We were allowed on the road with the Gazelle No 1. The Speed pedelec is considered the absolute top model within the well-known Dutch bicycle builder’s e-bike range.
In this e-bike era, new names just keep popping up. It can then be difficult to find reliable references about the build quality and driving experience. The advantage of a fixed value like Gazelle, on the other hand, is the rich history that goes back to 1892. Gazelle now builds 300,000 bikes a year, so lack of experience cannot be blamed on them. They’ve also been in the e-bike segment for many years, and that expertise is reflected in the sleek, robust design of the Gazelle No 1. The modern, clean lines of the frame have a very sporty feel, and our orange was particularly beautiful. … We’d also prefer it over the black version, the only other color option. We are not at all surprised that the Gazelle No 1 won, among other things, the award for Good Industrial Design (GIO) 2021.
Excellent technique creates confidence
While other brands sometimes focus on the starting speed, this is not a speed pedelec that launches you forward in a snap. The Bosch Performance Line Speed motor is no less than 85 Nm strong and always manages to build up a pleasant momentum, so you are never surprised to suddenly have to step harder on the pedals. This is primarily due to Enviolo’s automatic gear change unit (Heavy Duty – AutomatiQ Pro variant), so you don’t have to change gears yourself. In this way, you can focus even more on the road. All you have to do is choose the cadence. During our test rides, we adjusted it a few times (purely to experiment with it), although it turned out not to be necessary at all. Once you find a comfortable rotation speed, you can continue using it. If you still have to deal with a solid uphill, it is sufficient to put the engine in Sport or Turbo. In this way, even the least sporty riders will reach the top of a slope without panting. Those who accelerate quickly must also be able to stop in time. No 1 is equipped with TRP hydraulic disc brakes. They bring you to a powerful stop and give you a little more confidence when you’re driving fast. Even when it is dark outside, the 230 lux strong headlamp ensures sufficient visibility and safety.
Focus on tight handling
If we have to look for a drawback, then perhaps it is the rather harsh handling. Gazelle also informed us that it was a conscious choice to build a speed pedelec with No. 1 that can replace the car and is therefore intended for the bigger, tighter tarmac roads. If you’re looking for something more in the country or on cobbled strips, you’ll find the lack of a suspension fork and saddle. They are also not available as options. The front fork is also made of carbon, which makes it comfortable to ride and makes the steering easier. Fortunately, the saddle itself is comfortable and even after a long ride we did not suffer from saddle pain. It is especially in your steering wheel that you may need to absorb some shocks on bumps. But if you primarily drive in city traffic and drive on tight roads, it will be very difficult to beat number 1 in quality.
In the compact, clear Kiox display from Bosch (which you operate intuitively with the buttons next to the left handle), you get information about the range in addition to the cadence. With a full 626 Wh battery, it is 75 kilometers. And that distance was certainly achievable during our tests. We even started to doubt whether No 1 had regeneration technology on board, but it doesn’t. As soon as you appeal less to the power (in Eco or Tour), you can cycle significantly longer than in Sport or Turbo, logically. And if you still want the engine to do the heaviest work or simply be able to drive an even longer route without charging, you can expand the Gazelle No 1 with an additional battery pack of 500 Wh, i.e. a total of 1,125 Wh. Unfortunately, you have to put an extra 1,000 euros on the table, and we wouldn’t do that quickly, to be honest, because the total price of the bike will be much higher this way.
As the absolute showpiece of Gazelle’s e-bike range, the No 1 has some expectations to live up to, and it does so primarily due to its good looks and functional design. Even those who are not very handy with the computer part of e-bikes should not worry: the Kiox system from Bosch is extremely simple and clear. Your cadence is the only setting that really matters. Although the automatic Enviolo system provides comfort, this is not always the case with the non-sprung front fork. If you don’t immediately plan to explore uneven tracks, the Gazelle No 1 is one of the best speed pedelecs on the market for the commuter who wants to leave the car at home.
The Gazelle No 1 is available via the brand’s webshop, from 6,299 euros. You will also find all specifications there.