Gazelle NL C8 HMB Review

The Gazelle NL C8 HMB is a cruiser style, mid-sized utility electric bike, that has been refined in several key ways for 2018. The older C7 offered a 7-speed internally geared hub vs. an 8-speeds now, and you can see that reflected in the C8 name. It shipped with an efficient Bosch Active Line mid-motor vs. the Performance Line Cruise mid-motor here, the difference being ~15 newton meters of torque increase. And, it had a lower capacity Bosch PowerPack 400 vs. the 500 here, offering roughly 25% more energy to extend rides and provide a zippier ride feel. This is a beautiful looking, feature-complete, urban utility bike that is easy to approach and comfortable to ride. The double tube step-thru frame design provides a lower stand over height, it’s available in three sizes (possibly four in Europe) for optimal fit, and the stem can tilt to raise or optimize handlebar position. Even though this ebike does not ship with a suspension for, it provides a comfortable and stable ride. Gazelle chose wider rims with reinforcement eyelets that can handle heavier loads and bumpier streets, even packed dirt and gravel. Wider 28″ x 2″ CST Metropolitan Palmbay tires provide stability and dampen vibration when used at lower pressure (they are rated 30 to 65 PSI). These tires also have level 1 puncture protection and reflective sidewall stripes to keep you safe. With five beautiful colors to choose from, two of them lighter, and integrated LED lights that run off of the main battery pack… it’s a platform that’s capable year-round as the seasons and day/night cycles change. Electric bicycles like this are versatile because they could serve as a commuting platform, casual neighborhood ride, or family wagon. The sprung saddle and matching ergonomic grips allow you to ride longer without fatigue and the premium composite fenders and enclosed chain cover will keep you clean and dry all the way. They are also very quiet and sturdy compared to many others I have tested. Not everything is perfect here, there are some trade-offs to be considered in the name of functionality. The NL model, which stands for Netherlands, is one of Gazelle’s heaviest electric bikes, weighing roughly 62.8 lbs (28.4 kg) because of the large racks, more powerful motor, built-in cafe lock, and internally geared hub. The company has enabled walk-mode for all 2018+ models, and that’s a welcome feature in those moments when you’re walking through a park or pushing up a ramp, especially if you’ve got a child seat on the back and some groceries or books on the front. And yes, the Yepp Nexxt child seat is compatible with this rear rack! Older Yepp models required a rectangular window to sit down into, and that was not compatible with many rear-rack battery ebikes. The new one clamps on from the sides. The rar-rack tubing is slightly thicker than most standard bicycle racks I have seen, and may not work with all clip-on panniers. The kickstand is great for loading both racks, because it stabilizes the bike perfectly centered if the ground is flat… but it also hangs down a bit when riding, and could scrape obstacles like curbs if you get too close. Gazelle specs a locking headset that secures the font of the bike, keeping it straight for easy loading. Note that the front rack is attached to the fork and does turn with you, as you steer the bike. When fully loaded, up to 22 lbs (10 kg) the rack may impact steering a bit.

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