Gazelle Arroyo C8 HMB Elite: Specifications
Mass: 51.6 pounds
Transmission: Shimano Nexus 8-speed
Engine: Bosch mid-drive Active Line Plus, 50 Nm of torque
Maximum assist speed: 20 mph
Maximum range: 70 miles
Battery: Removable Li-ion, 500 Wh, 13.4 Ah
The Gazelle Arroyo C8 HMB Elite immediately strikes as a stylish bike. The lines, the colors, the painting are perfect. It really is a bike born out of Dutch tradition, and it would look right at home on the streets of Amsterdam or Utrecht.
What really makes it stand out is how easy it is to use, both as an e-bike and as a classic pedal bike. The Arroyo C8 HMB Elite is one of the few e-bikes I’ve tested that’s just as fun and easy to pedal without the engine even on.
While you can certainly find this style of e-bike for less money, Gazelle strikes a good balance between functionality, sleek aesthetics, versatility and comfort. Read the rest of our Gazelle Arroyo C8 HMB Elite review to see why it’s one of the best electric bikes – if you can vary the price.
Gazelle Arroyo C8 HMB Elite review: Price and availability
The Arroyo C8 HMB Elite costs $3,700 and is available to buy now. You can configure your bike on the Gazelle website and then use the company’s dealer locator to buy your bike locally.
Gazelle offers a generous ten-year warranty on defects in materials and workmanship, and a five-year warranty on suspension forks. There is also a five-year warranty period for frame and fork paint defects. Parts are covered by a two-year warranty.
Gazelle Arroyo C8 HMB Elite review: Design
The Arroyo C8 Elite features a deep pitch frame design that allows riders of all sizes to mount and dismount with ease. The battery is integrated in the down tube. Overall, the bike could easily pass for a non-motorized bike at a glance.
The Arroyo C8 Elite is available in three sizes: 46, 53 and 57. There is a size calculator on the Gazelle website if you are unsure which size would fit you best. You can also choose from two different colors: black and silver.
The frame rolls on 700c wheels with wide, puncture-resistant tires. Gazelle included fenders and a rear rack on my test model. Tektro hydraulic disc brakes provide ample stopping power and smooth braking modulation.
The front fender has an integrated headlight and a rear light is mounted at the rear of the bike on the rear rack.
There’s also an integrated rear wheel lock: The AXA Defender allows you to run a bar through your spokes to lock the wheel in place. With the bar in place, just remove the key and your bike is secure. Return the key when you’re ready to ride again; it stays in the lock so you never forget to take it with you.
Comfort is clearly one of the main design goals of the Arroyo C8 Elite. The adjustable Switch stem allows you to adapt your riding position very quickly and without tools. And you get a suspension seatpost to dampen road vibrations.
There is also an integrated suspension system at the bottom of the head tube. With 30mm of travel, it cuts out road vibrations and bigger hits to keep all that shock from getting through to your body.
The Bosch Active Line Plus motor is integrated in the bottom bracket area. It works almost completely silently. A Bosch Purion LCD headunit controls the motor from the handlebars. Operation is simple using the buttons to control your assist mode. The screen also gives you useful data such as your current speed, battery life, etc.
And finally, a touch of elegance, the handlebar grips are made of leather, and quite flexible. It gives the Gazelle a premium look and feel.
Gazelle Arroyo C8 HMB Elite review: Performance
The Arroyo C8 Elite positions the rider upright, which means it’s a comfortable position that won’t put pressure on your arms, wrists and hands. The saddle does most of the support here, and it’s wide and plush. It’s also perched atop a suspension seatpost that dampens big hits from potholes and the like.
There’s also 30mm of suspension built into the fork/steerer tube interface. It does a terrific job of soaking up road chatter and moderate potholes. There is a bit of fore-aft flex in the fork, especially under braking. This makes the front end of the bike a little spongy under braking, but otherwise not much of an issue.
You can perfect your riding position using the cool adjustable stem. Simply flip the lever, position the handlebars where it’s most comfortable for you, and lock it all in with the lever on the stem. It only takes a few seconds and you won’t need any tools to make the adjustments. This is one of the brightest features of the Arroyo C8 Elite.
The Bosch motor seems powerful enough for this type of bike. It zips up quickly and stays there. And the Arroyo C8 Elite has no problem with hills. The motor provides enough assist to avoid getting bogged down when the tarmac gets steep.
One of the best things about the Arroyo C8 Elite is also its ability to function as a non-motorized bike. I enjoyed pedaling this bike without the engine running. It looks like any other bike, despite the extra weight. It’s comfortable and fun to ride.
I struggled a bit with Shimano’s 8-speed Nexus drivetrain. The shifting faltered back and forth (harder gears to easier gears, and vice versa) despite on-the-fly cable adjustments. It could be just luck or a faulty system; I’ve used the Shimano Nexus system on other bikes before with no problems.
The Arroyo C8 Elite looks and feels like a premium bike. It feels solid and well-built, and despite weighing 50 pounds, the ride is smooth and easy to manage. Steering is stable and predictable and ride comfort is exceptional.
Gazelle Arroyo C8 HMB Elite review: Range and battery life
I took the Arroyo C8 Elite on a ten-mile ride in cold weather, hovering just above freezing. After those ten miles, I had only lost one bar (out of 5) of battery life using exclusively the Turbo setting – the highest level of assist.
Gazelle advertises a range of 70 miles in Eco mode, the lowest assistance setting. The Turbo range is announced at 25 miles. Seems like a conservative estimate based on my ride time in Turbo mode.
Gazelle Arroyo C8 HMB Elite review: Accessories
There is only one accessory listed on the Arroyo C8 Elite page on the Gazelle website. The Gazelle Carrier Bag is $160 and mounts to the rear rack, giving you space to store small items while you ride.
Gazelle Arroyo C8 HMB Elite review: The competition
The Dutch-style e-bike isn’t hard to find. Trek offers different types, like the Allant + Lowstep for $3,800. It also uses a mid-drive Bosch motor – the Bosch Performance Line CX. And it features an upright riding position and front suspension. The Allant includes a 9-speed transmission, outperforming the Arroyo by one speed. But the Gazelle certainly looks more streamlined than the Trek, and it’s slightly lighter (by about three pounds). The Arroyo also costs a little less.
If you’re looking for a less traditional look, check out the Lemond Dutch. It’s pricier at $4,900, but it also features a lightweight carbon frame and 11-speed drivetrain. Best of all, it weighs just 21 pounds, which is great if you’re carrying your e-bike up the stairs in your apartment.
Although not as sleek and stately as the Arroyo C8 Elite, the Rad Power RadCity 5 Plus, Step-Through will save you money. It costs $2,000 and features a hub motor, 28-50 mile range, throttle and Shimano 7-speed drivetrain.
Gazelle Arroyo C8 HMB Elite review: Verdict
The Arroyo C8 HMB Elite features good construction, a comfortable ride, and a reliable Bosch motor that makes for a wonderful package. It’s just as fun to ride without the pedal assist system, which means that at its entry level, the Arroyo C8 Elite is just a good bike.
Although I’ve had some issues with the Shimano shifting, I’m willing to attribute this to improper adjustment or possibly even a warranty situation given Shimano’s excellent track record and my own experience anterior. Aside from the shifting difficulties, there wasn’t much to complain about when riding the Arroyo C8 Elite.
You could definitely get an equally reliable and comfortable Dutch-style bike for less money. But the Arroyo C8 HMB Elite looks great, has tons of well-designed features like integrated lights and a lock, and a very nifty adjustable stem that means it’s easy to accommodate more than one rider.