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Q & A – Gazelle Electric Bikes

 

Can I hop onto it like an ordinary bicycle?

Yes. The assistance will build up gradually and is so natural that it is just as easy as riding an ordinary bike. Take care not to set off in too high a gear, a lower gear will require less effort from you and your battery, thus increasing your range.

What does pedal-assist mean?

It means you must be pedaling for the electric motor to provide power. There are 3-4 different levels of assistance offered, depending on the model of Gazelle. These modes help the driver pedal the bike. You do have to be pedaling but you will hardly feel like you are doing any work at all.

Are these bikes comfortable? My current bike gives me pain in my back, neck, and wrists.

Gazelle e-bikes are the most comfortable bikes in the world! On a Gazelle, you sit very upright. This puts more of your weight on the saddle as opposed to on the handlebars. This takes all the pressure off your back, neck, and wrists.

Are these bikes safe?

The upright riding position makes these bikes safer than a traditional bike. You will be sitting up tall and be able to see over other bikers, pedestrians, and cars. It also comes with super powerful hydraulic brakes. This means no more dirty and rusty cables! You always have the best braking performance available to you, even if its raining. You also get wide enough tires to travel on trails with this bike.

Can my Gazelle dealer service the electronics?

Yes. Your Gazelle dealer has been specially trained to carry out maintenance and repairs on your bike. In addition to this they have a special computer software available to be able to correct any malfunction rapidly and they can always fall back on Gazelle’s Service and Warranty department.

Can I ride my e-bike in the rain?

Yes, the components in it are splash-proof and will operate normally in the rain. However, you must not immerse your e-bike completely or clean it with a pressure-washer.

How often do I need to return my bike back to the dealer for service and maintenance?

Service intervals will depend on use. We advise you to have your bike serviced once a year.

Does the location of the electric motor and battery make these bikes feel unbalanced while riding or back-heavy?

The motor is mounted in the center of the bike. The battery is mounted in the rear or in the middle of the bike, depending on the model. To compensate for the weight of the rear-mounted battery, Gazelle has a clever frame design and extended front forks. This means the front wheel gets mounted further away from the rear wheel, compared to other e-bikes on the market. This helps make the bike feel well-balanced and easy to maneuver.

How long does it take to charge the battery?

It takes approximately 5-6 hours to fully charge a completely drained battery.

What is the lifespan of the battery?

The lifespan of the battery is approximately 1000 charges with the battery being completely drained to a full charge. It will last longer if you don’t completely drain the battery. The battery will continue to work after 1000 charges, you just may not get as much range as you did when the bike was new. After 1000 charges, you will get approximately 80% of the range you used to get when the battery was new.

In terms of range, these bikes can travel up to 160km per charge depending on the model of bike and riding conditions. (eg. wind, hills, speed, driver/cargo weight, etc.)

What is the top speed of these bikes?

32 KPH is the top speed. That is the legal limit for an e-bike in Canada.

Can I carry cargo on an e-bike?

Yes. Every Gazelle e-bike comes with a rear carrier rack. You can either strap down cargo on top of the rack or you can attach a single or double pannier. The Gazelle C8 even comes with a front carrier rack in addition to the rear rack!

Will the bike provide less assistance if the battery is almost flat?

Yes, the battery will provide less assistance if it is near enough flat. Up to that point, the system will provide full assistance. Incidentally, if the battery is flat, the lighting will keep on operating normally because the battery includes reserve capacity for this purpose.

What should I do if I am not using the battery for a long time? Such as over the winter.

You don’t need to do anything. If you want to put your bike away for longer, it is advisable to store the battery not fully charged. Make sure that there are always one or two LEDs lighting up when putting it into storage.

Are there any special external charging points?

You don’t need them because you can simply remove the battery from your bike and insert the flat plug on the charger into any power socket. Moreover, since the charger is so small and light, it will fit in any (cycle) bag. Accordingly, you can charge your battery with this charger while out and about in a restaurant, in a hotel room or in your car (using a standard 12 V/230 V power inverter plugged into your car’s cigarette lighter socket).

If it is freezing outside, it seems as if there is less energy in the battery, why is this?

Batteries function less well at lower temperatures. Apart from the fact that the battery cannot be fully charged or discharged, this doesn’t cause any other problems. That is why we recommend charging the battery at room temperature in the winter.

Will my lights work with a flat battery?

There is always some residual energy capacity left in the battery. This energy is more than enough to keep your lights on for a few more hours.

What do I see while my battery is charging?

The battery can be charged in and out of the bike using the charger supplied with it. (Do not use any charger other than the one supplied with the bike.) There are LEDs located on the side of the battery. As the charging process progresses, the LEDs on the battery start lighting up one by one. Once all five LEDs have gone out the battery is fully charged.

How can I maintain my battery?

The life of a battery is particularly influenced by the nature and duration of the use. All lithium-ion batteries age naturally, even when not being used.

- Factors that shorten battery life

  • intensive use
  • storage at ambient temperatures > 30 degrees
  • lengthy storage in a completely charged or discharged state
  • parking electric bike in direct sunlight

+ Factors that increase battery life

  • limited load
  • storage at ambient temperatures between 0 and 20 degrees
  • storage at a charge status between 30 and 60%

- Cleaning

Always remove the battery from the bike before cleaning it. Do not get any electrical components wet and do not allow any direct water spray on them. Occasionally clean and lightly lubricate the plug pins.

- Winter storage

Store battery at temperatures between 0 and 20 degrees. If a battery is completely empty this will cause more wear. The ideal charge status for storing the battery is between 30 and 60%.

- Storage (general)

Temperatures below -10 degrees and higher than 60 degrees should be avoided.

- Winter time

In the winter (particularly when it is below 0 degrees) connect the battery that has been stored at room temperature onto the electric bike shortly before departure. If cycling regularly in the cold it is recommended to use thermal protective covers.

- Transport

When transporting the bike, always remove the battery from the bike and transport this safely.

- Maintenance

The dealer can check the condition of the battery using a diagnosis device.

What factors affect range?

Range is dependent on various factors. Thus, the speed at which you ride the bike will have a major impact. See below for the average range at various speeds. In addition to speed, there are other external factors that affect the range. The range advertised in our brochures and manuals is based on averages. Thus, it is assumed that the average rider weighs 70 kg, cycles on relatively flat terrain and shifts gears actively. Below you will find that leading factors that affect range:

  • Weight. The total weight of the bike, the rider and load will affect the range.
  • Gear-shifting behaviour. Actively shifting gears increases the range. Just like a car, when setting off from a standstill, you should start in the lowest gear. Never start in the highest gear; this will adversely affect your range.
  • Type of sensor. E-bikes are fitted with a pedal force sensor or a rotation sensor. A pedal force sensor amplifies your own effort whereas a rotation sensor only provides assistance while pedalling. Put another way, the rider will always get maximum assistance with a rotation sensor, which results in less range. 
  • Type of read surface. The surface over which you are cycling has a substantial effect on your range. Thus, cycling along an unpaved road surface will reduce your range. 
  • The weatherCycling with a tailwind or into a headwind will increase or reduce your range. Temperature will also affect it. Thus, at extremely low temperatures (< o degrees) the battery is able to store less energy, which reduces the distance you can cycle. 
  • Hilly terrainYou can cycle further on flat terrain than in the hills. The magnitude of the impact will also depend on the type of electric system. Thus, a mid-mounted motor is better suited to hills due to the motor’s thermal stability.
  • Tyre pressure

Since you will probably experience a number of the abovementioned factors, here are a number of examples of the magnitude of their impact;

  • If you are cycling on good tarmac in a hilly area and you weigh 95 kg, then you may well find your range reduced by up to 20% compared to what is shown for the average range. 
  • If you are cycling into a strong headwind, it can make a difference in range of up to 40%. 
  • If you are cycling along an unpaved road, it will make cut your range by around 30% compared to cycling on tarmac.

 

How can I influence/increase my battery range?

- Assistance level selected. In the highest assistance level the range will be less than at the lowest assistance level; - The rider’s weight (the heavier the rider, the less the range); - The motor will need to deliver a great deal of power when you accelerate in a high / heavy gear. As a result of this you will need to recharge the battery sooner rather than later; - The range on a charged battery is reduced when it is colder. It is best therefore to charge the battery at room temperature; - Mechanical condition of the bike. Underinflated tyres increase rolling resistance which draws more power from the motor. This reduces the range; - The motor needs to deliver more power when cycling in hilly terrain. This reduces the range; - The age of the battery. A battery ages as time passes. This reduces its capacity which in turn shortens your range; - Give your bike a service once a year.

What do I do in the event of a defect outside of the warranty period?

You are best going back to your Gazelle dealer. They are the cycle specialist you can go to with any questions you may have. In most cases they will be able to come up with a solution there and then. If this does not prove successful, they will contact the Gazelle Service and Warranty Department in order to resolve the issue.

What are Gazelle warranty terms and conditions?

Gazelle gives you no less than a 10-year warranty against material and construction defects on the frame and non-suspension front forks. This is obviously subject to the bike being treated, used and maintained normally. There is a 5-year warranty on suspension front forks. The paintwork on the frame and the front forks is covered by a 5-year warranty period. Components on your bike are covered by a 2-year warranty subject to normal use and maintenance.

Please refer to the user manual received at the time of purchase for the exact warranty terms and conditions.

These bikes cost more than a non-electric bike. I am worried that it may get stolen.

Gazelle e-bikes come with a built-in rear wheel lock. When engaged, this prevents the rear wheel from spinning. This means no one can ride your bike. In Europe, it is called a “café lock.” It is great for quick stops when your bike is still within sight. For longer stops or when your bike may not be within your sight, we recommend Axa plug-in locks. This works by wrapping it around a bike rack, like you would with most chain style locks. It then plugs directly into the café lock that is mounted on your bike. It provides you with an extra layer of security. With this plug-in lock and the café lock engaged, no one can remove your bike from the bike rack and the rear wheel can not spin freely. This is a very safe way to secure your bike.

You do have the option to have your e-bike insured under your homeowner’s insurance as well. We also have other means of adding additional security measures for your e-bike. If you would like to learn more about them, please contact us.

Is the battery protected against theft?

Yes, the battery is secured to the frame with a separate battery lock. This lock uses the same bike key as ring lock on the bike.