Specialized Creo SL Expert versus Giant Road-e Pro?

bbell

New Member
Creo owner - lots of variables in your question. I live in CA and am able to keep my heart rate below 150 on my rides here if I want to (above 160 and I quickly run out of breath). There's a local 20 mile ride with a 14% grade for 1000 ft or so in the middle of the ride. Initially I couldn't do it but realized I was just trying to go too fast. I now let my HR dictate the speed and can climb it easily though slowly (4-7 mph) in full Creo assist mode.

As far as keeping up with other riders you I can go full power for 30 miles and 2000ft elevation with a range extender. That will put me above 20 mph on the flats. On eco (lowest power) I can go 70 miles at around 15 mph kicking it up to full on climbs. You can carry a second range extender and increase those distances by about 1/3.
 

kcflyer1957

New Member
Region
USA
Do any members have experience riding both the Specialized Creo and the Giant Road-e Pro?

I'm 66 years old and have cardiac sarcoidosis. This condition causes inflammation and scarring of the heart tissue, with the scarring causing interruptions of the heart's electrical pathways. I am on a ton of medications and immunosuppressants and have a ICD/PPM implant. The doctors have told me to exercise and continue cycling, but to keep my heart from going over 150 BPM for extended periods.

We live in a very hilly area of West Virginia, and I was not able to control my heart rate riding my acoustic Cannondale Synapse. Before my retirement I had work assignments in the Toronto, Canada area, and discovered a 2018 Giant Road-e Pro e-bike (Size Large) at the Giant Toronto store. Long story short, I purchased the bike and eventually got it back home to West Virginia.

The bike is fantastic and allowed me to ride with my fellow club riders on even the hilliest rides and keep my HR at 150 or below. After riding the bike for almost two years, I have the following observations:

1. The bike is extremely powerful with lots of torque. I do 95% of my riding in the Eco mode, only switching up to the Basic mode on the steepest and longest hills. That leaves three (3) higher assist modes that I never use....

2. The bike is heavy. It weighs 44 lbs. with a bottle cage and pedals. I don't notice it riding, but loading/unloading gets old.

3. Being a Canadian spec model, this unit's assist stops at 20 MPH. This has not been an issue 90% of the time; but when I'm with a group on flat or rolling terrain, and the pace is over 20 MPH, it can be a real effort to keep the 44 lb. bike rolling at the group's pace. Anything above 21 to 22 mph is difficult to maintain for any distance.

I'm wondering if the less powerful and lighter Creo will allow me to continue to ride up the steepest climbs and maintain my HR below 150 BPM. I've told my local Specialized dealer that I would really like to test ride a Creo to answer this question, but he isn't inclined to bring one in for demo or stock.

Hoping some members would be able to give some insight on the comparison of these two bikes.

Thanks,

Bill

PS - Even if I spring for a Creo; I'm planning on putting larger gravel tires on the Giant, and ride it on our Class 1 restricted rail trails and multi-purpose trails.
I own both a Giant Road E (purchased in 2016) and a Creo (purchased last March). I would say that yes, you could do it on the Creo. The biggest difference is that the transition is so smooth on the Creo that you don't notice that you are being assisted unless you are in turbo mode. You know you are, but the Giant has a bit of a "push" at times that lets you know you are riding an ebike.. You just go on the Creo. If feels more natural than the Giant. I have a Creo Evo, and it weighs in at just under 30 pounds. I've ridden a few times with the assist turned off and it rides a LOT like my Specialized Diverge. I have hauled both in the back of my SUV, and the Creo is noticeably easier to lift and move.
 

Saratoga Dave

Well-Known Member
I reviewed this thread again when it popped up today and paid more attention the location: West Virginia. My Captain at the police department‘s father was an original WV guy from the Hurricane area and always said that if you flattened out West Virginia it would be bigger than Texas. Ain’t no hills in WV, just straight up and straight down. Sort of argues against the Creo in that sense, perhaps. Did you make a decision so far?

I have A/Fib so I am familiar with the fun that can be had when my heart goes over that 150 threshold. Not so good, unfortunately.
 

wrshultz

New Member
I reviewed this thread again when it popped up today and paid more attention the location: West Virginia. My Captain at the police department‘s father was an original WV guy from the Hurricane area and always said that if you flattened out West Virginia it would be bigger than Texas. Ain’t no hills in WV, just straight up and straight down. Sort of argues against the Creo in that sense, perhaps. Did you make a decision so far?

I have A/Fib so I am familiar with the fun that can be had when my heart goes over that 150 threshold. Not so good, unfortunately.
Thanks for your response. Yes; West Virginia doesn't have mountains, but we have lots of steep hills. No, I haven't made up my mind yet, but I'm leaning toward ordering a Creo SL Expert. I was fortunate enough to have a LBS that let me test ride a Creo E5 on a 30 mile regular route with our riding group. My observations were as follows:
1. The Creo doesn't have as much overall power as the Giant Road-e.
2. The Creo can be ridden with the assist off on flat roads, which is very hard to do on the 44 lb. Giant Road-e. I rode 10 miles (flats and downhills) with no assist, and remaining 20 miles in Sport (level 2). I used Eco (level 1) only for a short time, and never used Turbo (level 3).
3. The Creo (even the E5 aluminum frame model) is much lighter than the Giant, and you can feel it in the bike's handling.
4. I had to use Sport (assist level 2) on the longer and steeper climbs with the Creo, where I normally use the Eco (lowest of 5 assist levels) on the Giant.
5. I also had to use Sport (assist level 2) on faster sections of flat and rolling roads when the group pace got above 20 mph. I would struggle under this circumstance on the Giant, (because being a Canadian model) the assist would cut of at 20 mph.
6. I found the factory Eco (lowest assist) on the Creo, really doesn't help very much in our riding terrain.
7. Didn't really ride it enough to tell about battery life, but it appears the Creo will need the Range Extender on most rides in our area over 55-60 miles.

I'm willing to try the Creo; because I think it will be more like riding an analog bike, with assist when I need it. I also think it will be more fun on group rides. It will make me work harder and become a stronger rider (up to a HR restricted level).

My seat of the pants 2 cents worth on the comparison. Thanks to all that contributed to the thread!

Bill
 

jodi2

Active Member
2. The Creo can be ridden with the assist off on flat roads, which is very hard to do on the 44 lb. Giant Road-e. I rode 10 miles (flats and downhills) with no assist, and remaining 20 miles in Sport (level 2). I used Eco (level 1) only for a short time, and never used Turbo (level 3).
6. I found the factory Eco (lowest assist) on the Creo, really doesn't help very much in our riding terrain.
7. Didn't really ride it enough to tell about battery life, but it appears the Creo will need the Range Extender on most rides in our area over 55-60 miles.
I think you underestimate level1. On my long 68 mile ride with others (slightly fitter and much fitter) I used mostly level1 and in the last part I even tuned level1 down to 25% in the app, that's 60W. Very rarely I used level2 and to my suprise left everyone behind. If you really need level2/more than 100W allday to keep up with others you may just have a bad day or the others are really really fit/professionals. Only riding alone I tend to use to much level2/to much motor support uphill, as I want to leave the hills behind. If I ride with others I realize that level2 is mostly already unnatural/"superhuman".
At least uphill this is my experience (our motor limit here is 25km/h or 16mph), but the important thing should be the power/the watts, not the speed.

Your range estimation is right I think, in mostly level2 you may not reach 55-60 miles only with the main battery. But in level1 (which is enough for longer rides with others I still believe...) you will. The good thing ist, you are not in a hurry, you don't have to decide anything now. Take a Creo and if you find out after a while that the main battery is not enough for you, buy the Extender. But keep in mind that's it's only +50%/160Wh extra, not +85%/209Wh or +100%/250Wh like some other assist drives like Fazua or X.35 with smaller main battery.
 

abercrombie

Member
My first eBike was the Giant Quick+ E with the main difference with the Road e being fenders and drop bar. My second eBike was the Creo just purchased late last year.

Aside from the power, which has been discussed prior in this thread is the feel of aluminum vs. carbon. Often, my hands and feet would feel the brunt of going over bumps at high speed. It even may have resulted in micro-fractures since at times after a riding on the Giant, it felt like I hurt my ankle. Overall, my whole body would feel more beat up riding the eBike than my normal analog carbon bike. The Creo is more like the analog carbon bike in terms of compliance. I can ride full speed over bumps and my body won't pay the price.

Still have the Giant which I have loaded with saddle bags for errands, but it's probably the last aluminum frame + aluminum fork that I ever buy.