Giant Road-E+ 1 Pro 2019 – Electric Road Bike review

Giant were the first major bike manufacturer to introduce an electric road bike, with the first incarnation of the Road-E+. Since then Giant have improved on what was already a great e-bike with the introduction of the 2019 Road-E+ 1 Pro. The excellent Yamaha Sync drive Pro motor has also been redesigned and refined to make the rider / motor integration more seamless, and provide a nice and smooth transition once the pedal assist stops at 15mph. I had a ride on one of these last year, read my full review and thoughts below.

The official Promotional Video for the Road-E+1 courtesy of Giant

Mid-drive vs hub motor

2019 has seen the introduction of electric road bikes by practically every major bike manufacturer, including some of the more prestigious brands like Pinarello, Colnago and Bianchi.

The motor of choice for a lot of these bikes is the X35 M1 ebikemotion hub motor, which I have reviewed in previous posts.

I have ridden a couple of road bikes with this motor – the Ribble Endurance SLe and the Orbea Gain D50, and I can honestly say it is an excellent drive system that works perfectly.

Another great feature of the X35 system is the full integration into the bike, making it virtually indistinguishable from a normal road bike.

There are a few caveats with this system: 1. Battery range is somewhat limited with only a 250wh (watt hour) battery and 2: Although a great motor, it doesn’t produce the torque that is sometimes needed to get you up a very long steep climb (max torque on this motor is around 40nm).

Yamaha SyncDrive Pro

The drive system on the Giant Road-E+ is a different beast altogether.  The SyncDrive Pro motor is engineered for performance riding. With a max 120 rpm cadence output, 80Nm of torque and five support modes, it helps you conquer climbs with ease.

yamaha syncdrive pro electric bike motor

Giant’s PedalPlus 4-sensor technology incorporates sophisticated  torque, cadence and speed sensors that are incredibly responsive to rider input, measuring the amount of force applied to the pedals and pedalling cadence. This means that it is tuned to give quick and direct response to pedalling, delivering 100% of motor torque in less than 190 milliseconds.

The 80Nm power output is double that of the X35 M1 hub motor and offers superior torque and support ratios up to 360 percent. This means that, in the Power mode, 100 percent of human torque input offers 360 percent pedal-assist. This offers more freedom in how the E-bike rides and handles.

the yamaha syncdrive pro on the giant road-e +1 electric road bike

Read more on the Yamaha Sync Drive Pro here.

Battery

No e-bike is complete without a battery, and if it is range you are after, then the Giant EnergyPak 500wh (watt hour), 36V 13.8Ah lithium battery pack will provide you with a potential range in excess of a 100 miles.

This is one area the Giant wins hands-down over the competition. This battery has twice the energy of the X35 ebikemotion battery (250wh vs 500wh). The only downside is, that it is heavy, and very obvious (to look at).

This battery also uses the highest quality Panasonic NCR18650GA cells. These are widely regarded as the best in the industry, and in fact was the battery of choice for Tesla cars, before they started to make their own cells **interesting fact: At one stage Tesla used 40% of Panasonic’s total global production of these cells!

If you want spend a long day in the saddle in the Alps, then a high-capacity battery is a must!

Display

The display has also been updated for 2019.  The RideControl EVO now has new and exciting functionalities to enhance your E-bike riding experience. It now has navigation features, so you can ride wherever you want, including new routes, without getting lost. It also offers new heart-rate functionality, so you can get immediate feedback while working out.

giant ridecontrol evo display

All Giant E-bikes in 2019 can be set to automatically adjust the pedal assist to reach/keep your desired heart-rate. The RideControl EVO allows you to monitor this precisely. The RideControl EVO is connected and lets you upgrade through a wireless connection. Also, incoming messages, phone calls and emails can be seen through a notification on the RideControl EVO while riding. The clock makes sure you’ll always arrive on time on your destination.

Check out the video below courtesy of GCN where they test a Giant Road E+ on some long steep climbs in Europe

The Ride

As I have worked in the electric bike business for nearly three years now and I have been in the privileged position of being able to try out exciting new bikes from time to time. Usually courtesy of customers trusting me with there new pride and joy!

I was fortunate enough last year to try the earlier version of this bike (like the one ridden in the GCN video above).

I was thoroughly impressed with this bike in every aspect. It handled exceptionally well, and its ability in dealing with the relentless steep climbs in my area, was amazing.

giant road-e +1 pro 2019 electric road bike

The only way I can describe the feeling of riding one of these bikes, is it makes you feel like you have been given the legs of Chris Froome! The pedal assist is not only super-responsive, but incredibly intuitive making for a perfect fusion of man and machine.

These bikes are incredibly addictive,and even though I am a dedicated road bike rider, I quite like the idea owning one of these for those occasional 100+ miles days in the saddle.

Everything worked perfectly, from the wonderful Ultegra groupset through to the excellent Shimano hydraulic brakes. This really is a great electric bike!

My only complaint (and it is a minor one) is the weight. Although not as heavy as a traditional e-bike, it still comes in at nearly 20kg. This is due in part to the mid-drive motor and the high-capacity battery pack. The only time the extra weight became apparent was when the power was off, and I was cycling up an incline. On the flat it didn’t matter, and i’m sure on the descents the extra weight would have helped a little.

Conclusion

I have always had a soft spot for Giant bicycles. I have owned a couple and they never disappoint. This was my first outing on one of their new generation electric road bikes, and I have to say it is an excellent e-bike.

This was the first electric road bike I had a go on, and is still one of my favourites. It is very difficult to decided between something like the Giant and the Ribble SLe as they are quite different in a lot of respects.

The £3499 price tag will certainly put a lot of people off. It is a lot of money to spend on a bike, especially when you consider the Orbea Gain starts at £1799.

What you do get for your money is a lot of the latest state-of-the-art e-bike technology, an Ultegra groupset and the excellent RideControl EVO display, which has the most functionality of any e-bike display I have come across, including navigation and heart rate monitor function.

How does it fair against the competition?

The immediate competition would be the Cannondale Synapse NEO SE, Trek Domane+ and the Ribble Endurance Sle  .The Ribble is definitely targeted towards riders that want a bike they can use as a normal road bike, and only use the assist when they really need it. At 11-12kg it is substantially lighter than the Giant.

Both the Cannondale and Trek both use the latest Bosch Performance line motors, which are themselves excellent drive systems. The entry-level Orbea Gain D50 offers the best value for money, plus it uses exactly the same X35 M1 drive system as the Ribble.

But if I had to choose, I would go for the Giant – the silky smooth Yamaha motor wins it over for me. But don’t just take my word for it. Read the genuine review below from a very satisfied customer.

Words actually fail me to praise this magnificent feat of engineering excellence. This is my 3rd E road bike and by a country mile the best. I am 63 years old and I’ve been a club/racing cyclist for over 40 years. For 20 of those years, I have had Parkinson’s. I stopped competing in 2008, mainly due to the fact, I lost my enthusiasm to train. I still continued to ride my Colnago C40 until 2012. I then bought a Trek Madone until 2015. In the summer of 2015, armed with my Raleigh Elite, aged 60, I rode up L’Alpe du Huez in one hour 40 minutes, raising £3500 for Parkinson’s. My cycling life was to change dramatically overnight, when I bought the Giant E1 road bike in December 2016. I could once again go on club runs and climb hills which I could have only managed when I was in my 20’s and 30’s. In November 2018, I decided to change to the beautiful looking Orbea Gain Ebike. Massive mistake in my case. Half the capacity of assistance than my previous Giant and too much hard work for someone of my age, fitness level and with my condition.December 2018, enter the Giant E road Pro. Oh my goodness. This bike is all of my dreams rolled into one. Much more stylish looking than its predecessor, the Road E 1, much smoother and more powerful. I honestly will never ride any other Ebike than this again.Thank you to everyone at Giant for this truly amazing bicycle. You have made an old man very happy. To the doubters who criticise Ebikes, I say this. You have no idea what the future holds for you, health wise. I hope you never ever have the need to own an Ebike. For me though, when I ride this bike, I feel 21 again!

Giant Road-E +1 Pro 2019 electric road bike

Full Product Description (courtesy of Giant Bicycles)

The Road-E+ 1 Pro from Giant is a road specific Ebike to assist you in your road riding goals.
Packed with top end and brand-new technology from Giant, Yamaha and Shimano. Tackle the biggest hills and longest days with ease.

Key Features:

  • ALUXX SL-grade aluminium frame with carbon fibre fork
  • Shimano Ultegra 2×11 drivetrain provides precise shifting
  • Shimano Ultegra hydraulic disc brakes give consistent and powerful braking
  • Giant SyncDrive Pro, 80Nm, 360% tuneable support, powered by YAMAHA
  • Giant EnergyPak 500, 36V 13.8Ah Lithium-Ion Panasonic
  • Giant RideControl EVO, grip launch control with walk assist, mini USB charger
  • Giant tubeless system provides less rolling resistance
  • Sizes: S, M, L, XL
  • Colours: Team Blue
  • The Giant Road-E+1 Pro is available with 0% APR finance

Get ready to accelerate with a lively E-bike made specifically for road riding. The Road-E+ delivers high level performance to help you extend your on-road adventures.

Powerful performance: The SyncDrive Pro motor is engineered for performance riding. With a max 120 rpm cadence output, 80Nm of torque and five support modes, it helps you conquer climbs with ease.

Longer distance: Giant’s side-release EnergyPak battery is built with the highest energy density possible so you can ride longer and cover greater distances.

Ultimate control: Giant Tubeless Ready wheels and tyres offer less rolling resistance and improved puncture protection.

ALUXX SL Aluminium Technology

This high-performance level, state-of-the-art Aluminium material is made predominantly from 6011 alloy and delivers best-in-class strength-to-weight ratios. These framesets also feature unique welding technologies for a high-performance ride quality.

Hybrid Cycling Technology

Hybrid Cycling Technology is a system that combines electric power with human power to produce the most efficient, powerful and natural E-bike riding experience. It’s a seamless extension of a rider’s own power that sets Giant E-bikes apart from other “electric” bicycles. The system consists of four key innovative technologies that work in unison with your own body’s power output—a seamless extension of your own capabilities.

SyncDrive Pro

SyncDrive Pro is tuned to deliver a powerful, performance-oriented riding style. The lightweight and compact motor is updated for 2019 with the possibility to tune it just the way the rider wants. With a predictable output that reacts to human input, the motor produces linear support to give you more control while riding.

The 80Nm power output offers superior torque and support ratios up to 360 percent. This means that, in the Power mode, 100 percent of human torque input offers 360 percent pedal-assist. This offers more freedom in how the E-bike rides and handles.

Made for performance minded riders, this motor offers 80Nm of powerful support with up to 120 max rpm in the three upper support modes (Active, Sport, Power). The rider experiences no power loss while reaching higher levels of cadence, which makes steep climbs more accessible and comfortable. At the two entry support modes, the rider is rewarded with 110 max rpm and 80Nm of motor torque.

SyncDrive Pro is tuned to give quick and direct response to pedalling, delivering 100% of motor torque in less than 190 milliseconds. Both the ISIS bottom bracket interface and clutch have been updated to provide a quicker, more direct response. Backlash of the ratchet mechanism is reduced by one third and a hollow axle shaft creates a quicker, more direct response. With the narrowest Q-factor of 168mm, SyncDrive Pro makes performance riding even more natural.

BENEFITS

SUPERIOR POWER OUTPUT: Giant’s most powerful motor technology with a massive 80Nm of torque for steep climbs and a 360 percent support ratio.

TUNEABLE PERFORMANCE: The rider can adjust the support ratios for a more dynamic ride experience that matches every rider’s individual needs.

LIGHTWEIGHT & COMPACT: A lighter, more compact motor package with a narrow Q-factor delivers the ultimate cycling experience.

Ridecontrol Evo

For 2019, the RideControl EVO is updated with new and exciting functionalities to enhance the E-bike riding experience. It now has navigation features, so you can ride wherever you want, including new routes, without getting lost. It also offers new heartrate functionality, so you can get immediate feedback while working out.

All Giant E-bikes in 2019 can be set to automatically adjust the pedal support to reach/keep your desired heartrate. The RideControl EVO allows you to monitor this precisely. The RideControl EVO is connected and lets you upgrade through a wireless connection. Also, incoming messages, phone calls and emails can be seen through a notification on the RideControl EVO while riding. The clock makes sure you’ll always arrive on time on your destination.

NAVIGATION: The RideControl EVO stands for exploration and riding further then you ever have before with new navigation possibilities.

FITNESS POSSIBILITIES: Get direct feedback to help you target your fitness goals and conditioning, reaching precise levels of effort

UPDATEABLE: Can be updated wirelessly so you are always up to date with the latest software.

PedalPlus 4

Giant’s PedalPlus 4-sensor technology precisely measures the amount of force a rider is applying to the pedals so that the motor delivers a seamless power boost. The system uses speed and torque sensors along with motor and pedal rotation sensors to produce even power across the entire gear range. The result is predictable power that feels totally natural in any gear and makes riding the bike feel smooth and powerful on all types of terrain.

TORQUE SENSOR TECHNOLOGY The torque sensor reacts to pedal pressure. The more pressure you apply to the pedals, the more support you get from the motor. It precisely measures this force so that the motor can deliver a seamless power boost.

Speed Sensor Technology The speed sensor works independently from the pressure you are putting on the pedals. It precisely measures the speed the rider is travelling.

MOTOR AND PEDAL ROTATION SENSORS Allows the motor to run as smoothly and seamlessly as possible

NATURAL FEELING: The torque sensor measures the amount of power the rider is applying to the pedals so that the motor can replicate the natural riding style, adding assistance when needed.

EFFICIENCY: The PedalPlus 4-sensor technology maximises energy efficiency for both the rider and the battery system.

Instant Support: The combination of the sensor technology and the instantaneous response of the SyncDrive motor creates a smooth and powerful riding experience

Side Release Energypak

The side release EnergyPak can be removed from the frame by moving it sideways. This allows for more compact frame designs and lower stand-over heights. The side release batteries have a capacity of 400Wh and 500Wh and are used on mountain and trekking E-bikes. The total weight of these EnergyPaks is 3.2kg, optimising the balance and performance of the E-bike.

LOWER STAND-OVER HEIGHTS: Lower stand-over heights make it easier to get on and off the E-bike.

Optimised GEOMETRIES: More compact frame designs are now possible with the new side release EnergyPak.

EASY HANDLING: The side removable EnergyPaks are easy to handle and remove from the E-bike.

Specification

Frame: ALUXX SL-grade aluminum
Fork: Advanced-grade composite, OverDrive2 steerer, 12x100QR
Stem: Giant Contact SL
Bars: Giant Contact
Front Brake: Shimano Ultegra hydraulic disc, 160mm
Rear Brake: Shimano Ultegra hydraulic disc, 160mm
Brake Lever: Shimano Ultegra hydraulic disc
Front Mech: Shimano Ultegra
Rear Mech: Shimano Ultegra
Shifters: Shimano Ultegra 22 speed
Speed: 22
Rims: Giant PR-2 Disc, Tubeless Ready
Front Hub: Giant Performance Tracker Road, Sealed Bearing
Rear Hub: Giant Performance Tracker Road, Sealed Bearing
Spokes: Sapim E-Lite [r] Race [f], e-bike optimized
Front Tyre: Maxxis Re-Fuse 700x32c Folding Carbon Bead MaxxShield Tubeless Ready
Rear Tyre: Maxxis Re-Fuse 700x32c Folding Carbon Bead MaxxShield Tubeless Ready
Seat Post: Giant Contact Composite 27,2×375
Saddle: Giant Contact SL, Neutral
Chainset: Giant custom forged by FSA, 34/50
Chain: KMC e.11 Turbo, EcoProteq, e-bike optimized
Cassette: Shimano 105, 11-32T
Pedals: Not Included
Battery (Wh): 500 Wh
Motor: Giant
User Interface: Giant RideControl EVO

Giant Road-E +1 Pro 2019 Electric road bike

£3499
9.2

Value for Money

8.0/10

Specification

9.0/10

Ride

9.0/10

Efficiency

10.0/10

Performance

10.0/10

Pros

  • Excellent Yamaha motor
  • Long-range battery
  • RideControl EVO display is the best I've come across
  • Giant build quality
  • Very intuitive electric assist

Cons

  • A little on the heavy side (compared to the competition)
  • Price will be prohibitive for some

2 thoughts on “Giant Road-E+ 1 Pro 2019 – Electric Road Bike review

  • March 30, 2019 at 11:08 am
    Permalink

    looks ugly, like a tank.. Ribble and Orbea are onto a better idea IMO. Less grunt but lighter. Discreet and the bike is a bike when the ‘e’ isn’t needed.

    Reply
    • March 30, 2019 at 11:50 am
      Permalink

      I would have to agree with you about the looks. It looks clunky and it is also heavy. Riding the Ribble with the electric assist off is like riding a regular bike. Riding uphill on the Giant (with assist off) feels like my riding old Dawes Galaxy with loaded panniers!

      Interestingly, I had an email off Ribble yesterday and they have just released an electric assist Gravel /Adventure bike – the Ribble CGR ALe, it uses exactly the same drive system as the SLe and Orbea Gain. They do several different groupset options including Ultegra and SRAM Apex.

      Reply

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