Giant Electric Bikes Review. Giant explore e bike

Giant Electric Bikes Review

Giant is the world’s largest manufacturer of traditional bicycles and is expected to become the most dominant player in the e-bike market in the recent future as well, as Giant electric bikes are becoming more and more popular.

Apart from designing and producing its own bikes, Giant also manufactures bicycles for other major cycling brands, such as Trek, Scott, and Colnago. Therefore, it’s unlikely that you’ve never ridden a bike made by Giant.

If you’re considering adding one of its bikes to your collection, you should read our detailed Giant E-Bike review below. We’ll tell you all about the brand and the technologies it uses, as well as show you its electric bike lineup.

Are Giant bikes worth the money? Let’s find out!

About Giant Bicycles—Are They Really THAT Good?

Giant is a well-known brand that has possibly contributed the most to the world of cycling.

Giant is a member of the Giant Group, which was established in 1972, in Taiwan. It is the world’s largest manufacturer of high-quality bicycles and cycling gear and one of the most influential brands in the industry.

Giant Cadex 980C first mass-produced carbon fiber road bicycle.

As an independent brand, Giant was born in 1981 when the first Giant-labeled bicycles hit the stores, first in Taiwan, and then in North America, Europe, and other parts of the world. After that, it soon rose to stardom and became the biggest player in the game.

The thing that sets Giant apart from other brands is that it has always been the pioneer of change. Giant made its frames from lightweight aluminum when the industry’s standard was still steel. It was also the first to make carbon fiber bikes widely available to the world, revolutionizing the cycling experience.

Giant also transformed the look and feel of modern road bikes with its Compact Road technology, as well as improved off-road performance bikes with Maestro Suspension.

Today, Giant continues developing groundbreaking cycling technologies and manufacturing modern bikes, including e-bikes for recreational and practical use.

Giant’s Patented E-Bike Technologies

Giant has been around for almost 50 years. During that time, it has patented numerous technologies that have completely changed how we ride bikes and how we think about them.

Let’s take a look at some of the most important e-bike technologies that this company has developed so far. You can find most of these solutions on Giant’s electric bicycles. But it all depends on how much money you spend.

SyncDrive Pro

SyncDrive Pro is a technology that provides pedaling assistance that’s in tune with human input. Therefore, Giant’s bicycles are able to produce smooth pedaling power and a natural feel that ensures good performance and an enjoyable ride.

Smart Assist

Smart Assist technology uses complex mathematical calculations to determine exactly how much power a rider needs, based on their power input and the pedal-assist level.

EnergyPak

EnergyPak is Giant’s latest battery system that features an elegant design and full integration. The EnergyPak batteries are placed inside the bike’s downtube, so they’re not an eyesore. These batteries also charge up to 80% in 2.2 hours and offer a better range than regular batteries.

RideControl

RideControl is a handlebar-mounted command center that features special ergonomically designed controls. It lets you have full control over your e-bike and track important metrics such as distance, speed, battery level, and pedal-assistance level.

E-Bike App

Giant’s E-Bike App lets you connect your smartphone directly to your e-bike via Bluetooth. The app lets you tune the motor to get the best support ratio for your needs, use navigation, and track important fitness data.

Review of Giant Electric Bikes Lineups

When it comes to e-bikes, Giant’s selection is not huge at the moment, but it is pretty decent nonetheless. The company manufactures electric bicycles in several categories, including Road, Gravel, Mountain, and Lifestyle.

No matter if you are a regular rider who spins the pedals every day or if you haven’t sat on a bike saddle in decades, you’re likely to find a model that you like in Giant’s lineup.

Let’s take a quick look at each of the categories, learn about the individual model lineups, and find the best Giant electric bike for your personal needs.

Giant Electric Road Bikes

Electric road bikes stand for everything that’s good about cycling but make it even better with a boost in power to make riding more enjoyable.

If you still want to enjoy speed, cover long distances, and look cool, one of the Giant electric road bikes is the right choice for you.

Road E Pro

A drop-bar electric road bike to help you enhance your road riding experience

Road E Pro is a proper electric road bike made for speed and performance. These are Class 1 electric bicycles with drop bars, a mid-drive motor, and an integrated battery that sits hidden inside the downtube.

The Road E Pro series features Giant’s SyncDrive Pro 250W motor with 80 Nm, combined with a 500Wh battery. It’s built around a lightweight aluminum frame, equipped with high-end Shimano components and hydraulic brakes that stop on a dime.

If you wish for a high-end electric road bike to overcome injury or keep pedaling well into old age, the Road E Pro model is a foolproof choice.

FastRoad E EX Pro

Versatile and fast e-bikes for road and off-road exploitation

FastRoad E EX PRO is a multi-purpose electric road bike with flat bars and wide, versatile tires. It features the Giant SyncDrive Pro 250W motor with the Giant RideControl EVO display for maximum control. The Giant EnergyPak 500Wh battery ensures a decent range and fast charging.

The Giant FastRoad e-bike sports Shimano’s gravel-specific GRX RX400 groupset and 27.5 x 2.40″ tires, so you can enjoy in on paved and unpaved roads. Accessories like fenders, lights, and a rear rack will only make the ride better and more practical.

We recommend it to commuters, bike travelers, and those who want a bike that replaces their car.

LaFree E

Haven’t ridden a bike in decades? Start here!

LaFree E is not a road bike in the traditional sense of the word, but it is built to be enjoyed on the road. Giant LaFree is a city/commuter/comfort bike built to be appreciated on a daily basis by regular people, rather than hardcore cyclists.

It has a 60Nm SyncDrive Life motor and a 400Wh battery that together provide plenty of assistance and a decent range. The upright geometry will put you in a comfortable riding position and the rear rack allows you to carry groceries, a child seat, or anything else you need on hand.

Explore the neighborhood, get fit, commute, or ditch the car, LaFree E can do it all.

Giant Electric Gravel Bikes

Gravel bikes have become very popular because they give you more possibilities than any other type of bike. A gravel electric bike takes those possibilities to another level.

Ride farther than ever before, explore paved and unpaved roads, and keep pedaling even when you run out of road. Let’s see what Giant’s gravel e-bikes put on the table.

Roam E

Forget about the limits and start exploring more.

Giant Roam E is an all-road electric bicycle that’s built to enable you to roam and explore wherever you want to. You can ride it on smooth asphalt but also on gravel, bike paths, or even trails.

Roam E is powered by a Giant SyncDrive Core 50Nm motor, with an automatic mode and tunable support. This Class 1 e-bike also has a 400Wh battery and a RideControl display.

The suspended fork, hydraulic disc brakes, and 700x45c tires come together to make it a comfortable and capable e-bike for all purposes.

Explore E

All the e-bikes you need in one affordable model.

Giant Explore E is the ultimate electric bicycle for the average rider. Unless you’re a performance-oriented road or MTB rider, you’ll probably like what Explore E is all about.

This is a commuter bike that’s built to stray away from smooth city streets. It features a Giant SyncDrive Life motor, an EnergyPak Smart 500Wh battery, and a RideDash EVO display. It’s built around a lightweight aluminum frame with a suspension fork and features a mid-range Shimano Alivio group.

Giant Explore E can be ridden day or night, rain or shine as it comes with fenders, lights, and a rear rack that can carry whatever you need. Get it and forget that you own a car.

Revolt E Pro

Leave no rock unturned on scenic backcountry roads.

Last but not least, we have a proper electric gravel bike with drop bars, a gravel-specific groupset, and gravel-ready tires. Giant Revolt E Pro has all you need to explore gravel roads, away from the hectic traffic and busy roads and streets.

The Giant SyncDrive Pro motor outputs 80Nm of tuneable support, coupled with a compact 375Wh battery. This is a Class 3 e-bike, so the maximum pedal-assisted speed is 28 mph, perfect for hardpacked gravel roads.

In addition, Revolt E Pro features a full Shimano GRX groupset, including brakes, and 700x45c tubeless-ready tires.

Get Giant Revolt E Pro if you want efficiency, control, and versatility.

Giant Electric Mountain Bikes

A few years ago, few people could imagine that electric mountain bikes would wiggle their way onto trails. Today, the electric mountain bike market is the fastest growing one in the e-bike industry.

Giant electric mountain bikes let you enhance your singletrack adventures, climb steep hills, and conquer high peaks. climbs equals more descents, which comes without a recovery penalty if you do it on an e-bike.

Let’s see which models Giant offers at the moment and find out what they are good for.

Talon E

An e-bike for beginners to enjoy the perks of real trail riding.

Giant imagined the Talon E series to be a selection of affordable mountain bikes for trail beginners and those who simply want to enjoy some off-roading. Talon E is built around a sturdy aluminum frame and a 100mm fork, combined with massive 29″ wheels and tires for uncompromising on-trail rolling capabilities.

It uses a Giant SyncDrive Core mid-drive motor to push the rider, with 50 Nm of torque and 5 pedal-assist modes, plus automatic. The 400Wh battery is “hidden” inside the rather unwieldy down tube.

The traditional drivetrain has a Shimano Alivio 9-speed rear derailleur and a 36T chainring on the front. Tektro hydraulic disc brakes are easy to adjust.

We recommend it if you think it fits your needs.

Trance X E Pro

E-mountain trail bikes for big boys and even bigger trails.

Trance X E Pro is a serious electric mountain bike with full-suspension, 29″ tires, and aggressive slack geometry. If you want a Giant fat tire mountain bike and you have a big budget, there’s little you won’t like about these models.

The Giant’s mid-drive motor puts out massive 80Nm of torque for powerful climbing, with pedal-assist up to 20 mph. The battery has a 625Wh capacity, which translates to a lot of climbed hills.

The Fox suspension gives you 150mm of travel front and rear, whereas the 2.6″ Maxxis tires ensure both grip and confidence to shred trails.

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Simply said, Trance X E Pro will let you hit trails as hard as before, if not even harder, as it is one of the best Giant electric bikes.

Stance E

A mid-range Giant full-suspension electric mountain bike for harsh terrain.

Giant Stance E is designed with trail-friendly geometry and rider-friendly components. This is a purebred full-suspension trail bike with 130mm of travel and a mid-drive motor that will send you flying up steep climbs.

The SyncDrive Sport motor is powered by Yamaha and develops 50Nm of torque, whereas the battery packs 625 Wh of additional juice.

Stance E bikes feature lightweight and efficient 1x drivetrains and uncompromising 29″ wheels. These ensure a good attack angle on fast descents. While descending, you’ll also appreciate the hydraulic disc brakes with giant rotors.

Are there any trails and descents waiting to be sent?

Fathom E

Versatile trail application with 27.5″ wheels and a dynamic motor.

Giant Fathom E will let you take full control of trails thanks to its sport-optimized motor and versatile 27.5″ wheels with super-wide tires.

This bike excels on XC and singletrack terrain, where the SyncDrive Sport motor can help you reach a 20mph speed and the 500Wh battery can help you maintain it over a decent distance.

Fathom E bikes are reasonably priced, so they come with mid-range components that offer excellent value for the money. Examples of this include Shimano Deore components and Tektro hydraulic disc brakes.

This is a Giant electric bike for easier climbing and longer riding, deep into the sunset.

Reign E Pro

Reign the trails, both up and down, with the help of a mighty motor.

The Reign E electric mountain bike is the creme de la creme of Giant’s e-mountain collection. These are premium enduro bikes with high-end components and high-end prices. The top model costs 8,500. Ouch!

We’re talking about SyncDrive Pro mid-drive motors with up to 80Nm of torque and EnergyPak Smart 500Wh batteries integrated into the down tube.

Happy owners will also enjoy the high-end SRAM and Shimano drivetrains, brakes, and top-of-the-line 170mm suspension. These are 27.5″ electric mountain bikes, so handling is nimble and precise on demanding twisty trails.

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You can’t go wrong with one of these Giants if you need their performance and their price fits your budget.

Momentum Lifestyle Electric Bikes

Momentum is a newly-established brand, founded by Giant. It makes so-called Lifestyle bicycles intended for casual, everyday use. If you’re an urban commuter looking to ride their car less, Momentum is a brand you should look into. These are also great bikes for recreational rides around the block, through the park, on bike paths, or for losing weight.

At the moment, Momentum manufactures three electric models called:

According to the info on the website, momentum was founded with a clear mission: “To help you move through life with happiness and ease.”

The three model lines available at the moment roughly cost between 2,100 and 2,800, which puts them in the entry-level to mid-range category. They include both step-over and step-thru frame variations, so they’re suitable for male and female riders.

Something they have in common is Giant’s SyncDrive mid-drive motors, hydraulic disc brakes, and a relaxed upright riding geometry. This makes them ideal for older riders, as well as those riders who don’t cycle too much but want to feel good when they do.

Momentum e-bikes are neither very lightweight, nor too fast (these are Class 1 e-bikes), but they look pretty and get the job done with ease. If you want a no-fuss e-solution, look into this Giant’s sister company.

Value for the Money—Are Giant Electric Bikes Too Expensive These Days?

Giant is one of the biggest, if not the biggest bicycle manufacturers in the world. That’s true for electric bicycles as well. Big-name brands are usually more expensive than small ones because they sell you both the bike and the branding. But is that true for Giant as well?

Actually, compared to some other big cycling brands like Trek, Specialized, or Canyon, Giant is a lot less expensive overall. That’s possible because Giant does the entire production and development process in one place, which allows them to cut costs, reduce overhead, and lower production times.

Therefore, even though you can definitely find cheaper e-bikes out there, Giant electric bicycles are not overly expensive. They offer pretty good value for money. Plus, buying from a big brand means that you will 100% get a replacement or a refund if your bike has a manufacturing defect. That’s not usually the case when purchasing cheap bikes off Amazon, even though you save at first.

What’s unique for Giant is that its e-bikes are fitted with proprietary technologies, such as SyncDrive motors and EnergyPak batteries. These are fitted on high-quality frames that are also built in-house by Giant. Therefore, all parts are compatible and work well as a package.

Ultimately, if you want an e-bike from a reputable and recognizable brand that offers good bang for the buck, you should probably get a Giant e-bike if there is one that fits your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Looking for answers to some specific questions about Giant electric bicycles? Check out the FAQ section below.

Is Giant the best bike brand?

Giant electric bikes are very good, considering that this is the biggest cycling brand in the world. However, whether or not they are the best is a subjective matter. Giant makes high-quality electric bicycles on par with other major manufacturers like Trek, Cannondale, Specialized, Canyon, and so on. Therefore, it is definitely one of the best bike brands in the world. Giant’s bikes get excellent ratings and user reviews, known to be durable, affordable, and reliable.

Where are Giant e-bikes made?

Giant has manufacturing factories in Taiwan and China, as well as the Netherlands and Hungary. Most of their e-bikes are made in Taiwan, but some are manufactured in other facilities as well.

Which is better Giant or Trek?

If you have a certain budget to spend and you do not want to go over it, Giant is the better choice. You will get better components and more value for your money. However, Trek bicycles are better designed and look nicer than Giant’s. Therefore, if your budget allows it and you’re willing to pay more for better looks, you will not go wrong with Trek either. Both companies are major players in the industry, manufacturing bicycles that last for years and ride for tens of thousands of miles.

Are Giant e-bikes any good?

Giant electric bikes offer the best value for money compared to all other established brands. The company has long been known as the king of budget bikes. However, Giant has also been consistently making high-end bikes that help riders win world championships and Grand Tours. Giant equips its bicycles with parts sourced from other reputable cycling brands, so you know you’re always getting high-quality gear for your money.

Does Giant make good electric mountain bikes?

Giant makes excellent electric mountain bikes. Giant’s e-mountain bicycles are equipped with proprietary SyncDrive motors and EnergyPak batteries made in collaboration with Yamaha. Giant produces electric mountain bikes in different price categories, so they are suitable both for beginners and for experienced riders.

Giant Explore E 1 Pro GTS 28 electric bike, rosewood

For lovers of urban cycling and cyclotourism who don’t hesitate to pack their bike bags and go on an adventure. The reliable and durable equipment is adapted for long hours in the saddle on various roads. Various extra accessories can be found in the equipment.

Aluminium frame

Lighter, relatively durable and stiff material that is affordable. The most widespread material for the production of bicycle frames.

Hydraulic disc brakes

Reliable in all conditions, better modulation of the braking effect with the use of less force on the lever. Heavier weight, more demanding service.

Air fork

The best option in terms of weight and comfort. Provides more adjustment options (rebound, compression). Requires regular service. the service cycle is specified by the manufacturer.

28” wheels

Often marked as 700c. They usually have a narrower profile, lower weight and high stiffness. They are the standard, especially for road (CX, gravel), trekking, city and cross-country bikes.

Product details

product ID
123552

Due to long-term issues with the supply of components, some manufacturers exceptionally approach changes of installed components contrary to the specification without letting us know. Unfortunately, it is not in our power to go through each bike and verify the differences between the manufacturer’s stated components and its actual equipment. Alternative parts should meet the same standards as the original. We apologise for any discrepancies.

All bicycles offered at the MTBIKER shop are new, unused, from an official distributor and with a full warranty. Several brands even offer a lifetime warranty on the frame after registration. We perform warranty service at MTBIKER Bratislava after personal delivery or at the MTBIKER center in Hrádok after personal delivery or after sending the bicycle (or its part) by courier.

  • The bicycle is taken out of the manufacturer’s box
  • The bicycle is assembled, inspected and adjusted (front and rear derailleur, shock, fork, wheels. )
  • The bicycle is carefully packed back into a box and shipped
  • If you order a bicycle for in store collection or home delivery, the bicycle will be waiting put together, checked and ready to use for you.
  • If you order a bicycle via courier to your home address, the following must be done at home:
  • Take the bike out of the box and carefully remove safety material and foils
  • Mount handlebar to stem ( 1 minute, 4 or 5 mm hex hey is needed ).
  • Mount front wheel to fork ( 1 minute, without the need of any tools if the bike has a quick release ).
  • Loosen the screws in the headset, straighten the stem with the front wheel, tighten the upper screw on the fork and then tighten the headset ( 2 minutes, 4 or 5 mm hex key is needed ).
  • Mount the pedals to the cranks while lubricating the thread and carefully mounting it the right way ( 1 minute, 8 mm hex key or 15 mm wrench ).
  • Mount seatpost to frame ( 10 seconds, without needing any tools if the frame has a quick link ).
  • Inflate the tyres or fork and shock to desired pressure ( 2 minutes, pump needed ).
  • Check the tightening of hex keys and quick-releases ( 2 minutes, 4 and 5 mm hex key is needed ).
  • Go for a test drive! Handle your bicycle carefully until you get used to it. If the bike has disc brakes, their performance will be limited from now on. they will gain their full power after 4-5 strong brakes at higher speed.

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Giant was established in 1971 in Taiwan, they are one of the largest bicycle producers in the world. In the beginning, they made bikes for other companies. Since 1981 Giant has been supplying the market with bicycles under their name. They were one of the first companies to start mass production of carbon framesets. Liv is their brand for bikes for women offering MTB, road and gravel bikes. Components are also included in their offer as well as wheelsets under the name Cadex (their brand name).

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Our intention is to familiarize those, who want to ride on two wheels and need help with choosing with the level of bicycles and their equipment. We tried our best to follow the hierarchy of individual manufacturers itself when it comes to all the components. This was the first criterion for us, because they themselves know best what types of bikes and cyclist’s performance the given categories of parts are intended for.

Steel, aluminium and carbon are the materials that we encounter most often in the cycling world and, to a large extent, their use affects the price of the bike, but also comfort and durability.

Today, steel is somewhat in the background, but it is still available and has a lot to offer. Especially to cyclists who do not care about weight and are satisfied with riding properties of this material. durability, stiffness and good absorption of vibrations.

Aluminium is the standard. Aluminium frames on bicycles are priced from several hundreds to several thousands. The difference is in different alloys or admixtures, which can bring more weight reduction or add other properties. The essence of aluminium frames and components is availability and rigidity. Recyclability is a big plus when it comes to aluminium and steel

Carbon frames or components are light, absorb vibrations and springs well. Some bikes have the entire frame made of this material. affordable aluminium models offer, for example, a carbon fork. At the sports and professional level, we can also find carbon wheels or other components.

The first levels mainly belong to 6 to 9-gear systems in combination with triple or double chainrings, which may not cover the same range of gears as the higher stages, but they surprise with their durability.

The middle is mainly covered by 10 and 11-speed systems with one and two converters, but there is also a 1×12 base. This level is characterized by reliability, technologies taken from higher sets in a universal, economical and well-functioning version.

The differences can be seen in the individual levels in the materials used. This will ultimately result in the final weight. Simplicity and ease of use is also a significant difference between the components. These features belong to the most advanced sets.

They are still dominated by those with electronic shifting, which can also be found in professional peloton. The highest levels also include more options for settings and customization for the user. On the other hand, with proper care and use of even the more affordable kits, you get reliability with good durability that can more than adequately cover the demands of seasonal and occasional cyclist, with lower maintenance and service costs.

Similarly, when it comes to shifting, or bicycle propulsion, we tried to keep up with the marking of the manufacturer itself, but we also took into account the construction of the brakes themselves. That’s where the most fundamental differences are.

We have rated classic brakes, i.e. V-brakes and rim brakes lower, due to Rapid material wear and weaker performance in wet environments. Brakes of this design from the higher sets are an exception, but when it comes to new bikes, they are already being replaced by disc brakes.

After rim brakes come mechanical disc brakes, which have higher and more reliable performance, but the limit is the setting and use of greater physical force to modulate the braking effect.

Hydraulic brakes have the best ratings. They offer easy power modulation, advanced adjustment options in the highest models, good weight and several times higher braking effect in rugged terrain and in downhill disciplines.

The front fork suspension is a complex component designed to ensure comfort at any level. Its rate, adaptability and finally the use of the fork itself are other parameters.

Spring forks with quick-release fasteners are the basis. Their main limitation is high weight and minimal settings. They definitely make driving in easy terrain or on a rougher road more pleasant.

A higher level of comfort is provided by fixed-axle spring forks, which are slightly stiffer and more stable, but still quite heavy.

They are seconded by the basic air forks, which have better weight, but do not provide more settings, e.g. locking/unlocking. However, they will do their job and the ride will be noticeably more comfortable.

Above them are forks that have a good ratio of weight, stiffness and various options for more advanced settings, they are suitable for racing even in the most demanding terrain.

Forks are the highlight. Especially those found mainly on racing and professional bicycle models. They are made of premium materials, which are seconded by the most modern technologies.

They will fulfil their purpose from the basic level. Driving with them will be more comfortable compared to those without a shock absorber. However, the limit can be high weight, lack of customization or insufficient cooperation with the frame construction. This will cause a wobble when you pedal.

As damper levels increase, such properties are gradually eliminated. There is a better ratio of performance, weight and advanced settings, whether it is a damper for a racing XC bike, enduro or downhill bike.

The pinnacle in this segment includes premium design, state-of-the-art technology, the possibility of detailed settings and professional performance.

The battery capacity largely affects the distance you travel on the bike, but this parameter is also affected by the altitude, the terrain itself, the temperature and also the level of engine assistance that you choose.

That’s why we “set aside” the range as a parameter, and used battery capacity values. From those that are sufficient for driving in the city with minimal gradients to those that allow you to conquer difficult climbs or enjoy a long drive even with maximum load.

Engine performance is closely related to the specification of the bicycle by the manufacturer. It is sufficient for commuting to work within the city or riding on the bike path, but such powerful engines can also be found in sports bikes. There the power is mainly provided by the cyclist themselves and the engine is used only as an aid in steep climbs.

Higher performance brings enough power even on more difficult climbs, whether on the road or off-road, or additional help during long journeys through the countryside.

You will use the highest performance to overcome mountain ridges, alpine saddles or endless cycle routes during your adventures at a brisk pace.

Is Giant Talon E 3 Worth Buying?-[2022 Giant Talon E 3 Review]

What we like about it: Efficient electric power assist, stable mountain experience.

What we don’t like about it: The greater weight.

Giant bikes is a Taiwanese brand that has been around since 1972. It has become one of the world’s leading bicycle manufacturers, constantly innovating and creating high-quality bikes to meet different riding styles and preferences. One of their most popular series is the Talon, which was first introduced in 2008. This series of hardtail mountain bikes are designed to be versatile, durable, and affordable, making it an excellent choice for both beginners and experienced riders.

The Giant Talon E 3 was awarded for its performance and value in 2022, with a starting price of just 2900. Using Giant’s 50Nm SyncDrive Core motor, paired with the RideControl remote and a 500Wh EnergyPak battery, it can provide up to 300% adjustable support while exploring the trails.

Now, to meet the increasing popularity of electric bikes, Giant has released the Talon E 3, an electric-assisted version of their popular hardtail mountain bike. The Talon E 3 retains many of the features that make the Talon series a favorite among mountain bike enthusiasts, such as its lightweight ALUXX aluminum frame and stable yet responsive handling. However, the Talon E 3 also has several key differences and advantages that make it stand out from its non-electric counterparts.

Overall, the Giant Talon E 3 is poised to provide an exciting and enjoyable riding experience for both new and experienced electric mountain bike riders. If you want to learn more about bike reviews, you can follow us.

Riding Experience

Climbing Experience

Before setting off, I also booked accommodation through Skyscanner to give myself ample space to rest and prepare. As I continued to ride the Giant Talon E 3, I was amazed at how powerful the electric assistance was in helping me climb. The motor was both powerful and quiet, allowing me to FOCUS on my pedaling technique and maintain a steady pace. I was able to easily tackle steep hills and challenging terrain, with the responsive motor quickly adapting to changes in gradient. Even as I pushed myself harder, the bike performed flawlessly, providing a smooth and effortless journey.

Descending Experience

One of the most impressive aspects of the Talon E 3 is how it provides comfortable and stable riding on descents. As I accelerated, the weight and sturdy frame of the bike gave me a sense of confidence and control, while the 120mm travel suspension fork absorbed any impacts from uneven terrain. The suspension system was perfectly tuned, providing an ideal balance of stiffness and cushioning, allowing me to maintain my momentum and direction even on the most challenging mountain roads. The hydraulic disc brakes were also a standout feature, giving me the ability to quickly slow down and maintain control in any situation.

Giant Bicycles is a Taiwanese brand that has been around since 1972. It has become one of the world’s leading bike manufacturers, constantly innovating and creating high-quality bikes to suit different riding styles and preferences. One of their most popular series is the Talon, which was first introduced in 2008. This line of hardtail mountain bikes is designed to be versatile, durable, and affordable, making it a great choice for beginners and experienced riders alike.

Component Quality

The quality of components on the Talon E 3 is excellent, adding to the overall performance and riding experience. The Shimano drivetrain provides smooth and reliable shifting, allowing me to easily adjust speed and pedaling frequency. the Maxxis tires provide excellent grip and traction on dirt and gravel roads, giving me the confidence to take on downhill and technical terrain. The comfortable saddle and ergonomic grip ensure that I can ride for long periods without discomfort or fatigue.

In addition to its exceptional performance on mountain trails, the Talon E 3 also features a range of advanced functions and technologies. Its advanced motor system allows me to customize assist levels and optimize battery usage, ensuring I can ride longer without needing to recharge. The bike also boasts a stylish and intuitive display screen, providing real-time information on my speed, distance, and remaining battery life. This makes it easy for me to track my progress and make wise decisions about my riding strategy.

Overall, my experience with the Giant Talon E 3 has been fantastic. Its advanced power system, sturdy frame, and responsive suspension make it a joy to ride on any terrain. Whether I’m tackling challenging climbs or fast and technical descents, this bike provides an exciting and beneficial experience that leaves me eager to explore more trails and terrain around me. Whether you’re an experienced mountain biker or a beginner looking to start riding, the Giant Talon E 3 is a must-try bike that is sure to exceed your expectations.

Specification

The Giant Talon E 3 is an impressive electric hardtail mountain bike, featuring a lightweight and durable ALUXX aluminum frame. Its beautiful blue-gray color looks great on mountain trails. The bike is equipped with a Shimano Alivio 9-speed rear derailleur and Shimano Altus shifter, providing smooth and efficient shifting. It uses an FSA Comet E-Bike crankset with FSA MegaTooth Direct-mount 1X steel 36T, offering a reliable and efficient transmission system. The Tektro HD-M275 hydraulic disc brakes with 160/180mm rotors provide outstanding stopping power and control. The brake levers are also Tektro HD-M275.

The electric components include a SyncDrive Core motor powered by Yamaha with 50Nm of torque. The bike is equipped with an EnergyPak 400Wh battery, providing ample power for long rides. This impressive electric hardtail mountain bike features top-quality components and advanced electric functions. It is designed for riders who want to easily handle challenging terrain and enjoy the thrill of an electric mountain bike. Whether you’re an experienced rider or a sports novice, the Giant Talon E 3 is an excellent choice for your next adventure on mountain trails.

Other versions of the Giant Talon E 3

We tested a highly practical electric-assist hardtail mountain bike, the Giant Talon E 3, with a high-capacity battery that ensures long rides. The integrated battery also maintains the bike’s integrity. The nature of a hardtail mountain bike makes it easy to conquer various trails in the mountains.

Indeed, this is a high-end and comfortable hybrid power mountain bike. For this reason, we also found a similar version, the 2021 Giant Talon E 29 3. This is the previous version, with the same price and configurations, with the only difference being the geometry design. The new version has a reduced reach and increased stack, making the ratio increase from 1.48 to 1.5, making the overall ride more comfortable and the riding posture more upright.

FAQs

The Giant Talon E 3’s EnergyPak 400Wh battery has a maximum range of 70 miles on a single charge, depending on factors such as terrain, rider weight, and the level of assistance used.

Yes, you can ride the Giant Talon E 3 without using an electric assist. the bike has a pedal-assist system, which means the motor only assists when you pedal.

The Giant Talon E 3 comes with an EnergyPak fast charger that can charge the battery from 0% to 100% in about 3.5 hours.

giant, electric, bikes, review, explore, bike

The Giant Talon E 3 is for the beginner rider who wants to get into electric mountain biking. Designed to be user-friendly and easy to ride, this bike has top-of-the-line components and advanced electric features.

The size chart for Giant Talon E 3 is as follows:

These sizes are only a general guide, the true fit may vary from person to person, and the easiest way to find your size is the best way to go for a test ride.

Rider height SIZE
5’3″ – 5’8″ S
5’6″ – 5’11” M
5’9″ – 6’2″ L
6’0″ – 6’4″ XL

Giant Talon E 3 Specs

Build

Frame ALUXX Aluminum, Overdrive 1½ – 1⅛” head tube, integrated KS18 kickstand mountColor: Blue Ashes
Fork SR Suntour XCM ATB Coil 29″ 100mm travel, Tapered 1½ – 1⅛” steerer
Rear Shock
Bottom Bracket N/A
Stem Giant Contact
Handlebar Giant Connect TR Riser 31.8×690~750mm
Saddle Giant Sport
Seatpost Giant 30.9mm, 2-bolt Micro Adjustable, Forged Aluminium
Pedals Aluminum Platform
Grips Giant Sole-O Grip

Groupset

Rear Derailleur Shimano Alivio, 9-speed
Front Derailleur
Crank FSA Comet E-Bike crank arm set FSA MegaTooth Direct-mount 1X steel 36T
Shifters Shimano Altus
Cassette Shimano CS-HG200, 11-36T, 9-speed
Chain KMC e.9 Sport, e-bike optimized
Brakes Tektro HD-M275, hydraulic disc, 160/180mm
Brake Levers Tektro HD-M275

Wheels

Rims Giant GX03V
Spokes Stainless steel
Front Hub Giant eTracker Sport, [F] 9mm QR [R] 135mm QR
Rear Hub Giant eTracker Sport, [F] 9mm QR [R] 135mm QR
Tires Maxxis Rekon 29×2.4″ Wire Bead 60TPI

Electric Components

Motor SyncDrive Core, 50Nm, Powered by Yamaha
Battery EnergyPak 400Wh
Remote RideControl Dash, full-color LCD screen
Charger EnergyPak Fast Charger

Video

The two bikes are both high-performance bikes with advanced electric features. The Giant Talon E 3 has an ALUXX aluminum frame, a SyncDrive core motor with 50Nm of torque, Tektro HD-M275 hydraulic disc brakes, and Maxxis Rekon 29×2.4″ tires.

The Specialized Turbo Tero 3.0 Step-Through has an M5 premium aluminum frame, a Specialized 2.1 motor with 90Nm of torque, Shimano BR-MT200 hydraulic disc brakes, and Ground Control Sport 29×2.3″ tires.

Both bikes offer smooth and powerful rides, with advanced electric features making for more efficient and enjoyable rides. The Specialized Turbo Tero 3.0 Step-Through has a more powerful motor and slightly better components, making it the better choice for riders who want more speed and power.

However, the Giant Talon E 3 is lighter in weight and offers a more comfortable and stable ride, with excellent traction and control on any terrain. Ultimately, the choice between these two bikes will depend on personal preferences and riding style.

Giant Talon E 3 vs. CUBE REACTION HYBRID PERFORMANCE 500 ALLROAD

Both bikes are high-performance bicycles with advanced electric features. The Giant Talon E 3 is a specialized electric hardtail mountain bike designed for challenging terrain, while the CUBE REACTION HYBRID PERFORMANCE, 500 ALLROAD is a versatile e-bike with front and rear fenders and lights, suitable for commuting and everyday use.

The CUBE REACTION HYBRID PERFORMANCE, 500 ALLROAD is powered by a Bosch Performance CX Gen4 motor with 85Nm of torque, while the Giant Talon E 3 is driven by a SyncDrive Core motor with 50Nm of torque.

Both bikes offer efficient batteries and advanced electric features, with the CUBE REACTION HYBRID PERFORMANCE, 500 ALLROAD equipped with a Shimano Deore 1×12-speed groupset and Schwalbe Smart Sam 29×2.6″ tires, while the Giant Talon E 3 features a Shimano Alivio 9-speed rear derailleur and Shimano Altus shifters, equipped with Maxxis Rekon 29×2.4″ Wire Bead 60TPI tires. Ultimately, the choice between these two bikes will depend on personal preference and intended use.

Giant Talon E 3 vs. Kona El Kahuna

Both the Giant Talon E 3 electric hardtail mountain bike and the Kona El Kahuna electric mountain bike are high-quality bikes with advanced electric features. However, the Kona El Kahuna is a more serious electric mountain bike designed for more challenging terrain, while the Giant Talon E 3 is designed for beginner and intermediate riders.

Both bikes are made with durable aluminum frames and are equipped with advanced electric systems. The Giant Talon E 3 uses a SyncDrive Core motor with a torque of 50Nm, while the Kona El Kahuna uses a Bosch Performance Line CX motor with a torque of 85Nm and more power.

Both bikes have efficient batteries and advanced electric features. The Kona El Kahuna has an external battery, while the Giant Talon E 3 has an integrated battery. The Kona El Kahuna also has better suspension with a RockShox Recon RL Solo Air front fork, while the Giant Talon E 3 has an SR Suntour XCM ATB Coil front fork.

Ultimately, the choice between these two bikes will depend on personal preference and intended use. If you’re looking for a more serious electric mountain bike for challenging terrain, the Kona El Kahuna is a better choice. However, if you’re a beginner or intermediate rider looking for an affordable electric hardtail mountain bike for easier trails, then the Giant Talon E 3 is a solid choice.

Giant Talon E 3 vs. Surface 604 Shred XS

The Giant Talon E 3 electric hardtail mountain bike and Surface 604 Shred XS electric hardtail mountain bike are both high-quality bikes with advanced electric features. Surface 604 Shred XS is designed for smaller riders with a 26-inch wheelset, making it more suitable for children. Giant Talon E 3, on the other hand, is designed for adults and larger riders.

In addition, the Giant Talon E 3 has an ALUXX aluminum frame, while the Surface 604 Shred XS has a more generic aluminum frame. Both bikes are equipped with an efficient and powerful electric system. The Talon E 3 has a SyncDrive Core motor with 50Nm of torque, while the Surface 604 Shred XS has a Bafang M400 motor with 80Nm of torque and more power.

In terms of performance, the Surface 604 Shred XS is designed for smaller riders and offers a more affordable option, with a less powerful motor and lower-end components. On the other hand, Talon E 3 is designed for adults and larger riders, offering a more powerful motor and better components.

Ultimately, the choice of these two bikes will depend on the size and intended use of the rider. If you are a smaller rider looking for a more kid-friendly electric hardtail mountain bike, the Surface 604 Shred XS is a good choice. However, if you are an adult looking for a more powerful and capable electric hardtail mountain bike, then the Giant Talon E 3 is a better choice.

Summary

These are our tests of the Giant Talon E 3. An electric-assisted bike can save most of the energy you need to ride and thus get more enjoyment out of riding. And it greatly increases your confidence when hitting the trails. If you’d like to try a higher-end commuter bike, feel free to take a look at our related tests.

Finally, if you like our content feel free to share it with your friends! If our content is helpful to you, you can click the email subscribe button below!

The best E-trekking bike of 2021 – 8 modern ebikes for touring in review

(Trekking) rides, weekend trips and touring by ebike are more popular than ever, but the classic trekking (e)bike as we’ve known it for years, is dead. The good news is that a new generation of eMTBs is not only ready to take their place but also promises to be a lot more capable! In this group test, we compared four different concepts and eight ebikes to tell you what really matters and which is the best ebike for touring!

Contents:

  • The end of an era – The failed electrification of trekking bikes
  • What do modern trekking ebikes have to be capable of?
  • The test field and the different concepts in our trekking ebike group test
  • Who tested the bikes, where, and how?
  • What to look for when buying a trekking ebike
  • The tops, flops and most exciting findings of the group test
  • Which is the best ebike for modern trekking?

If you’re currently looking to buy a (trekking) ebike for tours, weekend excursions and cycling trips with or without luggage, you’re running the risk of buying a bike that is less capable and significantly less safe than what the latest tech allows. Trekking bikes have remained largely unchanged for decades but that era is coming to end, if it hasn’t already! Many find it difficult to find the right E-trekking bike amongst all the marketing hype, with numerous bikes that all claim to be capable of the same things despite different concepts and designs. How do we know, you ask? We regularly receive inquiries from readers that are overwhelmed by all the types of bikes, options and models for trekking, touring and light trail use. This reinforces the fact that the bicycle industry makes it difficult for customers to make the right choice, even though they’re willing to invest thousands of euros in a bike. Indeed, spending the money sensibly and avoiding the wrong choices can be difficult, even if you know exactly what you want.

What is trekking? Our goal is to clarify the term and to redefine it with regard to ebikes.”

Our group test of eight bikes and four ebike concepts gives you everything you need to know to make an informed decision before you buy. We don’t only give you a comprehensive overview of the most important ebike concepts for trekking and touring on the market, but also tell you which ebike is right for which purpose. Not all E-trekking bikes are equal. We’ve included useful tips and tricks as well as noting potential stumbling blocks and no-go’s that you should do your best to avoid! Only those who have the right information can make the right choice and thereby avoid spending their hard-earned cash on the wrong bike.

Touring-oriented ebikers need more clarity to find the right bike in the jungle that is the bicycle industry. Our group test is here to give you a comprehensive overview and avoid disappointment”

Before we dive deeper into the topic, we want to make one thing clear. We believe that there is a right bike for every job. We’re not here to make absolute claims about which one is right or wrong. Instead, we want to equip you with the knowledge and skills to find the bike that’s perfect for your requirements and will make you happy. As such, we try to judge the bikes in the right context, according to their strengths and weaknesses. Based on this information, you can then decide whether the bike suits you and your needs. With that in mind, let’s tackle this together and see what trekking 2.0 is all about.

End of an era – The failed electrification of trekking bikes

The demands on E-trekking bikes have increased significantly. Everyone wants one bike that can do it all. It’s got to be safe, comfortable and versatile enough for everything from long tours, commuting, night rides and shopping, to multi-day cycling trips with luggage. If you go to a dealer with these requirements, they’ll typically recommend a trekking bike, as they would have done twenty years ago, even if it now might come with a motor. That’s how it’s always been, but does it still make sense today? No! The electrification of trekking bikes has failed. Why? Because nobody bothered to adapt the classic trekking bike design to match the added weight and increased loads of the battery and motor when ebikes first appeared on the scene. For a long time, no one saw the potential of trekking ebikes, nor did they recognise that efficiency plays a much smaller role than it does on their analogue counterparts. In the years that followed, the status quo remained unchallenged and, as a result, the motorised representatives of trekking bikes weren’t built in a way that exploited this new technology and its possibilities. Although the bikes had a motor, a battery and other necessary components, they didn’t actively make use of the advantages they offer. Case in point: rolling resistance. Skinny, fast-rolling tires are no longer that important. The bikes have a motor and battery, which makes rolling resistance a non-factor and opens up new possibilities when choosing the tires. And yet, many trekking ebikes are still being specced with skinny tires in 2021 even though they don’t offer any significant advantage.

The electrification of trekking bikes has completely failed for over a decade, increasing the risk of buying the wrong bike!”

As we made clear in “The End of an Era”, available in E-MOUNTAINBIKE issue #025, we need to rethink the way we transfer the requirements of classic trekking bikes to the world of ebikes. This includes adapted geometries for improved stability, more durable components and reworked suspension for increased comfort, all combined with Smart and functional accessories. Some manufacturers have started to understand this, developing bikes that no longer adhere to the outdated concept of a hardtail with skinny, semi-slick 700 C tires and a short-travel fork but based on the actual requirements of riders instead and making full use of the advantages offered by modern eMTBs. However, just because there are bikes like this on the market doesn’t mean that your local dealer will advise you accordingly and, unfortunately, you might end up buying the wrong bike anyway. As such, we’re also calling on trade and industry to rethink their approach, especially in marketing and sales. We can’t have expensive E-trekking bikes being sold that are significantly worse and less versatile than what the market has to offer!

What do modern E-trekking bikes have to be capable of?

Current E-trekking bikes and eMTBs for trekking are super versatile and some of them are state-of-the-art. The best of them are true all-rounders that offer intuitive and good-natured handling, instilling you with confidence in the city, on bike, forest, meadow and gravel paths, as well as on off-road terrain. To do so, they occasionally have to combine seemingly opposite characteristics, treading a fine line where it’s crucial to find the perfect balance between comfort, safety, stability, usability, features, range and precision. Good trekking ebikes should be agile enough with and without luggage to put a grin on your face as you ride though winding alleys, with a relaxed riding position that remains comfortable on long rides and composed handling at all speeds. Reliable components and a sturdy frame are essential. The concepts should be rounded off with modern-looking designs, suitable geometries and exciting everyday concepts.

The new generation of E-trekking bikes are true all-rounders! Whether off-road or on-road, with or without luggage, on long journeys or commuting, the best of them can do it all.”

Handling is just as important when the bike is fully loaded with luggage on the rack, so you can tackle multi-day tours or run errands without compromising stability. If hauling luggage has too big of an impact on the bike’s handling, riders can quickly become overwhelmed. This doesn’t only affect the amount of fun you’ll have but also poses a safety risk. On top of that, connectivity features such as simple and intuitive navigation contribute to your overall experience on the bike and can decide between frustration and enjoyment. For many, trekking also means adventure, discovering new places, meeting new people, having fun and experiencing the freedom to explore. As such, you’re likely to find yourself on new and unknown paths that you didn’t plan to ride. The best modern E-trekking bikes or trekking optimised eMTBs are equipped for this, making the most of your adventures even when you head onto moderate off-road terrain and easy singletrack. The accessories and components specced should be of suitably high quality and tailored to the versatility of these bikes.

The test field and the different trekking concepts in our ebike group test

When selecting the bikes for this group test, we made sure to represent the vast range of different concepts available for trekking, bike tours and everyday use. This allows us to explain the different use cases, type-specific features and general possibilities of the different approaches, giving you a holistic picture.

We had 8 bikes and a total of four different, partly novel concepts go head to head to help you make the best decision when buying a modern E-trekking bike. You think comparing step-throughs with E-gravel bikes and eMTBs seems unfair? It’s not! On the contrary, every rider has different requirements and capabilities. And that’s exactly what we want to show in this group test! After all, it’s about finding the best bike for you and your personal needs. Sometimes you have to look outside the box to see what’s possible and what makes sense. Below, we’ll take a detailed look at the concepts and bikes on test.

The classic – A diamond shaped hardtail frame

E-Trekking hardtails don’t have suspension at the rear. Apart from the price, there’s nothing that speaks for hardtails in terms of comfort and traction for ambitious off-road use. On the other hand, for trekking, commuting and touring, E-hardtails can be a sensible, usually more affordable alternative to a full-suspension model if you mainly stick to paved surfaces. To compensate for the lack of suspension and comfort at the rear, we recommend fitting high-volume tires. A suspended seat post can also offer significantly improved comfort. Representing this category in the test field is the Greyp T5.2.

The new generation – Off-road step-throughs

Off-road step-throughs are modern and some even revolutionary. The sales figures of these are rightly going through the roof. They’re able to bridge generations and combine different types of riding like hardly any other category of bike, apart from being masterpieces of engineering. They have to handle like a hardtail or full-suspension bike, though without a top tube, which is a big challenge. Forget the cliché that step-through bikes are for grandmas! The new generation of step-through eMTBs make getting on and off the bike a lot easier, allowing you to experience the joy of riding an eMTB despite injuries, limited physical flexibility or old age. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t ride them just because you think they look cool. This category is represented by three different bikes in the test field. CENTURION sent us the second generation of the winner from our off-road step-through group test, the CENTURION Country R2600i. Kalkhoff are represented by the Entice 5 Advanced, which, with its notably high payload of 144 kg, should be interesting to heavier riders or those who plan to haul a lot of luggage. Riese Müller take on the competition with their revolutionary full-suspension off-road step-through design, the Homage, promising to take step-through comfort to the next level with rear suspension.

Full-suspension eMTB

Trekking eMTBs rely on front and rear suspension, just like their hard-hitting counterparts. Doing so not only increases comfort and traction but also allows riders to tackle moderate off-road terrain. Different manufacturers have different approaches to how they blend aggressive eMTBs with the requirements of modern full-suspension E-trekking bikes. MERIDA simply take the eONE FORTY, which was originally designed for trail riding, and equip it with mudguards, a rear rack and stand to expand its scope to trekking. With the Goroc3 6.50, FLYER also sent a bike that exudes a lot of mountain bike DNA in the hopes that it’ll come out on top as the best trekking all-rounder. Trek have taken a different approach and developed their trekking eMTB from the ground up. The riding position, suspension, geometry and comfort of the Trek Powerfly FS 9 EQ have been designed specifically for both trekking and light trail use.

E-gravel bike – Adventure bike with drop bars

E-gravel bikes can be another exciting alternative to classic E-trekking bikes. They’re usually lighter than trekking bikes and are introducing the motorised segment to a trend that you might be familiar with from the analogue gravel scene. Friends of drop handlebars have a slightly different take on trekking, which they refer to as bikepacking, combining the competitive nature of road and gravel rides with adventure, loaded touring and often overnight stays in the outdoors. Drop handlebars give you several different hand positions, allowing you to switch up your position on extended rides. However, they typically don’t have suspension, as you’ll see on the Niner RLT e9 RDO in this test. That said, a well-designed and built E-gravel bike manages to mitigate bumps and vibrations to some extent via flex in the frame and well-matched components. The only E-gravel bike in the test field also takes a different approach to transporting luggage. Purpose-made bags can be strapped to the handlebar, into the front triangle and to the rigid fork legs, thereby balancing out the weight distribution.

Bike Price Weight Motor/Battery Everyday accessorie
CENTURION Country R2600i € 4,199 26.60 kg Bosch Performance Line CX / 625 Wh yes
FLYER Goroc3 6.50 € 5,699 27.04 kg Bosch Performance Line CX / 625 Wh yes
Greyp T5.2 € 5,500 26.80 kg MPF 6.0c / 700 Wh yes
Kalkhoff Entice 5.B Advanced € 4,099 25.90 kg Bosch Performance Line CX / 625 Wh yes
MERIDA eONE-FORTY EQ € 4,799 25.24 kg Shimano EP8 / 630 Wh (504 Wh in S) yes
Niner RLT e9 RDO € 6,299 17.55 kg Bosch Performance Line CX / 500 Wh No fenders, no stand
Riese Müller Homage GT Touring € 8,018 34.10 kg Bosch Performance Line CX / 1.250 Wh yes
Trek Powerfly FS 9 Equipped € 6,999 27.10 kg Bosch Performance Line CX / 625 Wh yes

Why aren’t Haibike, GIANT and Moustache included?

The selection of E-trekking bikes on the market is huge but, on closer inspection, it becomes clear that not all of them have the potential to be good bikes for modern trekking use. Some of the factors limiting many of the models you’ll currently find on the shop floor include a high centre of gravity due to the position of the battery, components that aren’t robust enough and a lack of any concessions towards comfort. Apart from that, the delivery problems you’re currently experiencing also affect us. Unfortunately, Haibike, GIANT and Moustache didn’t have the requested models available during the test period. Prophete and newcomer HoheAcht didn’t have the bikes we wanted ready in time for the test period either.

Who tested the E-trekking bikes and how?

Real-world handling in all weather and on different terrain always trumps Excel spreadsheets, specs and lab measurements, which is why we drew our conclusion actually heading out on tours. We tested all the bikes around our headquarters in Stuttgart on our daily commutes, on varied short routes and on longer journeys. We explored the limits of every bike, on and off-road, with and without luggage on asphalt, gravel, meadow and forest paths. The bikes also had to prove themselves on their occasional detours along easy trails. We had a lot of fun with everything from relaxed cruising to steep climbs, experiencing flow, enjoying delicious Swabian ravioli, good espresso and crisp, refreshing beer. We switched to explorer mode and rediscovered our hometown, not to mention all the interesting insights we gained along the way. Spoiler: some bikes can’t even handle 10 kg of luggage on the rack.

What counts on an E-trekking bike? The most important buying criteria

To avoid any nasty surprises, you should think carefully about what you’re going to use your trekking ebike for and what your priorities are. The details can make all the difference. This section is about the potential of modern ebikes, their possibilities and the questions to ask yourself before buying.

Do you want a navigation device when you go riding? How heavy are you and are you even allowed to ride your dream bike without exceeding the maximum permissible weight limit? Do you really need a battery capacity of 1000 Wh or more? Below, we cover the most important criteria to consider before buying an E-trekking bike, allowing you to make the best, most informed decision. Additionally, we will tell you what other important questions to ask to achieve trekking bike happiness. Equipped with the knowledge from this group test, we promise that you’ll be able to answer every single one of them.

E-trekking bikes have more sex appeal than ever before, with contemporary looks and excellent workmanship, mostly…

The times when trekking ebikes were boring and exuded the charm of a prefabricated housing estate from the 70s are over! Developments from the eMTB scene are trickling down into the trekking segment and fuelling it with sex appeal. Elegantly proportioned frames with clean lines and matching paintwork, neat cable routing, clever motor and battery integration and a corresponding level of workmanship are giving them a new lease on life. That said, this isn’t the case with all of them. If you look at the cockpits of the bikes on test, you’ll immediately notice which manufacturers have given thought to cable management and looks and which didn’t bother neatening up the cables for the lights, display, remote, shifters and brakes.

How, where and when do you ride? The accessories should match your needs

When it comes to accessories and the overall concept of the respective bike, we asked ourselves the same questions that you should ask. What do you intend to use your E-trekking bike for? Do the accessories or lack thereof limit the bike’s real world applications or do they offer more than what you actually intend for the bike? Do you need lights that allow you to see while riding at night or do you merely need to be seen? Are you looking for the one bike that can do it all? In that case, you’ll want too much versatility, off-road capabilities and reserves, rather than too little.

Knobby and voluminous tires that have been designed for a wide range of applications, like those on the Trek Powerfly FS 9 Equipped, not only perform well on trails but also on gravel and asphalt. A dropper post is not a high-tech eMTB gimmick either, allowing you to get on and off the bike more easily and increasing freedom of movement off-road, offering real benefits in all situations. It also gives you the ability to quickly adjust the saddle height to suit different riders, which is very convenient for households that share a bike. A dropper post with integrated suspension like the one on the CENTURION Country R2600i is even better, especially on a hardtail where it can offer a much needed boost to comfort. When it comes to the brakes and drivetrain, almost all the bikes we tested rely on eMTB technology. For good reason. than just stopping power, you also need modulation. While some of you might have to get used to it, everyone benefits from single-finger brake levers in combination with powerful brakes. What about general adjustability? Is it easy to adjust the riding position and the height and reach of the handlebar, or are you stuck with the way the bike comes off the shop floor? Even if you try to avoid riding in the rain, you can always be surprised by a downpour. Will the mudguards keep you dry or are they too short to be effective?

Battery and battery concept – Is range everything?

First of all, if you’re wondering which ebike on test has the biggest range, we have to disappoint you. There’s no simple answer to this question as range doesn’t just depend on the size of the battery. Alongside the power consumption, efficiency and performance of the motor, around 20 other variables such as riding style, rider weight, temperature and altitude also influence your range. As such, there’s no way to compare the range of the different ebikes on test in a meaningful way. There’s also no general answer to the question of how far you can ride with a single charge. It could be anywhere between 20 and 100 km. Absolute facts don’t correspond to reality and would simply be wrong. If you’re interested to dig a little deeper into this topic, we recommend reading our article on the truth about lab tests.

Regarding battery capacity, the following applies: as much as necessary and as little as possible”

The important question is: ”How much battery capacity do you really need?” And the answer is, as much as necessary and as little as possible. battery capacity invariably means more weight, affecting weight distribution and usually raising the centre of gravity and compromising the bike’s handling and suitability for everyday use. Not to mention the added cost. If you don’t empty your tank, you’re just dragging around unnecessary ballast. Even on long rides, you don’t always need a dual battery solution with a battery capacity of over 1,000 Wh. Using a quick charger during your lunch break can be a good alternative to relying on a huge battery. If you want to read up on eMTB battery concepts, you’ll find everything you need to know on our website.

Everything is connected these days, or is it? – The connectivity, displays, theft protection and navigation functions of the test field

Software plays an increasingly important role on modern ebikes and enriches the ebike experience as a whole. By that we don’t just mean the software of the motor but also additional app-driven features. In some cases, the ebike’s full potential can only be achieved via an app. In this test, we tasked ourselves with trying out all the functionality available and finding out which of them really add value. The simplicity and usability of Smart features is crucial. It doesn’t matter how many software functions you have, nobody wants to have to read a manual to be able to use them all, or indeed to activate the theft protection on their bike. The automotive industry has already proven that it can be done intuitively and without much explanation. And that’s how it should be with ebikes. Are you fine with a display like the ones used on ebikes 8 years ago, which are long outdated and have less features than a Nokia 3310? Or would you rather have one with a high-quality feel, great legibility and numerous features that can keep up with the modern devices that we use day to day? If the former applies, you’ll have no problem with the displays in this test. If you belong to the second group, your choices are limited. Similar to the car industry, the question of whether a bike is Smart depends on the display and software. The combination of these comprises the bike’s digital heart, determining the quality of its connectivity and navigation features.

giant, electric, bikes, review, explore, bike

While the FLYER and Kalkhoff with the Bosch Intuvia display, the Niner with the Bosch Purion display and the MERIDA with the Shimano SC-E5003 display don’t offer any navigation or connectivity features, the Riese Müller, Trek and Greyp lead the way with high-tech displays that resemble the command centre of a modern car, or they can turn your smartphone into one. The undisputed Champion that sets the standard for the future is the Bosch Nyon. With its intuitive touch display, good integration and numerous features including range-based navigation, it currently sets the bar. It is a next-level on-board computer that combines all the functions you need on a trekking ebike. The Bosch SmartphoneHub on the Trek and the Central Intelligence Module (CIM) on the Greyp, which turn your mobile phone into an intelligent control center, are also able to combine the latest technology and range-based navigation with interesting additional functions. Are they just gadgets? No! These devices relieve you of the effort of route planning, allow you to discover new paths and give you the peace of mind to enjoy your ride. Adventure made easy and stress-free.

By integrating navigation systems and additional functions into the on-board computer or connecting directly to your smartphone, some bikes take it to the next level.”

Can you simply upgrade the displays to add navigation functionality later?

Yes and no. You have to distinguish between the individual displays and manufacturers. The Intuvia display from Bosch can be easily upgraded to the COBI.Bike system. This turns your smartphone into the command center, with navigation functions available via the COBI.Bike app. In terms of price, it’s the more affordable option at € 229 when compared to upgrading to a current Nyon display for € 349 and you don’t have to take your bike to the dealer to do so. However, it cannot keep up with the Nyon in terms of usability and range of functions. The Kiox display can also be upgraded to the Nyon model without having to visit your dealer. All you need is to change the bracket and plug in the cables. Only when upgrading from the Purion display will all cables have to be replaced, in which case you have to budget for the additional cost of parts and labour.

Shimano don’t offer any navigation functions via their displays. Thanks to an update to the Bluetooth enabled Shimano SC-EM800 display on the MERIDA eONE-FORTY EQ, you can adjust the support levels to suit your individual preferences via a smartphone. You can find out how this works and what advantages it offers here. If you want to find out more about ebike navigation and GPS options, you will find everything you need to know in our navigation special. An external GPS device or smartphone isn’t the most elegant or modern solution, yet it remains the only way to navigate on some ebikes.

The heart of every ebike – The motor

The bikes on test all rely on centrally mounted eMTB motors. Why? Because these are the spearhead of current ebike technology. They have a decisive influence on the ebike experience. The software, motor tuning and power delivery of the Bosch Performance Line CX and Shimano EP8 motors are among the best on the market. Isolated specs such as maximum power and maximum torque offer little information about how the individual motors and bikes really behave. Instead, it all depends on the riding experience and the interplay between software and the hardware. The MPF 6.0c motor on the Greyp can’t keep up with the competition in this regard. It exhibits a noticeable amount of resistance to pedalling and isn’t as refined in the way it engages, the support it offers at low cadences and its power delivery, compared to the aforementioned Bosch and Shimano motors.

Dynamic, progressive support levels such as Bosch’s eMTB mode and Shimano’s Trail mode also make sense on trekking-oriented eMTBs and dedicated E-trekking bikes. They regulate the motor’s output depending on the rider’s input, so that you don’t constantly have to switch back and forth between different support modes. As a result, you’re able to concentrate entirely on the trail ahead and even have to shift gears less frequently. This offers real added value and improved safety, especially for inexperienced riders. Niner and Riese Müller have chosen to rely on Sport instead of eMTB mode, but we’d suggest you let your dealer install eMTB mode for you.

The new Tour mode for Bosch Performance Line CX motors and the eMTB Light mode on the Trek work on a similar principle. They’re also progressive but require more input from the rider than eMTB mode. This a great option on flat terrain or to save battery power.

Regarding the ebike motor, the ride feel and software are more important than just the maximum output.”

For more information on all relevant eMTB motors, check out our motor group test of the 8 most important models.

Handling – How do the bikes ride with and without luggage?

Unfortunately, many customers still get dazzled by high-end components and isolated performance figures when buying an ebike. But a bike with a powerful motor can still be difficult to ride uphill. A bike’s handling can’t be assessed adequately by looking at figures on a sheet of paper or on your screen. Especially not when riding with luggage. It frequently happens that customers aren’t satisfied with their purchase because the handling doesn’t meet their expectations, making the bike a chore to ride.

Does the grip, tread and feel of the tires match the intended use? What surfaces do you mainly ride on? How does the bike behave when riding over curbs, through potholes and over small bumps? Does it just roll over obstacles or is it difficult to control? How does the ebike cope at higher speeds? How does the handling change when you’ve got weight on the rack? A balanced weight distribution improves the handling and can instil you with confidence, offering a greater feeling of safety on the bike. It’s vital to find out whether the character of a bike suits you in advance and if it’s able to deliver what the manufacturer promises in its marketing slogans. Only those who are properly informed can make the right decision and avoid buyer’s remorse. For this reason, the above questions form a central part of every bike review in this group test. We want to help you to answer the most important questions before buying so that you can avoid bad purchases and nasty surprises.

Do you have enough carrying capacity? – What luggage system does the ebike rely on?

If you’re looking for a pack mule for loaded touring, you should make sure that the overall concept, consisting of safety, handling with luggage and the maximum permissible weight limit, suits your requirements and your weight. And by that we don’t just mean the manufacturers specs but real-world performance. Unfortunately, many of our heavier readers or those who want to tour with a lot of luggage get baited by a high maximum permissible weight. However, just because a bike can carry a lot of weight without compromising the manufacturer’s warranty doesn’t mean that it can cope with the real-world requirements of hauling a heavy load.

To test this aspect as realistically as possible, we created a checklist of items that most people would need on a two-day trip with an overnight stay. All in all, you’ll typically be carrying 10 kg of luggage, excluding a spare battery. Admittedly, that doesn’t sound like a lot – after all, most bikes are certified to carry between 20 and 25 kg on the rear rack. Unfortunately, this test proves that a 10 kg load can be enough to push some bikes to their limit in terms of stability. The Riese Müller Homage shows how it’s done. It’s the only bike on test that doesn’t just suspend the rider but also their luggage. Whether you’re carrying a load or not, the handling always remains predictable while offering an extremely high level of comfort. On the other hand, when carrying luggage with the Kalkhoff Entice 5 Advanced, it starts wobbling even at low speeds and becomes very difficult to ride.

Checklist for a weekend tour

  • one set of evening clothes
  • one pair of underwear
  • windbreaker
  • rain jacket
  • water
  • first-aid kit
  • granola bar
  • shock pump
  • pump or CO2 cartridge and adaptor
  • multi-tool
  • two tire levers
  • spare tube
  • insulation tape
  • phone charger cable
  • ebike charger
  • towel and swimwear, if necessary
  • GPS device, if necessary
  • lock, if necessary
  • spare battery, if necessary

In general, it’s important to keep the centre of gravity as low as possible when packing. Most bikes rely on the classic rear rack and panniers. Yet there are some important differences. While some bikes on test, such as the CENTURION, Greyp, Trek, Riese Müller and MERIDA rely on systems from RACKTIME, Ortlieb QL3.1 or MIG, allowing you to attach or remove panniers quickly and easily, there are others that require significantly more fiddling.

The Riese Müller Homage and Niner RLT e9 RDO give you the option of distributing the weight of your luggage more evenly between the front and rear, thanks to an additional rack up front. The bags of the Niner RLT e9 RDO are tailor made for the bike, giving you many other ways to optimise weight distribution. However, the RLT e9 RDO also has a disadvantage since many standard pannier bags are too big. They get in the way of your feet when pedalling, stopping you from pedalling freely. If bikepacking is something that you’re interested in, you should definitely read our in-depth guide where we cover everything from bikes to equipment, route planning and accommodation!

The tops, flops and the most exciting insights from our search for the best E-trekking bike

We were looking for the all-rounders among modern E-trekking bikes, touring oriented eMTBs and E-gravel bikes that offer a well-thought-out overall concept, allowing you to travel safely and comfortably. Whether off- or on-road, with or without luggage, on long journeys or just commuting, the best bike on test should and can perform convincingly in all scenarios.

Our group test of different concepts and the latest bikes gave us some key insights, allowing us to answer vital questions that almost all E-trekking riders will ask themselves. Below, we’ll take a look at the high- and lowlights of the group test.

The best ebike for modern trekking: Trek Powerfly FS 9 Equipped

In our spectacular group test of modern ebikes for trekking, the Trek Powerfly FS 9 Equipped prevailed with its well-thought-out and innovative concept, ignoring conventional bike categorisations. With its modern approach, it manages to combine the best of both eMTBs and E-trekking bikes, thereby defining a new generation of eMTBs for modern trekking and touring. The optimised suspension tune, balanced riding position and good-natured handling make it fun and confidence-inspiring to ride, regardless of whether you’re on- or off-road. Trek have considered everything down to the smallest detail, developing a coherent and versatile package that makes use of current technology to cover everything from off-road commuting to weekend trips and loaded multi-day tours. The successful concept is rounded off with a classy look and up-to-date connectivity thanks to the Bosch SmartphoneHub. Whether for trekking newbies or experienced long-distance pros, we can wholeheartedly recommend the Trek Powerfly FS 9 Equipped to everyone. It’s the 2021 E-trekking bike Best in Test.

Unser Trekking E-Bike Kauftipp: CENTURION Country R2600i

The CENTURION E-Fire Country F3500 showed what it’s capable of in our 2020 off-road step-through group test. Its successor, the revised CENTURION Country R2600i with a Bosch motor, was able to prove itself against the competition in this E-trekking group test, coming out as one of the best ebikes in the modern trekking segment. It makes the most of the added comfort and safety of a step-through design, performing well on long (off-road) tours and weekend trips thanks to its stable handling and relaxed riding position. Even when riding off-road and carrying luggage, its intuitive yet agile handling makes it easy to ride. The only drawback is the limited connectivity and lack of navigation functionality. However, it’s the second most affordable bike on test at € 4,199, so you can budget for an upgrade to a Nyon display. The package is rounded off with good-quality components and an attractive price, making the CENTURION Country R2600i our well-deserved Best Buy!

The loser of the test: Kalkhoff Entice 5 Advanced

In every test there are winners and losers. The Kalkhoff Entice 5.B Advanced is the latter. With its low step-through and high 170 kg maximum permissible weight limit – the highest payload in the test field – the off-road step-through bike looks to be the perfect companion for heavier riders and those who want to haul a lot of luggage. Unfortunately, its ambitions were set too high and it can’t deliver on its promise. The Kalkhoff Entice 5.B Advanced lacks the stability and components that are required to cope with such high payloads. Even at low speeds, the handling feels unsteady, resulting in a demanding ride. If you add luggage to the rack, this effect becomes noticeably amplified, even if you stay well below the maximum payload. It falls even further behind the competition in terms of riding comfort and braking performance. The Entice 5.B Advanced is easy to navigate through city traffic at low speeds, but it isn’t suitable for trekking on forest and meadow paths or loaded touring, dropping completely off the end of the test field. Click here for the full review.

Test bike overview

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Words: Rudolf Fischer, Jonas Müssig Photos: Jonas Müssig, Valentin Rühl

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