When you think of gazelles you probably think of something quick and nimble. We know we do. This particular Gazelle, on the other hand…
This Dutch-made beauty (circa 1978) is about as “adorned” as a bike could ever hope to be, with lights, generator, wheel lock, bell, fenders, front mudflap, drum brakes and rear carrier (all stock equipment). It even has a chainguard and skirtguard, made predominantly from vinyl, we’re thinking to avoid rust, and hopefully to lighten the thing a little.
Ok, so it might not be Gazelle-quick, but then again, it isn’t the worst bike we’ve ever pushed around. Even with its high profile (the handlebars hit us mid-stomach) and its 28″ wheels, the bike performs modestly well. Agreed, it’s not a Masi, but the bike easily outpaces a Raleigh DL-1 or Chinese equivalent. So, in that regard, we guess you could consider it the “gazelle” of the 28″ wheel bike world. Small claim, but it’s something.
Older lightweights like this Schwinn New World have traditionally played second-fiddle to balloon-tire bikes. Without tanks, lights, or any other fancy sheet metal goodies, they aren’t as showy and thus don’t command the attention of their weightier siblings.
It’s a shame because they are really wonderful bikes; easy to ride with great styling. This is the first one we’ve run across in gray; blue and black being the more popular colors. It also came to us with a duplicate rear wheel, complete with Schwinn large-flange hub.