Consumers in Ireland and the UK appear to have exclusive access to a new breed of road bike produced by Giant Bicycles.
Giant’s Road E Plus line is a completely new E-bike segment for the Taiwanese bicycle manufacturer with only two models released so far as part of the brand’s MY2016 portfolio.
Presently, the Road E+ 1 and Road E+ 2 appear exclusively on Giant’s UK and Ireland websites. While it is commonplace in the bicycle industry for brands to produce specific variations of inline models for individual markets, an entirely new product line would normally be given a wider airing in order to better recover costs and, ideally, turn a profit.
Based on web archives, the new segment appeared in the last quarter of 2015 but neither model is currently available to order according to the ‘Click & Collect’ service. This should change as the northern hemisphere enters the spring months and bicycle retailers begin fleshing out skeletal winter inventory, but it helps to explain the total lack of media coverage to date. The addition of a power train to a bicycle also adds more potential for delays to production lead-times, so it could also point to this being a limited ‘mid-MY2016’ release to solve production-side issues ahead of a full MY2017 rollout.
Intriguingly, the Road E+ 2 is being marketed as a MY2017 product while the Road E+ 1 remains listed as MY2016. Both bikes appear to use the same frame – a logical choice given the likely modest economies of scale – though a close inspection reveals more hydro-forming to the top/seat tube junction of the Road E+ 2. It should be noted that the renderings may not reflect the exact finished product, but it will be interesting to see which iteration hits the market. Even if the Road E+ form language remains distinctive from a conventional road bike, it certainly wouldn’t look too out of place on a bunch ride.
Yamaha provides the drive system which is said to produce 80Nm of torque, powered by a 500Wh or 400Wh (depending on model) lithium ion battery.
Retail prices (EUR3’899 for the Road E+ 1 and EUR3’199 for the Road E+ 2) are substantially higher than would normally be expected of a predominantly mid-range, non-series, Shimano specification so it will be interesting to see whether this is overlooked by consumers and media if the ride turns out to be as fun and exhilarating as the marketing promises.