Presenting Orbea’s new Gain with the ebikemotion X35+ motor – No pain, no gain?

Orbea never stand still, revamping their Gain platform for the 2021 season although it was only introduced a few years ago. With the new MAHLE ebikemotion x35+ motor and countless build variants, Orbea hope to get their customers fired up about electrified road, cyclocross and gravel bikes. We took a closer look at the new range.

We can assure you, the new Orbea Gain won’t kill the motto “no pain, no gain.” Orbea’s concept behind the integration of the MAHLE ebikemotion X35+ motor on the Gain is one of “enough power.” Delivering up to 40 Nm of torque and powered by a light 248 Wh battery, the motor isn’t meant to carry the main burden, but rather enable the rider to tackle even longer rides and steeper climbs.

Developments for 2021

The Gain has been an integral part of Orbea’s portfolio for several years. Last year, Orbea put together a coherent overall package with the Gain M10 (review here). For the 2021 season, the Spanish brand have decided to refine the Gain platform once more with updated componentry. One of the more interesting innovations is the small + added to the MAHLE ebikemotion X35 motor. Compared to its predecessor, the shape of the housing has changed slightly and the system is now ANT+ compatible. The battery is integrated into the down tube and has a capacity of 248 Wh. The 208 Wh range extender brings the total capacity to over 450 Wh, and you can simply place it in the bottle cage. Orbea developed their own torque simulation to allow the motor to provide a more natural riding experience and response. This is needed since the ebikemotion X35+ motor doesn’t have any sensors to measure the cadence or power output of the rider, unlike conventional ebike systems. The motor’s assistance is derived from the rotational speed of the rear hub in relation to the cassette.

In line with the new motor, the latest Orbea Gain features a newly developed display that is supposed to be easier to read while providing more data. You also get a headlight as standard, mounted beneath the display. Together with the rear light above the seat clamp, this promises to offer improved visibility. On the flagship models, the seat clamp is integrated into the frame and not visible from the outside.
The cable routing on all Orbea Gain road bikes has also been revised and the cables should remain hidden from the rider where possible, entering the frame via the stem.

Your view of the cockpit should no longer be disturbed by ugly cables while you ride. When you look down, all you will see is the new display with its added data.

Build varieties galore

Since the motor is located in the rear hub, there will still be Gain models with 1- and 2x drivetrains. The road models come from the factory fitted with 700 x 30C tubeless tires. The clearances in the Gain frameset are said to accommodate most 40C tires. The maximum brake rotor diameter is 160 mm, front and rear. In addition to 13 pre-configured builds, Orbea customers can freely configure the Gain to suit their preferences and have it sent to a local dealer to pick up. Orbea’s MyO configurator even lets you pick your colour scheme free of charge. Kudos to Orbea for doing this and inviting the competition to follow suit. It’s always nice to add a little colour to your life and we’re tired of encountering standard, single-tone colours when we ride. The Orbea Gain range starts at € 2,499 while the flagship Orbea Gain M10i presented here goes for € 8,999.

Frame Orbea Gain Carbon OMR
Fork Gain OMR Carbon
Groupset Shimano DURA-ACE Di2, 2 x 11, 50–34 t
Cassette Shimano DURA-ACE 11–30 t
Brakes Shimano DURA-ACE 160/160 mm
Wheels OC2 Carbon 42 Disc Tubeless Ready
Tires Schwalbe Pro One, 700 x 30C
Motor Mahle ebikemotion X35+, 40 Nm
Battery 248 Wh, range extender: 208 Wh
Seat post OC2 Carbon, 20 mm offset
Handlebar OC2 Road Carbon, 400–440 mm (XS–XL)
Stem Orbea ICR 8º, 90–120 mm (XS–XL)
Price € 8,999

The geometry of the Orbea Gain

For the 2021 season, the stack is higher, the reach is longer and the seat tube angles are steeper across the Gain range. How this affects the riding position and handling has yet to be found in our first ride review. Check out the geometry table for all the details.

Size XS S M L XL
Seat tube 455 mm 485 mm 515 mm 545 mm 575 mm
Top tube 507 mm 530 mm 547 mm 571 mm 589 mm
Head tube 95 mm 120 mm 146 mm 172 mm 196 mm
Head angle 71.0° 71.5° 72.0° 72.0° 72.5°
Seat angle 75.0° 74.5° 74.5° 74.0° 74.0°
Chainstay 420 mm 420 mm 420 mm 420 mm 420 mm
BB Drop 76 mm 76 mm 74 mm 74 mm 74 mm
Wheelbase 986 mm 1,001 mm 1,022 mm 1,041 mm 1,049 mm
Reach 366 mm 377 mm 388 mm 399 mm 410 mm
Stack 525 mm 550 mm 575 mm 600 mm 625 mm


The refinements made to the Orbea Gain platform sound promising and make sense. With the variety of builds available, Orbea hope to accommodate everyone. One of the stand-out features is the option of configuring the build to your personal preferences and selecting the colours via the MyO configurator. Orbea’s torque simulation also piqued our interest. Whether it delivers actual performance gains or whether Orbea have blown the chance to significantly improve the motor remains to be seen in our tests. Until then, “no pain, no gain” will prevail.

More infos:

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Words: Rudolf Fischer Photos: Orbea