Gazelle UltimateT10 (chain/cassette) or C380 (belt/hub) and to "+" or "not to +"?

Driftless

New Member
Region
USA
I am torn between a Gazelle Ultimate T10 and Ultimate C380 and am seeking advice from the group. I’m told the T10’s gears are more efficient and lighter than the C380, and that it’s easier to change a tire, etc. should you get a flat. I also prefer the T10’s white color compared to C380’s blue and olive colors (2021)–neutral and highly visible. However, the variable shifting and low maintenance carbon belt is very attractive as I live in a very hilly part of the Driftless region of Minnesota-Wisconsin where hills are steep and numerous (100s of miles radius). Snow, rain, salt, gravel…. are all daily realities. I’m also in Minneapolis frequently in a highly urban area (60 miles away). What’s your advice?....this was Court's advice on the thread of his review of the C380, "Hi Craig! Your points about the snow, rain, salt, and gravel did make me lean towards the belt drive and internally geared hub. Hopefully others will chime in here, but you could post the same comment in the EBR forums for Gazelle and might get more engagement :) While heavier, slower to shift, and generally less efficient, the internally geared hub can be durable and offer that shift at standstill feature, as long as you aren’t applying too much pressure when doing so. If you do shift under too much load, you’ll hear it clicking a lot. In that case, just ease off a bit and try not to let the motor activate, this will let the gear settle. Or, you can lift the rear wheel or tip the bike left onto the kickstand and then cycle it gently to apply the shift, and then hop on and continue pedaling again (much as you’d have to do with a traditional chain and cassette, which is my overall preference for all occasions due to easy maintenance, easier shifting, and reduced weight). Hope this helps ;)"... sounds like he recommends the T10. FYI, I like the T10+ but I don't like there isn't a step-through option. The mid-step is still really hard to step over at 5'11" on a large (57) frame and the medium (53) felt too small for me. I hear there is a C380+ coming out at some point. I'm also told that if you're looking for exercise, it's better to stick with the non+ as you have to work a little harder. I'd appreciate your experiences, thoughts and opinions.Thank you!
 
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Dewey

Well-Known Member
Are you able to test ride both the derailleur and Enviolo equipped Ultimate models? I like the Enviolo system, I've tried it on Capital bikeshare ebikes here in the Washington, DC, area where I am, and it is nice to be able to shift down gear while climbing hills, I have read the Enviolo doesn't like to shift up to higher ratio under load when you're climbing and that jibes with my experience but you quickly get used to how far to twist the shifter down ratio to get to a comfortable cadence, and shifting down works much better than the Nexus 8 IGH as fitted to the Ultimate C8 model. I have a Nexus 8 on my mid-drive DIY ebike and it needs a couple of seconds pause pedalling or pedal backwards momentarily for it to engage - if you like to keep pedalling while shifting down ratio the Enviolo equipped Ultimate C380 would be my recommendation over the Nexus 8 equipped Ultimate C8 model.

The big advantage of both IGH models is you can shift gear when you are stationary, which helps when you are riding in traffic and make frequent stops for a light. You can train yourself to shift down on a derailleur bike before coming to a stop, but in traffic your head is on a swivel and you're processing lots of external stimuli, on my old derailleur ebike I found I was coming to a stop frequently in too high a gear, which is why I switched to an IGH, but after shiftig gear on my Nexus 8 I feel like I can't trust standing on the pedals without fearing the pedal will slip suddenly causing me to wobble, whereas I had no fear standing on the pedals after shifting down ratio when riding up hill on the Capital Bikeshare Enviolo ebikes.

If I had the money I would be tempted to get an Enviolo ebike but they're expensive to buy, most Enviolo equipped models from Evelo, Gazelle, Tern, Workcycles, or Serial 1, cost over four grand, also if I had a bigger shed I'd be tempted by the Workcycles FR8 MAD City which pairs the heavy duty Enviolo Cargo groupset with a Bafang BBS02 mid-drive (Gazelle specced the Enviolo Trekking groupset on the Ultimate C380 which is fine). Workcycles use an Hebie chainglider in place of a belt, I use a chainglider and it's great at keeping my chain clean in winter, it's as good as a belt for daily riding in all weathers.
 
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indianajo

Well-Known Member
Belt drive is a disadvantage IMHO. They are more difficult to change the tube after a flat. The life is estimated at 10000 miles, whereas I got 5000 out of a bog standard KMC chain costing $26 to replace. It rains 200 days a year here, I lube my chain every 2 weeks. Squirt squirt squirt takes about 2 minutes. I use non-detergent 5 W oil. Belts can develop a kink if road trash runs through them. I have no trouble downshifting the derailleur before stops. The only chain cleaning I do is to untangle johnson grass stems or string wrapped up in the sprockets. The oil carries the dirt to the takeup wheels, where it falls off as a sludge, or I scrape it off with a screwdriver if changing a tube. My $26 tires are 2000 mile items.
When the cheapo shimano 7 speed axle on my Pacific MTB came unscrewed, dropped balls, and left me pushing the bike home, I bought an IGH. That would be exhausting if it happened 30 miles from home. The IGH slowed me down 10% averaged over 10 trips before it became unrideable due to shifting into 8th gear every mile. Dont buy a Sturmey Archer S80. The 8 speed shimano axle on this bike has gone 6500 miles without issues. This bike costs more than the $200 bikes that the 7 speed shimano axles are designed for.
You won't get 5000 miles out of a chain on a 9 10 or 11 speed derailleur. The chain is thinner.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
Belt drive is a disadvantage IMHO. They are more difficult to change the tube after a flat.
True, Workcycles came up with a frame break on the left side they call the 'escape hatch' that lets you change a tube without needing to remove the rear wheel or touch the Enviolo drivetrain.