Here at Electric Bikes Brisbane we take extra care in selecting the brands we stock.
The brands we range need to match what our customers need. Firstly, the electric bike itself must represent value for money, be stylish, and perform well - especially for the short sharp hills we often have to ride. Secondly the manufacturers and brand managers must have a solid reputation for innovation, professionalism and backup for warranty and repairs.
In ranging Gazelle Electric Bikes, particularly the Bosch-powered electric bikes, our customers can be 100% confident they are making a great investment. It ticks all the boxes!
In the first of our brand profile series we talk to Paul van Bellen of Gazelle Bicycles Australia on how the world’s #1 electric bike brand came to be Australia’s #1 city-style electric bike brand.
EBB: Why Gazelle, Paul? How did Gazelle come to be in Australia?
Paul: It was meant to be I think! I have Dutch heritage and was in Holland in 2007 because my grandmother had passed away. I came across Gazelle bikes in a bike shop in the village where Gazelle bikes were made. My grandfather (who had passed away many years before) was a bike engineer so I was curious.
The bike shop stocked many different brands. And when I asked the shop owner which was the best brand he pointed me to Gazelle. Just about every 2nd bike sold in Holland is a Gazelle and when I tried it I was just blown away. It was slick, practical, a great design and the ride quality was superb – it just glides.
I approached Gazelle to become the distributor in Australia and the rest they say is history. We opened Gazelle Australia in 2008. Gazelle were very easy to deal with and have been our whole relationship. They are the brand that are always a bit ahead of the pack and the one that others follow.
EBB: What got you into electric bikes?
Paul: I got into electric bikes through my association with Gazelle. When we first started Gazelle Australia in 2008 we were just traditional bicycles but I had ridden their Easy Glider electric bike when I was there in 2007 and I knew that this would be the future. It was amazing.
EBB: What are you most excited about in terms of what is coming?
Paul: Getting Bosch motors in our electric bike range has been pretty exciting. We have some new technologies such as the Impulse System coming in later this year and there is also a new hub-drive system that was launched at Eurobike this year.
EBB: How would you describe a typical Gazelle customer?
Paul: Gazelle customers really love their bikes. They are very loyal. They tend to be professionals, urban dwellers who really value quality. They love all the details in their Gazelle ebike – the custom fittings, quality parts and of course the super comfortable Gazelle glide.
EBB: What’s your favourite customer story?
Paul: A few years back we were looking for a new accountant. We had just sold a bike to a new customer and he rolled up to our shop in his $200-300k Mercedes car. We spent 20-30 mins in the handover of the bike to him and I happened to mention we were looking for an accountant. It turns out he was an accountant - he has been our accountant now for 3-4 years. And now instead of driving his expensive Mercedes he rides his Gazelle electric bike – to client meetings, and visits, everywhere.
EBB: What has been the most innovative or unusual use of a Gazelle so far?
Paul: The City of Sydney ordered a Gazelle Cabby (the cargo bike) from us for their municipal library. It is non-electric so they put an electric conversion kit on it and had a community competition to name it. It is now officially the “Cycleopedia”!
EBB: What are your top tips on how to get the best out of a Gazelle electric bike?
- Servicing – get your first check up / tune up after 3 months and then at least annually, if not more if you use it a lot.
- Keep it clean – wipe it down regularly to keep grit down and no hosing with high pressure water hoses.
- Keep tyre pressures at the recommended pressures to avoid flats.
- Gaadi bicycle tubes – a great invention from Germany where you don't have to take off the tyre to change the tube.
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