Orbea Gain e road bike

Inveral

Pedelecer
Jan 10, 2019
29
4
All of the reviews I have read for the Orbea Gain e road bikes are posted by professional or very fit road cyclists. I am thinking of buying an Orbea Gain but am worried that it might not handle some of the very steep hills and on average 50 miles day trips in my area. I am not as fit I was due to having a long layoff with knee ligament damage resulting in increased weight to 15st. Does anybody have any information regarding how this motor performs on very steep hills.
 

Nev

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 1, 2018
639
652
North Wales
Great question Inveral, I would like to know the same thing. A bike shop close to me would let me ride one but only around their flat car park. Like you I want to know what they are like on steep hills. I suspect when the weather warms up I will have to travel to a shop that will allow me to give the gain a decent test ride which includes some steep hills.

Almost all the people giving feedback on them are fit reasonably strong cyclists, in comparison to me anyway. I recently rode a Cube electric racing bike (not cheap costs £4500) and it was hopeless on steep hills. Hills that I can fly up on my Cube mountain bike with little effort I would not be able to get up at all with the Cube racing bike. If the Orbea is the same then it would be a waste of time for me as I live in a very hilly area.
 

Inveral

Pedelecer
Jan 10, 2019
29
4
Great question Inveral, I would like to know the same thing. A bike shop close to me would let me ride one but only around their flat car park. Like you I want to know what they are like on steep hills. I suspect when the weather warms up I will have to travel to a shop that will allow me to give the gain a decent test ride which includes some steep hills.

Almost all the people giving feedback on them are fit reasonably strong cyclists, in comparison to me anyway. I recently rode a Cube electric racing bike (not cheap costs £4500) and it was hopeless on steep hills. Hills that I can fly up on my Cube mountain bike with little effort I would not be able to get up at all with the Cube racing bike. If the Orbea is the same then it would be a waste of time for me as I live in a very hilly area.
 

Inveral

Pedelecer
Jan 10, 2019
29
4
We have a local bike shop in Glasgow and they will let you hire a bike to try it out for £50 and if you buy the bike they take the £50 from the price of the bike. The only problem is that they don’t have any stock of the Orbea Gain to try. There seems to be a supply problem with Orbea at the moment.
Another problem is that they quote an extended range with an auxiliary battery but this has not yet been released. All of the reviewers quote the auxiliary battery so they obviously have not asked the question about cost or availability.
 

Andy McNish

Pedelecer
Nov 28, 2018
232
123
Orbea Gain Review

The motor doesn't give anything like CX or even ActivelinePlus levels of assist on hills by the looks of it. It will only help a little on the hills.

It has low rolling resist and 6-8kg less weight than a lot of standard ebikes and its main purpose is to let you pedal at at more than 25kph comfortably on flat tarmac.

So if you aren't fit enough or going on flat tarmac routes enough to sustain >25kph a lot of the time, or if you need significant help to get up steep hills, it's not really for you.

I imagine its ideal use is for relatively flat road commutes for relatively fit people, who want to spend a lot of the time over 25kph but want a little help on a few inclines en route.
 

barbel

Finding my (electric) wheels
Jan 12, 2019
17
4
67
We have a local bike shop in Glasgow and they will let you hire a bike to try it out for £50 and if you buy the bike they take the £50 from the price of the bike. The only problem is that they don’t have any stock of the Orbea Gain to try. There seems to be a supply problem with Orbea at the moment.
Another problem is that they quote an extended range with an auxiliary battery but this has not yet been released. All of the reviewers quote the auxiliary battery so they obviously have not asked the question about cost or availability.
 

barbel

Finding my (electric) wheels
Jan 12, 2019
17
4
67
hi,could u name the bike shop please it would be handy for me
 

Nev

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 1, 2018
639
652
North Wales
The only problem is that they don’t have any stock of the Orbea Gain to try. There seems to be a supply problem with Orbea at the moment.
This seems to be an on going problem. I have read about customers having to wait for months and months on end before receiving their bikes. I don't think the problem is with the actual bike, I am sure I have read the hold up was with delivery of the motors to Orbea. If as you say there are still issues with supply then that is very disappointing.
 

Nev

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 1, 2018
639
652
North Wales
Orbea Gain Review

The motor doesn't give anything like CX or even ActivelinePlus levels of assist on hills by the looks of it. It will only help a little on the hills.

It has low rolling resist and 6-8kg less weight than a lot of standard ebikes and its main purpose is to let you pedal at at more than 25kph comfortably on flat tarmac.

So if you aren't fit enough or going on flat tarmac routes enough to sustain >25kph a lot of the time, or if you need significant help to get up steep hills, it's not really for you.

I imagine its ideal use is for relatively flat road commutes for relatively fit people, who want to spend a lot of the time over 25kph but want a little help on a few inclines en route.
Nice post Andy, I have no problem sustaining >25kph on the flat on a 25 kg e-mountain bike so I should find doing the same on a 13 kg Gain not too difficult. The problem I have is very steep hills, and I encounter a lot of them on the routes I ride.

The Gain I think has a 40 Nm motor, I recently tried a Cube racing bike with a 60 Nm motor and I found it hardly helped me at all on the hills, so one would think I would be wasting my time thinking about a Gain.

Talking to the helpful guys in the shop that let me test ride the Cube racing bike they told me that for hill climbing, to get the most help from the motor I would need to attack the hill, standing on the pedals and really going for it. They said if I rode up hills like I do on my mountain bike with the Bosch CX motor (ie sitting on the seat and using a very low gear and very high cadence) then I would find this riding style unsuitable for use with the Cube racing bike.

The shop guys were correct, but I don't like going up hills standing on the pedals I have always preferred sitting down and spinning a low gear up hill, so I was wondering if the Gain has to be ridden up hill standing on the pedals or, if it performs well on the hills sitting on the seat and spinning a very low gear.
 

JeffR

Finding my (electric) wheels
Jun 18, 2018
9
4
60
I have been riding a 2018 Gain allroad (now called D31) for 6 months. It provides decent assist between speed of 15-25kph. Below about 10, there is virtually no torque. Unfortunately. On steep hills, you are going below 10. I have a 16 % gradient hill going up to my house and I have to stand on the pedals on the lowest gear, which I increased to 42 teeth cog. If the battery is in the red, the voltage is too low to get up the hill and I walk it. Since the hills around my home tend to be steep, this is not the bike for me and I am selling it. Bought a Raleigh Tamland IE and it Has more than ample power to climb an 18% grade. The Orbea gain is for road riders who need a little extra help keeping their speed going up gentle inclines. It is marketed as like having a gentle tailwind and that is about right. If a gentle tailwind is all you need to climb a 16% grade, this is the bike for you!
 

badlywornroy

Pedelecer
Nov 1, 2018
65
37
Richmond North Yorkshire
I took delivery of an Orbea Gain D30 2019 a couple of days ago. This is the Shimano 105 build which has changed from the 2018 version.
I purchased the bike from Leisure Lakes (Lancaster branch) the only one in stock. I had full SKS mudguards fitted and Schwalbe G-One 38c tyres. The service and staff of Leisure Lakes was excellent.
As delivered the bike weighed 14.9 kg. (weighed on a Park Tool bike scale) I imagine the bigger tyres and mudguards may account for approx 0.9 kg ?

This is early days but here are my thoughts. To be relevant you need to know a little about me (sorry )
I am 72, 70kg, fit and healthy with no impediments to cycling (touching wood now :))
I have cycled 4,000 + miles for the last 3 years the highest total being 5,300.
I have a 8kg road bike with 11/32 'Granny gearing' that I shall keep. I can still ride up decent hills on this bike, 15% maybe a little more
without too much trouble. This is the Garmin Connect data from a ride on this road bike earlier this week.

Road Bike
Distance: 25.41 mi / Time: 1:37:05 / Avg Speed: 15.7 mph / Elev Gain: 1,578 ft / Avg HR: 118 bpm / Max HR: 145 bpm.

This same route was repeated 3 days later on my Orbea Gain. Small differences in mileage maybe due to different tyre circumference 25c vs 38c ?

Orbea Gain 1st ride.
Distance: 25.54 mi / Time: 1:35:28: / Avg Speed: 16.1 mph / Elev Gain: 1,555 ft / Avg HR: 114 bpm / Max HR: 138 bpm

The Gain was only ridden in 'lowest assist/eco/green' I was testing the bike and myself.

I never set out to race road bike v Gain, I rode reasonably hard (on both bikes)but certainly not 'eyeballs out'
My max HR is between 155 & 160 bpm. So my average HR for both rides was approx 75%.

Things to note, I was 1m 37secs faster on the Gain, my average speed was 0.4 mph faster on the Gain.
My average HR was a little lower on the Gain.

1,600ft of climbing with two long ascents, one of 1.7mi with a top gradient of 14% and one of 3.5mi with a top gradient of 11%.

I have no doubt that on a flatter/flat(ish) course I would be faster on the road bike. It is not 'rocket science' the more climbing the bigger the advantage to the Orbea Gain.

The next day I rode only the Gain.

Orbea Gain 2nd ride.
Distance: 16.54 mi / Time: 1:02:27 / Avg Speed: 15.9 mph / Elev Gain: 942 ft / Avg HR: 115 bpm / Max HR: 133 bpm.

The battery was not charged after ride 1. Again I used exclusively the lowest (green) assist level.

The battery voltage dropped to below 50% at the 40 mile point. I am very satisfied with this, 40 mile and almost 2,600 ft of climbing. But my average speed on both rides was over the 15.5mph assist cut-out point.
I never used the top two assist levels.

The motor assist 'cut in' is almost imperceptible as is the human 'take over. Full marks to Orbea.

This is a great bike for me, it is exactly what I want. The freedom to ride further/higher in and around the Yorkshires dales and know that if I overreach myself I have 'help' under me. But also to do it on a great looking bike that allows me to ride above the 15.5 mph assist level a good part of the time.

There are many old/older fit riders that I think this bike will be exactly what they want. But if you are looking for a 'pedal assisted' bike to do a large proportion of the work be very sure before you part with your 'hard earned dosh' that the Orbea Gain is 'up to the job'

Sorry, this has turned into a 'weighty tome', :rolleyes: I do hope I may have helped someone with a difficult decision.

Roy
 
Last edited:

Woosh

Trade Member
May 19, 2012
10,890
7,917
Southend on Sea
wooshbikes.co.uk
excellent review and good point about the maximum heart rate, the Gain reduces your maximum heart rate from 145bpm to 133bpm.
 
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badlywornroy

Pedelecer
Nov 1, 2018
65
37
Richmond North Yorkshire
Interesting read. Ta for that.

I think it would be REALLY useful to repeat the same ride again, but this time use max assist. That would give us the missing info that many people (who perhaps aren't as fit as you!) would like to know.
Go on .... you know you want another ride :)
I will do better than that Joe ? I will do that same 25 mile route in medium assist and then in max assist. Give me a few days and watch this space. P.S if I run out of battery 5 miles from home with a 14% hill to climb are you going to come and pick me up in your estate car ? :D
 

Nev

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 1, 2018
639
652
North Wales
I will do better than that Joe ? I will do that same 25 mile route in medium assist and then in max assist. Give me a few days and watch this space. P.S if I run out of battery 5 miles from home with a 14% hill to climb are you going to come and pick me up in your estate car ? :D
Cheers for this Roy I will look forward to reading it. I am 12 years younger than you but due to health problems very unlikely to reach your level of cycling fitness. My problem is getting up hills, what is the Gain like on max assist level getting up say a 14% hill. I can just about get up something like that on an un assisted bike but I am in really bad shape when I get to the top. On my Cube CX equipment mountain bike I can get up any hill when using turbo mode and be hardly out of breath when I get to the top. I don't expect the Gain to be anything like that good on hills, but if it provides very little help on steep hills, then its not going to be much good for me.
 

badlywornroy

Pedelecer
Nov 1, 2018
65
37
Richmond North Yorkshire
Ok Nev,
I have previously owned an e-mtb bike with the Bosch 500w ‘drive’ system. Yes, that is a very powerful system that will get anybody up any hill on the higher assist levels.
It does of course make some bikes 6 > 8 kg heavier than this Gain system. Might take me a few days to do these rides.
 

Nev

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 1, 2018
639
652
North Wales
It does of course make some bikes 6 > 8 kg heavier than this Gain system. Might take me a few days to do these rides.
I think the Gain is about 10 kg lighter than my e-mtb, so that should help mitigate the less powerful motor, hopefully anyway. Having said that I recently test rode the Cube Agree with the Fazua motor and an Ultegra group set, weight was probably around 13 kg. Therefore a lot lighter than my 25 kg mtb, but it was extremely poor on any steep hill, so much so that there was no way I could consider buying it.
 

Nev

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 1, 2018
639
652
North Wales
I may have to accept the fact that what I am looking for in a racer type pedelec just is not available at the current moment in time. I would like something that weighs around the 13 to 15 kg but provides good assistance on steep hills. I have read good reviews about the motor and battery on the Giant Road e+2 but the bike is just too heavy for me. I tried last week to get a proper test ride on a Gain at a bike shop close to me, but they still had no demonstrators in, and a ride around a flat car park is just a waste of time.
 

badlywornroy

Pedelecer
Nov 1, 2018
65
37
Richmond North Yorkshire
From what I have read I doubt the power from the Fazua system is much different to the Orbea Gain. So your comment:-
I may have to accept the fact that what I am looking for in a racer type pedelec is not available at the current time.
Is probably correct. I think with current battery technology 'high power/torque = large/heavy battery. :(