Giant electric bike review – Explore E+1 2020

So here is my Giant electric bike review for the Giant Explore E+1 electric hybrid bike (2020 model) …

Product Name: Giant Explore E+1 Electric Bike
Frame Size: M
Hybrid/ Adventure/Commuting
500WH Lithium Iron
Giant Syncdrive Sport ( Mid -Drive)
Where to buy: Tredz



Giant Electric Bike Review – Intro

Shortly after the first lockdown in July 2020, I was on the lookout for a hybrid long-range electric bike that would be a good ‘All rounder’ for commuting to work and would perform well on or off-road. After many weeks of research, I had whittled the list down to 3 contenders – Vanmoof S3, Cowboy, and Giant Explore E+1.  All 3 are superb bikes, but I just felt the Giant was the most versatile and best value for money overall for how I wanted to use the bike.

My Checklist:

1. Rider Comfort – Easy to control and comfortable on longer trips
2. Battery Accessibility – Can be easily be removed and charged on or off the bike
3. Good Range – Suitable for riding to the office and back home on a single charge (15.5mile each way)
4. Practicality – Had to be ‘commuter ready’ ie mudguards, lights, and pannier rack
5. Performance / Power – Suitable for different terrains including off-road
6. Build Quality – Reliability very important

First Impressions
Giant ebike review

For me, how the bike looked was a big deal! I loved the way Giant had integrated the battery into the frame geometry which made the bike look ‘whole’ rather than bits bolted on to the frame which can sometimes look odd.

I was also drawn to the contrasting blue frame detailing which really stood out and looks great against the metallic black paintwork. In my view this perfectly complements the eX 2, (Tubeless Ready) matt black rims completing the overall look.

At first glance the Explore does not scream out ‘I’m an electric bike’ and would not draw unwanted attention – overall this is a very handsome looking machine.


Riding position, comfort, and controls

Each to their own on this one, but the riding position on the Giant Explore E+1 for me was just right. I usually prefer the mountain bike-type riding positions as these are more comfortable for long-distance rides and give me better control while off-roading in the woods.

Grip Control

The handlebars are nice and wide making you feel very much in control and the handle grips which have palm rests are very comfortable.

I am 5’9 and weigh about 95 Kilos and went for the medium frame which was a good size for me. I have heard from some other owners of this bike that on the next framesize down, the handlebars are narrower which can make the bike feel less sturdy.


The control panel is conveniently located next to the left grip and is very easy to use while riding. On the panel, you can switch between levels of assist, trip information, and also control lights ( which is a nice touch). All the buttons, levers, and gear shifters on the Explore feel well made and of good quality.Ride Control Evo

The Explore E+1 comes with the Giant Evo display panel located right in the center of the handlebars which looks very neat and I can see everything from assistance level, battery level, expected range, speed, and distance when riding.


Giant electric bike reviewSo what is the Giant Explore E+1 like to ride?

The first time I rode the Giant Explore + 1 I was impressed and it certainly delivered! It has a nice ‘boost’ once you start peddling and I felt in full control almost immediately. The Shimano Deore gearing system is one of the best out there and shifting through the gears was smooth and the shifters were ergonomically comfortable. Braking is excellent with the Tektro hydraulic discs it stops on a sixpence which is required as the bike alone weighs around 26kg.

Over the past year, I have put this bike in front of some pretty horrendous inclines, especially off-road but it powers up them no problem and I continue to be impressed at how well the Explore + 1 performs in this regard.

Giant electric bike reviewThere is a lot of bike here for the money (£2600) which gets you arguably one of the best mid-drive motors on the market alongside Bosch so if you enjoy riding off-road you will not be disappointed. I found on the trails I was fully in control and the bike felt very ‘nimble’ considering its weight.

The Explore is an electric hybrid bike, so it feels very much at home on the roads too. I have been commuting on this bike 3 times a week and so far I have not encountered ANY reliability issues.

Overall this bike feels very sturdy when riding at speed, the lights are controlled by a button on the handlebars which is a nice touch, and the gravel tires which come as standard provide extra confidence in the winter when the roads are icy.

I usually use pannier bags attached to the rack which contain my laptop, extra clothes, etc and I don’t feel the extra weight at all.

In the UK where I live, Ebikes are limited to 15.5mph which is frustrating, to be honest, Down the hills or in the woods, this is not really an issue, however on the flats once you hit that limit the motor stops ‘Assisting’ and its all down to you if you want to go faster – you can definitely feel the weight of the bike when this happens.

This is, of course, no reflection on this particular model and will happen on any standard Ebike bought in the UK/EU but for me, even another 5mph extra would be just right in my humble opinion.


Battery and RangeGiant Ebike Review

The E+1 comes with a Giant Energypack 500wh lithium-ion rechargeable battery which as I mentioned earlier, is integrated into the frame. What I like is the battery can be removed very easily with a key and the charging port is on the actual battery so I have the option to charge it on or off the bike.

The actual charger that comes with the bike is not too bulky and usually takes 3 -4 hours to fully charge from empty and the charging port is covered with a neat protective rubber cap.

This is definitely a long-range electric bike that Giant claims will give you approx between 80 – 110 miles of range however as I have found this can vary dramatically depending on a variety of external factors ie Temperature, weight, wind resistance, and of course what level of assistance you are using.

To provide a real-world example from my own experience – My commute is 15.5 miles into the office, so on a single full charge, I usually cycle in ‘Normal’ assist using ‘Sport’ & ‘Sport+’ occasionally for some of the steeper hills.

By the time I arrive at work I have usually depleted around 30% of the battery so I don’t have any anxiety about whether I have enough power to get home which was an important factor for me when choosing this bike. I have found in hot temperatures or very cold weather the battery does deplete quicker but not by much.

See below from Giants Website in KM what they claim the range is for this battery with the Syncdrive Sport motor (standard with the Explore E+1) in KM which is fairly accurate to my experience so far.

Energypack Graph

Performance / Power and Assistance
Syncdrive Sport

This bike is quick! The Explore E+1 is a class 1 ‘pedelec’ and comes with a mid-drive Giant SyncDrive Sport (Yamaha) motor which puts out 80NM (Newton Meters) of torque so it absolutely eats the hills for breakfast. To put this into context, in the highest assist level the Explore + 1 will output 360 x the effort you are putting in.

At times when the motor is ‘Cold,’ you can definitely hear it in action, but it is certainly not what I would call loud and does get quieter after a few miles.


Conclusion – Giant Explore E+1 Review ( 2020) Electric Hybrid Bike

The Giant Explore E+1  is a quality, versatile electric hybrid bike from a well-respected brand that so far has ticked all of the boxes. In my view, this is a solid   ‘All Rounder’ that makes you feel like there are no limitations on where you can ride and for how long. I absolutely love riding this bike and would strongly recommend it.

==>>Buy your Giant Explore E+1 Here<<==

I hope you enjoyed this Giant Ebike Review and please feel free to drop me any questions you have on this bike or if you would like to leave your own review please comment below.

Giant Explore E+1













  • Value For Money
  • Commuter Ready
  • Quality Components
  • Looks Great
  • Rider Experience


  • Saddle Comfort
  • Heavy
  • Phone App needs work

14 thoughts on “Giant electric bike review – Explore E+1 2020”

  1. The Explore E+1 2020 is indeed a giant ebike. A price tag of £2600 is on the high side, but this ebike is worth it from all indications. The features that this incredible gaint ebike comes with are so amazing. Buying the Explore E+1 2020 will definitely not end up in regrets and complains. Thanks for this review article, it was helpful.

    • Thanks Nelson, glad you found it helpful – its a great bike and definately worth the money in my view. The 2021 version has now come out and it looks amazing. let me know if you ever want any pointers on other ebikes out there that you might be interested in as I would be happy to help. Dan

  2. I just purchased a 5 months old explore e +1 and its so smooth to ride
    Have rides a few e bikes and this is the rolls Royce in my opinion
    So much power that I don’t need the top power and can use it without the power on easily
    Ride evo dash with sat nav from the app is unreal and a game changer for me
    This is an awesome bike and if anyone is thinking about getting one then do it
    I can’t keep off mine
    I never found any reviews that really answered my questions before I bought the bike
    Hope this helps anyone thinking about this bike

    • Hi David, great to hear from a fellow owner – over 2000K so far on mine and no reliability issues. Took it to Giant recently for a Service where they replaced the chain and front brake pads which is expected. Ride Safe and thanks for your comments. Dan

  3. Any thoughts on the 2022 E+1? I have bought one and notice motor cuts out as I change down in power assist. I cant find any descriptions of how software works or HOW to ride this ebike. I know its good but how can I ride mist efficiently.
    Any leads most welcome
    Ged Rodgers
    Castlemaine Australia

    • Hi Ged, I haven’t yet ridden the 2022 model as my review is based on the 2020 version, however, this may be a sensor that Giant has installed to elongate the lifespan of the gearset/components. It makes sense for the motor to cut out when changing gear to reduce stresses on the drive chain. If this is the case then it shouldn’t be something that impedes the rider experience. Does it do the same when you change up gears? There is an incredible amount of torque being put on the gear set so I tend to ease off the pedals when changing gear. Worth also noting that these motors only engage when peddling.

  4. Hi, Just bought a 2022 model last week, upgraded from a Giant Roam as i wanted to ride more distance, could get 80km from the roam on level 3, did 52km last week on the explore and used 40% of the much larger battery, great bike to ride but undecided on how much Giant has exaggerated the distance as there chart indicates 200km on good conditions, don’t think i would get anything near that even on level 2, if anyone from Giant reads this happy to have a conversation with you, also as the other person said there seems to be a lot of drag on the motor when cuts out and nilly impossible to peddle much faster. I noticed with the sensers on level 5 the bike still only delivers the power required, yes the Roam gave the power up front as you raised the level, great bike to ride but not sure if this is the correct bike for myself. Cheers

    • Hi Terry, lots to factor in when trying to gauge range as it depends on what level of assist, the weather etc etc. On my model, the range is pretty good and I could get a good 50-60 miles out of it on a single full charge at a push just using varying levels of assist. When the motor cuts out I guess you do feel it as per my review but then again you are carrying 26KG plus the weight of the rider.

    • My is the 2022 bike. Beautiful to look at and comfy to ride. I have done plenty of touring on normal bikes with daily distances 70 to 110km. First big ride on explorer on fairly flat sealed road with no headwind and no load (besides myself) on levels 1 and 2 and it ran outa juice at 85km. Given metrice for levels 1 and 2 are 160 to 180km. At present in for a battery check.

  5. Hello,
    Thanks for such a helpful review.
    Yes, I’m certainly interested in this model of Giant, as an upgrade on my trusty Batribike 26″ model.
    I too do a daily commute and have covered 6000+ miles on the clock.
    My current Batribike is more old school, with a front hub motor, an internal rear gearbox and the battery mounted on a rack, with a front V brake and a less than adequate rear roller brake. But it’s been a faithful servant since May 2017 and only cost £980 new, so I have no issues on the value I’ve gotten out of it.
    The new Giant models, with mid-drive, hydraulic disc brakes and the battery in the lower frame area, is really the best upgrade I require. There other features too are more up to date than others, and, although I’m biased towards buying a new Raleigh, particularly the Motus, I think in all honesty, and with more reviews looked at, this model from Giant could well be my next replacement.
    The price is high, yes, but I would expect it to last a long time, 5-10 yrs in service, should be no issue. I do my own servicing and repairs too, and, if it is as reliable as my faithful Batribike, which I’ll point out, has had no battery or electrical issues at all, and still holds a fair charge, I won’t have any qualms on buying one.
    Apologies for other namedropping, but, it’s adds to the context.
    Now all I need to do is find a good deal!
    Stay safe.

  6. I really enjoy my new giant explore e except for the range on a full battery. Riding on levels 1 (eco) and 2 (tour) it only took me 80km rather than the 180/160km as advertised with no load but myself (100kg) along a reasonalby flattish road (nothing steep) and not much wind. I was hoping to get at least over the 120km mark.

    • Hi Stephen, unfortunately there are many variables in play with advertised range which include rider weight,the level of assist being used and even the weather.


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