Momentum Bikes: A Brand Overview and Review
When companies “spin off” new brands, they don’t always stick to the same industry. But when the iconic Giant Bicycle company decided to diversify to make cruisers under the Giant umbrella, product developers launched “Momentum,” a brand that required the company to leap faith.
Was their mission to produce “affordable, fun, and functional urban bikes” successful? Wildly so! Momentum has earned its unique reputation – one that brand fans adore.
When asked to state the singular goal of products produced under the Momentum name, product developers said it was getting people to “move happy” on comfortable rides that came with “a few interesting touches” guaranteed to help riders move through their daily lives more effortlessly. Debut models won the hearts of urban commuters from the get-go, and the company continues to lead the market in non-motorized and motorized niches.
Called the ideal solution for riders who complain that bikes have gotten too tricked out and pricey, Giant’s Momentum line has succeeded in ways few other cycle brands have by offering gorgeous, feature-filled bikes that don’t cost a fortune yet accommodate everything a rider needs for efficiency and quality.
Momentum Street Series
Take to the streets for less money than you imagine by snagging this affordable cruiser with a high tensile steel fork, Shimano Revo Twist 7-speed shifters, and a ProWheel 42T crankset. Ride along any urban or suburban street you prefer to accomplish your commute on Kenda K1098 700x32c tires fitted with stainless 14G spokes.
Once you arrive at your destination, alloy direct-pull brakes and alloy comfort brake levers do their thing. Extras — like anti-slip pedals, a chain guard, and a cup holder — add to the appeal and charm of this classic commuter bike.
Momentum UX Series
Giant invites you to rule your city atop two new models just added to the Momentum UX library for 2021. Neither cost a fortune to own, yet design and function are world-class. Choose your terrain, and either bike will respond to your commands, whether that ride includes bumpy back alleys or bike paths winding through parks on the way to the office.
Featuring an innovative belt drive (available on the 3-speed model) and smooth-rolling 27.5 wheels that host wide 50mm tires, you get to call the financial shots because the price on either one is the same. You will have to make one final decision, and that’s which color you prefer.
Momentum Vida Series
This isn’t the bike to choose if setting new speed records is on your to-do list, but this collection’s latest two Vida models will light up your life since they offer riders a “spin with a smile.” An homage to the joy of bike riding, these two bikes offer comfortable riding positions, 8-speed gearing, and wide, smooth-rolling tires that get you where you’re going safely and expeditiously.
Disc brakes deliver smooth stopping power, and Momentum has yet to hear complaints about hand and derriere pain since both the seat and grips earn high marks, no matter how long you’re in the saddle.
Momentum Voya e 3 review: Price and availability
The Voya e 3 costs 5000,400 and can be purchased directly from the Momentum website. You can choose from three sizes: Small, Medium, and Large. Momentum outlines which bike would best fit you, based on your height, on its website.
The bike will not ship directly to you; instead, it will be shipped to a Momentum dealer so it can be assembled by a professional.
You can have the bike delivered directly to your home once it has been assembled for an additional charge, though this service is dependent upon whether your local retailer participates in this service.
Momentum also offers free returns within 14 days of the invoice date. You will need to return the bike to an authorized Momentum dealer.
Momentum Voya e 3 review: Design
At first glance, the Voya e 3 barely looks like an e-bike at all. The only indication is the slightly fat down tube and the enlarged hub. The bike otherwise looks like any svelte commuter bike you’d pedal under your own power.
The frame and fork are aluminum. The Voya e 3 comes stock with a riser bar with just a slight rise to it. It keeps the rider in a generally upright position, though it’s still low enough that you won’t feel like you’re on a beach cruiser.
The seat stays are dropped slightly; that means they attach to the seat tube lower than the junction with the top tube. This allows some fore-aft flex of the seat post and seat tube, thereby providing a comfortable ride.
The Voya e 3 has powerful hydraulic disc brakes from Tektro. They offer plenty of stopping power and modulation. If you’ve never used hydraulic disc brakes before, be sure to give them a few test applications so you get a sense of their strength.
A 9-speed MicroShift drivetrain provides enough gearing options to pedal the Voya around with the motor turned off if you so choose. The bike weighs just under 40 pounds, so riding without the motor on is entirely possible and even enjoyable.
You activate the pedal-assist motor using a button on the top tube. LED lights indicate which of the four assist modes you’re in, as well as your remaining battery life.
The 700c wheels are most suited for city riding, though with the 38mm wide tires, you could certainly ride the Voya comfortably on gravel paths too.
Momentum Voya e 3 review: Performance
A well-designed bicycle has a certain feel, something that makes it feel both solid and lithe. The Voya e 3 has that in spades. The steering feels quick and responsive without hedging into nervousness, and the frame feels solidly built and supportive without sending every road vibration straight to the rider.
The Voya ultimately feels like a well-designed commuter bike that was retrofitted with a motor to add pedal-assist convenience. That’s not a bad thing at all; in fact, in this case, the bike shines precisely because it feels like a bike you’d enjoy pedaling without a motor.
Of course, you do sacrifice a few conveniences for the sleek look and feel of the Voya. For starters, the power/control button is mounted on the top tube of the bike, just behind the head tube. That means you don’t get an LCD display mounted on the handlebars like most other e-bikes.
That’s a problem for two reasons. First, it means you have to take your hands off the handlebars to adjust the assist mode on the fly. It’s an awkward position to reach, and it can affect your steering stability.
Second, it means you don’t get heads-up information like your speed, distance, trip distance, battery life, and so on. The button on the top tube does feature LED lights to indicate the power mode and the battery life, but these are harder to interpret on the fly than simply looking at a screen.
You can pair your phone to the Giant RideControl app to access this information and more. You can even upload your rides to Strava. So it is indeed possible to mount your phone to your handlebars and get real time ride information.
But generally, I think this setup is far less convenient than simply having a dedicated display mounted to your handlebars. For starters, you’re more likely to use these features and information if it’s permanently displayed. I’m not particularly good at remembering to pull out my phone, pair the bike to the app, and mount my phone to my bars, where it can be damaged from the elements or a crash. (A reminder: Make sure you’re wearing one of the best bike helmets.) It seems less convenient and ultimately less user-friendly.
The Voya also lacks integrated front and rear lights. That’s a common integration on many premium e-bikes and it’s surprising to not see them on the Voya. If you do get this bike, you’ll also want to invest in a set of the best bike lights, too.
The pedal-assist is smooth and immediate once you start pedaling. The rear hub motor pushes out enough power to keep you zipping smoothly through town, particularly when starting from a dead stop at stop signs. But like most rear hub motors I have tested, the Voya’s feels slightly underpowered when it’s time to start from a dead stop on an incline.
This isn’t a problem on most slopes until the incline gets fairly steep. And it’s certainly not a dealbreaker, as it’s not an issue for most of the riding you’ll likely do with the Voya.
You also get a 9-speed drivetrain, which provides a wide gear range for varying terrain. You can always shift into the easiest gear on steeper pitches to ensure you can get going quickly and easily.
The new one is called Move
The premiere of the hub drive naturally also means that another SyncDrive has to join the existing motor family. Momentum, or rather Giant, has named it SyncDrive Move. Its 25 Newton metres of torque are almost exactly on the same level as the 23 Newton metres of the recently presented X20 from Mahle, which, as we know, is also a rear-wheel hub motor. Could both of them possibly …? No, they could not. The cooperation partner behind the Move is Panasonic. This means that after Yamaha and Shimano, the next prominent player from the Far East has joined the list of motor manufacturers behind a SyncDrive.
decisive about the motor as well as the rest of the ebike system are the facts that it does not go beyond 250 watts in terms of continuous rated power and that the motor stops its support at the notorious 25 km/h speed limit. So, we are talking here about exactly the conditions under which these ebikes are also approved as pedelecs in Europe without any problems. It is hard to imagine that Momentum will voluntarily bow to these requirements and not later enter the market on the other side of the Atlantic with these models.
For the taillight, only a battery-powered solution is currently available.
Extensive sensor technology in use
In terms of riding experience, the SyncDrive Move should have a lot to offer. After all, it uses data from a total of four sensors. These sensors record speed, torque, cadence and rotation. Based on this, the motor has four support levels: “Eco”, “Active”, “Power” and an automatic mode. In the latter, it switches back and forth between the levels depending on sensor feedback. When you get right down to it, there is a fifth mode. In this mode, the motor does not provide any assistance, but the drive is activated and maintains the connection to the RideControl app. With this setting, you can record all your rides using the app, even if you prefer to ride entirely on your own muscle power.
With a weight of 1.7 kilograms, the SyncDrive Move doesn’t quite match the lightweight Mahle X20 with its 1.35 kilograms, but it remains well below the 2.4 kilograms of the FSA HM 1.0, for example. The cooperation with Panasonic has already been mentioned. Apparently Bafang has also been involved. At least the manufacturer’s logo can be found on the bottom bracket.
With a weight of around 18 kilograms, both models of the Voya E can also be shouldered quite well if necessary.
Battery with certain limits
Accompanying the new drive unit is also a completely new battery. For the first time, Momentum is integrating the EnergyPak Micro. According to the concept, it should remain firmly in the down tube. For service purposes, of course, it can be removed. And that’s even without having to remove the motor first. The capacity of the EnergyPak Micro is an expected 250 watt hours. According to Momentum, this is enough for a range of between 45 kilometres and 72 kilometres. As soon as the Voya E 1 and Voya E 3 are used in mountainous terrain, the tendency is apparently towards the first of the two values. For example, the company Bikeexchange probably never reached the 50-kilometre mark in its test around Melbourne. The battery proved even more short-winded in the case of a journalist who wanted to test one of the bikes for Forbes magazine living near San Francisco. Whether these are isolated cases or a reliable trend remains to be seen. The EnergyPak Micro’s weight of around four kilograms, on the other hand, should be reliable.
The ebikes can impress with their corresponding chargers. These provide a charging current of four amps. If you connect a charger to an empty EnergyPak Micro, it will be 80 percent charged within three hours. Half an hour longer and you have reached 100 percent.
Familiar operating concept
A look at the control unit integrated into the top tube reveals where Voya E 1 and Voya E 3 come from. There you will find the RideControl Go, a component that is very familiar from current models from Giant and Liv. A central button for switching the drive on and off as well as two columns, each with five small LEDs, are all that is used here to communicate with the riders. The left column shows the selected support level in different colours. On the right, you can see the remaining battery capacity in increments of 20 percent.
RideControl Go integrated into the top tube on the Momentum Voya E.
If you prefer to look forward at all times rather than down at the top tube, you can combine the RideControl Go with the RideControl Ergo 3 control unit and the RideControl Dash display. Both solutions also allow you to keep your hands on the handlebars when you want to change the assistance level. For a more precise tracking of your rides, we recommend using the RideControl app. There you can not only see exact information about the battery status, but also read important riding parameters and your own performance.
Momentum offers the aluminium frame in three sizes for each model. In terms of colour, you can choose between a dark metallic green and a matt, slightly lighter blue for the Voya E 1. The Voya E 3 is available in the same green and a rich, darker yellow.
Momentum Voya E at a glance
- Variants: Voya E 1, Voya E 3
- Frame: ALUXX aluminium
- Motor: SyncDrive Move, 250 W, 25 Nm
- Battery: EnergyPak Micro, 250 Wh
- Control unit: RideControl Go
- Drivetrain: Shimano GRX, microSHIFT Advent
- Brakes: Shimano GRX, Tektro HD-R280, 160 mm
- Maximum permitted total weight: 156 kg
- Prices: from US 2,400
Pictures: Giant Bicycle, Inc.
2021 Momentum Transend E
TIRE PRESSURE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR HOOKLESS
Appropriately inflated tires conform better to imperfections in the road, absorbing impacts and allowing you to ride faster with more comfort and control. As mountain bikers have known for a long time, tires that are inflated to a higher pressure than necessary for the terrain transmit more impacts and sacrifice speed as well as energy as the rider fights to keep the bike on track and to stop it from deflecting off obstacles, however small, in its path.
TIRE PRESSURE CALCULATOR FOR HOOKLESS RIMS WITH TUBELESS ROAD TIRES
This calculator gives recommended tire pressure for Giant and CADEX hookless rim road wheels and compatible road tires.
Please be aware that the pressure recommendation given here is a starting point and that you may need to add or release a little air to find the perfect number for your bike set up and riding conditions.
- Never exceed the maximum (MAX) tire pressure indicated on the rim, the tire or the rim tape.
- Please note that the stated MIN pressure on many current Giant tires (e.g. 85psi for 25C tire) was originally defined based on a durability test with a 120kg load at 1.5 times the regulated distance. CURRENTLY, for all Giant tires this minimum (MIN) pressure can now be defined as 70 psi (4.8 bar) for 23C 25C tires, 50 psi (3.4 bar) for 28C tires and 45 psi (3.1 bar) for 32C tires. Never inflate to less than the MIN pressure.
- The above pressure values are recommended starting points only.
- Please be aware that the load limit of all Giant Road WheelSystems is 129kg. This includes the weight of the rider bike luggage. For your own safety, please do not exceed the load limit, and please note that it is never advisable to load the bike to its maximum capacity.
HOW TO FIND YOUR IDEAL TIRE PRESSURE ON YOUR TUBELESS ROAD TIRES
Alter your tire pressure based on the surface you’re riding on:
Conventional road wisdom has always held that 100 psi (6.9 bar), more or less, is the magic number for speed and compliance, and on brand-new smooth pavement or at the track, your tires could feel great inflated to that pressure. However, when riding on anything other than a perfectly smooth surface (which, if we’re honest, is what most of us ride on most of the time), we recommend taking advantage of the benefits of tubeless and hookless technology and going with 10-15 psi / 0.7-1.0 bar less than what you might have normally put in (around 85-90 psi / 5.9-6.2 bar in the case of 100 psi / 6.9 bar mentioned above, for example). This allows the tire to conform better to imperfections in the road, reducing deflection and wasted energy as well as eliminating a harsh, chattery ride feel. Likewise, in wet conditions, just 10 psi / 0.7 bar less than what you usually might run will give you an increased contact patch and much better grip.
Adjust your tire pressure according to the volume of the tire you’re using:
90 psi / 6.2 bar could be perfect for your weight and the road surface when you’re on 25c tires, but if you decide to swap out to wider 28c tires, you’ll be increasing tire volume significantly, which means if you want the same smooth and supple ride quality from your new tire size, you’ll have to adjust air pressure downward to accommodate.
Adjust your tire pressure based on your weight:
Tires support the weight of the rider plus the bike plus any luggage or gear; for this reason, heavier riders require more pressure and lighter riders require less. As such, it’s essential to adjust your tire pressure according to your weight rather than try to use a “one pressure fits all” measurement (like the magic 100 psi / 6.9 bar we mention above!).
Never inflate over the maximum tire pressure indicated on the rim, the tire and /or the rim tape:
To make sure every ride is safe, Giant provides a recommended maximum (MAX) tire pressure, indicated either on the rim, the tire or the rim tape. You should never inflate your tire beyond that pressure.
Maximum tire pressure is NOT the recommended tire pressure:
To make sure every ride is great, Giant recommends that you never inflate your tires up to the maximum pressure either. Inflating to maximum pressure is unnecessary and for the reasons discussed above can give a harsh, unpleasant and potentially dangerous ride experience. Instead, Giant recommends following the inflation advice and pressure guide presented here.
Check you tire pressure before every ride:
This goes all the way back to the beginning: Appropriately inflated tires conform better to imperfections in the road, absorbing impacts and allowing you to ride more efficiently and safely with more comfort and control. A one minute pressure check before each ride to ensure your tires are appropriately inflated can make the all the difference!
How do you ride an electric bike?
Riding an electric bike is pretty much like riding a non-motorised bike of the same type.
You switch on the motor, select the assistance level you want using the controller, and then pedal. The motor will make initial acceleration much easier and then help you keep up to speed, particularly when you need to climb a hill.
However, because of the extra weight from the motor and battery, an electric bike may handle a bit more sluggishly than a non-assisted bike.
It may also have wider tyres to carry the extra weight and provide more grip, and it will usually have disc brakes because there’s more mass to slow down and stop.
What range will an electric bike have?
The motor type and battery capacity, plus your riding style and the terrain, all influence the range. Russell Burton / Immediate Media
Batteries on electric bikes can give you a range of anything from 20 to 100 miles or more on a full charge, depending on their capacity (measured in watt-hours and abbreviated to Wh). Batteries are expensive, so an ebike with a longer range will, in general, cost more.
You’ll usually get a battery-level indicator, while some control systems will give you an estimated range as you ride or regulate the power output to let you achieve your planned ride distance.
Some ebikes let you plug in a second battery, which might fit in a bottle cage, to up range. You can also lower the assistance level during a ride to help conserve the battery and extend the bike’s range.
While many brands will offer an estimated range for a particular model of bike, and it is possible to gauge a bike’s theoretical range based on its motor power and battery capacity, ultimately it depends on the level of assistance you’re using and the terrain.
Fully recharging the battery from the mains can take anything from around three hours up to nine hours, or more depending on the model, charger and battery capacity.
What types of electric bike are there?
We’ve got a separate guide to electric bike types, but you can find almost any kind of bike with a motor.
The most common types of electric bikes are hybrids and mountain bikes.
The best electric hybrid bikes have flat bars and chunky, puncture-resistant tyres, useful for biking to work, shopping and more leisurely rides.
Overview of the Momentum Voya E 3
They may also have mudguards (or the eyelets to add full-length mudguards), a rack and lights, and sometimes have a step-through frame design to make it easier to hop on and off the bike.
Electric mountain bikes normally have a beefy motor with a high torque output to help you get up loose off-road climbs and over obstacles. Once you get to the top, the motor can be turned off to enjoy the downhill ride.
There’s also a growing number of electric road bikes. With drop handlebars, they’re designed to ride fast and are usually relatively lightweight (as far as electric bikes go), to help with handling and hill climbing.
Electric gravel bikes are designed to be capable off-road and fast on tarmac. Russell Burton / Our Media
There’s an increasing number of electric gravel bikes, too. With wider tyres to enable you to ride off-road with confidence and drop handlebars for road speed, e-gravel bikes are designed to offer the versatility to really broaden your riding.
The best electric folding bikes will be designed for versatility and compact size. They can be folded up to take on public transport or for easier storage at home/work, so they could be the best bike for commuting for many people.
There are also electric cargo bikes, designed to carry loads for deliveries around town and other day-to-day tasks where they can replace a car or van.
Whichever electric bike you choose, we suggest you read our guides to electric bike insurance and electric bike maintenance to look after what’s likely to be a sizeable investment.
In short, if you want a helping hand on your ride, you can find an electric bike to suit your needs.
Can you convert a bike into an ebike?
Yes, you can convert a bike into an ebike. There are an increasing number of electric bike conversion kits available, which enable you to add a motor to a non-assisted bike.
These kits are often a more affordable way to electrify your riding, compared to buying a whole new electric bike.
Electric bike conversion kits will include a motor as well as a battery to power it. They will also have controls so you adjust the power output on the motor. The controls often mount to the handlebar of a bike.
Conversion kits tend to come with sensors to detect speed and the level of power input required to ensure the motor matches your needs.
One of the most popular ebike conversion kits in the UK is the Swytch kit, which uses a hub-mounted motor.
Other kits use ‘mid-drive’ motors but some of these kits are compatible only with specific bottom bracket standards.
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Paul has been writing about bike tech and reviewing all things cycling for almost a decade. He had a five-year stint at Cycling Weekly and has also written for titles including CyclingNews, Cyclist and BikePerfect, as well as being a regular contributor to BikeRadar. Tech-wise, he’s covered everything from rim width to the latest cycling computers. He reviewed some of the first electric bikes for Cycling Weekly and has covered their development into the sophisticated machines they are today, on the way becoming an expert on all things electric. Paul was into gravel before it was even invented, riding a cyclocross bike across the South Downs and along muddy paths through the Chilterns. He dabbled in cross-country mountain biking too. He’s most proud of having covered the length of the South Downs Way on a crosser and fulfilling his long-time ambition to climb Monte Grappa on a road bike