Giant Explore E+ 2 GTS Review

2022 Giant Explore E Plus 2 Gts Electric Bike Review
2022 Giant Explore E Plus 2 Gts
2022 Giant Explore E Plus 2 Gts Syncdrive Sport Motor 70nm Torque Rating
2022 Giant Explore E Plus 2 Gts Energypak Smart 500 Battery
2022 Giant Explore E Plus 2 Gts Ridedash Evo Color Lcd Display
2022 Giant Explore E Plus 2 Gts Left Grip LED Control Pad With Usb C Port
2022 Giant Explore E Plus 2 Gts Contact Ergo Max Grips With Bar End And Trigger Shifters
2022 Giant Explore E Plus 2 Gts 9 Speed Microshift 11 42 Tooth Cassette
2022 Giant Explore E Plus 2 Gts 42 Tooth Chainring With Guard Pedals
2022 Giant Explore E Plus 2 Gts Adjustable Kickstand Bolt On Rack
2022 Giant Explore E Plus 2 Gts Back Axa Blueline Light 2 Led
2022 Giant Explore E Plus 2 Gts Crosscut Gravel Tires With Reflective Stripe 180mm Disc Brakes
2022 Giant Explore E Plus 2 Gts Ebike
2022 Giant Explore E Plus 2 Gts Front Axa Blueline 30 Headlight
2022 Giant Explore E Plus 2 Gts Left Side
2022 Giant Explore E Plus 2 Gts Rear Rack With MIK Platform And Bungee Cord
2022 Giant Explore E Plus 2 Gts Selle Royal Vivo Ergo Saddle
2022 Giant Explore E Plus 2 Gts Sr Suntour Nlo Ds Spring Suspension Fork
2022 Giant Explore E Plus 2 Gts User Manual 3 Amp Charger
2022 Giant Explore E Plus 2 Gts Battery Charger And Adapter Plug
2022 Giant Explore E Plus 2 Gts High Step Metallic Navy Blue
2022 Giant Explore E Plus 2 Gts Electric Bike Review
2022 Giant Explore E Plus 2 Gts
2022 Giant Explore E Plus 2 Gts Syncdrive Sport Motor 70nm Torque Rating
2022 Giant Explore E Plus 2 Gts Energypak Smart 500 Battery
2022 Giant Explore E Plus 2 Gts Ridedash Evo Color Lcd Display
2022 Giant Explore E Plus 2 Gts Left Grip LED Control Pad With Usb C Port
2022 Giant Explore E Plus 2 Gts Contact Ergo Max Grips With Bar End And Trigger Shifters
2022 Giant Explore E Plus 2 Gts 9 Speed Microshift 11 42 Tooth Cassette
2022 Giant Explore E Plus 2 Gts 42 Tooth Chainring With Guard Pedals
2022 Giant Explore E Plus 2 Gts Adjustable Kickstand Bolt On Rack
2022 Giant Explore E Plus 2 Gts Back Axa Blueline Light 2 Led
2022 Giant Explore E Plus 2 Gts Crosscut Gravel Tires With Reflective Stripe 180mm Disc Brakes
2022 Giant Explore E Plus 2 Gts Ebike
2022 Giant Explore E Plus 2 Gts Front Axa Blueline 30 Headlight
2022 Giant Explore E Plus 2 Gts Left Side
2022 Giant Explore E Plus 2 Gts Rear Rack With MIK Platform And Bungee Cord
2022 Giant Explore E Plus 2 Gts Selle Royal Vivo Ergo Saddle
2022 Giant Explore E Plus 2 Gts Sr Suntour Nlo Ds Spring Suspension Fork
2022 Giant Explore E Plus 2 Gts User Manual 3 Amp Charger
2022 Giant Explore E Plus 2 Gts Battery Charger And Adapter Plug
2022 Giant Explore E Plus 2 Gts High Step Metallic Navy Blue

Summary

  • A hardtail cross country hybrid that comes in two frame styles, four sizes, and one color: metallic navy blue. Feature-complete with fenders, rear rack, and lights. Sold through dealers with excellent service and two-year warranty.
  • Powerful SyncDrive Sport motor is a collaboration between Giant and Yamaha. It offers up to 70 newton meters of torque and measures wheel speed, cadence, pedal torque, acceleration, and slope for smooth and quick operation. Premium integrated lights with good side visibility.
  • Good battery placement with ability to charge on or off the frame. Quality ergonomic grips with adjustable bar ends. Very comfortable saddle and adjustable 63mm travel suspension fork, tubeless-ready tires with reflective sidewalls. Tektro hydraulic disc brakes with 180mm rotors.
  • Excellent control pad design with USB-C charging port built in paired with bright color LCD display panel and smartphone app with motor tuning. The suspension fork does not have lockout and the preload clickers can be difficult to access. Battery charger requires a dongle to charge the pack off the bike, which adds clutter and could get lost.

Video Review

Introduction

Make:

Giant

Model:

Explore E+ 2 GTS

Price:

$3,450

Body Position:

Forward

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Urban, Trail

Electric Bike Class:

Pedal Assist (Class 1)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

2 Year Comprehensive, 1 Year Battery, Lifetime Frame

Availability:

United States, Canada

Model Year:

2022

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

58.7 lbs (26.62 kg)

Battery Weight:

9.5 lbs (4.3 kg)

Motor Weight:

7.43 lbs (3.37 kg)

Frame Material:

ALUXX SL-Grade Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

17.1 in (43.43 cm)19.1 in (48.51 cm)21.1 in (53.59 cm)23 in (58.42 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

19" Seat Tube, 22" Reach, 29.5" Stand Over Height, 33" Minimum Saddle Height, 28.25" Width, 44" Wheelbase, 73.5" Length

Frame Types:

High-Step, Mid-Step

Frame Colors:

Satin Metallic Navy Blue

Frame Fork Details:

SR Suntour NLO DS Spring Suspension, 63mm Travel, Preload Adjust, 100mm Hub Spacing, 9mm Axle with Quick Release Skewer

Frame Rear Details:

142mm Hub Spacing, 9mm Axle with Quick Release Skewer

Attachment Points:

Bottle Cage Bosses on High-Step Only, Rear Rack Mounts, Fender Mounts

Gearing Details:

9 Speed 1x9 microSHIFT Advent Derailleur with 11-42 Tooth Cassette or Shimano Alivio Derailleur with 11-36 Tooth Cassette

Shifter Details:

microSHIFT Advent Triggers on Right or Shimano Altus SL-M2000 Triggers on Right

Cranks:

Custom Forged Aluminum Alloy, 170mm Length, Square Tapered Bottom Bracket Interface, 42 Tooth Chainring with Alloy Guard

Pedals:

Wellgo M085 Cage Style, Steel Outer Platform with Plastic Supports

Headset:

Sealed Cartridge Bearing, Integrated, Straight 1-1/8"

Stem:

Giant Contact, 80mm Length, 7° Rise, One 10mm Spacer, Three 5mm Spacers, 31.8mm Clamp Diameter

Handlebar:

Giant Connect Riser, Low-Rise, Aluminum Alloy, 690mm Length

Brake Details:

Tektro HD-M275 Hydraulic Disc with 180mm Rotors, Dual-Piston Calipers, Two-Finger Levers with Adjustable Reach

Grips:

Giant Contact Ergo Max Plus, Ergonomic, Rubber, Locking, Adjustable Bar End Rests

Saddle:

Selle Royal Vivo Ergo Moderate

Seat Post:

Forged Aluminum Alloy, 2-Bolt Micro Adjustable Clamp

Seat Post Length:

350 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

30.9 mm

Rims:

Giant eX2, ETRTO 622x19, Aluminum Alloy, Double Wall, 28 Hole Front, 32 Hole Rear, Reinforcement Eyelets on Rear, E-Bike Optimized, Tubeless Ready

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 15 Gauge, Black with Nipples

Tire Brand:

Giant Crosscut Gravel 2, 45x622 700x45c

Wheel Sizes:

28 in (71.12cm)

Tire Details:

50 to 70 PSI, 3.4 to 4.8 BAR, Tubeless Ready, Reflective Stripe

Tube Details:

Presta Valves

Accessories:

Giant Branded Plastic Fenders (60mm Width), Bolt-On Rear Rack (Pannier Hangers, Bungee Cord, MIK Compatible, 25kg 55lb Max Load), Integrated AXA BlueLine 30 Headlight (Side Windows, 30 LUX), Integrated AXA BlueLine Rear Light (2 LED)

Other:

Locking Removable Downtube-integrated Battery Pack, Maximum 120 RPM Motor Support, 2.2lb 4 Amp Charger with Dongle Adapter

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Giant SyncDrive Sport, Powered by Yamaha

Motor Type:

Mid-Mounted Geared Motor
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

250 watts

Motor Torque:

70 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Giant EnergyPak Smart 500

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

13.8 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

496.8 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

3 hours

Estimated Min Range:

30 miles (48 km)

Estimated Max Range:

70 miles (113 km)

Display Type:

Giant RideDash Evo Display, Fixed, Adjustable Angle, 2.75" Color LCD

Readouts:

Assist Level (ECO, TOUR, ACTIVE, SPORT, POWER), Light Icon, Battery Charge Level Percentage and Infographic, Range Estimate, Odometer, Trip Distance, Avg Speed, Max Speed, Cadence

Display Accessories:

Control Button Pad on Left: +, -, SA (Smart Assist), Power, Lights, i, Walk Mode, USB C Charging Port on Right Side of Button Pad, Optional Bluetooth App (RideControl), Readouts: Battery Percentage, Motor Tuning, Map, Ride Statistics, Trip Planning, Goal Planning

Drive Mode:

Advanced Pedal Assist (Six Sensors: Rear Wheel Speed, Pedal Cadence, Pedal Torque, Slop Detection, Accelerometer, Max Support 350%)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)


Written Review

This review was provided for free using a demo bike. My goal is to be transparent and unbiased with you, this video and writeup are not meant to be an endorsement of Giant products. I welcome your corrections, additions, and feedback in the comments below, and the Giant electric bike forums.

Observations:

  • This is the fancier more powerful version of Giant’s hybrid model which is capable of being a commuting ebike or light cross country mountain bike. It comes in both High-Step GTS with four frame sizes and Mid-Step STA with three frame sizes. The only color option for the 2022 model year is satin metallic navy blue with black accents.
  • Giant is one of the worlds largest bicycle manufacturers. They have a women-specific brand called Liv and a model called the Amiti E+ 2 that is very very similar to the Explore E+ 2 mid-step model, except for the color and minor geometry differences. They use the same motor, battery pack, button pad, suspension, and drivetrain.

Pros:

  • Giant is one of the “Big Three” bicycle manufacturers including Trek and Specialized. They’ve been around since 1972 and have over 12,000 retailers worldwide. I trust that they will be around to provide support, and I appreciate the in-person dealer experience where they can help with fit and provide test rides.
  • The Explore E+ 2 is a “do anything” platform that is capable off-road on light mountain trails or gravel roads, as well as city streets. It excels with safety because of the integrated lights, reflective tires, and smart responsive motor systems. The drivetrain, motor, and battery are all high quality and I’d expect them to last.
  • I think it’s great that they offer two frame styles. The mid-step is more approachable for people with hip and knee sensitivity. I test rode the medium high-step frame and felt very comfortable on it. Benefits of the high-step include reduced frame flex, easier to lift and mount on some car racks, and it has a bottle cage mount on the seat tube. It does not appear that the mid-step version has a bottle mount.
  • In addition to the two frame styles, each version comes in several sizes. The high-step comes in four sizes and the mid-step comes in three frame sizes… or if you get the similar Liv Amiti E+ 2 step-thru it comes in four sizes! The adjustable seat post, low-rise handlebar (that can be swiveled forward or back to adjust reach), and adjustable brake levers all offer refined fit.
  • This ebike looks very professional and almost like a regular bicycle because of the integrated downtube battery pack. You can tell they scrutinized all of the details and were tasteful with labels and branding. Note the matching black suspension fork, hubs, spokes, and other hardware. Most of the wires are internally routed, so they don’t look busy and won’t get snagged as easily.
  • The chainring has an aluminum alloy guard that will protect pant legs and dress ends from touching the greasy chain or getting snagged as you pedal. this guard also helps to reduce chain drops and can protect the motor and bottom bracket area from obstacle strikes like logs and curbs.
  • Excellent weight distribution with both the 9.5lb battery pack and 7.4lb motor low and center on the frame. Since this is a mid-drive design, the wheels, hubs, and axles are all standard parts and have quick release! This makes tune-ups, wheel trueing, and flat fixes much easier.
  • The tires offer a hybrid pattern that can be efficient on paved surfaces but wide and grippy enough to handle gravel trains and some light cross-country riding. I appreciate the wide pressure rating 50 to 70 PSI! Low pressure improves comfort and traction while high pressure is quieter and more efficient for extended range.
  • The tires and rims can be run tubeless to save weight and support low PSI without the higher risk of pinch flats. This is only possible on higher quality parts… notice the reinforcement eyelets on both rims to improve strength as well!
  • Great attention to detail with plastic grommets on cable entry/exit points all around the frame. There are even cable clips to help keep the front organized! I love that the button pad is so reachable, that the bike starts in Smart Assist mode, and there’s even a dedicated button to jump back to this “set it and forget it” mode.
  • I love that the frame and fork have mounting points and threaded bosses for attaching the fenders and rack more securely. Notice the eyelets on the lowers of the suspension fork vs. plastic cuffs, and also the cafe lock mounting point on the seat stays! This ebike could perform well as a commuting bike..
  • Really good drivetrain setup. You either get a Shimano Alivio derailleur or microSHIFT Advent. They are both nine-speed and have good 11-36 tooth or 11-42 tooth cassettes. The microSHIFT derailleur even has a clutch switch to reduce derailleur movement and chain bounce. Since this is a mid-drive ebike, the additional gears really empower the motor and allow you to dial in pedal cadence for comfort and efficiency.
  • The saddle felt very comfortable, I love the locking ergonomic grips (that won’t twist or spin out of position over time), the metal bar ends that offer different hand positions for longer rides, and the minimalist suspension fork. You can adjust preload on the suspension fork by pulling off the plastic caps and twisting the dials in combination. Pre-loading the spring will improve performance for heavier riders and loads.
  • The display panel is color, and fairly large. It’s easy to read and navigate with lots of good feedback about range (based on assist level and battery charge level), pedal cadence, current speed, and you can even sync a heart rate monitor to it!
  • The battery pack is removable for easy charging at a place of work or half-way destination. I’ve heard that it’s best to avoid extreme cold and hot to extend battery lifespan and keep it at 50%+ when not in use.
  • Pretty good battery charger here, it weighs a couple of pounds, is fairly compact, and is faster than average at 4 amps vs. 2 amps like most others. The charger does require a dongle if you want to connect directly with the pack off the bike vs. the bike itself.
  • Nice smartphone app called RideControl that provides a map, system diagnostics, battery percentage and other trip readouts, as well as motor tuning (adjusting performance for each of the five assist levels). It’s the kind of app that would be nice to use during a ride, so you could mount the phone to your handlebar if you want.
  • The rear wheel speed sensor and magnet are mounted near the droput and the hub vs. using a spoke magnet. I feel that this is more secure and won’t get bumped out of position or cause as many issues. It’s a nice little upgrade.
  • I appreciate the dedicated Smart Assist button on the control pad, as well as the dedicated headlight button. If you hold the light button it turns the light on and off, but tapping it quickly adjusts the backlight brightness on the display! This is so handy for people who feel that the display is too bright and distracting… very nice minor touch and done well.
  • I love how the display shows battery percentage and is very precise vs. just having five or ten bars. I also like how the range estimate is dynamic and updates automatically as you adjust assist settings on the fly
  • The included rear rack is pretty nice. It has an MIK platform on top for use with some accessories (bags and baskets) that clip on. It also comes with a bungee cord, and has two dedicated pannier hangers that are below the top platform so it keeps weight lower and also makes panniers easier to clip on or remove.

Cons:

  • The bike is fairly heavy at 58.7lbs because of the included accessories, reinforced in-frame battery design, and the battery pack itself. Weighing 9.5lbs for a 500 watt hour battery is quite a bit more than competing products in the 6.3lb range from Bosch and 7-8lb range Shimano and Brose from what I’ve seen. I think Giant is using less energy dense cells, which tend to cost less but are still reliable.
  • The charge port is positioned on the left side of the frame, down by the crank arms and pedals. It requires you to bend down to reach and seems a bit more crowded and vulnerable to snags there. I do appreciate the included kickstand, which is tool-free adjustable to get the bike in the perfect position for charging or battery removal.
  • Removing the battery pack is a bit more time consuming and difficult because there’s not a lot of room between the downtube and front fender. I also dislike that the interface for the pack is different than the port on the frame. Perhaps they could have put the port on the pack itself and then used one plug from the battery to avoid the extra cord attachment?
  • The suspension fork performs well, but offers very limited adjustability. I was expecting to see a lockout or compression adjust clicker at this price point. They used the same suspension fork as the entry level Giant Roam E+ which I reviewed here. The preload dials are nice, but difficult to reach under the plastic caps (careful not to crack them or lose them). I think many people would miss them entirely.
  • If you opt for the step-thru mid-step frame like the one I reviewed and photographed here, note that it does not have bottle cage bosses on the downtube like the high-step model. It’s too bad they couldn’t fit them or come up with an alternative. Consider a handlebar mounted cup holder or rear rack and trunk bag with bottle holster.
  • Due to supply chain constraints, I’ve noticed many companies speccing different components on the website vs. what is actually used. This was the case for the Roam E+ STA that I covered, which had microSHIFT Advent derailleur and shifters vs. Shimano Alivo. Not a big deal in my opinion, the parts still performed well :)
  • The SyncDrive Sport mid-drive is powerful (up to 70nm of torque and 350% feedback) and very responsive (supporting up to 120 RPM pedaling). It’s not quite as quiet or energy efficient as the SyncDrive Core used on the Giant Roam E+, but I much prefer the ride experience. I was surprised that both models use the same capacity battery pack even though this one will use power faster and costs much more? Neither motor offers shift detection, so ease off as you change gears so you and the motor don’t harm the chain or sprockets.
  • I was surprised to not see a slap guard sticker on the bike to protect the right chain stay from scratches if you ride off-road and the chain bounces around. I also feel that they could have fit two bottle cage mounts on the high-step (adding one on the seat tube).
  • I don’t love the pedals. They are a bit narrow and use steel outer sections that could rust if scratched. I have noticed that these “cage” pedals can get sharp if bike is laid down (if you don’t have a kickstand) or pushed in and deformed over time. Thankfully, replacements like the Wellgo BMX aluminum alloy platform are very affordable and easy to swap.
  • This is a small thing, but I like when ebikes come with bells… especially city oriented commuting type bikes. It improves safety and would be nice to see on this model given the price.
  • The headlight is mounted to the arch of the suspension, so it’s unsprung and can bounce a lot more than if it was mounted to the stem or handlebar. I love that it’s aimable and has the side windows, just a minor point about where it’s mounted. I also want to mention that I feel walk mode comes on very strong with many of the Giant ebikes I’ve tried, maybe the gear you’re in also plays a role… but they usually seem pretty abrupt.

Resources:

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Comments (6) YouTube Comments

Gary
1 month ago

I own this bike and after riding it for some time, I think your pros and cons are spot on. I do like the bike. It is heavy.

  Reply
Court
4 weeks ago

Thanks Gary! It’s encouraging to hear that gan owner agrees with my insights. I go as deep as I can with limited time, and try to leave the comments and community open for feedback. I hope that in general, you are loving the bike. Thanks again for chiming in :)

  Reply
Pierre Gagne
1 week ago

Boujour, j’aime le fait que vous avez insisté sur le fait qu’il faut être poli avec le changement de vitesse par rapport à la puissance du moteur qui n’est pas a négliger. Je préfère le Shifter Micro Shift par ce qu’il est maniable qu’avec le pouce pour monter ou descendre de vitesse et que les rapport entre les vitesses sont plus court. Merci!

  Reply
Court
1 week ago

Merci pour vos commentaires! Je pense qu’il est bon d’être conscient de la façon dont le changement de vitesse est effectué sur un vélo électrique avec le moteur à entraînement moyen, afin que la transmission ne soit pas trop sollicitée. MicroSHFIT semble faire du bon matériel :)

  Reply
Brian McDonough
6 days ago

Does the motor on this ebike have a reduction gear, or, is it 1 to 1 gearing like the latest generation Bosch motors? Could you address/identify this particular issue in future reviews as I have found bikes with a reduction gear require me to be King Kong in order to ride home when a battery or motor issue crops up. I really enjoy your ebike reviews and refer all my friends to your website before they make a final choice on a new ebike. Thanks and best regards, Brian

  Reply
Court
6 days ago

Hi Brian, the chainring is full sized and spins one-to-one with your pedal cadence. I think the motor freewheels when you ride without assist or exceed the 20mph top speed. This is feedback based on my experience riding and not opening the motor. Perhaps you could find more answers in the forums or on the Yamaha motor website?

  Reply

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