Specialized, Trek or Orbea, which one?

Firnatine

Member
Region
USA
I'm new to the forum and looking for advice. I'm planning on buying an eBike in a month or two and have narrowed it down
to Specialized Turbo Creo Evo, Trek Domane HP+, or Orbea Gain M20i. I'm 72 and just started cycling last may. I ride a Santa Cruz Carbon
Stigmata and love it and plan to keep it. My reason for an eBike is I will be riding cross country this August with a group of firefighters for the 20th anniversary of 9/11. I will be the oldest in the group by 10 years with the least amount of cycling experience. The plan is to stay together and no one gets dropped. I don't want to be the guy that slows the group down so I hope the eBike will allow me to keep up. On the flats my Santa Cruz should be fine but there will be some major climbs to deal with that will be extremely challenging especially for a guy my age.

I really like the Turbo Creo Evo and leaning heavily in that direction. I like the fact its a gravel bike, doesn't look like an ebike, is under 30 lbs. and class 3. All the reviews I've read have been positive. The battery range is one of the best and the optional battery they claim would give 40 more miles. I see they just raised the price by $500 and stock is low.

The Domane HP+ has a more powerful motor that I would assume be better for the big climbs and it too is class 3. I don't like the weight at 39 lbs. which makes it 20 lbs. heavier then my Santa Cruz. Out of the 3 bikes, it is the most expensive.

For me the Orbea by far is the best looking of the 3 and does not look at all like an eBike. It is also the lightest at 26 lbs. It comes with Shimano Di2 and is more then a thousand dollars less then the others. I don't like the fact it is not class 3 with the assist only to 20mph. I also have concerns about the hub motor compared to the mid drive motor. The reviews I've read have been mixed. I've read the drag is noticeable once the assist quits.

I'm not looking for a free ride just some assist that will get me over the big bumps, has good range and comfortable to ride for 8 hours. I pretty much made up my mine but would love to hear others opinions to help assure me I'm making the right decision.

Thanks in advance.
 

BillH

Active Member
The Pros Closet has each of what you are looking for, well, maybe not the right size at the moment, but these types of bikes have a regular appearance at this web site and offered in many cases at substantial savings.
 

WattsUpDude

Well-Known Member
My money would be on the Creo. It’s a really versatile bike. The Orbea is beautiful and lightweight but the Ebikemotion system they use employs a speed + cadence sensor. PAS is not going to feel as natural as the torque sensor bikes from Specialized and Trek.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
I ride a 94 lb bike with all racks, panniers, tools & water. Once a week I carry 60-80 lb supplies out to my summer camp. My heart+lungs+legs don't get tired, my hips do from the hard seat. I don't understand the passion about weight. Are you climbing the Matterhorn? Iowa doesn't have hills enough to overheat a geared hub motor. Even with 80 lb ag supplies my bike weighs about what I do. Worried about weight, lose some. My biking habit wore me down from 213 to 160 in 8 years. the wind is my worry, global warming has kicked up strong winds in May & September. 25 mph headwind can make my 30 mile commute take 6 hours without electricity. Which is why I added motor & battery.
As far as I can tell both Orbea gain m20i and Specialized creo carbon both have mid drives with an 11 speed chain. As neither is a brose, shimano steps, or yamaha, they should both drag noticably when the power runs out. By contrast, my $221 ebikeling geared hub motor didn't drag at all unpowered even when the gear wore out @ 4500 miles.
Low battery capacity of the models I looked at, 340 wh and 248 wh, strike me as toys. Biweekly I cross 77 to 80 hills and only use the battery on the last 25 or so. I have 840 wh and used to red light and cut out on the last hill or two on the ebikeling motor. Replacement Mac12t hub motor is more efficient and I arrive 30 miles out at about 45 v on a 48 v battery (start @ 52.5). Notice orbea gain M20i limits the assist to 20 mph. Your road bike buddies going to go that slow? My bootleg home converted Mac12 will assist to 23. The ebikeling motor would assist to about 25. Only extremely smooth pavement is safe at that speed, IMHO, without a suspension. I peak at 35 downhill but only do that with great pavement on valleys I know there is no gravel.
I'm happy for you at 72 you are so flexible to ride with your head turned back at 90 deg and can lift your leg over a high bar. I refuse to flex my neck that much, always have, and it has held up better than my Mother's that ruptured a disk age 48 from sitting typing in the wrong chair+table with the neck flexed. I started having trouble getting the foot over the bar age 64, and it is not getting any better at 70. You see my drop frame left.
Have a great ride. Enjoy those mud stripes on your hips. Enjoy changing your chain mid ride, too. Guys on roadbikereview.com are reporting 1000 miles life on 11 speed chain, and that is with feet only. some high speed electric commuters report ~500 miles per 11 speed chain. I got 5000 miles out of my first 8 speed chain, 2 1/2 years. Changed it at home first of spring with the tires.
 
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Marci jo

Well-Known Member
Wow Firnatine, what a fabulous adventure!
You said cross country, as in across the entire U.S,? My earlier cross country rides were 400 miles max over several days. And well supported with great rest stops and sag wagons. Fabulous memories.
My first thought for your situation is for sure a class 3, especially if the group holds an aggressive speed.
And how long is the wait for the bike to arrive? Based on comments here I’m hearing it can be lengthy.
What are the daily miles? Can you charge along the way or have extra batteries?
Keep posting!
 

Firnatine

Member
Region
USA
The Pros Closet has each of what you are looking for, well, maybe not the right size at the moment, but these types of bikes have a regular appearance at this web site and offered in many cases at substantial savings.
I look at Pros Closet almost daily. The Creo Evo price is almost to good to be true but it shows a 20mph top speed so I'm guessing its not a US bike. I sent them a message asking about this. I bought my Santa Cruz Stigmata last year from them for a savings of a $1000.
 

Firnatine

Member
Region
USA
My money would be on the Creo. It’s a really versatile bike. The Orbea is beautiful and lightweight but the Ebikemotion system they use employs a speed + cadence sensor. PAS is not going to feel as natural as the torque sensor bikes from Specialized and Trek.
Thanks I was wondering about that.
 

Firnatine

Member
Region
USA
I ride a 94 lb bike with all racks, panniers, tools & water. Once a week I carry 60-80 lb supplies out to my summer camp. My heart+lungs+legs don't get tired, my hips do from the hard seat. I don't understand the passion about weight. Are you climbing the Matterhorn? Iowa doesn't have hills enough to overheat a geared hub motor. Even with 80 lb ag supplies my bike weighs about what I do. Worried about weight, lose some. My biking habit wore me down from 213 to 160 in 8 years. the wind is my worry, global warming has kicked up strong winds in May & September. 25 mph headwind can make my 30 mile commute take 6 hours without electricity. Which is why I added motor & battery.
As far as I can tell both Orbea gain m20i and Specialized creo carbon both have mid drives with an 11 speed chain. As neither is a brose, shimano steps, or yamaha, they should both drag noticably when the power runs out. By contrast, my $221 ebikeling geared hub motor didn't drag at all unpowered even when the gear wore out @ 4500 miles.
Low battery capacity of the models I looked at, 340 wh and 248 wh, strike me as toys. Biweekly I cross 77 to 80 hills and only use the battery on the last 25 or so. I have 840 wh and used to red light and cut out on the last hill or two on the ebikeling motor. Replacement Mac12t hub motor is more efficient and I arrive 30 miles out at about 45 v on a 48 v battery (start @ 52.5). Notice orbea gain M20i limits the assist to 20 mph. Your road bike buddies going to go that slow? My bootleg home converted Mac12 will assist to 23. The ebikeling motor would assist to about 25. Only extremely smooth pavement is safe at that speed, IMHO, without a suspension. I peak at 35 downhill but only do that with great pavement on valleys I know there is no gravel.
I'm happy for you at 72 you are so flexible to ride with your head turned back at 90 deg and can lift your leg over a high bar. I refuse to flex my neck that much, always have, and it has held up better than my Mother's that ruptured a disk age 48 from sitting typing in the wrong chair+table with the neck flexed. I started having trouble getting the foot over the bar age 64, and it is not getting any better at 70. You see my drop frame left.
Have a great ride. Enjoy those mud stripes on your hips. Enjoy changing your chain mid ride, too. Guys on roadbikereview.com are reporting 1000 miles life on 11 speed chain, and that is with feet only. some high speed electric commuters report ~500 miles per 11 speed chain. I got 5000 miles out of my first 8 speed chain, 2 1/2 years. Changed it at home first of spring with the tires.
Thanks for your input. We will be riding across Iowa but not before crossing the Teton Pass at 8000 ft. I'm not at all concerned about the flats except for a strong head wind. I plan to ride my Santa Cruz gravel bike on good days. The Orbea Gain M20i is a hub drive motor the Specialized and Trek are both mid drive. I heard it to be just the opposite with the drag after assist drop off. I heard that was a factor with the Orbea and other hub drive bikes. The weight comes into play since I don't intend to ride with motor assist all the time. I only plan to use when I need it. We will be having long days so want to get the most out of the battery.

Yeah I can still turn my head 90 degrees and lift my leg over the saddle, yoga is my friend. LOL I was a runner till 3 years ago and quick do a little arthritis in my right foot so I'm in pretty good shape for 72 but a man has to know his limitations.
 

Firnatine

Member
Region
USA
Wow Firnatine, what a fabulous adventure!
You said cross country, as in across the entire U.S,? My earlier cross country rides were 400 miles max over several days. And well supported with great rest stops and sag wagons. Fabulous memories.
My first thought for your situation is for sure a class 3, especially if the group holds an aggressive speed.
And how long is the wait for the bike to arrive? Based on comments here I’m hearing it can be lengthy.
What are the daily miles? Can you charge along the way or have extra batteries?
Keep posting

Yes from sea to shiny sea. The ride is called Bay to Brooklyn 2021 https://bay2brooklyn2021.com . We will be leaving the San Francisco bay area on August 1st 2021 plan to cross the Brooklyn Bridge on September 11th, 2021. We will be riding 38 days averaging around 100 miles a day. We will have two support/chase vehicles along with a cargo trailer carrying spare parts, bikes, tools, compressor, generator etc.. If you want to see each leg click on Follow Us As We Ride on the website menu. If you do FaceBook you can also follow us at https://www.facebook.com/Bay2Brooklyn2021. Any money we raise will be going to the Gary Sinise Foundation. https://donate.garysinisefoundation.org/campaign/bay-to-brooklyn-2021/c310207
 

Saratoga Dave

Well-Known Member
Are you riding across the US or Iowa? I sort of assume the US, and I get that you’re going to ride your Santa Cruz where possible now.

That said, I might change my original idea of the Creo and go with the Domane, if in fact you are going to be needing something to get across the Ozarks and the mountains of Virginia... which would be the Trans Am route. For that specific purpose, I’d want my ebike to be the most rootin tootin one I could find.

If you’re doing an easier route, the Creo would be a blast, I’m sure. If you’re confident enough of your strength, and it sounds like you might be, then the Creo could be a great choice for the whole thing. I guess it would keep you more in line with the rest of the outfit than to be zooming over Hayter’s Gap on a Domane while everyone else is dying. Shared suffering, right?

Either way, sounds like a hell of an adventure!
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
As far as I can tell both Orbea gain m20i and Specialized creo carbon both have mid drives with an 11 speed chain. As neither is a brose, shimano steps, or yamaha, they should both drag noticably when the power runs out.
Jo, you are completely wrong. The whole virtue of the Specialized 1.1 motor (from Mahle) is its minimal drag. Moreover, the motor completely disengages when it is not powered or the speed is above the limit. The whole idea behind Specialized SL e-bikes was to make them as close to traditional bikes as possible when unpowered. And indeed Orbea Gain is equipped with the X35 hub motor.
 

Marci jo

Well-Known Member
Another thought, have you checked with the organizers to see if ebikes are allowed? More than likely they are allowed since they are getting more common. Just my slightly paranoid opinion.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Another thought, have you checked with the organizers to see if ebikes are allowed? More than likely they are allowed since they are getting more common. Just my slightly paranoid opinion.
A slightly off topic but corresponding to your post Marci Jo:
I'm more and more attracted to group rides. In each case I'm asking the organiser whether e-bike would be allowed. I'm positively shocked: so far, ride organisers were answering "Come. Our goal is to have a good time together". So I'm joining an MTB ride for the coming Sunday.

Only competing is not allowed. In any case, I would have asked the organiser because roadies might have different idea.
 

Firnatine

Member
Region
USA
Are you riding across the US or Iowa? I sort of assume the US, and I get that you’re going to ride your Santa Cruz where possible now.

That said, I might change my original idea of the Creo and go with the Domane, if in fact you are going to be needing something to get across the Ozarks and the mountains of Virginia... which would be the Trans Am route. For that specific purpose, I’d want my ebike to be the most rootin tootin one I could find.

If you’re doing an easier route, the Creo would be a blast, I’m sure. If you’re confident enough of your strength, and it sounds like you might be, then the Creo could be a great choice for the whole thing. I guess it would keep you more in line with the rest of the outfit than to be zooming over Hayter’s Gap on a Domane while everyone else is dying. Shared suffering, right?

Either way, sounds like a hell of an adventure!
I don't think you can find an easy route...We were thinking of taking the old Lincoln Highway from San Francisco but that would have meant crossing Nevada's high desert in August. Instead we intend to ride to From SF to Sacramento CA. then load bikes into the trailer and drive north to Eugene OR, off load and start pedaling east from there. We will be crossing the Cascades and Rockies with elevations up to 10,000 ft. plus. Thats why I want an eBike. The Trek would have more cranking power but I'm not looking for a free ride just not slow the rest of the guys down and share their pain as well. I only want to use the assist when I need it so I can get more range.
 

Firnatine

Member
Region
USA
Another thought, have you checked with the organizers to see if ebikes are allowed? More than likely they are allowed since they are getting more common. Just my slightly paranoid opinion.
We're a friends and I'm one of the organizers so I don't think I'll have any objections.LOL There will be no more then 15 us including chase/support drivers. The group is made up a first responders and military vets.
 

Firnatine

Member
Region
USA
A slightly off topic but corresponding to your post Marci Jo:
I'm more and more attracted to group rides. In each case I'm asking the organiser whether e-bike would be allowed. I'm positively shocked: so far, ride organisers were answering "Come. Our goal is to have a good time together". So I'm joining an MTB ride for the coming Sunday.

Only competing is not allowed. In any case, I would have asked the organiser because roadies might have different idea.
See my reply to Marci Jo
 

gtpharr

Member
Region
USA
City
CHESAPEAKE, VA
We're a friends and I'm one of the organizers so I don't think I'll have any objections.LOL There will be no more then 15 us including chase/support drivers. The group is made up a first responders and military vets.
Yep you're good friends until you get about 3,500' into a 10,000' climb and one of your buddies takes your ebike away from you! For what you are doing, I like the Domane HP+, but I'd ride it every day! If anyone gives you any grief, just tell them that age and seniority has its privileges!

That is a great cause you guys are doing. I hope you have safe and memorable journey with a tail wind all the way!
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
Glad to hear orbea included a 100 g one way clutch. That allows no drag pedaling when feet are faster than motor. I got my information from orbea website: www.orbea.com/us-en/ebikes/road/gain/cat/gain-m20i-20mph/
which says the motor is a Ebikemotion X35 Plus 20mph
I don't see any hub drives in the picture. Maybe firnatine has access to some old stock in a bike shop near him.
With the kind of support vehicles Firnatine is reporting, wearing out chains in his 8000 mile trip should not be a problem. In the group rides around here, I was sometimes the guy changing tubes for the road bikers, while the sag wagon was way to the rear helping the newbies on kiddy bikes that weren't prepared for any distance.
Supposed to be 65 Tuesday Wed, and more important 55 Tue night. Will ride out my first 30 miles of the year to see what was stolen or fell down this winter.
 
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