Take a look at nearly any range of pedal assist electric bikes, and they’re likely to have a bulky drive motor and an even bigger battery pack. The new 2019 Orbea Gain M21 seeks to flip the script on electric bikes, with decidedly non-e-bike looks and smart design that helps riders focus more on the road than how much battery life they have left.
The Orbea Gain M21 starts life with a new for 2019 carbon frameset. Lighter, stiffer, and certainly faster than before, they pair this to their Ebikemotion X35 drive motor. This motor offers 40 Wh of torque and 250 W power through a rear-mounted hub. While this is a break from the more conventional crank-based drive motors, a hub motor is discreet in appearance, is far less stressful on the drivetrain, and is nearly drag-free when the motor isn’t in use.
A single LED-backlit button (which Orbea calls their iWoc ONE Controller) allows riders to see how much battery is left, as well as the amount of assist the motor provides. This is accompanied by the Ebikemotion app, which connects via bluetooth to offer greater information regarding assist, battery life, as well as offering navigation in app. All of this is powered by a 250 Wh battery neatly housed in downtube. This might be less power than what you’d see on a commuter or mountain bike, but it offers plenty of juice for a long day in the saddle. The whole pedal assist system (battery/motor/controller) weighs in at a feathery 8 pounds; not insubstantial, but not enough to make a serious difference in how different the Gain rides compared to a standard road bike.
Orbea’s goal with the Gain wasn’t just to offer the most technologically-advanced pedal assist road bike around, but to do so with an experience as seamless as a standard road bike. It’s here that the Gain exceeds. Its carbon frame and fork are plenty stiff for any out-of-saddle sprint, but doesn’t beat riders up in the same way as it’s aluminum counterpart. The motor itself never dominates the ride; the motor is among the quietest we’ve seen, never overwhelms with it’s electric assist, and overall makes riders feel like they’re absolute studs on a climb. The Gain M21 all-road bike is very much a jack-of-all trades thanks to clearance for a 700 x 40c tire, but because it shares it’s frame with the road version, riders can easily put on a set of 28c tires and enjoy some additional speed on the road.
The 2019 Orbea Gain M21 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 SRAM Force 1 drivetrain, a Ready GR wheelset, Schwalbe G-ONE Allround 700 x 40c tires and a FSA cockpit. Five sizes are available (XS-XL) in a gloss Orange/Black or a matte Graphite/Anthracite colorway.
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