Specialized, Trek, or Gazelle

FreddieD

New Member
Region
USA
Afternoon All,

I'm looking to purchase my first ebike with the main purpose being a short 6 mile roundtrip, commute to work, but would love to use it for the nice (paved) bike trails around Pittsburgh. At the moment, I'm torn between three bikes:

1) Specialized Vado SL 4.0 EQ - $3750
2) Gazelle Ultimate T10+ HMB - $4000
3) Trek Allant+ 7S - $4000

Assuming availability isn't an issue, are there any major drawbacks between the three? From what I can tell they're all fairly similar, all have lights, fenders and racks. I seem to be leaning towards the Trek or Specialized as there are plenty of shops that work on them around me. Appreciate any feedback or insight.
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Afternoon All,

I'm looking to purchase my first ebike with the main purpose being a short 6 mile roundtrip, commute to work, but would love to use it for the nice (paved) bike trails around Pittsburgh. At the moment, I'm torn between three bikes:

1) Specialized Vado SL 4.0 EQ - $3750
2) Gazelle Ultimate T10+ HMB - $4000
3) Trek Allant+ 7S - $4000

Assuming availability isn't an issue, are there any major drawbacks between the three? From what I can tell they're all fairly similar, all have lights, fenders and racks. I seem to be leaning towards the Trek or Specialized as there are plenty of shops that work on them around me. Appreciate any feedback or insight.
A good local shop is key for me. Availability would be one of the deciding factors of course. I have bought 3 Treks in the last year and there are a bunch of Trek dealers nearby who have worked or been willing to work on them. My Allant+7 is a great bike with over 1850 miles in the last year with totally reliable operation. I’d have a lot more miles on my Allant if I hadn’t bought a Rail 5 EMTB. We bought one for my wife also. We have 4 batteries and they all fit on all three ebikes.
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Gazelle

Member
Region
USA
Gazelle C380 (20mph) or C380+ mid step or high step(28mph). Belt drive and enviolo plus 130 years of Dutch bike building and no made in china frames is a big plus for me. With belt drive and nuvinci hub you won’t need a bike shop. All these parts are made by shimano and bosch etc. It’s not like anyone needs any special experience with a certain brand to work on them. To what, replace tires and brake pads? I would not drive a chain and sprocket bike unless I was a bike racer.
 

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Dallant

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Gazelle C380 (20mph) or C380+ mid step or high step(28mph). Belt drive and enviolo plus 130 years of Dutch bike building and no made in china frames is a big plus for me. With belt drive and nuvinci hub you won’t need a bike shop. All these parts are made by shimano and bosch etc. It’s not like anyone needs any special experience with a certain brand to work on them. To what, replace tires and brake pads? I would not drive a chain and sprocket bike unless I was a bike racer.
I hear good things about Gazelle, but, clearly, not all the parts are made by Shimano or Bosch. Nuvinci hubs never need work? It depends on your need for someone to work on (or WARRANTY) the bike beyond tires and brake pads.
 

Gazelle

Member
Region
USA
I hear good things about Gazelle, but, clearly, not all the parts are made by Shimano or Bosch. Nuvinci hubs never need work? It depends on your need for someone to work on (or WARRANTY) the bike beyond tires and brake pads.
Suntour makes fork, its a tapered tube, nuvinci hubs are zero to little maintenance, easy to replacec belt drive last you 20,000 miles, still just a sprocket and belt. I’m not sure what exotic gazelle part will need work that any shop can’t handle. Tension or replace a cable? I would never pay $4000 for something whose main component, the frame, is Made in China…

bosch makes motor and battery. These are all standard off the shelf components shared with many bike companies. What on earth can a new bike need worked on? If you eliminate chains and derailleurs you eliminate about 75 percent of maintenance. Its just a bicycle, the dutch ride their gazelles for 70 years in the rain!
 
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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
@FreddieD: The major difference between Vado SL vs Gazelle/Trek e-bikes you mentioned is the former is a lightweight/low power e-bike that feels like a traditional bike but requires significant rider's input, while the latter are full power e-bikes. To make no mistake, you should demo ride both the SL and then any full power e-bike of those you mentioned.

I own both a full power Vado and a Vado SL. There are major differences in their applications. Full power e-bikes will take you anywhere, and will assist your rides mightily at the cost of their heavier weight. The SL will contribute to your fitness but it is not the e-bike for everyone. For instance, don't expect high speed from the SL if you are not fit.

My own experience:
  • I take the full power Vado for long, demanding trips (with a spare battery), for instance for road mountain rides (some off-road occasionally)
  • I use the SL as my everyday e-bike for local travelling (including some forest rides on fire roads), and to improve my fitness. I can ride longer distances with the Range Extender battery but I would not dare to ride it in the mountainous area. The great point about the SL is you can lift it with one hand, for example upstairs!
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"Mountainized" full power Vado 5.0 on a demanding trail.

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Vado SL 4.0 EQ (with Range Extender) on a 72-mile ride over mild rolling hills.
 
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Gazelle

Member
Region
USA
The steel and aluminum comes to the netherlands they weld them there etc, obvi they don’t smelt and forge their own frames lol. and my cousin works at the Gazelle factory and I am Dutch so do not lecture me on bikes and credibility. We ride bikes before we can walk practically.

All the stuff you list is just basic parts any shop can get. Wires cables bearings spokes lol.
Gazelle, like all other bike makers, do not make their own frames. They say, " Frames are engineered and designed in-house, parts come to the Netherlands and are assembled there." Riese & Muller also designs and engineers their frames in house but has them manufactured in Taiwan, arguable a part of China or at the very least an adjacent neighbor. If Gazelle really made their own frames in house I am sure they would proudly state that.

You may be a capable bike mechanic. I am a capable bike mechanic. Not everyone has the time, skills, interest, tools or inclination to maintain their own bicycle. Most cyclists rely on a good shop to help keep their bike rolling on the road.

What else besides chains or derailleurs can go wrong?

  • Internally geared hubs - (not as often but it does happen and when it does special tool are often needed)
  • Head Set bearing
  • Spokes
  • hubs
  • hub bearings
  • brakes
  • hydraulic brake lines
  • wiring
  • motors
  • batteries
  • Frames can crack , welds can fail
  • etc.
I own a Trek, a Cannondale and a RIese & Muller. Each make excellent bikes. Each maker has its high points and each one has areas where they have room for improvements.

Gazelle is a venerable and respected brand of bike. When you go beyond the facts in your uncritical praise and adulation, your credibility suffers.
 
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Gazelle

Member
Region
USA
I understand as a Dutchman, you are proud of Gazelle as a company. They paint the frames in house. they do not weld them there.

These are two demonstrably false statements you made:
"no made in china frames is a big plus for me"
"With belt drive and nuvinci hub you won’t need a bike shop"

It is a good company that makes nice bikes. There is no need to stretch the truth
First of all. You show no proof their frames are made in china, yet declare based in some copy you found saying brought to factory from googling that you know that-some credibility lol. They could be made in e Germany or Poland for all you know lol.

Second of all he has plenty of bike shops in PITTSBURGH! Even a Gazelle Dealer and more nearby. He doesn’t live in ND. Without a chain and derailleur you eliminate 70 percent of bike shop crap. Its like fuel injection vs carbs, FI was terrible for service shops! There’s a reason hibs and belt drives cost more. They are less maintenance, that’s a fact.
I grew uo riding my grandfather’s gazelle from the 40’s. Can you say the same for any trek or cannondale? Ummmm…yeah…no

I had a guy stop to look at my bike vs his trek and he realized looking how much better the fit and finish was, the paint, the lack of gap between battery and frame etc. Its like comparing a Hyundai to cadillac.
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Suntour makes fork, its a tapered tube, nuvinci hubs are zero to little maintenance, easy to replacec belt drive last you 20,000 miles, still just a sprocket and belt. Not rocket science. I’m not sure what exotic gazelle part will need work that any shop can’t handle. Tension or replace a cable? I would never pay $4000 for something whose main component, the frame, is Made in China…

bosch makes motor and battery. These are all standard off the shelf components shared with many bike companies. What on earth can a new bike need worked on? If you eliminate chains and derailleurs you eliminate about 75 percent of maintenance. Its just a bicycle, the dutch ride their gazelles for 70 years in the rain!
Man, they must get really wet!
 

Cstefan

Member
Region
USA
City
Seattle, WA
To OP:

I’d suggest taking each of the bikes you are considering for a test ride. I’d also try to get a feel for the shop while you are at it. Do they seem to know their stuff? Do they inspire confidence they will be able to fix any problems you might encounter? What do the Yelp and Google reviews for the shops look like?
 

Gazelle

Member
Region
USA
May I ask you @Gazelle for the actual mileage of your Gazelle e-bike?
Like what mileage I get in range? Depends on riding, pretty true to estimates online and very upright riding, and a lot more as I often turn off when on pathway with pedestrians or riding with wife who rides slow. Then I just pedal and turn back on for hills etc. In that case the range estimator(which gies off last mike ridden use I believe just keeps going up) like today I rode 10 miles, when left it said 67 mile range when I go back it said 74. Rode with wife at 10-14 mph lol
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
I meant total mileage. My Vado 5.0/6.0 has now been ridden for over 10,000 km. No issues, only some regular drivetrain and brakes maintenance.

Users such as Alaskan (or I) are seasoned riders, and each of us owns several e-bikes. I was asking about your own experience, as you seem to be uncritically devoted to your Gazelle. (I have standardized on Specialized e-bikes, owned a Giant, and own a hub-drive e-bike, too. @Alaskan owns several Bosch based e-bikes from Riese & Muller, Cannondale, and Trek.).
 
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Gazelle

Member
Region
USA
I meant total mileage. My Vado 5.0/6.0 has now been ridden for over 10,000 km. No issues, only some regular drivetrain and brakes maintenance.

Users such as Alaskan (or I) are seasoned riders, and each of us owns several e-bikes. I was asking about your own experience, as you seem to be uncritically devoted to your Gazelle. (I have standardized on Specialized e-bikes, owned a Giant, and own a hub-drive e-bike, too. @Alaskan owns several Bosch based e-bikes from Riese & Muller, Cannondale, and Trek. I would rather listen to what he's saying).
Owning a bike has nothing to do with any if that. I have half a million miles of motorcycle riding all over the world of experience which is like comparing an f1 driver to a vw golf as far as bikes go lol. Belt drive and internal hubs are where it is at. There is a reason citi bike in nyc is using them exclusively now. Because it lowers their maintenance costs.
Vado lol. What a joke of a bike. One of my best friends races for specialized S works, who cares! Neither of you seem to have ever ridden a gazelle lol. Its like a cadillac. R&M are bikes for people that want to look a certain way, I found them clumsy feeling as a bike.
 
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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
You are becoming unpleasant, Gazelle, meaning you are out of arguments.

The Big Four in the e-bike market:
  • Specialized
  • Trek
  • Giant
  • Cannondale
are far bigger than Gazelle, which exists in a 25 km/h country of omafiets (granny bike) where people cover short distances, and are riding slowly.

Now, have a look at Specialized, Trek, Giant, or Cannondale websites and compare the specs with the Gazelle website. The latter is rather laconic on exact e-bike specs, while the Big Four verbosely lists the smallest detail of the bikes they offer.

As you are a new member, you might not be aware that Alaskan had Gates belt and Rohloff E-14 IGH in some of his e-bikes. Now, he has converted all of them to derailleur and chain.

P.S. Which doesn't mean a Gazelle should be thrown under the bus. Gazelles are decent e-bikes. Only the marketing crap is really annoying.
 
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TomD

Well-Known Member
Test ride, test ride, test ride. Then make your decision. It's like hiking boots. What fits me or feels good isn't necessarily going to be the best fit for you.