2023 Gazelle Ultimate C380+ HMB Review


Technical Specs & Ratings



Ultimate C380+ HMB


Class 3


Front Suspension



Hydraulic Disc



482.4 Wh

482.4 Wh

62.6 lbs / 28.42 kgs




Front Suspension


SR Suntour MOBI 45 Spring Suspension, 80 mm Travel, Compression Lockout Adjust, Preload Adjust, Rebound Adjust 34 mm Black Anodized Stanchions, 100 mm Hub Spacing, 15 mm Thru-Axle with Quick Release

Ryde Dutch, Aluminum Alloy, Double Wall, 36 Hole, 25 mm Outer Width, 30 mm Depth (Medium Dish) | Spokes: Stainless Steel, 14 Gauge Front 13 Gauge Rear, Black with Silver Nipples

Schwalbe 50km Energizer Plus, 28" x 1.75" (47-622), 45 to 70 PSI, 3.0 to 5.0 BAR, G-Guard 5, Reflective Sidewall Stripes, Addix E



Enviolo NuVinci Optimized Half-Grip Twist Shifter on Right Bar (Mechanical, Hill Infographic)

Miranda Forged Aluminum Alloy, 170 mm Length Crank Arms, 130 mm Bolt Circle Diameter (BCD)

Enviolo Stepless Manual Trekking Groupset Continuously Variable Transmission, 380% Gear Range Equivalent to 11-42T Cassette, Rated to 85nm Continuous Torque

22 Tooth Sprocket

55 Tooth Gates Carbon Drive CDX Belt Ring Chainring with Alloy Guard

Gates Carbon Belt Drive


Integrated, Sealed Cartridge, Tapered 1-1/8" to 1-1/2"

Adjustable Angle (-10° to 60°), 100 mm Length, 60 mm Base Height, 30 mm Combined Tapered Spacer Height, 31.8 mm Clamp Diameter

Aluminum Alloy, Swept Back, 630 mm Width

Ergon GP1, Ergonomic Rubber, Outer Lock Ring

Aluminum Alloy, Double Bolt Clamp, 29.8 mm to 27.2 mm Shim


Selle Royal Essenza +, Large Soft Gel, Black

Plastic Platform with Rubber Tread

Hydraulic Disc

Shimano MT402 Hydraulic Disc Brakes with 180 mm Front Rotor and 160 mm Rear Rotor, Quad Piston Calipers, Shimano MT402 Three Finger Levers with Adjustable Reach

More Details

Neighborhood, Urban, Commuting

United States

2 Year Comprehensive, 10 Year Frame

7 lbs (3.17 kg) (Including Plastic Cover)

7.1 lbs (3.22 kg)

18.11 in (45.99 cm)20.86 in (52.98 cm)22.44 in (56.99 cm)

Medium 53cm Measurements: 21" Seat Tube Length, 22.5" Top Tube, 14.5" Reach, 27" Standover Height, 35.5" Minimum Saddle Height, 40.5" Maximum Saddle Height, 25.5" Width, 44" Wheelbase, 73" Length, 70.5° Headset Angle, 71.5° Seat Tube Angle

Metallic Platinum with Black Accents

Enviolo Sliding Dropout, 135mm Hub Spacing, 10mm x 1mm Pitch Threaded Keyed Axle with 15mm Nuts

Fender Mounts, Rear Rack Mounts, Cafe Lock Mount, Bottle Cage Mount on Top Tube

Aluminum Alloy Fenders (60mm Width, Plastic End Caps), Custom Aluminum Alloy Rear Rack (Integrated Double Bungee with Plastic Clip, 27kg 59lb Max Load, Bungee Loops at Base, Fender Support, Pannier Blockers), AXA Defender Frame Lock (Keyed-Alike to Battery Lock), Lightweight Aluminum Alloy Belt and Chainring Cover, Handlebar Mounted Electronically Integrated AXA Blueline 50-E LED Headlight (50 LUX, Side Cutouts, 6 to 12 Volt DC), Rear Rack Mounted Electronically Integrated Herrmans Rear Light (4-LED, Side Cutouts), Ursus Mooi Rear-Mount Tool-Free Adjustable Length Kickstand (20mm Two-Bolt Mounting Standard), Custom Flick Bell on Right

Locking Removable Downtube-Integrated Bosch PowerTube 500 Battery Pack, 1.6lb 4 Amp Bosch Standard Charger, Motor Support Continues Pedaling 120+ RPM, IP54 Durability Rated Electronics

Micro-USB Port for Diagnostics and Software Updates Only

Current Speed, Assist Level (Eco, Tour, Sport, Turbo), Battery Level (1-5), Odometer, Trip Distance, Total Distance, Estimated Range, Lights Icon

Advanced Pedal Assist (Measures Rear Wheel Speed, Pedal Cadence, and Pedal Torque over 1,000x Per Second, Power Output Relative to Pedal Input: Eco 60%, Tour 140%, Sport 240%, Turbo 340%)

28 mph (45 kph)

Video Reviews

Written Reviews

This review was provided for free, but Gazelle provided a temporary demo bike for me to measure and test ride. My goal is to be transparent and unbiased with you, this video and writeup are not meant to be an endorsement of Gazelle products. I welcome your corrections, additions, and feedback in the comments below, and the Gazelle electric bike forums.


  • There are two frame styles for the Gazelle Ultimate C380+, and I test rode the mid-step in this review. If you opt for the high-step frame, there is an optional Bosch PowerPack 500 battery that can be mounted to the seat tube (where the bottle cage bosses are) to double the range of the bike! This would greatly extend range and position the bike well for trekking or touring. I do not know if it has to be done at time of purchase or how much it would cost.
  • Gazelle is a Dutch bicycle company with a rich heritage dating back to 1892. They earned national recognition based on their product quality, employee treatment, and sustainable practices receiving the “Royal Dutch” honor in 1992 after 100 years of operation. In the Netherlands, where Gazelle is based, cycling is an integral part of the culture and many people do not own a car. Bicycle ownership per capita is higher than anywhere else in the world, and this article includes some fascinating statistics if you’re interested in learning more. They produce over 250,000 bikes per year! All this is to say, they scrutinize the little details and are very hands on with their development and testing. Their bikes use stainless steel hardware to prevent rust, have multiple layers of paint and UV protection to last longer, and are accessorized with the highest quality drive systems and components including Bosch.
  • The Ultimate bicycle has long been a popular non-electric model produced by Gazelle, but they began building electric versions in the 2020’s. EBR has reviewed several of the earlier versions, which include different drivetrains. The HMB in the name stands for hybrid, mid-drive, Bosch, and the plus stands for speed pedelec. This new Ultimate C380+ HMB for 2021 is offered as a Class 3 model in the United States only, providing 28mph top speeds vs. 20mph in Europe, Canada, and other geographies.


  • The Gazelle Ultimate C380+ HMB is the most expensive and one of the highest performing models on offer for 2021/2022/2023. I think it’s a great option for those who want a city, commuter, or trekking model, when spending a bit more money. This is because it comes in two frame styles, three sizes, offers a great suspension fork, rides very quietly, can double the battery capacity (if you get the high-step), is very durable and clean due to the belt drive system and CVT hub, and is sold through shops that provide fitting and post purchase support… Gazelle offers a two year comprehensive warranty (supported by Bosch and Enviolo for the C380) and a ten year warranty on the frame!
  • To make this frame work with the Gates Carbon belt drive system, Gazelle had to design a but in the frame (on the right seat stay). This adds a bit to the cost and could compromise load capacity and frame stiffness if done improperly… especially for a speed pedelec like the C380+. However, from what I experienced, the frame was done well and the result is a super durable, clean, and quiet belt solution vs. a chain.
  • For me, the updated Bosch Performance Line Speed motor and controller systems (used on this ebike) offer a very satisfying blend of power, efficiency, and low noise. It offers up to 85 newton meters of torque now (up from 65nm and 75nm is previous iterations of hardware and software), and provides 120 pedal strokes per minute of support (pedal RPM) compared to the Bosch Active Line Plus used for the Gazelle Ultimate C8 which only offers 50 newton meters of torque and 105 RPM.
  • Just like all of the current generation Bosch mid-drive ebike motors, this one measures rear wheel speed, pedal cadence, and pedal torque over 1,000 times per second! The controller is capable of sensing shift tension and is designed to ease off on motor power output to reduce mashing. This is less relevant for a CVT compared to a cassette and derailleur, but still impressive and unique to Bosch vs. Shimano, Brose, or Bafang.
  • The bike has a premium clicking sound when you’re coasting without pedaling because the hub has strong pawls or catch points to engage as you pedal. There’s a bit of friction when pedaling backwards, which keeps the cranks from spinning wildly if you slip off, but the chainring does not cycle backwards (so you might need a bike stand to do some drivetrain maintenance operations).
  • Along with the clean motor integration at the bottom bracket, the battery integration is also done quite well. I appreciate that they chose the top mounting pack but still use the two-step security release so it won’t tumble out. The plastic shield cover is lightweight and blends in pretty well with the other black accents. It’s securely attached to the battery itself which means it is less likely to be lost or intentionally taken off and stolen at a bike rack. Overall, the battery isn’t too heavy and the charging port is up high so you don’t have to bend over too far to engage with it. Motor and battery weight are both kept low and center for improved stability and handling.
  • Even though the display is small and has some trade-offs that I’ll discuss in the cons section further down, it is fairly easy to read and interact with. The bike boots up quickly and has a nice range estimator feature to help plan trips, which is much more useful than the five bar battery charge level infographic. I love that the bike comes with the faster 4 amp Bosch charger, and that it’s fairly compact and lightweight at just 1.7lbs.
  • I love the reflective tires and integrated lights. Gazelle chose a four LED Herrmans rear light that is partially surrounded by metal from the rack itself. This keeps it from cracking or falling off entirely if you bump into a wall or take contact at a bike rack. Most rear lights only have one or two LED lights in them. Furthermore, the positioning is high up vs. low and exposed on the fender, and has side cutouts. I like that you can turn off the lights manually if you wish, by holding down the minus key on the Purion display panel.
  • The headlight is also awesome and mounted perfectly. It puts out 50 LUX and shines forward as well as through windows on both sides. The positioning of the light on the handlebar, just above the stem, helps you be seen by cars. Again, both the front and rear lights run off of the main rechargeable ebike battery as you’d expect.
  • Gazelle selected a narrower handlebar that makes this bike easier to fit through doors and between cars in a city environment for commuters.
  • The rear rack is excellent, and appears to be fairly custom. It offers above average weight capacity at 27kg (59.5lbs), has a flat top for trunk bags or child seat like the Thule Yepp Nexxt Maxi, features a double bungee with plastic handle attachment for quick and easy use, also has bungee loops at the base (which can be used with some side panniers that clip at the bottom to reduce flapping and bouncing), and the tubing design is close enough to standard gauge that I think many clip-on panniers would work. The rack even supports the rear fender in two places to help reduce rattling noise! It’s one of the best racks I’ve ever seen on an ebike.
  • The fenders on this ebike are also excellent. They’re wide enough and long enough to offer great coverage, they don’t rattle, and they won’t rust because they are aluminum alloy. I also appreciate the minimalist chain cover (belt cover in this case) that matches the look and color of the fenders and other parts of the bike.
  • Unique above-average suspension fork choice. Some alternative C380 models I’ve seen in the past had a monoshock design with very limited adjustability. This is a standard dual crown suspension fork with thick 34mm black anodized stanchions, adjustable preload, adjustable lockout, and some rebound. It also utilizes a sturdy 15mm thru-axle with quick release. This is amazing for a spring suspension! I believe that the steer tube is also tapered, so you can more easily upgrade to an air suspension fork if you wish.
  • Great wheel choice. The black spokes and rims match all of the other black hardware on the bike. The rear spokes are a bit thicker to help support the rack. The rims are mid-dish and aero design for aerodynamics. Gazelle spent extra for name brand Schwalbe Energizer ebike tires rated up to 50km per hour (30mph) for stability. They use premium ADDIX rubber, have puncture protection, and are 1.75″ wide for improved stability and comfort with extra air volume. The large 700c (28″) wheel size delivers a lower attack angle that smooths cracks and other bumps in the road.
  • Hauling gear, riding for extended periods and at speed, riding in the rain… this calls for nice brakes. The Ultimate C380 comes with upgraded Shimano hydraulic disc brakes with a larger 180mm rotor up front. This improves leverage for stopping (smoothing it out, requiring less hand effort), and also cools faster. The rear 160mm rotors are adequate, but both calipers use four pistons (quad piston) for greater surface area and more even brake feel. They require less hand effort and both brake levers offer adjustable reach. Both levers are two or three finger design which means you can actuate them with just a couple of fingers and use the others for steering and simply holding on.
  • The name brand Ergon GP1, locking, ergonomic grips used on this bike are excellent. They look beautiful and function very well, which is especially important if you’re riding at higher speeds or varied weather conditions.
  • I’m not used to seeing a seat tube shim come standard with a purpose built ebikes, but I was told that they used wider tubing for strength, and adapted down to the standard 27.2mm for more seat post options and a smoother easier fit. I think this adds a bit of strength for the clamp and might scrape seat posts less, but can still be very solid due to the tiny ridges machined into the shim. For me, the big takeaway is that you can easily swap the rigid post with a suspension seatpost from many manufacturers due to the standard sizing of 27.2mm diameter seat post.
  • Sleek and beautiful visual appearance thanks to internally routed cabling, premium satin paint with tasteful minimal accents, and the flawless integration of the PowerTube battery into the downtube. The kickstand choice was superb, as it is positioned clear of the left crank arm (so it won’t cause pedal lock), and offers tool-free adjustable length fo the bike will be stable in many parking situations. I also appreciate the bottle cage bosses on both frame styles! They are on the seat tube for high-step (doubling as a second battery mounting point) and the top tube for the mid-step. Some ebikes completely skip bottle bosses, but it’s a nice option to have if you can design around the battery and not compromise frame strength or seat post positioning options.
  • High-value Ebikes such as this can be a target for theft, so I appreciate that Gazelle has taken some measures to help prevent it from happening. There is no quick-release skewer on the seatpost or rear wheel, and the bike comes with an AXA Defender cafe lock. These locks function by sliding a steel bar through the rear spokes, preventing someone from riding off on your bike if you’re making a quick stop somewhere. They could try to lift the entire bike up up or drag it, but at 62lbs, that will be difficult and time consuming. AXA also has a chain accessory that can wrap around a solid object and connect directly to the cafe lock (in a hole on the right side of the lock housing, where the slide lever is) for more security. As a bonus, the key for the included cafe lock is the same key used to unlock and remove the battery from the downtube, so you don’t have as many things to keep track of ;)
  • Even though this ebike is $4,749k USD, I feel like it offers something unique and of high quality. It should last, ride comfortably, and handle most types of terrain and weather, and comes with excellent support.


  • The Bosch Performance Line Speed motor seems to be louder than their other hardware, as you can hear in the video review above. It also probably uses more electricity, especially when riding above 20mph as air resistance increases as the square of speed… especially for an upright cyclist ;)
  • As you might expect from a more premium brand, one of their highest level models, being produced in multiple frame styles and sizes, with name brand motor and drivetrain (basically everything is top shelf), the bike has a higher than average price.
  • Weighing in at 62.6lbs, this particular version of the Gazelle Ultimate is heavier than some of the other Gazelle models that I’ve reviewed in the past. The enviolo stepless continuously variable transmission (CVT) hub contains traction fluid and metal orbs, which adds weight. The metal fenders, rack, suspension fork, suspension post, and lights all contribute to the weight as well. Consider removing the ~7lb battery before lifting and transporting on car racks.
  • The half grip shifter mechanism that “shifts gears” in the the Enviolo continuously variable transmission hub is using a mechanical line vs. electronic (so it requires a bit of hand effort), and features an infographics vs. numbers (which feels a bit less precise to me, and is harder to match between rides).
  • The key that unlocks the cafe lock (securing the rear wheel), cannot be removed until it is locked. This forces riders to lock the bike whenever it is stopped or risk having someone else tamper with the lock and potentially steel the key. The trade off is that you a keychain may be hanging and dangling from the cafe lock if you adopt it into your keyset, or you may be forced to deal with a single “orphaned key” if you keep it separate. Some other frame locks I’ve seen allow the key to be removed when locked or unlocked, and I prefer this optionality.
  • The Bosch Purion display is not removable, offers limited readouts, lacks a USB port for charging personal electronics, and is not Bluetooth compatible for use with the Bosch smartphone apps. You can find some of these other features on the Intuvia, Kiox, and Nyon models which can be retrofitted, since Bosch has an open system. All things considered, the small and basic Purion display is nice on this bike because it leaves the stem area clear for the light to be mounted up high on the handlebar, which maximizes your visibility and safety.
  • Areas to consider upgrading include adding a suspension seatpost (consider Suntour NCX, Thudbuster, Kinekt, or ShockStop from Red Shift Sports), as well as the pedals (consider Wellgo magnesium platforms with wider surface and better traction, they come in multiple colors) for wet or snowy conditions.
  • This is a minor complaint, but I had to spend extra time and focus when re-inserting the rubberized battery charging port cover. I feel that some other companies have done a better job creating a solution for this and it’s a low hanging fruit for Gazelle to fix. It would also be nice if the locking cylinder that secures the battery was up a bit higher, to create space for the right crank arm… but at least both the charge port and lock are on the right side of the bike, because it’s easier to interact with there as the bike tips towards the left when propped by the kickstand.
  • This is not unique to this model of Gazelle ebike, but the Bosch PowerTube battery pack requires a bit of dexterity to unlock and then release and move out from the frame. You have to unlock the battery bay and hold it open with the key while re-inserting the battery. I’m thankful for the high quality kickstand, which helps to stabilize the bike as you take this action.

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