Over the past couple of years we have seen the rise of the e-Bike, with hugely enhanced technology leading to improved motor capability and the elimination of drag, but it’s the new age of performance road e-bikes has taken the market by storm.
It’s not often we are truly stunned by the release of a new bike, but both the Orbea Gain and then the Aria e-Road from Bianchi did just this. E-Bikes that ride just like a traditional pedal bike, but with the added bonus of pedal assistance e-bike capabilities, seemed too good to be true.
At first glance we wouldn’t have even known these bikes contained the powerful punch of electrical assistance beneath their tubing, and it’s only upon closer inspection you can see the clever design and masterful engineering within them.
When you want a traditional pedal bike you have one that is fast, comfortable and responsive, but for those times when you need a boost to your ride or want an exhilarating splash of extra enjoyment, these bikes can give you just that.
Both the Orbea Gain and Aria e-Road use the same innovative motor technology that is super smooth, easy to use and reliable, with the only minor difference being that the Orbea has employed a battery with a slightly longer range than the Bianchi. Both systems are astonishingly light, and when you exceed 15.5mph, or turn the assistance off yourself, the motor disengages and adds no drag at all to your pedalling.
The question we’re asked when riders come in looking for the best race-bred e-bike on the market is which of these two is the winner. Our response is always the same: both. Depending on what you’re looking for in a bike, both Orbea and Bianchi have both managed to achieved excellence in slightly different areas.
If it’s a question of weight and versatility then the Orbea would take the victory. It’s the lighter of the two bikes and has the added bonus of coming in either a carbon or alloy option, and boasts a superior tyre clearance, making it the more adaptable to different surfaces as well.
With Orbea MyO you can also personalise the Carbon Gain free of charge, and design a bike with your own colour scheme. With almost endless possibilities this could be a clear win for Orbea; however Bianchi lovers would almost all agree that celeste is the only colourway that counmts. We’ll leave you to decide who takes the victory in the beauty department.
If it’s a question of aerodynamics then the Bianchi Aria e-road would take the crown. With the frame for their e-bike being a direct evolution of their Aria aero race bike it’s incredibly aero. When we first saw this bike in the flesh we couldn’t believe how seamlessly they had incorporated a motor into an aero frame.
If heritage and Italian design are also on your list of must-haves then this bike has most definitely retained the Bianchi flair we all know and love.