Orbea Redesigns the Gain Road ebike
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The original Orbea Gain impressed us with its looks. For an e-bike, it looked, well, not like an e-bike. Orbea now has a follow up to that bike that provides an even sleeker package and promises an even better riding experience.
One of the themes that guided Orbea’s design process for the new Gain was the concept of “enough power,” or making a bike that provides some assist when needed but still feels like a road bike. There is a place for turbocharged ebikes, and there are plenty of riders who may want that, but Orbea feels that a road ebike should recreate the experience of a traditional road bike, not create a whole new ride feel. The Gain is for riders who want a bike that looks and rides like a traditional, sleek road bike—those riders who want some assist but still want to feel challenged by cycling.
With the idea of “enough power” in mind for this new version of the Gain, Orbea continued with a hub-based motor, but upgraded to a new system, the MAHLE ebikemotion X35. This class-1 motor assists the bike up to 20mph and delivers up to 40Nm of torque. But to maintain a familiar ride feel, Orbea has given the bike a Torque Simulation Algorithm that mirrors power input from the rider at the pedals. That means when you are soft pedaling, the motor also holds back, but when you are pushing out watts, like on a climb, the motor in turn dishes out more power. To accomplish this, Orbea has replaced the cassette lock-ring with a small PAS sensor that monitors pedaling and adjusts power output accordingly.
Orbea has also tried to strike a balance between range and battery weight. The brand settled on a 250Wh battery integrated into the downtube, with the option to add an external range extender to add an additional 208Wh—bringing the total possible battery life to about 450Wh.
In addition to the battery being integrated into the down tube and the motor discreetly running in the rear hub, the bike’s controls and charging port are also integrated, blending in with the overall look of the bike. The charging port is located on top of the bottom bracket while the iWoc ONE control interface uses a single button backlit with colored LEDs to let you turn the system on, change the assist level and check battery life.
Integrated Lights and Cables
Beyond the motor being well integrated, there are other features of the bikes itself that are well integrated on the new Gain. Like Orbea’s other road bikes, the Gain gets internal cable routing through the stem so that you hardly see a single cable on the entire bike, whether it’s built with mechanical or electric groupsets. The single external cable connection is at the chainstay, where the motor connects to the battery. But this area features a removable cover making it hidden as well.
But more unique to this bike is its integrated lighting, front and rear. The front light integrates into the GPS mount, while the rear light is sleekly integrated into the seat-post clamp. This way you can always run lights, whether during the day or when a ride goes unexpectedly long.
New Geometry and Big Clearance
The new Gain also gets an updated endurance geometry that features a lower bottom bracket for a more stable ride. Tire clearance is also extremely generous at 40mm, making this bike capable on gravel and tarmac alike. Some versions come equipped for road, with 700x30mm tires, while others come with gravel tires. But you can of course swap tires depending on what’s in store for the day.
Price and Builds
Gain carbon models start at $4,299 for Shimano GRX 1x mechanical groups and go all the way to $9,299 with Dura-Ace Di2. Alloy versions start at $2,899 built with Shimano Claris 2x and go all the way to $3,899 built with Shimano Ultegra mechanical 2x. Orbea also allows you to substitute parts and choose special paint through its MyO program.
More info: orbea.com