try. If you’re looking for a bike with better suspension, you can also consider the Tern HSD P9 Performance.

Learn More: Is Tern HSD P9 A Perfect Selection – [Tern HSD P9 Review]

Momentum Pakyak E+ vs. Tern NBD S5i

Momentum Pakyak E+
Momentum Pakyak E+

The Momentum Pakyak E+ comes at a slightly higher price point, and its overall design looks more substantial. What’s more, it boasts a torque of 80Nm, which is greater than the Tern NBD S5i’s 65Nm, indicating that it offers quicker acceleration and starts. Additionally, its tire size is larger than that of the Tern NBD S5i, which is more appealing to riders who prefer larger wheels. However, it weighs in at 79.4 lbs, which might be considered heavy for many.

On the other hand, the Tern NBD S5i is much lighter and generally easier to handle, making it suitable for a wide range of riders, including seniors who enjoy going out without the burden of a heavy bike.

If price is not your primary consideration, and you’re looking for more powerful carrying capacity and higher-end components, you might want to give the Momentum Pakyak E+ a try.

If you prefer a more manageable and agile bike, I believe the Tern NBD S5i is worth a shot.

Learn More: Is Momentum Lafree E+ Splendid? – [Momentum Lafree E+ Review]

Bergamont E-Cargoville Bakery Expert vs. Tern NBD S5i

Bergamont E-Cargoville Bakery Expert
Bergamont E-Cargoville Bakery Expert

The Bergamont E-Cargoville Bakery Expert can be described as a large bicycle. It weighs 73.4 lbs, but its low-step design makes it relatively easy to mount.

Furthermore, it features Syncros Capilano Urban saddle and Ergon GC10 ergonomic locking handlebars. When riding, its comfort is unquestionable.

It can also be customized with various accessories such as baskets and racks, allowing you to carry more items. However, as mentioned earlier, the Bergamont E-Cargoville Bakery Expert is on the heavier side. So, if you prefer a lightweight and agile electric bike, I recommend giving the Tern NBD S5i a try. After all, the Tern NBD S5i’s 65Nm of torque and its battery capacity are sufficient to meet various riding needs.

Of course, if you have a preference for the Bergamont E-Cargoville Bakery Expert, you can also give it a try.


This is our review of the Tern NBD S5i. It is a practical electric bicycle, and we have given it a high rating of 4.79. If you’d like to access more bicycle-related information, please check out our other reviews.

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