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Tern HSD S8i

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ebiketips's picture

Dave Atkinson

Dave lives at the top of a big hill and his office is at the bottom, so he's all in favour of a helping hand. Plus, e-bikes are fun! He's the editor of ebiketips and one of the founders of EBT's road cycling sister site, He used to work on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike back in the day, and he's a former mountain bike bog snorkelling World Champion. Really.


3 years 12 months ago

The really nice thing about belt drive is that it's clean.  When the bike gets filthy in winter you can just hose down the lot and leave to dry without worrying about coming back to a rusty chain.  Mines not on an e-bike but i do like it.  Long term cost doesn't seem bad either - iv'e actually met someone who's run one long enough to replace and it did last 4+ years of dailiy commuting in London.


4 years 4 months ago

Having spent far more time that I like cleaning chains, I'd also be keen to try the belt drive. It's also reputedly much longer lasting.

4 years 5 months ago

I would have to disagree.

I have run several of both and I would say a belt drive is still significantly less maintenance than even a single speed chain driven hub gear setup. Unless you have a fully enclosed chain case perhaps.

ebiketips's picture
4 years 5 months ago

The belt is lower maintenance than a derailleur setup, for sure. but it's not significantly lower maintenance than a single-sprocket chain transmission and a hub gear. That was really my point.

4 years 5 months ago

Thanks for the  detailed review. 

The belt drive is a big selling point for us because it requires much less maintenance.

We have the Tern GSD S10 and we (I) have to clean/lube the chain about every 150 km - more often with wet weather. Even then a chain lasts only about 1500km.

The GSD's Performance Line motor is more than enough for most hills here in hilly Sydney, so I expect the Active Line will be adequate for the HSD. But would be nice to have a Performance Line option without auto shifting. Also looking at R&M Tinker for our second ebike, which has CX and belt drive. Will wait to test ride HSD before deciding.

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