by Rob Potts March 19, 2023

Here's a bike we've been wanting to get our hands (or feet) on for a while.   

Who is Gazelle?  They're based in the Netherlands, and they've been building bikes for over 130 years and where 98% of the people use a bike on a regular basis.   With that experience, they really pay attention to the details.  All but one of their bikes have an integrated lock, all have integrated front and rear lights, they have first class paint jobs, all bikes are mid drive (using Bosch systems).    They also have adjustable stems that can be adjusted quickly, for more comfort.  Their bikes are all really for paved trail / gravel road usage.  They are a premium brand, with prices ranging from $2,499 up to $4,999.  We do recommend one with at least 50Nm of torque for our area.  The only one that has less is the Medeo T9 City, with 40Nm of torque.  

Gazelle also has a ten-year warranty on frames, five on suspension forks and two years on everything else.   Most companies do 1-2 years on forks and 1 on parts.  We do have another write up, that includes an overview of the entire Gazelle line up and comparison chart of all their bikes.  

For now, let's get to this bike.  As we've stated before, we don't review bikes until we've ridden them multiple times, by different riders.   There are plenty of "reviews" where the reviewer has not ridden the bike.  

It's the Ultimate C380.  The One we reviewed is the Ultimate C380 Step Through ($4,249), which does pedal assist up to 20 MPH.  You can also get the Ultimate C380 Plus ($4,999) which goes up to 28 MPH, but only comes in a mid step over and full step over (we'll discuss why later).  They are nearly identical bikes, other than the frame design and speed.  

First of all, the ride of this bike is quiet and amazing.   Like other Gazelle's, which all use Bosch systems, it's a very quiet ride.  But this one using a belt drive, making it even quieter compared to all the models with chains.   The pedal assist feels so natural, other than the fact that you're going faster than normal and climbing hills with ease, you don't really feel like you're on a bike with a motor - more than you're just a really strong rider!  It really threw us when we started riding the bike as it seemed like it should be so much noisier.  

We're not going to save the best for last here, the Ultimate C380 lineup has a couple of features that are game changers.   It's got a continuously variable transmission (like some of our cars), combined with a 50,000 mile carbon belt and an internal hub in the bike.    What does that mean for the rider?

- The belt drive is much quieter and maintenance free.   Worried about breaking a chain - this carbon Gates belt is engineered to last 50,000 miles!  Notice that every bike you ride, you can hear the chain continually?  Not here - the bike is so quiet.  

- Internal hub that is a continuously variable transmission.   Not only is this a nearly maintenance free item but it literally has no gears.  This means you can reduce or increase the tension at will.  Been on a hill (even on an E-bike) when you changed gears too late and the chain pops due to the tension?  It's not only hard to shift with too much tension on the chain, but most of the bike adjustments we make in the shop are the result of improper shifting (and even avid riders make shifting mistakes).  It isn't going to happen here - you can be constantly adjusting the bike to suit your riding needs. Literally with the twist of your wrist, you can micro manage the amount of tension you need. 

With a geared bike, you're often needing a gear in between existing gears and the continued changing of gears makes noise.  With this bike the shifting is totally silent!   No clicking of the gears on the handlebars or the derailleur on the back, which makes the ride more peaceful.  In fact, it's almost weird how quiet the bike is as when you've been riding either a traditional bike or e-bike, there is noise.  Want to see / hear how the shifting works and how quiet it is - watch this video.  The first part is a standard E-bike, then we switch to this bike. 



It's hard to overstate how big a difference that transmission makes when climbing hills!  The first few hills we rode it up, it really throws you as you instinctively think - where's the clicking noise of the gears, both in the front and back;  You also think - I've really got to make sure I get in the right gear before I hit the hill!  But not on this bike - we were really able to micro manage the shifting. It's such a unique experience.  We started out on too high a gear, going too slow, at the bottom of the hills - All big no no's on a regular bike, normally setting you up for failure even on an E-bike. But with that transmission, in less than a second we had it at the right tension with no hesitation at all.  

- Torque / climbing power / speed  The Ultimate C380 has 65Nm, which is plenty for our hills.  It is pedal assist up to 20 MPH.  The Ultimate C380 Plus has torque of 85Nm and pedal assist up to 28 MPH.   That's enough to get you up some really big hills/streets at a really fast speed.   So overall, I'd say the C380 is great for paved trails and roads and the C380+ is that, but also an amazing commuter bike.   I've not yet ridden a C380+.  The C380 had plenty of power for the steepest hills around our store and on the trail.  We tried it going really slow, on too high a ge 

- Equipment.  Gazelle bikes are manufactured in the Netherlands, where not only do they ride bikes everywhere, but they are often left outside.   So, they have a segment of the market they understand as well / better than anyone.  That's really a lot of the inspiration behind this bike.   No gears to get messed up, no rusty chain / lubing the chain, etc.   The bike has integrated headlights/tail lights, rack, fenders and even a cafe lock on the back wheel.   It's got top of the line Bosch batteries and motors that give it a quiet and powerful ride.  Both have Shimano Deore hydraulic disc brakes.   One difference is the shock.  The Ultimate C380 has a shock in the head tube, that makes for a sleek look.   The Plus version has more of a traditional shock, as they assume the rider will be hitting some tougher terrain.    

- Frame Style / Seating Position.   The Ultimate C380 comes in a step through only.  The Ultimate C380+ comes in both a mid step and full step over.  The C380 has you sitting in more of an upright position, with the Plus version leaning more forward.  Why?  With a 28 MPH bike, you really need the extra rigidity that the mid bar provides, especially cornering at high speeds on gravel.   At the higher speeds, it's also better to be leaning forward more, to give you more control.  Why does the C380 Plus have both a mid step and step over?  The higher the bar, the more rigidity of the frame.  All of the C380 models  have a stem that's easily adjustable, to allow you to sit up more, or less, straight. 

- Battery life / ride per charge.  The C380 rated for up to 70 miles per charge and the C380 Plus at up to 55 miles per charge.   Now, we've been testing a Gazelle Arroyo C7 for the last year and have found we can get about 85-90 miles per charge on low and terrain that's level to mildly hilly.   So the C380 should be about the same.   Also, the Gazelle's are so easy to pedal with the belt drive and variable transmission, that they are easier to ride without the pedal assist than other E-bikes we've ridden.   It really just feels like a normal bike.  So if you use either bike in this fashion, you'll get even more miles out of it.  Personally, I wouldn't mind the Plus version having a bigger battery.  Though based on the way I ride E-bikes (often having them off when pedaling on flat surfaces, below 15 MPH), one could easily double that mileage.  But if I were exploring gravel roads long distances, at higher speeds, a bit larger battery would be nice on the Plus version.   

If you're trying to figure out which Gazelle is which, their names always give it away.   "Plus" means 28 MPH.  A number like, 7,8, 9, or 10 in the name tells you how many gears.  "Ultimate" means it's belt driven. C380 means it has a continuously variable transmission.  I've included a link to a full write up of the line below.  

Both these bikes come in 3 sizes, essentially small, medium and large. 

Their paint jobs also seem second to none.   Bikes in the Netherlands are used on a daily basis, often left outside in the elements, and Gazelle has responded with very high quality paint jobs. 

Weight on the bikes is around 55 lbs, give or take some, depending on the size and model.  The Plus version seems to weigh about 1 lb more than the regular C380, primarily due to the bigger front shock.








  Do You have E-Bikes to Test Ride?

Yes, we have Gazelle E-bikes in stock to demo.    As always, every bike we sell comes with a 30 day test ride, so if you decide you got the wrong bike, bring it back and swap it out for a different model.

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How Can I learn More?

You can send us a message on our Facebook page, at:, or visit the store.

Why buy a bike from Lewis & Clark instead of Online?

  • Build: When your bike comes in, it will be professionally assembled by a professional bike assembler, then inspected by a mechanic. That ensures it will be safe and operating as it should;
  • Maintenance: Every bike we sell comes with free lifetime tune ups! So as long as you’re the original owner, we’ll tune it up for you. This includes both the physical components and the electric ones. This will ensure you get the most out of your bike.
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