Some of you may feel like the bike industry is being manipulated by the script writers of Game of Thrones, one by one your favourite bike brands succumbs to the motor and launches an e-bike model. Today the mighty Basques at Orbea, have metaphorically bent the knee to the electric-power crown and launched their new Gain e-road bike range that boasts revolutionary looks with its battery integration design.

So what’s revolutionary?

An e-road bike that weighs in at 13 kg with 250w of motor power and a max torque of 40 Nm, with a 250 wh battery from Panasonic that has a starting price of € 2,000.

Not only that, the fully integrated design is super slick and like other available options coming to market, it doesn’t immediately reveal that there is a battery stowed away in the downtube. This e-bike is near enough undetectable to the naked eye.

Orbea Gain eRoad needs a closer inspection to see if it’s an e-bike or not

Orbea have created three models in the range: Gain eAllroad (€ 3,399), Gain eRoad (€ 3,399) and Gain eUrban (€ 1,999) – the way that urban mobility is progressing any brand choosing to ignore this category would be crazy.

Their design goals for the bike were to create a sportive feel bike but one that is also light, 13kg was the mark they wanted to hit to help the bike not feel cumbersome when the engine cuts out at the 25 kph restriction limit. Out of the saddle climbing feel was also not overlooked by the Orbea team, to make this feel as natural as possible the power assist doesn’t over dominate rider experience, making for a lot smoother ride.

Orbea Gain Hub Drive System

Power assist comes from the hub not cranks.

Whilst a lot of e-bikes assist the rider through the cranks Orbea have chosen to generate power through the rear hub with the E-Bike Motion X-35 motor. The cassette lock ring holds 20 magnets that are detected by the integrated dropout sensor, by monitoring pedaling input it adjusts the power assist accordingly. Which should translate to smooth riding feel, rather than the severe power jumping effect that can be felt on some e-bikes using just a single magnet. Another bonus of having a hub motor should be a reduction in drag when the motor isn’t in use, which will be greatly appreciated at the 25 kph cut out. How the assist transitions between motor cut out and re-activation will be interesting to put to the test.

ebikemotion X35 System

The ebikemotion X35 system is designed for lightweight power with the whole system weighing in at 3.5 kg, that includes battery, engine, charging point and cabling. Whilst many motor manufacturers are looking at high power options the X35 has been built to assist but not overpower.

Orbea Gain Internal Battery

The E-bike Motion X-35 battery is so slim fitting you can hardly tell it’s in the down tube.

The battery is by far the biggest challenge for brands to make compact whilst not losing range. Here Orbea have committed to finding the smallest and lightest on the market with the E-Bike Motion X-35. With a range of up to 100 km and 1500 m of altitude for such a slimline battery it’s a pleasant surprise and one we can’t wait to put through our own testing. The concept of this motor is to assist, not to take over. Meaning it will take some of the strain but you still have to use your legs. For those longer days a spare battery is easily portable, with a backup battery small enough to carry in a bottle cage whilst it also mimics a water bidon, just for that bit of reassurance. A cable easily plugs it in whilst it sits in the bottle cage which means there is no wasting time changing the batteries over.

The Orbea Gain Integration

iWoc control system looking pretty sleek
C.A.N Integration system is a one-stop port

Control of the on/off function along with what assist you’re using and how much battery you have left are nicely integrated into the top tube which keeps the handlebars clutter free for other technology, such as bike computers. Orbea are using the iWoc control system which has a super clean look with coloured LEDs to help guide with navigation of its data such as battery power and assist level.

The Controlled Area Network (CAN) provides a one-stop bus port for charging, system diagnosis and plugging in the external backup battery. Eliminating the need for multiple access points and wires.

Orbea Gain Smartphone App

Any new technology is not complete without its own App, usable with both your smartphone as well as smartwatch gives you access to control over the iWoc system as well as ride tracking, ride activity and route planning.

Orbea Gain Specification and Price

Orbea Gain eAllroad

Drivetrain SRAM Force 1 40t
Wheelset Orbea Airline Corsa Disc 700X19c
Tires Kenda Flintridge
Motor E-Bike Motion X35
Price € 3,399

Orbea Gain eRoad

Drivetrain Shimano Ultegra 34-50
Wheelset Orbea Airline Corsa Disc 700X19c
Tires Kenda Kriterium
Motor E-Bike Motion X35
Price € 3,399

We are still waiting for confirmation from Orbea for when these bikes will be available to buy, as soon as we find out we will share with you. Along with a first ride review once we get our hands on one.

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Words: Photos: Antton Miettinen