- A feature-rich and purpose-built trekking Ebike loaded with great accessories, highly adjustable and approachable step-thru design, engineered and assembled in the Netherlands and specifically designed to withstand salty and wet environments
- The cycling experience is excellent thanks to quality craftsmanship and premium components such as Shimano's Deore XT groupset and hydraulic disc brakes, Bosch's more efficient and lighter third-generation Performance Line mid-drive motor is quiet, responsive, and powerful
- Backed by a great warranty from a company known for high-quality craftsmanship, available in three sizes and two eye-catching glossy colors, and supported by a large network of dealers in the US and many European countries
- Lack of a quick-release skewer for the seatpost prevents theft but makes for more time-consuming adjustments, short 30mm travel of the mono-shock suspension fork may not be enough comfort for riders with physical sensitivity, and the Bosch Purion display functions well but isn't removable or as feature-rich as the Intuvia
To run the forums, host the website, and travel, I charge a universal service fee for my reviews. This in-depth review was sponsored by Gazelle. 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.
- Gazelle is a Dutch company and cycling is an integral part of the culture in the Netherlands, where bicycle ownership per capita is higher than anywhere else in the world! We talk about this in the video review, and I also found this article which has some fascinating statistics about cycling in the Netherlands: Dutch Cycling Figures.
- The Ultimate bicycle was one of Gazelle’s more popular models in years past but it was only available as a non-electric bike, this is the first time they have produced an electrified version.
- Backed by a solid warranty from a solid company with two years of comprehensive coverage and ten years of coverage for the frame. Gazelle has been in business for over 125 years and has even received the “Royal” award from Princess Margriet in 1992, in recognition of Gazelle’s commitment to innovation and how much they have shaped the Dutch cycling industry.
- Very approachable thanks to the step-thru design, upright riding position, highly adjustable stem and handlebars, and three frame sizes to choose from. For my review I used the large frame size, it was comfortable and I had no problem achieving full leg extensions – for reference, I am 6’3″, and I really appreciate having frame size options since one-size-fits-most bikes do not usually work for me.
- Feature-rich and purpose-designed: The T10 is fully loaded with fenders, a rear rack, integrated lights, rear-mounted kickstand, bottle cage bosses, and a cafe lock. Nearly all of the components are also Ebike-specific, this is great to see especially for components like tires and the chain which are under significantly more stress on an Ebike than on an acoustic bike. Extra consideration is given for riding in humid and salty coastal environments which are uniquely rough on cycling components.
- The fenders are large and provide great coverage, aluminum alloy construction keeps them light while also resisting rust and dings that can affect steel fenders, and they will also rattle less than plastic fenders. There is also a plastic toe strike guard on the bottom of the front fender to protect it from your foot while turning, and both fenders have sturdy mounting to prevent them from rattling or getting bumped askew.
- I love the rear rack here, it is remarkably sturdy thanks to the custom design that has it mounted on top of the rear fender with an extra steel support connecting the rack and fender to the frame. The rack is rated for 27kg (about 55lbs), a little bit higher than the average rack rating of 25kg. That isn’t much of an increase, but every little bit counts! There is also a bungee clamp included on top which is great for strapping small things to the rack without having to carry around extra bungee cords, and there are lots of attachment points for securing larger payloads or panniers.
- The integrated lights are top of the line in terms of safety and performance. Up front is the AXA Blueline headlamp, this light is very powerful with 50 LUX of output and it also has side cutouts that give great side visibility. In the back is a Hermans four-LED taillight, this is also quite bright and is very easy to see from a distance. Having quality lights is a must for riding in high-traffic areas, and the integration means easy operation from the control pad and no need to swap out or charge separate batteries.
- The mono-shock suspension fork helps to smooth out bumps in the road and provides a more comfortable ride, this is a fairly basic suspension solution but I found that it performed well while test riding on some bumpy trails. The Selle Royale saddle is also fairly wide and soft, still comfortable for me to sit on after two hours of riding around in Santa Cruz. The rubberized ergonomic grips help out here as well, they are fairly soft and locking so they won’t twist around if you bear down on them.
- This is an excellent mixe-use bike, something Gazelle refers to as a “trekking” bike and what others might call touring. The stem has a wide range of adjustability so you can set it for an upright relaxed riding position, or position it forward for a more aggressive style (as I did for my test rides). The many features make it excellent for commuting or running errands, and thanks to the suspension, great tires, and range you can also use it for longer trips or trails. It’s a great Ebike for adventuring!
- The Schwalbe Energizer Plus tires are Ebike-specific and include excellent puncture protection as well as reflective striping on the sidewalls for more side visibility. The tread pattern less friction when riding in a straight line on hard surfaces, with the side of the tread being a bit more aggressive and providing better traction when turning or riding on dirt.
- Great performance from the motor, this is the Bosch Performance Line 3.0 which is a big improvement over the previous generation. This motor is much lighter at just 7.1 pounds compared to the 8.8-pound predecessor, and it also features a full-size 32-tooth chainring which means none of the drag associated with reduction gearing in previous generations. For more details on reduction gearing and other differences between generations of Bosch motors you can check out this post on the EBR forums: Bosch Ebike Systems Motor Comparison. This motor is exceptionally quiet and provides up to 300% assistance with a maximum of 120rpm, and it has excellent climbing capabilities – check out the riding test in my video review where I tackle a huge incline riding with just one hand!
- Other perks of having a Bosch-equipped bike are the battery and control system. The display on the Ultimate T10 is the Bosch Purion display, this is Bosch’s more minimalist display compared to their larger and more feature-rich Intuvia model. The Purion display is compact and easy to see in direct sunlight, with large buttons that are easy to press even when wearing gloves. The battery is a Bosch PowerTube 500, so named because of having close to 500 watt-hours of capacity (the actual figure is 482.4). The PowerTube battery also integrates nicely into the downtube and I appreciate that the charging port is positioned up high and away from the crank arms.
- The frame is well built and surprisingly sturdy. Gazelle explained some of their manufacturing processes to me, the top and bottom brackets on the frame are single hydroformed pieces, and the downtube is double-walled for extra strength. Step-through frames like this are usually less stable and have a lot of frame flex, but I didn’t notice any on the Ultimate T10, not even when coasting downhill at upwards of 30mph… that’s impressive!
- Sleek and beautiful visual appearance thanks to internally routed cabling, beautiful paint and accents, and the flawless integration of the PowerTube battery into the downtube. The two color options (Ivory White and Champion Red) are both very striking, I especially like the Ivory White for that extra visibility at night.
- Braking is responsive and powerful thanks to Shimano hydraulic brakes, these are MT-420s that are often found on mountain bikes. The two-finger levers are fully adjustable for reach and easy to actuate thanks to being hydraulic, include motor inhibitors, and are connected to dual-piston calipers with 180/160mm rotors in the front and rear respectively.
- The Shimano Deore XT groupset is a real treat, this is an excellent derailleur that performs well for a wide range of riding conditions. This is a 1×10 setup with a range of 11 to 36 teeth on the cassette, the chainring features narrow-wide teeth to help grip the chain better, and there is also a full plastic chain guard that protects both the chain and the right chainstay.
- The charger is also better than average with 4amps of power, twice as much as the typical Ebike charger. I appreciate that despite this it is still fairly small and light at 1.6 pounds, still small enough to easily transport in a backpack.
- High-value Ebikes such as this are often targets 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, and the rear wheel features the 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. AXA also has accessories such as chains that can connect to the side of this cafe lock and then wrap around a solid object for more security. As a bonus, the key for the cafe lock is the same key used to unlock and remove the battery from the downtube.
- The key for the cafe lock must be left in the lock when it is unlocked, which means that when you lock up and remove the key you have to either go through the hassle of putting it on and off a keychain or risk losing it by keeping it separate… a good solution to this is to attach a small carabineer to the key so that you can easily clip it to a keychain when removed.
- The PowerTube battery isn’t as widely available or affordable as the PowerPack, The PowerPack is also interchangeable between different models of Ebikes that support it. Of course, the PowerTube integrates into the downtube much more cleanly, and it’s also a bit lighter thanks to Gazelle being allowed to design their own shield for it.
- The lack of a quick-release skewer for the seatpost means that adjustments are more difficult and time-consuming, requiring you to keep some tools handy. This can be especially annoying if you share this bike with a differently-sized family member and need to adjust the seat and stem on a regular basis. Of course, the trade-off here is that the nice saddle is less of a theft risk, and the stem is a lot more durable than tool-free adjustable stems which will slowly loosen and require regular tightening.
- Interestingly, there are quick-release skewers for both wheels, and I would consider them to be a higher theft risk than the saddle… of course, having quick-release on the wheels makes repairs much easier, but given how durable these Schwalbe Energizer Plus tires are I don’t foresee them needing a lot of repairs so I would prefer to forego the quick-release here to further reduce the chances of theft.
- The Bosch Purion display is not removable and lacks a USB port for charging personal electronics, both of these and other features are found on Bosch’s upgraded Intuvia model. Fortunately, these displays are interchangeable, and while Gazelle doesn’t offer the Intuvia as an option you can get one installed at a bike shop that carries Bosch systems.
- The limited 30mm of travel of the mono-shock suspension fork combined with the efficient tires (less cushion) means that your riding experience may not be comfortable if you ride on a lot of bumpy roads, or if you have any physical sensitivity due to injuries or health problems. I found the ride comfortable, but my opinion is biased by the fact that I spend a lot of time riding an old acoustic road bike that has no suspension at all… so it doesn’t take much for me to feel comfortable! If needed you can consider a 27.2mm suspension seatpost to add extra comfort and compliment the front shock.