Enviolo hubs are also closed systems, so they don’t require too much maintenance (or mucking). And since the chain doesn’t need to go through the rungs of a traditional shifting mechanism, the bike sports an ultra-durable carbon belt drive – no more chain grease on your pants!
One thing about the bike that has intrigued WIRED reviewers Adrienne So and I is the included rear wheel lock (intended to make it impossible to roll the bike). We had no idea how to make it work. This is not a problem, as almost all built-in locks like this are useless, no matter how well they “work”. Someone can just pick up your bike and throw it in a van. use a real lock.
The smooth ride is mainly due to the single front shock absorber and the bigger tires, which are bigger than what you’ll find on most similar road bikes. They make the Gazelle’s hilt look a lot more like its namesake than the heavy step it appears to be.
It’s comfortable and nimble, able to handle even higher speeds without feeling rocky or scary like some other commuter electric bikes. The big disc brakes also stop you quickly enough so you never have to worry about being a bug on someone’s tailgate.
You sit down with your back generally straight, the comfortable handlebars sitting practically in your lap, and navigate wherever you want (within the 25 mile range of full power mode). You can go further with less power, but that’s not really where the C380 shines.
It’s the best way to get around town, thanks to the progressive design and the right amount of power applied by the mid-drive motor. You won’t go over 25 miles per hour like you can more expensive electric bikes, but that gets you quickly to 18, especially thanks to the quick-change Enviolo. Slow but steady, as they say, and it probably won’t crumble.
The Bosch 500 watt motor is perfect. I left it in turbo mode most of the time because it’s the fastest. And even at full speed on the C380, you feel in control, like the bike can easily handle more power if you give it a bigger motor.
What I like most about the C380 is that it works for pretty much any trip I want to take around town. Whether you’re heading to the grocery store, heading back to the office, or just out for an afternoon stroll, this is a welcome and fun companion. It ticks all the boxes, and it’s pretty too. With the beautiful wide wings, I didn’t even mind taking it out in the winter rain.
It’s pricey, but if you’re the type of person who tries to drive less and want an essentially bulletproof commuter bike, the Gazelle Ultimate C380 is about as good as it gets.