- A hardtail cross country hybrid that comes in two frame styles, four sizes, and one color: gloss black. It's the most affordable electric bike model from Giant, is sold through dealers, and comes with a two-year warranty plus lifetime frame.
- Efficient and quiet SyncDrive motor is a collaboration between Giant and Yamaha. It offers up to 50 newton meters of torque and measures wheel speed, cadence, and pedal torque for smooth natural operation. Optional smartphone app for tuning.
- Good battery placement with ability to charge on or off the frame. Quality ergonomic grips and saddle, 63mm travel suspension fork with basic preload adjustment, tubeless-ready tires with range of PSI options. Smooth hydraulic disc brakes.
- Minimalist button pad LED display is durable and easy to use but limited on readouts. Bike does not come with a kickstand, but the dealer might include for free. No lights, fenders, or rear rack stock but plenty of mounting options to add post-purchase. Limited 100 RPM cadence support from motor and no shift detection. Mid-step frame doesn't have bottle bosses.
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.
- This is Giant’s most affordable electric 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 gloss black with gray accents.
- Giant is one of the worlds largest bicycle manufacturers. They have a women-specific brand called Liv and a model called the ROVE E+ that is very very similar to the Roam E+ except for the color and minor geometry differences. They are priced the same and use the same motor, battery pack, button pad, suspension, and drivetrain.
- 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 Roam E+ is Giant’s most affordable electric model, at the time of this review, and that makes it a great option for young people, students, and anyone on a budget. That said, 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 small mid-step frame and felt very comfortable on it, even though medium or large would probably be a better fit. 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.
- 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. 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.
- The bike looks very professional and almost like a regular bicycle, 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. this guard also helps to reduce chain drops and can protect the motor and bottom bracket area from obstacle strikes.
- Excellent weight distribution with both the 7.7lb 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 a clear sticker slap guard on the right chain stay and plastic grommets on cable entry/exit points all around the frame.
- I love that the frame and fork have mounting points and threaded bosses for attaching aftermarket fenders and racks. This ebike could perform well as a commuting bike if you wanted it to.
- Really good drivetrain for an entry-point ebike. 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 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), 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.
- Even though the button pad display is very simple and minimalist, it is easy to reach and simple to understand. I appreciate the dedicated power button, + and – buttons, and the walk-mode button at the bottom. To get walk mode working, press the dedicated button and then hold +. The speed of walk mode may vary depending on the gear you are in.
- The battery pack slides out from the side, which allowed Giant to keep the top tube lower on the mid-step and have the bottle cage mount on the high-step. The locking core seemed high quality. You can charge the pack on or off the frame for convenience and protection. 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.
- Great battery charger here, it only weighs a pound and a half, is fairly compact, and is faster than average at 3 amps vs. 2 amps. the charger does not require any dongles like some of the other products from Giant and Yamaha.
- 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 bike does not come with a kickstand, but it has nice mounting points to add one aftermarket. The Giant dealership I worked with installed one and said they often include it for free for customers. I think kickstands are useful and was very happy to have it, I love how it offered tool-free adjustable length.
- The bike was heavier than expected, especially considering it doesn’t come with fenders, a rear rack, or lights installed. I test rode the small mid-step frame and it weighed 50lbs with the kickstand installed. This probably has to do with the spring fork, steel cage pedals, and heavy 7.7lb battery pack. Given the ~400 watt hour capacity, I suspect the pack would be lighter if it used higher energy density cells like the new 21700 design.
- The locking cylinder and charge port are positioned on the left side of the frame. This is the side that lays down towards the ground if you don’t have a kickstand. Even if you do have one, the bike still leans to the left which angles them down and makes the harder to reach. The charging port is very close to the left crank arm so be careful to avoid contact and snagging if the pedals get spun backwards while the charge plug is in.
- Given that the bike only comes in black, and is designed as a hybrid to be used on light trails or urban environments, it would be nice if it had more reflectivity. I’d love to see dark reflective stickers or the logo that blend in, reflective sidewall stripes on the tires (which are made by Giant, so it seems like they could add them pretty easily?) and I would love integrated lights. I know they are trying to keep the price low, but it’s not a super affordable bike and safety is something I value a lot.
- the suspension fork performs well, but offers very limited adjustability. I was expecting to see a lockout or compression adjust clicker. 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 seat tube 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 Core mid-drive is quiet and efficient, but it isn’t as powerful as the others with just 50nm of torque output potential. I also noticed that it has a lower max RPM output around 100 vs. 120 like the high performance motors. This means you could lose motor support if you shift to a low gear and “spin” quickly to climb. Probably not a big deal for most neighborhood riders, but worth pointing out.
- The motor does not have shift detection, like many others, but this can lead to additional wear and stress on the chain, derailleur, and sprockets. Be sure to ease off pressure when pedaling and shifting to reduce load and wear.
- 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.
- The display panel is pretty basic, just 5 LEDs for assist level and 5 more LEDs for battery charge capacity. Each dot represents 20% so it’s not as precise. There is no info about current speed, trip distance, odometer etc. without using the optional Bluetooth smartphone app called RideControl.