I was about to buy this bike (a Gazelle Arroyo c7):

image of the Gazelle Arroyo c7 http://www.gazelle-fietsen.be/assortiment/arroyo-c7

when I realized the chaincase is seemingly deliberately designed so that the chain constantly rubs against the bottom while you pedal. Their website mentions something about aesthetics. This seems too bad to be true, given that Gazelle has a good reputation as a Dutch bike brand, and this isn't a cheap bicycle.

What is really going on inside the chaincase?

Update: I did buy the bike and 5 years later and I'm still riding it daily. The chain got noisy and I replaced it once. The cables all died, and the plastic shimano gear shifter is in bad shape but still mostly works. I've broken a few spokes but the wheels have so many the wheels stayed ride-able until I replaced them. Maybe it's notable that I haven't had a single derailment in all 5 years? For me the drivetrain has been extremely reliable. In the 5 years this bike only stranded me once (with a flat tire, before I upgraded to schwalbe marathon pluses). Once the gearhub had annoying problems due to a known manufacturing problem in a certain manufacturing plant, and was replaced for free at my local shop at shimano's expense.

  • Nope, you're not missing anything as far as I can tell. It would be good to see a pic without the chain guard - I wonder if they have done something to pull the chain in toward the frame?
    – PeteH
    Feb 27, 2015 at 18:54
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    oh, and +1 btw, because this seems a reasonable question and did not deserve a downvote
    – PeteH
    Feb 27, 2015 at 18:55
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    I'm guessing that there's a roller in there that holds it up and keeps it from rubbing and making noise. It still seems like an unnecessary level of complexity.
    – jimchristie
    Feb 27, 2015 at 20:48
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    What about the chain tension? The construction might look nice but it is not clever indeed.
    – Carel
    Feb 27, 2015 at 21:09
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    @eoinoc I don't think it was actually rubbing; I was just hearing the extra sprocket. It hasn't gotten worse. Aug 22, 2018 at 13:31

2 Answers 2


Found an English Language site that explains it. From


All Chamonixs feature Gazelle's innovative transmission design with a chain tensioner inside the chain case. This keeps the chain always at the correct tension, needing less maintenance and giving a quieter ride. The frame is able to use vertical rear droputs which makes wheel removal and puncture repairs much easier. We also think it gives the bike a more streamlined look.

It's called the FlowLine chaincase - here's a picture of it:

FlowLine chaincase cutaway

So it's not what you think. I can't say whether it's a good idea or not, but it seems at least a plausible solution for a City Bike.

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    Gazelle e-mailed me a photo of the chain tensioner. It looks like a plastic roller, and looks like it is mounted so high the chain can go over the chainstay. I think this means you can remove the chain from the bike without opening a link for easier servicing! Mar 3, 2015 at 7:24
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    @AndrewWagner maybe you can add as an answer the picture you mention. Mar 4, 2015 at 19:06
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    @Alexander, if both parts of the chain go over the chainstay, as Andrew suggested, that means the chain wouldn't go around the frame. Dec 2, 2015 at 1:10
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    @FredtheMagicWonderDog, I added an image of the chaincase - I hope you don't mind. Dec 2, 2015 at 1:27
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    @RoboKaren In addition to Mladen's comments, it's incredibly difficult to get chain tension correct on a bike with vertical dropouts without some sort of tensioner. It's actually a [fairly common]( way to convert a geared bike to a single speed). Gazelle's approach is just a variation on that idea.
    – jimchristie
    Dec 4, 2015 at 2:08

This new "Flowline" case is not a technical improvement, instead it exists only to make the bike look different and visually appealing.

I would just like to share my experience with the Gazelle Chamonix C7 which I bought just over two weeks ago from a certified dealer in London. I have unfortunately had an issue within a week as a direct result of this new and "innovative" FlowLine chain case.

Due to having to fit everything in there, in a much tighter space, there is a metal piece where a brake (possibly gear) cable comes out of which is very close to the chain of the bike. The chain ends up rubbing on this metal piece taking off the paint and causing a whirring noise when cycling.

I have been back to the dealer who did a quick fix, noting that this typically happens when the inner tubes gets replaced, however the same issue reoccurred within half an hour of cycling. I have had to make another appointment and have to leave it with them so they can have a more detailed look into the issue. After only having the bike for over two weeks this is quite a disappointment, which I feel is due to build quality, when I had understood Gazelle to be a reliable bike builder. I would also like to mention that this is my first "adult" bike so I don't really have that much experience I how often bikes typically need maintenance (hopefully not once a month!).

I have noted that this may be an unlucky experience as Andrew (in previous post) has mentioned he has not needed maintenance for a year. However based on my short unpleasant experience I would recommend steering clear of this this new design and if I had the chance would exchange the bike for one with a regular chain.

  • I would say something on the bike wears out about once a year on average? This is under typical commuter use (min 5 hours per week ride time), with the bike exposed to the elements 24/7, carrying kids, and getting banged around in bike racks. Your model has a fancier (and probably lighter) frame; could be the cable routing is different from my cheaper c7. Jul 3, 2020 at 6:17
  • This does not appear to be an actual answer to the question. Nothing in your post addresses the question that was asked. Stack Exchange is not a discussion forum, nor a place for users to post narratives about their own personal problems with a particular product. Jul 3, 2020 at 7:09
  • So, reading between your lines, this new flowline case is not a technical improvement, and instead exists only to make the bike look different and visually appealing ? When buying, was your opinion of this one affected by the design ?
    – Criggie
    Jul 10, 2020 at 10:06
  • Separately - a possible fix would be to break the chain, take out 4~6 links and join it around the chainstay. You would have to either cut holes in the cover or remove it completely, but this would leave you with a functional bike. Tensioning the chain could be a challenge, but perhaps the existing tensioner can be flipped to push downward ?
    – Criggie
    Jul 10, 2020 at 10:09

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