Orbea Gain - first ride

Electrically assisted bikes, trikes, etc.
Grandad
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Orbea Gain - first ride

Postby Grandad » 3 Sep 2019, 11:25pm

Image

Had a very interesting and rewarding ride today.

Background.
Lifelong cyclist, first commute 5 miles to school age 12 (71 years ago) commuted for all 43 working years, raced all distances plus audaxes. Developed atrial fibrillation in 2002, did last long ride - 300k audax - in 2008. Lifetime 356,000 miles, still ride up to 60 miles at around 11 mph but really struggle on hills.

Living just north of the Weald of Kent I am 2 hills away from a good selection of flat lanes. I avoid these 2 hills by putting the bike in the car for 5 miles but am unable to cope with the scenic hills further south.

Reading about the Orbea Gain and talking to a clubmate who has one I thought it would be a better bet than the more powerful bikes that are designed to provide continuous power, so invested in the basic D50 model.

Today.
Sorted out a 53 mile route starting from home and involving some of the "forbidden" hills plus flat and rolling lanes.

Surprised how easily it rode without the motor, no trouble maintaining my usual 11mph. I used the motor 9 times for a total of just over 6 uphill miles, lowest power rating all the time. Next time I will try some of the steeper ones up to the Greensand Ridge.

I haven't weighed it to compare with my steel Spa Audax but had no trouble lifting it into the car when collecting it. The Claris gears are a bit clunky and after a lifetime of Campag I muffed a few changes!

Now looking forward to previously out of bounds rides and using the car to get to even further hills.

brynpoeth
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Re: Orbea Gain - first ride

Postby brynpoeth » 4 Sep 2019, 5:47am

How cheap was it? Where are the battery and motor hidden?
Might be a good chance to give up driving :wink:
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robgul
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Re: Orbea Gain - first ride

Postby robgul » 4 Sep 2019, 7:40am

Your report pretty much morrors my experience having bought a Gain last year (that's just the bike experience, not the lifetime mileage achievements - chapeau!) - reasoning for purchase was age (72) and having had a cancer experience five years ago I have pretty much recovered but not to the previous level of fitness .... not that it was spectacular then!

Mine is used for the brisker/hillier club runs and has been on a tour in France - no issues at all and the battery seems to hold up for the distances and usage - like the OP I tend to ride in non-motor mode as much as possible and switch it on for hill and if I'm tired.

I would agree that the Claris groupset isn't the finest and smoothest but that's an easy remedy to take it up to, say, Tiagra or 105 (I manage a bike shop so that helps :) )

The much heralded extender battery is in my mind - but given the range I get now and the high cost it's going to remain on the back burner for now.

...... the Gain isn't the only bike I ride - a couple of Van Nic titanium (road and touring) and recent purchase of a PlanetX carbon road machine - keeping my ride options pretty wide . . . if only I had more time to ride.

Rob

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robgul
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Re: Orbea Gain - first ride

Postby robgul » 4 Sep 2019, 7:42am

brynpoeth wrote:How cheap was it? Where are the battery and motor hidden?
Might be a good chance to give up driving :wink:


<£2,000
Battery is in the down-tube (charged in situ)
Motor in rear wheel sanwiched between disc rotor and a large sprocket cassette

Rob

stodd
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Re: Orbea Gain - first ride

Postby stodd » 4 Sep 2019, 8:22am

Sounds excellent for what it is meant to do.

One question. How easy is the battery to remove and charge off the bike? It is best not to charge batteries below around 0 degrees C, so they should be charged inside during winter, which might be an issue if the bike is kept outside.

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robgul
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Re: Orbea Gain - first ride

Postby robgul » 4 Sep 2019, 8:58am

stodd wrote:Sounds excellent for what it is meant to do.

One question. How easy is the battery to remove and charge off the bike? It is best not to charge batteries below around 0 degrees C, so they should be charged inside during winter, which might be an issue if the bike is kept outside.


It isn't possible to remove the battery to charge (see my comment above) - the raison d'etre behind the bike design (and that of the Ribble and FSA lookalikes) is that the battery size/weight is minimised by not having a large and heavy battery case - just the battery cells are in the downtube with a socket above the bottom bracket to connect the charger. [The cells etc can be removed but that's a dealer job]

The issue of cold is something to consider with this set-up - the machine needs to be inside in the winter.

Rob

Grandad
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Re: Orbea Gain - first ride

Postby Grandad » 4 Sep 2019, 10:21am

The issue of cold is something to consider with this set-up - the machine needs to be inside in the winter.


I'm planning to ride it throughout the winter, hence the mudguards. I presume it's OK to be in a cold outside shed until the battery needs charging.

Grandad
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Re: Orbea Gain - first ride

Postby Grandad » 4 Sep 2019, 10:24am

Might be a good chance to give up driving

It has fitting points for a pannier frame . . . . .

peterb
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Re: Orbea Gain - first ride

Postby peterb » 4 Sep 2019, 10:37am

I'd not be happy with so many spacers on the (carbon?) steerer. Why not a bigger frame? Over 2000 miles now on my (Tiagra) Gain. I DO find it a heavy lump to ride unassisted, but then I have developed peripheral arterial disease affecting the muscles in both legs. I also find it heavy to lug around at over 15.5 kg fully equipped. My leg powered Rose Xeon by contrast is almost exactly half that weight, but even that has become painful to ride, so I'm happy that the Gain allows me to continue cycling, and taking part in the club leisure rides - though I'd welcome an increase in the cut off speed …...

BertYardbrush
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Re: Orbea Gain - first ride

Postby BertYardbrush » 6 Sep 2019, 8:25pm

[quote]I presume it's OK to be in a cold outside shed until the battery needs charging./quote]

I store my bike is in a secure but unheated place in winter.
I had a couple of instances in February when the Iwoc light flashed purple. The error log says discharge over temp.
The advice is: 1. Reduce the discharge speed or stop for a few minutes.
2. Connect the bicycle to the Dealer APP and check the battery temperature. 3. Wait until the temperature drops.

Not sure what really happened as it was not on a ride, might have been difference between ambient temperature (cold) and something else.
Think I cured it by turning off the battery, spinning the wheel a few times and turning it back on again.

BertYardbrush
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Re: Orbea Gain - first ride

Postby BertYardbrush » 6 Sep 2019, 8:33pm

The new edition 2020 Orbea Gain has ANT+ which would allow you to use something other than the Ebikemotion app to monitor the bike as you're riding.
The Garmin Edge Explore, and maybe other devices, has the facility to pick up and report ebike information this way.
Might be worthwhile finding out if there is any way of upgrading as the Ebikemotion app is not a great deal of use.

Grandad
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Re: Orbea Gain - first ride

Postby Grandad » 6 Sep 2019, 9:29pm

Beginner question - is the lwoc light on the charger (which I haven't used yet)

I don't have a smartphone which I presume is needed to connect to the Dealer APP.

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willcee
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Re: Orbea Gain - first ride

Postby willcee » 6 Sep 2019, 11:28pm

Interesting.. the thing that i find a bit confusing is and I speak from an extensive background in high ticket business, within the UK imv Orbea seem backed up by the consensus of contributors & owners hereabouts who have expounded their views on E assistance their market aim is for those who were cyclists and are no longer as fit or as young to enable continued 2 wheeled leisure.. perhaps I am totally wrong but why therefore tie all the mods that can be achieved through exclusive use of a 'smart' phone, I don't have one, indeed as a user of cell technology since the mid 80's I was glad to be rid..I still use a small cellphone, but have no truck with apps and someone who I don't Know being able to track my location, after a lifetime of looking under my vehicles each time I used them..Admittedly Orbea have a very smooth motor action, emphasised to me last week when my chum on his 2nd Gain, had his up at the dealer for that add on battery, the guys, who as far as I was concerned knew the app but couldn't really sort other than say its all good running fine look here flashing the screen at me.. old guys and smart phones are worse than old guys and a readable dashboard... like Giants...will..

Grandad
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Re: Orbea Gain - first ride

Postby Grandad » 7 Sep 2019, 12:11am

a readable dashboard... like Giants..

A market opportunity for someone to create an electronic gizmo to link the app to a Giant type dashboard?

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robgul
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Re: Orbea Gain - first ride

Postby robgul » 7 Sep 2019, 7:07am

willcee wrote:Interesting.. the thing that i find a bit confusing is and I speak from an extensive background in high ticket business, within the UK imv Orbea seem backed up by the consensus of contributors & owners hereabouts who have expounded their views on E assistance their market aim is for those who were cyclists and are no longer as fit or as young to enable continued 2 wheeled leisure.. perhaps I am totally wrong but why therefore tie all the mods that can be achieved through exclusive use of a 'smart' phone, I don't have one, indeed as a user of cell technology since the mid 80's I was glad to be rid..I still use a small cellphone, but have no truck with apps and someone who I don't Know being able to track my location, after a lifetime of looking under my vehicles each time I used them..Admittedly Orbea have a very smooth motor action, emphasised to me last week when my chum on his 2nd Gain, had his up at the dealer for that add on battery, the guys, who as far as I was concerned knew the app but couldn't really sort other than say its all good running fine look here flashing the screen at me.. old guys and smart phones are worse than old guys and a readable dashboard... like Giants...will..


Indeed - I fit the profile of the "older person wanting to keep cycling" - and not a "Strava bunny" obsessed by performance, or the the minutiae of the stats from the app and the brain on the bike.

To me a couple of improvements to the Gain would be to make the very neat top-tube indicator/switch two "discs" - one with up/down buttons to toggle the power selection rather than scrolling through them in one direction; and the other as a separate simple battery indicator (same visual as the current (sorry!!) way that the button changes colour)

For all that it's a great machine - it's horses for courses with my use, riding both unpowered machines and the Gain

Rob