With a 400W mid-drive Bosch motor, a 500Wh battery, and an internal 8-speed hub, plus an upright riding position and full front and rear fenders, the Arroyo C8 looks to be an excellent electric commuter bike.
Cyclists come in all stripes and flavors, with widely varying riding needs and situations, and while some are in it for the recreational thrill of singletrack and downhill runs, others might find their groove spinning out century rides, and still others may just want a fun and fast way to get across town and back again. And although it's certainly possible to ride just a single kind of bike on all of those types of routes, the best bike for any given cyclist is the one that's set up specifically for the type of riding they're most likely to do each day or week, and the one they feel the most comfortable on. If the bike is sized well and set up correctly, the rider is apt to be more at ease in the saddle, and to enjoy themselves more as a result, which is big factor in whether or not they continue to ride it.
When it comes to commuting and two-wheeled urban transport, the Dutch know a thing or two about making city bikes (and about making good city bike infrastructure), and from Royal Dutch Gazelle, which has been making quality city bikes since 1892, comes a new e-bike entry in the daily rider category. Gazelle's Arroyo C8 HMB, which is packed with features, is available in both a step-through and a diamond frame, and is powered by a high-torque Bosch motor that is designed to conquer hilly routes with ease.
Ride like the Dutch:
Four pedal assist levels allow for the rider to choose between the 40-mile range of Turbo mode or up to 90+ miles per charge in Eco mode, with a full recharge of the Arroyo's lithium ion battery pack taking about five hours. The bike's range and charging time puts it clearly in the car-killer sector of e-bikes, as even a long-ish bike commute can be covered virtually sweat-free with its electric assist, while less than a full working day is required to completely top off its battery for the ride home. And with its upright riding position, the Arroyo may appeal to those who dislike the more forward riding posture that many road bikes and mountain bikes put them in.
The Arroyo features a fully-covered chain and drivetrain to minimize any greasy clothing experiences, and has an 8-speed internal gear hub, boosted by the mid-mounted Bosch 400W motor, and both front and rear wheels are wrapped in full fenders. The front fender incorporates a unique Gazelle headlight, while the bike's rear rack, which is also where the battery pack is mounted, sports a rear light. [Note: On the Gazelle website, it states that the battery is located on the down tube, but the images of both the step-through and the diamond frame bikes clearly show the battery under the rear rack.]
According to the company, as equipped with a 13.8Ah Bosch Platinum battery pack, the Arroyo C8 HMB can be ridden for a range of 90-100 miles in Eco mode, 55 miles in Tour mode, 43 miles in Sport mode, or about 40 miles per charge in Turbo mode. The aluminum-framed bikes weigh in at 24.5 kg (54 pounds), which may make it unwieldy when dealing with stairs, but because of its removable battery, it could be secured outside, with only the battery carried along.
All of the bike's features add up to what looks like a very smartly designed e-bike, and one which could very well keep the owner's car parked for days at a time, but it doesn't come cheap. With the market being hit by low-cost ($500) bare bones e-bikes, the purchase price of a Gazelle Arroyo might seem steep, but considering the premium components, the pedigree of the company that has been building bikes in the Netherlands for more than a century, and Gazelle's generous warranties, the bike's $3500 price tag is probably just about right. Learn more about the Arroyo at the company's website.