Giant Full-E+0 Impressions

bikedreamer

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Giant was doing a Demo Tour in my area, so I thought I would try out one of their Full-E bikes. This is the model I rode for about an hour or so:

https://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-ca.../29153/100892/

A bit about me: In my late 40's, 255 lbs (plus hydration back), and not in very good shape at all. I normally ride a 15 year old HT, but spent maybe a decade riding a Giant AC-1.

LOOKS: The bike is a bit odd looking, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It is better looking than last year's model, as the battery is integrated into the downtube. Still, it definitely catches the eye, and many people will stop and ask you questions about the bike.

SETUP: Honestly, I don't know. The Giant tech spent about 5 - 10 minutes setting up the sag for me. He didn't get into the controls, and I didn't ask.

COCKPIT: Nice wide bars, clean layout, with the shifter for the derailleur and the dropper post lever on the right, and the motor controls on the left (On and Off, along with 3 power settings: Eco, Normal, and Power). Worst saddle I've sat on in many, many years. Kind of like sitting on a piece of 2X4.

STARTING OUT: The trail starts off on a gradual climb, so I just put the bike in Eco mode, and started pedaling. Wow, what a difference! Normally I kind of drag out off the start until I warm up a bit, but I almost felt like I was flying. As the trail started to get steeper, I switched to Normal, and then Power. There are sections where I have to get off and push my bike, but not on this ride.

TECHNICAL SECTIONS: This is where things get a bit weird. Trying to go up tight switchbacks, rocky sections, or any other spot where you might want to give the pedals a partial turn so as to not catch them on a rock or root can be a challenge. The bike is set up to deliver power when you pedal, and only when you pedal. That means it tends to surge forward more than you expect, which can throw off your balance.

CLIMBS: With the motor assist, long climbs are not an issue. The big challenge for me was with short, steep climbs. The motor felt like it cut out at a certain point. I don't think it cut out so much as it ran out of juice. After all, most riders are probably in the 160 - 180 lb range (I'm guessing). My extra weight, along with lack of fitness, probably just was too much for it.

DESCENTS: The brakes were quite effective at slowing down over 300+ lbs of bike and rider. 200 mm rotors front and rear were a wise decision. The bike feels long to me, which means tight turns take a bit more planning. The suspension worked well and felt smooth, and never bottomed out, even on rough terrain.

BATTERY: The battery had enough power to help my portly self up 300 meters (~1000 feet) ascent on 10 kilometers (6 miles) of out and back trail. I started at 89% battery charge, and ended on 57%.

MOTOR: Ah, the heart of the system, I suppose. It was reasonably powerful, and it let you know that. This is not a quiet, smooth sounding motor. It sounded a bit... off. Like it had a bearing loose, or something. Again, could have been my weight. Maybe it would be whisper quiet for a lighter rider. It isn't outrageously noisy, but it's there, and you'll notice it.

CONTROLS: The brake levers and shift levers worked well. I never touched the seatpost dropper control, so I can't say anything about it either way. The motor control was a bit of a disappointment. It worked, but the power level control is not intuitive. It is too light of a touch, and I sometimes turned the power off instead of increasing it when I needed some more juice when the trail got steeper. I'd say set up something like a derailleur control. Or have the controls emit different beeps when the power level is changed. Something that does not require looking at the LCD display.

SUMMARY: Overall, a good bike for those who don't want to be totally exhausted when going out on long rides that have some climbing. It still needs a bit of refinement, in my opinion, but it is a strong contender.
 

SeaDevil

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We sell this and the Turbo Levo in our shop, I definitely prefer the Levo to the Giant
 

bikedreamer

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Curious about that as well. Is it worth the extra $850 for the Turbo Levo FSR 6Fattie ($6150 Cdn), compared to the Giant Full-E + 1 ($5300 Cdn)?
 

Nurse Ben

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Jul 17, 2020
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My wife has Levo FSR.

I'd pay the difference just to have a normal looking bike, that Giant looks odd.

The Levos are solid.
 
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