Gazelle Arroyo C8 HM Review

Gazelle Arroyo C8 Hm Electric Bike Review
Gazelle Arroyo C8 Hm
Gazelle Arroyo C8 Hm Bosch Active Line 250 Watt Centerdrive Motor Plastic Folding Wellgo Pedals
Gazelle Arroyo C8 Hm Bosch Powerpack 400 Samsung Cells Rack Mount
Gazelle Arroyo C8 Hm Rubberized Ergonomic Grips Bosch Intuvia Display
Gazelle Arroyo C8 Hm Bm Fendervision Led Fender Light
Gazelle Arroyo C8 Hm Shimano Nexus Inter 8 Internally Geared Hub
Gazelle Arroyo C8 Hm Magura Hs 11 Hydraulic Rim Brakes
Gazelle Arroyo C8 Hm Electric Bike Review
Gazelle Arroyo C8 Hm
Gazelle Arroyo C8 Hm Bosch Active Line 250 Watt Centerdrive Motor Plastic Folding Wellgo Pedals
Gazelle Arroyo C8 Hm Bosch Powerpack 400 Samsung Cells Rack Mount
Gazelle Arroyo C8 Hm Rubberized Ergonomic Grips Bosch Intuvia Display
Gazelle Arroyo C8 Hm Bm Fendervision Led Fender Light
Gazelle Arroyo C8 Hm Shimano Nexus Inter 8 Internally Geared Hub
Gazelle Arroyo C8 Hm Magura Hs 11 Hydraulic Rim Brakes

Summary

  • A wonderful commuting platform with full-coverage fenders, premium integrated lights, suspension fork and suspension seat post, adjustable stem and more
  • Clean single-sprocket drivetrain with fully enclosed chain guard cover, eight speed internally geared hub that can be shifted even when the bike is stopped
  • Professional rear rack with included bungee cords for quick stow use, plastic skirt guard keeps your pants, dress and panniers from rubbing on the tire
  • Available in three sizes and two frame styles, the deep step-thru is approachable but more flexy feeling at times, the bike weighs a bit more given all of the accessories

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Gazelle

Model:

Arroyo C8 HM

Price:

$3,699 USD

Body Position:

Upright Relaxed

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Urban, Commuting

Electric Bike Class:

Pedal Assist (Class 1)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

5 Year Frame, 2 Year Motor and Battery

Availability:

United States, Europe

Model Year:

20162017

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

57.5 lbs (26.08 kg)

Battery Weight:

5.4 lbs (2.44 kg)

Motor Weight:

8.8 lbs (3.99 kg)

Frame Material:

Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

18.1 in (45.97 cm)19.3 in (49.02 cm)20.8 in (52.83 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

17" Standover Height for Step-Thru

Frame Types:

High-Step, Step-Thru

Frame Colors:

Matte Black with Gray Accents

Frame Fork Details:

Gazelle Retro Line Aerowing Suspension Fork with Adjustable Spring Tension, 50 mm Travel, 11 mm Skewer with Quick Release

Frame Rear Details:

11 mm Axle with Bolts

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses

Gearing Details:

8 Speed 1×8 Shimano Nexus Inter 8

Shifter Details:

Shimano Nexus Grip Shift on Right

Cranks:

Miranda, Alloy

Pedals:

Plastic Platform with Rubber Tread

Stem:

Lite Gazelle Switch Adjustable Angle

Handlebar:

Swept Back Aluminum, 23" Length

Brake Details:

Magura HS 11 Hydraulic Linear Pull

Grips:

Rubberized Ergonomic, Brown

Saddle:

Selle Royal Herz

Seat Post:

Suspension, Aluminum

Seat Post Length:

300 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

27.2 mm

Rims:

Rodi VR19, Stainless Eyelettes

Spokes:

Stainless Steel 15G Front and 14G Rear, Silver

Tire Brand:

Schwalbe City Lite, 700 x 35c

Wheel Sizes:

28 in (71.12cm)

Tire Details:

Active Line KGuard, Reflective Sidewall Tape, 35-65 PSI

Tube Details:

Presta

Accessories:

Plastic Fenders with Mud Flaps, Plastic Pannier Blocker, Cadena Enclosed Chain Guard, Alloy Rack with Bungee Cords, AXA Defender Cafe Lock, Integrated LED Lights (AXA Riff Rear, BM Gazelle FenderVision Front), Twist Bell

Other:

Locking Removable Battery Pack with LED Charge Level Indicator, Motor Starts at 20 RPM, 2.2 Amp Charger 1.7 lbs

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Bosch Active Line

Motor Type:

Mid-Mounted Geared Motor
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

250 watts

Motor Torque:

48 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Samsung

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

11 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

396 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

3.5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

35 miles (56 km)

Estimated Max Range:

90 miles (145 km)

Display Type:

Bosch Intuvia, Removable Backlit Grayscale LCD

Readouts:

Speed, Assist Level (Eco, Tour, Sport, Turbo), Battery Level (1-5), Odometer, Trip Distance, Estimated Range, Clock, Max Speed, Average Speed, Trip Time, Shift Recommendation

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad with Tactile Button Feedback, Micro USB Charging Port

Drive Mode:

Advanced Pedal Assist (Combined Torque, Cadence and Speed Measured 1,000 Times Per Second), (Eco 40%, Tour 100%, Sport 150%, Turbo 25%)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

The Gazelle Arroyo is the kind of electric bike that could truly replace a car for local transport. With it’s extra-long fenders, fully encased chain guard, skirt guard, integrated lights, reflective sidewall tires and complete adjustability, three size choices and the deep step-thru version shown in the images and videos here… it’s just incredible. And I don’t say that lightly! There are other electric bikes out there with a similar list of features, perhaps not quite as complete, but those extras aren’t as tightly integrated or high quality. A perfect example is the bell. Instead of tacking on a cheap flick bell that takes up space on the bars and requires a bit of extra dexterity to reach and use, Gazelle has included an integrated twist bell on the left grip! And the grips themselves are custom ergonomic that fit both the bell and a twist shifter perfectly while matching the brown accents of the saddle.

Comfort is a big deal to me… as I’ve gotten older and ended up with sensitive knees, a stiffer back and neck electric bikes have offered some solutions for climbing hills, dealing with wind and making it easier to say “yes” to riding to work or the grocery store vs. taking the car. One downside of riding a lot is that the back and neck can end up taking more abuse when riding over bumpy roads and sidewalks. This is especially true with bikes that have narrower, more efficient tires like the Arroyo C8 here. Thankfully, to balance this out and add the comfort back in, Gazelle has included a thin suspension fork and seat post shock that work wonderfully. Also of note is that adjustable stem which can bring the already swept-back handlebars way up and back so you don’t have to bend over as far. This is nice for chatting with friends, spotting traffic and general comfort.

While the Gazelle Arroyo C8 HM does come in two frame styles, I’m a huge fan of their deep step-thru model because I’ve bumped my leg more than once trying to swing it over racks and both designs positions the battery pack in the rear rack. It’s not a perfect trade-off because that rear weight impacts handling and maneuvering (even walking the bike) but it frees up the mid-section. Unfortunately, despite all that space in the mid-section there aren’t any threaded eyelets for use with a bottle cage, mini-pump or lock… I think that’s even the case on the diamond frame (though I did not have one to test, I just saw images). Again, the rear rack mostly solves this and there are lots of trunk bag options out there that can store your gear and even some cheap ones with bottle holsters included. It just would have been nice to have another mounting option because sometimes you don’t want to park your bike outside with a bag left on and taking the bag off each time can be a hassle.

While we’re focusing on complaints, the only other trade-offs I felt with this bike were that it costs a bit more… completely understandable given the name brand parts like hydraulic Magura disc brakes, Nexus Inter 8 internally geared hub and Schwalbe City Lite tires with Kevlar… and that it’s heavier. The front wheel offers quick release to make repairs and transport easier, the battery is also removable, but the bike still weighs more due to all of the accessories. I also found that maybe because of this weight and how it’s arranged, the step-thru frame version felt a little wobbly when riding with no hands at the highest assisted speed of ~20 mph. In practice, I don’t think this would be a big deal but it does speak to the compromises of different frames.

Ultimately, the bike is designed to be hassle free, safe and efficient. It uses the famed Bosch mid-drive motor that is super responsive. I had no issues climbing or hitting higher speeds but never felt like it was doing something I didn’t want. There are four levels of assist and the first one doesn’t get you going too fast too quickly (perfect for crowded areas or relaxed riding with an unpowered cyclist friend). I usually ride in the second level but enjoy going to 3 or 4 when climbing a hill. The display panel is large, easy to learn and use (thanks to an easy to reach independent button pad near the left grip) and can be removed completely for safe storage. This bike uses the Bosch Active Line motor which is a bit gentler than their CX mountain version and I think it works perfectly with the neighborhood/urban setup. As you change assist levels you get feedback about how far the bike thinks you can go in the “Range” menu and if you’re really concerned, the charger is fairly light and compact so you could bring it along for a quick top-off.

I love that there are now many different types of electric bicycles and pedelecs to choose from. The Arroyo C8 HM would perform very well for a wide range of use cases and even though I said it’s a bit more expensive before, I think the value you get really justifies the price. Gazelle is a part of the Pon Group which also includes Focus and Kalkhoff. Their products come with a two year comprehensive warranty (five years on the frame!) and they have an office in California and a growing network of dealers. It’s a big, real company that has mastered the technology for e-bikes in the European market and is now entering the US. That’s exciting to me because it brings new innovative designs that no other brands have adopted here yet. This bike is a winner, one of the more popular models overseas and certainly a good choice here. Note that it is forward compatible with the larger Bosch Powerpack 500 battery if you decide to replace the Powerpack 400 someday or just want extra range. Pretty cool :) Big thanks to Gazelle for partnering with me for this review.

Pros:

  • Designed to keep you clean regardless of weather with full length fenders (the front one is extra long) that have mud flaps on the ends, a fully enclosed chain cover and a skirt guard / pannier protector on part of the rear wheel
  • Stylish LED lights that run off the main battery pack so you don’t have to worry about replacing cells or attaching / detaching every time you stop… the front light is very unique
  • Beautiful frame available in three sizes and two styles, the deep step-thru is my favorite because it’s easy to approach and stand over
  • Shifting cables, brake lines and electrical connections are all internally routed for a clean aesthetic, I like the black and gray color scheme because it helps the motor, battery and cables blend in and is professional looking
  • Hydraulic rim brakes offer similar benefits to hydraulic disc, you don’t have to squeeze as hard to stop and can modulate your speed more precisely
  • Adjustable angle stem, swept back handle bar and ergonomic grips promote upright body position that feels comfortable and allows you to spot traffic or talk with friends in a more comfortable way
  • The cockpit is clean and easy to understand with a twist-shifter on the right, button pad controller for assist on the left and a fully adjustable removable display panel in the middle… I like that it even has a Micro USB port on the right side for charging portable electronics
  • Even though the suspension fork is kind of basic with limited travel it combines with the seat post suspension to dampen the ride… this is a big deal when you’re riding further and navigating bumpy roads or sidewalks
  • Premium Schwalbe City Lite tires are Kevlar lined to reduce punctures and have reflective sidewall stripes that keep you visible in low light conditions
  • Excellent rear rack with standard gauge tubing for use with most clip-on panniers, extra tubing on the sides supports panniers and bags so they don’t bounce around or drag on the wheel, the rack includes a bungee cord set for quick and easy attachment of supplies without adding bags
  • Adjustable horizontal dropout lets you dial in chain tension and since the bike uses an internally geared hub, the chain shouldn’t drop easily and you shouldn’t have to get as much service as with a derailleur
  • Internally geared hubs allow you to shift at any speed, including stops, so you don’t have to worry as much about mashing gears, the Bosch Centerdrive motor does have some shift sensing technology so that should provide even more drivetrain support here
  • Two more of the unique little extras that this bike adds are a cafe lock, basically a rod that slides through the rear wheel immobilizing it… someone could still carry the bike off but given its weight and size this sort of minimalist quick-lock can be handy if you’re making a quick stop “at a cafe” as well as an integrated bell twister thing on the left grip… very cool!

Cons:

  • The bike comes with plastic pedals that aren’t as stiff or grippy as some metal ones I’ve used on other bikes, not a huge gripe but if I was riding in the rain a lot I might swap them out for something more like this
  • I was a little bummed that the step-thru model didn’t come with bottle cage bosses on the seat tube or downtube, perhaps this decision was made to enhance strength while keeping the bike lighter vs. using a thicker tube that could have holes drilled into it?
  • As you might expect, this is not the worlds lightest electric bike… the rack, fenders, lights and internally geared hub add some and then the suspension fork, longer bars and adjustable stem add more, you can reduce the weight by ~5.4 lbs if you remove the battery pack
  • The rear wheel does not have quick release so you’ll need a little tool kit in order to change flats on the go, also if you took off the front wheel (which does have QR) to reduce size for transporting the bike it’s fender would still take up a lot of space and is not as easy to remove given the integrated headlight
  • If you opt for the step-thru wave style frame it might flex more than the diamond, I think this is due in part to the rear mounted battery… I noticed that when riding at higher speeds with no hands there was some speed wobble due to the flexing frame qualities (shown in the video review above)

Resources:

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Comments (15) YouTube Comments

dm nelson
2 years ago

Sounds like my dream, ready-made e-bike. I had a Gazelle bike the couple years I lived in Amsterdam. Quality and comfortable pedaling. I’m glad to see they’re putting out a quality e-bike. Perhaps I’ll have a chance to take a test drive sometime, like on your video.

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

I hope you get the chance to take a test ride! The bike works very well and is so thought out. I could tell that they really looked at all of the details and just dialed it in. It’s nice to get something like that, where it has everything and looks good and just works :)

  Reply
Dewey
2 years ago

Thanks for your review Court. I took a short test ride on the Gazelle Arroyo C8 at the Ebike Expo when it stopped at Tysons Corner, VA. My immediate first impressions were all good. Thoughtful design features like the adjustable handlebar paired with wide comfortable hand grips and a comfortable low step/upright frame geometry. Nice touches for the urban commuter are the built-in LED headlamp on the fender, enclosed chain case, kick-stand and rear rack. The positive gear shift and quiet Bosch motor made for smooth and easy pedalling, does this pedelec have a torque sensor?

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Hey Dewey! Yeah, the Bosch drive system uses rear wheel speed, pedal cadence AND pedal torque signals to activate and drive. I’m told it measures these signals 1,000 per second. It’s definitely one of the most responsive systems I’ve tested and I like how they used a smaller sprocket up front running at a higher rpm (each pedal stroke you make roughly equates to two cycles of that sprocket). On some other drive systems like the Bafang BBS02 they have a step gear on the right that provides this leverage but Bosch went at it differently and I think one of the benefits is that the crank arm isn’t pushed out so far :)

  Reply
Dewey
2 years ago

Nice to see the price coming down on this model to $2,999 as of March 2017 https://www.gazellebikes.com/usa/bikes/arroyo-c8-hmb/.

Oldfatgeezerwithdodgyhips
2 years ago

My cycling partner (my err… younger brother) rides a Gazelle Orange C8, and I ride a Smart ebike. The difference in performance between the two bikes is quite frankly staggering. The Gazelle is super efficient and very powerful, and he still has not yet managed to fully deplete the battery even on rides of 60+miles of undulating countryside in central France. I would need 3 overnight stops to do the same ride! I have come to appreciate the Gazelle (mostly from watching it disappear up a hill) and the build quality and components are fantastic. My only negative is that so far they have not managed to integrate the battery very well (it’s tucked under the rack just above the rear wheel) and the “sit up and beg” riding position, which no doubt works great around the cafes of Amsterdam, but can lead to a lot of car dirt on the N21 to Brantome. I prefer the aesthetics of my Smart, but I envy the torque, power and range of this awesome machine…

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

It’s always interesting for me to hear from people who have tried or even owned multiple bikes, thanks for sharing your perspective on these two. I’m a big fan of the upright body position but have never heard it called “sit up and beg” lol, that’s great. I hope you two have years of great rides ahead of you and again, appreciate you sharing :)

  Reply
Margaret
2 years ago

I have wanted an electric bike for about 10 years, but wasn’t ready to give up my daily commute on my non-electric Gazelle city bike. Alas, the hills seem to be getting steeper and the wind stronger.

I attended the Electric Bike Expo at the Santa Monica Pier on 3 December. What a great idea to put all the vetted electric bike vendors in one spot!
While I’m partial to the Gazelle brand, I went with an open mind and tested lots of bikes. I fell in love with the Gazelle Arroyo, but still wanted more info and that’s how I found your very thorough review. Two weeks later I was at Electric Bike LA in El Segundo, purchasing the bike.

As of this writing, I have put 15 miles on the bike. In my opinion, you have accurately described the ride. I also thank you for going into detail about the features. I did learn some about the bike from the Gazelle reps at the expo & also from the bike shop, but the Gazelle USA site lacking terribly when it comes to specs & size ranges. If Gazelle USA was smart, they would just provide a link to your review. BTW, the link to gazellebikes.com you have at the end of this post is broken.

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Hi Margaret! Thanks for the head’s up about my broken link… sometimes the manufacturers change things at year-end and I have to go repair them. It’s fixed now ;)

So glad to hear you’re enjoying the Arroyo and that my site offered the details you were looking for to help make a buy decision. The Ebike Expo events can be a wonderful way to get hands-on, wish I could have been there for this one! Ride safe and thanks again for the wonderful comment.

  Reply
Ron
2 years ago

You mentioned in your review that the motor was rated at 250W, but the Gazelle website indicates that it’s 500W. Do you know if they upped the power since your review?

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Hi Ron! Yeah, the motor is rated at 250 watts nominal but can peak around 530 and has 48 Newton meters of peak torque in this configuration (some other Bosch motors can put out 63 or even 75 Nm of torque. You can explore the official Bosch motor website here to learn more, just scroll down to the “systems at a glance” section for more details :)

  Reply
Dewey
1 year ago

For 2017 Gazelle have fitted a larger 500wh battery and revised the frame of the Arroryo, it looks cleaner with fewer visible weld seams, and the bottom bracket around the motor has been molded into one piece. I’d be interested to learn if this new frame has improved rigidity to deal with the flexing Court mentioned in his video review of the 2016 model.

  Reply
Court
1 year ago

Hey Dewey! I might check the 2017 version out at The New Wheel in San Francisco later this month. Keep an eye out and I’ll keep your questions in mind ;)

  Reply
Dewey
1 year ago

Hey Court, I just came back from a test ride on a diamond frame 2016 Gazelle Arroyo at Electricity Bikes in Washington, DC. The salesman took me to the back of the shop and opened the box on a batch of 2017 Gazelle Arroyo Step through bikes delivered today – they have upgraded the motor as well as the battery, now it has the Bosch Performance Line motor!

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