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If you’re looking at bikes online—or anything, really, whether it’s headphones or monitors—you have to consider price versus payoff. Gazelle has billed its newest ebike, the Eclipse, as a long-range comfort cruiser. It is basically the expensive Dutch version of the direct-to-consumer (DTC) Rad Power Bikes’ Radster Road (8/10, WIRED Recommends).

I brooded over that price difference while I was riding, until I realized that I really was much more comfortable, and for a really dumb reason. The handlebars on the Eclipse are much narrower than the Radster’s, as well as the other DTC bikes that I have tested. Most bikes have smaller parts for smaller frames, but if you’re a smaller or newer bike company, you might standardize your handlebar sizes due to restricted supply or economies of scale. That’s just not something you would do if you’re Royal Dutch Gazelle, which has existed for more than 130 years and holds the royal warrant in the Netherlands as a distinction of high quality.

You can swap out handlebars pretty easily on acoustic bikes, but doing so on an electric bike is a more complicated matter. Finding a narrower handlebar was such an unexpected comfort. It’s just … a really nice bike. Even the paint job is nicer than other bikes I have, with four hand-applied coats and dimensional shading to make it look slimmer. If you’re not trying to pinch pennies, there are a lot of really nice things about the Eclipse.

So Much Information

There are two different models of the Eclipse. Both have an aluminum frame, but the T11+ HMB has a Shimano Deore XT derailleur gear, while the version I tested is the C380+ version, which has the Enviolo CVT gear hub and a low-maintenance Gates belt drive. May I never have a chain drop out while crossing a busy street again!

Both come in a step-over and step-through version with three different frame sizes, with the smallest being a 46 centimeters. I’m 5’2″ and was positively thrilled to find a Dutch bike that comes in a size this small as the Dutch are tall people and this is unusual. Of course, the bikes all have UL certification, which means that the bike has been certified to comply with Underwriters Laboratories safety standards and won’t inadvertently set your garage on fire.

Side view of red and black electric bike propped up by the kickstand with graffiti covered buildings in the background

Photograph: Adrienne So

Probably the first thing you’ll notice is the new Bosch system. It has a Bosch Performance Line motor with 85 nm of torque and a 750-Wh ginormous battery integrated into the downtube. After about 45 miles of biking up hills and hauling gear, I only got the battery down to 45 percent. It’s a class 3 ebike with a maximum speed of 28 miles per hour.