We can’t promise anything will happen in the future, but if there’s anything that feels like a sure bet, it’s that we’ll see a growing crop of pedal assist electric bikes like the Orbea Gain. Unlike most other e-bikes, the Gain takes the focus away from the electric assist and places the focus on the rider, giving them just enough of a helping hand to make a tough climb more manageable. The 2019 Orbea Gain M20 e-road bike might not be the future, but it sure seems like it could be.
The key to the Gain’s potential isn’t a key at all, but a small LED-backlit button found on the bike’s toptube, called the iWoc ONE. Here, the LED color shows how much battery life is left, as well as the ability to control how much assist one might want throughout a ride. The button relays the info to the Ebikemotion X35 motor, which offers quiet operation and butter-smooth assist with 250 W power and up to 40 Nm torque. This rear hub-mounted motor does little to make itself known, but the rear hub motor has inherently less friction than a mid-mounted motor, and is lighter too (under 8 pounds for the whole drive system). From here, riders can select between three levels of assist, and see where their battery life is mid-ride. Need more information? Ebikemotion offers a companion app that not only offers battery life and power output, but GPS navigation and auto-uploading to Strava. This motor offers assist up to 20 mph.
Accompanying the stealthy motor is a 250 W battery that offers strong performance despite it’s diminutive size (Orbea doesn’t make any claims, but many riders say that the battery gets 60+ miles of range with juice to spare). This keeps weight low (the whole pedal assist system weighs in at under 8 pounds), and combined with the M20’s carbon frame and fork, ensures the bike handles much more like a normal road bike than a hulking e-bike. The hub-based drive motor is drag-free when not offering a helping hand, but when they do offer a helping hand, assist is sneaky and well-disguised. Generally speaking, it’s not until you look at how fast you climbed the mountain that you see that there was a bit of motor-doping going on; it’s that good.
The 2019 Orbea Gain M20 pedal assist all-road bike starts with the Gain carbon frame and fork, as well as the Ebikemotion X35 drive motor. This is accompanied by a Shimano Ultegra R8020 drivetrain, a Mavic Aksium Race wheelset, Mavic Yksion Pro 700 x 28c tires, and a FSA cockpit. Five sizes are available (XS-XL) in a Black-Grey, Orange-Yellow Gloss, or a Blue-White-Black Matte colorway.
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