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Giant Explore E+ Review

Last updated 
robb dorr
By
Robb Dorr,
Co-founder
Images from manufacturer's website

111 mi

RANGE

15 mph

TOP SPEED

4 hrs

CHARGE TIME

55 lbs

WEIGHT

Mid-drive

MOTOR TYPE

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Giant Explore E+ Review: Takeaway

The Explore E+ is ideal for commuting and other utility runs thanks to its panniers, mudguards, and lights. These — along with the huge 111-mile potential range — also make the electric bike great for touring.

We like the torque of the small but powerful SyncDrive Pro motor that will provide a powerful kick, whether at the traffic lights or up a steep hill.

Ideal for...

Touring — especially the Explore E+ GTS version
Utility runs (shopping or visiting friends)
Comfort
Riding in dark and wet conditions
Riding in a hilly city like San Francisco

E-Bike Overview

With its powerful 70Nm, 250-watt mid-drive motor, the Giant Explore E+ is a great machine for touring, commuting, and utility runs with a little light off-roading thrown in. The electric bike comes with German Government-approved front and rear lights, making it rideable day and night through the year.

This machine’s control system is a breeze to operate. The EVO RideControl is intuitive to use, and alongside a smartphone, can help you navigate using GPS.

There are two models available: the high crossbar E+ 2 GTS and the women’s low crossbar E+ 2 STA. Of these, we prefer the Explore E+ 2 GTS thanks to the option for a 250Wh range extender that plugs into the top of the battery — because of the geometry of the frame, this isn’t available on the 2 STA model.

Reasons to Buy

If you want an electric bike to replace your car, the Giant Explore E+ is going to do the job very well. Fun and comfortable to ride, you’ll find every excuse you can to use it and leave your car at home!

The pannier racks will take a good weight, whether you’re bringing your laptop and paperwork for work, shopping, or the gear you need for a night or two’s touring. And with the EnergyPak Plus range extender battery, a 111-mile run could be possible in ideal conditions — more than enough for a day’s touring!

The RideControl system has connectivity to your smartphone, and with this, you can find your way to new places, whether a client’s business on a commute or a high mountain pass to enjoy the views! You’ll be able to get a clear view of all your bike’s stats thanks to the RideDash EVO display.

We love the simplicity of the control system. In Auto Mode, it allows you to ride this just like an analog bike, without worrying about clicking the power mode on different inclines and descents.

Things to Consider

Of the two models we looked at, we found the Explore E+ 2 GTS model better because you can add a range extender to it. Since the women’s version, the 2 STA, doesn’t offer this, it means ladies have to sacrifice comfort by switching to the 2 GTS or range by sticking with the 2 STA.

Another issue is the Auto Mode on the ride control system can be power-hungry, and this will impact range. To get the most miles on a single charge, switch over to Manual mode. This lets you put more energy in with your legs, reducing the power load on the motor.

Specs & Components

Motor
SyncDrive Pro 70NM
Power & Control System
Giant Hybrid Cycling Technology
Optional Range Extender (E+ 2GTS model only)
EnergyPak Plus 250Wh
Main Battery (both models)
EnergyPak 500Wh
Gears
Shimano 9-speed
Display
RideDash Evo
Accessories
Pannier rack, mudguards, integrated front and rear lights

The specs above come from the manufacturer and may vary from what you’ve experienced. Notice something that needs correcting? Let us know.

Ratings

Power
4/5
4

Offering up to 70 Newton meters of torque, the Giant Explore E+ is a powerful electric bike. The motor will cut out at 20 mph, which is a sensible speed for this to happen, as you’ll be pedaling quite hard.

The 9-speed Shimano pedal drivetrain will provide more than enough power for you to ride economically uphill without relying on too high a power setting. You’ll need to pedal uphill, but with the 70 Nm of power, no incline should be much of a problem.

Factors that can affect your speed include how heavy you are, what cargo you’re carrying, the terrain you’re riding on, and the weather conditions.

 

Range
4/5
4

Giant claims that you can get 111 miles per charge out of the battery, even without the optional range extender on the Explore E+ 2 GTS model. This may well be the case with a lightweight rider on a very flat route (New Orleans, for example). On hillier terrain, expect a lower range, and where it’s windy and you’re heavier, the range will decrease considerably.

 

Comfort
4/5
4

Choosing the right size bike for your height should make for an ideal riding position. You should be in a classic/mild trekking position with your body leaned forward slightly. This is a comfortable position for many hours in the saddle.

The Selle Royal Ergo saddle is comfortable, though if you find this isn’t the case, you can get an aftermarket saddle that more suits your rear end. With their 63mm of travel, the Suntour SR front forks keep your arms comfortable after many miles of riding on roads or paved tracks.

 

Durability
4/5
4

Giant offers a lifetime warranty on the frame, but this falls to two years for the battery and just one for things like the chain. As such, the Explore E+ should serve you for many years to come.

You’ll need to change the chain and cassette about every 1,000 miles depending on how you use the bike. This should be oiled on a weekly basis (if used every day) and after a rain shower, or the chain could rust and break. Keep an eye on brake pads and the hydraulic fluid levels in the brake lines, too.

 

Style
4/5
4

With its European look, the Giant Explore E+ is a stylish trekking and city bike to look at. The metallic navy color scheme makes it somewhat conservative in its appearance, too. Though the electric bike doesn’t break new ground in terms of its overall looks, this is no ugly duckling. We like the shape of the frame and the appearance of a bike that’s built to do its task well.

 

Our Research Methodology

We personally research and test every e-bike featured in our reviews and guides to provide accurate, data-driven recommendations. Learn how we review.

About Our Editorial Team

robb dorr
Written by Robb Dorr
Co-founder
Robb is a massive cycling enthusiast who has more than 20 years of non-motorized cycling experience. He started eBikes.org to lower the barrier of entry to cycling and reduce the intimidation people can experience when getting into the cycling world.

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