Gazelle launches its fastest belt-drive electric bicycle yet, the Ultimate C380+

Dutch electric bicycle company Gazelle has been making major inroads with US customers. Now the company’s new Class 3 Ultimate C380+ trekking e-bike is offering up even more exciting speed and is likely to further Gazelle’s US growth.

The announcement of the new Class 3 version of the e-bike marks the first major update to the Ultimate C380 model that was announced last October.

The original launched as a Class 1 e-bike, meaning it was limited to a top speed of 20 mph (32 km/h) under pedal assist in the US.

Now Gazelle is offering the Ultimate C380+ with a more powerful Bosch Performance Line Speed mid-drive motor. That bumps the bike up to a maximum speed of 28 mph (45 km/h) under pedal assist.

It also gives the Ultimate C380+ the honor of becoming the first Class 3 belt drive e-bike in Gazelle’s lineup.

That belt drive is provided by Gates Carbon Drive, widely seen as a leader in the industry for electric bicycle belt drives. In fact, the company also supplies final drive belts for leading electric motorcycles such as the Harley-Davidson LiveWire and the Zero SR/F.

As Gazelle North America’s general manager Ewoud van Leeuwen explained:

“We have seen a tremendous response to the belt drive models we introduced last year: the Gazelle Ultimate C8 and C380. Rider feedback has been extremely positive: from the ease of shifting to the hassle-free nature of the low maintenance belt drive. The only request has been for a Class 3 belt drive option, and so we are thrilled to now offer this with the Ultimate C380+.”

That belt transfers a powerful 85 Nm of torque from the Bosch Performance Line Speed motor and dumps it into an Enviolo continuously variable transmission. The Enviolo 380 rear hub uses stepless shifting to provide a smooth gear transition through a wide 380% gear range.

The transmission allows riders to shift under load and at rest – two key advantages over typical derailleur-based bicycle transmissions.

It’s a piece of kit I use on one of my own e-bikes and I absolutely love it for its advantages.

The Class 3 Bosch motor, continuously variable Enviolo rear hub and the Gates belt drive are three premium components gracing the Gazelle Ultimate C380+, but they aren’t the only high-spec parts.

Riders will also find premium four-piston Shimano Deore hydraulic disc brakes, an 80 mm suspension fork, and 500 Wh of battery. While we see many e-bikes with larger batteries these days, 500 Wh remains plenty for a pedal assist e-bike that operates more efficiently than the throttle-enabled e-bikes that are commonly available in the US.

The 55.5 lb (25.1 kg) bike also comes standard with integrated front and rear lighting, a rear rack with bungee straps, a cafe lock on the rear wheel, fenders, belt guard, and a Gazelle bell.

There are three mid-step frame sizes available along with two high-step sizes. The high-step frame also has room for a dual battery option, allowing riders to double the bike’s range.

This new model is chock-full of high-end parts, and so it isn’t cheap with an MSRP of $4,749. Those that are ready to pony up the cash won’t have to wait long though, as the new Gazelle Ultimate 380+ is already en route to Gazelle North America’s network of retailers.

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Avatar for Micah Toll Micah Toll

Micah Toll is a personal electric vehicle enthusiast, battery nerd, and author of the Amazon #1 bestselling books DIY Lithium Batteries, DIY Solar Power, The Ultimate DIY Ebike Guide and The Electric Bike Manifesto.

The e-bikes that make up Micah’s current daily drivers are the $999 Lectric XP 2.0, the $1,095 Ride1Up Roadster V2, the $1,199 Rad Power Bikes RadMission, and the $3,299 Priority Current. But it’s a pretty evolving list these days.

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