Giant Road E+ 1

Discussion in 'Electric Bikes' started by Foghat, 17 Mar 2017.

  1. Foghat

    Foghat Veteran

    Anyone got one of these, or the Road E+ 2?

    I've decided my circumstances will benefit from acquiring an e-bike for my fleet, and the Giant seems to fit the bill rather well.

    Whilst I am very fit (for my, I suppose, advancing years and usual level of sleep deprivation), the 200-miles-per-week all-year-round commuting on my current 16kg-all-in commuter bike really takes its toll. It's all on rough hilly lanes, with belting headwinds on the way in that almost ALWAYS turn enough to seriously work against me when it comes to going home, which means come the weekend I need Saturday to recover and catch up on sleep, and any long/hard club rides/events etc on Sunday usually set me up for another week of feeling knackered at work. The rough roads, constant headwinds and hills really are a major drain on energy reserves, especially through the winter.

    By using an e-bike instead on, say, 2-3 days a week for commuting, maybe all five days some weeks if sleep deprivation is getting particularly bad, I'm sure there will be a significant reduction in fatigue, and more (non-e-bike) weekend riding that can consequently be achieved. What's the view of anyone in a similar situation?

    I do commute quite fast now, though (considering the bike is 16kg with all the lights and other paraphernalia) - usually averaging 14-18mph depending on headwind severity, or 19-22mph if the miracle of a tailwind ever materialises (and I can average a fair bit more riding my 7.5kg No. 1 bike without commuting luggage). So the 15.5mph cut-off of the Yamaha PW motor is of some concern. However, there are enough uphills and tough into-the-wind drags for the e-bike to make sense - but obviously the magnet-on-the-crank hack will be of particular interest, given my current averages. Of course, I can always just aim to maintain my current commuting averages, but simply achieve it with a lot less effort on a Road E+ 1.

    I note we'll have to wait for the 2018 model to get one with the new Yamaha PW-X motor. I think I'll wait for that, as the new motor is apparently about 0.5kg lighter and 13% smaller, and hopefully by then the frame will have been redesigned to take flat mount brakes, and any other niggles with the current model ironed out. By waiting for the PW-X, I'm hoping everything will be a bit more future-proof.

    Does anyone have any information on when the 2018 model is likely to be released in the UK? I seem to recall reading the next year's model usually comes out around October-November, but cannot remember where I saw this.

    Now to start saving......! In the meantime, it would be interesting to hear the impressions of any current owners here.
    Last edited: 17 Mar 2017
    johnnyb47 and mustang1 like this.
  2. raleighnut

    raleighnut Guru

    On 3 Wheels
    Why not fit a kit to your existing commuter, the front wheel kits are designed to 'freewheel' above the legal assistance limit.
  3. OP

    Foghat Veteran

    Well I did look into the possibility, but......I commute around 8,000 miles a year by bike, and I must have at least two commuting bikes so that in the event of mechanical problems or cleaning/servicing activity rendering one bike temporarily out of action, I always have one ready to use. Without fail! Yes, I could drive to work in such situations, but I categorically refuse to do so.

    I only have one commuter bike with adequate clearance for 32mm tyres; and the improved comfort of these over 28mm tyres is considerable (especially as all '28mm' tyres I've tried have been nearer 26mm). The roads are now so rough and potholed that it really f***s me off when I get battered on virtually every yard of the commute with 28mm tyres, even if they are inflated just hard enough to not suffer pinch punctures. This is only going to get worse, given the underfunding and mismanagement of English road maintenance (not to mention the awful and declining standard of contractors' repair work). I can tolerate 28mm being the limit when riding club and other events, but for commuting day-in-day-out, on my particular route(s), through the winter too, it just brasses me off too much not to do something about it.

    So procuring a bike which fulfils the spare 32mm-tyre-capable commuter bike function AND has all the other benefits outlined in my earlier post seems like the most sensible course of action....and I can sell the current '28mm'-tyred spare commuter to help fund the Giant, or keep and re-purpose it.

    Furthermore, strange as it may sound, I'm still young and fit enough to not want to ride electrically-assisted on every commute - and when I do ride unassisted, I'd rather be on a 16kg bike rather than a 20+kg bike!

    That was the basis of my decision-making process, anyway.....
    Last edited: 17 Mar 2017
    mustang1 likes this.
  4. OP

    Foghat Veteran

    Last edited: 17 Mar 2017
  5. raleighnut

    raleighnut Guru

    On 3 Wheels
    Nearly £3,000 for a commuter. :eek:

    Buy an old Raleigh MTB (steel frame) uprate to V-brakes and Deore transmission (21-28 speed) fit Schwalbe Marathon 1.5/1.75 26" tyres and a front wheel kit with a rack battery.

    Less than a grand for a 'bullet-proof commuter'....................also be aware that the kit can be removed, it isn't a 'one way' conversion all you need to do is remove it and you're back to a standard bike and the kit will fit another bike.
  6. OP

    Foghat Veteran

    I spend far too much of my life commuting to not do it on (high quality) bikes I really want to be on, and am prepared to save's too short, and 40 miles every day just to get to work and back would otherwise be too trying on an old hack!!.......Fortunately, my current workplace has high security.

    However, your post has got me thinking, @raleighnut. While I'm waiting for the 2018 Giant Road E+ to be released (and no doubt even longer for it to be subsequently discounted), I'm now seriously considering an interim measure of converting an old 1994 custom-built Roberts DOGS BOLX Deore XT mountain bike I've got; it is very nice, but rarely gets any use now as I tend to go mountain-biking only when it hasn't rained for about two weeks (i.e. about three times a year - I get enough mud on bikes as I can handle from the commuting on filthy lanes).

    With my high-volume commuting requirement, and desire to get out even more at weekends (and be simultaneously less fatigued from the commuting), e-bikes are clearly the future as a key element of the bike fleet, so more than one will be highly worthwhile. And I'll be able to sweat another asset by getting the DOGS BOLX back into regular use (not sure about a top gear of 44-11 on the road, though). Thanks for the suggestion!
    Last edited: 17 Mar 2017
    GlenBen, mustang1 and raleighnut like this.
  7. Pale Rider

    Pale Rider Guru

    I'm not sure you want the new Yamaha motor for your purpose.

    The PW-X version is aimed at mountain bikes which require a sharper power (such as it is) delivery.

    Outright grunt is irrelevant because you will be running on lower assistance levels, but the less smooth way the assistance is delivered by the PW-X could be wearing on a commute.

    What you do need - and can already get - is the larger capacity 500wh battery, particularly if you intend to rattle along at top speed which saps the battery quickly.

    Speaking of speed, the 'sensor on crank' trick no longer works, but it is possible to de-restrict the Yamaha motor by using a small device that clips on to the speed sensor on the chain stay.

    The motors are built for torque, not speed, so the assistance drops off sharply the faster you go, but it still makes a big difference.

    More speed equals even more battery use, so that reinforces the need for the 500wh battery.

    Speed limit de-restriction device:
    k_green and Foghat like this.
  8. keithmac

    keithmac Über Member

    I'd love a Road E+1 but don't do the mileage to justify the cost!.

    Ebikes are a godsend where wind is concerned!.

    My Gtech sits around 14mph most of the time, so on a calm still day I would have been quicker on my old bike BUT where I'd be in the granny gear going nowhere into the wind the Gtech will still be doing 12mph+.
    k_green and raleighnut like this.
  9. OP

    Foghat Veteran

    Thanks for that, @Pale Rider - useful comments there.

    It'll be interesting to see whether Giant puts the PW-X into its road e-bikes.

    Funnily enough, having slept on my decision for a few nights, the lure of getting more weekend riding in (non-e-bike), and an easier commuting week, is now proving too much and I don't think I can wait for the next iteration of the Road E+.....which may not even have (m)any differences. Also, I've pretty much now ruled out the potential DOGS BOLX conversion, once I realised all the thumb-shifting would become too much on my constantly up-and-down commute (really not keen on thumb-shifting any more, due to hand injury).

    So it looks very much like I'll be wielding the credit card imminently. Now, I wonder what the servicing schedule/arrangements, longevity and bearing replacement options are for the Yamaha PW motor......
  10. Pale Rider

    Pale Rider Guru

    I doubt the PW-X motor will go into the road bike for the reasons I've stated.

    Worth bearing in mind there's not much difference anyway, some cyclists might not notice any.

    As regards servicing, either side of the motor it's an ordinary bike which you will already know about.

    The motors are pretty much a sealed unit and, typically Japanese, tend to be reliable.

    The Yamaha motor has been around a few years now, and I've not heard of any problems with it.

    You are buying a quality branded bicycle with a factory fitted quality branded motor, which is about all you can do to get the best chance of reliability.

    It would be better to buy from your local Giant dealer because in the unlikely event there is a fault you are in a stronger position than if you source the bike from an internet discounter.

    Of course, the warranty is valid irrespective, so an internet bike might be worth a go if the savings are significant.
    mustang1 and Foghat like this.
  11. keithmac

    keithmac Über Member

    There's an owner on the pedelecs forum, he seems very happy with his.

    Only bugbear iirc is the speedo is in kilometers per hour?.

    I've tried very hard no to buy one!, new windows for the house took priority unfortunately.
  12. OP

    Foghat Veteran

    Indeed, but my suspicion is that the PW-X's development, with a smaller form factor and significantly reduced weight, indicates the direction things are going with such motors......and I can see a situation in the (possibly not-too-distant) future when the motor needs replacing, but they're then only produced in the smaller size, can't be retro-fitted, and so the frame needs replacing too, except frames no doubt won't be available separately......

    Also, Shimano seems to be making a rapid exit from producing non-flat mount hydraulic road disc brake calipers, so I'm assuming the next Road E+ will be re-designed to take flat mount.

    All of which interests me from a future-proofing perspective. Nevertheless, my desire for an easier commuting workload, and hence being able to get out riding on more (some, even!) Saturdays, is now just too great to wait.
    I understand the PW works with a square taper bottom bracket axle, but this will change to an ISIS axle with the PW-X. Do you know if these are standard (or at least readily available) square taper and ISIS bottom brackets, or are they custom-designed for the specified 'custom' FSA chainset? Any idea if the BB bearings are simple to replace, as with the mileage I'll be doing, I can't see them lasting more than 2-3 years? I think I need a trip to a Giant dealer, as you suggest, hopefully for a test ride.

    Last edited: 19 Mar 2017
  13. OP

    Foghat Veteran

    Yes, I've read those threads with interest. Not too worried about the km/miles issue - I can convert pretty quickly between units, and will probably be fitting a separate computer anyway.
  14. Pale Rider

    Pale Rider Guru

    Mmm, crank drive ebike bottom brackets is a toughie.

    Seems to me the Yamaha is only a square taper in the way the cranks are attached.

    The rest of the bracket is non-standard, not least because there's a gear attached to it to accept the drive from the motor.

    Bosch is ISIS, I have two of those and as far as I can gather it's the same, the cranks attach by an ISIS spline but the rest isn't standard.

    Or if it is, removing and replacing it is a more complex job than on a push bike.

    Service for these motors tends to be on a send it back/exchange basis, and given that not many fail, I think very few people on the outside have ever rebuilt one.

    Some pics/vids via google, which you might be able to interpret better than me.

    I'm not sure why Yamaha is using ISIS on the new motor, on push bikes ISIS is reckoned not to last as long as square taper, which is one of the reasons why it's not really caught on.

    Having said that, I have 6,000+ miles on one of my Bosch/ISIS bikes and the bracket is not showing any sign of wear.

    Long-term support is another question, but the likes of Bosch and Yamaha tend not to leave customers high and dry.

    Exchange motors are still available for my Bosch bikes, even though they have the first generation motors which have not been fitted to new bikes for several years.

    As is so often the case, most problems can be sorted with the application of money, about £600 in the case of a Bosch motor.
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  15. OP

    Foghat Veteran

    Thanks for those insights.

    Whilst future-proofing does concern me, I'm hoping the size and status of Giant/Yamaha will indeed mean ongoing supportability. Now to find somewhere with stock and test-riding capability.....
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