First Ride: Giant Full-E+ 1 and Dirt-E+ 1

Giant entered the mountain bike e-bike market with two distinct models. The Full-E a 130mm rear and 140mm front dual suspension bike and the Dirt-E hardtail.

Giant Full-E+ 1

Giant Full-E ebike 8.jpg


Angles on the bike closely match those of the Trance with the biggest difference being the chainstays growing from 440cm to 470cm and the heat tube from 120mm to 145mm on a size Large. To accommodate the motor around the bottom bracket, Giant opted for a single pivot suspension design called SmartLink instead of their well-known Maestro design. Internal cable routing has been executed well with little to no sign of the extra cables needed to send information from the sensors to the computer. Controlling the motor is done through a neat handlebar mounted remote with ride, mode and battery info displayed on a LCD screen that is centrally mounted.


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Yamaha's Evolution line SyncDrive motor develops a hearty 80Nm and is powered by a 500Wh battery which will be good for 200km under ideal circumstances in Eco mode. This range is achieved by Giant's EnergyPak battery technology, with a 25% higher energy density when compared to competitors' batteries of the same size and weight. There is a battery level indicator on the battery with five LEDs to show you how much juice is left and the screen displays battery life left in percentage and a level indicator to make a quick glance possible.


Giant Full-E ebike 1.jpg

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New 4-sensor technology system precisely measures the amount of force a rider is applying to the pedals and delivers the power boost. To deliver even power across the entire gear range the system combines speed and torque sensors with motor and pedal rotation sensors. As with other e-bikes to hit our shores, Giant's range of e-bikes have their top speed limited to 25km/h to comply with European law.


Giant Full-E ebike 13.jpg



  • Evolution line SyncDrive 80Nm central motor, powered by YAMAHA
  • 500Wh battery pack for longest range
  • Fox 34 Float FIT4 140mm travel fork
  • Contact Switch remote height adjust seatpost
  • Shimano Deore/XT 10-speed drivetrain
  • Shimano M506 hydraulic disc brakes
  • Colour: Orange/Acid Yellow available locally; Black/White tested
  • Weight: 21,9 kg


Big news here is the use of a Fox 34 Float Performance. Although not as smooth as the Factory model, it is a great pick for the Full-E with the beefed up lowers and the extra stiffness adding composure to the heavy bike.


Giant Full-E ebike 4.jpg

Giant Full-E ebike 5.jpg

A Deore / XT drivetrain paired with a FSA crank and 36T chainring keep the wheels spinning. A set of Shimano M506 brakes running a 200 mm rotor up front and 180 mm rotor rear will slow you down when requested. Apart from the Schwalbe Nobby Nic, all the finishing parts come from Giant's own stable. The Giant branded kit has improved considerably over the last couple of years to the point where it does not seem out of place on any of their bikes.


Giant Full-E ebike 14.jpg


A nice touch is the Trail star compound front and Pace star compound rear Nobby Nic. I'm sure it would have been easier to go with one compound front and rear, but it shows Giant have their eyes on the details when planning bikes.


Giant Full-E ebike 11.jpg

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The 730mm handlebar is on the narrow side and I would like to see at least 760mm being selected. It is easy enough to cut aluminium bars down to your preferred width should 760mm be too wide. At least that way you will not have to buy a new handlebar.


First Ride

The first thing you notice is that the overall feel of the bike is typically Giant: neutral, positive feel that is almost familiar from the off. Switch the electric assist on, select your preferred mode and off you go. It's like riding a bicycle! My very unscientific test took me from 15km/h to 20km/h when switching from Eco to Normal modes and keeping my effort and cadence consistent. Going one more level up to Sport required me to up my cadence and drop a gear or two as I quickly started spinning out before hitting the 25km/h limit.


Giant Full-E ebike 6.jpg


The motor makes light work of even the steepest climbs and longest days in the saddle rewarding you with fresh legs when hitting the single track on your favourite trail. At speed the Full-E sheds the e-bike feel allowing you to attack trail sections like you would on your regular bike. Due to the increase in rear chainstay length it is not as agile as a regular Trance and getting the front wheel up takes a bit more effort, but one quickly adapts to that.


The computer son e-bikes need to start having ANT+ or Bluetooth built in to allow greater connectivity. I can see a world where e-bike riders can keep an eye on their heart rates and training zones with a connected screen rather than having to carry another device around. It would also be a great add on to have an App that can be used to tune your settings to your liking like Specialized's Mission Control does with their Turbo Levo range. It adds a level of customization that is truly useful and something I believe will soon be standard on e-bikes.


The only real change I would like is to have a more gradual initial kick-in. Other than that the bike rides like the mountain bikes we love to ride, with an on the trail feel that is good with positive feedback from the suspension and Giant's neutral feel.



Note: Full-E+1 as tested was an early demo bike brought into the country to show to dealers and has a different colour scheme. The specification is the same as is currently available at your local Giant dealer.


Giant Dirt-E+ 1


Giant Dirt-E ebike 1.jpg


The Dirt-E is a 100mm travel hardtail. As the electronic components match those of the Full-E, the main difference between the two is in the bike design and component choice. In terms of design, unlike the Full-E, the Dirt-E integrates the battery pack into the downtube making for a far sleeker looking bike.


Giant Dirt-E ebike 2.jpg

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The components on the Dirt-E+ 1 while on the lower end of mid-range, are all proper mountain biking parts. There is nothing attached to the bike that is not ready for off-road duty.


Giant Dirt-E ebike 3.jpg

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The bike features Shimano gearing with a FSA crankset and KMC chain. The 2x10 setup is mostly Deore level with an XT rear derailleur. The brakes are also from Shimano with 180mm rotors. A SR Suntour Raidon 100 mm air fork dampens the shocks on the front. The bike is finished off with Giant's own wheelset and Connect cockpit components.


First ride

On the trails, the Dirt-E felt very much like you would expect a bike of this specification level to feel. The central, low weight of the motor and battery did well at masking the true heft of this bike, even allowing for confident pavement bunny hops.


The only thing you need to remember on the Dirt-E (if you want power assistance) is to turn it on. Otherwise, it is as simple as can be. Changing between the power modes via the handlebar remote is intuitive and the information on the display is clear and relevant.


Giant Dirt-E ebike 5.jpg

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Like the Full-E, the Dirt-E makes climbing much easier on the legs but don't be fooled into thinking you won't be doing any work. Even in full assist mode, I still found myself attacking the climbs and working up a sweat.


On downhill sections due to the 25 km/h speed limit, you are mostly on your own. It was rather pleasant having a bit of assist out of slower corners, helping to get you back up to speed and blasting down the trail in no time. This does come at a cost however as the kick in from coasting was noticeable and is something you need to constantly remind yourself about to being flung off balance.


I was a bit confused about the 2x10 gearing until I turned the power off. When pedalling with assistance, gear choice has little consequence as the motor helps power you through even in the toughest gears. But when powered off or in economical assistance mode, the easier gears start to make sense, especially if in the hands of a rider that already requires the electronic assistance to get around.


The Dirt-E rides exactly how you would expect a normal bicycle of this specification to ride. This is an impressive feat by Giant considering the additional 10 kg or so worth of motor and battery strapped to the bike. This modestly kitted hardtail model will never excite a mountain biking enthusiast but for casual riders looking for a bit of help on the climbs or a commuter looking to make things easier and faster, the Dirt-E+ 1 will do the trick.


Specification list:

[spec_list][spec_list_row='Frame sizes']S, M, L, XL[/spec_list_row][spec_list_row='Colour']Anthraciteblack-Racered Matt-Gloss[/spec_list_row][spec_list_row='Frame']GIANT Dirt-E + 27.5 ""AluxX SL aluminium for SyncDrive mid engine with integrated EnergyPak battery, OverDrive headtube, internal cable routing, integrated post mount disc brake recording, integrated Luggage Rack, upright and wheel guard-Up, replaceable derailleur Recording[/spec_list_row][spec_list_row='Fork']SR Suntour Raidon 32 RL-R Air 100mm travel, Tapered 1½ - 1⅛" steerer,15QR, remote lockout[/spec_list_row][spec_list_row='Handlebar']GIANT Connect TR riser bar, 25mm Rise, 31.8x730[/spec_list_row][spec_list_row='Stem']GIANT Connect, ± 8 °, 31.8[/spec_list_row][spec_list_row='Seatpost']GIANT Connect, 30.9x375[/spec_list_row][spec_list_row='Saddle']GIANT Contact Upright[/spec_list_row][spec_list_row='Pedals']Wellgo M149 MTB Aluminium[/spec_list_row][spec_list_row='Front derailleur']Shimano Deore M618 Dyna-Sys Direct Mount[/spec_list_row][spec_list_row='Rear derailleur']Shimano Deore XT Dyna-Sys Shadow Plus M786[/spec_list_row][spec_list_row='Brakes']Shimano Deore M447, hydraulic disc brake, RT56 rotors (180mm)[/spec_list_row][spec_list_row='Brake Levers']Shimano Deore M506[/spec_list_row][spec_list_row='Cassette']Shimano Dyna-Sys HG50-10f. (Deore series), 11-36 Z.[/spec_list_row][spec_list_row='Chain'] KMC X10e[/spec_list_row][spec_list_row='Crankset']GIANT by FSA CK-746-1 / IS, ISIS spline, aluminum, 38-24 Z. aluminium / steel chainring[/spec_list_row][spec_list_row='Rims']GIANT SXC-2 Disc Wheel Set, ETRTO 19-584[/spec_list_row][spec_list_row='Hubs']GIANT by Formula Tracker Sport Disc sealed, 15mm thru-axle front[/spec_list_row][spec_list_row='Spokes']Niro 2.0 ~ 1.8 black, 32/32 spokes[/spec_list_row][spec_list_row='Tyres']Schwalbe Rocket Ron Performance, foldable, dual compound, 57-584[/spec_list_row][spec_list_row='Extras']4A fast charger, anti-theft label powered by, bell[/spec_list_row][spec_list_row='Weight']21.2 kgs (Medium)[/spec_list_row][spec_list_row='Motor']GIANT SyncDrive Sport powered by Yamaha Motor means, 250W, 80Nm, for doubly-chainring[/spec_list_row][spec_list_row='Control unit']GIANT pedal Plus powered by Yamaha 4-sensor[/spec_list_row][spec_list_row='Operator display']Central GIANT LC display with Sport Ride Control within reach[/spec_list_row][spec_list_row='Battery pack']GIANT EnergyPakF Lithium Ion downtube battery, integrated 36V 13.8Ah (496Wh), lockable, onboard / offboard Charging[/spec_list_row][spec_list_row='Retail Price']R 51,995[/spec_list_row][/spec_list]


Odinson, Jun 17 2016 03:16

Now, where is Nico Boshoff...

mountain_lion, Jun 17 2016 07:04

What is the expected retail price for the full sus model?

Iwan Kemp, Jun 17 2016 07:13

What is the expected retail price for the full sus model?


R 69,995.00

Johnny Lawless, Jun 17 2016 09:11

I see it's also available in blue


EmptyB, Jun 17 2016 09:33

I want one....when I'm 75

mountain_lion, Jun 17 2016 11:52

I want one....when I'm 75


Not many pensioners are going to be able afford that...


@ R70k it is too steep even while earning a salary!

Clinton H, Jun 19 2016 08:44

Jeez , that's ugly on a whole new level . If I was Yamaha I would ask to have my name removed from something so unsightly .

Mongoose!, Jun 20 2016 06:55

Never seen I an e bike with my own eyes. For those who have and maybe rode one.
Do you hear the "engine"?
On the bike while riding, and will the rider in front of you (say on a single track or so) hear without looking that an e bike is behind him?

Iwan Kemp, Jun 20 2016 07:27

Never seen I an e bike with my own eyes. For those who have and maybe rode one.
Do you hear the "engine"?
On the bike while riding, and will the rider in front of you (say on a single track or so) hear without looking that an e bike is behind him?

Not really. Some have an only just audible "whizz" sound, but a rider in front or behind won't hear.

mountain_lion, Jun 20 2016 08:25

Never seen I an e bike with my own eyes. For those who have and maybe rode one.
Do you hear the "engine"?
On the bike while riding, and will the rider in front of you (say on a single track or so) hear without looking that an e bike is behind him?


It is an electrical assist, so almost no noise, just a "buzz" as Iwan said.


Note that it is an assist, meaning that there is no "throttle" and you can't free wheel using the "engine". The assist is an adjustable percentage of the torque applied to the pedals.

In essence a modern "help-my-trap" as per the pic above :)

Shaun McCormack, Jun 21 2016 10:34

Ban this **** before it gets us banned I say!

CJ Van, Jun 21 2016 11:31

This weekend I went riding at Helderberg trails.  When we got to the bottom we cycled back up to do the downhill single track again.  When we got to the bottom for a 2nd time I would not have mind to do it again if it was not for the not so flat sections to the top.  So, I can totally see why someone would want a pedal assist bike if money was not an object.  No MTB'er will only have an pedal assist bike, this will obviously be one of your n + 1 bikes.


At the moment I have to working legs that are able to get me to the top of a mountain at least 2 times and a bank account that will not get me to the top of that mountain for a 3rd time.  If I did have that kind of bank account then there are far more important stuff to buy than a pedal assist bike. 

For those that say you will buy it when you are 75, not sure that will happen.  I you are to old to cycle to the top, surely you will be to old to shred down the mountain.  Not saying 75 year old toppies cannot shred down hill, I'm sure there are some out there that can.


What I don't understand is how will a pedal assist bike get MTB'er banned.  If it does not have a throttle and only powers up when you pedal, how does this pose a risk to fellow riders or cause damage to the trails? 

I do understand that if I cycle to the top with hard earned sweat and leg power and someone on a pedal assist bike passes me on the uphill only to turn out not having any skill on the decent and prevents me from getting that PR or KOM on a Strava segment that I will be pissed off!  But that is not the fault of the bike but rather the "box" on the bike.

NicoBoshoff, Jun 21 2016 11:57

Now, where is Nico Boshoff...

On Pinkbike

EmptyB, Jun 21 2016 12:04

Not many pensioners are going to be able afford that...


@ R70k it is too steep even while earning a salary!


Its expensive enough maintaining "normal" bikes....what happens when these things start giving you issues!!

Odinson, Jun 21 2016 12:15

On Pinkbike


Oooh, edgy. Is that where all the hardebaard manne hang out?


You BFF's with WAKIdesigns?

NicoBoshoff, Jun 21 2016 12:36

Oooh, edgy. Is that where all the hardebaard manne hang out?


You BFF's with WAKIdesigns?

No idea. I'm not a member. I just go there for the content.  Hub for kakpraat. Vital for Raw edits.

Let's Ride, Apr 02 2018 01:18

Great bike for somebody who would normally not cycle. Have ridden one and won't mind one myself. Motor doesn't make any sound.

bambooozle, Jan 24 2019 08:49

Read the story about my Giant Full-E 0


“Maybe its you”, your weight I was told by the Giant Bicycles South Africa Agent Michael, Gert and Andrew of (Dragon Sport) in a meeting of arrogance and no compromise blaming the consumer for faults to their bike that I don’t believe has been tested fully and to tell me that I might be to fat for the bike, surely its my fault that in the last 1500km 3months that I have broken the following:-

• Chain Ring
• Bolts lost on the crank
• New Motor (Apparently Seized due to mud)
• Bike returned without Chain
• 4 LCD Screens Replaced Due to Water
• 4 Cassettes (Shimano-MTB SA Each lasting about 300Km)
• Fox 34 Factory Fork Cracked
• Rear Hub Bearings
• Headset Bearings

This has all to do with my weight and is entirely my fault, I wash my bike after every ride and I look after my bike but never have I had issues like this before and yes Dragons Blames me.

My Giant EBike (Giant Durbanville) also has a 32km/h limit sticker but only goes 25km/h they refuse to correct this I was simply told it’s a mistake.

If no one has gathered this is my Giant Ebike (Giant Cape Town) that is designed to “TAKE YOUR TRAIL RIDING TO NEW HEIGHTS. THE FULL-E+ Pro GIVES YOU THE POWER TO CLIMB HIGHER AND RIDE ALL DAY” let me tell you a little about riding all day my bike has 5 ride settings but I use ECO and POWER the most, my bike tells me that on ECO I should get 144km I get 42km, on POWER I should get 68km I get 20km “it must be your weight!!!”

I weight 106kg the limit of the bike is 150kg

I was also told in the meeting this morning that I should maybe ride another brand, I think every person that is considering buying a Giant should try another brand.

There has been a shining light through this whole process Giant Cape Town has been stars (Lee, Tom and all the boys) you guys are great. (Giant Cape Town)

I have been up and down with this bike about 15 times to Cape town and back, taken time trying to resolve my issues on the back of an independent store (Giant Cape Town) with no assistance from the arrogant Distributor (Dragon Sport)

So if you are overweight fat, lazy, or just want to use your bike everyday avoid Dragons and go and buy a Trek Bicycle, Specialized Bicycles or any brand that these guys are not involved in YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!!!!

rorydewet, Jan 24 2019 09:53

I have had nothing but excellent service from Gert at Dragon Sports.


So thanks for feedback but Ill wait for them to reply.


Not saying you didnt have an issue with them.


Just saying I had a different experience and I would like to hear their side.