Gazelle Bikes is a Dutch-based e-bike company that’s been operating for over a century, and since 2017 they also have a major facility in the United States.
While they started out in 1892 as a small bicycle exporter, today they’re one of the biggest names in e-bike manufacturing on both sides of the Atlantic.
So how good are their bikes, exactly?
Well, one of our editors personally owns a Gazelle bike and won’t stop raving about it, so today we’re going to share with you what we know about this e-bike industry giant!
Here’s What Makes Gazelle Bikes Great:
Gazelle Bikes is a Dutch-based e-bike manufacturer with a major office in Santa Cruz, U.S. Their bikes have very sturdy frames and are all equipped with top-of-the-line Bosch or Shimano motors. Gazelle bikes use only the best parts available, so the build is high-quality throughout their design.
How Are Gazelle eBikes Different From Other Brands?
Gazelle Bikes makes e-bikes with exacting standards, using only the best components and a design philosophy leading to sturdy, long-lasting bikes.
Their bikes use motors from only two brands: Bosch and Shimano.
This is because only these two motor manufacturers meet their high standards.
Bosch is a German-based multinational engineering and technology company well-known the world over for high-quality, dependable motors, engines, and more.
Gazelle bikes equipped with Bosch mid-drive motors deliver dependable, powerful performance with a durable, long-lasting design.
Shimano Industries is a Japanese-based technology company that makes fishing tackle, rowing equipment, and of course, cycling components.
Gazelle bikes featuring a Shimano STEPS motor deliver a powerful pedal assist with an impressive maximum torque of 50 N m.
Gazelle’s Shimano STEPS-equipped models also feature an especially lively and responsive feel to the pedal assist, thanks to the low mid-drive mounting position.
Whether you get a Bosch or Shimano-equipped model, you’ll get only the best motor tech from a Gazelle bike.
Bosch and Shimano also supply Gazelle bikes with their digital LCD displays.
These displays are as dependable as the motors they’re connected to and will tell you everything you need to know at a glance from remaining battery charge to current speed to the time of day.
Gazelle also equips all their bikes with high-capacity lithium-ion batteries of superior quality.
Gazelle Bikes’ batteries range from 400 to 504WH in capacity, and the most efficient one on offer boasts an impressive maximum ride distance of 100 miles!
Of course, Gazelle is more than just the high-quality parts they use; the design of the bike itself matters too.
And in this department, Gazelle doesn’t disappoint either.
Gazelle bikes have exceptionally durable frames without being overly heavy.
We’re not sure exactly how they achieved this feat of engineering, but our proud Gazelle-bike-owning editor has tried several e-bike brands and found Gazelle to be the sturdiest.
The one downside to Gazelle bikes is that they tend to be a bit pricier, but it’s worth noting that because they’re so sturdy, they could be a better budget choice than you might think.
That’s because, even if you have to save up a little to afford one, you may very well save money in the long run.
Gazelle bikes have very durable frames, meaning you’re less likely to damage them and need costly repairs.
The fact that they use only the best motors, accessories, and parts also means you’re less likely to need to replace any of these components anytime soon.
How Long Do Gazelle Bikes Last?
Gazelle Bikes are made with high-quality parts to exacting standards, and they aren’t cheap either, so it would certainly be fair to expect them to last a long time.
Of course, we can’t talk about a bike’s longevity without talking about the battery.
That’s because, of all the different parts in an e-bike, the battery is the most likely to fail first, at least if the bike is of good overall construction, which Gazelle’s indeed are.
Luckily for us, Gazelle doesn’t skimp on battery quality either.
Their bikes feature only lithium-ion batteries, the superior choice over other alternatives like lead-acid, nickel-composites, and other variants of lithium-composite.
These alternatives might be cheaper, but there’s a reason lithium-ion batteries have become ubiquitous in the technology world at large today.
Lithium-ion batteries perform well and are less sensitive to mistreatment than the various alternatives.
All Gazelle bikes have fairly high-capacity batteries as well, with the lowest being 400WH and ranging all the way to a maximum of 504WH.
Of course, when determining the longevity of a battery, what we really need to know is how many charge cycles it’s rated for.
Most e-bike batteries have anywhere from 400-1000 charge cycles, after which their maximum capacity will degrade.
They’re still functional after this point, but this is merely the point at which they start to be able to hold less and less power until they’ll eventually stop being useful.
When translating charge cycles to years of usefulness, assuming average usage rates, most e-bike batteries are good for 3-5 years; longer with proper care.
Unfortunately for our purposes, the charge cycle rating is one of the few details Gazelle isn’t as forthcoming about as we’d like; we weren’t able to find it anywhere on their website.
That being said, given Gazelle’s penchant for using only the best parts, we can probably assume their batteries will last closer to the 5-year end of the average spectrum.
Please read our article about the percentage an electric battery should be charged to.
As for the longevity of the bike frame and other parts, the frame shouldn’t be a problem at all.
Barring a major accident, the sturdy frames of Gazelle bikes are likely to hold up for years on end with, at most, some minor maintenance required now and then.
As for the other components, you might eventually need a new motor, but since the battery is usually the first thing to fail, it’s probably going to be a while before anything else does.
With all that being said, we can’t give you a “to the mile”, objective answer on exactly how long a Gazelle bike will last; there are simply too many variables.
What we can give you is the personal recommendation of one proud Gazelle bike owner and the confident speculation that Gazelle bikes can probably last for decades on end if well cared for.
What Brands Come Closest to the Gazelle Quality?
Of course, Gazelle isn’t the only fish in the sea, so to speak, and there are other great e-bike makers out there too.
So who comes close to the exceptional quality of Gazelle? Well, we can give a few recommendations.
Charge Bikes is a UK-based e-bike company that specializes in shipping “some-assembly-required” e-bikes all over the world.
They come “mostly fully built” and should require only a little work on your end.
While this may be slightly less convenient than buying a pre-built bike, it allows them to ship to more places around the world at a lower cost, without compromising quality.
Charge Bikes’ “City” model has been rated as one of the best e-bikes of 2023, with all the best features you’d expect of a quality e-bike at an affordable cost.
The City model features a 5-level pedal assist, full throttle mode, and ample room for a bike bag and other accessories, making it perfect for commuters.
VanMoof is another dutch-based e-bike company that specializes in making high-quality e-bikes tailored to city life.
The Netherlands is a hotspot for high-quality bicycles, electric and otherwise, so it’s no surprise another Dutch company would make the list of companies that compare to Gazelle’s quality.
VanMoof bikes are also very stylish, with sleek, clean lines and a unique overall aesthetic that’s right at home with modern life.
Electric Bike Company
With a name like “Electric Bike Company,” (EBC for short), there’s no confusion as to what this U.S.-based company is all about.
Starting as a small business in Newport Beach, California, EBC now sells its bikes through dealers all over the United States.
Much like Gazelle, EBC prides itself on using only the best parts, favoring building everything they can themselves, by hand, and importing only the best components when they can’t.
EBC is a labor of love, offering handcrafted bikes built to order.
Not only that, but they’re the only truly U.S.-based companies offering exceptional e-bikes for the modern age; if you’re in the U.S. yourself and want to buy local, it doesn’t get better than this!
What Are the Most-Sold Gazelle eBike Models?
We weren’t able to find much data on sales numbers from Gazelle or any third-party source either after scouring the internet for answers.
So, since we can’t tell you which models sell the best, we’ll just tell you which one seems to be the best from a quality and performance standpoint.
The Gazelle Ultimate C380 HMB may very well be the highest-quality bicycle on offer from Gazelle.
Of course, it’s also among the most expensive, but for a good reason: it combines all the best features of any Gazelle bike and top-of-the-line tech to go with it.
Testers found it to be one of the smoothest e-bike rides ever experienced, and it’s built for both comfort and performance.
With full mudguards, a chain guard, a 500WH battery, a Bosch motor rated for 65 N m of torque, and a 380 stepless gear system, there’s a lot to love.
If you’re on a budget, you might want to peruse Gazelle’s catalog for something a bit cheaper, but if you can afford it, it’s hard to go wrong with the Ultimate C380 HMB.
Please also check out our article about electric bikes with high weight capacity.