orbea gain d50 electric road bike multi-colour

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I have been wanting to do a review of the Orbea Gain D50 since I had a go on one earlier last year. I had already ridden a Giant Road-E which uses a Yamaha mid-drive and was eager to try a lightweight electric road bike that used a compact hub motor.

Orbea Gain D50 2020 model

Update 29/11/2019 – The new 2020 model Orbea Gain D50 has now been released. Having looked at the specification, it remains largely unchanged from 2019. It still looks gorgeous and has some nice new colour schemes.

orbea gain d50 electric road bike 2020 model

Mid-Drive vs Hub motor

Although some recent developments by Shimano, Yamaha and Bosch have made their excellent mid-drive motors easy to pedal once the power shuts down at 15mph, there is still a substantial weight penalty with mid-drives due to their relative complexity.

bosch performance line mid drive electric bike motor

Enter ebikemotion with their excellent X35 M1 compact hub motor and integrated lithium battery. This small and lightweight motor fits neatly into the rear wheel and is barely noticeable. But the great thing is the motor and battery combined only add around 3.5kg to the total weight of the bike.

ebikemotion x35 M1 electric hub motor for road bikes

This electric bike system is so good in fact, that it is now used on a whole host of e-road bikes. From the Ribble Endurance SLe, through to the Bianchi Aria E-road and the Focus Paralane.


The 36v 250wh (watt hour) lithium battery pack is cleverly hidden in the frame. This battery uses the high energy density Panasonic NCR18650GA lithium cells – widely regarded as the best cells available at present.

the ebike motion x35 concealed downtube battery

Providing you only use the pedal assist when you need it, there is no reason why you can’t get a range of 60-70 miles out of this battery. If, however, you rely on the assist being on all the time, I use the calculated 20wh per mile energy consumption – this would drastically reduce your battery range to less than 20 miles.

As far as I am aware, the Orbea Gain was the first e-road bike to use this excellent drive system, and since then many other prestigious bike manufacturers have followed suit.

The Ride

I managed to ride one of these in the Spring of 2018, not long after they had been released, and I have to admit, I was smitten.

The first thing I noticed, was that it felt like a normal road bike. There was no noticeable drag from the motor, and the bike felt nimble and sure-footed. The 700x28c tyres are an excellent choice, and make the bike more usable on rougher terrain, like canal paths etc.

The frame and forks are wide enough to accommodate tyres up to 40c, which would be perfect for touring or gravel track riding.

orbea gain d50 electric road bike multi-colour

The pedal assist works flawlessly and provides a seamless boost of power when you need it. I am personally a little biased towards the Yamaha system found on the Giant Road-E. Mid-drive motors are more efficient and provide considerably more torque than hub motors, however, this would be more relevant in mountain bike applications when climbing very steep trails and not so much of an issue with a road bike.

My ride of this bike took me on a short 10-mile loop of my local area, with a couple of short, but steep climbs. The Gain handled these with ease and took the sting out of these hills. I was also impressed with the Shimano mechanical disc brakes, they certainly performed on par with the Avid BB-5s I had used on a previous road bike.

My only slight disappointment was the entry-level 2×8 Shimano Claris groupset, it would have been nice to at least have Tiagra or 105 at this price, but maybe that is expecting a bit too much!

I was really impressed with the ride quality, and as I have mentioned previously, it didn’t feel like riding an e-bike (until I used the pedal assist).

orbea gain d50 in the orange colour scheme


Overall, I was very impressed with the Orbea. An e-bike that doesn’t look, weigh or handle like one! Having ridden the Giant Road-E and the Ribble Endurance SLe, my favourite would have to be the Ribble for an out-and-out road bike experience. The Giant looks and weighs more like an e-bike with its large lithium battery pack and Yamaha mid-drive motor dominating, but the way that motor makes the power is a revelation!

Taking everything above into account, both the Giant and Ribble are substantially more expensive. The Orbea D50 offers excellent value for money and doesn’t have much in the way of competition at its price, making it the best electric road bike available for under £2000.

Full Specification Below:

  • 6000 Series hydroformed aluminium alloy with rack and mudguard mounts
  • Carbon fork for a smoother ride
  • Shimano Claris 2×8 speed drivetrain with a wide range of 11-32 cassette
  • Shimano mechanical disc brakes for consistent all-weather stopping
  • 700c wheels with 28mm tyres (clearance for up to 40mm)
  • Sizes: X Small, Small, Medium, Large, X Large
  • Colours: Anthracite, Grey/White/Red, Orange/Black
  • The Orbea Gain D50 is available with 0% APR finance

Drive Information:

  • Motor: Ebikemotion X35, rear hub drive, 40Nm
  • Battery: Ebikemotion 36v downtube integrated battery pack
  • User interface/remote: iWoc One top tube button & smartphone app
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth

The Gain was designed to enhance your ride, not dominate it. The Enough Power and Enough Energy concepts result in an exceptionally lightweight, sportive and rideable bike – a machine that heeds the call of the open road. Gain embraces your sweat and hard work and works in unison with your efforts to tick off the miles. System interfaces are modern, integrated and sleek. There are no bulky components to reduce the riding experience, distractions have been minimised so it’s just you, Gain and the hours ahead.

orbea gain d50 in the anthracite colour scheme

Mode Button – Save space on your handlebar for a GPS if you wish, or ride without clutter. Gain’s control centre is an attractive and discreet button on the top tube. With the simple iWoc ONE interface, you can power the system on or off, check the motor assist level and view the remaining battery charge. Coloured LED lighting puts all the information you need right at your fingertips.

Internal Battery – The battery is usually one of the most noticeable components of an e-Bike system, so every step has been taken to find the lightest, smallest and most discreet unit. Gain’s Enough Energy concept provides you with enough battery power, not more. It eliminates the need for a bulky, high-output battery that needs to be removed from the bike.

Drive System – The heart of the Gain, the rear hub motor is the key to Gain’s Enough Power concept. The sophisticated drive system provides enough smooth and reliable assistance at levels designed to enhance your ride, not dominate it. And since the motor is at the hub, you’ll experience drag-free pedalling when Gain is not providing a push

C.A.N Integration – Gain doesn’t require a multitude of wires, ports or accessories. The CAN (Controller Area Network) bus port provides a single interface for charging, system diagnosis or attaching the external backup battery.

PAS Sensor – Gain’s smooth and balanced assist requires an advanced sensor. Blending perfectly with our effort to create a sleek and discrete system, the cassette lockring holds 20 magnets that are detected by the integrated dropout sensor. The system monitors your pedalling input and adjusts power accordingly

App – A smartphone and smartwatch-compatible app enables deeper control of the iWoc system used by Gain. Ride tracking, activity and GPS route uploading and other functions are available from your mobile device, making Gain an even more valuable tool.

Versatile – The new carbon frame includes the same integration features other Orbea Carbon frames have, plus the complexity of also fully integrating the motor power cable and the P.A.S sensor.

Mavic – In order to bring the best quality built, we’ve teamed up with Mavic and brought their bestsellers into the Gain family; the Aksium Elite and Cosmic Carbon Wheels.

Tyre Clearance – The move to wider tyres is happening everywhere, with even road racers opting for the comfort and lower rolling resistance of 25c or 28c tyres. To make Gain even more versatile it is possible to mount most 40c tyres, either with clincher or tubeless.


Frame: Orbea Gain
Fork: Speed 400mm Carbon Flat mount
Headset: 1-1/8″ Semi-Integrated
Bars: Orbea OC-II
Front Brake: Shimano BR-RS305 Mechanical Disc
Rear Brake: Shimano BR-RS305 Mechanical Disc
Front Mech: Shimano Claris FD-R2000-F
Rear Mech: Shimano Claris RD-R2000-GS
Shifters: Shimano Claris ST-R2000
Rims: Ready GR
Front Tyre: Hutchinson Fusion 5 All SeasonTLR 700×28
Rear Tyre: Hutchinson Fusion 5 All SeasonTLR 700×28
Seat Post: Orbea OC-I 27.2x350mm
Chain: KMC X8
Cassette: Shimano HG50 11-32t 8-Speed
Battery (Wh): 250 Wh
Motor: Ebikemotion
User Interface: Ebikemotion iWoc ONE


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  1. depuis une année j’ai ORBEA D 50 (VAE) j’ai changé la pile du compteur et depuis impossible de faire apparaitre pourcentage de la batterie et les 4 vitesses (0-1-2-3)

  2. You seem to have a great bike resource here!
    I am keen cyclist and bike tinkerer and fancy the Orbea but I have an itch to replicate one myself with Bafang 250 rear hub and a mid size bottle battery. Not looking for any throttle control and happy with modest assistance. I can build my own wheel up too.
    My concern is replicating the smooth assistance the Orbea system has and believe this uses magnet sensor on the cassette lock ring. Will the crank based DIY sensors replicate this properly?
    The kits in links here don’t seem to match exactly what I want but happy to buy through you if you can source suitable partner links I.e. black disc and cassette hub with fitting kit but no throttle etc. Many thanks.

    1. Hi Simon,

      The crank based pedal assist sensors work more like an on/off switch. As soon as pedal rotation is detected the motor will start. The latest 12-magnet pedal sensors with torque-simulation controllers do provide quite a smooth uptake, and alter the pedal assist based on cadence.

      If the bike your are fitting the kit to has a Hollowtech II type bottom bracket you would need a Hollowtech-specific sensor – here is a link.

      The ebikemotion system on the Orbea uses a TMM torque sensor, as far as I know you can’t purchase this kind of sensor separately. There are a couple of options: A bottom bracket torque sensor – these work well, but you would need to drill a small hole in the bottom bracket shell of your bike in order to thread the lead through.

      The other type of torque sensor commonly available is crank based. These usually come fitted in a special crankset, that is usually only available for a square-tapered bottom bracket. They are usually only available with a single chainring.

      Here is a link to a torque sensing system on Aliexpress, it includes the controller, display and torque-sensing bottom bracket.

      As far as batteries go, my regular supplier do a lightweight compact bottle battery that will fit in a regular bottle cage. Here is a link for the 36v10.5ah version – it’s quite lightweight at around 2kg. They also do lower capacity versions.

      If you need any more advice, please let me know – my email address is cycletek@outlook.com


  3. What is the rider weight limit for this cycle ?
    It seems ideal to get me back into cycling and getting active again.

    1. Hi Mike,

      I can’t seem to find a maximum rider weight on Orbea’s website. But to give you an idea, I weigh in at around 105-110kg or roughly 17stone. The person I borrowed the bike off for the test was a little heavier, at around 18 stone. When I first got back into road cycling, I weighed about 20 stone and used an old Raleigh Airlite 100, alloy frame with carbon forks and never had any issues.

      The Orbea Gain did come across as quite a sturdy bike, it’s certainly designed more like an adventure bike than a regular road / endurance bike.

      I hope this information helps.


  4. Questions:
    1) I see range extenders available on the website, any idea how much extra charge these can provide?

    2) Can the rear wheel be swapped out with a normal wheel when motor is not desired? if so, how much weight does this take off; what’s the rough weight in full e-mode vs normal rear wheel?

    1. The range extender battery for the ebikemotion x35 system has a total energy capacity of 208 watt hours, assuming you were using a constant 6 watt hours per mile you would be looking at an extra 34 miles, but in real terms it should be more like 40-50 miles.

      The Orbea has standard sized drop-outs so it should be straightforward to remove the electric assist wheel and replace with a regular road wheel (with disc rotor), the M1 hub motor weighs 2.1kg. The bike weighs in at around 13.5kg with the hub motor fitted, so it should weigh roughly 11.5kg with a standard lightweight road wheel fitted.

  5. Hi, anyone know what is the max wattage it can deliver (20 watts?) and can this be adjusted or is it just on/off?

    1. Hi,

      The maximum power output would be approximately 250w.

      You can control many functions of the motor using an app, which is available for the iPhone or Android.

      There are 3 power assists levels available which offer a set amount of torque per level. However, from the settings menu you can open up a further option which allows you to tweak the amount of assist within each level using a simple graph adjustment. The graph displays how much torque is provided and you simply adjust this using a slider.

      I hope this answers your question.

  6. I have been seriously looking at the GainD20 and M30 and trying to find a shop where I can test ride them. Also they advertise a feature of MYO or make your own but I can’t get their website to use that feature. Local bike shops are not much help
    Long term question: How many recharges will the battery take before it stops taking a new charge? Can the batter ever be replaced and how?

    1. Hi Garry,

      The battery pack uses Panasonic NCR18650GA cells which are one of the best available. Usually these batteries will last for around 800-1200 charging cycles. If you based that on an average of 1000 cycles x 50 miles per cycle, that would give a potential lifespan of 50k miles of usage. If my memory serves me correct, the internal battery can only be removed by a dealer via a small removable cover.

      Hope this info helps.


    2. I have an Orbea Gain M30 2019 and it is really great. It is very fast and the electric assistance works fine. You can buy an extra charger (extender) for mor 70% charge. The only issue for me is that you can’t take it with when traveling by plane, because go lithium cells. They should have build it in a way you could remove them and take them with you on carry luggage, respecting 100W/h, allowed by IATA. You can remove it, a bit laborious, but quick. But you can’t take it with you and can’t take your bike to dispatched luggage with the battery inside the bike. For me this is a big issue. But I love it, more than my Specialized Roubaix.

      1. Hi,

        Thanks for sharing. It’s a shame Orbea and other bikes that use the X35 system didn’t think about an easy battery removal solution, as more e-bike riders want to take their bikes on touring trips in other countries and unless you go by boat it’s difficult.

        All the best,

  7. How about converting it to Shimano 105, I’d be happy to do the conversion, what would you miss out on rather than going for a D30? Any views…

    1. As far as I can make out looking at the spec sheet, the main difference between the D50 and D30 is the latter has Shimano R7070 hydraulic disc brakes whereas the D50 has mechanical brakes. Apart from that the tyres, rims, frame, forks and motor spec all look the same. If you had a 105 groupset knocking about or knew of one available at a good price, The D50 would make better sense. When I rode the D50, I found the mechanical disc brakes more than adequate.

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