You have to give Orbea credit. While the bike industry was overthinking the e-bike movement and trying to figure out timing and messaging and perceived acceptance and market segments, the gutsy bike company from the Basque Country was quietly designing and developing the Orbea Gain with the Ebikemotion system and creating an e-bike that looked like a road bike. It was very close to being the first that we saw where visitors to the Peloton service course would just comment on the Gain as a cool-looking bike, not knowing it was an e-bike until they got closer up and could see the rear hub. What does this mean? We like the fact that Orbea went all-in early and has now had time to refine and improve an already great design.

THE DETAILS

Our Gain M10i features Orbea Gain Carbon, flat-mount disc brakes, clean cable routeing and an Ebikemotion X35 with an integrated battery in a blue-white color combination and Mavic Carbon Disc UST wheels. Our review model was an XL, but the Gain is also available in XS, S, M and L sizes.

THE RIDE

Like any bike that comes through our doors at Peloton HQ, we build it up, plan a ride and go. We try not to build in expectations and formulate opinions (other than first impressions on the build and design) until we have a few rides under our belt. The same is true with the new e-road segment.

We love the way the Gain looks, the two stock color choices and the variety of options Orbea offers in the MyO program. And, given the experience Orbea has in the e-road segment, we were not surprised when we came away from our review rides loving the way the bike climbed, cornered and handled a variety of terrain. The Ebikemotion system is simple and easy to use, intuitive and transparent. We took the Gain on one of our local climbs to see what would happen if we pushed it to the limit and ended up with a KOM (yes, we classified it as an e-bike KOM) on our first attempt.

For anyone looking for a recovery day bike, a bike that will allow you to stay with your younger riding partners for longer and also allow you to put in more miles without having to take a two-hour nap and four Advils afterward, think about the Orbea Gain. The added assist is what you make of it, utilize it when you need it and go hard when you can, but it’s not required. The Gain is a road bike first and an e-road bike second and that distinction will be made clear to you the minute you throw your leg over the bike and experience the ride. Shimano Dura-Ace 9150 Di2, Mavic Cosmic Pro Cosmic Disc UST, fi’zi: k Antares saddle. Ebikemotion X35 25 kph, Gain Carbon Fork, $7,999 as tested; Orbea.com

This review originally appeared in issue 90
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