Tern NBD P8i Review: A Very Easy Riding E-Bike

2023 was an interesting year for me since I was pregnant for half of it, recovering from a C-section, and chasing our 3 kids around for the other half. One of the biggest cycling surprises, looking back at my data, was seeing that my most popular bike for 2023 was the Tern NBD electric bike.

The Tern NBD design and focus is to be a very easy-riding electric bike. It has a nice upright fit thanks to the 20” wheels with a super low and long step-thru frame to help shorter riders or people with mobility constraints step over the bike easily. The pedals are custom to be a wide platform but also narrow to the bike. The wheel lock and battery are easy to access without needing to bend too far over or squat near the ground.

Easiest Riding E-Bike
NBD P8i Electric Bike


• Very easy to ride electric bike with thought-out details in every piece of the design.

• Certified to UL-2849 requirements

• EFBE frameset tested

• Can hold 60 lbs on the rear rack

• Vertical standing

• Flat-Fold design allows you to roll this standing up in the back of many cars with your backseat folded down


• A premium bike with a premium price tag

• 20" wheels and lack of front suspension can be jarring on potholes or cobblestone streets

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If you are new here, I’ve worked the last few years after closing my bike shop for Tern Bicycles and have access to a ton of electric bike options. The NBD e-bike was in my garage to take photos and videos for work, and I wasn’t expecting to choose it the most!

In late February of 2023, I wasn’t having the easiest pregnancy, but I wanted to keeping moving, so I started to do laps around the neighborhood with the NBD and errands to the bakery and grocery store. The super upright riding position helped put all the weight on my hips and sit bones while not compressing my growing belly and tired back. I left the bike in Turbo to have the most assistance so I didn’t raise my heart rate. In hindsight, I wish I had the Tern NBD S5i model with the Bosch Performance motor to provide more assistance and torque. The P8i model with Bosch Active Line Motor is a great setup, but I have hills that are 7+% right out of my driveway, and my goal was not to raise my heart rate.

Upright Riding Position

I initially started riding on this bike because of its geometry and positioning. I needed something that didn’t compress my stomach. It’s the most upright fit Tern makes, with a shorter reach. I adjusted the Andros adjustable stem a little bit up every ride.

Physis Handlepost and adjustable Andros stem

Super Low Step Over Height

The ability to step onto the bike and keep it balanced is what kept me biking. The step-over, or the lowest point of the bike that you put your leg over to get on is 15.4”. This is crazy low for an electric bike since the motor is right there! It is also a very long section to step through which keeps you from having to tip the bike over to get on or pivot from your hip to swing your leg over at all.

Cargo Capable

I still wanted to go out and about to run errands, so the rear rack was excellent. I strapped one Cargo Hold 28 pannier to the left side where my kickstand was and kept a few packable grocery bags inside. I kept the Cargo Hold mostly in bucket mode to simply drop stuff in but did run into rain once and switched it to the roll-top style to keep the rain out and my bread dry. I never added a front rack because I wanted to keep the bike as light as possible. I only had a RidePocket for my phone and keys on the handlepost.

Wheel Lock Happiness

I have a pretty low theft area but I still like to use a durable chain or u-lock. The NBD has an included wheel lock that I plugged in a tex–lock mate frame lock extension. (Use BIKESHOPGIRL at checkout for a coupon)

This lock was easy to deal with when very pregnant since the frame lock is so high on the bike. I would loop the cord around the lock, through itself, and into the wheel lock. When not in use, I stored it in the provided transport bag. Typically, I use heavy-duty locks, but since my routes were around the neighborhood or to a local bakery, using the frame lock and the flexible cable with steel core was enough for me.

Is the NBD Worth It?

This is something I’ve contemplated a lot. I made a video when the NBD first came out, and I happened to have a knee injury, which made this very inclusive bike very easy for me to ride.

Is the $3,699 price tag to “keep me on the bike” worth it? There are things I wish were a bit different for my own needs, but if this is your main e-bike because it is easy to ride for anyone, maybe helps you through pregnancy, or keeps you on the bike due to injury or less mobility, I think the actual bike itself is worth it. The Bosch ebike system, the component selection, EFBE approved frameset, the very specifically engineered design tubing, and geometry, the custom setups like pedals, suspension seatpost, and tall handlepost – those all cost additional money. They also equate to a great riding e-bike, and an investment that lasts a long time.

Is it worth it for you? Let me know in the comments!

Disclaimer: Some links in this article are affiliate and I will make commission if you purchase through them but it doesn’t cost you anything.

Tern NBD Photo Gallery

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12 thoughts on “Tern NBD P8i Review: A Very Easy Riding E-Bike”

  1. Thanks for the excellent review. And congratulations, though sorry your pregnancy was difficult.

    We’ve chatted about my NBD S5i on social media. And before that you assisted me during my selection process. So you know I fall into the category of being a limited mobility biker, mostly due to age (75) and past military service.

    And that the NBD has also “kept me on a bike”, for an entire additional year now. You are absolutely correct about that ability of an NBD.

    Without its low & broad step-through frame area I already would have had to abandon biking permanently. Now I’m riding more often than I have in years. And expect more easy years to come.

    The bike itself also seems up to that task, with its UL-certified Bosch, pedal-assist e-system and other carefully chosen components, as you noted. Good as new, it shows no signs of premature wear, no failures.

    My S5i does have more motor power than your P8i, so I only use the highest Turbo mode when in heavy traffic, for quicker bursts of speed. On level neighborhood streets the Sport, Tour or Eco modes are enough, even when loaded with groceries. And their greater pedal resistance gives me selectable exercise levels, combined with the gear choice.

    I’m totally satisfied that I got my money’s worth. I highly recommend the NBD, not only for those with limited mobility, but for anyone who wants an easy-riding, versatile, easy-to-live-with e-bike.

  2. Barb Schwendtner

    Hi! Do you know how the step-through height compares to the Quick Haul? I see the NBD is better for the shortest people, and the folding stem is nice for transport, but with the similar weight and cheaper price of the Quick Haul, I have not seen an NBD in the local shop yet.

    1. Hey Barb,

      The step thru of a Quick Haul is 19” but also very short of a gap, vs long to get your whole foot through.

      The NBD also can adjust handlebars back and forth.

      The quick haul has a faster feeling geometry as well with a more leaned over seat position.

    2. I totally concur with Arleigh regarding the space your foot passes through. Not only is the NBD lower than the QuickHaul, it’s much broader (longer), as photos show. Something I definitely appreciate with my NBD.

      And beware of other makes that claim on paper to have low step-over heights, but the frame shape is actually a narrow “V” through which no human foot can fit without contortions.

      Nice quality detail on my NBD frame is a clear protective film over that horizontal section. So that if my passing shoes do make contact with it the paint isn’t damaged.

  3. Hi Arleigh, thanks as always for your informative write-ups. I commented on one of your HSD posts last year. I am almost ready to get an HSD for myself and the NBD for my wife. The one thing at this point holding me back is that the HSD is on the Bosch Smart System and it appears the NBD is not. Any word from Tern when or if they’ll be adding the Smart System to their NBD line?

  4. Is it easy to load into a SUV? I have a 2016 Toyota Rav4 and with the rear seat down, the bike would fit, barely, but first you have to lift it up, and 50 lbs plus is a lot. Anyone out there have a solution to get it into a smaller SUV? Would you angle the front wheel in first or start with the back wheel and then push/slide it in? Thanks!

    1. Hey Lars, it totally will fit. I put it with the handlebar down into a Subaru Outback.

      Remove the battery (Saves you 7-8 pounds), fold the handlebar down, lift the rear wheel up and in first, then the front, and ROLL it into the car so it is upright. I then lean it to one side and secure it with the seatbelt.

      1. Thanks for the quick reply! Will go and purchase one within a day or, tell me one more thing please, is the 5 version worth the extra money VS the 8 version. I think so. This will be the last bike I buy since I am 71.

        1. Hey Lars, The S5i has a lot of great features worth the upgrade, but for me the stronger motor would be important and not something you can change later.

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