- A fully-equipped commuter electric bike with high-speed 28 mph (45 km/h) Class 3 performance, premium rack, fenders, integrated lights, keyed-alike cafe lock, engineered in the Netherlands to handle rain and salty coastal environments
- Premium alloy-coated fenders are tough and quiet, plastic chain guard keeps your pant-leg clean, integrated lights with side-windows and reflective tires keep you visible in low light, all-black frame hides the battery, motor, and wires
- Available in three frame sizes, approachable mid-step frame with deep-dish rims is responsive and stiff but the suspension fork and ergonomic grips take the edge off, Bosch Performance Line Speed motor is supported by the high-capacity PowerTube 500 battery
- Large Intuvia display is easy to read, removable, and has a Micro USB port built-in, the suspension fork is adjustable but offers limited 30 mm travel and suffers from stiction, 10-speed drivetrain is okay with 11-36t range but doesn't have a clutch tensioner, heavier and priced higher than the 2017 model with PowerPack external battery
UPDATE: Starting in April of 2020, Gazelle has discounted the price of this Ebike significantly, with the new price being $2,999.
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The Gazelle CityZen Speed is an urban-equipped Class 3 electric bike that is capable of reaching nearly 28 mph (45 km/h) for faster commutes. It’s a sporty electric bike with mid-step frame design that’s approachable, easier to stand-over, but still stiff and responsive. In my opinion, Gazelle has done an excellent job balancing performance against comfort and utility against price. Sure, $4.3k isn’t exactly cheap, but you’re getting top-of-the-line Bosch drive systems with their new high-capacity 500 watt hour PowerTube battery, the fully-featured Intuvia display panel, a faster 4-amp charger, and three frame size options. You’ll stay dry and clean thanks to their Curana plastic+alloy fenders and chain cover, you’ll stay safe thanks to the integrated AXA and Spanninga LED lights and reflective Continental tires, and you’ll be fitted and supported well thanks to a growing network of dealers in the US and longstanding global support. Royal Dutch Gazelle was founded in 1892 in the Netherlands, where it rains a lot… This company has earned a reputation for quality through rigorous testing and offers an excellent two-year comprehensive warranty with five years on the suspension fork and ten years on the frame. The fork is a highlight for me because it perfectly matches the alloy frame but offers 30 millimeters of suspension travel to take the edge off of rough streets. The non-speed CityZen T10 does not offer this upgrade, and it does make a difference. It’s a mixed bag, however, because 30 mm is not a lot of travel and the model I tested did suffer from a bit of stiction (where the fork doesn’t travel as smoothly or instantly on smaller bumps). Comfort is a big deal for me and it becomes increasingly relevant at speed, so I appreciate the slightly wider 28×1.6″ tires and locking ergonomic grips. The tires offer puncture protection but both wheels attach with quick release, so it’s not as difficult to change flats or do on-the-go maintenance with this product as it often is with hub motor ebikes. Both the motor and battery are positioned low and centered on the frame. Everything blends nicely because it’s all black, including the shifter, brake, and power cables emerging at the front. Apart from adding a 27.2 mm suspension seat post, which can be found quite inexpensively, this ebike is ready to go and should require very little maintenance.
Driving the CityZen Speed is a Bosch Performance Line Speed centerdrive motor. It’s housed in a oval-shaped plastic casing that looks pretty natural on this frame. Expect zippy starts and capable climbing, as long as you shift gears thoughtfully. Shifting works especially well with Bosch mid-motors because the controller is so responsive. It measures rear wheel speed, pedal cadence, and pedal torque over 1,000 times per second, and it’s designed to detect shifting pressure and ease back to reduce mashing. The 10-speed Shimano Deore drivetrain is capable but mid-level compared to Deore XT. There’s no one-way clutch to tighten the chain, and this is an upgrade I’ve seen on more and more electric mountain bikes and speed pedelecs where chain bounce can increase. The cassette spread is 11 to 32 teeth vs. 11 to 42, which surprised me at first, but the smaller 15 tooth chainring balances this. Note that this smaller 15 tooth proprietary chainring performs like a 38 tooth chainring on a traditional bicycle. The Bosch Performance Line motors use a reduction gearing system to rotate the chainring 2.5x for each crank arm revolution and this is part of the reason they can start and stop so quickly, reduce chain drops, and provide up to 63 Newton meters of torque (in this case). It’s enough to climb almost any hill as long as you shift down to the lowest gear. In the video review above, you can see me attempting to reach 28 mph during the ride test portion. I got to ~27.8 mph (according to the LCD display) and really couldn’t get beyond that on flats while filming. It’s an efficient system, requiring you to pedal hard and shift actively to enjoy the full range of speed. The good news is, Performance Line motors offer higher pedal cadence support, up to 120 RPM in this case. That means you don’t have to shift gears quite as frequently as with some other products. I appreciate this feature a lot because I come from a road biking background and enjoy spinning quickly. I will frequently downshift as hills approach to reduce knee pain and this motor is able to keep up with me, not fading out as much as some competitors. In terms of pedaling, the bike feels natural, the stock pedals are good enough but I usually upgrade to larger alloy pedals with pins (especially for wet riding) and prefer the lightweight magnesium options to keep weight down. The CityZen Speed T10 is not as lightweight as I had hoped, coming in around 54.6 lbs (24.8 kg) for the medium sized frame. This is because the motor weighs 8.8 lbs, the PowerTube battery is about one pound heavier than the external plastic PowerPacks of yesteryear, and the suspension fork, rack, fenders, and lights all add up. I felt safe and confident with the Shimano 160 mm hydraulic disc brakes, but their 160 mm size wasn’t super impressive in a world where more and more ebikes come stock with 180 mm rotors (that cool faster and provide greater mechanical advantage). Keep in mind however, that larger rotors can get bent easier at racks, and this was one area that the Gazelle team specifically called out because cities like Amsterdam have so many crowded bike racks. It’s a reason that some of their other models, like the Arroyo C8 HMB, use hydraulic rim brakes instead of disc.
Powering this bike is the highest-capacity Bosch battery on offer this generation, it’s also their fanciest. The PowerTube 500 fits neatly inside the downtube of the CityZen Speed T10, completely out of view. It keeps weight as low as possible on the frame while still being removable and somewhat universal. I’m actually sort of mixed on the PowerTube batteries because they weigh almost a full pound more than the older PowerPacks and are not as easy to swap between bikes because each company has designed a different cover system. In this case, the battery seats down front the top, which means that you’ll have to balance it between the top tube and downtube before easing it in. There’s definitely potential to bump and scratch the top tube or the cover of the battery pack… but it’s a much better system than some bottom-up integrations. I like what Trek has done with some of their PowerTube models, bringing the battery in from the right side of the bike. That said, their battery cover adds more weight than the Gazelle cover. So many considerations! At the end of the day, this battery is reliable, can be charged on or off the frame, and the frame charging port is positioned high up on the left side of the downtube where it won’t interfere with the crank arms or require you to bend down as far. Big win! And, I love the kickstand position and hardware choice as well. It may sound like a little thing, but I frequently see e-bikes with mid-mounted kickstands that interfere with the left crank arm. This stand is positioned directly below the rear rack (great if you’ve loaded it with heavier cargo), and can be adjusted without tools. That means you can securely stand the bike on flat or angled surfaces pretty much on the fly. I want to call out that the rear rack is rated to handle more weight than other generic racks (rated to 27 kg vs. 25 kg). It comes with a triple-bungee strap system and connects to the rear fender to add strength and reduce noise. And finally, the battery pack locks to the frame using the exact same key as the cafe lock (the u-shaped lock that secures the rear wheel). To me, it’s these little details that can really add up to make an experience convenient and enjoyable. I think the rear frame lock is setup to lock the key in once inserted, so you’ve always got a key with you (you have to lock the cafe lock to remove the key). One downside is that you can’t really attach this key to a keychain without some jingling and snag potential… and you’ve basically always got to lock the bike when parking or someone can come over and disable your bike by locking it for you and then either steal your battery or take your key as a prank. I’d prefer if the AXA lock was designed to let you take out the key whether the cafe lock is engaged or not. This is the case for the hardware I saw and tested on the Moustache Samedi 28.3 Open. Interestingly, that cafe lock is also made by AXA?
Once the battery is charged and locked to the frame, simply press the power button on the Bosch Intuvia display panel. This is one of my alltime favorite control / display systems because it’s so large and easy to see, feature rich but not confusing, reliable to click and intuitive even without looking down, and completely removable for reduced wear. Yes, the display itself is a bit larger, but I appreciate the size because my eyesight isn’t perfect. The screen is backlit with a faint blue glow that cannot be disabled but can be lowered by entering into the settings menu. The main readouts are current speed, battery capacity (five bars), and current assist level (off, eco, tour, sport, turbo). The highest level of assist is required to get you close to 28 mph, and you are required to shift gears in order to pedal that fast, but with the increased speed comes higher power use and increased noise. The Bosch Performance Line motors do produce a distinct electronic whirring noise but I find that it mostly disappears in city and trail environments. Most of my time is spent in Tour mode to balance efficiency with support. To change assist levels, just press the + or – keys on the control pad, located within reach of the left grip. The center button has an i on it, which is replicated on the right side of the display system. This i button will cycle through trip stats such as average speed, max speed, clock, and range. Range is a cool menu because it dynamically adjusts as you ride and switch assist levels. It’s a great way to gauge how far you can ride in each mode and is much more precise than the battery infographic with 20% steps. I want to point out that this display can swivel to reduce glare, can be removed to prevent theft and scratches, has a Micro-USB charging port on the right side, and can be switched out for the smaller Bosch Purion if you prefer to mount a phone or some other device at the middle of the handlebar. You will have to pay a shop to get you the part and perform this service, and it’s something I would never do because the Intuvia is so great, but it’s still an option. that’s what you get with Bosch systems… and the ability to wire your own lights in, if the bike didn’t already have them (as is the case here). There’s even a dedicated light button on the right side of the Intuvia display! Unfortunately, it’s useless in this case because most European speed pedelecs force the lights to be always on for their Class 3 products. It’s worth noting that walk mode does seem to be enabled on this ebike, and you have to be in one of the four assist levels to use it. Just arrow up from off and then click the walk mode button on the top edge of the button pad near the left grip, then hold the plus button constantly to get the motor going. This is an easier way to move the 54+ lb ebike in non-rideable environments.
All things considered, the Gazelle CityZen Speed T10 is an excellent choice for urban cyclists and commuters who want to get to their destinations a little quicker. It’s an electric bicycle that really blends in because of the fancy new battery design and all-black color scheme. Sure, it’s missing a few little things like a bottle cage mount, sportier pedals, and maybe a tougher headlight that’s mounted on the handlebar vs. the moving part of the suspension fork… but I love how the headlight has side windows to keep you visible. Note that Gazelle names their products using a C for internally geared hubs and T for cassettes. I prefer the lightweight fast shifting of a cassette, but it isn’t as clean or durable. This is a sporty product, one that delivers power and speed but requires more interaction from the rider. It’s really cool that Gazelle adjusts little things between the frame sizes, such as stem length, so the bike will fit perfectly. There’s some good adjustability around stem height and angle but it has to be done by unscrewing the stem and manually moving spacers. This is something that a Gazelle dealer will be able to help you with, and the result is a stiffer sturdier ride that can handle speed. Even the deep dish rims add strength here, and the larger 28-inch wheel size provides a lowered attack angle, a bit of air volume increase, and overall stability that made it easy for me to ride with no hands. I really like that, but it wasn’t intimidating to mount up and test ride because of the mid-step frame. In my opinion, this ebike would look great for guys and girls… it’s professional and capable. It lives up to the 125+ year reputation of Gazelle, which produces over 300k bicycles globally, and I’d like to thank them for inviting me to their headquarters in Santa Cruz, California and partnering with me on this review. I covered a few of their other new models and welcome questions and feedback below in the comments or the Gazelle bicycle forums.
- It’s sleek and professional, I love the integrated battery, streamlined monoshock, and matching black colors (that help the motor casing to blend in)
- Available in three frame sizes and sold exclusively through shops so you can get fitted correctly and ride more comfortably… excellent service with two year comprehensive warranty, five years on the suspension fork, and ten years on the frame
- Clean and capable in rain, the Curana plastic+alloy fenders are lightweight but sturdy and quiet, the chain cover will keep your pant legs clean
- Sleek rear rack that is positioned far enough back to stay clear of the saddle (if lowered all the way), it includes bungee cords to secure lightweight cargo and it connects to the rear fender for added support
- The AXA cafe lock is keyed to match the battery mount so you only need one key, this reduces, clutter, keychain weight, and confusion
- Gazelle did an excellent job matching all of the components in black (rims, spokes, hubs, seat post, handlebar etc.) but that makes the bike less visible… so it’s really great that they included reflective tires and integrated lights, the headlight has side windows to maximize your visual footprint
- The CityZen Speed T10 is only available in one frame style, but I think it’s an excellent choice! The mid-step frame balances approachability and low standover with strength and improved power transfer, by only having one frame style they are able to keep the price lower and focus on multiple sizes
- The Bosch Intuvia is my favorite ebike display because it’s deep but easy to use, the button pad is usually very easy to reach and clicks consistently, the LCD unit is removable, and it has a Micro-USB port that you can plug into for charging portable electronics on the go
- All of the shifter, brake, and electrical wires are routed through the frame which looks great and reduces snags if you’re parking at a crowded rack or hauling the bike on a car or bus rack
- I’m a big fan of hydraulic disc brakes and this bike comes with Shimano hardware that has adjustable-reach levers so they can be brought in if you have small hands or wear gloves a lot when riding
- Great 10-speed drivetrain with Shimano Deore hardware offering multi-shifting and crisp performance that won’t require as frequent of tuneups, I think it offers plenty of range for 0 to 28+ mph comfortable pedaling but was disappointed not to see the Shimano one-way clutch which tightens the chain (useful for mountain biking and higher speed riding)
- One of the cool benefits of a mid-drive electric bike is that both wheels can be serviced more easily, and both wheels on the CityZen Speed T10 offer quick release which aids in flat fixes and portability of the bike… it’s nice that you can also remove the battery easily for lightweight lifting and transport by car rack etc.
- Gazelle is a Royal Dutch recognized company which is an award given to 100+ year old brands that deliver premium products and service with an emphasis on ethics and stewardship, this is a big deal because only one company gets the award in each industry, they sell over 300k bicycles per year and are clearly a trusted leader
- The bike is really well balanced, notice the battery and motor are both positioned low and towards the center of the bike for stability and improved handling
- Great kickstand hardware, the length is adjustable without tools (so you can stabilize the bike on flat or angled terrain) and it’s positioned near the back of the bike to support the rack with cargo and stay clear of the left crank arm
- Gazelle is a leader in paint durability and testing, they subject their frames to 129 tests that range from UV to salt water because the Netherlands are near the ocean but also get a lot of rain and even snow, their products offer a lot of durability because they are designed to withstand that environment
- It’s a minor callout here but I really liked the saddle, it reminded me of Ergon a bit and was nicer than many stock saddles I’ve tested on other electric bicycles
- Given the higher capacity Bosch PowerTube 500 battery pack, it’s nice that the bike comes with a faster-than-average 4-amp charger, I also appreciate how they positioned the charge port near the top of the left side of the downtube vs. low near the cranks (where the cord could get snagged or the plug could get bent)
- Despite having fenders, a rack, integrated lights, a suspension fork, the heavier high-powered Bosch motor and their heavier PowerTube battery, I think that the bike is fairly light at 54lbs (I test rode the medium 53 cm frame)
- For an efficient, higher speed, city+commuter style electric bicycle, this thing is fairly comfortable because of the suspension fork and ergonomic grips (name brand locking Ergon grips), but the deeper rims and narrower tires still make it a little jarring at speed if the tire pressure is high and the road is bumpy… I would definitely add a 27.2 mm suspension seat post for this bike if I bought it for myself because of back and neck sensitivity
- Mid-drive motors like the one this bike uses pull on the same chain, sprockets, and derailleur that you do while pedaling and that can add some strain and wear them more quickly, but at least the Bosch motors use a combination of signals including torque so you can ease off when shifting to have it reduce the pressure and it also has software-driven shift detection which is not perfect but better than most of the competition which has no detection
- Bosch has used a smaller sprocket for their chainring design which spins at a 2.5 revolutions per single crank arm revolution (which produces some mechanical drag if you’re pedaling unpowered or trying to top ~28 mph), I also noticed that the Bosch Performance Line motors just makes more noise than some of the alternatives, you can hear a faint whining noise that becomes increasingly audible with higher power and speeds, one upside is that it grabs the chain really well which reduces drops
- The pedals aren’t my favorite, you don’t get as much surface area or grip with the plastic+rubber design but at least they won’t cut your shins if you slip, I prefer the larger BMX style pedals (especially for potential wet riding and when going faster) and they’re cheap to replace
- Minor consideration, the PowerTube battery looks great but isn’t as widely available (or affordable) as the older PowerPack 400 and 500… if you already own an ebike with a PowerPack, you can’t use those batteries with the new PowerTube interface because it’s not backwards compatible
- I’ve noticed that many Class 3 electric bikes (speed pedelecs), especially from Europe, tend to automatically switch the lights on once the bike is active… you can’t turn them off, and the headlight here is mounted to the lower portion of suspension so it may bounce on rough terrain vs. if it was mounted above the suspension and “sprung” like on the handlebar or stem
- The frame doesn’t have bottle cage bosses, it would have been nice to see them on top of the downtube or maybe below the top tube… I teased Awoud about this and he told me that you can strap a bottle down on the rack with the bungee cords, I recommend purchasing a trunk bag accessory with bottle holster for best results ;)