2019 Gazelle CityZen T9 HMB Review


Technical Specs & Ratings



CityZen T9 HMB


Class 1




Hydraulic Disc



482.4 Wh

482.4 Wh

53.4 lbs / 24.24 kgs



Frame Details

Aluminum Alloy


Rigid Alloy, 100 mm Hub Spacing, 9 mm Axle with Quick Release Skewer

RYDE Dutch19, Mid-Dish, Aluminum Alloy, Double Wall, 36 Hole | Spokes: Stainless Steel, Extra Strong, 14 Gauge Diameter, Black with Adjustable Nipples

Continental Contact Plus, 28" x 1.6" (700 x 42c) (42-622), 73 PSI, 5.0 BAR, Reflective Stripe, 500 KPA, Puncture Protection, Rated 50 km/h


Threadless Internal Cups, Sealed Bearing, Straight 1-1/8"

SMICA 3D Forged Alloy, 110 mm Length, Adjustable Angle 0° to 50°, 31.8 mm Clamp Diameter, Two 20 mm Risers

Alloy, Flat, 650 mm Length

Herrmans DD28, Rubber, Flat, Locking

Gazelle Branded, Alloy (29.8 to 27.2 Shim)


Selle Royal Freccia

Gazelle Light Edge, Alloy Spindle, Plastic Platform with Rubber Tread

Hydraulic Disc

Shimano BL-M315 Hydraulic Disc, 160 mm Rotors, Dual Piston Calipers, Three-Finger Levers with Adjustable Reach

More Details

Forward, Upright

2 Year Comprehensive, 10 Year Frame

United States, Canada, Europe, Australia


18.11, 20.86, 22.44

Mid-Step 53 cm Stats: 21" Seat Tube, 22.5" Reach, 24.5" Stand Over Height, 35.5" Minimum Saddle Height, 25.75" Width, 73" Length

Ivory Gloss

Rear Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses

Shimano BL-M315 Hydraulic Disc, 160 mm Rotors, Dual Piston Calipers, Three-Finger Levers with Adjustable Reach

Video Reviews

Written Reviews

To run the forums, host the website, and travel, I charge a universal service fee for my reviews. This review was sponsored by Gazelle North America. My goal is to be transparent and unbiased, this video and written review are not meant to be an endorsement of Gazelle products.

Gazelle offers two CityZen ebike models in the North America market at the time of this review, and the T9 HMB is their slightly down specced, Class 1 version (meaning that it’s limited to 20mph vs. 28mph), priced $1,000 less than the Speed T10 version. Looking at the name, the T9 stands for 9-speed drivetrain and HMB stands for hybrid mid-drive Bosch. What you get from this ebike is a sporty urban commuting platform complete with lightweight fenders, a compact chain cover, minimalist rack with unique bungee integration, a frame lock for quick stops that’s keyed alike to the battery pack, and integrated lights. Just like the Speed T10, the headlight has side windows to keep you visible from more angles, which is useful in high-traffic environments. With the T9 however, the headlight puts out 30 LUX vs. 50 LUX. It comes with puncture resistant reflective tires for safety, an adjustable angle stem to support different body positions, and is available in three frame sizes. Gazelle has chosen to offer the CityZen models in mid-step only, which is great compromise between performance and approachability, helping to keep the price down. The T9 HMB only comes in white while the Speed T10 only comes in back. Other differences include a smaller Bosch Purion display panel, that isn’t removable and doesn’t have an active Micro-USB charging port like the Intuvia, flat grips vs. ergonomic, and a rigid fork vs. monoshock suspension. Both concepts are what I would consider sporty, meaning that the frame is stiff, lightweight, and efficient, and the tires were chosen for efficiency vs. comfort. The shock doesn’t offer much travel or adjustability on the Speed T10, but is worth having there because of the higher speeds. For someone transitioning from road or classic city bikes to the T9 HMB, it will feel just as comfortable, if not more comfortable, and I really appreciate the upgraded Selle Royal gel saddle here. For someone like me who is used to relaxed cruisers and full suspension mountain bikes, it can feel a little jarring when ridden on rough terrain. Back to the adjustable stem… and possibility of adding a suspension seat post in place of the stock rigid post ;)

Driving the CityZen T9 HMB is a Bosch Performance Line center drive geared motor. The black plastic casing blends in a bit nicer on the Speed T10 model, because it matches the black frame, but it’s terrible here. The plastic chain protector completely covers the proprietary 15 tooth chainring, keeping your clothing from getting messy. As mentioned and demonstrated in the video review above, this motor produces a bit more noise when operating at high power, and when you pedal quickly. It can produce up to 63 newton meters of torque, making it a very capable climber if you shift into lower gears. A 9 speed Shimano Deore drivetrain gives you many options, and the motor controller offers shift detection to reduce clunking and wear. This is one area where Bosch really leads the market. The Performance Line motors can also support higher pedal cadence, up to 120 RPM, so you can downshift going into a climb without losing power. One mixed consideration is that the smaller chainring operates through a reduction gear that spins at 2.5x the pedal rate, making it equivalent to a 38 tooth chainring on a traditional setup. This reduction process introduces some friction drag if you pedal the bike unpowered or beyond the maximum supported 20mph here. In the video review, I pedaled up to 22mph on flat terrain, demonstrating how efficient the rigid frame, hybrid tires, and drivetrain are, so I consider the reduction gearing thing a minor trade-off. And, I’m told by Bosch that it allows for better chain retention. Bosch ebike motors are designed to measure rear wheel speed, pedal cadence, and pedal torque signals over 1,000 times per second, making them extremely responsive. The motor can feel natural, or zippy and empowering depending on which level of assist you choose to ride in.

Powering this ebike is the highest-capacity Bosch battery on offer this generation, and it’s also their fanciest. The PowerTube 500 fits neatly inside the downtube of the CityZen T9 HMB, completely out of view… aside from the black plastic cover. This again, is one area where the all-black CityZen Speed T10 wins out aesthetically. The PowerTube battery 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 PowerPack batteries (which mounted externally on top of the downtube) 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 here… but it’s a much better system than some bottom-up integrations I’ve seen from competing companies. There’s enough room between the downtube and top tube to position the pack for removal and reinstallation, but only just. And, I’m surprised that Gazelle didn’t provide bottle cage bosses on the top tube or seat tube because they can be useful for all sorts of accessories aftermarket, and provide more strength and reliability than rubberized clamps and such. 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! I also love the kickstand position and hardware choice on the CityZen models. 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 also want to call out that the rear rack is rated to handle more weight than other generic racks (rated to 27kg vs. 25kg). It comes with a triple-bungee strap system and connects to the rear fender to add strength and reduce noise. It’s great if you’re bringing an extra battery, the fast 4 amp charger, or a child seat and young passenger. Back to the battery pack, I was impressed that the AXA locking core uses the same key as the frame lock (designed to put a rod through the rear spokes for temporary parking security). This is the type of little upgrade that only the fancier ebikes seem to offer, but it isn’t done perfectly here in my opinion. The key remains locked into the cafe lock until it is securing the bike, and that creates some question about keychains dangling vs. losing the key easily or having it stolen off of your bike… I wish AXA/Gazelle had chosen a design that let you take the key out in the locked or unlocked position. 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? One final note on the battery, and really any lithium-ion pack, is that extreme temperatures can be harmful to the cell chemistry and allowing it to drop below 20% can decrease the overall lifespan. For this reason, it’s great that the pack is removable, so you can bring it into your office or home for safe keeping and convenient refills.

Activating the drive systems on this ebike is fairly straightforward. You charge and mount the battery then press the power button on the top edge of the little display panel, which is mounted within reach of the left grip. The Bosch Purion display/control pad is compact and easy to navigate. It keeps the handlebars open, and may not get damaged as easily if the bike tips or is parked at a crowded rack… but it’s not removable and lacks some of the deeper menus found on the Bosch Intuvia, mentioned earlier. Even though the display is a bit smaller than some competing models, it’s intuitive enough that you might not look down that often to read it and the really important readouts are fairly large (speed and assist level). I have grown to accept the Purion, but do have a few tips for use as follows. The + and – buttons, which raise and lower assistance, are designed to click in at an angle towards the right. They are attached near the left edge of the control pad and pivot in towards the LCD. With practice, I have found that the right edge is really the sweet spot for consistent clicking. Sometimes the lower left and middle areas can be inconsistent or non-responsive. The screen itself glows faint white at all times, which shouldn’t draw much power. Holding the + button will turn the lights on and off, and that’s the one little secret that is worth remembering. By comparison, the larger Bosch Intuvia display has a dedicated light button. Holding the – button will cycle through trip distance, odometer, assist level, and range. And, the range menu is dynamic, so you can see the bike calculate how far it thinks you can go before the battery completely drains based on the last mile of riding, your current state of charge, and the chosen level of assist. This helps to make up for the very basic 5-bar charge indicator on the left side of the battery and the display which isn’t as precise as a 10-bar or percentage readout seen on some competing displays. On the lower edge of the control pad is a walk-mode button. Press it once and then hold the + button to have the motor slowly assist you when walking the bike (you must be in Eco, Tour, Sport, or Boost for walk mode to work). It’s useful for crowded non-bikeable areas like parks, or if you get a flat tire, and not all companies have it enabled, so props to Gazelle for this. I’ve created an in-depth Bosch Purion review in the EBR forums for more information :)

Weighing at at roughly 53.5lbs for the medium sized frame, I’d consider this to be lightweight and extremely well balanced. All of the accessories chosen by Gazelle are top notch, meaning that they don’t rattle around or feel flimsy, and should be durable over time. Even though the motor produces a bit of extra noise and some reduction gearing drag, it’s one of my favorites because of its reliability and responsiveness. I think Gazelle did an excellent job with their PowerTube battery implementation, and aside from some confusion for me around why the cafe lock requires locking before the key can be removed… I’d call this a very well thought out electric bicycle. They hydraulic disc brakes are responsive, fairly powerful, but small enough to avoid bending damage at bike racks. You can adjust the brake levers in or out to fit your hand size. The nine-speed Shimano Deore drivetrain is lightweight, proven, and offers a good range of pedal cadence options. I complained about the T10 not being specced with Shadow Plus (a little clutch mechanism to reduce chain bounce) but that’s less of an issue at 20mph vs. 28mph. Expect to get better range on this model vs. the Speed, but expect the same high level of service and fitting. For me, it’s nice having faster 120 RPM pedal support and shift detection at hand… and even though the Purion isn’t my favorite display from Bosch, it’s still a leading option industry wide, and some shops will upgrade to Intuvia for $200 if it’s really important to you. Gazelle offers an excellent two-year comprehensive warranty and has an outstanding global reputation for the longevity of paint. They UV test their products and expose them to salt water tests to simulate coastal and rainy environments. The company is over 100 years old, receiving a Royal Dutch honor for being a leader in the country. As always, I welcome your feedback and comments below. I do my best to be thorough and thoughtful with these reviews and it was nice to get help from Chris Nolte, owner of Propel Bikes in Long Beach to chime in with some feedback on why he carries the brand for the video. Feel free to post your own thoughts and pictures in the Gazelle ebike forums, and ride safe.


  • Sleek and professional, this ebike comes with all the accessories you might need for wet riding, commuting with cargo, and navigating in the dark, I especially like the minimalist rear rack which integrates with the fender
  • The rack is rated up to 27kg (roughly 60lbs) which is more than average, and I like the bungee design that’s included… you can remove the bungee if you want
  • 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, 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 or dress ends clean
  • The AXA Defender 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 support hardware in black (rims, spokes, hubs, seat post, handlebar, battery cover, motor casing etc.), it looks nice with the gloss white frame color and minimalist stripe graphics on the side of the downtube
  • The mid-step frame blends approachability and low standover with strength and improved power transfer, by only having one frame style for this and the high speed CityZen Speed T10 they are able to keep the price lower and focus on multiple sizes
  • Optimized for efficiency with city 700c wheel size, hybrid tires, no suspension, and a lightweight frame, but you can still adjust the stem to be aggressive or more upright for comfort and traffic-spotting
  • The CityZen T9 weighs about one pound less than the Speed T10 and costs about $1,000 less, it’s a great option if you’re price sensitive but love the utility and quality that the brand is known for, you will also get better range with the Bosch Performance Line vs. the Performance Line Speed motor
  • 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, the 160mm rotors aren’t as big as some competitors, but that’s enough for a Class 1 20mph ebike and these rotor’s wont get bumped and bent as easily at racks
  • Solid 9-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 20+ mph comfortable pedaling
  • 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 T9 HMB 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. or if you live up stairs
  • Nice tires with reflective sidewall stripes and puncture protection, this keeps you safe and reduces the potential for flats
  • 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
  • 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), and that the battery is interchangeable between some of the other Gazelle models vs. having a custom colored cover
  • Weighing in at just over 53 lbs (I test rode the medium 53 cm frame) this ebike is actually fairly reasonable considering that it comes with the rack, fender, high capacity battery pack etc… but it’s actually 3+ lbs heavier than the 2017 model that used an external Bosch PowerPack battery vs. the new PowerTube
  • It’s a little detail, but I love how the kickstand offers tool-free adjustable height! It’s much easier to adjust for different parking situations this way and makes it easier for me to take great photos by standing the bike straight up ;)
  • 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
  • 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


  • Unlike the faster, more expensive CityZen Speed T10, the display panel on this model is not removable and does not have an active Micro-USB port for charging or maintaining portable electronics
  • Given the more aggressive frame geometry, mid-dish rims, and efficient tires (lower air volume, less wide than a cruiser)… I would definitely add a 27.2 mm suspension seat post for this bike if I bought it for myself because of back, neck, and wrist 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 ~20mph), 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 are alright for urban environments and the rubberized edge won’t scrape your shin if you slip off but I sometimes prefer the larger BMX style pedals (especially for potential wet riding and when going faster) and they’re cheap to replace if you decide to change
  • 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 do like how Gazelle implemented the PowerTube and kept the shield lighter than many competitors like Bulls and Haibike which use metal in many cases
  • 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 asked some of the team members about this and was 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 ;)
  • The way the included cafe lock is designed, you cannot remove the key unless it’s locked… this can be annoying if you want to attach the key to a keychain because it can bounce around, or if you don’t have it on a keychain, then it could get lost easier… and if you don’t lock the bike when parked, some random person could lock it and take your key… consider buying a small carabiner to quickly and easily use this key AND use a keychain ;)

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