Tern Orox, image courtesy of Tern

Tern’s Orox Adventure Cargo E-Bike Offers A 200-Mile Range

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If you’re looking for the burliest electric bike-packing and off-road trekking or touring rig, Tern’s new electric cargo bike ought to be high on your list, as the Orox is packed full of features, including a powerful mid-drive Bosch motor, a rear rack capable of carrying up to 220 pounds, a tow hitch, and a potential 200-mile range.

E-bikes and e-cargo bikes are excellent transportation options for getting around town, but when it comes to getting out of town on an electric bike, one major limitation is the range per charge. Sure, you can continue on with only human pedal power when the battery is dead, and plan for regular charging stops, but having an e-bike with a long range per charge can open up a lot more adventure options, and the Orox with a dual battery setup looks to be a solid contender.

The Tern Orox, which will be available in North America and Europe beginning in April, appears to be an absolute beast of a bike, built specifically for off-road and unpaved conditions but will probably be equally at home on city streets.

The Orox will come in two frame sizes and several configurations, including one with a Gates belt drive paired with a 14-speed Rohloff internal gear hub, or with a chain-driven Shimano 12-speed derailleur, and the choice of some very fat tires — 29″ x 5″ — all with significant carrying capacity. The maximum gross weight of the Orox, which weighs about 73 pounds on its own, is said to be 462 pounds (210 kg) on pavement, and 397 pounds (180 kg) when riding off-road, which gives it the ability to haul a heckuva lot of cargo.

“Six years ago, we introduced the GSD with the belief that a compact and easy-to-ride bike capable of carrying passengers and cargo would get people out of their cars and onto bikes. We were right, and we love seeing all the amazing things people are doing with the GSD in crowded cities. But we also realized that there are plenty of places people want to go that are unpaved. And they want to bring their gear. For those trips, we made the Orox.” — Josh Hon, Tern Team Captain

The Orox is a Class 2 e-bike, meaning solely pedal assist (no throttle) with a top speed of 20 mph, powered by Bosch’s highest performing motor, the Performance Line CX, which is capable of producing 85 Nm of maximum torque. It rides on some burly rims and tires — Tern’s Atlax X cargo wheels and double-wall tires — which are built specifically for heavy loads and feature oversized thru-axles, and it features full-coverage fenders on both wheels for all-weather riding.

The rugged rear rack, which is rated for 220 pounds, can be outfitted with large panniers (72 liter) or passenger-carrying accessories, and an optional front “Trail Rack” with a 55 lb capacity can be fitted with panniers as well, so there’s plenty of room for all sorts of adventure gear. The Orox can also be used to pull a trailer, as it includes a frame-integrated TowBar that is said to work “with most trailer hitches,” which might be a good alternative to loading up the front and rear racks with heavy gear and having a high center of gravity.

With a single 800Wh Bosch battery installed, the Tern has a range of up to 100 miles (161 km), but with the dual battery setup, the Orox can cover some serious distance per charge — up to 200 miles — which is an outstanding feature for an e-cargo bike. Of course, if the Orox is fully loaded to capacity, and the route includes a lot of uphill stretches, that 200-mile range statement is most likely just aspirational, but achieving even just a 100-mile range while fully loaded is significant.

One notable omission on an off-road bike, especially a heavy one like the Orox, is suspension, but that may be simply due to the lack of heavy duty suspension components available on the market, as Tern says, “there is no suspension fork rated to 180 kg MGVW for off-road use.” Riding an unsprung e-bike like this off-road when fully loaded promises to be an adventure on its own, or to at least entail a steep-ish and unforgiving learning curve, so buyer beware.

The pricing on the Tern Orox starts at $6,499, so it’s definitely not an impulse buy item for most people, but considering the quality of Tern’s bikes, and how rugged and capable the Orox, that price isn’t out of line for what you get. More info is available at the Tern website.

Images courtesy of Tern.

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Derek Markham

Derek lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, fungi, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves fresh roasted chiles, peanut butter on everything, and buckets of coffee.

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