- A feature complete electric bicycle with lights, reflective tires, steel fenders, and a rear rack. Made by a reputable global brand, using premium drive systems from Bosch. It's available in two frame sizes and features an adjustable angle stem to further optimize fit.
- This is the most affordable ebike model from Gazelle, but it uses above average parts including Shimano hydraulic disc brakes with 180mm rotors, Schwalbe puncture-resistant tires, Ursus tool-free adjustable kickstand, SR Suntour suspension fork with lockout and rebound adjust, and Shimano Olivio 9-speed derailleur.
- Sold exclusively through dealers so you can test ride the different sizes, see the colors in-person, and get fitted by a professional. Gazelle has a reputation for quality and has been awarded the Royal Dutch designation, operating since 1892 in the Netherlands, focusing more and more on sustainability in recent decades.
- The price and weight have increased a bit since the 2019 version of the bike, but the frame and stem feel stiffer. Base level Bosch Active Line motor and PowerPack 400 battery are best suited to casual riding. No more keyed-alike cafe lock, slower Bosch 2 amp charger, limited display readouts and no smartphone app, but it now has bottle cage bosses.
This review was provided for free using a demo bike and accessories. 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.
- This is a feature complete electric bike, meaning that it comes with fenders, integrated lights, and a rear rack for cargo. Whether you’re riding day or night, rain or shine, casually or commuting, the bike is ready to go. Gazelle is an above average bicycle brand in my opinion, because they take extra steps to prevent rust, keep paint from fading, they sell through dealers globally, and are owned by a very large long-running company called Pon Holdings. Gazelle itself was founded in 1892 and is based in Dieren, Netherlands.
- The Medeo T9 City HMB is Gazelle’s most affordable model, but the quality is higher than comparable entry point bikes from competing brands. I covered this model in 2019 and have noticed several improvements for 2022 including a nicer suspension fork and hydraulic disc brakes vs. rim brakes. They did remove the AXA cafe lock and switched to heavier steel fenders vs. plastic, which tend to be a little quieter but more prone to rust. Weight appears to have increased by four pounds, the price increased by $200, and they now produce two sizes and colors vs. three. They also changed from a quill wedge stem to a a clamp on design like you’d see on mountain bikes. It interfaces with a wider 31.8mm handlebar vs. 25.4mm before. To me, these are more common parts, and they are sturdier and less flexy. By the way, HMB stands for Hybrid Mid-drive Bosch in case you were wondering ;)
- I (Court Rye) was test riding the Medium sized frame for this review. My weight is roughly 135lbs (61kg), and I am roughly 5’9″ (175cm) tall.
- To me, this electric bike is visually impressive. I appreciate the premium colors they used, the fact that they sell two colors that could work as a his and hers but are still gender neutral, and how nearly all of the components are black! Notice the rims, spokes, hubs, fork, stem, seat post, handlebar etc.
- The bike is very approachable due to the lower standover height, but stiffer and lighter due to the mixte mid-step frame design. Most feature complete ebikes that I review weigh more than 50lbs… especially if they use steel fenders and a spring suspension fork like this one. The frame is purpose built, providing internal cable routing to reduce snags. It comes with an adjustable angle stem, and is sold in two sizes to optimize fit.
- Excellent safety features here including puncture resistant reflective tires, a lighter more reflective color option (Olive Green), and integrated lights that run off of the main rechargeable battery pack. The headlight points where you steer and has side windows to keep you visible from more angles!
- The suspension fork has been upgraded since the prior release, it now offers hydraulic lockout as well as preload adjust! Overall comfort is good due to larger 700c 28″ wheels that lower the attack angle of the now wider tire, ergonomic grips, adjustable stem, and an above-average saddle. Both the front and rear wheels have reinforcement eyelets where the spokes connect (to reduce wear and cracking), and the hubs are connected with 9mm quick release skewers that make maintenance and transport easier, it’s one of the advantages for mid-drive ebikes.
- Another nice upgrade is the change from hydraulic rim brakes to hydraulic disc brakes. The provide many similar features such as adjustable brake lever reach and consistent braking for both front and rear compared to mechanical brakes. The big difference is that they will stay cleaner and are more familiar to bike shop mechanics in North America. The rim brakes were less likely to get bumped at bike racks, but they touched the rims and could get much dirtier over time. Gazelle specced a larger 180mm rotor for the front wheel which will cool faster and offer a mechanical advantage vs the standard 160mm rear rotor. Weight shifts forward when stopping, which is why they put the larger rotor on the front wheel.
- Gazelle added bottle cage bosses to the downtube! Note that they are pretty low, towards the seat tube, in order to fit an actual bottle in the space below the top tube. Perhaps you could use this for a folding lock, mini pump, or other accessory, it’s just nice to have! The rear rack offers lots of cargo options, including pannier bags and trunk bags, and you could find an inexpensive drink holder to connect to the handlebar as well.
- Note that the handlebar is swept back to improve hand and wrist comfort, and they’ve made it a bit shorter than a cruiser or even some hybrid ebikes. This makes it easier to walk the bike through narrow doors or fit between cars when commuting.
- In addition to fenders that keep you clean and dry while pedaling, the drivetrain is protected by a custom plastic chain cover that feels sturdier and provides better coverage than a generic part.
- The drivetrain itself is fairly nice here! It’s offers a decent spread of 11 to 36 tooth cogs in the rear but with nine steps, so you can find a more comfortable pedal cadence than a cheaper seven speed. The Shimano Alivio derailleur is three steps up from the base level Shimano Tourney. It may be lighter, faster shifting, and more reliable.
- The motor is compact and light weight at 6.3lbs, it uses a standard sized chainring vs. older designs that introduced some reduction gearing drag, and it responds based on pedal cadence, torque, and rear wheel speed. These three signals are measured over 1,000 times per second by the Bosch motor controller, and it even reduces pressure when shifting is detected to protect the chain and sprockets from premature wear.
- In my experience, you’re getting a reliable and well supported product when buying from Gazelle and Bosch. I believe that they both offer a two year comprehensive warranty and rely on a network of shops that can provide ride tests, fitting, and post purchase support to help the bike last. Furthermore, Bosch supports their hardware for 7+ years once discontinued… so you probably won’t struggle to find a replacement battery or display the same way you might with a less expensive product.
- Overall, the bike rides well and feels stable, despite the rack mounted battery design. Two advantages are that the locking cylinder and charging port are high up and easy to reach on this ebike! I didn’t notice too much frame flex or speed wobble during my ride tests.
- In order to keep the price low on this model, Gazelle chose the Bosch Active Line motor, rack mounted PowerPack 400, and 2 amp compact charger. They deliver less power, range, and slower charging than other Bosch drive systems. The Active Line Plus offers 40nm of torque and 100RPM pedal support, but uses less energy and is very quiet (as shown in the video review above).
- Although the latest iteration of the Gazelle Medeo T9 costs $200 more than the one I covered in 2019, it does not come with the AXA cafe lock to secure the rear wheel. I suspect that shipping costs and inflation are contributing to rising costs across the industry, but it’s too bad we lost the lock because it was convenient and keyed alike to the battery before.
- I used a magnet to confirm that the fenders are made from steel, which can rust over time if scratched. Some people use nail polish to prevent this from happening. Advantages of steel is that it’s sturdier and quieter than some plastic and aluminum solutions, but it does also tend to weigh more.
- Because the battery is positioned high up and at the rear, it reduces stability and contributes to frame flex and speed wobble, it also takes up some of the racks maximum weight capacity and positions cargo or child seats even higher.
- The Bosch Purion display panel is effective and easy to reach, but it isn’t removable and some menus have been removed as compared to the larger Bosch Intuvia or fancier new color displays like the Kiox and Nyon that integrate with smartphone applications. Furthermore, the Micro-USB port is only for diagnostics and not charging portable electronics. You can upgrade to one of the nicer displays by paying extra and hiring your dealer to install it.
- The older Medeo T9 came in three frame sizes and three color options. I suspect that they cut back a bit to save costs and simplify their supply chain.
- Minor complaints include a trigger shifter that uses a one-way high lever vs. two way (basically, you have to use your thumb to shift into higher gears vs. thumb or index finger), and the headlight is mounted to the suspension arch, so it can bounce up and down and isn’t as high as a handlebar or stem mounted light. I’m glad that the stand for the headlight is tall enough that the beam doesn’t appear to be blocked by the fender or front tire when aimed down vs. forward.