low-step frame. We took a few minutes to adjust the stem, which requires an Allen wrench to adjust both stem angle and then reposition the bars. You can set it up for a more upright ride or a more aggressive, lower ride depending on your preference.
Unlocking the cafe lock is done using the same key as the one for the battery. We still carry a regular lock if we think we’re going to park a bike anywhere, but the cafe lock will keep anyone from riding off with the bike. They’d have to pick it up and carry it, which is obvious and awkward.
When you turn on the system, the lights come on automatically. The AXA headlight is bright and a great safety feature, even for riding in full daylight. It has side lenses that allow some of the light to shine to the sides for greater side visibility.
With the 1.75-inch tires, riding is very smooth, and there’s little rolling resistance. We took this bike to the beach bike path where there were wet sections and sections of the path that had a dusting of sand. It felt planted, and there was plenty of grip on all those sections, even when cornering at 15 mph. There was one section that had 2–3 inches of sand that had built up on the path, and the tires plowed through nicely.
The brakes were ample, and we even avoided a few pedestrians that walked across the bike path without looking first. Those quick stops didn’t even involve skidding, even with hard braking from a pretty quick clip.
The saddle isn’t heavily padded, but on long rides, it was completely comfortable for the entire ride. Though swapping out a saddle is easy and relatively inexpensive if you don’t like it, this one seemed like a perfect match for the bike. There’s no quick-release on the seatpost clamp, which makes it harder to steal when locked up.
The bike’s geometry helps it track well, and steering is responsive and lively without being twitchy. Controlling the bike while riding no-handed makes it clear how stable this bike is. The Shimano XT 1×10 speed system had a perfect range for this bike, allowing us to cruise quickly along on flat ground and climb any hill we encountered easily, even without changing power mode.
As a commuter bike, the only thing we felt like we were missing was a higher-speed motor. For cruising around town at a leisurely pace, that wasn’t an issue. It’s nicer to ride in traffic at 25 mph on a Class 3 bike instead of having to provide all power above 20 mph. If you’re not ahead of schedule on your commute to work, you can expect to get quite a workout to be on time.
Gazelle hits one out of the park with this bike. It’s powerful, well-built and…