Orbea have completely overhauled their super light Gain e-road bike, updating it with the latest Mahle ebikemotion X35 Plus motor system, integrated lighting and completely hidden cables.
Redesigned to "to improve rider experience, integration and ride quality" according to Orbea, the Spanish brand have stuck to their 'Enough Power' concept... essentially meaning that while you're not going to get huge amounts of range like you'd find on a more leisurely e-bike, the Gain offers you just enough assistance for road riding so Orbea can offer you the lightest e-road bike possible. This means they've once again turned to Mahle's latest ebikemotion system, the X35 Plus, with a rear hub motor, downtube-integrated battery and nifty little power control unit on the top tube: "Thanks to the Enough Energy concept, Gain will provide the right level of pedaling assist, never more than necessary. This means we eliminate the bulky, heavy, high-capacity batteries that make an electric bike less “bike", say Orbea.
If you do need more range you can always get the Range Extender, which fits in place of a bottle cage and will give you another 208W/h on top of the 248W/h from the original battery.
While our testers have sometimes found ebikemotion lacks a bit of torque compared to Fazua's Evation system (its nearest rival) the slimmer battery and sleek integration make it the go-to for e-road bikes that are almost indistinguishable from 'normal' road racers... and you have to admit, it would be pretty tough for the uninitiated to distinguish between the new Gain and Orbea's latest Orca aero road bike.
Orbea also say the new 'Torque Simulation Algorithm' in the motor should deliver a more natural response when pedalling, and smoother power delivery. They've also replaced the cassette lockring with a sensor that monitors your pedalling input and adjusts power accordingly, with all data displayed on the new Pulsar One computer on the higher spec, carbon-framed Gain models.
Moving away from the electronics, the carbon-framed Gain has a full monocoque frameset and has a relaxed geometry that offers "intuitive cornering feel", according to Orbea. This means a lower bottom bracket and shorter chainstays to improve stability, and also 30mm tubeless-ready tyres for plenty of extra comfort. On the 1x models you get 40mm gravel tyres for brief off-road forays.
The cables are integrated using the same 'ICR+' technique as on Orca's road models, with the speed sensor and motor cables inside the frame while being accessible enough for easy(ish) maintenance. The new Gain also becomes Orbea's first road bike with integrated daytime lighting, with a rear light on the seat clamp and the front beam on the display mount.
In terms of usability, the 'iWoc ONE' interface allows you to power the system on or off, check your motor assist level and view the remaining battery charge thanks to the coloured LED lighting key. The port just above the bottom bracket also provides a single interface for charging, system diagnosis and attaching your range extender if you choose to use one.
There are now a grand total of 13 Gain models for 2021, ranging from the D50 at £2,299 with an aluminium frame, Shimano Claris shifting and mechanical disc brakes, right up to the top-end M10i (£7,999) with the OMR carbon monocoque frame, Shimano Dura-Ace groupset and OC2 carbon rims. All models come with the ebikemotion X35 motor and a 248Wh battery; but the most affordable five get the OC monochrome display, while the high spec versions come equipped with an Ebikemotion Pulsar One computer. Here are prices for all the Gains in the range, with all the 'M' models coming with the carbon frame and the 'D's' getting the alloy frameset:
M20 1x: £4,299
M30 1x: £3,599
D30 1x: £2,999
To find out more, head over to Orbea's website.