Giant Explore E+ 4 GTS vs Trek Allant+ 7 vs Specialized Turbo Vado 4.0

Riverman

Member
Looking at bikes for mostly paved roads but also the occasional gravel road. 65 years old, 175 lbs. I'm more interested in how good it can climb a hill than I am speed. On my road bike I ride 15-20 miles quite a bit but anything longer is tougher on me now that I'm older. I want enough range for at least a 40 mile round trip ride once in a while with some reserve in battery to get me home if my legs get tired or my knee acts up and I want to crank up the assist. I like the idea of a suspension fork and the seat post I could always upgrade easy. Was looking hard at the Trek Allant+ 7 but then I noticed the Specialized Turbo Vado 4.0 which is a class 3 bike. I'm not against the faster bike but how much better would the Trek be on hills vs the Specialized ? The other question I have is on the Giant Explore. The dealer I talked to the other day was pushing it. Said it was their best seller. He sells the specialized but doesn't stock it. I noticed the Giant has a 400 wh battery vs 500 wh on the the other 2 bikes. Also by the time you figure the rack, fenders and lights it doesn't seem any better deal than the others. I'd like opinions on these 3 bikes or other suggestions. Thanks
 

TomD

Well-Known Member
The torque specs are similar among the three. It is nice to have the class 3-speed even if you don't plan to use it. The Vado goes off sale today. At the $1000 discount I would say that is the best option. Tomorrow after the sale the other bikes are somewhat more compelling. Especially the Trek since I believe you can mount a spare battery on the frame. Forget about 400 watt hour battery. It is not going to work for you for a 40 mile ride with hills.
 

MAPC

Active Member
Order a Turbo Vado today before the rebate ends. It is a screaming deal for a bike of this quality build, LBS support and components. I had researched bikes to death and when I found out about this (effective) 30% discount, I jumped in. I also liked the Allant but the price difference was huge.
 

Riverman

Member
Order a Turbo Vado today before the rebate ends. It is a screaming deal for a bike of this quality build, LBS support and components. I had researched bikes to death and when I found out about this (effective) 30% discount, I jumped in. I also liked the Allant but the price difference was huge.
I probably should have but I'm just not that far into my research and I hate to rush. Rode my old carbon fiber road bike today and survived.
 

Browneye

Well-Known Member
I don't need or want fenders and all that stuff, and the Yamaha drive is the best out of them, so going Giant was a foregone conclusion.

All three brands are very good bikes - you can't miss with any of them. If you go for the newest ones with a 700+ watt pack you'll have some stellar range. IMO, 700c wheels are the shiznit.

The Brose motor in Specialized is good, it's quiet and performs well, as does the Bosche drive in the Trek. All have similar range - the Explore will easily get you forty miles.

I got a leftover '19 Explore E=2 for a steal-deal. Love the bike.

 

TomD

Well-Known Member
I probably should have but I'm just not that far into my research and I hate to rush. Rode my old carbon fiber road bike today and survived.

You still have 2.5 hours. You you have 15 days to return the bike if ordered online. Order one, cancel if your research leads you in another direction.
 

e-boy

Well-Known Member
"Forget about 400 watt hour battery. It is not going to work for you for a 40 mile ride with hills."
 

TomD

Well-Known Member
As far as the Giant Explore E+ 4 GTS, I think the reason it's a best seller is it competes very well on entry level price. It has a SyncDrive Sport motor which the Giant version of the Yamaha PW motor with some tweaks. The Yamaha PW is a relatively peppy and quiet motor, and has proven very reliable. Unfortunately the Yamaha PW isn't known for being the most efficient motor (it's the original and oldest in the series) so not sure the Giant is best choice for your desired range with hills paired with a 400wh battery. That said, Giant may have tweaked their version of the PW to make it more efficient.

I have a 29er Rebel Lite with Yamaha PW, 400wh battery, and knobby 2.2" tires that I picked up in February for fire road use. I did my longest ride to date yesterday, roughly 25 miles with 1000' of elevation gain and a mix of gravel and pavement, more the latter. I made it home with 15% battery remaining, the bare minimum I'd want for remaining battery because it's not good to stress the cells much below ~20% capacity. I was in eco to medium assist for most of the ride except for steeper hills where I relented to full assist for shorter periods. If you are in better shape you could potentially tweak out 40 miles with efficient tires but you would have a lot less worry with a larger battery.
 
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Browneye

Well-Known Member
I can easily get 40 miles out of my Explores with the 400w pack.
The TranceE? Not so much...the 500w pack seems to give about 30 miles unless you're willing to pedal more. At 25 miles I have 20% left, or maybe ten more miles.

If I consistently wanted in excess of forty miles reliably, I would opt for one of the newest models with a 700+ watt pack - doesn't Trek and Specialized have one? You'll spend another grand just for the bigger battery pack, but range anxiety then disappears.

Giant is slated to introduce a 'range extender', an additional small pack that piggy-backs on the the main pack and connects seamlessly. Not quite here yet, and it's gonna be spendy. Only for some models - not the Explore IIRC.
 

TomD

Well-Known Member
Are you running your batteries much below 20%? I've heard that's a no no for battery health, but maybe I'm mistaken. I'm implicitly factoring that in to my range.
 

Browneye

Well-Known Member
I don't. We rarely ever go more than 25 miles or so. This is entertainment and fun for us - not transportation. By then we're ready for a beer. 🍻
If I was commuting with a bike I would be charging it at work, especially if you had a long way to travel.

If I got one way down to low-voltage shut off point, I would simply put it on the charger upon arrival and charge to 50-60% to park it.

If I was a tourer and looking for long days in the saddle I would carry an extra battery pack.

The TranceE has a nice 6a charger with a 'storage switch' that charges the pack to 60% in an hour and shuts off. lt does a full charge in about 4 hours, a top-up in 2.
 

Riverman

Member
I probably will start out with at least a 500wh system and experiment with the range till I know how far it will take me out and back. I have nothing against the Giant, I have 2 of them but it seems like they are going with the 400wh to try to push the extender battery. But it is a different price point they are going for to start out.

 

Riverman

Member
I don't. We rarely ever go more than 25 miles or so. This is entertainment and fun for us - not transportation. By then we're ready for a beer. 🍻
If I was commuting with a bike I would be charging it at work, especially if you had a long way to travel.

If I got one way down to low-voltage shut off point, I would simply put it on the charger upon arrival and charge to 50-60% to park it.

If I was a tourer and looking for long days in the saddle I would carry an extra battery pack.

The TranceE has a nice 6a charger with a 'storage switch' that charges the pack to 60% in an hour and shuts off. lt does a full charge in about 4 hours, a top-up in 2.
Most of my rides are 18 - 25 miles but once in a while I'll take the ferry and ride over in Illinois and go further. Depending on which route I go I can stay fairly flat or hit some dandy hills. If we haul our bikes to some of the rail to trail paths its all pretty flat and we usually end up riding at least 40 miles.
 

Browneye

Well-Known Member
"EnergyPak Plus" - Giant page on what it is, what it does, and what it fits: https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/energypak-plus


For Model Year 2020 EnergyPak Plus Compatible Bikes: FastRoad E+ EX Pro, Reign E+ Pro, Revolt E+ Pro, Road E+ Pro, Liv Thrive E+ EX Pro

I didn't think they were available yet, but perhaps so. I never paid much attention cuz it doesn't work with any of my bikes. [shrug] Worse, it's a 240w pack for $600. At least they're bundling it for a discount. 👍

For some Specialized models, the base version has a 500w pack, the 'comp' model has a 700+ watt pack. The bigger pack is a grand more for the Levo. It all gets kind of spendy - for deep pockets or planned extended usage/range.
 

TomD

Well-Known Member
Another option if you like your current bike is just add a mid drive kit. There are quire a few out there, even some with torque sensing




My first ebike was a BBS01 and I really liked it. No torque sensing and adds some pedal resistance but I'd say it's more powerful than my Yamaha PW.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
For some Specialized models, the base version has a 500w pack, the 'comp' model has a 700+ watt pack. The bigger pack is a grand more for the Levo. It all gets kind of spendy - for deep pockets or planned extended usage/range
You're talking e-MTB. Top shelf Vados come with the 604 Wh battery, the lower models use 500 Wh or maybe even less, depending on the bike model. The 604 Wh battery is compatible with all models and costs US$ 900 plus the cover ($25) plus perhaps an extra charger (a little above $100).
 

TMH

Well-Known Member
It seems like all of the big manufacturers are going to battery packs which are hidden in the downtube. This is great for aesthetics, and many of these newer batteries can be 700Wh +.

But these new batteries are long and thin, and therefore don't fit easily into a backpack or pannier bag.

It looks to me like the battery on the Giant bike is nearer to the old form factor of something like a Bosch PowerPack, or the Yamaha or Shimano batteries which fit more on top of the frame, instead of totally within it. Such packs fit nicely into backpacks or pannier bags.

If you can get a reasonable deal on the Giant and the (400Wh) battery is a nice size, see what Giant wants for a second battery. Then just take it with you for your longer rides. May be a workable solution.